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Class notes on Nazi Ideology

Class notes on Nazi Ideology

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Class notes on Nazi Ideology

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  1. Class notes on Nazi Ideology 12a.Hi April 2016

  2. Nazi Ideology: Racism • Hitler believed that humanity consisted of a hierarchy of races- ‘survival of the fittest’. Aryan Race- superior race, blue eyes, blonde hair to dominate the inferior races. At the lower end of Hitler’s racial pyramid were Slavs, Gypsies and Negroes with the Jews at the very bottom. • Vital to maintain racial purity- the blood of the weak should not undermine the blood of the strong. • Social Darwinism- theory that people, individuals, groups are subject to the same laws of Natural Selection that Darwin claimed for animals. • The Herrenvolk- Master Race.

  3. Race Propaganda Links • Nazi racial teachings for teachers: • A speech for the youth by Dr. Walter Groß, head of the Nazi Party’s Racial Policy Office. • • Dr. Walter Groß: A speech for women: • Posters from Nazi Racial Exhibitions: • An SS booklet on race: • Why the Aryan Law? • Racial Wall Charts:

  4. Nazi Ideology: Anti-DEmocracy • Nazis wanted a strong dictatorial government. • They viewed democracy as weak and ineffective as it went against the German historical traditions of militarism and power of the state. • Hitler saw Weimar democracy as a betrayal- since signing the Armistice, Germany had been thrown from crisis to crisis. • Hitler wanted an all-embracing one party state that would be run on the Führerprinzip (the principle of one strong leader). • Point 25 on the 25 point programme is “we demand the creation of a strong central power of the Reich”. • Hitler believed that there was no realistic alternative to strong dictatorial government. • Hitler believed in the “stab in the back” myth; the belief that Weimar had betrayed Germany by accepting Versailles and the armistic. • He also believed that Democracy was a gateway for communism which he viewed as a great evil.

  5. Anti-Democracy Propaganda • Goebbels on “Why the Nazis want to join the Reichstag”: • Goebbels on “How to be a dictator” • Facts and Lies about Hitler: • Rudolf Hess speech “An Oath to Hitler:

  6. Nazi Ideology: Socialism • Definition: “A system of government that focuses on helping the people- the rich helping the poor, the country owning the means of production and administering them for the people”. • Hitler was really anti socialism but took on some socialist principles to build the popularity of the Nazis. It took until 1934 (after he was leader) to share his views of socialism. • Within the socialist promises of the Nazis there were: • Profit sharing in large industrial enterprises. • The extensive development of insurance for old age. • The nationalisation of all business.

  7. Socialism continued: The Volksgemeinschaft • Hitler and Goebbels began to promote the concept of Volksgemeinschaft (development of a harmonious or racially pure community). They aimed to promote German ideology and only benefited those who racially belonged to the German volk. • This was a bit vague within Nazi ideology, but it was intended to • Overcome the old differences of class, religion and politics. • Bring about a new collective national identity by encouraging people to work together for the benefit of the nation and by promoting ‘German values’.

  8. Nazi Ideology: Nationalism • They wanted to destroy communism (part of their Grand Plan). • Part of that was to invade the USSR- the heart of Communism. • Wanted Germany to be a super-nation and take back the territory they lost from the Treaty of Versailles. • Not only wanted to be a superpower but a great empire “A reich”, involved retaking Memel, Danzig, the Rhineland and the German communities on the Baltic coastline as well as union with Austria. • The Nazis believed that their nation was the best, foreign nations and their citizens are below them and should not ruin their country. • The Greater Germany would unite all Germans and maximise lebensraum (living space) which the Nazis were convinced the “growing” German population needed.

  9. Nazi Ideology: Nationalism Continued. • Sparked by recent German history: the armistice of 1918 and the Treaty of Versailles had to be overturned and the loss of territory had to be restored to Germany. • Hitler wanted the creation of an empire (Reich) to include all members of the German Volk who lived beyond imperial Germany (Austrian, Sudetenland and Baltic Coast). • Hitler promoted the concept of Volksgemeinschaft- stressing harmonious, socially unified and racially pure community.

  10. Nationalism Propaganda • Nazi posters pre 1933: • Nazi posters 1933-1939: • Nazi posters 1939-1945: • Those Damned Nazis (a pamphlet): • A Speech from Hitler on Foreign Policy:

  11. Anti-Semitism • Hitler and the Nazis were not creators of anti-Semitism but rather products of it. Anti-Semitism actually stretches back to medieval Europe; the Christians blamed the Jews for the death of Christ. • German anti-Semitism was based on racism and national resentment. By 1900 various Völkisch political parties were winning seats in the Reichstag. Their success proved that anti-Semitism was growing in popularity. • Jews became the universal scapegoat for the Nazis, responsible for all of Germany’s problems. • Hitler wasn’t the creator of this idea and it wasn’t a purely German idea. There was a long tradition of anti-Semitism in European history rooted in religious hostility of Christians towards Jews. • There were a number of parties that were anti-Semitic and were becoming more respected.

  12. Anti-Semitism Propaganda • For a full range of anti-Semitic propaganda: • Nazi book, the Eternal Jew: • The Jewish Problem: • A book for Children The Poisonous Mushroom: and an essay on Propaganda for Children: An essay linking Jews to Bolsheviks: Caricatures from Der Sturmer: