Duitse Arbeidsfront

Duitse Arbeidsfront

Adolf Hitler het 1 Mei 1933 as 'n nasionale vakansiedag uitgeroep en gereël om dit te vier soos dit nog nooit voorheen gevier is nie. Vakbondleiers is uit alle dele van Duitsland na Berlyn gevlieg. Joseph Goebbels het die grootste massademonstrasie gehou wat Duitsland nog ooit gesien het. Hitler het aan die afgevaardigdes van die werkers gesê: 'U sal sien hoe onwaar en onregverdig die stelling is dat die rewolusie teen die Duitse werkers gerig is.' Later die dag het Hitler aan 'n vergadering van meer as 100,000 werkers gesê dat 'binnekort weer 'n herstel van sosiale vrede in die wêreld van arbeid' sou begin. (1)

Die volgende dag beveel Hitler die Sturm Abteilung (SA) om die vakbondbeweging te vernietig. Hul hoofkwartier in die hele land is beset, vakbondfondse is gekonfiskeer, die vakbonde is ontbind en die leiers is gearresteer. Groot getalle is na konsentrasiekampe gestuur. Binne 'n paar dae was 169 verskillende vakbonde onder Nazi -beheer. (2)

Hitler het Robert Ley die taak gegee om die Duitse Arbeidsfront (DAF) te vorm. Ley het in sy eerste proklamasie gesê: "Werkers! Julle instellings is heilig vir ons Nasionaal -Sosialiste. Ek is self 'n arm boerseun en verstaan ​​armoede ... ek ken die uitbuiting van anonieme kapitalisme. Werkers! Ek sweer julle, ons sal nie net alles wat bestaan, behou nie, maar ons sal die beskerming en die regte van die werkers nog verder opbou. " (3)

Drie weke later besluit Hitler 'n wet wat 'n einde maak aan kollektiewe bedinging en bepaal dat voortaan 'arbeidstrustees', wat deur hom aangestel is, 'arbeidskontrakte' sal reguleer en 'arbeidsvrede' sal handhaaf. Aangesien die besluite van die trustees wetlik bindend sou wees, het die wet in werklikheid 'n verbod op stakings gemaak. Ley belowe "om absolute leierskap te herstel aan die natuurlike leier van 'n fabriek - dit wil sê die werkgewer ... Slegs die werkgewer kan besluit." (4)

Die Duitse Arbeidsfront was die enigste vakbondorganisasie wat in die Derde Ryk toegelaat is en het meer as 20 miljoen lede gehad. Ley het twaalf staatsamptenare aangestel wie se taak dit was om lone, arbeidsvoorwaardes en arbeidskontrakte in elk van hul onderskeie distrikte te reguleer en om vrede tussen werkers en werkgewers te handhaaf. (5) Die DAF was "volhardend en werkers het nie meer 'n stem in die bestuur nie". (6)

Die uitslag van die verkiesing tot werksrade dui daarop dat die verteenwoordigers van die Arbeidsfront nie gewild was onder die Duitse arbeidsmag nie. Gevolglik is geen verdere verkiesings na 1935 gehou nie. Sommige werkers het die fascisme weerstaan ​​en in sommige sektore, soos metaal- en houtwerkers, het spoorwegmanne en seevaarders indrukwekkende onwettige netwerke onderhou. (7)

Die Duitse Arbeidsfront het die werkers van enige bedingingsmeganisme ontneem. Die werkgewer kon, met die steun van die Arbeidsfront, besluit oor die bedrag wat die arbeidsmag betaal is. 'N Loonstop is in 1933 uitgevaardig en is deur die Arbeidsfront toegepas gedurende die tydperk wat die Nazi's aan bewind was, ondanks stygende lewenskoste. "Die Arbeidsfront het 'n reuse -staatsgevangenis geword waaruit werkers geen uitweg kon kry nie." (8)

Daar was min weerstand teen die beleid van die Arbeidsfront. In Junie 1936 was daar 'n stilstand van sewentien minute by Rüsselsheim Opel Works deur 262 werkers wat protesteer teen 'n loonverlaging wat veroorsaak word deur 'n tekort aan grondstowwe. Die leiers is onmiddellik in hegtenis geneem en meer as 40 van die mans is op die swartlys geplaas. (9) Dit blyk dat hierdie taktiek werk. In 1928 is 'n totaal van 20 339 000 dae verlore weens stakings. Na die stigting van die Arbeidsfront was daar geen aanvalle in Nazi -Duitsland nie.

In 1935 beweer Robert Ley dat Duitsland die eerste land in Europa was wat die klassestryd kon oorkom. (10) Alhoewel miljoene meer werk het, het die aandeel van alle Duitse werkers in die nasionale inkomste gedaal van 56,9% in die depressiejaar van 1932 tot 53,6% in die bloeityd van 1938. Terselfdertyd het die inkomste uit kapitaal en besigheid gestyg vanaf 17,4% van die nasionale inkomste vir 26,6%.

William L. Shirer, die skrywer van Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) verklaar: "Al die propagandiste in die Derde Ryk, van Hitler af, was gewoond om in hul openbare toesprake teen die bourgeois en die kapitalis te kla en hul solidariteit met die werker te verkondig. Maar ... die amptelike statistieke ... onthul dat die baie kwaadwillige kapitaliste, nie die werkers nie, die meeste baat gevind het by die Nazi -beleid. " (11)

Robert Ley het aan die werkers by die Siemens -fabriek in Berlyn gesê: "Ons is almal arbeidersoldate, onder wie sommige bevele en die ander gehoorsaam. Gehoorsaamheid en verantwoordelikheid moet weer onder ons tel ... Ons kan nie almal op die kaptein wees nie brug, want dan is daar niemand om die seile op te lig en aan die toue te trek nie. Nee, ons kan dit nie almal doen nie, ons moet die feit begryp. " (12)

Een historikus het beweer dat die Arbeidsfront 'die korrupste van al die belangrikste instellings van die Derde Ryk' was. (13) In die vroeë maande van 1935 het Duitse koerante berig oor meer as honderd gevalle van wanbesteding van fondse waarby amptenare van die Winterhulp betrokke was, een van die skemas wat deur die Arbeidsfront bedryf is. Dit het tot soveel gerugte en bespiegelinge gelei dat die Arbeidsfront besluit het om deur-tot-deur-insameling van intekeninge te staak ten gunste van aftrekkings van lone. (14)

Die Arbeidsfront het uiteindelik 25,3 miljoen lede gehad. Elke werker het 1,5 persent van hul lone afgetrek om die koste te dek. (15) Teen 1937 beloop die jaarlikse inkomste uit ledegeld aan die Arbeidsfront $ 160,000,000. Hoe hierdie geld bestee is, het 'n geheim gebly, aangesien Ley nooit die rekeninge van die organisasie gepubliseer het nie. Daar word geglo dat die instelling oop is vir korrupsie. Daar word ook beweer dat Ley geld gesteel het wat by voormalige vakbonde gekonfiskeer is.

Ley is goed beloon vir sy rol in die beweging. As hoof van die Arbeidsfront het hy 'n salaris van 4 000 Reichsmarks gekry. Sy inkomste is verhoog met 2,000 Reichsmarks as Reich Organization Leader van die Party, 700 Reichsmarks as Reichstag -adjunk en 400 Reichsmarks as 'n Pruisiese staatsraadslid. Hy het ook tantieme ontvang van boeke en pamflette wat amptenare van die Arbeidsfront aangemoedig is om in grootmaat te koop vir verspreiding aan die lede.

