National Socialist Manipulation of History in Education for Nationalist purposes.


I’m currently writing- or researching for- my Masters’ dissertation.  As the pressure slowly starts to crank its way up, I decided that a potential way to reassure myself that I can ‘do this’ was to reread my undergraduate dissertation. 

I was struck by a combination of nostalgia and banality.  I am immensely proud of the work I produced, and thoroughly enjoyed the process of writing it, but I feel it was more a work for myself, as opposed to work that contributed to knowledge on Nazi propaganda (after all isn’t that the case with nearly all undergraduate work?).  And yes, it will likely remain as such, but by publishing it here at least I know that it has the potential to be accessed by those interested instead of clogging up my hard-drive with the dozens of other essays I have written.  So, I’ve decided that I’d like to publish a few of my favourite essays on here in the coming weeks and months. 

I’m starting with my undergraduate dissertation, both because it is a piece of work I am particularly proud of, and for its modern-day relevance.  It describes the attempt by the Nazi party to systematically construct history in their own ideological image, to mould young Germans into loyal subjects, emotionally and metaphysically devoted to the Fatherland. 

It was a warped project without parallel scale or scope, that offers a stark warning of the dangers of state falsification of truths to fit political ideologies. A year on from writing it, I had no idea that it might prove relevant against the background of ‘fake news’ continuously doing the round in the media.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my dissertation supervisor, Dr. Deborah Barton, for all her invaluable assistance in writing this.    

I hope that, despite its lengthiness, you enjoy reading this; I know I certainly enjoyed writing it.


Adolf Hitler argued that ‘the subject matter of our historical teaching must be curtailed.’[i]  Many aspects of education reflected Hitler’s own personality.[ii]  With little time for facts and figures ‘only what was essential’[iii] would be emphasised.  Despite fond schoolboy memories of history, Hitler avowed that much of it was irrelevant.[iv]  Relevance was altering the behaviour of the individual, and, as this study demonstrates, building the nation.

A 1940 instruction called for education to ‘develop and harness all physical and mental powers of youth for the service of the people and state.’[v]  History was practical in shaping individual behaviour, but, more than any other subject, sought to create a romantic faith in the nation, state, and people of Germany.  The Nazis sought to build an idyllic society consisting of racially pure and dominant Germans.  Despite their genetic prowess, the ideal German nation would be achieved through constant struggle, war, and sacrifice for the fatherland.[vi]

A historical narrative from prehistory to the modern day was created.  It was simplified, abridged, with a focus given to key individuals and events which best helped anchor Nazi nationalism in the past.  Each event existed within a broader manipulated World History Narrative. Throughout, historical figures and events with varying degrees of falsification, were connected by a wider imagined narrative along German national lines.  Through my analysis of secondary and primary readings, I define the aims of history in education as fourfold:

 (1) To gain moral instruction for the future.  This related to the broader aims of education: to breed good soldiers and good mothers to serve the Volksgemeinschaft.  Martyrs like Horst Wessel aimed to align students’ moral compass with the regime’s.[vii]

(2) To learn the history of the National Socialist cause.  From a young age, questions such as ‘When did General Goering’s marriage take place?’[viii] provided students with ironically unessential knowledge, which, other than glorifying the banalities of the party’s past served little nationalist or broader educational purpose.

(3)  To ‘understand the broader lines of development.’[ix]  These lines were overarching themes within German and world history which shaped their nationality, such as race, Volk, militarism, Blood und Boden, and negative cohesion.  This would enlighten students to a German heritage, solidifying their faith in the nation.

(4) To ‘awaken the inner German’[x] within each student.  The historical narrative was highly rhetorical, aiming to trigger emotional reactions.  Emotional reactions aimed to aid memory, and instil unwavering patriotism for the German nation.

This study concerns aims three and four, as they relate to history’s specific role in Nazi education in creating an appealing, romantic, and nationalist narrative.

Lisa Pine contends that educational content comprised largely of propaganda, and where not, an intense form of traditional German conservatism.[xi]  However, this broader analysis of education as a whole is too simplistic when applied to history specifically because it does not address the relationship between the preservation and misrepresentation of certain facts with this new propaganda and traditional German history.  Instead, the new narrative should be looked at like an ‘ecosystem,’ which prior to the Nazis had consisted mostly of German ‘myth-history.’  The Nazis introduced a fertiliser of new racial propaganda and ideology into this environment.  Facts that could live off this thrived, and were pruned and altered where necessary.  Others perished because they could not survive alongside this fertiliser, or were weeded due to lack of usefulness.  Success was partially seasonal; the contemporary political climate shaped what was useful.  What remained was racial propaganda, some historical fact, and a mythologised Volk.  Providing facts supported (or did not contradict) propaganda they were kept, where not they were altered or removed.  Chapter one introduces this part-racist, part-traditionally German Nazi brand of Nationalism, around which history was shaped.

Blackburn argues that the Nazis succeeded in creating a coherent historical narrative, instructive for young people, and metaphysical in explaining Nazi existence.[xii]  Due to linguistic constraints, this essay draws on the sources he translates and uses, but approaches them in a different way.  Whilst he focuses on the ideological and philosophical content of history textbooks, this study uses the primary sources presented and integrated into his analysis to deduce how the Nazis shaped the historical narrative to instil nationalism.  Where Blackburn adopts a thematic approach, chapter two will approach the narrative chronologically, analysing how the distant and more recent past created an appealing, nationalist, Virgilian-like epic for Germans to identify with, and rally around.

A major gap in both Blackburn and Pine’s work is their failure to address how successfully the narrative was received.  In chapter three, an analysis of post-war interviews is conducted to postulate the extent to which young people identified with the romantic, nationalist, and Nazi racial narrative.  It hypothesises that this depended on a wide variety of factors other than just history in education.

This dissertation addresses to what extent the Nazis successfully manipulated history to instil a sense of nationalism?

Nazi Nationalism.

History is a means for any nation to establish a shared past for its people.  An article entitled ‘The Educational Principles of the New Germany,’ published in the women’s magazine Frauen-Warte shows this perfectly.  It states that the Nazis wanted ‘to awaken in the German youth this free, just, and noble national pride so that at the thought of Germany’s past, present, and future their hearts will pound and their eyes will gleam.’[xiii]  Through romantic nationalism they sought to shape and reshape the past, to establish a present which would propel them towards an imagined predestined future.

Benedict Anderson demonstrates that the Nation is an ‘imagined political community,’ based around commonality and similar habits linking fellow members in their imaginations. [xiv]  For Germany, ethnic nationalism is key, where culture, language, and complexion are central.  History and shared culture was fundamental to them.  Building on this idea, Berger argues that through the study of history, a collective memory could be formed in order to legitimise the present.[xv]  His concept of ‘myth-history’ points to nations’ use of subjective historical analysis, married with mythology, to create and shape memory, solidifying contemporary belief in the nation-state.[xvi]  Yack emphasises the link between the nation, the past, and the geographically confined community imagined by the elite.[xvii]  For him the nation is ‘an intergenerational community bound by an imagined heritage of cultural symbols and memories associated with a particular territory or territories.[xviii]  Nazi educationalists imagined their own heritage, fusing fact with German folklore and Nazi racial propaganda.  It created a ‘myth-history,’ emphasising the inherent link between German race, land, and heritage.   If the Nazis could harness the past, they could build a nation around them, reinforcing their status in the present.  What nation, then, did the Nazis seek to build?

Racial Nazi nationalism was built on a warped view of traditional German nationalism fuelled by anger at the treaty of Versailles.  Traditional German Nationalism was romantic and nostalgic.  ‘Blud und Boden’ or blood and soil, and peasant life, were central to this.[xix]  Germans were people who came from, and had a biological blood link to the ground which they inhabited.[xx]  This was an image cultivated prior to, but promoted by, the Nazis to achieve a sense of cultural cohesion.[xxi]  Due to this, and satisfaction with simple farming life, the early Germans of the Prehistoric and Ancient period, did not need political systems like the Greeks or Romans, but instead lived in near equality.[xxii]  Later, the spread of cities in the industrial period would be revealed as ‘un-German’ as it went against German’s biological link to the soil.  The idyllic, quasi-communist peasant life was an appealing image for Germans to culturally identify with, and rally around.

Nationalism sought to unite Germans against a common enemy.  This was not altogether new, but an intensification of pre-World War One xenophobia.  Long-term historical enemies in France, the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain were recognised.[xxiii]  Germany was surrounded by unfriendly forces who were united against them.  German immigrants were said to ‘take their money across the border where they could continue to shoot their poisoned arrows at Germany from foreign protection,’ as part of an international anti-German league.[xxiv]  Thus negative cohesion against alien ideas, races, and peoples, aimed to unite Germans around the nation.  To these national enemies, they added their own racial enemies.

