A Young Boy’s Life in Nazi Germany
Growing up in Germany during the Nazi regime exposed me to different things that in many ways altered my perspective on the society and the particular leaders who ruled the country during the Nazi regime. The Nazi Germany describes the period from 1933 to 1945 when Germany was under the tyrannical regulation of Adolf Hitler who ruled under Nazi party. I was a young boy then witnessing the rise of Hitler and his reforms which were aimed at uplifting the deteriorating economy of the country.
Before Hiller assumed the leadership of the region, President Paul von Hindenburg led Germany. Hitler was appointed the Chancellor of Germany by Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The rise in power of Hitler took foot in 1934, after the death of President Hindenburg. After the passing of the Hindenburg, Hitler consolidated the powers of the Chancellery’s office and that of the office of the president thus centralizing all the powers solely.
Growing up in the Nazi-occupied society was not an easy experience. I had to witness non-German (mostly the Jews) suffering imprisonment, forced labor and torture on the hands of the Nazi regime. However, the fact the Nazi restored economic stability of the region makes the regime an attractive historical regime. The primary work activities that make the regime popular were done in the midst of Great Depression period. In the middle of the mentioned period, Nazi Party under the leadership of Adolf Hitler restored economic stability and eradicated mass unemployment that had taken over Germany.
In addition to improving the economy of Germany, far-reaching public works were instituted during the regime with the most important one being the construction of motorways[footnoteRef:1]. In conjunction with the activities that I have mentioned above that promoted political stability of the region under consideration, various reforms that were instituted by Adolf Hitler played a significant role in changing our perspectives towards aspects of politics and religion. [1: Homze, Edward L. Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press, 2015.]
As a Young boy I viewed Hitler’s leadership as the primary factor that propelled the recovery of Germany from the scores of World War I, The regime was also characterized by the high rate of racism with anti-Semitism being the main identifying factor of the government[footnoteRef:2]. The Germans received better treatment from the Nazi since they were considered the purest and superior thus were viewed as the master race[footnoteRef:3].
Other races that comprised of Jews and other races were considered undesirable by the state rule, and most of them were murdered in the Holocaust. The regime did not only display race discrimination, but Christian’s churches were also deemed with many of its leaders facing imprisonment. Hitler’s religious policies antagonized my Jewish classmates with great confusion.
The way in which education system was planned also demonstrated discrimination against the non- Germany students. Precisely, learning focused on cultural biology, populace strategy and vigor for the armed forces service recruits. [2: Homze, Edward L. Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press, 2015.] [3: Homze, Edward L. Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press, 2015.]
The political institution and policies that Hitler introduced in the Nazi Germany altered my perceptive towards many things. For instance, embracing the aspect of racism through considering the Germanic people as masters had the urge made us, the native Germans to feel superior over other races. On the other hand, the discriminated races were made to perceive themselves as failures in the society[footnoteRef:4].
Before providing, the major reforms that were instituted by Hitler during individual’s reign in Germany, it is paramount mentioning that the way in which recreation and tourism were governed also boosted the economy of Germany because they were managed through the strength through Joy program. Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels effectively controlled issues related to public opinions by making use of film, rallies and Hitler’s rhetoric speeches[footnoteRef:5].
Through making use of the minister, Hitler controlled artistic expression through promoting given artistic expression (those that favored the individual) and banning or discouraging the artistic works that did not favor the individuals governing the system. [4: Spielvogel, Jackson J. Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History. Routledge, 2016.] [5: Spielvogel, Jackson J. Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History. Routledge, 2016.]
Following the claims put forward by cognitive theory, I support that the environment in which a child grows contributes vehemently to the behavior the child display in its adult life. By limiting the way in which the public exercised its right of expression, the Nazi regime altered the way I perceived issues related to the expression of human rights. So far so good, in this discussion I have concentrated my arguments on how political governance of Nazi regime played a role in altering the livelihood of people living in Germany.
It is important to note that any political system bears definite policies that aid the stakeholders in control of the government gain effective control on the subjects. As I mentioned earlier on, Hitler introduced many policies that played a big role in shaping the economic governance of Germany. True to the fact is that the policies displayed both negative and positive side effect to the populace of Germany.
At the time when Hitler assumed powers, German social status was characterized by capitalism, corruption, profits gained from warfare and unfair taxes. The traits mentioned showed a negative influence on national party policies for it acted for non-Jewish Germans and causing suffering to Jewish Germans. Hitler felt that capitalism played a vital role in bringing down the social status of Germans, aiming at addressing the problems associated with the previous governing policy, Hitler introduced the domestic policy that paved the way for totalitarian government.
This policy put forward had ties with the international region and was not ethical a fact that made it to be removed from religious schools. Due to the hatred that Hitler displayed towards international religion, the Hitler’s domestic policy encouraged the worship of pagan gods as a suitable form of worship for Germans. This policy on religion put my Christian faith and that of my Jewish friends on trial.
Even though we did not embrace the abolition of international religion, one of the most important sections of Hitler domestic policy was the role it played in the labor force. The introduction of the internal politics saw to it the disbandment of all labor unions and workers were organized into the National Labor front. The domestic policy also banned worker’s strike a fact that ensured fewer complaints were raised by employee’s thus increasing the level of company’s output.
Moreover, the policy also paved the way for our parents (the workers) to gain control of their privately owned land but the government still monitored how the privately owned land and the way in which private companies operated. With the aim of ensuring that all Germans were put to work, enormous public work programs were started. Some of the most notable public work programs that were initiated during Nazi regime are for instance deforestation, draining of swamps and building of houses and super highways[footnoteRef:6].
