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Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 36 (April 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 5-10 PDF (3.1 MB)


Page 9


PUBLIC WELFAREE-
A WEIMARf SERVICE, NAZI TOOL
The Nazis found a democratic public service, developed under the Republic.
They remoulded it to.achieve complete domination of the individual public
charge and maximized its propaganda value.
Before they came to power the Nazis
professed great scorn for the development
of public welfare services and sneered at
the Weir'iar "Welfare" State for foster-
ing them. Once in power, Nazi leaders
demonstrated  the  insincerity  of this
criticism. In no' 'other country, have
the  possibilities  for  control through
the corrupt manipulation of the wel-
fare services, been so well understood
by the political leadership and -so ex-
ploited for the purpose of subverting a
people and maintaining control.
Many Germans still do not understand
this abiusee of the welfare services, especi-
ally those 'operated by the Nazi Party,
and the dependent position in which it
Iplaced them. They feel a sense of grati-
tude for "the many fine things" dofne by
the Party welfare agencies whatever else
they may condemn about the Nazi pro-
gram.
SERVICE ANTE-DATED    NAZIS
The Germans forget that the ground-
work for most of. their public welfare
services had been established under the
Republic or earlier, largely because the
Nazis fully exploited the propaganda value
created by every expansion of such pro-
grams as the care of children and the
social insurances. 'Herr Goebbels acknowl-.
edged the. debt the party. owed to its..
use of welfare when he wrote in the
Berliner Loka.l-Anz'eiger on April 18,
1942, that -the National Socialist Volks-
wohlfahrt (NSV, the most important of the
Nazi welfare organizations) was estab-
lished: "to enlist important circles 'of the
German people' who regarded National
Socialism very reservedly or with strong
mistrust. Hardly any other' organization
helped in popularizing and creating con-
fidence in the National Socialist Move-
ment as, the NSV."
For reas'ons such a's these the Party'
found it desirable to provide manypublic'
services through its agencies which in'
other countries are made possible by an
increase i pay.
The system inherited from the Repub-
lic -was applicable 0to the nation as a
whole, thus assuring minimum standards
for 'all citizens while permitting  con-
siderable freedom and initiative by local-
officials. It also allowed wide latitude
in the development of private welfare
services.
The Nazis were quick to recognize both
the necessity for welfare measures and
the greater possibility 'of believing and
retaining power if control -of welfare pro-
grams was kept in the hands of the Party.
Welfare functions, in consequence, were
greatly expanded and expenditures for'
these purposes constituted a considerable
part of the national budget. The welfare:'
programs touched intimately the lives of
almost every German and therefore were.
rigidly controlled by the- Party.
WEIMAR POLICIES      .
. Under the Republic the National Gov-
ernment set the general policies govern-.
ing public welfare and created a broad..
framework wherein the states (Laender)
were 'required to establish welfare pro-
grams for the state and. local. go.yern-,
II


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