Volgens Richard Evans, die skrywer van Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005), "Ley ... het 'n hele reeks groot villa's gekoop in die mees modieuse distrikte van die Duitse dorpe en stede. Die bedryfskoste, wat in sy villa in die Grunewald van Berlyn 'n kok, twee kindermeisies, 'n bediende, 'n tuinier ingesluit het en 'n huishoudster, is tot 1938 deur die Arbeidsfront ontmoet, en selfs daarna betaal hy alle vermaaklikheidskoste van Ley. Hy was dol oor duur motors en gee twee vir sy tweede vrou as geskenke. vir persoonlike gebruik. Hy het skilderye en meubels vir sy huise versamel. " (16)

Terwyl hy in die tronk in Adolf was, het Hitler baie boeke gelees. Die meeste hiervan handel oor die Duitse geskiedenis en politieke filosofie. Later sou hy sy betowering in die gevangenis beskryf as '' gratis onderwys op die staat se koste '. Een skrywer wat Hitler tydens die gevangenis beïnvloed het, was Henry Ford se outobiografie, My lewe en werk (1922). Dit is deur Curt en Marguerite Thesing in Duits vertaal. Dit was een van 'n klein versameling boeke wat ná sy dood in die Nazi -hoofkwartier in sy kantoor gevind is. (17)

Hitler lees ook 'n artikel getiteld die Motorisering van Duitsland. Dit was gedurende hierdie tyd dat Hitler die idee ontwikkel het dat hy verantwoordelik sou wees vir die Duitse model T. Volgens Richard Evans, die skrywer van Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005), "aan die begin van die dertigerjare het hy ruwe sketse geteken van 'n klein gesinsvoertuig wat vir minder as 'n duisend Reichsmarks sou verkoop en dus binne bereik van die oorgrote meerderheid van die bevolking sou wees". (18)

Kort nadat hy in 1933 aan die bewind gekom het, kondig Adolf Hitler aan dat die "redding van die Duitse werker in 'n enorme en allesomvattende aanval op werkloosheid". (19) Destyds was ses miljoen mense as werkloos geregistreer en drie miljoen meer het heeltemal uit die werkstatistieke verdwyn, baie van hulle vroue. In 1929 was meer as 20 miljoen aan die werk, teen die tyd dat Hitler die amp aangeneem het, het dit tot 11,5 miljoen gedaal. (20)

Hitler was bewus daarvan dat dit noodsaaklik is om die aantal werkloses te verminder om die mag te behou. Een van sy eerste besluite was om die bou van nuwe snelweë onder leiding van Fritz Todt te beveel. Sy doel was 'n netwerk van 7 300 myl snelweë met vier bane. Todt het bereken dat die bou van die snelweë 600 000 werkgeleenthede sal bied. Teen Junie 1935 werk meer as 125 000 mans aan die bou van die snelweg. Hitler het aangekondig dat hierdie padbou -prestasie ''n overture tot vrede' was, maar ook onderneem is om die vinnige beweging van troepe in oorlog toe te laat. Hitler was veral geïnteresseerd in oos-wes snelweë om te voldoen aan die eise van 'n tweefrontoorlog. (21)

Hitler wou hierdie snelweë ook vul met Duitse motorvoertuie. Destyds was daar slegs een motor vir elke vyftig persone (vergeleke met een vir elke vyf in Amerika). Duitse mense moes 'n fiets of openbare vervoer gebruik om daaroor te kom. Hitler het leiers in die private industrie genader en geëis dat hulle 'n motor vir ongeveer $ 396 vervaardig (dit was die soort prys wat betaal word vir goedkoop motors in Amerika). Hulle het gesê dit is onmoontlik en daarom besluit Hitler dat hulle deur die staat vervaardig moet word. (22)

In 1935 kondig Adolf Hitler aan dat die regering planne het om 'n "People's Car" (Volkswagen) te vervaardig. Hitler het sy tekeninge van sy 'kewermotor' aan Ferdinand Porsche gegee, 'n man wat bekend geword het vir die ontwerp van renmotors. Porsche se prototipe -ontwerp was egter eers aan die einde van 1937 gereed. (23)

Op aandrang van Hitler is die motor se produksie befonds deur die Duitse Arbeidsfront as deel van die Strength Through Joy -skema. Robert Ley, die leier van die beweging, moes 50 miljoen mark aan kapitaal voorsien om die motor te vervaardig. Op 2 Augustus 1938 kondig Ley aan dat: "'n Volkswagen vir elke Duitser - laat dit ons doel wees. Dit is wat ons wil bereik." Hy het ook besonderhede gegee oor hoe werkers hierdie nuwe motor kan bekom. "Ek verklaar hiermee die voorwaardes waaronder elke werkende persoon 'n motor kan bekom. (I) Elke Duitser kan, sonder onderskeid tussen klas, beroep of eiendom, die koper van 'n Volkswagen word. (Ii) Die minimum weeklikse betaling, versekering ingesluit , sal 5 punte wees. Gereelde betaling van hierdie bedrag sal na 'n tydperk wat nog bepaal moet word, die verkryging van 'n Volkswagen waarborg. Die presiese tydperk sal by die aanvang van die produksie bepaal word. " (24)

In teenstelling met die algemene huurkooppraktyk, was die skema slegs beskikbaar vir aflewering na betaling van die laaste paaiement. William L. Shirer, die skrywer van Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) skryf: 'Die vindingryke plan van dr Ley was dat die werkers self die kapitaal moet voorsien deur 'n' betaal-voor-kry-dit-afbetalingsplan '-vyf punte per week, of as 'n werker het gedink hy kan dit bekostig, tien of vyftien punte per week. Toe 750 punte inbetaal is, het die koper 'n bestelnommer ontvang wat hom op 'n motor geregtig maak. " (25)

'N Groot advertensieveldtog is van stapel gestuur om werkers te oorreed om 'n deel van hul lone opsy te sit om vir een te spaar, met die slagspreuk "'n motor vir almal". Dit was 'n groot sukses en meer as 330 000 werkers het aansoek gedoen om 'n Volkswagen -motor te koop. In 1938 is 'n fabriek by Fallersleben gebou om dit te vervaardig. (26)

Een Duitser het gesê: "Vir 'n groot aantal Duitsers is die aankondiging van die People's Car 'n groot en blye verrassing .... Die motor was lankal 'n gespreksonderwerp in alle dele van die bevolking in Duitsland. Almal ander dringende probleme, hetsy binne die binnelandse of buitelandse beleid, word 'n rukkie op die agtergrond geskuif. Die grys Duitse alledaagse sak onder die indruk onder die indruk van hierdie musiek van die toekoms. word gesien in Duitsland, kom menigtes rondom hulle bymekaar. Die politikus wat 'n motor vir almal beloof, is die man van die massa as die massas sy beloftes glo. En wat die Strength-Through-Joy-motor betref, glo die Duitse volk wel in Hitler se beloftes. ” (27)

Die eerste voltooide Volkswagen -motors is op die hoogtepunt van die Sudetenland -krisis in Oktober 1938 in München en Wene uitgestal. (28) 'n Ander een is op 17 Februarie 1939 op die Internasionale Motorskou in Berlyn aan Adolf Hitler aangebied. Hitler het dit aan sy vriendin gegee Eva Braun as verjaarsdaggeskenk. Dit het bekend geword as die 'kewer' van die afgeronde vorm wat Hitler dit in sy oorspronklike ontwerp gegee het. (29)

Kort daarna het die Volkswagen -fabriek by Fallersleben opgehou om motors te vervaardig. In plaas daarvan het dit gegaan oor die vervaardiging van goedere wat deur die weermag benodig sou word in die binnekort van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Nie een motor is vervaardig vir die 330 000 werkers wat hul geld aan die Duitse Arbeidsfront inbetaal het nie. (30)

Tydens die oorlog het die Volkswagen -fabriek die Kübelwagen en die amfibiese Schwimmwagen vervaardig. Sommige van die arbeidsmag kom uit die Arbeitsdorf -kamp. Die maatskappy het later erken dat dit tydens die oorlogspoging 15 000 slawe gebruik het. Duitse historici het beraam dat 80% van Volkswagen se arbeidsmag in oorlogstyd deur konsentrasiekampe voorsien is. (31)

Ten spyte van sy geteisterde lewe, het die sakeman goeie winste behaal. Die sakeman is ook opgewonde oor die manier waarop die werkers onder Hitler op hul plek gesit is. Daar was nie meer onredelike looneise nie. Lone is eintlik 'n bietjie verlaag ondanks 'n styging in lewenskoste met 25 persent. En bowenal was daar geen duur stakings nie. Trouens, daar was glad nie stakings nie. Die Wet op regulering van nasionale arbeid van 20 Januarie 1934, bekend as die Handves van Arbeid, het die werker in sy plek geplaas en die werkgewer tot sy ou posisie van absolute meester verhef - natuurlik onderhewig aan inmenging deur die almagtige Staat .