Through stating the recently outlined projects, a stable work environment for the Germans was created thus curbing the high rates of unemployment that had hit German. Even though the act reduced labor share in the German gross income, it was advantageous since a big percent of Germans were working. [6: Warburg, Gustav Otto. 1939. Six years of Hitler: the jews under the Nazi regime. London: Allen & Unwin.]
Together with domestic social policy creating employment to the citizens of Germany, the system also created a jovial environment for some people while at the same time promoting unhappiness for others especially the young girls and women. As young Germans, we were however, happy with the domestic social policy because the Nazi civilization was much focused of youth affairs and offered thrilling actions for juvenile boys. Additionally, the system treated adolescent female and male as though we were extra ordinary emphasizing that we were well acknowledged than our parents.
However this ideology transformed our generation negatively by making some of us to disrespect our parents. Many parents did not receive the policy with good heart since they feared that if they limited their children’s happiness the children would report them to the Gestapo.
Education policy instituted by Hitler though was aimed at improving the education system of Germany saw to it cultivation of racism in which the Germans overlooked Jews. After the enacting of Enabling Act in April 1993, Jewish teachers were removed from German schools and high education institutions. The Act also saw to it the reduction of the proportion of Jewish students at the university to less than one percent[footnoteRef:7].
For example, we only had a few Jewish students in our class as most had moved out of the country with their families. Even though many students were removed from many Germany schools in some areas, the last ban of Jewish students from Germany schools was conducted in 1938. Following the effects of the education policy that I have mentioned, discrimination and acts of isolation within the education sector started taking roots gradually and then spread in all others areas of the German community.
Precisely, education sector was the major area that saw to it the implementation and promotion of the Nazi racial discrimination policy. [7: Pine, Lisa. 2010. Education in Nazi Germany. Oxford: Berg. http://www.dawsonera.com/depp/reader/protected/external/AbstractView/S9781847887658.]
As the implementation and promotion of the policy were taking foot in German education, many teachers neglected it. This situation did not last for a long time because soon afterwards, teachers who gave support to Nazism started developing every day’s new rituals and routines[footnoteRef:8]. For instance, the teachers who had been converted to Nazism began wearing their party uniform to school.
As soon as the teachers begun wearing the Nazi party uniform to schools, the classroom atmosphere started changing from the one that students were used. Some of the rituals that teachers cultivated in the classroom were saluting the students using Hail Hitler salutations. We were expected to respond to the greetings using the same greeting in praise of Hitler. This ritual was continuously practiced and finally became a routine that was done eight times per day every time a class started and at the begging and end of each day. [8: Pine, Lisa. 2010. Education in Nazi Germany. Oxford: Berg. http://www.dawsonera.com/depp/reader/protected/external/AbstractView/S9781847887658.]
The worse came to worst when the Jewish children started being subjected to spoken and corporeal mistreatment by associate apprentices and lecturers. Schoolbooks used at schools were written in correspondence with the Nazi philosophy the fact that increased anti-Semitism. Our teachers used to pick Jewish children and use them as illustrations of non-Aryans throughout natural science sessions about tribal transparency.
Furthermore, the Jewish kids would be urged to position themselves at the face of the class as the educators referred to their eyes, ears nose and other body parts and compared the characters identified with those on Nazi misinformation sheets[footnoteRef:9]. When teaching history classes, especially those touching the First World War, Jews were mocked and considered conspirators in front of their classmates.
The practice of refuting the Jews German edification started taking root. On many occasion my Jewish classmates would be sent at the back of the classroom as we continued being taught. [9: Pine, Lisa. 2010. Education in Nazi Germany. Oxford: Berg. http://www.dawsonera.com/depp/reader/protected/external/AbstractView/S9781847887658.]
Following the ill treatment that the Jewish children were experiencing at school, the Jewish teachers saw the need of starting schools that could cater for educational needs of the Jewish students. This act, however, did not provide a solution to the underlying problem of abuse that Jewish children were facing. Contently, Hitler youth used to wait outside the Jewish school at the end of a school day where they would set and beat up the Jewish boy[footnoteRef:10].
The facts that I have discussed in this essay display the impacts of the ruthless Hitler mode of administration displayed both positive and negative influences overall German society. Even though Germans did enjoy the benefits that were associated with the Hitler’s administration, many Jews were subjected to the great suffering that came from the way the Nazism ideologies discriminatively treated them. The central element in Nazi regime that cultivated all forms of discrimination that the non- Germans especially the Jews were subjected to was the Volksgemeinschaft ideology.
This thinking saw to it the formation of new Germany that formed its foundation of the basis of racists, struggle, and maintenance of power and state leadership. Some of us sympathized with the Jewish neighbors and classmates but we were only boys and we could not do much. [10: Pine, Lisa. 2010. Education in Nazi Germany. Oxford: Berg. http://www.dawsonera.com/depp/reader/protected/external/AbstractView/S9781847887658.]
Bosmajian, Hamida. Sparing the child: grief and the unspeakable in youth literature about nazism and the Holocaust. Routledge, 2013.
Homze, Edward L. Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press, 2015.
Lee, Stephen J. Hitler and Nazi Germany. Routledge, 2013.
Pine, Lisa. 2010. Education in Nazi Germany. Oxford: Berg. http://www.dawsonera.com/depp/reader/protected/external/AbstractView/S97818478876 58.
Spielvogel, Jackson J. Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History. Routledge, 2016.
Warburg, Gustav Otto. 1939. Six years of Hitler: the jews under the Nazi regime. London: Allen & Unwin.