Explain how Nazi policies towards the young contributed to the success of the Nazis in keeping themselves in power in the period 1933 to 1939.

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In sociology, there is the concept of socialization.  This is the process by which the young people of a society are taught how they are expected to behave in that society.  As a society socializes its young people, it shapes their minds and their attitudes.  Any group that can gain control of the process of socialization can have a huge impact on people’s attitudes.

Even before they came to power, the Nazi Party created the Hitler Youth organization.  After they came to power, the organization exploded in size.  By the end of 1933, over 2 million German youths were involved.  By 1936, 5.4 million were and in 1939 membership became mandatory.  What this meant was that the Nazi Party now had control over much of the socialization of German young people.  The Nazis could (and did) use these organizations to teach young people the Nazi ideology.  They also changed the curriculum in the schools to reflect Nazi beliefs.  In these ways, the Nazis took charge of teaching young Germans what to think.

When a party has this ability, it will have an easier time staying in power.  It will guarantee itself support through from the young and it will probably be able to influence the older generation through the youth as well.

So, the Nazi Party’s policies towards the young helped the party stay in power by essentially teaching German youth to believe everything the party said. 


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