Ek haat die behandeling van die Jode. Ek dink dit is 'n slegte kant van die beweging, en ek sal niks daarmee te doen hê nie. Ek het nie by die party aangesluit om sulke dinge te doen nie. Ek het by die party aangesluit omdat ek gedink het en nog steeds dink dat Hitler die grootste Christelike werk vir vyf en twintig jaar gedoen het. Ek het sewe miljoen mans in die strate sien vrot - dikwels was ek ook daar, en dit lyk asof niemand, selfs nie die Kerke nie, omgee dat dit 'n goddelose ding is dat kinders van God so moet vrot. Toe kom Hitler en hy haal al die mans van die strate af en gee hulle ten minste vir eers gesondheid en veiligheid en werk. Was dit nie 'n Christelike daad nie?

Drie jaar gelede het Hitler sy vooraanstaande motoringenieurs beveel om 'n klein goedkoop motor te ontwerp wat geskik is vir lede van die Arbeidsfront.

Die hoofrol in die vervaardiging van 'n besonder veeleisende ontwerp is gespeel deur Herr Porsche, wat verantwoordelik was vir 'n paar van die beste renmotors wat in Duitsland gebou is. 'N Enorme fabriek word met die hoogste spoed deur duisende werkers opgerig, en die vervaardiging sal hierdie jaar begin, hoewel dit selfs onseker is of daar 'n groot aantal motors binne twaalf maande afgelewer sal word.

Aangesien die reële lone in Duitsland nog steeds laag is, is 'n plan om privaat motors aan alle lede van die Arbeidsfront te voorsien beslis, maar as die Duitse persberigte betroubaar is, is die plan ten minste uitvoerbaar, want daar word gesê dat meer as 200 000 motors is reeds bestel. Die finansies van die totalitêre state is steeds besig om ekonome te verwar, en geen Britse owerheid het daarin geslaag om die £ s op te los nie. d. van hierdie ambisieuse onderneming. Dit is natuurlik voor die hand liggend dat as 'n diktator wat gereeld of voortdurend groot opofferings van sy onderdane eis, hulle tevrede wil stel, hy nie meer belowend kan wees as om 'n motor vir elke gesin te voorsien nie, selfs al sou die plan dit doen het 'n boemerang -effek tydens oorlog, wanneer alle brandstof deur die lugmag en 'n gemeganiseerde weermag opgeneem sou word.

Om ontevredenheid te vermy, het Hitler 'n nuwe idee bedink. Elke Duitser sal sy motor besit. Hy het die bedryf gevra om 'n gewilde motormodel op te stel wat teen so 'n lae prys gebou moet word dat miljoene dit kan koop. Daar is die afgelope vyf jaar oor die Volkswagen (People's Car) gepraat en nog nooit op die mark gesien nie. 'Hierdie motors sal vir die nuwe snelweë gebou word', het die party -propagandiste gesê; ''n Hele gesin kan 100 kilometer per uur in een daarvan ry.' Die partyleiers sê dat die snelweë vir die People's Car gebou is. Maar die People's Car is een van die bisarste idees wat die Nazi's ooit gehad het. Duitsland is nie die Verenigde State nie. Lone is laag. Petrol is duur. Duitse werkers het nooit daarvan gedroom om 'n motor te koop nie. Hulle kan nie die onderhoud bekostig nie; vir hulle is dit 'n luukse.

Dr Ley, die stotterende dronkaard wat die hoof van die Duitse Arbeidsfront is. Hy beheer die vier tot vyfhonderd miljoen mark wat die Duitse werkers elke jaar inbetaal as bedrae aan die Arbeidsfront. Ek sê nie dat hy al hierdie geld in sy eie sak steek nie. Maar die figuur draai beslis sy kop.

Hy het 'n motorfabriek laat bou vir die vervaardiging van die People's Car. By hierdie geleentheid het hy 'n splinternuwe vorm van dapperheid uitgevind. Die toekomstige kopers van die People's Car is uitgenooi om dit vooraf te koop deur vooraf aflewering te betaal. Dit is die omgekeerde van die kredietpaaiementstelsel. Die stelsel toon genialiteit. Ley het ongeveer honderd miljoen punte in die sak gesteek toe die oorlog gekom het omdat die People's Car -fabriek nou tenks en motorfietse vir die weermag moes vervaardig.

Ons eis van onsself diens tot die einde toe,

Selfs as daar geen oë op ons is nie. Ons weet dat ons ons vaderland moet liefhê

Meer as ons eie lewe.

Ons belowe dat niemand ons in lojaliteit sal oortref nie,

Dat ons lewe 'n groot diens vir Duitsland sal wees.

Dus bid ons in hierdie plegtige uur om seën oor die eed wat ons aflê,

Ons dank u, Führer, dat ons u nou gesien het,

Beskou u ons as u eie skepping?

Mag ons harte ooit klop met u hart se polse,

Ons lewens vind inspirasie in u liefde,

Kyk hier na ons! U Duitsland is ons!

(Bron 6) Dae verloor in stakings en werkloosheid in Duitsland
Datum

Dae verlore in stakings (in duisende)

% van die werkers wat as werkloos geregistreer is

1927

6,144

8.8

1928

20,339

8.4

1929

4,251

13.1

1930

4,029

15.3

19311,89023.3
19321,13030.1
19339626.3
193414.9
193511.6
19368.3
1937

4.6

Ek haat die behandeling van die Jode. Ek het sewe miljoen mans in die strate sien vrot - dikwels was ek ook daar, en dit lyk asof niemand, selfs nie die Kerke nie, omgee dat dit 'n goddelose ding is dat kinders van God so moet laat vrot. .. Was dit nie 'n Christelike daad nie? Omdat ek 'n Katoliek is, het ek gesê: 'Ek sal by die party aansluit en ek sal alles in my vermoë doen om 'n beweging te help wat weier om die jongmens van hierdie nasie te laat mors.'

Hitler se Volkswagen (The People's Car) (Antwoordkommentaar)

Adolf Hitler se vroeë lewe (antwoordkommentaar)

Die sluipmoord op Reinhard Heydrich (antwoordkommentaar)

Heinrich Himmler en die SS (Antwoordkommentaar)

Die laaste dae van Adolf Hitler (antwoordkommentaar)

Vakbonde in Nazi -Duitsland (antwoordkommentaar)

(1) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsy 252

(2) Louis L. Snyder, Ensiklopedie van die Derde Ryk (1998) bladsy 64

(3) Robert Ley, proklamasie (Mei 1933)

(4) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsye 253-254

(5) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 460

(6) Martin Kitchen, Die Derde Ryk (2004) bladsy 138

(7) Michael Burleigh, Die Derde Ryk: 'n Nuwe Geskiedenis (2001) bladsy 675

(8) Louis L. Snyder, Ensiklopedie van die Derde Ryk (1998) bladsy 209

(9) Richard Grunberger, 'N Sosiale geskiedenis van die Derde Ryk (1971) bladsy 257

(10) Robert Ley, toespraak in Berlyn (1 November 1933)

(11) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsye 329

(12) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 462

(13) Richard Grunberger, 'N Sosiale geskiedenis van die Derde Ryk (1971) bladsye 132-133

(14) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsy 331

(15) Martin Kitchen, Die Derde Ryk (2004) bladsy 138

(16) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 463

(17) Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford en die Jode (2001) bladsy 182

(18) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 327

(19) Adolf Hitler, radio -uitsending (1 Februarie 1933)

(20) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 327

(21) Louis L. Snyder, Ensiklopedie van die Derde Ryk (1998) bladsy 284

(22) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsye 330-331

(23) James Taylor en Warren Shaw, Woordeboek van die Derde Ryk (1987) bladsy 297

(24) Robert Ley, verklaring (2 Augustus 1938)

(25) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsy 332

(26) James Taylor en Warren Shaw, Woordeboek van die Derde Ryk (1987) bladsy 297

(27) 'n Verslag deur 'n geheime agent wat vir die Sosiaal -Demokrate Party werk (April 1939)

(28) Richard Grunberger, 'N Sosiale geskiedenis van die Derde Ryk (1971) bladsy 48

(29) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 327

(30) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsye 330-331

(31) Die New York Times (13 Junie 1998)


Nazi -propaganda

Hierdie plakkaat adverteer die voordele van besparing vir 'u eie KdF -motor'. 'KdF' verwys na die Kraft durch Freude ('Strength through Joy') organisasie, en die motor is die Volkswagen.

