Kraft durch Freude (KdF): Strength through Joy
The KdF was a program put into place to help improve the lives of industrial workers that were in the Volksgemeinschaft. The program was under the direction of Robert Ley who was also the leader of the German Labor Front. The Nazi Party highly publicized the KdF because it attempted to make the workers join in in the National Socialist life that the Nazi’s wanted the Volkgemeinschaft to be engaging in. To make these workers engage in these activities they subsidized activities that they wanted them to be doing. The Nazi party also used their propaganda techniques to advertise the KdF movement.
Some of these activities were:
- theater performances
- folk-dancing group
- adult education courses
- organized tourism
All of these activities were previously viewed or participated in my Nazi party members and okayed to continue the ideology of the Nazi party. It said that workers were given more vacation days with pay so that they could participate in the organized tourism. The best part of the KdF was the development of the Volkswagen or literally the “people’s automobile”. At this time it was also called the KdF wagen.Virtually all people “owned” a Volkswagen now but most did not see their car because consumer good production was put on hold to work on war production. The idea of still owning a vehicle was great for the lower class people because they felt like they were a part of the upper class.
The Strength Through Joy movement was virtually a flop. Many people were dissatisfied with the activities given and there was much contempt within the people. The people of Germany felt that the KdF did not live up to its expectations.
Sax, Benjamin and Dieter Kuntz. Inside Hitler’s Germany. Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company, 1992.
“Kraft Durch Freude.” Revier Passagen. January 2, 2015. Accessed October 13, 2015. http://www.revierpassagen.de/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/03_Otto-Geiger_Werbeplakat-Kraft-durch-Freude_1935.jpg.