To what extent were the Nazis committed to improving the lives of the germans in the 1930s?
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The Nazis were committed to improving the lives of the German people -- to a point; that point being to the extent that they could convince the people that this truly was their main goal, not the absolute control and power that was their real goal.
The German people were devastated and defeated after World War I (they were on the losing side), so Hitler was able to come to power in many ways because of his forceful personality and his many promises that he would restore Germany to its rightful place in the world, as an important and strong world power. To make good on this promise, the Nazis had to take measures to put people back to work. Unemployment after the war was rampant. They had some governmental programs at first that did this – the Reich Labor Service that trained unskilled workers for jobs, the German Labor Front that replaced labor unions and made the people think that everyone was “working for the good of the country.” The Nazis also established rewards for those that worked hard and some could win cruises! Hitler also tried to make Germany self-sufficient with regard to raw materials, agriculture, etc. (known as “autarky”). This is what led the Nazis to seek “living space” (“Lebensraum”). They way they could obtain “living space” for the German people was by invading other countries.
Once Hitler established his power, however, he continued to conduct rallies and patriotic Nazi parades and displays while slowly turning Germany into a police state with his SS (Secret Service), Gestapo and such pro-government groups as The Hitler Youth and The League of German Girls. The German churches at first supported the Nazis because they opposed communism, but as the churches began to see people being falsely arrested and sent off to concentration camps, they began to oppose the Nazis. Groups such as Catholic Youth were declared illegal and women were discriminated against and often forced to leave their jobs so that they could be at home producing the next generation of the Master Race. It went from bad to worse.
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