New College of the Humanities

Life in the Third Reich

Historic attachments to heroic leadership combined with a mastery of propaganda techniques to mesmerise Germany into acceptance of the charismatic authority offered by the Führer. 

Richard Bessel outlines the new perspectives in this series on Nazi Germany.

Wolfram in uniform

What was it like to grow up in Nazi Germany in a family quietly opposed to National Socialism? Giles Milton describes one boy’s experience.

A poster from 1939 appeals for donations in aid of winter relief for Berlin's Jews.

As the daily life of Berlin's Jews became even more difficult under the Nazi regime, rumour and hearsay grew about the fate of those 'evacuated' to the east. How much did ordinary Berliners know about the fate of their neighbours?

An obsession with Aryanism and eugenic theory was the catalyst for Nazi policies of repression and extermination against gypsies and other ‘asocials’ – the forgotten victims of the Third Reich.

'Politics didn't matter': the ordinary Germany often insulated himself from the tensions of the Third Reich by concentrating on its work and leisure benefits.

A ballot-box 'revolution' made Hitler Chancellor of Germany. But political violence was the stock-in-trade consolidating Nazi power piecemeal throughout 1933 against disorganised opponents.

In the early 1930s, when National Socialism became a mass movement, it drew strong support from the Protestant rural population. The emergence of the Third Reich and the advent of the Second World War saw a gradual shift in attitudes to the Nazi movement and regime. Gerhard Wilke looks at a rural community in northern Hesse.

Not all young Germans were enthusiasts for Hitler Youth ideas - and some actively opposed them.