Was life in the third reich nice?

Discussions on every day life in the Weimar Republic, pre-anschluss Austria, Third Reich and the occupied territories. Hosted by Vikki.
history1
Banned
Posts: 4095
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 09:12
Location: Austria

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by history1 » 09 Aug 2020 23:51

TheSearchers wrote:
09 Aug 2020 15:47
[...] Others took a bit longer:

Do you mean that from the begin of WWII, Sept. 1st 1939 until 1941 the German forces had no casualties when you claim that in 1941 the first coffins with German soldiers were transported to Germany?
Don´t you know that soldiers where burried usualy in the area they died?
TheSearchers wrote:
09 Aug 2020 15:47
[...] the mood slowly but surely started to swing, at least for many of those actually concerned... (although there were still enough remaining fanatic in spite of their sons brought home like that).
I suggest you take a look into the database of the DÖW and learn at which time Nazi opponents were persecuted in Austria,
Or take a look when eg. the KL Dachau was built and political Nazi opponents and others imprisoned there already in 1933! That´s eight years before the mood slowly changed in 1941 as you claim.

User avatar
TheSearchers
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 08 Aug 2020 20:33
Location: Germany

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by TheSearchers » 10 Aug 2020 10:01

@history1
No, I did not mean to say that the German forces had no casualties between 1939-1941.
Yes, I know that opponents were persecuted from day 1 of the nazis seizing power onwards (and not just in AT).
------------------------------
Sarge3525 wrote:
28 Mar 2020 22:39
Germans of the period almost unanimously say that when the Nazis/Hitler came to power, things initially were good.
That is up until the war started. Then the sentiment is unanimously negative.
Well - it was from then (1939) onwards (at the latest) that more and more of them were exposed to death, pain and destruction themselves for a change at an increasing rate.

My point is that this is the whole point.

And since this is a rather wide psychological issue, I am convinced that things would go the same way again - in Germany or elsewhere - within the shortest time, as soon as another totalitarian regime managed to seize power.

"It is not people's consciousness that determines their being, but, conversely, their social being that determines their consciousness."
(Karl Marx)
"Food comes first, then morality"
(Bertolt Brecht)

Sejanus wrote:
05 Apr 2020 08:36
culminating in the T4 Program, beginning with children considered by the Nazis to be "useless eaters" and "life unworthy of life" in institutions.
Thank you for reminding of this program.

Modern eugenicists tend to ignore this bit, which caused at least some opposition indeed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aktion_T4#Opposition

Modern atheists may not like to hear it, but the catholic church was a last resort of at least some protest against this euthanasia program (= vs. the idea that it takes being useful to deserve humane treatment), although all it resulted in was that the nazis continued it more secretely.

Looking at the fact that the T4 program even preceded the shoa mass murders is an indicator that one can always predict the inner value turn of any society by the way it treats its weakest members: Starting with the unborn, continuing with the handicapped or otherwise "unwanted" and ending with the old and severely sick - the very first step always being public authority statements that these beings are not human like anybody else, seeking to change society's view on them, to increase acceptance for their not being treated as such.

Panzerfaust92 wrote:
08 Aug 2020 01:03
I highly suggest watching the short video titled Living in Hitler's Germany by Hans Schmidt (Leibstandarte SS) for an account of what life was like.

Its no longer available on YouTube but you can find links for it by googling the title of the video and his name. Enjoy.
Thank you for this information.

Found the video under https://archive.org/details/LivingInHit ... any_201809
and the text under http://der-fuehrer.org/bucher/english/L ... ermany.htm.

Especially what ex Waffen-SS member Hans Schmidt wrote in the end reveals how nazified he still was, when writing this:

"Certainly some minorities suffered: former parliamentary politicians – because they couldn’t play their political games; the Jews – because they lost their power over Germany; the gypsies – because during the war they were required to work; and crooked union bosses – because they lost their parasitical positions."

Let's get this clear:
Hans Schmidt is not mentioning a single word on what nazis were actually doing to the minorities he is relating to here. So in fact, he is subtly alleging that the main reason for these people's suffering in the middle of being registered, isolated, plundered, deported and murdered by their own government was playing "their" political games, having to work and so forth?

