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Did the Nazi's Succeed in Winning the Hearts and Minds of the German Youth?

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The Nazi's did succeed in winning the hearts and minds of the German youth using a variety of methods. The Nazi's took traditional influences on the youth, such as parents and the Church, and provided their own institutions to make sure the youth followed the Nazi cause.

One method the Nazis used to influence the youth was youth groups. The Nazis set up a variety of groups for both boys and girls for the ages 11 to 18. The boys groups initially focused on fun physical activities before turning the group into a pseudo army, occupied with drills and National Socialism lectures. The girls sections focused on physical activity and turning women into housewives that could produce babies for the Third Reich. These youth groups gained significantly popularity in the years 1932-1939. Numbers increased dramatically, rising from 107000 to roughly 3.5million before hitting a peak of 6million in 1939. Membership to these groups became compulsory; furthermore, rival groups were prevented from existing. The Catholic Church agreed to end its own youth groups in the Concordat agreement.

The education also followed a similar pattern. Teachers from undesirable groups were removed from their positions and the rest of the teachers had to join the National Socialists Teachers League, which enabled the Nazis to make sure that teachers who did not match their own ideals were fired. This again occurred in the universities with 10% of lecturers being fired and the remaining lecturers were forced to sign a declaration of support to Hitler as well as join the Nazi Lecturers' Association. Increasingly keen Nazis were made headmasters and this in turn enforced the changes in curriculum as well as forcing out any teachers who had slipped through the net. A greater emphasis was placed on physical education, as well as German, History, Mathematics, Chemistry and Geography. There was not a massive overhaul in the curriculum taught, but questions in Nazi textbooks helped to emphasise Nazi views. "The construction of a lunatic asylum costs 6 million RM. How many houses at 15,000 RM each could have been built for that amount?" The curriculum had been changed to promote nationalism, obedience, discipline, and anti-intellectualism. This led to the number of university students decreasing throughout the period 1933-1939.

Overall, the most radical change to the education system was the newly established National Political Institutes of Education for boys, which was designed to develop future leaders. In 1936, these schools were taken over by the SS and the curriculum focused even more on a military style education. Furthermore, in 1937 more schools were set up by the Hitler Youth leader, Schirach and DAF leader Ley, called the "Adolf Hitler schools". These schools focused even more on physical, military and political training. Nazi officials did not send their own kids there. These specialist schools replaced schools, which

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