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The United States was justified when it came to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is important to understand that this was a period of war, where ethics were thrown out of the table. Japan had already killed over 2,500 people in Pearl Harbor bombings. This is despite the fact that the United States had done nothing major to provoke the Japanese (Miscamble, 2011). The United States had cut off trade with Japan and this was the only thing that they had done. The Japanese were conquering the Indian ocean in a rapid way and they wanted to go for the pacific too. They were ruthless in their attacks and they did not care for the civilians.
In addition, it is important to understand that this was nearing the end of World War II. Hitler’s Germany had already fallen and it was out of the picture. However, Japan was gaining more allies and was becoming stronger. It was in fact holding several hundred Islands in the Indian Ocean (Miscamble, 2011). They were the only persons that had not seen that the war was over. The United States moved to take out Japan in several of the captured islands as it was rumored that there inhumane conditions that were not even fit for war. However, the United States took heavy casualties.
The United States had two choices, to prolong the war by establishing a full scale invasion of Japan or dropping bombs in two cities and ending the war overnight. The American government knew that a full scale invasion would cost thousands upon thousands of American lives. This was simply unacceptable and this is the reason as to why the dropping of the bombs is seen as saving the American lives and crippling the Japanese from attacking the United States (Alperovitz, 1995).
It is these two bombs that were dropped in Nagasaki and Hiroshima that effectively ended the war. If this had not been done, who knows the war could have dragged on and even more casualties than those of Nagasaki and Hiroshima would have been witnessed. Therefore, the two cities were used as sacrificial lambs for the greater good of the world (Maddox, 1995).
Alperovitz, G., & Tree, S. (1995). The decision to use the atomic bomb and the architecture of an American myth. New York: Knopf.
Miscamble, W. D. (2011). The most controversial decision: Truman, the atomic bombs, and the defeat of Japan. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Maddox, R. J. (1995). Weapons for victory: The Hiroshima decision fifty years later. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.
The movement in Germany that was referred to as Hitler Youth was an extremely important factor in the Hitler’s Nazi Germany as it was the one that was mandated with brainwashing aspects of the regime. Children were enrolled in groups beginning at the age of ten and they remembered members of Hitler youth until they were eighteen. Hitler’s propaganda machines were able to effectively control the content in schools and consequently these children could not be able to escape the ideals as well as practices of Nazism. From the 1920’s onwards, the Nazi party decided to target German youth as special audience when it came to its propaganda messages. It is of importance to understand that the messages that were given to the youth emphasized the party was a movement of youth; it was dynamic, forward-looking, resilient and hopeful (Bartoletti 81). At this time, millions of German youth were won over into socialism and Nazism in the classroom and through the use of extracurricular activities. It is important to note that in 1933, the Hitler youth had around 50,000 members, however, by the end of the year, the number had dramatically grown and it had increased to over two million. By the year 1936, Hitler youth had increased to around 5.4 million and in the year 1939, it became mandatory for all German youth to be enlisted into Hitler Youth. This paper will examine propaganda and children during Hitler youth.
The education that was given to the children and the youth in the Third Reich served to indoctrinate students into a socialist world view. It is of the essence to note that Nazi scholars as well as educators tried their best to glorify the Nordic and Aryan races and called other people parasitic bastard races that were incapable of creating civilization or even culture. There was a radical shift in the year 1933 when the Nazi regime purged the public school system of teachers that were deemed to be Jews and they were labelled as being ‘politically unreliable’. A surprising fact is that teachers joined the Nazi party in greater numbers than other persons from any other profession.
Therefore, it came as no surprise that there was the projection of the Jew as the main enemy by most teachers in schools. The Jew was portrayed as being an infiltrator whom after gaining entry into the German society usurped the economic and political power of Germany and primarily focused his energy on the destruction of the German people. The Nuremberg Las depicted the return to the natural order that God had intended and consequently, most teachings showed that the Jew was a threat to God’s order. German children through various programs were shown pictures of Jews which were ugly and distorted and they were posted on the board next to the pictures of what they referred to as the ideal German type (cultured, and standing upright in posture). Therefore, from these visual differences, it can be argued that the differences that existed were inferred. The children in school were fed with propaganda that stated that the Jews walked different as compared to the Germans, they were said to have flat feet and longer arms. These doctrines were fed to the children in their early ages and the youth in order for them to grow believing that indeed they had to defend their Fuhrer and their Fatherland from the infidels.
