Did the German people benefit from Nazi rule in the 1930’s?
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The Nazi’s came into power in Germany in March 1933 when they pushed the elections their way by arresting Communist party members and their supporters. Also they had a massive amount of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels was the head of Hitler’s propaganda movement. Also the Nazi’s were aggressive towards their opponents, putting them down to make the Nazi’s look better. Even though they used some dubious techniques to get into power, once they were there, they did some things that were great for the German people; they also did some things that were not so great for the German people.
Firstly, after using the Enabling Law to allow him to do anything he wanted for the next four years he made an anti-communist law that banned all 81 members of the communist party from the Reichstag. Then he made the law against the formation of new parties, this got rid of all parties other than the Nazi party making Hitler a dictator. A benefit to the German people was the fact that Germany would become more stable as other parties that could ruin Germany’s stability could not oppose Hitler and that decisions could be made instantly for any problem, which would make Germany more efficient. On the other hand the German people lost their freedom of speech as they could not organise a party to oppose Hitler’s ideas and if anyone working for Hitler found that they were against Hitler’s ideas the S.S would take them to a concentration camp, this left the German people with no defence against anything Hitler did.
Once Hitler had established his totalitarian dictatorship, Germany was fairly safe from Putsches and other parties attacking buildings and the Nazis, therefore causing trouble for the German people. Then again, people might have wanted this, but with no way to voice their opinions without being sent to a concentration camp or killed, they could do nothing to stop Hitler, this left Germany in a good state from a country’s point of view, but for a normal person, life could be hell. Unless you were an Aryan German that is.
Hitler had an aim, to make a perfect, Aryan race. He was willing to do anything to get it, including killing off whole other races of people. If you were an Aryan German you were lucky as you would be paid to have children and get married, Hitler would want you in Germany. However if you were of an ethnic minority, such as Jews or if you were black, Hitler would not want you and you would be sent to concentration camps, or in the case of the Jews, even more then that, as Kristal Nacht showed. On Kristal Nacht, Hitler had Jewish shops destroyed, looted, boycotted and burnt down in an attempt to remove Jews and their shops from Germany, this was good for normal Germans as it meant that there shops could prosper from more business as the Jewish department stores were no longer there.
But if you were a Jew, it was the first move of Hitler’s towards wiping them out. Therefore, if you were German and a non-Jew you benefited, as your shop would make more money, as people would start going to it more without the large Jewish stores, this would make you more money and give you a higher standard of living. If you were Jewish in Germany, you would not even have a shop to make any money with so your standard of living would become very poor indeed, especially when the S.S came and took you to a concentration camp where you would be used as a slave until you died, or were killed first.
If you were a child you had many benefits, and many disadvantages to go with them. When you were at school, you would be taught what the Nazi’s wanted to teach you, not what the old education system had you taught. For example, history was re-written to show how bad the Weimar republic was and how the Nazi’s had taken over and made Germany glorious. Also you would be taught lessons made by the nazis’, race studies was taught to teach children about the Aryan race and how the Jews were worthless and undesirable. If you were a girl, you were taught domestic science and the science of breeding. These lessons were how the Nazi’s encouraged girls to grow up to become housewives, having children and doing house work was what the Nazi’s thought women should do. So as a child you benefited because you got an education and the chance to go to school. Even so, the education you go was biased and was a way in which the Nazi’s indoctrinated children into believing Nazi beliefs and party ideas.
Also as a child, you were used by the Nazi’s to spy on your parents without you or them knowing you were doing it. That way you could be used to spy on your parents in your own home without the Nazis having to try hard and tap phone lines and read your mail, all of which the S.S could do. Doing this helped the Nazi’s, but it ruined families, as if you said anything to your teacher about what your parents had said, you could inadvertently send your parents to a concentration camp. This would leave you with no family as the Nazi’s had used you against your own family. Therefore the German people would be even more afraid to say anything about Hitler, even if it only is a six or seven year old child near to you.
To control children even more Hitler set up his youth group. Hitler Youth. This group controlled all young peoples free time, it was designed to keep children fit so as to keep a master, Aryan race healthy and pure. Also it was another method Hitler used to keep children believing what he wanted them to believe. Such as if Hitler provided them all with activities then he must be great, and other useful ways of twisting people to his beliefs. During 1939, Hitler made joining Hitler Youth compulsory so that every child would be filled with Nazi propaganda and not just the ones who were willing to turn up. This was good for German children because it gave them things to do other then sitting around. On the other hand it gave Hitler another way to fill their heads with Nazi promotions and beliefs. So overall being a child in Hitler Youth was not too bad, as most did not realise that the Nazi’s were filling them with beliefs un-noticeably.
The teachers at these schools were also under Nazi control, they had to sign an agreement with Hitler and join the German teachers League, this meant that they would teach children what the nazi’s wanted children to hear, and to say nothing bad about the Nazi’s to the children. So as a teacher if you had signed the agreement and were fine about telling children how the Nazi’s were so great and never did anything wrong, the Nazi’s were happy and you had a job. If you wouldn’t do this, you were out of your job without a second thought by the Nazi’s.
Women in Nazi Germany also had some benefits but a lot of disadvantages, Hitler thought that women should be housewives and not work, just stay at home, looking after children and doing housework. To make this work Hitler gave women 1000 Deustchmarks when they got married and let them keep 250 for each child they had. This was good for women but first they were all kicked out of their jobs and were made so they could not work. Many women probably did not want to be housewives but they had no option as Hitler made sure they were all made redundant. The benefits to some women were that they got paid for having children and staying in at home doing housework. Disadvantages of being a woman under Nazi rule was that you lost your job and your rights to work.
