Hitler on the KDF vessel Robert Ley

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The NS Gemeinschaft Kraft durch Freude, the National Socialist Organization Strength through Joy, was a subset of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront, the national German labor organization. All members of the DAF were also members of the KdF, and as basically any worker was a part of the DAF, so too were they in the Kraft durch Freude. The KdF was essentially designed for the purpose of providing organized leisure for the German work force. Interestingly enough, the DAF calculated that the work year contained 8,760 hours of which only 2,100 were spent working, 2,920 hours spent sleeping, leaving 3,740 hours of free time. Thus the driving concept behind the KdF was organized “relaxation for the collection of strenght for more work.” The KdF strived to achieve this goal of organized leisure by providing activities such as trips, cruises, concerts, and cultural activities for German workers. These events were specifically directed towards the working class, and it was through the KdF that the NSDAP hoped to bring to the “common man” the pleasures once reserved only for the rich. By opening the door for the working class to easily and affordably take part in such activities, it was believed that the labor force could be lulled into being more flexible and productive.

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There were many aspects of the German KdF program, including wildly popular and easily affordable international cruises provided by an extensive fleet of KdF liners and smaller waterway pleasure vessels. Trips were organized to the coasts of Norway, Spain, and Italy, as well as destinations on the Baltic Sea, and the German and Danish coasts. The KdF also sponsored and organized a wide variety of other activities, inlcuding retreats, day trips, tours, concerts, theater and opera performances, art exhibits, and other cultural and historical displays and events, all of which were supposedly designed to aid the “average” German enjoy their free time more. It was hoped that this would help in creating a healthier, more educated and more productive workforce.

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Published in: on August 17, 2016 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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