In Mei 1933 is die meeste vakbonde vervang deur die Deutsche Arbeitsfront ('Duitse Arbeidsfront'), oftewel DAF, en stakings is verbied. Om die steun van die werkersklas te wen, het die Arbeidsfront twee nuwe organisasies gestig: Schönheit der Arbeit ('Beauty of Labor') en Kraft durch Freude ('Krag deur vreugde'), of KdF. Beide kan gesien word as 'n poging om die status van werkers en hul werksomstandighede te verbeter, as 'n plaasvervanger vir loonverhogings.

Die amptelike filosofie van die Arbeidsfront was om ontspanning te beperk tot slegs hulpverlening, alhoewel hy verkies om te konsentreer op die prestasies van organisasies soos KdF, en werkers die vooruitsig te gee om een ​​van die nuwe 'mense se motors' op die plakkaat te besit.

Soortgelyke plakkate het werkers aangespoor om: 'Spaar vyf punte per week en kry jou eie motor.' Werkers het entoesiasties gereageer en miljoene punte aan die spaarplan betaal, maar hulle het geen motors gekry nie.


Die Duitse Arbeidsfront (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF) onder leiding van Reichsleiter, dr. Robert Ley, is onmiddellik gestig nadat die Nazi -party in 1933 aan die bewind gekom het. Lidmaatskap is verbied en besittings en geld is gekonfiskeer. Werkers was verplig om by die nuwe DAF aan te sluit onder 'n nuwe stel reëls en ongeveer 1,5% van hul maandelikse lone as vergoeding te betaal. Onder Nasionaal -Sosialisme kan werkgewers meer van hul werkers eis. In ruil daarvoor het die werkers groter werksekerheid en verskeie programme vir sosiale sekerheid gekry. Die DAF het daarna gestreef om kapitalisme, liberalisme, arbeidsonrus en stakings te beheer wat die nasionale sosialistiese staat kan beskadig.

Teoreties bestaan ​​die DAF om op te tree as 'n medium waardeur werkers en eienaars hul belange wedersyds kan verteenwoordig. In werklikheid was dit egter 'n manier waarop werkers beheer word, wat verseker dat loonvereistes nie te gereeld gestel word nie. Lone is deur twaalf DAF -trustees bepaal. Die Arbeitsfront het die werkers 'n sosiale en ontspanningsprogram aangebied, soos die KdF, kantines, gereelde werkspouses en gereelde werktye. Oor die algemeen was die Duitse werkers baie tevrede met wat die DAF aan hulle gegee het in ruil vir hul absolute lojaliteit.

DAF -lidmaatskap was teoreties vrywillig, maar enige werkers in enige gebied van die Duitse handel of nywerheid sou dit moeilik gevind het om werk te kry sonder om lid te wees. Lidmaatskap vereis 'n fooi van tussen 15 pfennig en 3 reichsmark, afhangende van die kategorie waarin 'n lid in 'n groot skaal van 20 lidmaatskapsgroepe val. 'N Beduidende groot inkomste is deur middel van gelde ingesamel. (In 1934 was die totale inname 300 000 000 rykmerke.)

Verskeie ander suborganisasies is gestig:

Die struktuur van die DAF het gepaardgaande met die struktuur van die NSDAP. Sy organisasie bereik van die Zentralb & uumlro wat deur die Leiter der Deutschen Arbeitsfront Dr Ley beheer word, tot by die kleinste fabriekshandelsel (Betriebszellen) onder leiding van 'n Betriebsfiihrer of leier van die eenheidseenheid. Die doel van die DAF was om politieke stabiliteit en die staking van die Duitse nywerheid en handel te verseker. Die Werksscharen het 'n uiterlike voorkoms van 'n raadslid gehad, maar hulle was regtig die waghonde van die NSDAP wat die werkers by die bron beheer het.

In November 1933 het die DAF donkerblou uniforms uitgereik wat deur die vakbondlede betaal is. Rang is aangedui deur 'n reeks armskakels, silwer vir die lae rang en goud vir die hoër leiers. Vier kleure dui die verskillende staatsvlakke aan: geel vir OberstWerksscharf en uumlhrer rooi vir Gau-Werksscharf en uumlhrer swart vir Kreis-Werksscharf & uumlhrer, en ligblou vir Haupt-Werksscharf & uumlhrer en Werksscharf & uumlhrer. Hierdie vier kleure is gebruik as buise aan die skouerbande en vir die gekleurde koordjies wat op die uniform gedra is.


Reichsarbeitsdienst Uniforms

RAD Truppenführer musikant, RAD Unterfeldmeister instrukteur, RAD Arbeitsführer beampte, RAD Obervormann wag, RADwJ Arbeitsmaid werker

Hierdie voorbeelde is 'n voorbeeld van die vele variasies en style van uniforms wat lede van die RAD gedra het, voor en tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Daar word gewys dat hulle 'n indruk gee van die sentrale uniform wat die RAD dra. Illustrasies kopiereg Pierre Turner.


Oprigting van die onderneming en integrasie in die oorlogsekonomie

Hierdie impasse is in Januarie 1937 verbreek, aangesien die Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF), of die Duitse Arbeidsfront, 'n verenigde organisasie wat werkgewers en werknemers insluit, verantwoordelik was vir die projek, wat op soek was na 'n prestige -projek om sy beeld te verbeter. In dieselfde tydperk, vroeg in April 1937, is begin met die toets van die W30-reeks met 30 voertuie, wat meer as twee miljoen kilometer proewe behels. Op 28 Mei 1937 stig die DAF in Berlyn die "Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens", of "Korporasie om die weg voor te berei vir die Duitse volksmotor", wat op 16 September 1938 die naam Volkswagenwerk GmbH gekry het. In Februarie 1938 is begin met 'n werf oos van Fallersleben aan die Mittelland -kanaal om die hoofaanleg te bou, wat ontwerp is om as 'n vertikaal gestruktureerde en grotendeels outonome modelfabriek te funksioneer. Die doelwit was om 150 000 eenhede te produseer in die eerste jaar na die geskeduleerde opening van die fabriek in die herfs van 1939, en 300 000 in die tweede jaar, met die kapasiteit wat tot 450 000 eenhede sal toeneem in die jaar daarna. Die doel op mediumtermyn was om 1,5 miljoen "People's Cars" te bou. Die arbeidsmag was van plan om te groei van 7.500 tot 14.500 en uiteindelik tot 21.000 mense. Daar was geen finansiering vir die beraamde belegging van ongeveer 172 miljoen Reichsmarks in die perseel en 76 miljoen Reichsmarks vir die masjienaanleg nie. Die inkomste uit die verkoop van eiendom wat gekonfiskeer is by die nou ontbinde onafhanklike vakbonde, was bestem om te help betaal vir die belegging.

Die grootte, tegniese toerusting en vervaardigingsdiepte van die fasiliteit was gerig op dié van Ford se River Rouge -aanleg in Detroit, wat as die mees gevorderde motorfabriek ter wêreld beskou is en twee keer deur Ferdinand Porsche en die beplanningspan besoek is. Parallel met die bou van die hoofaanleg in die huidige Wolfsburg, is 'n fasiliteit in Braunschweig (Brunswick) gebou, bekend as die 'Vorwerk' (outworks), om gereedskap en sterfstowwe te voorsien en as opleidingsentrum vir vaardige persone te dien. arbeidsmag benodig. Tekort aan arbeid en grondstowwe het die vordering van beide bouprojekte vertraag.

By die op propaganda belaaide fondamentlegging op 26 Mei 1938 het Hitler Ferdinand Porsche se voertuig die "KdF-Wagen" gedoop (gebaseer op die Nazi-slagspreuk "Kraft durch Freude", of Strength through Joy). Gepaardgaande met 'n massiewe reklameveldtog het die DAF op 1 Augustus 1938 'n paaiementbesparingskema geloods vir kopers van die KdF-Wagen. Die motor kan gekoop word deur 'n minimum betaling van slegs vyf Reichsmarks per week aan die DAF. Maar die ambisieuse planne is in die wiele gery deur 'n gebrek aan koopkrag - 'n Volkswagen was steeds realisties onbekostigbaar vir 'n nywerheidswerker. Sowat 336 000 mense het uiteindelik by die paaiementbesparingsskema aangesluit - baie minder as die mikpunt wat die reusagtige vervaardigingsplan in die vooruitsig gestel het.

