What Impact Did Nazism Have On The German Populati

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What impact did Nazism have on the German population? After coming into power in 1933 it became their aim to create a totalitarian state headed by Hitler, under which they could control the everyday lives of the German people. They hoped to achieve this through organisation and to discourage any form of thinking that was not part of the state approved ideology. The Nazis impacted on the German people by controlling key institutions such as the army, the education system, the church and employment. There is strong debate as to whether the Nazis provoked a social revolution in Germany and if they had a lasting impact on the lives of the German people. Modern historian Ian Kershaw would argue that “it seems clear that Nazism did not produce a ‘social revolution’ in Germany during the period of the Third Reich… it was… incapable of bringing about a complete and permanent social revolution.” However, Mark Roseman, another historian of modern Europe disagrees with Kershaw. Roseman states that “Recent work suggests that the Nazis were astonishingly successful at integrating heterogeneous social groups into the Volksgemeinschaft… it profoundly disrupted established perceptions, patterns of behaviour and allegiances.” The view that the Nazis did impact upon the German population to a relatively large extent is supported by the American social scientist and historian David Schoenbaum when he states that Hitler succeeded in changing the values of the German population. Therefore Nazism could be seen to have had a large impact on German daily life, however it was achieved in such a way through gradual change and keeping some aspects of ordinary life the same that many German lives were not drastically changed. In 1933 99% of the German population was Christian. Therefore the church held a lot of power and influence in Germany, which is shown through the complex and constantly
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