To what extent did Nazism change society 1933-45? Essay

From the ashes of the old, rose a new German society, in which the Germany community as a whole prospered, and not the individual. The in impact of nazism resulted in many social changes: discrimination of women and ethic minorities, unarticulated public opinions, suppression of opposition, lack of political involvement etc.

However, this to the majority of the German people seemed a small price to pay for economic security and an increase in living standards. Although, on the other hand, it could be argued that Hitler’s vision of volksgemeinschaft was simply a propaganda gimmick, and in truth, nothing had changed.The German people still lived in a society where the class and not ability determined self worth. Thus, one is left to speculate the extent to which German society changed, if at all, due to Nazism. The elimination of ethic minorities was the most important social change felt not only by Germany, but also territories occupied by Germans. For no Regime before or after the Nazi Regime had ever taken Anti-Semitism to such an extreme. Jews were used as scapegoats, by blaming them for all the “ills”, which had affected society before Hitler’s arrival into power.

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This created a new sense of unity amongst the German people which had not existed before the Nazi regime; and thus signifies social change in respect to peoples attitudes. The Jewish were dehumanised by Nazi propaganda, and became little more than an evil, greedy, communist stereotype. The message of Nazi racial propaganda was always the same – “if Jews lefts Germany everything would be sweet and light”. It is interesting, however, that Nazi propaganda never actual explained how this would be achieved.Although, one must admit that Hitler’s attempt to achieve a pure Aryan community was the most coherent, coherent and revolutionary aspect of Nazism, and therefore led to the most profound social change. For example, The Nuremberg law, of 1935, which banned Aryans from having interracial marriages with non Aryans: Jews, gypsies and other asocial groups. Moreover, The Jews had been charged with dominating spheres, such as banking, business real estate, and therefore by banning Jews from the top professions Nazis hoped to reduce there influence over business, commerce and professions.

However, Jews only made up 1% of the population, and therefore it could be said that the dominance of the Jews were over exaggerated This line of argument is support by the fact that more Jews were employed in low paid jobs/ low status jobs. Only 7% of Jews made were employed in public service and professions. Moreover, it could be said that, the unsuccessfulness of Jewish Emigration limited the impact Nazism had on social change. By 1937, only 120,000 out of 503,000 Jews had left Germany, and many had returned lulled into a false sense of security that the worst was over by the regime’s cautious policies.On the other hand it could be argued that, any problems concerning Emigration was overshadowed by the Holocaust, which truly marked a profound change in Germany society; 6 million Jews were estimated to have been killed. Lucy Dawldowicz argued that “anti-Semitism was the core of Hitler’s system of beliefs and central motivation of his policies.

This argument is supported my the fact that Hitler’s anti-Semitism campaign was speed up during the years of war. This in turn indicates consistency was key to strong impact racial propaganda had on society.On the other hand, A.

J. P Taylor claims that Hitler’s anti-Semitism policies were a substitute for social change. However, ethic minorities were not the only once who were discriminated against, women to an extent suffered also because of the regime. Women’s role in society changed dramatically as a result of Nazism. Women in the highest professions found themselves unemployment, when females were dismissed from medical and the civil service.

girls taught separately from boys, for they need to learn that “the world of woman is smaller.For her world is her husband, her family, her house”. Furthermore, Nazi propaganda aimed at women also result in a dramatic decline in the number of female students. however it could be said that the that the decline of women in universities was a short social change, since by 1939 females made up 49% of the student body at university. Moreover, Nazi ideology that encouraged women to take on more traditional roles, and was often emphasised by popular slogan such as “Kinder, Kirche, Kuche”, conflicted with external social trends, i.

e. emale emancipation. In this respect Nazism impact on social change was limited. A great social changed was marked by the rise of birth rate.

However, arguably, it is hard to judge the extent to which Nazism was responsibly for this social change. For example, the end of the depression, due to economic recovery, would mean that most of the population would have experience an increased in leaving standards and there for would have married at a young, which would account for the increase in birth rate Germany experienced , as so in many other countries.On the other hand, American Schoehaum claims that German society experienced “profound changes in social structure and values…. Produced directly or indirectly by Nazism”, which in turn justifies the term social revolution. However, even if Nazism had been responsible for the increase in both marriage and birth rates, it could be argued that these changes in society were success changes in society only for a short period.

Both Birth and marriage rate peaked in 1935 and was followed, subsequently, by a dramatic decline. Moreover it could be argued that the Nazii policy did not change society for the better, but worst.Nazi policy had made divorce easier which led to a steady increase in divorce rate. This in turn undermined family friendship and lead to quarrels over the treatment of barren or cast off wives. In addition, Nazi policies which conflicted with its ideology lead to conflict between generations, especially between mothers and sons over premarital sex.

By 1945 23% of all young Germans hand venereal disease and prostitution had quadrupled.Nazi policies had not only undermined its own ideology, but destroyed it; Nazism had not created health Aryans, which were free of asocials, i. . prostitutes, but rather the opposite. On the other hand it could be argued that in the to asocials Nazism was able to achieve social change to some extent. Take, for example the Euthanasia programme which was introduced to get rid of “those considered a burden to society: the mental and physically ill/ handicapped.

5,000 children were killed by injection or malnutrition, and by 1939 this programme was extended to adults. The expansion of the Euthanasia programme serves to indicate the impact of society.On the other hand it could be argued that nazism changed very little for either the peasantry or the middle class, in turns of theirs social status.

The peasantry had been originally attracted to the nazi cause by the promise of social change. The farming community’s hopes of social change had been based on Hitler’s emphasis on the importance of agriculture an the German peasant as the “essential pillar on which all political life must rest”. Despite the peasantry’s expectations, the regime failed to change society, in respect to creating a community based on a stable class of landholding peasants.

It could be argued that schemes of rural resettlement were bound to fail because they conflicted both with Hitler’s plans for expansionist plans and with the long term trend of a rural drift to the towns. In order for Hitler to maintain his power he supported the elites, and therefor it could be argued that there wasn’t any social changes in the respect to social class. Numbers of vast states were not curved up, but instead by the inclusion of polish territory.

So there was no only no substantial change in their position , it was was made worse by 1939.The Junker continued maintain their status, for which the peasantry paid the ultimate price. It could be concluded that , that there was social revolution in the terms that there was a change in the structure of social class, but rather a “revolution of form and not substance”, stemming from Hitler’s desire to “deceive” the German people.

On the other hand, if a social revolution was achieved, it came from as a result from elimination of some many people: jews, elites involved in plots to assassinate Hitler, priests e. tc.


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