If you were a Jew in Nazi Germany, you had nothing good coming to you from Hitler. Part of Hitler’s aim of a perfect race did not include the Jews; he also blamed them for failure earlier in his life. To Jews he did almost anything to make their lives living hell. He boycotted Jewish shops, sent the S.S round to Jewish houses and sent Jews to concentration camps. Also, he burnt their homes and wrecked their property. Then, after ruining everything they owned, Hitler made them have a ‘J’ stamped on their passports and they had to carry an identification book with them at all times. Even after all this, the Jews who did not own shops but worked for a larger companies, usually having professional jobs such as lawyers, accountants and doctors were sacked and forbidden from working.
And, on top of everything else, they were not allowed to have relationships with non-Jews, that was Hitler’s way of making sure they did not interfere with his master race. So if you were an ‘undesirable’ Jew, as Hitler would call them. You had no benefits from living in Nazi Germany, and were better off getting out of the country if you wanted a normal life, also it would be better for Jews to be rid of Nazi Germany before Hitler’s ‘Final Solution, in which 6 million Jews would be killed. Bad things about living in Germany if you were a Jew are plentiful and obvious. Everything about your life would be turned upside down if you were a Jew, even Jewish children were persecuted and had to go to Jewish schools. So if you were Jewish, you had every disadvantage possible and Nazi Germany would not change for the Jews, it would only get worse.
If you had either a mental or physical disability in Nazi Germany, you would be classed as undesirable and would be sent to hospitals outside of towns and cities. There you would be either killed, or sterilised in that you would be prevented from having children. You were not part of Hitler’s plan if you were not a perfect Aryan German. He did not want any disabilities in his perfect race, so he had people with them gotten rid of, or, as some of them might say, stop the disease spreading. So being disabled gave you no benefits in Nazi Germany, but it did give you many disadvantages. You would probably not be able to get a job and you were forbidden from having children and relationships. Overall being disabled was very bad, even if you were only colour-blind, you were not accepted into the perfect race, as Hitler did not want any problems with his perfect race.
If you were black or of any other ethnic background, then you to would be persecuted, you would be treated like the Jews, but without some of the problems of Kristal Nacht aimed at you. So once again, you had no benefits of being in Nazi Germany and many advantages.
Looking at the unemployment statistics in Germany between 1933 and 1939 you can clearly see that whilst Hitler was in power unemployment fell from 5 million to a few thousand. This looks great, as that would be massively beneficial to people in Germany to be working again. Then again, Hitler made some changes as to who appeared on the statistics. From the statistics, Hitler removed; women, Jews, disabled, ethnic minorities and people in concentration and labour camps. This meant that unemployment dropped, and the Nazi’s claimed that there was a shortage of labour. This was good as it did mean that German people were getting jobs, as the unemployment would go down, though not as much as if Hitler had put everyone on the statistics. The only bad thing was that it meant people looking at Germany from the outside would not realise what was happening and be able to do anything about it.
Hitler had a new economic policy made by Dr. Schacht. It involved making Germany self-sufficient and building up an army and armament industry. Doing this created thousands of jobs, men were given jobs in camps, building motorways and digging ditches and sports stadiums. It was a great success as Germany was soon at work and doing quite well for itself. But when they started the rearmament program running, it created millions of jobs as to build weapons you needed mass production factories, this created many jobs as the old factories started employing again. An even bigger fall in unemployment came when Hitler re-introduced conscription, this brought over a million men into the army, well above what the Treaty of Versailles had allowed them to.
This was good as it meant that very few people who wanted work, or who Hitler would allow to work, were employed in some form or another. On the other hand Hitler was completely ignoring the Treaty of Versailles, yet no country seemed to want to stop him. This showed that Hitler was readying for war, which would be a disadvantage to anyone, not mattering who you were, you would be involved in it in someway or another.
Hitler also had ‘peoples receivers’ given out, these were radios that people could listen to Nazi produced news, promoting Nazis and sending out edited news to make the Nazi’s look good. Also films were made that promoted Nazi ideas and made Nazi’s look good. Hitler also held massive rallies, which thousands of people would attend and be amazed by things that Hitler would organise, such as air force fly-pasts and fireworks displays. These were great for Nazi propaganda and also it was good for the German people as it kept spirits high and people happy, and believing the Nazi’s. Then again, believing the Nazi’s might not be so good as the Nazi’s had been planning war for a long time, and with the mass support they had by 1939, people were willing to go to war for him and their country, to make Germany great again.
Overall, in Germany, during the 1930’s, people did benefit quite a lot from Nazi rule. But if you were not what Hitler wanted you to be, it was an entirely different story. So I think that mainly, people benefited quite a lot from Hitler and the Nazis, especially Aryans. So there is no clear answer to whether people benefited from the Nazi rule in the 1930’s, as there are too many sides to take into account. As a contradiction to people benefiting quite a lot from Hitler is the example of the Jews, who had nothing good come from the Nazi’s taking charge. So my decision is that you would benefit under the Nazi rule, as long as you were what Hitler wanted you to be, healthy, blonde with blue eyes, working, a non-Jew, then you would be fine, if you were none of these things though, you were in a lot of trouble.