World War II
Education in Nazi Germany

Education in Nazi Germany
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.36

     challenging words:    disloyal, mailing, passive, suspicion, citizenship, greatly, withstand, resistance, spelled, effective, valuable, truth, pacifist, prove, superior, mailed
     content words:    World War II, Nazi Germany, World War, Albert Einstein, United States, New Jersey, White Rose

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Education in Nazi Germany
By Sharon Fabian

1     If you ever thought that education wasn't important, think again. Even the Nazis, who terrorized Germany before and during World War II, knew that education was important. In fact, they saw education as so valuable that they took control of the education system. They decided what would be taught. They decided who could teach and who couldn't. They also decided who could be a student and who couldn't.
2     Nazi Germany had many of the same school subjects that we have today, but the material taught in those subjects was different. For example, in history, were taught that Germany lost World War I in large part because of disloyal Jewish spies. In science, students learned facts that were said to prove that the Germans were a superior race. In geography, they learned that Germany needed to take over more land to provide enough living space for its population. Physical education was stressed in Nazi Germany. Boys built up their strength and learned to withstand pain. A boy who failed a physical fitness test could be expelled. Girls were taught that, when they grew up, it would be their job to become mothers and raise Nazi children. Jewish children were not even allowed to attend school.
3     Teachers went to classes too. In these required classes, they were trained in Nazi principles. Teachers who did not believe in the Nazi principles faced difficult decisions every day about what to teach. They wanted to teach their children the truth, but if they were caught being disloyal, they would be fired. The Nazis didn't need proof to fire someone. If a student accused a teacher of being disloyal, that teacher could be fired. Still, some teachers kept trying to find ways to teach their children the important things that they needed to learn.

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