Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Volksgemeinschaft was an attempt by the German Nazi Party to establish a national community of unified mind, will and spirit. It could only be achieved by controlling gaining control of all aspects of cultural and social life. Theatre, literature, the press and childrens' activities were all controlled by the Nazis.
In order to control information and propaganda, institutional controls were placed on the entertainment and communications industries. Adolf Hitler authorized the establishment of the Reich Chamber of Culture and appointed Joseph Goebbels as Minister of Propaganda . The Reich Chamber of Culture consisted of seven divisions: music, theatre, literature, radio broadcasting, the press, visual arts, and film. The Chamber of Culture was not only established to keep 'undesirables' such as Jews and other minorities out, but also to fully integrate Nazism with artists and entertainers who wanted a change in the structure of their professions.
All German newspapers were brought under the control of the Eher Verlag, the Nazi publishing house where propaganda articles were pre-written for the newspapers to use. Buildings in Germany were meant to last a thousand years and were built to represent mediaeval themes. Outdoor theatre emphasized the theme of “Blood and soil” and reinforced the kinship between modern Germans and ancient Greeks. Music was guided by biological theory represented in the Nordic traits of Mozart, Wagner, and Hayden. Film in Nazi Germany glorified the party, Hitler, and martyrdom for Nazism.
In their desire to establish a total state, the Nazis understood the importance of “selling” their ideology to the youth. To accomplish this, Hitler established Nazi youth groups. Boys age ten to fourteen years old participated in the Jungvolk, and boys fourteen to eighteen years old participated in the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth). Both groups fostered military values and virtues, such as duty, obedience, honor, courage, strength, and ruthlessness. Uniforms and regular military drills were supplemented by ceremonies honoring the war dead. Most importantly, the Hitler Youth did their utmost to indoctrinate the youth of Germany with the ideological values of National Socialism. Youth leaders bore into the youth a sense of fervent patriotism and utter devotion to Hitler. By 1939, when membership in the Hitler Youth became compulsory, each new member of the Jungvolk was required to take an oath to the Führer swearing total allegiance.
Young girls were also a part of the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany. Girls age ten to fourteen were members of the Jungmadel , while girls fourteen to eighteen belonged to the Bund Deutscher Madel . Hitler youth girls were indoctrinated in the principles of service, regimentation, obedience, and discipline. Girls were taught to be dutiful wives and mothers. Members of the Bund Deutscher Madel were educated in the skills needed for domestic chores, nursing, and hygiene.
Daily life in Nazi Germany was manipulated from the beginning of Nazi rule. Propaganda dominated popular culture and entertainment. Anti-intellectualism was used to prevent the people from thinking and feeding into their strong sense of national and military pride. Finally, Hitler and the party realized the possibilities of controlling Germany’s youth as a means of continuing the Reich, and insuring total control over a future generation.
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