Social Darwinism was a distinguishing nationalist feature from Weimar and the Kaisereich.  Different peoples were defined according to pseudo-scientific eugenics, arguing Darwin’s applied to races, defining racial enemies such as the Jews as biologically inferior, and Aryans superior.[xxv]

History was a struggle between nations.[xxvi]  It was believed that struggle was both a necessary, and inevitable process through which racially inferior groups would be eradicated by the superior.[xxvii]  Nazi nationalism was cataclysmic, aiming to instil refusal to be subjugated by alien regimes and races, to preserve the purity of the German race.[xxviii]

Militarism was a Prussian nationalist idea promoted by the Nazis.  It was considered ‘the highest form of education for the Fatherland.’[xxix]  On a micro level, war ensured individuals underwent struggle, and for the Nazis ‘only he who struggles with fate can have Providence on his side.’ [xxx] On a macro level, war determined the fate of nations as ‘the world does not exist for cowardly nations.’[xxxi]  Struggle and ultimately war formed strong individuals and nations.  War was deterministic, but also more practically unifying against a common enemy.  It was glorious to have served and fought for the German nation, protecting her honour against foreign forces.  An idealistic image of war and warrior peoples were created through the Nazi historical narrative.  Past militarism was celebrated, creating an idealistic, romantic image of military service.

Unification of Germans is a leitmotiv for any period of German nationalism.  However, Versailles meant Germans were more widely scattered across Europe.  The Nazis aimed to unite them under one German nation, to live in the ‘Germanic Nation.’[xxxii]  Germanisation in the past had been a ‘mission civilatrice’: now it was racially motivated.[xxxiii]  In the predominantly racially inferior east, civilisation could not be taught.  Instead ethnic cleansing, initially deportation, then extermination, was preferred.[xxxiv]  Germans would occupy the space that these groups left forming the idyllic Volksgemeinschaft, a community that promoted equality for the racially pure, within which Germans would work for the good of the nation.[xxxv]  The projection of a utopian German future, presented an appealing, unifying image.

The German nation and Führerprinzip, a quasi-religious adaptation of the cult of the strong leader, arguably replaced the religious nationalism that preceded it.  Hitler preached that ‘we do not want any other God, only Germany.’[xxxvi]  If the nation was God, then Hitler was its Messiah who would unite Germans, through strong leadership reminiscent of the traditional nationalist role of the strong German individual.

Nazi Nationalism sought to create an ideal people for Germans to identify with, and barbaric enemies to unite against.  Nationalist themes such as race, war, Volk, and the role of the leader were emphasised, and projected onto the Nazi narrative of history.  T to do so, however, the narrative had to be enchanting.  Tellingly, the German word for History, ‘Geschichte,’ also means ‘story.’  This lack of semantic distinction was blurred by the Nazis, who sought to present an appealing and simplified version of the past thus facilitating memorability.  Appealing events, sometimes factual, other times fictional, were used to emphasise the nation in the Nazi historical narrative.  As Blackburn puts it Nazi history ‘equalled or exceeded that of the liveliest fiction.’ [xxxvii]

It would be hard for any young German to resist the appeal and glamour of the Nazi portrayal of history.  From Valhalla, to the prehistoric hegemonic German warrior community, or the glamourous solidarity of the trenches, and miraculous rise of the Third Reich, history engaged the imagination.[xxxviii]  History, therefore, was no longer analytical or investigative, but an entertaining dramatic story, designed to ‘awaken the inner German.’[xxxix]  Blackburn emphasises its metaphysical and morally instructive nature, going as far to suggest that the History textbook was a type of Nazi Bible, designed to replace religion in the void in faith.[xl] Hans-Jonchem Gamm describes it as a work of drama, albeit a ‘cheap tragedy.’[xli]  Both go too far: Blackburn overemphasises, and Gamm underestimates history’s role within education.  Instead it mixed the two, creating a dramatic, Virgillian, metaphysical, nationalist, and romantic history.  It was like the Nazi Aeneid.

Like Virgil’s Aeneid, the Nazi history narrative married myth, legend, history, tradition, and memory, imposing moral virtue and contemporary historical events in the form of metaphors onto the past.  A narrative was formed around Augustus to instil faith in the newly established regime, in a way that it was Hitler and the German nation in the Nazi history narrative.  In its climax, Aeneas, the hero, travels to the underworld where he encounters heroes of the past, present and future, with the new monarch Augustus, clearly emphasised.  The German Augustus was Adolf Hitler, and Aeneas, the German student who would encounter the heroes of the German past and present, in an aim to shape a new nation, and mould future heroes to achieve an idyllic community.   The narrative of history forced Germans to consider a broader historical precedence for their being.

Emotion replaced reason in Nazi historical methodology.[xlii]  It was harnessed, with the epic story of German existence reinforced by an emotionally supercharged and alluring tone.[xliii]   Contents pages and chapter headings such as ‘Germany in Chains’ or ‘Germany is ours’[xliv] stand out as hyperbole designed to trigger patriotism in students.  Language like ‘the inexpressible joy of a time of struggle and idealism’[xlv] demonstrates the pathos used in history textbooks.  Struggle and sacrifice were fetishized, with an emphasis placed on the beating hearts of Germans.[xlvi]  This emotive language was designed to stir emotions, ascribing sentimental attachment to the heritage of the German nation.

This narrative combined the often contradictory modern technological society with anti-capitalist, volkisch, racist, romanticism.[xlvii]  It was metaphysical, seeking to explain the Nazi position in the world, and reinforce support for their specific brand of nationalism.  Objective history posed questions to the scientific and philosophical dogma of German racial dominance.    German students ‘weren’t educated to think:’[xlviii] critical thinking German history students could undermine the regime through questioning its contradictions.  As Khrushchev once said, ‘Historians are dangerous.’[xlix] How could racially superior Germans have gone through periods of oppression, or relative insignificance when compared to empires like the Roman or Napoleonic?  Was Nazism deterministic or voluntarist,[l] reactionary or modernist?[li]  These questions are not explicitly answered.  Instead, an appealing, emotionally supercharged narrative is manipulated, that aimed to drown out these questions of descent with blind faith in the German nation.

 ‘The Nazi Aeneid.’

Erika Mann, a member of the World War Two generation of German young people, describes an example of a pre-1938 history curriculum from the N.S Educator.[lii]  Each topic consists of a hyperbolic title, such as ‘German Struggle, German Want, Blockade! Want!’ an anti-Semitic remark, such as The Jew reigns! War plots,’ and a pseudo-historical study.[liii]  1933 brought about a rise in textbook writing.   It would be wrong to assume that there was ever a single National Socialist ideology,[liv] although in education it was largely an interpretation of Mein Kampf.  Prior to 1939, history textbooks were primarily based on individual interpretations of ideology by conservative academics, newly bred ideologues, teachers, and publishers.[lv]  From 1939 onwards textbooks were written using a centralised state interpretation of ideology.[lvi] Content was consistent despite centralisation.

This chapter analyses how each period of history instilled German nationalism and the extent to which a grand constructive, coherent nation-building narrative was created.

Deeds of our Ancestors:[lvii] Prehistory and Ancient History, the German Genesis

Secondary school student Nora Doerfel recalls how education sought to ‘Germanise everything and eradicate any trace of anything that had gone before it.’[lviii]  This applies mostly to the period which she remembers most fondly: Prehistory and Ancient History.[lix]  The historical reality of Germans in this period presented problems to the assertion of German racial dominance.  In a conversation with Himmler, Hitler expressed his worries arguing the period proved ‘we still threw stone hatchets and squatted by open fires at a time when Greece and Rome had reached the highest cultural level.’[lx]  German nationality had to be weaved into the fabric of these periods meaning, as Reich Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick states, ‘The history of Europe was made by the Nordic Race, historical and cultural finds go to prove that civilisation was created by Germanic peoples.’[lxi]

The German Genesis was the Ice Age.  The geographical boundaries of Germany existed within a gap surrounded by ice and snow.[lxii]  This space was a ‘racial incubator’[lxiii] where nature shaped German character. Germans, keen to demonstrate a biological affinity with struggle, were tough and survived against the cold.  Two main peoples lived in this area, each with their own physical and mental attributes: the powerful farmers and reindeer hunters, who bred to form a strong people dedicated to the earth.[lxiv]  Weaklings were ‘annihilated’ by the cold, and the survivors bred to form an ideal, skilful, intelligent, strong, and beautiful Nordic race.[lxv] The emphasis was Social Darwinism through struggle, and racial engineering through breeding.  The cold shaped Germans into the ideal genetic people.[lxvi]  The Nazis drew on this idea of pure blood, inherently linked to the land they lived on, through ‘Blud und Boden.’  It alluded both to the image of the traditional German farmer, and linked German nationality to the soil which they lived on.  The Ice age linked Germans hereditarily to the soil of the fatherland, a key component of nationalism.

The period that followed is perhaps the most fabricated in the German history narrative.  With no historical evidence to prove otherwise, the Nazis were able to claim that Germans expanded across Eurasia, bringing farming and technological advances.[lxvii]  They brought civilisation to the barbaric savages they encountered, to whom they farming.[lxviii]  Blackburn argues that this is reminiscent of the American Wild West, or the White Man’s Burden,[lxix] due to language such as ‘they found arable lands in the hands of incapable people’ but ‘the subjugated peoples experienced’ the beneficial ‘blessings of Nordic Work and Nordic efficiency.’[lxx]  The plough, square houses, and the Alden boat were said to have been German inventions, as were Egyptians chariots and Romans swords. Prehistoric Germans were thus master inventors.[lxxi]  The period between 1800 and 800 BC was coined ‘the German Golden Age,’[lxxii]  simply because the lack of evidence facilitated it for manipulation. Thus an appealing image of an eternally, historically powerful Germany was manufactured by the Nazis.

