This Is What Children Learned at School in Nazi Germany

Biology lessons were the worst

Jacob Wilkins
Lessons from History
4 min readFeb 15, 2022


A photograph of German children performing the Nazi salute at school by an unknown photographer, 1934 (Wikimedia Commons)

The Nazis wanted to brainwash children so their ideology would live on for as long as possible.

When they came to power in 1933, the Nazis did their utmost to revolutionize the education system. Hence, they adopted the education methods, the Communists were using in the Soviet Union.

Schools became a tool for indoctrination and control. Teachers had to attend ideological training courses and prove their commitment to the Nazis’ cause. Those who refused to follow the new curriculum lost their jobs. Teachers who objected too vocally found themselves visited by the Gestapo and shipped to concentration camps.

This led to a horrifying education system plagued by racism, sexism, and the glorification of war.


During history lessons, the teachers reshaped the past around the principles of Nazism. The children learned that life had always been a struggle for domination fueled by racial tensions.

As well as the glorification of war, the teachers spoke about the Jews, portraying them as Germany’s internal enemies who were responsible for the country’s economic collapse in the wake of the First World War.

Adolf Hitler was also a key part of the syllabus. Boys and girls heard about Hitler’s role in the Nazi revolution and the overthrow of the Weimar Republic. The teachers then set essays about Hitler, reinforcing the idea that he was a heroic, god-like figure who had saved Germany.


Unsurprisingly, racism was at the heart of biology lessons. The children learned about racial breeding, racial purity, and the laws of biological inheritance. The German people were depicted as the greatest, while other races, particularly the Jews, were portrayed as inferior.

With this foundation, the teachers then encouraged the boys to become strong and efficient soldiers. Meanwhile, the girls were brainwashed into believing their sole duty was to be diligent mothers and give birth to healthy children. When they left school, the children also received a handbook, which offered them advice about choosing a fertile spouse.