Nazi Propaganda Within School Systems

Introduction

The National Socialist Party of Germany popularly called the Nazi party controlled Germany between 1933 and 1945. It grew out of several small political groups partly in reaction to communist uprisings in Germany during the First World War. The political ideology of the Nazi party was largely framed by nationalist fervor and the suspicions of sabotage and anti-Semitism that grew out of German, and the dissatisfaction from defeat and its aftermath from the First World War. The party had existed since 1920 but gradually grew in power and influence until they took over power in 1933 when Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. On ascension to power the Nazi’s embarked on a systematic, brutal and wide spread indoctrination of the whole of Germany.

Emphasis on Youth and the School Systems

Right from the moment they seized power, the Nazi’s understood the power of education and the youth in shaping the future and they undertook the design and implementation of a brutally efficient indoctrination of the German youths with the ideals of the Nazi party. Since the 1920s, the Nazis had directed their indoctrination efforts at the youths. They presented the party as a youth movement exhibiting the youthful characteristics of idealism, strength, vitality, forward looking and dynamic. The main tenets of Nazi propaganda centered on anti-Semitism, Aryan superiority, anti-communism, anti-capitalism, maintaining the purity of the Aryan race, anti-intellectualism, people’s community, eugenics, the supremacy of the Nazi state over individual rights and the leader principle. These supposed ideals of the Nazi movement were systematically entrenched in the nation’s schools and educational system while at the same time breaking down the existing system.

From the age of ten years, boys and girls are enlisted in the youth organizations where they undergo graduated indoctrination on the ideals of Nazi propaganda. Upon rising to power the Nazis undertook a systematic purging of the school system of ‘undesirable’ teachers and revising of the school curriculums including the removal of ‘poisonous’ textbooks and their replacement with ones that favored the Nazi cause. As at 1936, about 97% of school teachers were members of the Nazi party. Within the same year, youth membership of the party stood at almost five and a half million youths. Adolescents were made to swear allegiance to the Fuhrer and his birthday was celebrated as a national holiday. In the school curriculum, devotion to the Fuhrer was a key doctrine.