The German migrations play a key role in the transition into Ancient History.  Germany and Scandinavia were portrayed to be the upholders of the Nordic race.  Students were reminded they were the ‘purest descendants’ of those ‘who remained in the Nordic homeland (…) in order to preserve until today the blood and soil of the ancestors.’[lxxiii]  The Aryan settlers migrated into Greece, Persia, India and Central Italy where they would form long-lasting empires.[lxxiv]  Nazis educationalists could therefore hijack the narratives of these empires, and attribute their successes to German racial superiority.

German Philhellenism had been a leitmotiv of German history since the mid-19th century.[lxxv]  This continued under National Socialism, but was given a racial undertone, meaning the Greeks were not only seen as central in European heritage, but more directly central to German lineage.  Termed the ‘Nordic Greeks,’ the German settlers founded the Greek city states.[lxxvi]  The Greeks were a tool used to emphasise ‘inner growth.’[lxxvii]  In an oversimplification of the Greek city states, they were divided into two main racial categories: the Ionians and the Dorians.[lxxviii]  The Ionians, who included Athenians, were shown to be overly luxurious and bombastic,[lxxix] due to having bred with local groups accustomed to the warm Mediterranean climate, not struggle and the cold.[lxxx]  Instead, the Dorians, the Nordic Greeks devoted themselves to natural beauty and the rule of law.[lxxxi]

The overbearing Doric city state was Sparta, whose historical reality offered a perfect image for the Nazis to adopt.  They were the Nordic Greek Master Race.  Roche argues that they racially identified with ‘the Spartans in particular.’[lxxxii] The Spartans, a warrior people maintained by the subjugation of Helots, annually declared war on these people to control their population.  Whilst unlikely to have been racially motivated for the Spartans, it was eugenic, and was portrayed as ethnic cleansing by the Nazis.[lxxxiii] It was the strong, militaristic society, built on strict moral code which translated into law that made them most attractive.  They were the only Greeks to remain ‘ethnically pure,’ refusing to mix with local races.    They glorified death and sacrifice, famously proclaiming ‘Why has Sparta no walls?  Our bodies are its walls.’[lxxxiv]  This unconditional protection of the Spartan ‘Fatherland,’ laconic bravery, and sacrificing of oneself for that Fatherland, was an appealing national model.

The eventual triumph of Sparta over Athens in the Peloponnesian war, was compared by some historians to the Nazi movement prevailing over Weimar democracy.[lxxxv]  Racial kinship, enabled them to fuse Spartan eugenics, militarism, and values, into the new German national identity.[lxxxvi]  The fall of Greece however, according to Nazi Historians, was due to racial mixing.[lxxxvii]

In Mein Kampf, Hitler emphasises that ‘Roman history, along general lines, is and will remain the best teacher, not only for our time but also for the future.’[lxxxviii]  The Romans, like the Greeks, were given German racial identity.  In the early republic, Rome was divided into two classes, the nobles, or Patricians, and everyone else, the Plebeians.  The Patricians were said to come from ‘old Nordic patrician stock’[lxxxix]   and were skilled military commanders.  Areas of emphasis are the Punic wars, where the Carthaginians are portrayed as Semitic.[xc]  It thus propagated a romantic vision of eternal Germanic struggle against the Jew.  These ‘ethnically pure’ leaders, were said to have conquered massive swathes of territory.  However, like the Greeks, they bred with the lower-class Plebeian ‘race,’ a considerable factor in the Empire’s decline.[xci]  This falsification demonstrates that racial purity determined the outcome of nations.

The use of Ancient Rome established Germans as racially programmed Empire-builders, and great military leaders; militarism and expansionism was in their nature.  The main factor that led to Roman decline was defeat from the racially superior Northern Germans.  Having preserved racial purity, the Roman inbreeds were no match for the racially pure, and superior German cousins.[xcii]  Whilst the Greeks and Romans had built new political systems, the Germans had built something more important for the Nazis, an attachment to the land.[xciii]  Remaining in the land which racially belonged to them, in a farming community with no need of political control, invoked a romantic sense of traditional German folklore.  German strength lay in its strong links to the soil.[xciv]  Their military success against the might of Rome, demonstrated their inherent warrior nature.

Hobsbawm argues that nationalist movements look to ‘establish a historical continuity with a suitable historical past’ whether fictitious or not,[xcv] which mostly consists of exaggerating elements of their own histories.  The Nazis, dissatisfied with Ancient German reality, differed as they sought historical validation from other cultures.  ‘Common racial foundation’ between Romans, Greeks, and Germans, and their ‘undying achievements’ was designed to exert ‘magnetic effect over their racially akin descendants.’[xcvi]  The result is a romantic inception to the Nazi historical narrative, which emphasises German values, and their attachment to the land they lived on as genetic.

Deeds of our Ancestors:[xcvii] Medieval History, a history of negative cohesion

The Dark Ages and early medieval period served primarily to define Germans against foreign forces.  It was dominated by foreigners, with the Jews first entering the narrative.  In the educational propaganda film ‘The Eternal Jew,’ their migration was compared to rats.[xcviii]  Instead of bearing disease, they carried an inherent craftiness and love for money, polluting European societies.[xcix]  According to Blackburn, their arrival desecrated the German Garden of Eden.[c]  Hitler defines three key types of nations: Culture creators, racially superior groups such as the Germans; Culture bearers, such as the Japanese, who are able to adopt pre-created cultural norms; and culture destroyers, groups such as the Jews, a nationless and parasitic people.[ci]  The Jewish culture destroyers came to dominate Europe in this period, and were pronounced racial enemies of Germans.

Leadership was fundamental in the defence of Germany against foreign forces. After the Frankish Kingdom was established by Charlemagne, Jews and Hungarians overran it.[cii]  This was due to his weak son, Ludwig the Pious who depended on alien church advisors, who made him hate ‘everything that was German.’[ciii]  Following him, the ‘mystical leader’ Heinrich I succeeded in merging the ‘the German tribes into one ‘Volk and Reich,’ and (…) [securing] that new Reich before all foreign foes,’ which was undid by his son’s poor leadership.[civ]  Heinrich’s son, Otto I, married an Ottoman princess, thus polluting the gene pool.  In the eyes of the Nazis, he had committed a racial crime and thus betrayed his nation.  Accordingly, the dynasty was racially polluted, which made German subjugation to foreign powers inevitable.  The Nazis here, demonstrated that good leadership was the only protector of race.[cv]  They defined historical enemies to unite and identify against, who they had and would always war with.  The frustratingly inconsistent Kings of the early Middle Ages, ensured students were glad of Hitler’s perceived strength.[cvi]

In a similar tone to Ancient History, the Vikings were given German blood, effectively German sea-fairing cousins to the North.  Their conquests were the ‘third wave of Nordic Blood over Europe.’[cvii]  Stories of Valhalla were designed to instil a glamourous image of militarism in students.[cviii]  They were fierce warriors, perfectly adept in hand-to-hand combat, sacrificing themselves on fires after lost battles.[cix]  It was made clear that German people were dominant, on both land and sea.[cx]  The further spreading of German blood across Europe to Nations like Britain, France, and even Russia,[cxi] justified German expansion to unite these similar Germanic peoples.  A racial and historical link to lands across Europe was established, and re-acquisition of them had historical precedence.  1939 onwards could thus be considered merely another ‘wave of Nordic Blood over Europe.’

The Teutonic knights had always appealed to German nationalists.[cxii]  In the Nazi narrative, their religious extremism was down-played, and their noble defence of civilisation emphasised.  Their role in the crusades against Muslims and Jews was important in shaping racial nationalism.  However, their defence of German values on Germany’s eastern frontiers, and brutal suppression of their enemies there, mythologised the East in Germans’ imagination[cxiii].  The East was where Germany had always, and would always, defend European civilisation against foreign hordes.  The legendary Teutonic knights thus gained vital importance in Nazi Germany’s expansion eastwards, particularly after 1942.

King Frederick Barbarossa, a Nazi martyr, defined a longing of the German people to rise again.  A great charismatic military leader and a Teutonic knight, Barbarossa died on the Third Crusade.[cxiv]  It was prophesised that he would ‘again rise through Germany and restore the Reich.’[cxv]   His death left a leadership vacuum which could be filled by a figure like Hitler.  Hitler described in Mein Kampf, ‘the New German Empire should have set out on its march along the same road as was formerly trodden by the Teutonic Knights, this time to acquire soil for the German plough by means of the German sword and thus provide the nation with its daily bread.’[cxvi]  Hitler fulfilled the foretelling of Barbarossa’s reincarnation, once again leading them eastwards to protect German civilisation against the Soviet Union in the aptly named ‘Operation Barbarossa.’[cxvii]  The figure and myth of Barbarossa reinforced Hitler’s magnetic, quasi-religious status within the Nazi German image of the nation.

Medieval History served two key purposes.  By clearly defining Germany’s pre-determined enemies, the Nazis sought to unify through negative cohesion.  They played on, and reinforced a sense of mythology in the conquest of new lands, whether broadly through the spreading of Nordic blood in the Vikings, or more specifically German expansion eastwards.  These lands gave the perception that the East, and perhaps Europe as a whole was the historic Promised Land.

