The German peasant family, 1925-1939 : the problems of the Republic and the impact of national socialism / by Thomas Edward Phelps.
Rural society during the German National Socialist movement has been overlooked by most historians. Instead the urban elements are stressed. I have chosen to study the impact of National Socialism upon peasant families. Three major limitations exist for this project. First, only the peasant family itself is reviewed. Second, this project is concerned only with the years from 1925 through 1939. Third, this project limits its review to only that territory comprising Germany after World War I. This was done to allow for a more equal comparison of agricultural statistics. The construction of this project remains simple. Three major chapters exist. Chapter One reviews the Republic: its politics, economy, and the problems of the peasant family. The remaining chapters then review these problems as they were resolved by the National Socialists. Chapter Two reviews the family itself: family size, health, inheritance, and social status. Chapter Three reviews farm-management: production, mechanization, labor, and prosperity. Both chapters are divided into two parts: part one reviews the new policies; part two reviews the impact. The findings of this project were different than expected. I had expected to find minimum improvement in the condition of peasant families. Instead, I discovered that, in general, these policies failed in their objectives. The reasons for these failures differed. But much of the blame rests in faults of the laws themselves. Final results, however, were mixed. Farm-management improved slightly, but the family itself witnessed reduced health. The average family was not destitute, but neither did it prosper.
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