Department or Program



My thesis addresses education in Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler deliberately reworked the existing system to function as a tool of ideological manipulation, instilling in Germany’s youth a fervent adherence to Nazism that would ensure the triumph of his movement. I first discuss National Socialism as a belief system, highlighting its basic points as the foundation of the national curriculum after the Nazis came to power. I then explain how the party implemented this doctrine after 1933, and said process’ meaning for the school system. The first two chapters comprise a background that places my subsequent source examination in context and provides a point of reference for the next two chapters. These discuss the most salient themes of the National Socialist program manifested in educational materials. Education in Nazi Germany was nothing more than propagandistic instruction: taking this system as a model for the indoctrination of the nation, how does one begin to assign guilt to the German population for the crimes of the Third Reich? In my conclusion, I consider patterns in dictatorships that speak to their treatment of the youth. How much can we blame the perpetrators if those perpetrators are also victims of indoctrination, and how can we continue to learn from the Nazi legacy today?

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

Lampen_Final Thesis_v3.pdf


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.