By 1934, Germany was firmly under Nazi control. After chairman von Hindenberg’s fatality in august of that year, Adolf Hitler claimed himself not just the country chancellor but also its Führer. The change was over, that told his closestly associates. The was now time come consolidate power and also normalize life in the “new Germany” they had actually created. The Nazis were determined to develop a Volksgemeinschaft—a “national community” or, literally, a “people’s community.”

The term had end up being popular during world War I as a means of rallying assistance for the conflict. At that time, it just meant the all Germans, nevertheless of class, religious, and social differences, would work together to attain a national purpose—winning the war. But the Nazis understood its an interpretation differently. They offered the native to breakthrough the idea the a racially pure and also harmonious national ar united in that is devotion come the German people, their nation, and their leader. In the native of a renowned Nazi slogan, the goal to be “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 politics ideas. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister that propaganda, called it a “total and also all-encompassing basic perspective on all public matters.” It to be an ideology—a mechanism of closely related ideals and beliefs. Goebbels stated of Nazi ideology: 

We hope the the day will come as soon as nobody demands to talk around National Socialism any more, since it has come to be the air that us breathe! . . . Human being must get used inwardly to this method of behaving; they need to make it into their own collection of attitudes. 1

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

If one to be to division mankind right into three species: the culture-creators, the culture-bearers, and the culture-destroyers, the Aryan would fit the an initial definition. It is come him the we must trace the foundations and also the walls of every that human being beings have actually created. . . . The most powerful come the Aryan is the Jew . . . The Jew possesses no culture-creating capability whatever, since he walk not, and never did have actually that top quality without which guy cannot truly build toward a higher order: idealism. Therefore, his intellect will never ever act as a constructive force. . . . That is and remains the common parasite, a sponger who, prefer a malign bacillus, spreads more and much more as lengthy as the will discover some favorable feeding ground.2

While the Nazis were clear about their ultimate score of developing a “racially pure” state, they were additionally conscious of publicly opinion. They functioned to cultivate consensus in German society even as they suppressed dissent. They created organizations because that workers, women, young people, and also other groups to construct a emotion of link to the Nazi government. They produced all type of propaganda draft to produce allegiance to Nazi ideas. In an initiative to stop the figure of lawlessness to order-minded Germans, castle wrote most of their policies into new laws. They encouraged Germans come police their own behavior, and also that of their neighbors, in accordance v those laws. And also through their policies and propaganda, they collection out to prepare Germans for war to get the “living space” that the “Aryan” race essential in order come grow and expand.

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


: Quoted in Richard J. Evans, The 3rd 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.