The Education System
of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler said, "He alone who owns the youth, owns the future”.
This largely formed his plan of action towards the education system in Nazi Germany.
Nazi education policies towards boys
Hitler aimed to create loyal and obedient Nazis who would lead Germany in the future.
The Nazis wanted to create a physically and racially healthy German race, whilst they needed to be prepared for becoming soldiers in the army. Thus, education had to be focused on strict discipline, obedience and physical education.
Physical Education was given 15% of school time as Nazis wanted children to be physically fit and healthy; for boys to be ready to become soldiers, and for girls to be healthy for childbirth.
The school curriculum was designed to indoctrinate children from a very young age as they were continually taught Nazi ideas and beliefs. Hence, the lessons usually just consisted of the teacher speaking and the students copying it down. This is because students were discouraged from questioning or debating any Nazi teachings.
History reinforced Nazi history and beliefs.
Geography taught about the history of German land and Germany's requirements of Lebensraum.
Mathematics was used as propaganda as it required students to answer questions that helped reinforce Nazi beliefs about warfare and the struggle between the races.
Moreover, German taught students to be conscious of their national identity.
Healthy Biology or Race Studies focused on teaching students how to classify racial groups based on physical appearance, with Jewish Children often used as real-life examples of 'racial inferiority’.
Nazi education policies towards girls
Hitler aimed to teach young girls how to...
become a submissive, healthy mother and housewife
to keep themselves physically fit (in line with the ideology of an Elite Aryan race)
have a lot of children and why it was necessary.
The League of German girls instilled the traditional values of housekeeping, raising children and modesty into young girls.
They were also taught how to dress, with traditional, conservative German clothing being heavily promoted.
While being taught the core subjects, there was a separate education curriculum for girls that mostly focused on building up young girls to learn about motherhood, reproduction and being a housewife. Girls had to take Eugenics and Domestic Science and were taught how to select a husband, based on the best genetic and physical qualities.
They heavily promoted having children to young women. As a special award for mothers who had more than four children, they were presented with "The Mother's Cross”.
Nazi education policies towards teachers
With the changes to the education system, those in positions of employment within education were significantly impacted.
During the years of Nazi rule, teachers were used as a tool to indoctrinate the youth. In order to ensure the loyalty of the teachers to the Nazi party and make sure teachers remained absolutely obedient to the State, teachers were required to join the Nazi Teachers’ Association from 1933. By 1936, 32% of the teachers were members of the Nazi Party.
In 1933, all Jewish teachers were sacked following the implementation of the Law for the Restoration of professional civil service.