Education in the Third Reich: Race and History in Nazi Textbooks

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SUNY Press, 1985 - History - 217 pages
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In its determination to take absolute control, the Third Reich focused on the nation's youth, reserving for the schools the vital task of refashioning the German psyche. This book examines these propaganda efforts-one of the most radical and far-reaching experiments in educational history.

The book focuses on the manipulation of the German past, one of the primary means of state intervention to ensure the triumph of the racial idea in history. It shows how textbooks written by National Socialists equalled or exceeded the most imaginative fiction, with an itinerary that extended from Valhalla and the Germania of Tacitus to the Prussia of Frederick the Great, before mounting to the pinnacle represented by the Third Reich.

The primary source materials for this study consist of a broad, representative collection of history textbooks, primers, and books of readings containing historical instruction.
 

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Contents

National Socialism and the Modern Malaise
1
THE SECULAR STATE AND THE SEARCH FOR MEANING
8
National Socialism as a Metaphysical System
13
THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF THE GERMANIC IDEOLOGY
14
NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND THE METAPHYSICS OF HISTORY
20
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HITLERS EDUCATIONAL THOUGHT
24
The Apocalyptic Function of History in the National Socialist Schools
34
THE ORGANIZATION AND DESIGN OF THE TEXTBOOKS
35
NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND YOUTH
103
THE IMAGE AND EDUCATION OF THE GERMAN FEMALE
105
Educating for Membership in the Mystical Community The Volksgemeinschaft
116
THE COMMUNITY OF BLOOD
117
THE MILITARIZED SOCIETY
126
Combating the UnGerman
138
THE EDUCATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE OF NAZI RACIALISM
139
MARXISM
149

THE HEIGHTENED TEMPO OF THE TEXTBOOKS
40
THE HAPPY ACCIDENT OF NATURE
47
THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY
51
THE HERO IN HISTORY
57
NATURE STRUGGLE AND HISTORY
64
The Secular Religious Character of National Socialist History
75
THE HISTORY TEXTBOOK AS A RECORD OF DIVINE REVELATION
77
Education for Regeneration The New Man and the New Woman
93
THE SCHOOL AND THE NEW MAN
95
CHRISTIANITY
153
ETHNOCENTRISM AND GERMAN HISTORY
163
RATIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY
170
Conclusion
177
Notes
185
Selected Bibliography
205
Index
213
Copyright

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About the author (1985)

Gilmer W. Blackburn is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of History at Gardner-Webb College.

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