Terwyl die Vorwerk in 1938 begin het met die opleiding van vakleerlinge en die vervaardiging van gereedskap en sterf, is die inrigting van die hoofaanleg voortdurend uitgestel, aangesien wapens voorrang geniet. Teen die tyd dat die oorlog op 1 September 1939 begin het, was daar nie 'n enkele motor vervaardig nie. In plaas daarvan het die herinstelling van die aanleg vir die vervaardiging van wapens beteken dat die hele onderneming se bedrywighede heraangepas is. Aan die einde van 1939 begin Volkswagenwerk GmbH herstelwerk aan die Duitse Lugmag aan die Junkers Ju 88 -gevegsvliegtuie, asook die verskaffing van vlerke en houttenks. Namate die weermag in 1940 meer gemotoriseer was, het die onderneming motors begin vervaardig. Massaproduksie van militêre nutsvoertuie (Kübelwagen), en daarna vanaf 1942 amfibiese personeeldraers, het 'n tweede deel van die onderneming tot stand gebring. Teen die einde van die oorlog het die fabriek 'n totaal van 66 285 voertuie gebou. Tussen 1940 en 1944 het die omset van 31 tot 297 miljoen Reichsmarks gestyg.

Die onderneming se betrokkenheid by die Duitse wapenbedryf het vanaf 1941 gelei tot die verkryging van filiale, onder meer in Luckenwalde en Ustron. In 1943/44 het Volkswagenwerk GmbH sy produksievermoë uitgebrei deur uitkontraktering na Frankryk en deur ystererts en asfaltdryfmyne hergebruik om ondergrondse vervaardigingsfasiliteite te skep. Na 'n aantal bomaanvalle op die kompleks op die Mittelland -kanaal, is die onderneming in 1944/45 toenemend gedesentraliseer namate produksie -afdelings na tydelike persele verskuif is. Die produktiwiteitsbehoeftes van die groeiende wapenoperasie is vanaf die somer 1940 bevredig deur die toenemende gebruik van dwangarbeid. Die eerste groep van sulke slawe -arbeiders was Poolse vroue wat by die hoofaanleg van die onderneming ontplooi is. Later is krygsgevangenes en konsentrasiekampgevangenes aangewys om daar te werk - 'n geskatte 20 000 mense in totaal. Hulle kom uit Europese lande wat deur die Duitse Ryk beset was, of onder beheer was, en het in 1944 twee derdes van die arbeidsmag uitgemaak. In Nazi -Duitsland het dwangarbeiders geen regte gehad nie en was hulle onderhewig aan verskillende vlakke van rassediskriminasie. Onvoldoende voedsel, fisiese geweld en uitbuiting het hul gesondheid ondermyn en hul lewens in gevaar gestel.

Die Amerikaanse troepe wat op 11 April 1945 aangekom het, het die wapenproduksie van die fabriek gestaak en die slawe -arbeidsmag bevry. Die verlangde einde van die Nazi-diktatuur was ook die begin van 'n nuwe era vir Volkswagen.


Die fascistiese skrif: die vele betekenisse van die Italiaanse sjabloon en die gevolge daarvan

Die koloniale ryk van Italië het verskillende betekenisse vir die Duitsers gekry. Eerstens, aangesien Mussolini se veroweringsbeleid 'n belangrike motor van koloniale aspirasies in Duitsland was, het Hitler besef dat Italië gebruik kan word om sy eie visioene van imperiale verowering in Oos -Europa te adverteer. Met ander woorde, die Nazi -leierskap het probeer om koloniale entoesiasme in Duitsland te benut deur parallelle tussen Italiaanse kolonialisme in Afrika en Duitse bewind in Oos -Europa te trek. Essentially, the regime sought to harness existing colonial aspirations within society in the pursuit of its objectives. In this endeavour, the Italian empire served as an extremely useful tool: it helped to translate Nazi ideas into the language of colonialism, an idiom that was still widely understood in Germany. It thus functioned as a crucial link between the ‘old colonial world’ and the new Nazi empire.

This context helps to explain why the new Italian territories in North Africa were portrayed in the regime’s official propaganda as new and unique. The Nazis argued that the new territories were not traditional colonies, but rather represented an integral part of the Italian homeland, just as the new territories in eastern Europe would be an integral part of Germany. To strengthen public acceptance for this narrative, Italian settlement activities in Africa – including in particular the shipping of the first 20,000 Italian colonists to Libya in October 1938 (the famous ‘ventimila’) – received massive press coverage. The various journalists sent to Libya as special correspondents did not just have privileged access to Italian officials, who often arranged for guided tours of the new settlements. Footnote 52 They were also able to give their stories a very personal touch: they reported, for instance, on their private conversations with ordinary Italian families and their feelings about leaving their homes forever to settle in Libya, thus making it easy for German readers to relate to them.

In their stories on Libya, journalists stressed that the country had ceased to be a traditional colony. In 1938 its coastal region had been ‘integrated into the Italian homeland’ and now formed ‘Italy’s fourth shore’. Footnote 53 Libya was ‘Italian soil’ the settlers did not ‘migrate’ to a colony, but had simply resettled. In this context, German journalists used the word ‘umgesiedelt’ (‘resettled’) to refer to their own relocation of people to the east. Drawing on his personal experiences when accompanying Italian settlers to their new homes, one journalist explained that the new territories were simply an extension of Italy into Africa. 'N Artikel in die Voelkischer Beobachter, the official Nazi party newspaper, made it very clear: in Libya the Fascists had created ‘four new provinces for Italy'. Footnote 54

Commending the Italian Fascists’ colonial efforts allowed the Nazi regime to promote its own settlement scheme and overcome hesitation towards its plans for its newly conquered territories. Indeed, German state officials, merchants, and small farmers expressed considerable scepticism towards settling in Poland and its neighbouring countries these territories were seen as the ‘Wild East’. Footnote 55 It was therefore useful for the Nazi regime to draw on Italy’s experience to demonstrate how resettlement had already been practised with great success, and to emphasize that the Italian settlers did not leave their country per se, but simply moved to another part of it.

Internal communications reveal that the Nazi leadership was curious about how the Fascist regime had convinced settlers to move to Africa. Indeed, Berlin appointed a special envoy, the labour attaché to the German embassy in Rome, to accompany the 20,000 settlers whom the Fascist regime sent to Libya in October 1938 to understand their hopes and fears. Footnote 56 It was with ‘particular interest’ that the Minister of Labour, Franz Seldtke, read this detailed travel report, and he immediately requested additional information on Italian colonialism. Footnote 57

The effects of the regime’s propaganda upon German society are difficult to assess. There are, however, various indications that its efforts stirred enthusiasm among Germans for the colonial project in the east. Admittedly, many could not be persuaded and remained sceptical about the feasibility of settling millions of Germans within a short time span. Hermann Stresau, a librarian and writer, who had difficulties in making a living in Nazi Germany because of his liberal political beliefs, is a noteworthy representative of the sceptical camp. As he noted in his diaries, one evening he attended a public lecture on Italian colonialism, organized by the local Italo-German Cultural Society. Although the speaker proclaimed that the entire African continent would soon be under German and Italian rule, Stresau was more impressed by the limited possibilities that North Africa offered to white settlers. Footnote 58

While clearly unpopular in some quarters, Italian and German dreams of empire were also supported by segments of German society. Surveying a wide variety of sources, such as official reports, personal letters, and diaries, it appears that the regime was able to reach a broad spectrum of the emerging ‘national community’. Schoolchildren were among the prime groups to be targeted. Indeed, Hitler’s regime focused its aspirations on future generations, hoping to impart the ‘true Nazi spirit’ in the area of empire-building. Winning the hearts and minds of the young took on tremendous significance. Italy’s colonial aspirations, for example, were officially taught in German classrooms. Volk und Führer, the basic history textbook for German grammar schools, drew a direct comparison between the Reich’s and Italy’s expansionist goals, and emphasized that both nations had been denied ‘vital space’ for years. Footnote 59 To prepare teachers for presenting this topic, the Nazi Teachers’ Organization provided additional information in its journal. Footnote 60

