Revision Diary

Life in Nazi Germany


One party law and order – the SS and Gestapo.

Control of education, youth movements and the media; censorship and propaganda.

Cultural, racial and religious persecution;

Economic policy; increased employment through public works programmes, rearmament and conscription; self-sufficiency.

Effects of Nazi policies on people living in Germany.


Make sure you have detailed factual knowledge about AND HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT the following issues and topics:


Nazi RULE IN GERMANY 1934-39

1.  The nature of life in Nazi Germany, including

●   Nazi Nazi Economic Policy

●   The Holocaust


and that you are able to explain:





Revision Focus

This is a Paper 2 topic, so you need to have factual KNOWLEDGE IN DEPTH but also a degree of understanding which will allow you in the exam to write MULTI-CAUSAL EXPLANATIONS of the key issues.



e-book on Life in Nazi Germany







Life in Nazi Germany

(Different groups had different experiences.   For some it was all good - for some it was all bad.   For many people, it was a mixture of good and bad:)



Nazi Party members

•     very happy - they got the best houses, jobs in the government and power over other people.


Ordinary people

•     Nazi economic policies gave full employment/ the Strength through Joy (KdF) gave people fun and holidays/ trust in Adolf Hitler gave a sense of security

On the other hand,

•     Wages fell/ strikers could be shot/ all culture had to be German.



•     The Nazis gave newly-wed couples money for having babies/ women who had more than 8 children got a gold medal.   

On the other hand,

•     Women doctors, teachers and civil servants were forced to give up their careers.



•     Most were very happy - the HJ provided exciting activities for young boys/ young people had power because parents were frightened that their children would report them to the Gestapo.

On the other hand,

•     SOME girls were unhappy with the emphasis on the three Cs (Church, children, cooker)/ 'Aryan' girls were bred with selected 'Aryan' boys/ Eidelweiss Pirates drank, danced to American jazz music, sheltered army deserters and even attacked the Gestapo.  



•     Many Germans welcomed political repression because it brought political stability after the Weimar years.

On the other hand,

•     Communists were put into concentration camps/ Protestant pastors such as Dietrich Bonhoffer were executed/ Blockleiters and Gestapo informers made life terrifying for everybody..



•     Many Germans approved of Nazi racism.

On the other hand,

•     'The Holocaust'`-`Jews were forced into walled ghettos, put into concentration camps, used for medical experiments / 85% of Germany's gypsies killed/ black people sterilized/ mentally ill patients killed/ deaf people, physically disabled and families with hereditary illness sterilized/ beggars, homosexuals, prostitutes, alcoholics, pacifists, hooligans and criminals said to be 'anti-social' and put in concentration camps




Nazi Economic Policies

(There were FOUR aspects to Nazi economic policies:)




•    Unemployment fell from nearly 6 million to virtually nothing

•    The RAD (National Labour Service) sent men on public works; eg the autobahns,

•    Re-armament set steel mills, coal mines and factories back into production.



•    The government kept food prices at the 1928 level.  

•    Farmers were organised into the Reich Food Estate.  

•    Although they were strictly controlled, they were given subsidies.



•    The Nazis believed that Germany should be self-sufficient.  

•    They stopped imports, and subsidised industry.   Production rose, especially of oil, steel, coal and explosives.  

•    Businesses were strictly controlled, but they were happy because the workers were too.



•    The Beauty of Work movement made people proud of their work.

•    Trade Unions were banned, wages fell and workers were forbidden to strike.

•    The Strength through Joy movement gave people cut-price holidays, theatre trips and concerts. The KdF designed the Volkswagen (or ‘People’s Car’) ‘Beetle’.



The Holocaust


•    1935 - 'Nuremberg laws' - Jews were forbidden to marry 'Aryans'.   'Jews not wanted here' posters were put up in public places.

•    1938 - Nazi mobs destroyed Jewish synagogues and businesses.   It was called Kristallnacht, from the glass left from broken windows.

•    After 1940 - All Jews were forced to live in separate ghettos and had to wear the yellow 'star of David'.

•    1941 - Conquest of Russia; the Germans captured vast numbers of Russian Jews.   Einsatzgruppen were set up to shoot them all.

•    1942 - Wannsee Conference: decision to implement the 'final solution' - the genocide of gypsies and Jews.