Deeds of our Ancestors:[cxviii] Militarism and Jewish Capitalism

Between the end of the Middle Ages and German unification, the Nazi narrative sought to establish societal and racial norms around which Germans could unite.  It inaugurated German state militarism in the imaginable past, and highlighted the dangers of Jewish capitalism to German racial purity.

The Thirty Years’ War re-incarnated the inner German warrior into state militarism.[cxix] It stemmed from Prussia whose King Frederick William I dedicated his nation to military service despite their economy. [cxx]   Richer peoples were scathingly described as having ‘beautiful clothes and delights, such as coffee tea, chocolates (…), but not the poor Prussians.’[cxxi]  Negative cohesion against inherent foreign materialism was juxtaposed against a people led by a King who ‘did what he considered to be his duty.’[cxxii]  This echoes the accounts of the early stages of Hitler’s rise to power: a leader with foresight that everyone refused to listen to, who ultimately proved them wrong.  Frederick William created one of the best organised and equipped contemporary armies.[cxxiii]  In the broader scheme of Nazi history, his army was state manifestation of their Nordic blood.  This was the conception of German militarism, drawing comparisons to Hitler’s remilitarisation.  Metaphorically, Frederick William I was the pre-war Hitler figure, whereas his son, Frederick the Great, embodied Hitler’s military command.

Frederick the Great is a complicated, multi-faceted character for the Nazis.  His infancy is described very negatively.  He is portrayed as ‘effeminate,’ due to his well-known passion for French literature and culture.[cxxiv]  In a brutal episode to coax him out of this effeminacy, his father had him imprisoned and his friend executed, which hardened him into this icon of Prussian history.[cxxv]  Frederick accepted German values which shaped him into a hero.  Foreign ideas were shown to breed weakness; only the acceptance of true German value could achieve greatness.[cxxvi]

His prowess as a military leader was emphasised by the Nazis.[cxxvii]  The geographical location of the Silesian wars reinforced the German mythological obsession with the east.  However, individual accounts of Frederick are, in places, a direct projection of the events of operation Barbarossa onto history.  After suffering defeat at Kunsdorf, with thoughts of suicide and desperation, Frederick pulled himself together proclaiming ‘So long as I have my eyes open, the state will remain upright as it is my duty.’[cxxviii]   His heroism and dedication to the nation were key, but this became more significant because of the battle of Stalingrad; defeat was tragic, but the Fuhrer’s duty to the state would ensure its survival.  Like Hitler, he had moved away from his people to serve Germany at the front.[cxxix]  For Hitler, this had disastrous consequences, due to his poor military leadership, and because his reputation in Germany depended partly upon his ‘magnetic personality’ in his charismatic public appearances.[cxxx]  Equating Hitler to Frederick the Great served to reassure students of Hitler’s military prowess how he continued to dutifully serve his people on the Eastern Front.[cxxxi]  Frederick the Great, therefore, served partially to reinforce German values, but was more important in attempting to repair Nazi nationalism which was crumbling after Stalingrad and war-weariness.

According to the Nazis, Napoleon was German.[cxxxii]  Therefore, German subjugation under the Napoleonic Empire wasn’t as serious.  Under this regime, though, German militarism lay dormant.  Some of the key figures of this period were in fact women.  Queen Louise of Prussia, rather than being the Hausfrau of traditional German folklore, was in fact an important political figure.[cxxxiii]  She rallied the men around her, and motivated them to resist the French invaders.  This served to demonstrate German women had a key role in stoically motivating their menfolk in war.[cxxxiv]

In almost Marxist tone, Hitler described that industrialisation made money ‘more and more of a God whom all had to serve and bow down to.’[cxxxv]   This rise in greed was inevitably linked to the Jews.  Distinctions between Jewish and German capitalism were drawn.  Jews were said to exploit the workers for their own personal benefit, whereas German industrialists worked for the Gemeinschaft.[cxxxvi]  The growth of cities damaged the traditional fabric of German society.[cxxxvii]  No longer would it be a peasant society inherently linked to the earth which they farmed and lived on.  Instead, they lived in ‘a soulless desert of stone.’[cxxxviii]  Children would no longer grow up ‘playing in a forest or a field’ experiencing nature at its finest, but would be threatened by foreign forces.[cxxxix]  By association, therefore, Nazism disassociated itself from the proletarian Marxist city-centric ideology.   City life was inherently un-German, so Frick argued that ‘the unfortunate effect of international influences (…) must be shown.’[cxl]  The zenith of anti-industrial diatribe in textbooks is racial mixing, which was portrayed as rife.  Industrialisation was a ‘tragic loss of Nordic blood.’[cxli]  Instead of a Marxist class struggle, it was a struggle between races.  The industrial revolution was a microcosm for German nationalism.  It reinforced that Germans were peasant people, and was a case-study of how their historical enemies the Jews endangered German existence.

The period between the end of the Middle Ages, and the German unification created several social norms which the Nazis sought to use.  It laid the foundations of German militarism through the Prussian Kings, and sought to explain Hitler’s leadership through Frederick the Great and his father.  The industrial revolution, highlighted a quasi-Marxist racist struggle against the Jewish bourgeoisie who sought to alter German nationality.  Ultimately, this period sought to consolidate German nationality around leaders such as Frederick, and strengthen the image of the Jew as the German antagonist.

In the Time of our Great-Grandparents Men of Bismarck’s Reich[cxlii]

Due to the treaty of Versailles Germans were sparsely populated across Europe.  Uniting them was a Nazi imperative that translated into education.  Hence, Bismarck’s unification was important as the symbolic creation of the modern nation, but also reinforced the concept of unification in national consciousness.

Inevitably, German nationalists compared Hitler to Bismarck. Both were heroes who went to incredible lengths to gratify the longing for German greatness.[cxliii]  They both yearned for a united Germany, with Bismarck seeking to unify the German states, and Hitler seeking to unify Germany, Austria, alongside the territories lost at Versailles.  They both would ‘force together in unity all of the discordant parts and for the Germans finally create the Reich!’[cxliv]   Both had come to power through appointment from elder statesmen: with outcries from doubters, Bismarck’s response may as well have been Hitler’s.  He stated ‘I unhesitatingly go the way which I recognise in the interests of the fatherland to be the right thing, unwavering until the end; whether I reap hate or love for it that is to me of no concern.’[cxlv]  Nonetheless, this superhero was treated with care by educationalists.  Hitler’s leadership needed to be emphasised as unique, and thus, despite his great statesmanship, Bismarck was given human flaws.  His need for sleep was extorted as a massive flaw (Hitler was too devoted to sleep).[cxlvi]  Furthermore, he was said to have ‘no taste’ in art.[cxlvii]  Nonetheless, the similarities between Hitler and Bismarck were uncanny in reality, and almost indistinguishable in the Nazi narrative.  In Bismarck, they enforced the idea that the German nation could only be led by a dominating Iron Chancellor devoted to the fatherland.

Unification shaped Germany into an unstoppable world power.  Foreigners would no longer ‘bend Germany under their domination.’[cxlviii]   Germany’s military power exceeded expectations, defeating both France and Austria.  Austria presented a difficult issue: how could Germany hope to unite Austrians behind their image of nationalism, whilst also celebrating their defeat?  The emphasis seems to be placed less on the military exploits, and glory of victory, but more on Bismarck’s confidence in his own conviction. ‘Now he was the hero, the master, which everyone understood.’[cxlix]  The Nazis emphasised 40 years of peace that followed unification, arguing that it resulted from German military muscle.[cl]  Rival countries admired and feared Germany, whereas ‘We Germans fear God but naught else in the world.’[cli]  Unification, militarism, and good leadership bred German greatness.

Bismarck and the Unification of Germany demonstrated German military and social capability under the right leadership.  Wilhelm II’s selfishness meant they failed to live up to expectations.  Bismarck’s strong leadership in taking Germany out of a challenging period of its history, unifying the German people, was one which Hitler wanted to replicate.  The writers of Nazi History, therefore used unification to reinforce this idea in national consciousness.

In the Time of our Grandparents: Soldiers of the World War[clii]

On the outbreak of war in 1914, there was widespread support and unity.  The horrific reality, and Versailles’ imposition of war guilt, meant that ‘The Spirit of 1914,’ lay largely dormant.[cliii]  One appealing factor of the Nazi message was integrating this spirit into the Volksgemeinschaft.[cliv]  The euphoric support for 1914 became central to the Nazi portrayal of World War One.  Due to its recentness, it would be hard to falsify it massively.  The broad aim was to establish German soldiers, a category within which Hitler was included, and ‘Germany as the great heroic nation betrayed.’[clv]

On a macro-military level, Germany’s role was exaggerated.  She was outnumbered, and surrounded on all sides.  ‘Germany was in the World War a beleaguered fortress, against which from all sides the armies of Europe and the foreign parts of the world assaulted.’[clvi]  Germany was forced into a defensive and noble war.  Negative cohesion against the foreign forces, and a sense of German heroism against the odds, was prevalent throughout the narrative.

The account is deeply personal and detailed.  A textbook for children gave its readers several instructions.  It asked them to quiz their fathers about their experience of the war, and to bring in any objects that they had relating to it.[clvii]  The subsequent lesson would involve discussing these objects in order to paint an image of life in the trenches.[clviii]  Even at this young age, issues such as ‘the burial of a fallen comrade in battle’ were an integral part of the lesson.[clix]  This type of lesson created an emotional connection to the Great War, through dealing with difficult issues, and the personal link between students and father.  This ‘Nazi show-and-tell’ surely aimed to create a tangible connection between the student and the past, suggesting German military service as an inter-generational tradition.

