‘When an opponent declares “I will not come over to your
side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already”.
Adolf Hitler
To find out
How the Nazis attempted to control education
and why
How successful the Nazis were in controlling
education within Germany
Key Words
To find out
How the Nazis attempted to control young people
and why
How successful the Nazis were in controlling the
youth of Germany
Indoctrinate/indoctrination – A set of beliefs
constantly repeated to implant ideas in the mind
Ideology – A set of ideas
How did Nazi Ideas and Propaganda affect
education within German Schools?
‘In my great educational work I am
beginning with the young. My
magnificent youngsters! With them
I can make a new world!’
Adolf Hitler
How was the education of girls affected?
What does this source tell us about the types of lessons taken
by girls after the Nazis came to power?
A visit to a Nazi girls’ school, recorded in
‘Education for Death ’ by Gregor Ziemer, 1942.
‘The school bell called the girls…before I visited the
classes I spoke to the headteacher. She told me that
every class in the school was built around a course called
‘Activities of Women’. This course was divided into
handwork, domestic science, cooking, house and garden
work – and the most section – breeding and hygiene. This
section dealt with sex education, birth, childcare…’
How was the education of girls affected?
Girls took part in sport most days and were encouraged to study German,
History, Geography and Race Study. The boys studied more scientific
subjects regularly, such as Maths and Chemistry.
Taken from Germany 1918-1945 by Greg Lacey and Keith Shepherd.
‘Girls usually had a different curriculum from boys. They
also studied domestic science and eugenics (how to produce
perfect offspring by selecting ideal qualities in the
How does this source and the table on the next slide confirm
what you have learnt about the education of girls?
How was the education of girls affected?
A typical timetable followed at a girls’ school.
German German German German German German
Break - Sports with Special Announcements
Domestic Science with Mathematics
Eugenics, Health Biology and Sport
Based on information taken from Nazi Power in Germany by Greg Thie and Jean Thie (Hutchinson 1989)
How was the education of boys affected?
What does this source tell us about History lessons for boys
after the Nazis came to power?
Extracts from A Boy in Your Situation, 1988
In the History classes the French were the hereditary
enemy and all the lessons were about the wars against the
enemies of Germany. There were no History textbooks.
They had all been withdrawn and until new National Socialist
versions come out there was nothing but the teacher, who
dictated notes and gave inspiring addresses. He was a
reserve officer in the army. He told boys all about it. ‘We
have got marvellous tanks now, fantastic; and good guns to
use against French tanks.’
How was the education of boys affected?
Why do you think that the Nazis wished to influence the boys
curriculum in this way?
An official statement on the purpose of education for boys
‘German Language, History, Geography, Chemistry and
Mathematics must concentrate on military subjects – the
glorification of military service and of German heroes.’
Copy and complete this table in order to highlight the difference
between the education of boys and girls.
Use the sources and the worksheet to help you.
Membership of the Nazi Teachers’ Association
became compulsory after 1933.
This made the process of indoctrination much easier for the
Nazi Party, with teacher’s being only too willing to pass on Nazi
Ideas within the classroom.
32% of teachers by 1936 were also members of the Nazi Party
Those teacher’s who were thought to be lacking in loyalty and
not willing to ‘defend without reservation the NationalSocialist state’ were sacked.
Virtually all Jewish teachers were dismissed in 1933 as it was
deemed ‘undesirable’ to allow Jewish teachers to teach ‘Aryan’
pupils. This was made possible by the Law for the Restoration
of the Professional Civil Service.
Some teachers remained as teachers in Jewish schools until
these schools were banned altogether in 1942. Those teachers
who taught in ‘Aryan’ schools however suffered increasing
levels of harassment and by 1935 no Jewish teachers were
left in these schools at all.
How did Nazi Ideas and Propaganda affect the
education of Jewish children?
According to this source, why did many Jewish children prefer
not to go to school ?
Extracts from ‘A Boy in Your Situation ’, 1988.
‘Karl had a new problem at school – the German teacher Mr
Bartholomeus. He had a little swastika badge in his lapel
that Karl came to dread. Teachers who wore that badge
always seemed to go out of their way to say something
unpleasant to Karl, in front of the whole class.
Then one day the newspaper said: ‘No Aryan German child is
to sit next to a Jew in school.’ That was it. Karl felt an
enormous sense of relief. He would not have to go back to
Using this source and the previous one, describe the overall
treatment of Jewish children in German schools during this period.
Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, ‘The Racial State’, 1991.
‘Jewish children were often insulted by teachers and pupils,
and subjected to malevolent injustices. They had to sit at
separate desks, and were often forbidden to play with
‘Aryan’ children during breaks…Jewish children could only
escape harassment if they had the chance to attend a
Jewish school. Jewish communities, and the Reich
Representation of German Jews, did everything possible to
expand the existing Jewish schools or to create new ones.
In 1942, these were forbidden too.’
What was happening to Jewish children in school should not be
viewed in isolation. The persecution of Jewish people within
Germany accelerated alarmingly between the years
Boycott of Jewish shops, Jewish Civil Servants were dismissed,
a ban introduced stopping Jews from inheriting land. Many school text
books were altered to contain anti-semitic messages.
The Nuremberg Laws made it illegal for Aryans to have sexual relations
with, or marry, Jews. Jews were no longer allowed to attend public
swimming baths, parks and restaurants. Public buildings were closed to
Jews and no Jew was allowed to join the army. Jews are to be known as
‘subjects’ not citizens of Germany.
Kristallnacht – Jewish shops, homes and synagogues attacked and some
destroyed. Many Jewish people were killed and injured. Jews no longer had
the right to choose their child’s name (it had to be chosen from an
approved list) and they were no longer allowed to trade.
All Jews had to wear the Star of David (a large yellow six pointed star) on
their coats. Ghettoes were set up where Jewish families were forced to
settle before being moved on between 1941-45 to Concentration Camps.
How did Nazi Ideas and Propaganda affect
university and college education?
How would attitudes such as these affect standards within
German Universities after 1933?
Minister of Culture’s statement to German universities, 1933
‘From now on, it will not be your job to determine whether
something is true, but whether it is in the spirit of the National
Socialist Revolution.’
Robert Ley, Leader of Reich Organisation
‘A roadsweeper sweeps a thousand microbes into the gutter with
one brushstroke; a scientist preens himself on discovering a
single microbe in the whole of his life.’
Clue: How ignorant is Robert Ley regarding the importance of scientific research?
The Nazis made it extremely difficult for young women to go on to
further education.
Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, ‘The Racial State’, 1991.
‘Female secondary school pupils had to choose between too
alternative subjects on offer to them: domestic science and
modern languages. The successful completion of a course in
domestic science…did not count toward a place in university.
School graduates with qualifications in modern languages also
found it difficult to gain admission, because they lacked an
education in Latin, which was a language requirement for many
subjects at university.’
In 1932 about 20,000 women attended university.
By the outbreak of World War Two that number had fallen to roughly 5,500.
How did the Nazis attempt to
control Education and why?
How successful were the
Nazis in controlling Education
within Germany?
For further information and sources relating to Education
within Nazi Germany you may like to visit:
Read the section ‘Education in Nazi Germany’ then click on
‘Revise this topic’ to test your knowledge.