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Students and National Socialism in Germany

Students and National Socialism in Germany

Geoffrey J. Giles
Copyright Date: 1985
Pages: 382
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  • Book Info
    Students and National Socialism in Germany
    Book Description:

    This study explains the rise and evaluates the strength of the National Socialist Students' Association (NSDStB) during the whole period of its existence from 1926 to 1945.

    Originally published in 1985.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5778-4
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-2)
    (pp. 3-13)

    The German Students’ Union was the first national organization to fall under Nazi control. This apparent endorsement of Hitler by a significant part of the educated elite was a source of great satisfaction to the Party, coming as it did fully eighteen months before Hitler succeeded in obtaining the chancellorship of Germany. Both seizures of power were made possible by electoral success at the local level. The fact that the National Socialists formed the strongest party in the Reichstag did not mean that Hitler would necessarily be offered the chancellorship, but victory in the local student elections did signify that...

  7. CHAPTER ONE A Political Fringe Group
    (pp. 14-43)

    Prior to the twentieth century, there was no such thing as student government as we understand it today. Although students in medieval universities had been able to dismiss their teachers, such power had long vanished. The modern European university saw its students as apprentices to their masters, the professors, who often laid down regulations for their private as well as their academic lives. Students did indeed form clubs and associations, where they could let off steam, but these rarely aspired to influence the internal workings of the university. That changed in Germany and elsewhere between the two World Wars. It...

  8. CHAPTER TWO The Struggle for Power
    (pp. 44-72)

    Five and a half years after its insignificant, almost pathetic beginnings, the National Socialist Student Association cap tured the prize that had thus far eluded even Hitler himself: national office. Indeed the Nazi Party had to wait another eighteen months before Hitler’s chancellorship. How was it that young Nazi students, who seemed more often than not to scandalize most of the university, could bring the national students’ union under its control as early as July 1931? This chapter looks at the crucial period of Baldur von Schirach’s stewardship between 1928 and 1931, and weighs the relative importance of his policies...

  9. CHAPTER THREE The Difficulties of Consolidation
    (pp. 73-100)

    It was a great victory, to be sure, but was it a decisive one? The Nazi students could not be certain that the antagonism they had aroused among some of the fraternities might not yet combine to rob them of their prize at the next annual conference of the German Students’ Union. They had to broaden the basis of their support. In a sense, this period of consolidation is more interesting to the historian of student movements than the struggle for power. There was much that the NSDStB had wanted to destroy while in opposition. Now it had to prove...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR The Political University
    (pp. 101-150)

    Hitler’s appointment as German chancellor was the event for which all National Socialists had long been waiting. It marked the ultimate bestowal of trust on Hitler by the German establishment. It semed to be a recognition of the responsibility and maturity of the core of the Nazi movement. In any case, it offered National Socialists everywhere, the students included, a great opportunity to prove themselves. Especially after the passage of the Enabling Act, the Nazis were well and truly in power. How would they use that power? That was the question that exercised not only the opponents of National Socialism...

  11. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  12. CHAPTER FIVE Gown or Brown Shirt?
    (pp. 151-201)

    The purging of the sa in the summer of 1934 signaled the official denouement of the Nazi revolution. Hitler called for an end to the violent excesses of theGleichschaltungperiod, in the hope of preventing further alienation of the moderate Right. But if an albeit uneasy peace returned to some sectors of German society, this was not true in the universities. The next two years saw the most bitter battles yet.

    The students, once the vanguard of the Nazi seizure of power, were now lagging behind in their program of nazification. The fraternities were proving especially tiresome in refusing...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The Consolidation of Control
    (pp. 202-265)

    It had appeared in 1933 that the complete nazification of the student body was imminent. No one foresaw during that spring just how disruptive the internal squabbles would prove to be. By the end of 1936 everybody believed that the blame for such limited progress should be laid at the door of the double-headed student leadership. When Gustav Adolf Scheel created a single, supreme body in its place, that explanation (or excuse) had to be set aside. Now there seemed to be no reason why the ideal, Nazi university, at least at the student end, should not come to fruition...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN The University at War
    (pp. 266-313)

    The final period of the NSDStB’s history was its most unsettled. The problems of continuity of the leadership, inherent in any student organization, were magnified, but even the membership was now subjected to alarming and unforeseeable fluctuations in size from one semester to the next. War disrupted institutions of higher education all over Europe, and the effect on students was generally to make them more conscientious in the brief time that was available to them for study. This attitude prevailed for the most part in Germany, too. Because of the emphasis that the Reich Student Leadership placed on conspicuous political...

    (pp. 314-326)

    The constant fluctuation of the size and membership of the student body placed all kinds of hindrances against the organization of a definite program of political education. Properly trained leaders might have helped, but all those who had been chosen to lead were away fighting. The wartime student leaders had not risen to their positions through the exhibition of special qualities, or through the successful accomplishment of training courses, but were all too often just students who were willing to lend a hand. Had the Party been genuinely concerned with the political education of the student body, it ought to...

    (pp. 327-328)
    (pp. 329-329)
    (pp. 330-330)
    (pp. 331-350)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 351-360)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 361-361)