The narrative of World War One was emotionally supercharged.  It began with patriotism and pride for their nation, descending into virtuous defence in satanic circumstances.[clx]  At the battle of Ypres, soldiers were roused by someone breaking into the German national anthem, and ‘in battle as in the dawn of death the faith in a new and beautiful Germany had risen in them.’[clxi]  Surely, through association many a student would have reflected on his father’s duty to the fatherland.  Personal accounts were used to great effect in the war’s narrative.  They aimed to further bolster the emotional response, but also highlight the reality of war.  There was, for example, little restriction of the gore and brutality.  One soldier’s account of the battle Somme eerily describes how ‘all at once the horizon flares up.  It whistles and relents (…) as though hell had opened up. Now the devil is loose among us.’ [clxii] He goes on to describe a man losing his leg, and writhing in pain.[clxiii]  The glorification of the positives, and vilification of the negatives created a thrilling, heart-breaking, awe-inspiring, and rousing narrative, which played on youth patriotism.  It created an appealing image of the simple German soldier defending his country, against foreign forces in the burning inferno of war.

The emphasis on the negatives also served to show how trench warfare united Germans in comradeship.  Hitler often reflected back to the Trenches as ‘a true Volksgemeinschaft.’[clxiv]  The Nazi definition of the Volksgemeinschaft was theoretically a community of racially pure equals, working together for the good of the community.  Prolonged trench warfare forced men together, thus breaking down class divisions.  Struggle changed soldiers’ perspective, transforming them into merciless killers.[clxv]  Now, most important was a comrade ‘who shared with him the last morsel of bread, the last draught of the canteen.’[clxvi]  It thus achieved, to some extent, this ideal community, and highlighted to students that war and struggle were the only conceivable way that their promised idyllic society would be achieved.  War was thus a community builder for the Nazis, and was portrayed as such in the narrative.  The Nazis regarded ‘the comradeship of the trenches as a model for the national community.’[clxvii]   War had shaped, and would shape the men who would ‘build the new Germany.’[clxviii]

Intertwined with this glorified portrayal of war was Hitler’s experience.  A key component of Nazi nationalism was the strong heroic leader, a myth built around Hitler’s self-ascribed magnetic personality.  They sought to unite Germans behind this great leader, with the trenches a case-study of his leadership and bravery.  He was rewarded the Iron Cross, as a runner.  Hitler, whilst his comrades sheltered in the trenches, was exposed running through ‘hails of iron and sheets of fire, through smoke and fumes.’[clxix]  The trenches shaped Hitler into the model soldier, leader, and human being which only served to inspire.  He was a leader who had risked his life for the Fatherland, a feat he now demanded of his subjects.  The portrayal of World War One shaped Hitler and many others into tragic national heroes, whose heroism was in vain due to the ‘Stab-in-the-back’ and resulting diktat at Versailles.

Germany, according to Nazi textbooks, had only lost the war because she had been stabbed in the back.[clxx]  This was a popular standpoint for many Germans, for it meant that culpability could be placed elsewhere other than the army, a focal point of German national identity.  Despite the enemy hammering for four years in futility against ‘an unconquered wall’ which ‘lay protectively around the German homeland,’ the Germans were betrayed by foreign forces within.[clxxi]  The November criminals, Marxists, ‘Jews, criminals, and international bandits,’[clxxii] were the scapegoat nationalists used to explain German defeat, shifting blame away from the military.  Germany had not lost on the battlefield, but at home.  The ‘Stab-in-the-back’ places the blame on foreign forces, and highlights that Germany could only succeed with racial purity.  Foreign peoples and ideas, had tragically crushed Germany’s glorious war.  Similar to Frederick after Kunsdorf, Hitler expressed ‘it had all been in vain. In vain all of the sacrifices and privation, forgotten hours clutched in mortal fear in which we nonetheless did our duty, and forgotten the deaths of two million.’[clxxiii]   Hitler, like Frederick, pulled himself together, and vowed to ‘become a politician.’ [clxxiv]  Adolf Hitler would lead Germany to justice in this environment of unjust victimhood.

The height of this unjust victimhood was the Versailles diktat.  Educationalist Herr Rodinger explains ‘We will therefore, burn into the child’s heart and brain that the struggle against Versailles is and will be a task for all Germans.’[clxxv]   It aimed to contain key areas of German nationalism, and was thus paradoxically a useful tool to unite Germans.  Other nations had ‘torn off pieces of our territory and grown more powerful than we.’[clxxvi]  This injustice is twofold, as it assumes the victory of her historical enemies, and it restricted Germans’ biological link to the soil that they lived on.[clxxvii]  It was crushing to see her enemies powerful, and unfair to deny Germans their blood-right to their land.  Versailles also neutered the German military, an institution of national pride.  With the ‘Stab-in-the-back’ myth, militarism could persist without a military.  It was a tragic event for Germany, where foreign influences had yet again stopped them from achieving their potential racial dominance.  Versailles was at loggerheads with the German nation.  It was brought about by a ‘stab-in-the-back’ by genetic enemies, capitalised on by their historic enemies who served them a massive injustice.  It was an event around which Germans could rally and was used by the Nazis to catalyse and intensify nationalism.

World War One served to instil a sense of pride in the dutiful service of the German army.  It connected students with their fathers, demonstrating the sacrifice they’d made for the present Germany.  In the trenches, the cataclysmic struggle they faced bound soldiers in a united, classless, Gemeinschaft, the mind-set of which the German future depended.  This, however, was in vain, as foreign internal peoples had stabbed them in the back, with their eternal enemies forcing a crushingly unfair peace treaty upon them, one which suffocated German identity.  Hitler emerged as the individual dedicated to addressing this injustice.

Heroes of our Time: [clxxviii] The Nazi Revolution

The Nazi rise to power was dealt with in great detail.  It was one-sided, focusing only on key Nazi leaders and their roles.  In his account of the language used in the Third Reich, Victor Klemperer argues that ‘the epithet ‘historisch’ (historic) applies to all, even the most natural actions of the Nazi leaders in peacetime.’[clxxix]  He describes how the Nazis sought to historicise the banalities of the party.  Applying this model to history in education, factors that do not relate to the broader aims to instil nationalism in young people are emphasised.  For example, in the textbook ‘The Battle for Germany’ a large proportion of the chapters are dedicated to describing the Nazi Party’s move from office to office.[clxxx]  Everything the Nazis touched became historical,[clxxxi] which in the context of a nationalist narrative renders these facts are irrelevant, and therefore of little use to this study.  They were propaganda designed to create a cult surrounding the party.  Out of this propaganda, however, ‘one name stands out amidst the darkness and misery leading Germany’s rebirth: Adolf Hitler.’[clxxxii]

Adolf Hitler’s leadership was emphasised during the narrative of the period.  Following Germany’s defeat, Hitler had foretold his political rise, which, along with his miraculous joining of the Nazi party, and survival of the Munich Putsch made him a prophetic figure.[clxxxiii]  He saw the future path for Germans, and had conviction in avenging the nation against the November criminals.  Hitler ‘knew he would master the enormous challenges that were before him.’[clxxxiv]  However unreasonable Hitler’s decision-making, Germans could unite behind him faithful that their strong leader would succeed for the benefit of the German people, until his inevitable failure.  His leadership skills were unprecedented.  A ‘political soldier and statesman’ he led the National Socialist Party from nothingness to dominance in the Reichstag.[clxxxv]  He was the charismatic figurehead above the brutality of militant groups.  Hitler emerged the dominant figure whose ‘unshakeable faith that had brought him through the years of struggle gave him the strength to use the power fate had given him in a way that would serve the good of the people and the nation.’[clxxxvi]  Only he could lead Germany out of their rut, towards the ideal German nation.  He emerges as the true fulfilment of the strong German leader, as no other figure in the historical narrative does.

Civil strife during the Weimar period equated to a war fought against foreign peoples and ideologies.[clxxxvii]  Their opponents were the Jews, democracy, Marxism, and the decadence of Weimar Germany.  This struggle was exaggerated, with Nazi members who died in the fighting portrayed as martyrs.[clxxxviii]  They were men ‘filled with the spirit of Langemarck, the spirit of men of the Feldherrnhalle and the spirit of Horst Wessel.’[clxxxix]  As Blackburn points out this period is full of religious symbolism.[cxc]  Building on this theory, presented in the textbook The Battle for Germany was a modern German military trinity, likening heroes of the war, the putsch, and the present, for the youth to unite around.  Langemarck, a World War One battle where the major losses had been students, represented the Father.  Felderherrnhalle, the site of the Munich putsch represented the son. Horst Wessel, a young man who had died fighting the cause in Berlin was the Holy Spirit.  These were all young Nazi martyrs, epitomising youth motivation for the cause.  The glorification of the brutal actions taken by these individuals in a continued struggle against internal foes, reinforced the inherency of militarism and negative cohesion in the historical narrative.