Students were shown films that drew parallels between Nazi Germany’s and Fascist Italy’s imperial ambitions. A prime example is Men make history: the march on Abyssinia, a film produced by the NSDAP’s Propaganda Department in 1938 and distributed in all schools in the Reich. In Stuttgart alone 30,000 schoolchildren saw the movie. The way in which the Fascist empire was presented, and the exoticism of the African setting, certainly had their effects. As the local Italian consul, who had attended the screening to monitor the audience’s reactions, reported to his superiors in Rome, the students had enthusiastically applauded the film. Footnote 61 This was not just wishful thinking, nor was it an attempt to curry favour with the regime by reporting what many wanted to hear private papers also corroborate the official view. As the East German writer Hermann Kant remembered his Nazi-era school days in his 1977 novel Der Aufenthalt, he and his schoolmates played ‘Bombs on Adua’, a game they had invented after seeing the film. Some of his friends who took the role of the Italian soldiers shot huge stones with a catapult at the ‘Abyssinians’ hiding under a tin sheet. Footnote 62 In the truest sense of the word, German children playfully learned and internalized the violent ideals of both regimes.

Another group to be targeted were the educated bourgeois elites in Germany. Here, the regime could rely on a plethora of organizations to disseminate knowledge on the Italian empire, mainly in the cultural sector. For instance, starting in the late 1920s, in dozens of towns local elites set up Italo-German cultural societies, often in the context of sister-city partnerships. Footnote 63 Talks and slide shows on Italian Africa were particularly popular among an audience of lawyers, doctors, university professors, entrepreneurs, and other local dignitaries. As the directors of the Deutsch-Italienische Studienstiftung, a foundation started by a Siemens Corporation executive in Berlin, observed, the encounters between the German audience and the Italian speakers proved to be particularly fruitful, as there was a chance to exchange ideas at a more informal level after the talk. These discussions ‘over a beer or two’ were ‘highly inspirational’ for both sides. Footnote 64

Finally, members of Erwin Rommel’s Afrikakorps also showed much affection for the Italian colonization project and were able to relate it to Germany’s own quest for new territories. Not only had they been exposed to German propaganda on the Fascist and Nazi empires to prepare them for the fighting in Africa they also witnessed what the Italians had actually achieved in Libya. Although many soldiers expressed contempt for the purportedly poor fighting abilities of their Axis comrades, they were impressed by the new Fascist settlements in the desert. In their letters, war diaries, and memoirs, soldiers described the villages and farms with their palm trees and green gardens as true paradises. Footnote 65 The concept most often used in this context was ‘clean and neat’. Footnote 66 With ‘untiring diligence’ the settlers had greened the desert, and huge fields of golden grain surrounded villages whose centres were formed by elegant and snow-white buildings.

Sometimes, however, the soldiers’ enthusiasm about Fascist endeavours was so great that the original message of the official propaganda got lost: namely, the link to Germany’s expansionism in eastern Europe. For instance, in various letters German soldiers wrote that the fighting in North Africa was ultimately for German colonies in Africa. Footnote 67 Others, however, did see links between Africa and the eastern territories. When viewing the Italian villages in Libya for the first time, a veterinary officer wrote that he was reminded of ‘German settlements in our eastern provinces’. The regime deemed the letter to be so important that it was published in a major newspaper. Footnote 68 In sum, the Nazi regime could use Fascist colonialism as a tool for social mobilization, even though it did not always control how Germans imbued these ideas with meaning.

However, Fascist colonialism was not only a means of social activation. It also provided a blueprint for emulation when the Nazi regime began developing plans for a future German empire in Africa en eastern Europe. Indeed, settlement experts were particularly interested in the racist dimension of Fascist rule in Africa. More specifically, German planning staff were intrigued by the Italian policies of racial segregation and their guidelines regarding the racial improvement of future settlers. On the basis of previously unearthed material, there is indication that German experts emulated Italian apartheid laws when they drafted the Kolonialblutschutzgesetz, a law to protect the ‘purity of the German blood’ in Germany’s future African possessions. They were also inspired by Italian directives regarding the selection of settlers for the newly conquered territories in eastern Europe. Voetnota 69

This emulation process was facilitated by channels of exchange that Hans Frank and Heinrich Himmler had managed to create. A leading lawyer of the Nazi regime and subsequently a governor in occupied Poland, Frank helped both to elaborate the legal frameworks for the new German territories and to implement them on the ground. A fervent admirer of Mussolini who spoke some Italian, he quickly forged close links with leading legal experts of Germany’s main Axis partner. The Academy for German Law, established in 1933 as the main institution to transform Germany into a dictatorship and headed by Frank himself, provided an important hub for cross-cultural exchange and learning. Italian specialists in colonial law were regular guests at the meetings of its Committee for Colonial Law, where they provided detailed information on current Italian legislation. Footnote 70 For instance, in May 1939 Renzo Meregazzi, Chief of Cabinet to the Ministry of Italian Africa, gave a speech to his German colleagues on the ‘Fundamentals of colonial law and colonial policies within the Fascist empire’. Footnote 71 In his talk, Meregazzi stressed that Fascist Italy had taken an intransigent stance towards the problem of ‘racial mixing’, gradually enforcing its legislation over the last few years. In Africa the Fascist state protected not only Italian nationals but also the entire ‘white race’ from being ‘contaminated’ by those whom they identified as ‘inferior races’. Laws forbade marriage and sexual contact between white and black people, and violators were severely punished, with multi-year prison sentences. Footnote 72

Frank and his colleagues were so intrigued by Meregazzi’s paper that they immediately translated and published it in German, along with other official texts. Footnote 73 For example, the law on ‘Penalties for the Defence of the Prestige of the Race in regard to African Italian Natives’ of May 1939 was reprinted in its entirety in Zeitschrift für vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft, the leading journal on comparative law, and introduced by Giuseppe Lo Verde. Footnote 74 A visiting professor at the University of Königsberg and co-editor of the eminent quarterly Reich–Volksordnung–Lebensraum (Reich, population order, and living space), Lo Verde regularly published on various problems of Italian and German law and was thus an important academic intermediary between the two countries. Footnote 75 Finally, scholars such as Lo Verde were supported by the German embassy in Rome, which in late 1941 appointed a proper liaison officer for colonial matters. This post – a unique institution within the Reich’s inter-imperial relations – was to guarantee a broad and constant flow of information between German and Italian academia. Footnote 76

The main reason why Frank’s staff were so attentive to foreign experiences in managing race relations was that the Nazi regime was about to draft its own colonial legislation for Germany’s future colonies in Africa. Footnote 77 Beginning in 1933, the Nazi administration developed serious plans for a German Mittelafrika that was to encompass the former German East Africa, the Belgian Congo, French Senegal, and Madagascar. As victory over the Allies seemed within reach in 1940, preparations for the acquisition of African colonies intensified. When assuming control of the Allies’ colonies, Germany would be confronted with a major problem: miscegenation. Thus, the new colonial masters were to administer and regulate race relations. Of course, the Germans had considerable expertise in racial legislation, the most notorious being the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. Indeed, the Nuremberg Laws were initially to provide the basis for all subsequent legal planning for Germany’s future colonies.

