Youth movements and education

The Nazis tried to brainwash the German population into believing in the Nazi way of life. They believed that the best way to do this was by changing the minds of the young.

The video below looks at youth in Nazi Germany and the division between girls and boys.

Education

  • This was controlled by the state and aimed at developing young adults who believed fully in Nazi ideals.
  • Teachers and university lecturers had to join the National Socialist Teachers' League, which would question their suitability to teach. They were forced to teach a very specific curriculum.
  • Anti-Nazi and Jewish teachers were sacked.
  • School subjects were given a pro-Nazi bias.
  • History was taught to glorify Germany.
  • Biology taught that pure Germans were superior.
  • Textbooks were rewritten to emphasise militarism, as well as Nazi political and racial beliefs.
  • Regular physical exercise was a key part of the school day for boys and girls.
  • Girls attended classes that taught them how to be good mothers and wives.
  • Specialist schools (Napolas) were set up for those destined to become future leaders of Nazi Germany.

Youth groups

  • Boys were encouraged to join youth groups which progressed to the Hitler Youth. It taught survival techniques, military skills and the importance of physical fitness.
  • Girls were encouraged to join youth groups which progressed to the League of German Maidens. It taught the importance of motherhood and how to be a good wife. Women were expected to have large families and would earn rewards based upon how many children they had.

The video below looks at why the Hitler youth was so important to the Nazi uprising.