To What Extent Did the Nazis Establish a Volksgemeinschaft? Essay

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In order to successfully address this question, one must first consider the definition of the very nebulous term Volksgemeinschaft. It was an expression used to depict the harmonious, classless national community ideal made up of the Herrenvolk, or master race. As a term used polemically by the Nazis to engender a form of "identity politics" and therefore oppose any notion of politics based on universal and objective class interests that it aimed to transcend, it helped them gain collective support from an already economically, psychologically and politically distraught post-war nation. The Volksgemeinschaft ideal was one of the key elements of Nazi ideology and was used to legitimate much of the regime's social policy whilst also…show more content…
To be more precise, people generally accepted National Socialism as a more beneficent political way rather than zealously rejoiced in its ideology. The revival of the economy in conjunction with Hitler's diplomatic success contributed greatly to the German worker's acceptance or at least tolerance of the regime. In material terms though, the effects varied considerably from one class to another. The propagated classless society ideal therefore can be determined as a myth especially when aligned with the Hitler's foreign policy interests where big businesses with greater economies of scale and productive efficiency had to take precedence. In consequence the Mittelstand's position, which was promised in the 1932 election to benefit under the Nazi government, continued to weaken owing to the harsh commercial realities of the 1930s. Nazi preference for big business whose support was required for rearmament simply perpetuated this trend of economic decline which went back to the beginnings of Germany's industrialisation. In 1933 20% of the owners of Mittelstand businesses were under 30 years old and 40% over 60. By 1939 the corresponding figures were 10% and 19%. They were squeezed out of the economic community which by no means was classless or a reversion back to "blood and soil." For the industrial working

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