The interwar years as a whole are unbalanced, presenting the exploits of National Socialists as opposed to an actual national history.  The presentation of many of these facts, tried to solidify the dull aspects of the National Socialist rise within national consciousness, but had little purpose in nation-building.  Instead, Hitler’s leadership in a political and paramilitary war to avenge Germany and rid her of foreign influence was prevalent.  His role as a traditional ‘World History Figure’ that not even Bismarck or Frederick the Great could challenge was concretised in this period.  He, and National Socialism, were the ailment that would cure hurting German nationalism.

‘Are minds so meek as to succumb to the voices and vices of nihilism with such ease?’[cxci]

The success of the Nazi History narrative’s nationalistic aims is difficult to determine.  How to measure success?  Nationalism’s successful application to the past created a coherent and entertaining narrative (if not credible today).  Endeavour, however, does not demonstrate overall success in inspiring individual sentiments of nationalism.  In review of Blackburn’s Education in the Third Reich, Sterling Fishman raised a question largely unanswered by current historiography: ‘are minds so meek as to succumb to the voices and vices of nihilism with such ease?’[cxcii]  This chapter attempts to suggest some answers to this question, addressing how successful nationalism in the Nazi History narrative was received individually, whilst acknowledging the limitations of such an approach.  The narrative will be more broadly treated with a focus on the nostalgic, romantic perspective of history, and the Nazi racial interpretation of the past.

Kershaw argues Führerprinzip depended on individuals with overlapping responsibilities working upwards towards the Fuhrer, inspired by his rhetoric and attempting to interpret it to put it into practice.[cxciii]  This reinforced Hitler’s authority, but made the system inefficient.  Building on this model, Pine argues the success of Nazi education policy was inhibited by the necessity for agreement amongst different Nazi leaders in charge of education.[cxciv]  Alternatively, I suggest that this model applied further down the social and political ladder, with the success of indoctrination depending on consistency between school, teacher, youth groups, home environment, and public life.  The success of reception depended on which of these influences had the greatest impact on individual students.

To determine how nationalist history was received, this section draws on 21 interviews of students who grew up in the period.  Clearly out of a population of several million young people in this period, it is acknowledged that this is not a representative sample.  With the sample being limited by linguistic availability, then it is also acknowledged that, unintentionally, the choice of these examples may have led to some selection bias.  The interviews nonetheless provide a window into individual experiences of education, but are not without their limitations.  Eyewitness accounts are notoriously problematic.  Through hindsight bias, interviewees may tend to subconsciously or consciously forget more recently-controversial aspects of education, such as racial hygiene, or to focus on more positive prominent memories.  As a control, Jewish interviewees will be used; however, this limits the scope for this analysis to 1937 and before, when Jews attended the same schools.  A further constraint is the individual circumstances of each interviewee.  Individuals may be more susceptible to racial prejudice than others for a variety of factors.  For example, discrimination could be relative to the individual teacher, school, or student’s character, family influence, and experience, making it virtually impossible to draw sweeping assumptions about an overall success.  Other variable factors might include age, gender, ability, and socio-economic background, but these have proved impossible to evaluate.  Due to these limiting factors, conclusions reached in this section should be considered tentative at best.

Nationalism aimed to alter the conscious and subconscious of young people, which means it is largely unquantifiable.  Its success can perhaps only be measured by its symptoms.  If students expressed a heightened sense of patriotic support for Germany, a fixation with the romanticism of the past, or an extreme perspective on race or foreigners, nationalism could be considered partially successful.  Nation-building was central to History, but it cannot be measured in a vacuum.  The youth did not just receive nationalist indoctrination in schools, but elsewhere in the media, youth groups, leisure activities, and potentially at home.  Therefore, the success of Nazi history is always relative.

Until 1938, the broader aims of education policy were to consolidate, monitor centrally, and indoctrinate teachers.  This transition period meant that, early on, teachers had more scope to deviate from the accepted Nazi version of history.  Having reached the end of the First World War in the curriculum, Berlin schoolboy Erwin Grubba describes how his teacher snapped the textbook shut declaring: ‘this is where history ends.’[cxcv]  This teacher had the scope to be selective and appears to be choosing to neglect the Nazi period of history.  As time progressed, however, this possibility narrowed significantly.  By 1937, 97% of teachers were part of the NSLB (The National Socialist Teachers League). [cxcvi] Ideological training camps were established where teachers were re-educated in line with party ideology.[cxcvii]  Two thirds of teachers had attended these camps by 1939.[cxcviii]  A report conceded that ‘Not everyone left as convinced National Socialists’ but the ‘large majority of educators can be said that they would wholeheartedly support the Fuhrer and are prepared to undertake additional work for the movement of the Volk.’ [cxcix] It would be wrong to assume all NSLB members were keen ideologues; some were members to keep their job, but all teachers were aware of the dangers of expressing discontent.  To what extent, then, can we assume that teachers presented an ideologically consistent view of history?

Teachers’ portrayal of history was not completely uniform.  History was taught according to the teacher’s own convictions, experience, style, and interests.  For example, in a recording from 1945, a language teacher tries to convince the listener that during the Nazi period he had tried his best to omit from translation certain discriminatory passages.[cc]  Whilst this was obviously in the teacher’s best interest in 1945, this view is supported by Grubba, who suggests that later on in the 1930s opponents could do little, other than omission, to openly oppose the regime.[cci]  Dusseldorf schoolgirl Gisela Page supports this, stating that teachers used ‘sideways criticism to impart (…) criticism of the regime.’[ccii]  Jewish student in Berlin, Ruth Foster, forced out of school in 1937, argues otherwise.  Her history teacher went further than what was necessary, handing out satirical images of the Jews.[cciii]  These views, although from different individuals, schools and areas of Germany, demonstrate that despite uniformity in textbooks, delivery, as with any curriculum, ‘always depended on the teachers,’ as Frankfurt schoolgirl Marlene Tucking remembers.[cciv]  An anti-Semite would present an entirely different image of Nazi history than a Nationalist World War One veteran, silent socialist or liberal, or teacher reluctantly presenting new material to keep their job.  Therefore, even with greater ideological cohesion with the NSLB, the uniformity of the delivery could be partially influenced by individual teachers.

The romantic and nationalist view of history was part-continuation, part-degeneration of the History taught in Weimar or the Kaiserreich.[ccv]  The glorification of the German past was similar, albeit with a different focus and a greater deal of misrepresentation.[ccvi]  Despite the new racial ideology, many of the core national concepts remained the same.  This illusion of continuity meant that romantic nationalism was less likely to be omitted by teachers, whatever their beliefs.  Furthermore, these aspects were unlikely to contradict significantly the history their parents were taught.  If this were the case romantic nationalist history would span both school and home environment, facilitating greater potential for success.  This romanticism seemed appealing.  Stettin schoolboy Gerard George argues ‘romanticism was one of the basic weaknesses of German character,’ pointing to the fact that he and his father held similar romantic-nationalist beliefs.[ccvii]  Gisela Page remembers the great impression romantic stories had had on her, arguing that if her parents had not taught her to think critically, she would have succumbed to racial ideology as well.[ccviii]  It would seem that the more traditional, romantic, elements of the historical narrative may have been broadly effective.

The extent to which the German youth identified with racial propaganda is difficult to judge.  The interviews reveal varying memories, perhaps due to hindsight bias, or because interviewees were at different schools.  Some German students remark that they do not remember, or did not notice, discrimination towards students, a view not corroborated by Jewish students.  None of the interviews analysed, Jewish or non-Jewish, highlight that this discrimination stemmed from the ideological nature of textbooks, historical or otherwise. Ruth Foster, a popular Jewish student, illustrates the impact 1933 had on her life.  Her pro-Nazi teacher made her life miserable, by isolating her from her friends and punishing those who communicated with her, she felt discriminated against.[ccix]  Gerard George’s account tells another story.  He remembers that the racial component of education was not taken seriously by the majority.  Jokingly, he describes getting into trouble when he described the Aryan race as ‘blond, blue-eyed, and barmy.’ [ccx] Nora Doerfel supports this view, suggesting that many were bored with constant propaganda.[ccxi]  Although these views suggest that racial aspects of Nazi nationalism in history were less effective, assuming that this applies more broadly is speculative.

The extent to which history was successful in promoting nationalism is particularly hard to judge, as young people formed their opinion based on their experiences in spheres of life other than just school.  Doerfel highlights that she was ‘inoculated against it by [her] mother,’ a position held by many others.[ccxii]  Waltraudt Williams, from a working class background, bought into much of Hitler’s rhetoric as ‘you had to believe what you heard because you did not hear anything else.’[ccxiii]  Karin Churchill and her brother, despite their liberal parent, recall ‘soaking up’ the propaganda.[ccxiv]  Her brother pressured their parents into letting him join the SS.[ccxv]  Marlene Tucking states that, through cinema, she learnt that Prussian Kings were heroes.[ccxvi]  Ruthilde Kronberg explicitly states she was anti-Semitic not because of the Nazis, but because of her Evangelical Christian background, leading her to believe that the Jews had killed Christ.[ccxvii]  Young people were indoctrinated from various angles, the success of which depended on the individual.  The romantic nationalist portrayal of history may have been more successful as it straddled all of these spheres, and seemed to be a continuation of traditional German history.

It is impossible to prove how successful the nationalist aims of the Nazi history narrative were.  The appearance of continuity from the romantic portrayal of the past bridged the gap between the ideology taught in schools and spread elsewhere, and most parents’ understanding of the past.  However, these interviews at least suggest that the romantic view of the past was partly internalised by young people, and had greater potential to establish more concrete nationalist beliefs.


