For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Soldiers of Labor: Labor Service in Nazi Germany and New Deal America, 1933-1945

by Patel, Kiran Klaus (2005)


Originally published in 2005, Soldiers of Labor is a systematic comparison between the labor policies of the Nazi dictatorship and New Deal America. The main subject of the book is the Nazi Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst), a public work scheme that provided work and education for young men. Here, the organizational setup, the educational dimension, and its practical work are extensively examined. Originally, the institution was an instrument in the fight against unemployment at the end of the Weimar Republic. After 1933, it became a Nazi propaganda tool that ultimately became involved in the Nazi's war of extermination. This study examines the similarities and differences, the mutual perceptions, and transfers between the Nazi Labor Service and its New Deal equivalent, the Civilian Conservation Corps. Patel uncovers stunning similarities between the two organizations, as well as President Roosevelt's irritating personal interest in the Nazi equivalent of his pet agency, the CCC.


Heidegger, Nazi, National Socialism, Nazi Labor Service, Education, New Deal


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