The Children knew nothing but the glorification of Adolf Hitler; the Fuhrer and Germany. They were indoctrinated with different doctrines that emphasized strict work ethic as well as behavior change in order to fit the German ideals. It is imperative to understand that although Hitler had complete control of Nazi Germany, his political success could not have been achieved to such a degree without the support of the German people. Therefore, this was the reason as to why there was a need to create propaganda machines that would in effect deliver Hitler’s laws and spread his ideology. Importantly, children that were fed with propaganda from Movements such as Hitler youth were trained to be intolerant to opposition and therefore, Hitler had no trouble when it came to the formation of a security system that would eliminate anyone that tried to oppose the Fuhrer.
There was a lot of propaganda in the education system that was intended to produce children and youth that were race conscious, self-sacrificing Germans that were ready to die for the Fuhrer as well as their fatherland. The complete devotion to Adolf Hitler was a key propaganda component during Hitler youth training (Koch 11). There was a lot of censuring in the schools, as books that were seemed not to be racially accepted to the German people were struck out of the classrooms. In replacement the German scholars and educators introduced new textbooks that taught students to love Hitler and obedience to the state authority, anti-Semitism, racism as well as militarism. It is crucial to note that from their first days in school, the German children were often introduced to the cult of Adolf Hitler, they were taught that they were a superior people and consequently, they should look at themselves in such an image (Dearn 34). They were also taught that there were persons in the society that were inferior and could not be able to match the German man or Woman in any way. Hitler’s portrait was a standard fixture in any classroom and the textbooks often described the unimaginable thrill that came to them when they first saw the German for the first time.
In terms of extra-curricular activities, board games as well as toys that were used by children were used as another way of spreading political and racial propaganda to the German youth. In fact, the toys that were used by boys were used by the Nazi socialist party as vehicles to indoctrinate children into militarism and socialism. The German children were encouraged to play in groups in order to enhance social cohesion and to see themselves as German children instead of seeing themselves as individuals. They were encouraged to work hard in a bid to ensure that they were able to re-create their damaged economy and that they were a step forward in becoming the super power that they once were.
The Hitler youth organization often staged events that can be said to be propaganda events such as mass rallies that were full of rituals and spectacles that were used to create an illusion of a large community that reached across class and religious divisions. It is of the essence to understand that when it was formed in the year 1926, the Hitler Youth movement was intended to train the boys to enter SA referred to as Storm Troopers. However, after the year 1933, the movement sought to integrate the boys into a Nazi national community and prepare them henceforth to enter into the Nazi national community. The Hitler Youth was also used to prepare the children for service as soldiers in the armed forces or later in the SS. The outdoor activities and combined sports tried was used to further spread the Nazi propaganda (Dearn 82). German girls were encouraged to engage in what can be described as collective athletics, these included rhythmic gymnastics. The German authorities argued that these holistic sports were less strenuous to the female body and consequently they geared the young girls for motherhood. There were many public displays of these different values that often encouraged young women and men to abandon their individuality in favor of the German collective vision of socialism.
In conclusion, without the complete dedication of the Germans that were established through Hitler Youth, the Nazi Germany would not have been successful as it became. This was because it was the movement Hitler youth that was mandated with passing propaganda to schools in a bid to teach children about the Nazi ideology and movement. It was the propaganda on the children and the youth that helped Hitler to impose his views on the German masses and consequently, for his ideas to be turned into a reality. Hitler tried as much as possible to eliminate any opposition in the state by making his ideologies a party of life for each and every German. The children especially were fed with propaganda in order to totally devote their lives to the Fuhrer and Germany.
Bartoletti, S. C. (2004). Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler's shadow. New York: Scholastic Nonfiction.
Koch, H. W. (2000). The Hitler Youth: Origins and development 1922-1945. New York: Cooper Square Press.
Hermand, J., & Dembo, M. B. (1997). A Hitler youth in Poland: The Nazis' program for evacuating children during World War II. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press.
Dearn, A., & Sharp, E. (2006). The Hitler Youth 1933-45. Oxford: Osprey.
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