By 1934, Germany was firmly under Nazi control. After president von Hindenberg’s fatality in respectable of the year, Adolf Hitler declared himself not only the country chancellor but additionally its Führer. The revolution was over, the told his the next associates. It was currently time come consolidate power and also normalize life in the “new Germany” they had actually created. The Nazis were established to develop a Volksgemeinschaft—a “national community” or, literally, a “people’s community.”

The ax had come to be popular during civilization War I together a means of rallying support for the conflict. At that time, it merely meant that all Germans, nevertheless of class, religious, and also social differences, would work together to attain a nationwide purpose—winning the war. Yet the Nazis taken its meaning differently. They used the indigenous to breakthrough the idea the a racially pure and also harmonious national community united in the devotion come the German people, your nation, and their leader. In the words of a renowned Nazi slogan, the goal was “Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Führer!” (“One People! One Empire! One Leader!”)

As the slogan suggests, the Nazis viewed nationwide Socialism as an ext than a collection of political ideas. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister that propaganda, referred to as it a “total and also all-encompassing basic perspective on every public matters.” It to be an ideology—a mechanism of very closely related ideals and beliefs. Goebbels said of Nazi ideology: 

We hope that the day will certainly come when nobody needs to talk around National Socialism any kind of more, due to the fact that it has come to be the wait that we breathe! . . . Civilization must gain used inwardly to this means of behaving; they need to make it into their own collection of attitudes. 1

Hitler described the foundation for the national neighborhood in his book Mein Kampf

If one were to divide mankind into three species: the culture-creators, the culture-bearers, and the culture-destroyers, the Aryan would certainly fit the an initial definition. That is to him the we have to trace the foundations and the wall surfaces of all that human being beings have created. . . . The most powerful to the Aryan is the Jew . . . The Jew own no culture-creating ability whatever, due to the fact that he does not, and never did have that high quality without which guy cannot truly develop toward a greater order: idealism. Therefore, his intellect will never act together a constructive force. . . . The is and remains the typical parasite, a sponger who, favor a malign bacillus, spreads more and an ext as lengthy as the will uncover some favorable feeding ground.2

While the Nazis were clear around their ultimate score of creating a “racially pure” state, castle were also conscious of publicly opinion. They operated to cultivate agreement in German culture even as they suppressed dissent. They created organizations for workers, women, young people, and also other groups to build a feeling of link to the Nazi government. They developed all type of propaganda design to create allegiance come Nazi ideas. In an effort to stop the illustration of lawlessness come order-minded Germans, castle wrote most of their plans into new laws. They motivated Germans to police their very own behavior, and also that of your neighbors, in accordance with those laws. And through your policies and propaganda, they set out to prepare Germans for war to obtain the “living space” the the “Aryan” race needed in order come grow and also expand.

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Thing 6 examines the Nazis’ initiatives to create a Volksgemeinschaft and also the necessary questions those efforts raise about obedience and conformity, persuasion and dissent.


: Quoted in Richard J. Evans, The third Reich in Power (New York: Penguin, 2005), 221.

2 : Quoted in Joachim Remak, ed., The Nazi Years: A Documentary History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1969), 34.