Between 1933 and 1938, the Nazis transformed German society by eradicating democracy, establishing a police state, and winning control over key organizations and professions. The armed forces now had to swear allegiance to Adolf Hitler, not the German constitution. The judiciary became a powerful tool of the state to persecute “enemies of the state.” The police were given increased authority to combat “crime” and imprison individuals, who had not been convicted of any offenses, in concentration camps for indefinite periods of time. Trade unions were forcibly dissolved, and workers and employers brought into a single organization, the German Labor Front. Education, culture, and the media all fell under Nazi domination and were used to indoctrinate the population with racial ideology.
Many of the changes occurred incrementally over a long period of time and were made possible by organizations and professionals who acted in ways that furthered the Nazis’ goals.
Location: Opening Floor
Learn more about the themes covered on this floor of the exhibition