<<sigh>>
Not that (t)his approach to put the suffering of NS victims down in such a sneaky, even victim-blaming way astonished me any more. Most Germans of that time either faded things out and flatly denied having known about them in the first place, or they came up with unrealistic distortions like this...

Indeed it is hard to accept the fact that your 'religion' (here: nazidom) simply turned out to be evil at root. You'd need to put yourself into question to accept it. Battling your own identity to reinvent yourself like this takes a lot of courage - many people tend to rather commit suicide than taking this route.

But let's listen to Mr Schmidt again:
"To this day I believe that the happiness of the majority of a people is more important than the well-being of a few spoiled minorities."

That's collectivism at its worst, combined with the obvious stubborness of someone who was still fanatic enough to only see, what he wanted to perceive.

Let's get this clear:
So Schmidt believed that the pursuit of happiness for the majority of the German people (how practical that the NSDAP program excluded jews from this body in the first place...) was more important than mass crimes such as the shoah, the T4 euthanasia program and waging a world war that destroyed the entire European continent, next to taking more than 20 million Soviet people's lifes alone (the equivalent to roundabout 1/3 of the German people of that time)?

Now what could possibly be wrong with that picture, hm?

"That Hitler was loved by his people, there can be no question. Even a few week’s before the war’s end and his death, he was able to drive to the front and mingle among the combat soldiers with only minimum security. None of the soldiers had to unload their weapons before meeting with the Führer (as was required when President Bush met with American soldiers during the Gulf War)."

Apparently Mr Schmidt was not aware of the more than 40 attempts to assassinate AH:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... olf_Hitler

Furthermore, he "forgot" to mention the Führerbegleitkommando:
"The FBK accompanied Hitler on all his travels and was always present at the different Führerhauptquartiere (Führer Headquarters; FHQ) throughout World War II. When on duty, the FBK members were the only armed personnel Hitler allowed to be near him. The unit remained responsible for Hitler's personal protection until his suicide in Berlin on 30 April 1945."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS-Beglei ... es_Führers

Next to that, leaders harvesting a personality cult such as Kim Jong-un seem to enjoy similar "affection" - so what? Does that make him less of a tyrant or turn North Korea into a paradise? All this reminds me of is that final scene in "1984", where Winston finally realizes that "He loved Big Brother":
"In those four words, Orwell snaps readers out of any delusions of resistance, change, or revolution and slams them back into a chilling and inescapable status quo."
https://www.bustle.com/p/the-last-line- ... re-8560347
Last edited by TheSearchers on 10 Aug 2020 11:35, edited 22 times in total.
Kind regards,
TheSearchers

Please do not answer my posts immediately, I usually re-edit them within 24 hours. Thanks

history1
Banned
Posts: 4095
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 09:12
Location: Austria

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by history1 » 10 Aug 2020 19:16

TheSearchers wrote:
10 Aug 2020 10:01
[...]
Please do not answer my posts immediately, I usually re-edit them within 24 hours. Thanks
I´m active in this forum for e very long time, but I can´t remember a single member who did re-edit his/her posts dozens of times. Even when already several people posted responses. And to ask the members to wait at least 24 hours before they post a reply because you like to edit your posts instead is sure not okay and was never allowed in the forum.
How can you force other members to re-read / observate your posts from the past because you might have changed someting there.
Need forum members now to take screenshots from the posts here to recognise what has been changed in your comments?

User avatar
TheSearchers
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 08 Aug 2020 20:33
Location: Germany

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by TheSearchers » 10 Aug 2020 21:31

Oh come on. Nobody is "forced" into anything, unless bringing it on themselves. You are free to use the ignore option, if you don't like my approach.

With all other users apparently taking less time for their re-edits than me you will not be missing out much ignoring my posts - why are you making them so important to yourself?

Anyway, I do not feel inclined to make your reluctance to oversleep them once or twice my problem.

