NewsResearcher: Hitler's influence on raising children could still have...

Researcher: Hitler's influence on raising children could still have an impact today

Upbringing has a huge impact on people’s lives. However, many do not know that even today Hitler could still have an influence on them.

Parenting guides have been around for as long as there is child-rearing. These manuals were also very popular during the Third Reich. Of course, with the ulterior motive of educating the offspring from an early age according to the prevailing values. Worrying: The methods from then seem to have an effect to this day.

As the science magazine reports, the questionable views on upbringing could have survived in Johanna Haarer’s books, for example. The pulmonologist was considered one of the most respected educational experts of the Third Reich and wrote guides that turned out to be bestsellers at the time. The methods recommended in it were not only practiced by a large number of Germans during National Socialism, but apparently also long after the Second World War.

Johanna Haarer: Hitler’s concept of upbringing and its consequences

In 1934, Haarer’s guidebook “The German Mother and Her First Child” was published – and a best seller for all mothers of the time. The educational manual has sold 1.2 million times. In addition, it was considered, among other things, as the basis for a correct upbringing of children during the Nazi era. In kindergartens and homes, Haarer’s method was practiced as well as in the “Reichsmütterschulungen”.

However, researchers assume that the methods of parenting could also have an impact on our current life. They suspect that low birth rates, burnouts or even mental illness could have their roots in the educational practices of the time.

Upbringing during the Hitler era: Hardly any affection or attention for the children

The core thesis of the Haarer methods was the denial of affection, physical contact and attention for children. If a baby cried, the mother should, at best, ignore it entirely. Basically it was forbidden to comfort the crying child, to hold it in your arms or to breastfeed.

The questionable assumption: the crying would strengthen and harden the child’s lungs. In everyday life, too, the young mothers should try to keep the physical contact between them and the baby as low as possible.

The consequences of Hitler’s educational methods

In the course of this method, attention was paid solely to the child’s physical well-being. They fed, bathed, and swaddled – but nothing more. Because: The growing person should be trained to be tougher, strong and persistent, but not to compassion and an assumed weakness that goes along with it.

However, the lack of affection and psychological devotion may have long-term effects on the child’s life. Psychotherapists report on patients from that time who struggled with a pronounced inability to bond.

Affected people reported that they themselves were unable to develop loving relationships with their own children. According to researchers, this could in turn have had a lasting impact on their children or grandchildren – which means that the educational methods during the Nazi era may still have an effect today.

The fact that copies of Johanna Haarer’s guidebooks were still on the bookshelves of a large number of German households after the Second World War also shows that their questionable educational methods could have continued to be practiced after the end of the Third Reich.

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