Yet as legal experts such as Wilhelm Wengler soon realized, the social and cultural context into which the law was to be inserted was different from the one at home. In Africa, the key problem was not separating ‘German Jews’ from ‘Aryans’, but ‘white people’ from ‘black people’. Thus, it was not possible simply to extend domestic legislation to the colonies. Rather, the Germans needed a solution that was appropriate for the local situation. Wengler, one of the leading experts of comparative law at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institut, was an advocate for mimicking the Fascist legal template for Italian East Africa. Footnote 78 Not only was Italian legislation in this area quite restrictive – banning, for example, cohabitation between black women and white men – but its main value was that it had been tested on the ground. In other words, it had been shown to work effectively in Africa. Footnote 79

Fascist colonial legislation inspired German law in various ways. Above all, the severity with which the Italian authorities punished any transgression of the colour line appealed to German officials’ views regarding colonial racial relations. Footnote 80 In their deliberations on the future colonial law, senior officials at the Ministry of Justice believed that Mussolini’s Italy could provide a ‘strong stimulus’ to the new Germany. Footnote 81 In contrast to the British and French, who did little to impede the creation of a new race of ‘half-castes’, the Italians had established one of the most comprehensive systems of racial segregation in colonial Africa, banning interracial marriage and cohabitation. Footnote 82

The success of the Italian authorities guided the Germans’ decision to punish legal transgressions and provided a framework for determining the adequate degree of penalties. Footnote 83 While the first German draft of the Kolonialblutschutzgesetz had called for the expulsion of whites who had experienced sexual relationships with a black person, in the following versions the sentences were increased. Just as in Africa Italiana, whites who had sexual contact with non-whites were penalized with imprisonment. German officials had learned from the Italian experience that they needed stricter laws to deter possible offenders and enforce racial segregation. Indeed, before introducing prison sentences, Italian authorities had simply deported offenders, yet this had proven ineffective.

In their meetings, the legal experts of Frank’s Academy explicitly referred to their country’s fascist neighbour. Footnote 84 While also considering the emerging apartheid regime of the Union of South Africa as a possible template, they almost immediately scrapped this idea. As the delegate of the NSDAP’s Office for Racial Policy proclaimed, it was an independent country. The situation on the ground could thus not be compared with the future German holdings in Africa, as these were to be dependent on the core areas of the German Reich. This argument was not entirely convincing, as the apartheid system could have been emulated regardless of the country’s actual constitutional basis. However, the German debate is quite telling, for it shows us how foreign models that did not entirely fit the ideological frameworks of the Nazi regime were discarded as inappropriate.

The experiences of other colonial powers crucially informed German empire-building not just in Africa but in eastern Europe as well. In this connection, Heinrich Himmler was the foremost player in establishing close relations with Italian officials, experts, and technocrats. These relationships were significant, as Himmler was put in charge of the vast German resettlement programme for eastern Europe (commonly known as the Generalplan Ost) in October 1939. He not only sent his experts on field investigations to Italian North Africa (something that never occurred in the case of French North Africa) but also created an institutional framework for these contacts to put them on more solid footing. Thus, he established a joint Italian–German expert group to exchange ideas on agrarian and settlement problems, an organization with no equivalent in British–German or American–German relations. In this context, Giuseppe Tassinari, a famous agronomist and under-secretary in the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, gave a talk about Italy’s new possessions in Abyssinia to an audience of select Nazi officials and settlement experts at the Harnack House in Berlin, one of the most important forums for scholarly dialogue in the Third Reich. The talk was deemed so important that it was immediately published in German. Footnote 85

Two aspects of the Italian efforts in Africa absorbed Himmler in particular: the complete incorporation of the new territories into the homeland and the selection of settlers. Indeed, in 1939, after years of intensive colonization and land improvement, Libya’s coastal region was officially recognized as Italian homeland, an accomplishment that perfectly matched Himmler’s own idea for transforming the newly conquered eastern European territories into German lands, the infamous ‘Germanization policies’. Footnote 86 Thus, the Italian example served as a source of encouragement to Himmler and his men, who felt that they were pursuing the correct policies when acquiring new territories. It is against this backdrop that we must understand Himmler’s famous 1942 speech on empire-building in eastern Europe. According to him, these new territories would be ‘a colony today, an area of settlement tomorrow and part of the Reich the day after tomorrow’. Footnote 87 The speech is intriguing for two reasons: on the one hand, it shows us how much Himmler’s thinking was shaped by a colonial mindset on the other, it makes it clear that he wanted to transcend that very same notion of colonialism – just as he thought the Italians had done.

Like Hans Frank before him, Himmler and his staff began gathering information on the Fascist empire in more systematic ways. A good example is provided by Helmut Müller-Westing’s work. A junior officer of the SS and a law student in Prague, Müller-Westing was encouraged to travel to Libya and write his PhD thesis on the legal and technical aspects of the Italian settlements, with the main focus being the contract that settlers signed with the state. Footnote 88 His mentors were the agrarian expert Wilhelm Saure, who at the time worked for the Race and Settlement Office of the SS, and Oswald Pohl, one of Himmler’s closest collaborators. Both were particularly interested in the Italian authorities’ practical experiences since the nation had begun ‘venturing off to new shores’ of Africa. Footnote 89 Thus, the guiding question that Westing examined was hoe settlements should best be organized. As the author’s introduction explained, now that the Nazi regime had entered a ‘space without people’ in eastern Europe and was about to design proper contracts with its future settlers, his thesis was meant to provide the necessary information for German experts to learn from an advanced system. Footnote 90

One of Müller-Westing’s and other scholars’ findings was that large and productive settler families were key to colonial success. Footnote 91 However, as the Italian experience had shown, it was crucial for the male head of the family to be supported by at least two grown sons who could perform the farm’s heavy manual labour. Himmler’s men were so interested in Müller-Westing’s conclusions that they immediately published them in their specialist journal Neues Bauerntum, noting that the author gave settlement experts much to consider. Footnote 92

It was at this time that Himmler personally intervened in German planning for eastern Europe. In November 1941, he suggested a clause be inserted in the drafts for a German settler contract requiring presumptive settlers to have two grown sons. Footnote 93 Although similar regulations had been discussed among German experts, Footnote 94 it was only after the Italian African experience that the head of the German settlement programme made it a mandatory requirement. Given that Himmler’s staff at the very same time emulated Italian colonial architecture to serve as a model for the German settlements in eastern Europe, an important learning process appears to have taken place. Footnote 95 Selecting the right settlers became the key prerequisite for the emergence and prosperity of a new German imperial society as ‘Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germandom’, it was Himmler’s task to secure that society’s ‘racial integrity’ in eastern Europe. Thus, it is not without irony that the measures taken to preserve the German race in the new territories were actually inspired by a foreign country.


German Labour Front

Die German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) was the labour organisation of National Socialist Germany, which replaced the various independent trade unions. Its leader was Robert Ley.

Corporatism and Volksgemeinschaft views may have contributed to various pro-worker policies associated with the German Labour Front, as well as that Communists had had significant voter support and had been prominent opponents of the NSDAP, meaning that decreasing such support was important.

In addition to wage and work policies, following the National Socialist’s Volksgemeinschaft approach towards developing a greater "people's community", the DAF expanded or established new social, educational, sports, health, and entertainment programs for German workers via the Strength through Joy, which included factory libraries and gardens, swimming pools, low-priced hot meals, adult education programs, periodic work breaks, physical education, sports facilities, gymnastic training, orchestral music during lunch breaks, free tickets to concerts and opera, and subsidized vacations that saw over 10.3 million Germans signed up by 1938.[2] The DAF financed the building of ocean-going vessels that permitted German workers to pay minimal prices to sail to many foreign destinations. Up to six ocean liners were operating just before the start of World War II. According to the chief of the Associated Press in Berlin, Louis P. Lochner, ticket prices for ocean steamer vessels ranged from twelve to sixteen marks for "a full week on such a steamer". For those who desired vacations closer to home, the DAF constructed spa and summer resort complexes. The most ambitious was the 4.5 km long Prora complex on Rugen island, which was to have 20,000 beds, and would have been the largest beach resort in the world. It was never completed and the massive complex largely remained an empty shell right through until the 21st century.

To help finance such ambitious social programs, the DAF also operated one of the largest financial institutions—the Bank of German Labour—along with additional community programs such as medical screening, occupational training, legal assistance and programs to improve the company's working environment. The DAF was one of the largest National Socialist organizations, boasting of over 35,000 full-time employees by 1939. To help Hitler keep his promise to have every German capable of owning an affordable car (Volkswagen—the People’s Car) the DAF subsidized the construction of an automobile factory, which was partially paid from worker’s payroll deductions. None of the 340,000 workers who were paying for a car ever received one, since the factory had to be retooled for war production after the start of WWII.


German Labour Front - History

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The Nazi Party: Appeal to all Working Germans by the German Labor Front

…The German Labor Front is the grouping of all working men without difference of economic or social status. It should include the worker and the employer, who will not be separated any longer by associations and leagues serving the interests of specific economic or social groups.