You are not god, you are not my father and you are not an admin, so: Take it or leave it.
Kind regards,
TheSearchers

Please do not answer my posts immediately, I usually re-edit them within 24 hours. Thanks

User avatar
TheSearchers
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 08 Aug 2020 20:33
Location: Germany

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by TheSearchers » 11 Aug 2020 09:36

Octotrooper wrote:
11 Dec 2019 20:43
I have heard and seen conflicting reports on how life was under nazi rule, was it terrible with the economy in ruin or was life going or even thriving? Please help, thanks in advance!
Just to get back ontopic:

The economy was not in ruin for everyone, not even in the Weimar years preceding the nazi seize of power. Some are still relating to them as the "golden 20ies" and actually, I remember statements of a (now dead) acquaintance that her parents were having the time of their life back then, whereas e.g. my parents said that life was just miserable in those says.

Then again, that acquaintance got relatively well through the NS years, too: when taking off from the Red Army and their Eastern whereabouts, her family was in a position to occupy an entire train waggon just for themselves and their stuff, bribing the train staff with a load of cognac.

Some of her family had been NSDAP members and the better I got to know her, the more I realised that she was holding revisionist views, to say the least. She was a type like Leni Riefenstahl, in her looks as well as in her (seemingly) histrionic way, especially when it came to attention-seeking. I preferred not to ask where all that stuff had come from ("Arisierung"? Forced labor?) and stopped seeing her at some point - for reasons which do not belong here.

I guess you will always come across conflicting accounts with questions on life as such, no matter which society you are relating to. It all depends on what really matters to the narrators and whether the respective system provided them with access to it or not: most people tend to be opportunists, simple as.

Btw., next to its primary topic, Ian Kershaw's biography on AH contains profoundly investigated insights on what life was like before, during and after 1933 for different parts of what was then German society. So here is just one out of several reasons to recommend this book - and the study of others of its kind - to cope with general questions about it. IMO single statements or even news articles will never reveal the different answers in all their potential diversity - even if the authors are not withholding them on purpose.

You can meet that guy in the poorest part of the NY Bronx who may never access proper health care or a top university, but will still be telling you with a proudly swollen chest that the US (his home country, yeah!) are the greatest place on Earth - looking at his freedom of speech alone - or you can meet someone who grew up in East Germany, now telling you in the most bitter tone of voice that he wants his old life back, because it was free of unemployment, open street criminality and mass immigration and that he doesn't give a damn on his right to public demonstrations, as long as politicians just ignore them anyway.

Some females with East German roots tend to stress that there was more and cheaper access to state care for their children than what is available in re-united Germany now: with the resulting impact on their ability to keep working after giving birth. Needless to say that the price for this was socialist indoctrination of the kids given into that kind of care.

Each of these people actually has a point and all of them are authentic. Yet, it is not the full thing.
Kind regards,
TheSearchers

Please do not answer my posts immediately, I usually re-edit them within 24 hours. Thanks

User avatar
sailorsam
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: 14 Feb 2021 23:10
Location: Merryland USA

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by sailorsam » 15 Feb 2021 00:00

Hitler &tc wanted Germany to be as self-sufficient as possible ('Autarky').
white bread and rolls were discouraged as 'decadent' due to excessive use of flour.
traditional whole-grain bread was championed.
one-pot stews ('eintopf') were encouraged to use cheaper cuts of meat.
Germans generally had sufficient food until partway through the war.
occupied territories were pillaged for food. Greece was especially hard hit, as they had to import grain before the war.

(source; 'Taste of War', Lizzie Collingham)
Saint Peter, let these men enter Heaven; they served their time in hell.

George L Gregory
Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: 13 Nov 2020 15:08
Location: Britain

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 15 Feb 2021 18:37

Absolutely not. In fact, not even between 1933-1939 would I described it as 'nice'. By 1939 there had been several decrees which infringed basic rights for every citizen of a country, thousands of people had been sent to concentration camps or killed, laws based on racism had been passed, etc. The Night of the Long Knives (1934), the Nuremberg Laws (1935) and the Night of the Broken Glass (1938) had all happened before the Germans invaded Poland and started WW2.

