VOLKSGEMEINSCHAFT (German pronunciation: ) is a German expression
meaning "people's community". This expression originally became
World War I
* 1 Development
* 2 Nazi
* 2.1 In propaganda * 2.2 Community Aliens and National Comrades * 2.3 Children and youth
* 3 See also * 4 References
The concept is believed to have originated in Ferdinand Tönnies ' theory in his work Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft ("Community and Society") of 1887. Decades later, in 1932, Tönnies joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany to oppose the rise of Nazism and protest against their use of his concept. He had his honorary professorship removed when Adolf Hitler came to power. In 1914, the Emperor Wilhelm II proclaimed before the Reichstag the Burgfrieden ("the peace within a castle under siege"), announcing that henceforward all of the regional differences between the different states of the Reich; between rich, middle class and poor; between Roman Catholics and Protestants; and between rural and urban no longer existed and the German people were all one for the duration of the war. During the war, many Germans longed to have the sense of unity that the Burgfrieden inspired continue after the war, and it was during this period that many ideas started to circulate about how to convert the wartime Burgfrieden into a peacetime volksgemeinschaft.
In the aftermath of World War I, the idea of
There is an ongoing debate among historians as to whether a
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In the aftermath of the November Revolution of 1918 that marked the
end of the
Upon rising to power in 1933, the Nazis sought to gain support of
various elements of society. Their concept of
The Nazis solidified support amongst nationalists and conservatives
by presenting themselves as allied with President Paul von Hindenburg
who was considered a war hero of
World War I
The regime believed that the only way to avoid a repeat of the
disaster of 1918 was to secure workers' support for the German
government. The regime also insisted through propaganda that all
Germans take part in the
May Day celebrations in the hope that this
would help break down class hostility between workers and burghers .
Songs in praise of labour and workers were played by state radio
May Day as well as an airshow in Berlin and fireworks.
Bonfires were made of school children's differently colored caps as symbolic of the abolition of class differences.
The Nazis continued social welfare policies initiated by the
governments of the
Nazis gave a great deal of prominence to this new "folk community" in
their propaganda, depicting the events of 1933 as a Volkwerdung , or a
people becoming itself. The Volk were not just a people; a mystical
soul united them, and propaganda continually portrayed individuals as
part of a great whole, worth dying for. A common Nazi mantra declared
they must put "collective need ahead of individual greed"—a
widespread sentiment in this era. To exemplify and encourage such
views, when the
After the failure of the
Beer Hall Putsch , Hitler, on the trial,
omitted his usual pre-putsch anti-Semitism and centered his defense on
his selfless devotion to the good of the Volk and the need for bold
action to save them. The Versailles settlement had betrayed Germany,
which they had tried to save. Thereafter, his speeches concentrated
on his boundless devotion to the Volk, though not entirely eliminating
the anti-Semitism. Even once in power, his immediate speeches spoke
of serving Germany. While the
Reichstag fire was used to justify
anti-Communist and anti-Semitic violence,
Devotion to this Volk is common in Nazi propaganda. An account, for instance, of a SA brawl depicted its leader as uncouth and therefore a simple, strong, and honest man of the people. Sturmabteilung speakers were used, in part, for the appeal of their folksy manner. One element of Horst Wessel 's life that was fictionalized out of the movie Hans Westmar was the willfully provoking of violent conflicts with Communists; Westmar preaches class reconciliation, and his death unifies students and workers. This changes was also propagandized to the Sturmabteilung, whose violent, rebellious and confrontational past had to be transformed to community organization to be useful in a Germany where Nazis held official power.
This unity was what justified Nazi propaganda; its pejorative connotation had sprung solely from its selfish use, and the Nazis' honorable goal, the unity of the German people, made it honorable for them.
It also justified the one-party state as all that was needed in a
society with a united will, where
In his pamphlet State, Volk and Movement,
Carl Schmitt praised the
Even Carl Jung 's "collective unconscious" was preferred to Freudian concepts because of its communal element.