This study set out to deduce the extent to which the Nazis successfully manipulated the narrative of history to inspire nationalism.  It has defined the Nazi brand of nationalism and how it was applied to specific periods of the historical narrative, and has attempted to measure the extent to which this narrative inspired nationalism in individual students.

The historical narrative was successfully manipulated to fit the Nazi brand of nationalism.  Facts were used selectively or omitted, where necessary distorted and even manufactured, creating a narrative which formed the foundations of the Nazi national identity.  Its alluring, emotive, and rhetorical tone aimed to facilitate memorability, and form an emotional link between the student’s present and Germany’s past.  Through the past, the image of an all-powerful, militarist, racially pure, Volkisch German nation was created, which had recently been the victim of several internal and external injustices; History served to justify the Nazi nationalist agenda.  The narrative fused great events in World and German history, creating a new German heritage around which young people were to unite.  The remoulding of the past to inspire nationalism was extensive, which, in the absence of contemporary evidence available to students to refute it, appears, on the surface, successful.  The reality, however, is harder to judge because contemporary evidence is scarce and problematic, and individuals were exposed to a wider range of nationalist indoctrination.  Thus, whilst a narrative was successfully manipulated, the extent to which it was universally internalised at an individual level is impossible to prove.

The Nazis failed to achieve their Thousand Year Reich.  However, one can speculate that had they done so, the nationalist ideals of this historical narrative surely would have played some part in the society they would have constructed.

[i] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924, translated by James Murphy, Abbots Langley, 1990. p.347.

[ii] Gilmer Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich: Race and History in Nazi Textbooks, New York: State University of New York Press, 1985. p.iii.

[iii] Adolf Hitler quoted in: Werner Maser, Hitler’s Mein Kampf: An Analysis, London: Faber, 1970. p.189.

[iv] Maser, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, p.188.

[v] Quoted in: Lisa Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ New York: Berg, 2010. p.51.

[vi] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.137.

[vii] Hitler, Mein Kampf, p.347.

[viii] What Should you know about the Fuhrer, 1935, quoted in: Two English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, London: Kulturkampf, 1938. p.39.

[ix] Hitler, Mein Kampf, p.347.

[x] ‘Educational Principles of the New Germany,’ Frauen-Warte, N.22, 1936/1937. pp.692-693.

[xi] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.140.

[xii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, pp.13-34.

[xiii] ‘Educational Principles of the New Germany,’ Frauen-Warte, pp.692-693.

[xiv] Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London: Verso, 1983. p.6.

[xv] Stefan Berger, ‘On the Role of Myths and History in the Construction of National Identity in Modern Europe,’ European History Quarterly, Vol.39, No.3, 2009. p.492.

[xvi] Berger, ‘On the Role of Myths and History,’ p.492.

[xvii] Bernard Yack, ‘Sovereignty and Nationalism,’ Political Theory, Vol.29, No.4, 2001. pp.517-536. p.522.

[xviii] Yack, ‘Sovereignty and Nationalism,’ p.526.

[xix] Stefan Berger, The Search for Normality: National Identity and Historical Consciousness in Germany since 1800, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2002. p.25.

[xx] Hitler, Mein Kampf, p.244.

[xxi] Willi Oberkrome ‘German Historical Scholarship Under National Socialism,’ Wolfgang Bialas and Anson Rabinach (eds.) Nazi Germany and the Humanities: How German Academics Embraced Nazism, London: Oneworld Publications, 2014. pp.208-237. pp.218-219.

[xxii] Walter Gehl, Deutsche Geschichte in Stichworten, Breslau: Ferdinand Hirt, 1939. p.9. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.120.

[xxiii] Erika Mann, School for Barbarians: Education Under the Nazis, New York: Modern Age Books, 1938. p.60.

[xxiv] Phillip Bouhler, The Battle for Germany: A Textbook for the German Youth, Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1939. pp.93-95.

[xxv] Heinz Sunker, ‘Political Culture and Education in Germany,’ Heinz Sunker and Hans-Uwe Otto (eds.) Education and Fascism: Political Identity and Social Education in Nazi Germany, London: Routledge, 1997. p.7.

[xxvi] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.50.

[xxvii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.1.

[xxviii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.183.

[xxix] Marie Harm and Hermann Wiehle, Biology for the Middle School: For Fifth Year Girls, Halle: Hermann Schroedel Verlag, 1942. pp. 168-173.

[xxx] Adolf Hitler quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.64.

[xxxi] Harm and Wiehle, Biology for Middle School, pp.168-173.

[xxxii] Berger, The Search for Normality, p.6.

[xxxiii] Phillip T. Rutherford, Prelude to the Final Solution – The Nazi Program for Deporting Ethnic Poles 1939-1941, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007. pp.70-73.

[xxxiv] Rutherford, Prelude to the Final Solution, p.74.

[xxxv] C.M. Vasey, Nazi Ideology, Oxford: Hamilton Books, 2006. p.30.

[xxxvi] Hitler quoted in: Vasey, Nazi Ideology, p.30.

[xxxvii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.170.

[xxxviii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.178.

[xxxix] ‘Educational Principles of the New Germany,’ Frauen-Warte, pp.692-693.

[xl] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.92.

[xli] Hans-Jonchem Gamm, Der Braune Kult: Das Dritte Reich und Seine Erstzreligion, Hamburg: Rutten and Loening Verlag, 1962. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.91.

[xlii] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.137.

[xliii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.177.

[xliv] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, (Contents Page).

[xlv] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, pp.93-95.

[xlvi] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, pp.72-92.

[xlvii] Bialas and Rabinach ‘Introduction: The Humanities in Nazi Germany,’ p.xxxvii.

[xlviii] Imperial War Museum (IWM): Thames Television Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Marlene Tucking, Recorder: Phillip Whitehead, 1973. No.2989, Reel 1.

[xlix] Nikita Khruschev quoted in: Berger, The Search for Normality, p.ix.

[l] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.180.

[li] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.3.

[lii] Mann, School for Barbarians, pp.61-62.

[liii] Mann, School for Barbarians, pp.61-62.

[liv] Wolfgang Bialas and Anson Rabinach ‘Introduction: The Humanities in Nazi Germany,’ Wolfgang Bialas and Anson Rabinach (eds.) Nazi Germany and the Humanities: How German Academics Embraced Nazism, London: Oneworld Publications, 2014. pp.viii-lii. p.xxxvii.

[lv] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.51.

[lvi] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ pp.138; 42.

[lvii] Christoph Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse: Geschichtebuch fur die Hauptschule, Dortmund: Druck und Verlag von W. Cruwell, 1943. (Contents Page) Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, pp.39-40.

[lviii] IWM: IWM Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Nora Doerfel, Recorder: Conrad Wood, 1988. No.10400, Reel 1.

[lix] IWM: Nora Doerfel, Reel 1.

[lx] Adolf Hitler Quoted in: Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, London: Weidenfield and Nicholson, 1970. p.62.

[lxi] Wilhelm Frick, Allegemeine Deutsche Lehrerzeitung, 1933. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, pp.35-36.

[lxii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, pp.79-80. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.49.

[lxiii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.49.

[lxiv] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, pp.79-80. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.49.

[lxv] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, pp.79-80. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.49.

[lxvi] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, pp.79-80. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.49.

[lxvii] Wilhelm Rödinger, Geschichte, Zeil, Stoff und Weg, Location, Publisher, and Date Unknown. pp.10,11,16. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.36.

[lxviii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, pp.79-80. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.50.

[lxix] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.50.

[lxx] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, pp.79-80. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.50.

[lxxi] Gehl, Deutsche Geschichte. p.6; Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, p.99. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.50.

[lxxii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, pp.97-101. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.51.

[lxxiii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, p.96. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.49.

[lxxiv] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.52.

[lxxv] Helen Roche, ‘’In Sparta fuhlte ich mich wie einer deutschen Stadt’ (Goebbels): The Leaders of the Third Reich and the Spartan Nationalist Paradigm,’ Peter Lang (ed.) English Nationalist and Anti-Semitic Discourse, 1871-1945, London: 2010. pp.91-115. p.92.

[lxxvi] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, p.97. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.52.

[lxxvii] Bialas and Rabinach ‘Introduction: The Humanities in Nazi Germany,’ p.xxiv.

[lxxviii] Roche, ‘The Third Reich and the Spartan Nationalist Paradigm,’ p.94.

[lxxix] Roche, ‘The Third Reich and the Spartan Nationalist Paradigm,’ p.94.

[lxxx] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944: His Private Conversations, Translated by Norman Cameron and R.H.Stevens, London: Emma Books, 2000. P.13.

[lxxxi] Roche, ‘The Third Reich and the Spartan Nationalist Paradigm,’ p.95.

[lxxxii] Roche, ‘The Third Reich and the Spartan Nationalist Paradigm,’ p.94.

[lxxxiii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.98.

[lxxxiv] Walter Hohmann and Wilhelm Schiefer, Volk und Reich der Deutschen Geschichtebuch fur Oberschulen und Gymnasium-6, Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Otto Salle, 1945. p.37. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.53.

[lxxxv] Bialas and Rabinach ‘Introduction: The Humanities in Nazi Germany,’ p.xxv.