According to Albert Speer:
The shift in the mood of the population, the drooping morale which began to be felt throughout Germany in 1939, was evident in the necessity to organize cheering crowds where two years earlier Hitler had been able to count on spontaneity. What is more, he himself had meanwhile moved away from the admiring masses. He tended to be angry and impatient more often than in the past when, as still occasionally happened, a crowd on Wilhelmsplatz began clamoring for him to appear. Two years before he had often stepped out on the "historic balcony." Now he sometimes snapped at his adjutants when they came to him with the request that he show himself: "Stop bothering me with that!
Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, page 158.

How can anyone describe the Third Reich as "nice" when the Reichstag Fire Decree (Reichstagsbrandverordnung) took away the civil liberties of ordinary German citizens?

Also, what about the two decrees The Malicious Practices Act (Verordnung zur Abwehr heimtückischer Diskreditierung der nationalen Regierung) which was passed on 21 March 1933 and The Law against Treacherous Attacks on the State and Party and for the Protection of Party Uniforms" (Gesetz gegen heimtückische Angriffe auf Staat und Partei und zum Schutz der Parteiuniformen) which was passed on 20 December 1934? The former criminalised any criticism of the Third Reich and the prominent leaders and people who were deemed to be social outsiders were either sent to a concentration camp or killed. The latter criminalised abuse of the Nazi Party's badges and uniforms and any criticism of the Nazi government or the Nazi Party and severely restricted freedom of speech.

I think 'nice' is an adjective that is not best used to describe a regime which quickly established a totalitarian state and severely criminalised or killed off their alleged enemies/opponents. The regime divided citizens who had been neighbours for years and years, decades and decades, broke up communities, legalised racism, segregated people, killed people, etc.

Based on the ideas of prominent Nazis and Nazi ideology, the regime was only going to end one way and it did.

Someone may be able to cherry-pick a few 'good' points e.g. the Autobahns, the banning of vivisection, restoring German so-called national pride, ignoring the terms and restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, etc, but none of them outweighs what happened during the twelve years that the Third Reich existed.

User avatar
sailorsam
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: 14 Feb 2021 23:10
Location: Merryland USA

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by sailorsam » 15 Feb 2021 22:54

don't want to get into with anyone
but I get the impression the the average German in the 1930s was content. food and consumer goods were more available than in previous years. the inflation and chaos of the Weimar era were over. outside of political idealists or certain targeted groups, seems like the nazis left people alone. I make no claim to be an expert.

I was on another forum last year and a discussion question was presented; were people better off in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia? most people felt Germany.
Saint Peter, let these men enter Heaven; they served their time in hell.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7040
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 15 Feb 2021 23:34

Till the war, Germany was obviously a better place to live, even if because Germany was much wealthier than Russia. Personal freedom was greater in Germany than in the USSR. You could travel abroad, you could read foreign press, listen to foreign radio. Freedom of religion was a thing in Nazi Germany but not in the USSR.
The USSR was a genocidal state even in the late thirties, killing its citizens by hundreds of thousands.

George L Gregory
Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: 13 Nov 2020 15:08
Location: Britain

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 16 Feb 2021 00:13

wm wrote:
15 Feb 2021 23:34
Till the war, Germany was obviously a better place to live,
Well that depends on whom you ask. For someone considered to be racially pure enough (not Jewish, Gypsy, black, etc) then the illusion of the Nazi recovery of the economy seemed convincing. The so-called ‘good years’ were a cover up for the preparation of an eventual war.
even if because Germany was much wealthier than Russia. Personal freedom was greater in Germany than in the USSR. You could travel abroad, you could read foreign press, listen to foreign radio. Freedom of religion was a thing in Nazi Germany but not in the USSR.
Personal freedom was NOT “greater” in Germany. In both the USSR and the Third Reich, personal freedom was pretty much non-existent. For the lack of personal freedom in theThird Reich then read the text of the two decrees I mentioned in my last post; as the years went by the stricter the regime got when it came to censorship and outlawing things which infringed basic human rights.

People weren’t free to read foreign press or listen to foreign radio. The Nazis greatly censored what the Germans were able to watch or listen to every day.

