Life in the Third Reich

Discussions on every day life in the Weimar Republic, pre-anschluss Austria, Third Reich and the occupied territories. Hosted by Vikki.
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Nimrod
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Life in the Third Reich

Post by Nimrod » 07 Nov 2003 03:13

Like many of us born well after the war ended, when we think back to Nazi rule it's like peaking into another world. I have played the tune American Dream (the one with the haunting piano) by Jakatta, while looking at old photos of Germany. One specifically in colour of the Brandenburg Gate at night with Nazi flags draped everywhere. It's very eerie in a way as looking at the photo it could have been taken from the eighties. I imagine couples walk along the main street arm-in-arm with the quietness of the night around them or perhaps the faint sound coming from a local bar.

Would it be fair to say that if we took out the anti-semitism, the nastiness of the Gestapo and Hitler's obsession with war, living in Nazi Germany would have been a nice place to live? And if that was the case would you have liked to have lived there during that period yourself?
Last edited by Nimrod on 07 Nov 2003 05:03, edited 1 time in total.

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ToddGreer
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Post by ToddGreer » 07 Nov 2003 04:10

Hmmm......I've never thought of it that way. I imagine it was a nice place to live if you don't figure in the Gestapo, the anti-semitism and the rampant state repression (but there's many authors who claim that "ordinary Germans" weren't put out by the Gestapo and as long as they watched what they said and who they said it to they were fine). Anyone else's thoughts on this?

This might be sad but if I could go back and live in any time period in history, I would go to the Third Reich and live there. I'm fascinated by it.

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Nimrod
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Post by Nimrod » 07 Nov 2003 05:02

I feel exactly the way as you do Todd as I'm fascinated by it as well, and in answer to my question, yes I too would of liked to have lived during that period just to see what it was like. I don't think there is any other period in history that has made so much of an impact on people than the Third Reich.

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Zapfenstreich
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Post by Zapfenstreich » 07 Nov 2003 09:07

I don't think I would have wanted to have anything to do with "Die Hitlerzeit". Not in any way, shape or form.

IMHO the ideal time to have lived in Germany was the 2nd Reich era between 1870 and 1914.

Deutsches Reich was a beautiful, united, prosperous country and was under a very stable form of government. Most important of all, the culture was still pure German, including art, music, theater and most important of all, the regional dress, customs and folk music. Believe me Lads and Lasses, that insane dictator with his ass sucking flunkies destroyed all that. Except for the very rural areas, Germany is just another European spot on the map.

No offense intended but that is sincerely how I feel.

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alf
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Post by alf » 07 Nov 2003 09:24

Would it be fair to say that if we took out the anti-semitism, the nastiness of the Gestapo and Hitler's obsession with war, living in Nazi Germany would have been a nice place to live?


Then it wouldnt have been the Third Reich, would it?

Go live and enjoy your own life, and not dream a selective fantasy about the past. The rose coloured glasses your looking through are red by the blood of millions.

I don't think there is any other period in history that has made so much of an impact on people than the Third Reich.


yes I agree, it killed so many of them. They never had the chance to live their lives, raise children or do something grand to save the world.

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Nimrod
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Post by Nimrod » 07 Nov 2003 11:02

alf, I understand your feelings there and I don't disagree with you. This is purely a hypothetical question if those awful events didn't occur.

Zapfenstreich

I don't think I would have wanted to have anything to do with "Die Hitlerzeit". Not in any way, shape or form.

IMHO the ideal time to have lived in Germany was the 2nd Reich era between 1870 and 1914.


Although I've never been to Germany, I have been fortunate to have lived and work in Austria for a while. It really does have some beautiful countryside and villages, and as I understood during my time there, it's very similar to that of rural Germany. And yes I would have liked to have lived during the 2nd Reich.

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ToddGreer
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Post by ToddGreer » 07 Nov 2003 18:08

Alright, Alf. No one on here is saying that the Third Reich was a good thing. It wasn't. And I don't think anyone is looking on the past in "rose-colored glasses" either. Yes, the Anti-semitism and Gestapo would have been horrible. But are we saying that during the Third Reich, that is ALL that Germany had to offer? I dont' think it was, and I was merely saying that it might have been a nice place to live for the ordinary German (yes, excluding Jews).

And according to your logic, I shouldn't want to go back in time to see the French Revolution (after all, a lot of innocents died), but you know what? If I could, I would. I would love to go back in time and see something like that.

