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German History in Documents and Images
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Young Women and Girls from a Countryside Boarding School [Landjahrheim] in Finkenkrug, Brandenburg (1934)
National Socialist "blood and soil" propaganda idealized the rural population as the backbone of racial stability and national strength, and promised a general return to an agrarian society and economy. In reality, however, it was modern industry and the urban workforce that the Nazi regime needed for its armaments program and war policies. A number of half-hearted assistance and incentive programs aimed to conceal the government's neglect of German peasants and farmers and sought to provide temporary support for agriculture. The photo shows young women and girls doing "rural service" [“Landdienst”]. An initiative by the League of German Girls [Bund Deutscher Mädel or BDM], "rural service" was supposed to make up for the agricultural labor shortage.