The value of the personality, whether he is a worker or employer, will be the determining factor in the German Labor Front. Trust can be won from one man to another, not from one organization to another.

According to the wish of our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler the German Labor Front is not the institution that will decide on material problems of workers daily life or the natural contrasting interests of individual workers. Within a short time the forms for the regulation of working conditions will be established in a manner that will assign the leader and the followers in an enterprise the appropriate positions dictated by the National Socialist ideology.

The supreme goal of the Labor Front is to educate all working Germans towards a National Socialist state and in the spirit of National Socialism. It will act especially to educate those people who have decisive roles in the organizations dealing with social conditions, labor courts and social security. It will see to it that the honor of the leader of the enterprise and his followers will become a real motivating power in the new order of society and economy.

Thus today we call on all German workers, those who work with their heads and those who work with their hands, to join the German Labor Front so that all will gather forces to `accomplish the enormous challenges.

Bronne: Yad Vashem W. Michalka (Hg.), "Das Dritte Reich," Vol. 1 Muenchen, 1985, pp. 79-80.

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The Czech Crisis 1938- 1939

Czechoslovakia was set up after PP settlement, self-determination. From Austria-Hungary . Buffer state against communism. Little Entente new buffer states. Home of several nationalities. Conflicts amongst them. Slovaks + Germans against Czechs.

Konran Heinleid --- German in Czechoslovakia that wanted to give Sudetenland to Germany .

Sudaten German People s Party Henleid meetings with Hitler and got $ from him. Hitler supported for transfer of Sudetenland to Germany .

1938, Hitler stronger because:

- army economy and people prepared for war

- stresa front failed, Britain agreed to naval agreement

- remilitarisation of the Rhineland . Security to west.

- Treaties signed with Italy and Japan .

- The Anschluss had placed Czechoslovakia like a fish in the jaws of a shark

- Soviet Union had domestic upheaval to upheaval with Stalin s purges and the Five year Plans.

1938- Hitler instructed generals to make plans to invade. He told Heinland to make trouble in Sudetenland .

Told generals to make plans to invade. Heinland was to make trouble as riots. Then he was to make impossible demands for independence so the Czech government would reject them and followers could make riots to show that government had no control. Then German army would maintain order, as Czechs had failed to do so.

Czechoslovakia was well equipped for fighting, army only a little smaller than Germany . USSR and France would help.

France did not have good army and had failed to show resistance in 1936. In 1938 they would do less. USSR was in was with Japan and had economic and political problems. Czechoslovakia also had allies with Rumania and Yugoslavia .

1. Berchtesgaden where Hitler told chamberlain that it was his last territorial aim in Europe and that he would be willing to go to war for the Sudetenland . Poland and Hungary also demanded borders.

2. Godesburg - Chamberlain went for Hitler to agree with a proposal, but Hitler said he wanted all of Czechoslovakia . Chamberlain returned to Britain to prepare for war.

3. Munich Mussolini was alarmed and proposed a four-power conference, France, Italy Germany and Britain , Czechs nor Russians were invited.

- immediately transfer the Sudetenland to Germany .

- Later transfer to Teschen to Poland and Ruthania to Hungary .

- Britain and France to protect rest of Czechoslovakia .

Czechoslovakians were forced to sign the Munich Agreement or face Germany . Czechoslovakia had to sign because had no allies.

Hitler said it was his last claim on Europe and that Britain and Germany would never go to war.

- weakened Czechoslovakia . made it an easy target in 1939.

- Hungary , Yugoslavia and Rumania tried to come to terms with Germany

- Mussolini was encouraged in his ambitions for southeast Europe and looked for closer ties with Germany .

- Hitler believed Britain and France would not fight to protect rest of Czechoslovakia .

- Convinced Russians that they could not rely on British and France and would have to make their own arrangements where Germany was concerned.

- Gave Britain and France time to rearm. Germany also gained time.

Munich ended Czechoslovakia , it was stripped of defences and abandoned.

million Germans still living in Bohemia .

1939- Poland was next step for Germany . Anglo/French guarantee to Poland to help if Germany was to invade. Rumania and Greece were also given guarantees.

Appeasement: policy to avoid war with threatening powers, giving in to demands as long as they re reasonable

mid 20 s 37 war must be avoided. Britain and France accepted things fairly unreasonable all together.

Chamberlain believed in taking initiative. Would find out what Hitler wanted and negotiate it.

Beginning of appeasement seen in Dawes and Young Plan and Locarno Treaties.

Why was appeasement reasonable at the time?

- Essential to avoid war after the glimpses of Sino-Japanese war and Spanish civil war, war seemed devastating. They were afraid of innocent civilians dying in bombs.

- Britain was in economic crisis, could not afford rearmament and expenses of Great War.

- British government supported by pacific public opinion. Italy and Germany had grievances. Britain should show sympathy. Remove need of aggression.

- League hopeless. Chamberlain thought only way to solve dispute was through face-to-face meetings.

- Economic cooperation would be good for both. If Britain helped economy with trouble, Germany would be grateful.

- Fear of communist Russia spreading.

- Nobody should treat Britain without respect.

- Britain did want to fight Japan in east at same time as fighting Germany in west.

- It would give Britain more time to get stronger, make Germany get scared of Britain .

East Prussia had been split from Germany to create a Polish corridor . Here was city, Danzig , where most people were German.

Hitler convinced Hungary to invade Ruthenia and made Czechs and Slovaks be under German protection, German troops marched into Prague . No more Czechoslovakia . Hitler moved from lebensraum, to correcting the errors of Versailles .

1 week later, Hitler took Memel from Lithuania

Chamberlain realised Hitler had lied, the Sudetenland wasn t his last territorial objective. Appeasement was not working. Public opinion agreed.

o USA lend money to Germany to help pay reparations. France knew she was going to get paid and let the Ruhr go.

o German currency reorganised

- Young Plan (pact of Paris ) (1929)

o Reduce amount of reparations by 75% gave her 59 years to pay.

o Never worked because of Wall Street Crash

- Kellogg Briand Pact (1928)

o First only France and U.S.A

o Agree not to go to war for 5 years

o Settle disputes by peaceful means

o Included: USA , Germany , USSR , Italy and Japan .

- Washington Naval Conference (1922)

o Limit navies (British, American, French and Japanese)

o Not to build any new battleships or cruisers for 10 years.

- both created stable economic conditions and optimism about peace. Didn t reduce German grievances at all.

Hitler wanted city of Danzig , where most inhabitants were German and the Polish corridor , which had once belonged to him.

Preparing to invade Poland :

- March 1939 Hitler convinced Hungary to invade Ruthenia and Czechs and Slovaks to place themselves under German protection .

- Then marched into Prague and Czechoslovakia ceased to exist.

- 1 week later Memel from Lithuania .

All this went against his promise of the Sudetenland being his last-territorial objective. Chamberlain was appalled. He realised appeasement was not working. Hitler had now moved from lebensraum to correcting the errors of Versailles . Czechoslovakia no longer had a majority German population.

April 1939 Anglo-French guarantee to Poland Britain and France predicted Poland to be the next victim. Hitler had reason to believe that it was a bluff (as previous pacts had failed to work, e.g. Stresa Front, Munich Agreement).

May 1939 Pact of Steel Germany and Italy to stand by each other through war. Was issued after Italy invaded Albania who had guarantees from other countries.

Britain and France tried to ask Russia for help, but did not pursue it.

Hitler began to consider possibilities of two front war with Russia in east and Britain and France in West, he was terrified. However, Britain and France turned down Russia s treaty of mutual assistance.

German army was only ready to invade Poland , not ready for war. Did not want Czech affair to repeat, he knew there was to be a war, but first he had to isolate Poland .

23 Augustus 1939 signed Non-Aggression pact with Russia , for Russia not to attack Germany to protect Poland . As a result, Russia would get half of the Polish conquer.

Justifying the Non-Aggression pact:

- Stalin needed time to prepare for war

- Germany would be weakened by Britain and France

- Fear of two-front war with Japan

- Secured peace for 1 years

- New land would protect them and help him spread communism

Hitler thought this Non-Aggression pact would make Britain and France less likely to help Poland .


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