G-man
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Post by G-man » 07 Nov 2003 20:39

It would have been a good time to live in if you'd held a high ranking position.
Perhaps not so great if you were just an everyday commoner

Seyfrid van Xanten
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Post by Seyfrid van Xanten » 08 Nov 2003 18:16

Hello,

when I hear strories from my father (75), it seems like another world than today.

F.e. while the war, he and his friends played with american dud fire-bombs. They took them, and hit it on a stone to make them blew up. After a while, the childrens were experts in every bombs. Their were special fire-bombs with a kind of grenade in it (explosive charge). With that bombs they went fishing on the see. :lol: its crazy

Imagine, if today a dud bomb get found, the whole area would be closed, the people get in panic, calling the special units of the fire-fighters and police... :lol:

Or every time when a fighter-aircraft crashed down in the near of the village, the children run to the aircraft to plunder them. They didn't take care about the death pilots, that was pretty normal. They took the ammunition, went to the wood to blow up the ammo in the camp fire. :lol:

There are so many other stories I could tell, but I don't want to bore you.

If anybody wants to know something special, you might ask me for something, then I could ask my father...

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Nimrod
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Post by Nimrod » 09 Nov 2003 01:58

I have heard accounts from people here in the UK who were young kids during the war. For them it was an adventure, as your Dad experienced Seyfrid although it sounded dangerous playing with bombs I'm glad nothing bad happened to him. And yes if you have any other stories please share them with us I always enjoy hearing first hand accounts.

I think there were good things achieved during the Third Reich. As Historians we should always try to look at the past from a neutral perspective what ever our feelings might be. I understand it is difficult sometimes especially when we try and see any positives under Nazism without appearing to support the regime and what it stood for. We are fascinated by it and that's why we are here so we can discuss all aspects of the regime without promoting it which is not what any of us intend to do.

If I had lived during the Third Reich I would have liked to have worked in the legal profession maybe as a lawyer. As G-man suggested someone in a high position would have enjoyed life better. In my spare time I would have sat on the green watching the marching bands.

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Dunkirchen1940
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Post by Dunkirchen1940 » 09 Nov 2003 03:53

IMHO the ideal time to have lived in Germany was the 2nd Reich era between 1870 and 1914.

Deutsches Reich was a beautiful, united, prosperous country and was under a very stable form of government. Most important of all, the culture was still pure German, including art, music, theater and most important of all, the regional dress, customs and folk music.

I completely agree. I would not have minded life under the Kaiser's.
And yes, culture was still very noticable, as seen in postcards.
For example, the pretty Großherzogin from the state of Mecklenburg in the regions traditional trachten, where my family came from.
Image

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Jeremy Chan
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Post by Jeremy Chan » 09 Nov 2003 06:54

Well it would've been hard being a mere civilian, so I'm guessing the life of the average German citizen of the time would've been mapped out from cradle to the grave? After finishing conscription, what would've the average German male or female have done? They'd joing one of the numerous party organisations, right? like the DAF and NSBO? What other organisations were there and what were their functions? Were private schools taken over by the party?

SLAAKMAN
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Post by SLAAKMAN » 09 Nov 2003 21:24

Life in Hitlers reich wouldve been like living in a minefield. Imagine being 20 years old in 1933 and falling in love with a beautiful 20 year old blond girl who is the perfect match for you. You spend all your free time together making plans and working to build a family. One year goes by and everything seems like its perfect when all of a sudden, at 3 am the Gestapo shows up and hauls you off to the police interogation room and gives you the usual treatment, beating the shit out of you, breaking your fingers and then start asking questions; how did you meet her? What is the nature of this relationship? Did you know she's a Halbjuden? Is she pregnant? The penalty for race mixing is very severe!
Get the picture? This is totalitarianism under Hitlers Germany. Fascinating to study I admit but dont get sentimental.

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ToddGreer
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Post by ToddGreer » 09 Nov 2003 23:45

I'm sure it had its positive sides. I stand by that.

nihil
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Post by nihil » 10 Nov 2003 01:12

Actually the time was quite good for the majority of the prople. The ones that the regime did not like, was the jews (the common enemy), the mentally and very physically ill, and the persons who did not work. Everybody else lived in a country who was recovering from many years of economic ruin, and that created social stability.

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