Freedom of religion was not permitted. What about Judaism? What about the Church Struggle against Christianity?

Most organised religions weren’t outlawed in the USSR.
The USSR was a genocidal state even in the late thirties, killing its citizens by hundreds of thousands.
False analogy.

The Soviet Union had been in existence for 16-17 years by that time. The Third Reich only lasted 12 years and started to carry out genocide after only 6 years in existence.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7040
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2021 00:42

As late as 1938 a German Jew could have traveled to Palestine freely and freely could have returned to Nazi Germany convinced that life in Germany was better than in primitive and dusty Palestine. And yes it happened like that.
In the USSR a similar Jew would be tortured to death for even speaking to others about such plans.

George L Gregory
Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: 13 Nov 2020 15:08
Location: Britain

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 16 Feb 2021 09:52

wm wrote:
16 Feb 2021 00:42
As late as 1938 a German Jew could have traveled to Palestine freely and freely could have returned to Nazi Germany convinced that life in Germany was better than in primitive and dusty Palestine. And yes it happened like that.
As “late as 1938” Jews had been completely ostracised from German society and they were no longer citizens and by that date many Jews had had their property confiscated, burnt and many Jews had been killed by the Nazis.
In the USSR a similar Jew would be tortured to death for even speaking to others about such plans.
Provide some source for that claim.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7040
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2021 10:24

Each night Belov would punch Victor Herman's back three times on his right side, and then again on the left. He would pause, pacing himself by stopping to drink a beer or whisky, before starting up again with steady deliberation. Shortly after midnight, Belov would begin and he would continue until dawn.

On the first night Victor Herman managed. stay on his feet, but on the second night he fell, and every night thereafter. On the eleventh night, Belov pressed his fingertips across the length of Victor's back, in a macabre impersonation of a medical doctor asking his victim where it hurt. Victor remained silent, but when he flinched, Belov sensed he had found his mark.
After the fifteenth night, Victor began bleeding from his penis, his rectum, his nose and his eyes. He was returned to his cell each morning at dawn.
Eventually the cell 'elder' pleaded with him to talk - 'Save your life, American' - but Victor Herman stubbornly refused to confess to a crime he had not committed.

On the fifty-third night of his torture, he was told he would be released if he only signed a list of names. When Victor again refused, he was taken to a basement cell and beaten by a gang of men with clubs. The next morning he was coughing up clots of blood, and the following night he was beaten again and told he was going to be killed. Losing consciousness, Victor was woken by the sensation and smell of his leg being burned to bring him back round. On the fifty-fifth night, believing that he was about to die and knowing that he might never get the chance again, Victor Herman spat in Below's face. He woke up in the prison hospital.

Lying beside him in the hospital ward was a prisoner named Romanoff, who had also emigrated from Detroit to work in the Soviet Ford factory. Romanoff was in a terrible state but seemed oddly cheerful; he said he would soon be released and then find a way to return home to Detroit. When Victor asked how this was possible, Romanoff told him that he had signed a confession denouncing McCarthy, an engineer at the auto factory, as an American spy. The following night, Romanoff died in the hospital of internal injuries.

At this point, convinced that he too would be beaten to death, Victor Herman signed the confession placed before him. He was immediately returned to his crowded holding cell, where he recognised another American from the auto factory, a man named Janssen, lying prostrate on the concrete floor with blood bubbling from his mouth. A few hours later Janssen's body was removed from the cell.
The Forsaken: From the Great Depression to the Gulags by Tim Tzouliadis

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7040
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2021 12:02

The Ringelblum Archive
After April 1942, Warsaw, ghetto.
Author unknown, a testimony "Among the deportees from Germany"
the people are rather kind.png
319 - the people are really rather kind
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9827
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Feb 2021 14:36

Hi wm.

....and yet; https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/ ... -holocaust

Of the 214,000 Jews still in Germany at the outbreak of war, between 160,000 and 180,000 died at the hands of the Nazis. That is about 75-85%.

Cheers,

Sid.

Return to “Life in the Third Reich & Weimar Republic”