COMMUNITY ALIENS AND NATIONAL COMRADES
National Socialist legal theory divided all Germans into two
categories, namely the Volksgenossen ("National Comrades") who
belonged to the
The modern German historian Detlev Peukert wrote the purpose of National Socialist social policy as:
“ The goal was an utopian Volksgemeinschaft, totally under police surveillance, in which any attempt at nonconformist behaviour, or even any hint or intention of such behaviour, would be visited with terror”.
Criminals, if deemed unable to be part of the people's community, were severely punished, even executed for crimes that did not provide for the death penalty, such as doubling the sentence the prosecution asked for when a defendant had not helped put out a fire, thus showing a disregard for the life of his “Volksgenossen" and community. In support of this, Peukert quoted two articles from the projected “Law for the Treatment of Community Aliens” of 1944, which though never implemented owing to bureaucratic quarrels showed the intentions of Nazi social policy:
Community Aliens (Gemeinschaftsfremde)
"Community Aliens" are such persons who:
1, Show themselves, in their personality or in the conduct of their life, and especially in light of any unusual deficiency of mind or character, unable to comply by their own efforts with the minimum requirements of the national community.
2.(a) owning to work-shyness or slovenliness, lead a worthless, unthrifty or disorderly life and are thereby a burden or danger to the community:
Display a habit of, or inclination towards beggary or vagrancy, idling at work, larceny, swindling or other less seriously offences, or engage in excessive drunkenness, or for any such reasons are in breach of their obligation to support themselves.
(b) through persistent ill-temper or quarrelsomeness disturb the peace of the community;
3. show themselves, in their personality or the conduct of their life, mentally disposed towards the commission of serious offences (community-hostile criminals ) and criminals by inclination ).
Police Measures Against Community Aliens
1. Community aliens should be subject towards police supervision.
2. If supervisory measures are insufficient, the police shall transfer the community aliens to the Gau (or Land) welfare authorities.
3. If, in the case of any community alien persons, a stricter degree of custody is required than is possible within the institutions of the Gau (or Land) welfare authorities, the police shall place them in a police camp."
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
In their desire to establish a total state, the Nazis understood the
importance of “selling” their ideology to the youth. To accomplish
Young girls were also a part of the
Daily life in
* Germany portal
* ^ Peter Fritzsche. Life and Death in the Third Reich. President
and Fellows of Harvard College, 2008. p. 38.
* ^ A B C D E Fritzsche, p. 39.
* ^ Francis Ludwig Carsten, Hermann Graml. The German resistance to
Hitler. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA: University of
California Press. p. 93
* ^ Ferdinand Tönnies, José Harris. Community and civil society.
Cambridge University Press, 2001 (first edition in 1887 as
Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft). Pp. xxxii-xxxiii.
* ^ Fritzsche. p. 41.
* ^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 18 ISBN 0-674-01172-4
* ^ fascism. (2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved
December 15, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:
* ^ A B C "The Volk"
* ^ Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and
Nazi Ideology p166 ISBN 0-396-06577-5
* ^ Diemut Majer, Non-Germans Under The Third Reich, p.369
* ^ Fritzsche, p. 44-45.
* ^ A B Fritzsche, p.45.
* ^ A B C Fritzsche, p. 46.
Richard Grunberger , The 12-year Reich: A Social History of
* ^ Claudia Koonz , The Nazi Conscience, p 6 ISBN 0-674-01172-4 * ^ Richard Overy, The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, p232 ISBN 0-393-02030-4 * ^ Richard Grunberger, The 12-Year Reich, p 19, ISBN 0-03-076435-1
Milton Mayer , They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45
p105 1995 University of Chicago Press Chicago
* ^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 21 ISBN 0-674-01172-4
Richard Overy , The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's
Russia, p3 ISBN 0-393-02030-4
* ^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 25 ISBN 0-674-01172-4
* ^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 31 ISBN 0-674-01172-4
* ^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 40 ISBN 0-674-01172-4
* ^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 96 ISBN 0-674-01172-4
* ^ Anthony Rhodes, Propaganda: The art of persuasion: World War
II, p16 1976, Chelsea House Publishers, New York
* ^ George Lachmann Mosse, Nazi culture: intellectual, cultural and
social life in the Third