Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nazi Stories, continued



The following item, from yesterday’s Daily Mail, is a look at life in Nazi Germany. I have reprinted the opening paragraph and the photos with their captions.
Everyday evil inside Nazi Germany: Extraordinary pictures show the reality of life under Hitler, from wholesome activities to routine Jewish persecution.

Skipping, waving flags and playing games. At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking these smiling children were engaging in some of the most wholesome activities of childhood. But a closer inspection of the photographs reveals that they were actually being indoctrinated as Nazis. And more still show how, at the same time, Jews were attempting to flee the country and were being violently persecuted wherever they lived. The photographs, contained within the German National Archive show how the nation's youth was corrupted by the Nazis. 

These women belonged to the League of German Girls - the female wing of the Hitler Youth. The women were indoctrinated in Nazi philosophy and their main aim in life was to become a mother and rear perfect children to secure the future of the 1,000-year Reich. By 1939 all young girls had to become members of the group as long as they were 'racially pure' 

From 1935, all young men, aged between 18 and 25 had to complete six months training with the Reich's Labour Service - which was essentially a form of military training. Those involved were employed on major public infrastructure projects where they received pocket money - but no pay. Works completed by the labour service included the new autobahns

The Hitler Youth was established in 1925 and its membership was 108,000 by the end of 1932. However, the passing of the Hitler Youth Act in 1936 made it incredibly difficult for children to avoid joining the organisation, with parents suffering at work. Unsurprisingly, by 1939, membership was 8 million where the children were indoctrinated into Nazi party 

German children were indoctrinated on a daily basis and forced to raise their arms and chant 'Heil Hitler'. Teachers were forced to join the Nazi Party or face suspicion that they were opposed to the regime 

These children are being evacuated from Berlin in 1940 over fears they would be killed in bombing raids by the RAF. The Nazis initially evacuated children from Berlin and Hamburg, but as the war continued, other areas were also evacuated. In some cases mothers with young children were also evacuated so they would remain safe from the intensive bombing 

Members of the League of German Girls, pictured, received political indoctrination but did not receive any academic training as the regime saw their primary purpose as becoming mothers to create Hitler's idea of a 'master race' 

These young children are buying a frozen ice cream from a street vendor in Berlin in 1934

These members of the SA - the original internal police force of the Nazi Party - until they were brutally replaced by Heinrich Himmler's SS - along with a boy in the Hitler Youth are holding a demonstration outside a church in Berlin on July 23, 1933, a week after he abolished all opposition political parties having earlier scrapped Trades Unions 

These Hitler Youth boys wearing gas masks in 1933 are being indoctrinated into the Nazi Party. The Hitler Youth's main focus was dramatically expanding the size of the army, teaching youngsters how to shoot, march, and read a map - all skills which are needed by soldiers - however, by late 1944 and early 1945 Hitler Youth was involved in the defence of Berlin

These children are part of the Lebensborn Program - where parents deemed to be racially pure - were selected to create the 'master race' of blond hair, blue eyed children to form the backbone of the thousand year Reich. The scheme was developed by Heinrich Himmler and saw 8,000 children born in Germany and a further 12,000 in Norway in special maternity units 

Members of the Hitler Youth wore military-style uniforms. Hitler told the Nuremberg Rally in 1935: 'In our eyes the German boy of the future must be slender and supple, swift as greyhounds, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel. We must bring up a new type of human being, men and girls who are disciplined and healthy to the core. We have undertaken to give the German people an education that begins already in youth and will never come to an end... Nobody will be able to say that he has a time in which he is left entirely alone to himself' 

In October 1940, this photograph of a school in the Silesia region of Poland, shows a teacher wearing a Nazi uniform. The school curriculum changed dramatically after Hitler came to power, focusing on racial biology and population policy 

These two SS men are at the christening of a baby in 1936, three years before the start of the Second World War. The SS were Hitler's personal bodyguard and were under the command of Heinrich Himmler. The SS replaced the SA as the party's police

Reich Bishop Ludwig Muller, pictured in Berlin Cathedral in September 1934, was an early supporter of the Nazi Party. He attempted to combine elements of Christianity with Nazi philosophy, including the claim that Jesus was an Aryan 

The Hitler Youth spent a great deal of time camping as it was seen as a great preparation for military life, as well as giving the boys many of the skills required for soldiering and developing a fanatical loyalty to the regime and Adolf Hitler 

This newly married couple are inspecting their rings at an unspecified location in 1944. Eventually, all newlyweds received a copy of Hitler's book Mein Kampf as well as all soldiers heading to the front - which made the Fuhrer incredibly wealthy

Children with mental handicaps such as Down's Syndrome were forcibly sterilised by the Nazis to prevent them from having children of their own such was the leadership's obsession with racial and physical purity 

Pieter Schelte Heerema, pictured on his wedding day in December 1942, was a senior officer in the SS and was involved in sending unemployed Dutch men to Nazi occupied areas in Eastern Europe. He became a member of the Dutch resistance after 1943 but was jailed briefly at the end of the war for his role 

These two SA men are attaching a sign to the front of this Jewish-owned store in Berlin on April 1, 1933 - less than three months after Hitler came to power - urging people to boycott the shop because of the religion of its owners 

This is some early anti-Semitic propaganda with a sign titled 'The Jews are our Misfortune'. The purpose of the propaganda was to degrade and dehumanise Jewish people to allow them to be scapegoated and blamed for all of German's problems 

This Jewish shop was vandalised in Berlin in the aftermath of Kristallnacht - the night of the broken glass - in November 1938. The Nazi party's own police force, the SA was responsible for the outbreak of violence on November 9 and 10. As well as targeting Jewish stores and offices, the SA burned more than 260 synagogues across Germany and Austria 

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, many Jewish people tried to leave Germany as the brutal repression they faced increased dramatically since the Nazis came to power in 1933. The Nazi party used propaganda to dehumanise Jewish people. This group of Jewish people are queuing up outside a travel agent in January 1939 in the hope of moving to Palestine 

This Jewish woman in Poland in 1940 is looking at the items on sale from a street vendor. More than 400,000 Jewish people were packed into a three square mile area of Warsaw in the largest Jewish ghetto in Europe - where 300,000 are believed to have either been shot or gassed, while a further 90,000 died of hunger based illness or disease

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