Why did the Nazis control education?

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4.1e USHMM Trust no fox in the green meadow and no Jew on his oath, AS children' book.bmp

The Nazis published a whole range of new antisemitic school textbooks. This is the cover of the children's book: 'Trust no fox in the green meadow and no Jew on his oath'


A Nazi prayer said before school meals

“Fuehrer, my Fuehrer given me by God,
Protect and preserve my life for long.
You rescued Germany from its deepest need.
I thank you for my daily bread.
Stay for a long time with me, leave me not.
Fuehrer, my Fuehrer, my faith, my light
Hail my Fuehrer.”

From kindergarten to university

Controlling education was a way of taking over the minds of children from kindergarten to university. Education was a major tool by which the Nazis’ racial policies were promoted and implemented (see above).

By 1935, in order to teach in Germany you had to be a member of the Nazi Party and implement Nazi curriculum in accordance with Nazi ideas and values. Obviously, all Jewish teachers were dismissed, as were teachers who didn’t support the Nazi Party’s ideals.

The atmosphere within the classroom was very different from the one students had known previously. The teacher would enter the classroom and welcome the group with a ‘Hitler salute’, shouting 'Heil Hitler!'. Students would have to respond in the same manner, often eight times each day – at the start and end of the day, as well as the beginning and end of each lesson.


Hitler and the Nazis wanted all young Aryans to be physically fit and perfectly obedient. To facilitate this, fifteen per cent of school time was given over to physical education lessons.

In Nazi Germany education was indoctrination. A core curriculum was introduced, so that the Nazis could monitor, at all times, what was being taught in schools. All textbooks were re-written and had to be passed by the Nazi Party. The Nazi national curriculum included PE, German history, geography, biology and maths (see above).