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Students salute their teacher in Berlin, January 1934.
Most teachers in Nazi Germany were required to join the National Socialist Teachers League, which mandated that they take an oath of loyalty and obedience to Hitler. If their lessons did not conform to party ideals, they risked being reported by their students or colleagues.Wikimedia Commons
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Children buy a frozen dessert from a street vendor in Berlin, 1934.Wikimedia Commons
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Volunteers gather Christmas donations for the poor in Berlin, December 1935.Wikimedia Commons
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Children wave flags before leaving Berlin, circa 1940-1945.
These children are being evacuated from the city to live in Kinderlandverschickung camps, where they will be safe from air raids. Many will be separated from their families.Wikimedia Commons
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Young women belonging to the League of German Girls, the female division of the Hitler Youth, practice gymnastics, 1941.Wikimedia Commons
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German children learn geography in a Nazi-run school in the Silesia region of Poland, October 1940.
Schools received a new curriculum that focused on racial biology and population policy. Teachers regularly showed propaganda films in the classroom, and worked racial politics into every part of education.Wikimedia Commons
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Hitler Youth boys play tug of war while wearing gas masks in Worms, 1933.Wikimedia Commons
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People at a resettlement camp in Lublin, Poland receive framed photos of Adolf Hitler to hang in their apartments, 1940.Wikimedia Commons
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Hitler Youth members camp out in a tent at an unspecified location, 1933.Wikimedia Commons
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A group of men read a propaganda billboard titled "The Jews Are Our Misfortune" in Worms, 1933.Wikimedia Commons
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Members of the Reich Labor Service at work, circa 1940.
This state-run labor program both helped lessen the effects of unemployment and create a Nazi-indoctrinated workforce, requiring each young man to serve for a six-month period.Wikimedia Commons
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Children with Down syndrome sit at Schönbrunn Psychiatric Hospital, 1934.
Mentally challenged children were forcibly sterilized to keep them from breeding. They were, initially, taught in separate classrooms, but then considered to be "unteachable." Later, children like these would be killed in order to remove them from the population.Wikimedia Commons
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Members of the League of German Girls put up posters for their group in Worms, 1933.Wikimedia Commons
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A family gazes lovingly at their boy, a member of the Hitler Youth, February 1943..Wikimedia Commons
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A Jewish woman peruses the wares of a street vendor in Radom, Poland, 1940.Wikimedia Commons
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Members of the League of German Girls at work cleaning in a Berlin tenement house, date unspecified.Wikimedia Commons
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A long line of Jewish citizens wait in line outside of a travel company in hopes of fleeing Germany. Berlin, January 1939.Wikimedia Commons
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A proud new husband wears his SS uniform on his wedding day in December 1942.Wikimedia Commons
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Nazi party members display election propaganda outside of a church in Berlin on July 23, 1933.Wikimedia Commons
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Boys ceremonially jump over a fire as part of a traditional summer solstice festival in Berlin, 1937.Wikimedia Commons
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Reichsbischof Ludwig Müller gives a speech, the Nazi flag draped upon his pulpit, at the Berlin Cathedral in September 1934.Wikimedia Commons
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Nazi party members post signs on a Jewish storefront encouraging Germans to boycott the shop in Berlin on April 1, 1933.Wikimedia Commons
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Newlyweds admire their rings at an unspecified location, 1944.Wikimedia Commons
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Newborn babies from the Lebensborn Program. These children are the offspring of carefully selected "racially-pure" parents. September 1941.Wikimedia Commons
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Two SS men participate in the christening of a baby, 1936.Wikimedia Commons
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Relocated children salute the flag at an unidentified Kinderlandverschickung camp, date unspecified.Wikimedia Commons
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A Jewish-owned shop sits vandalized in Berlin on November 10, 1938, following Kristallnacht, the infamous pogrom that left thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses destroyed.OFF/AFP/Getty Images
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A French woman, conscripted into labor, works at a factory in Berlin, 1943.
As the war raged on, more and more women were made to enter the workforce.Wikimedia Commons
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A group of foreign laborers eats lunch at the Scherl publishing house in Berlin, February 1943.
The "OST" on their shirts signifies that they were Eastern Europeans who have been forced into labor.Wikimedia Commons
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Children and their parents walk down into an air shelter in Berlin, October 1941.Wikimedia Commons
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Young boys ride out the night in the air raid shelter of the National Air Transport Ministry in Berlin, 1940.Wikimedia Commons
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Men, women, and children work together to put out the fires following an air raid, location unspecified, 1942.Wikimedia Commons
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In 1945, as Allied troops took Germany, many officials, fearing reprisals, committed suicide. Here, the mayor of Leipzig has taken his own life at his desk.Wikimedia Commons
Everyday Life In Nazi Germany: 33 Photographs Of “Normal” Life In The Third Reich
Life has a way of forging on — even in the face of evil. A new political regime may present and enact policies that harm many, but for those who benefit from the policy or regime (or at least are not immediately affected by them), many just wake up, get ready, and go about their days.
While the Nazis, for example, perpetrated atrocities against Jews and others they deemed second-class citizens, many other Germans were simply living their lives.
They went to school, joined clubs, got married, went to work, went shopping... They did everything that every normal person does – but they did it before the backdrop of one of the darkest periods in history.
Yet in the shadows of everyday life in Nazi Germany, horror became quotidian.
Government officials indoctrinated children as school curriculums were shifted to push the radical new political agenda. Propaganda films took over classrooms, and teachers who stepped out of line risked being reported.
Worse yet, families deemed undesirable were marked and ushered into ghettos in Germany's occupied territories. Their shops were vandalized and they were harassed on the streets. The disabled were forcibly sterilized. Millions of people were forced into work camps and ultimately exterminated.
Soon, war broke out. Husbands rushed off to the front lines to fight and die while their wives and sometimes children worked in factories, hid in shelters, or escaped into the countryside and even abroad.
But throughout it all, life went on. The people of Germany lived in and often simply accepted the new normal that came with the rise of fascism –- a state of normalcy that, if the war had ended differently, could have become normal, everyday life for much of the rest of Europe as well.
The photos above reveal what "normal" life looked like on the German homefront both before and during the war, as the horrors of the Nazi regime, for many, only gradually began to sink in.