[lxxxvi] Roche, ‘The Third Reich and the Spartan Nationalist Paradigm,’ p.99.

[lxxxvii] Hohmann and Schiefer, Volk und Reich der Deutschen-6, pp.30-31. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.54.

[lxxxviii] Hitler, Mein Kampf, p.348.

[lxxxix] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, p.110-11. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.54.

[xc] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, p.110-11. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.54.

[xci] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944, p.563.

[xcii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, p.111-12. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.54.

[xciii] Rödinger, Geschichte, Zeil, Stoff und Weg. pp.10;11;16. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.37.

[xciv] Rödinger, Geschichte, Zeil, Stoff und Weg. pp.10;11;16. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.37.

[xcv] Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. p.1.

[xcvi] Adolf Hitler speech 1934, quoted in: Bialas and Rabinach ‘Introduction: The Humanities in Nazi Germany,’ p.xxiv.

[xcvii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, (Contents Page) Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, pp.39-40.

[xcviii] The Eternal Jew, 1940. [Film] Directed by Fritz Hippler. Germany: Deutsche Film Gesellschaft.

[xcix] The Eternal Jew, Hippler.

[c] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.79.

[ci] Hitler, Mein Kampf, p.241.

[cii] Dietrich Klagges and Fritz Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. Frankfurt am Maim: Verlag Moritz Diesterweg, 1943. pp.11-15. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[ciii] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. pp.11-15. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[civ] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. pp.11-15. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[cv] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. pp.11-15. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[cvi] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.57.

[cvii] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.15. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[cviii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.178.

[cix] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. 138-41. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[cx] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.15. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[cxi] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944, p.34.

[cxii] Gregor Thum, ‘Megalomania and Angst: The Nineteenth-Century Mythologisation of Germany’s Eastern Borders,’ Omar Bartov and Eric D.Weitz (eds.), Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence in The German, Habsburg, Russian and Ottoman Borderlands, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2013. pp.42-61. p.45.

[cxiii] Thum ‘Megalomania and Angst,’ p.45.

[cxiv] B. Kumsteller; U. Haache; B. Schneider, Geschischtsbuch fur Die Deutsche Jugend, Klasse-1, 1943. p.115. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.57.

[cxv] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.115. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.57.

[cxvi] Hitler, Mein Kampf, p.123.

[cxvii] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944, p.346.

[cxviii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, (Contents Page) Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, pp.39-40.

[cxix] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944, p.82.

[cxx] Hohmann and Schiefer, Volk und Reich der Deutschen-4, pp.20-21. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.131.

[cxxi] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.96. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.131.

[cxxii] Gehl, Deutsche Geschichte. p.111. Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.131.

[cxxiii] Gehl, Deutsche Geschichte. p.111. Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.131.

[cxxiv] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.92. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.96.

[cxxv] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.92. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.96.

[cxxvi] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.92. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.96.

[cxxvii] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.50.

[cxxviii] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.97. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.55.

[cxxix] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944, p.126.

[cxxx] Ian Kershaw The Hitler Myth: Image and Reality in the Third Reich, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987. p.201.

[cxxxi] Kershaw The Hitler Myth, p.180.

[cxxxii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.59.

[cxxxiii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.70-1. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.111.

[cxxxiv] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.115.

[cxxxv] Hitler, Mein Kampf, p.198.

[cxxxvi] Paul Muller, Geschichte des Deutschen Volkes von 1871 bis zur Gegenwart, Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1943. pp.11-14. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.121.

[cxxxvii] Frick, Allegemeine Deutsche Lehrerzeitung. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.35.

[cxxxviii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.5. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.121.

[cxxxix] Hohmann and Schiefer, Volk und Reich der Deutschen-4, p.40. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.121.

[cxl] Frick, Allegemeine Deutsche Lehrerzeitung. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.35.

[cxli] Hohmann and Schiefer, Volk und Reich der Deutschen-4, p.40. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.121.

[cxlii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, (Contents Page) Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, pp.39-40.

[cxliii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.60.

[cxliv] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.58. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.60.

[cxlv] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.28. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.61.

[cxlvi] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.61. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.61.

[cxlvii] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944, p.81.

[cxlviii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.58. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.60.

[cxlix] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.58. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.61.

[cl] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.138. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.132.

[cli] Klagges and Stoll, So Ward Das Reich. p.138. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.132.

[clii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, (Contents Page) Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, pp.39-40.

[cliii] Jeffrey Verhey, The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth, and Mobilization in Germany, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. p.206.

[cliv] Verhey, The Spirit of 1914, p.218.

[clv] Frick, Allegemeine Deutsche Lehrerzeitung. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.35.

[clvi] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, pp.48-49. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.133.

[clvii] Herr von Fikenscher The Onward March of the German Nation, Quoted in: Mann, School for Barbarians, p.59.

[clviii] Fikenscher The Onward March of the German Nation, Quoted in: Mann, School for Barbarians, p.59.

[clix] Fikenscher The Onward March of the German Nation, Quoted in: Mann, School for Barbarians, p.59.

[clx] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.133.

[clxi] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.80. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.42.

[clxii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.48-9. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.133.

[clxiii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.48-9. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.133.

[clxiv] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, p.17, Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.122.

[clxv] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.98.

[clxvi] Muller, Geschichte des Deutschen Volkes, pp.11-14. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.121.

[clxvii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.100. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.122.

[clxviii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.100. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.98.

[clxix] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.119. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.98.

[clxx] Fikenscher The Onward March of the German Nation, Quoted in: Mann, School for Barbarians, p.59.

[clxxi] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, pp.48-49. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.133.

[clxxii] Fikenscher The Onward March of the German Nation, Quoted in: Mann, School for Barbarians, p.60.

[clxxiii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-1, p.8. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.63.

[clxxiv] Adolf Hitler Quoted in: Maser, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, p.92.

[clxxv] Rödinger, Geschichte, Zeil, Stoff und Weg. p.39. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.37.

[clxxvi] Rödinger, Geschichte, Zeil, Stoff und Weg. p.39. Quoted in: English Investigators, Education in Nazi Germany, p.37.

[clxxvii] Reinhard Muller, Germany: People without Living Space, Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 1943, pp.116-130.

[clxxviii] Herfurth, Die Ewige Strasse, (Contents Page) Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, pp.39-40.

[clxxix] Victor Klemperer, Language of the Third Reich: LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii, London: Continuum: 2006. p.210.

[clxxx] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, pp.72-92.

[clxxxi] Klemperer, Language of the Third Reich, p.45.

[clxxxii] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, pp.72-92.

[clxxxiii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.100. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.81.

[clxxxiv] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, pp.93-95.

[clxxxv] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.100. Quoted in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.81.

[clxxxvi] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, pp.93-95.

[clxxxvii] Kumsteller; Haache; Schneider, Geschischtsbuch-5, p.125. Cited in: Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.100.

[clxxxviii] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.100.

[clxxxix] Bouhler, The Battle for Germany, pp.105-107.

[cxc] Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich, p.100.

[cxci] Sterling Fishman, Reviewed Work:Education in the Third Reich: Race and History in Nazi Textbooks,’ Gilmer W. Blackburn, Comparative Education Review, Vol.1, No.1, 1987. pp.186-8. p.188.

[cxcii] Fishman, ReviewEducation in the Third Reich,’ Blackburn, p.188.

[cxciii] For example see: Ian Kershaw, Hitler, 1936-1945: Nemesis, New York: Norton, 2001.

[cxciv] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.140.

[cxcv] IWM: IWM Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Erwin Grubba, Recorder: Conrad Wood, 1987. No.10006, Reel 2.

[cxcvi] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.15.

[cxcvii] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.16.

[cxcviii] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.16.

[cxcix] BA NS 121263,’Satzung des Nationalsozialistischen Lehrerbundes’, p. 3.  Quoted in: Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.16.

[cc] BBC: Unknown Speech by Language Teacher, 1945. No.2075.

[cci] IWM: Erwin Grubba, Reel 2.

[ccii] IWM: IWM Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Gisela Page, Recorder: Conrad Wood, 1988. No.10494, Reel 1.

[cciii] October Films (OF): October Films, [sound]. Interviewee: Ruth Foster, Recorder: October Films, 1999. No.19782, Reel 1.

[cciv] IWM: Marlene Tucking, Reel 2.

[ccv] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.51.

[ccvi] Pine ‘Education in Nazi Germany,’ p.51.

[ccvii] IWM: IWM Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Gerard George, Recorder: Nigel de Lee, 2004. No.27197, Reel 1.

[ccviii] IWM: Gisela Page, Reel 1.

[ccix] OF: Ruth Foster, Reel 2.

[ccx] IWM: Gerard George, Reel 1.

[ccxi] IWM: Nora Doerfel, Reel 1.

[ccxii] IWM: Nora Doerfel, Reel 1.

[ccxiii] IWM: IWM Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Waltraudt Williams, Recorder: Conrad Wood, 1988. No.10110, Reel 1.

[ccxiv] IWM: IWM Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Karin Churchill, Recorder: Lyn E. Smith, 1996. No.16858, Reel 2.

[ccxv] IWM: Karin Churchill, Reel 1.

[ccxvi] IWM: Marlene Tucking, Reel 2.

[ccxvii] IWM: IWM Interview, [sound]. Interviewee: Ruthilde Kronberg, Recorder: Lyn Smith, 1999. No.19949, Reel 1

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