Study Notes

Weimar and Nazi Germany (1918-1939): Education in Nazi Germany

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 15 Jul 2024

The Nazis saw the children of Germany as the future, and if they educated them in the ideals of the Nazi party, then the Thousand Year Reich would be secure.

To this end, the Nazis placed a great importance on educating the young of the nation. To control the education of children, the Nazis needed to control all the schools in Germany.

Controlling education in Germany meant controlling the teachers in schools. The Nazis set up the Nazi Teachers’ League to educate teachers in the Nazi ideas which they would teach the children. Membership of the League was compulsory, and any refusal meant teachers lost their jobs. In this way, the Nazis controlled the staff working in schools to ensure their message remained pure and undiluted.

The Nazis also changed what schools taught. They added new subjects and altered some to make them more German or as methods of indoctrinating pupils in Nazi ideas and beliefs.

New subjects included Race Studies or Eugenics, which focussed on racial groups of people, what to look for in partners and how Germans were far superior to other groups. Subjects which were altered included history which emphasised German victories and highlighted certain groups such as the Jews as betrayers of Germany.

The Nazis separated boys and girls so that they could be taught different subjects so they could fulfil the roles they were expected to in society. Girls were taught how to be good housewives and mothers, and boys had a focus on physical fitness.

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