Two Parties, Similar Ideologies: Nazi Germany and the Chinese Communist Party Use Social and Mass Organizations to Control the People


By categorizing people into different social organizations, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Germany’s Nazis deliberately constructed very similar social control networks. The network penetrated all levels of society. It was injected into every department and organization so as to strictly enforce control over the citizens. It evolved into an enormous “black hole,” swallowing the fundamental freedoms and dignity of the people in their respective countries. This article explores the similarities between the methods used by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and the CCP in China today, in their efforts to control the minds of the population at each level of society.

Your Children Already Belong to Us”

Forward, forward!
Loud trumpet rang.
Forward, forward!
Fearless Youth League.
Germany, even if we fall,
You will continue to shine.
Forward, forward!
No matter how high the target,
Youth League fights to the end!

The banner protects our direction of movement
Everyone march toward the future.
For Hitler,
We are beyond darkness and suffering,
Under the banner of the Youth League,
For freedom and life,
We move forward.
A symbol of a new era.
Long lasting banner leads us.
In doing so, the banner never falls!

This was the famous song of the Hitler Youth League, very popular among the young people of Germany during the Nazi period. The Hitler Youth League was the only social group that German children could join when the Nazis were in control. The Youth League included three different age groups – child, juvenile and youth. According the rule at that time, a boy between six to ten years old could join the Youth League as a preliminary member for a probationary period. After they passed the sport, camping and Nazi history tests at age 10, they became a member of the Junior League. Between the ages of 14 to 18 years, they could formally join the Youth League. Similarly, the 10 to 14 years old girls formed the Junior Girl League and when the girls were 14 to 18 years old, they joined the League of German Girls.

Early in 1936, the leader of the Hitler Youth League, Baldur Benedikt Von Schirach announced that all German children over 10 years old must “voluntarily” join the Junior League. By April 19, Schirach announced excitedly over the radio that 90% of German children had followed his order and “voluntarily” joined the Junior League. He said, “The young German is a knight by loyal oath.”

In March 1939, the Nazi government issued a law to force all German youth to join the Hitler Youth League, in the same way that the youth were forced to join the army. Any parents who did not follow the order were warned that their children would be taken away from them and placed in orphanages or adoption institutions. According to records, in the first two years after Hitler came to power, 4 million German youths were forced to join the Hitler Youth League. This accounted for almost half of the youths aged between 10 to 18 years of age. In 1938, the Hitler Youth League had 7 million members. By early 1939, the number increased to 8.7 million.

The Hitler Youth League was a semi-military organization with the motto of, “Command and we obey.” The boys in the Youth League were trained in camping, sports, Nazi ideology, and aspects of military life. The same rules applied to the girls, as well. Nazi sport training required the Germanic nation “to be the strongest of all nations to survive and to rule over inferior races.” Nazi military training required “the German youth to be familiar with the gun and the pen in order to defeat any enemy in future wars.”

Nazi group activities brainwashed the young to believe that the individual is insignificant and only the German collective is above all. The only person to represent the people is the head of the empire. The Nazis organized the youth to tell stories and have singing competitions. They organized the girls to showcase group calisthenics and aerobics performances called “faith and beauty.” They organized the boys to showcase their camping and military training, cross-country running and decathlon skills. All the Hitler Youth League members wore the uniform when collecting funds under the order to “help the unemployed and retired elderly.” The Nazis systematically injected nationalism into the German children’s hearts and minds with the purpose of brainwashing all children into loyal followers of the Hitler regime. Hitler knew that controlling young minds at an early age secured the path to controlling the future. When Hitler came to power, he stated: “When a parent objector says, ‘I refuse to be on your side’, I would say quietly, ‘Your children already belong to us. What are you? You are going to die, but your children are standing as the new champions with us. Soon, they will not know anything else but this new society.’” This is how Hitler controlled the German people.

A Collective Egoism

Of course, the Nazis did not want to just control the children, they wanted all of Germany’s people under their control. Hitler could not tolerate people who were outside of his control. In his view, he would lead the public into a “sacred collective egoism.” Children, juniors, youth, women, workers, farmers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, intellectuals and students, they all had to accept the leadership of the Nazi Party. In addition, the people’s work, culture, education, ideological belief, speech, social activities, marriage and entertainment were subjected to the state’s intervention and management. Hitler believed that if he could not strictly control the public, he wouldn’t make a significant historical difference.

Under Nazi ideological guidance, a large number of monopolistic official social organizations and associations emerged, such as the Hitler Youth League, Nazi Women’s Group, the Labor Front, German Cultural Associations, the German National Socialist Teachers’ Association, the German National Socialist Legal Association, the Public Service Alliance of Germany, and the Nazi Germany Doctors’ Union. Even the Red Cross was under the control of the SS, the notorious Nazi organization solely accountable to Hitler.

The German Cultural Association was established in November 1933 under Hitler’s direct order. It controlled seven branch associations including literature, music, movies, theater, radio, art and news. The presidents of the various association branches were either Nazi government officials or pro-Nazi intellectuals. According to the rules of the Cultural Associations, their purpose was to implement the cultural policy of Germany and to regulate all creative artists under a unified organization led by the Nazi regime. The regime decided the direction of all ideological and spiritual development, and led and organized all the professions in it. This was to guarantee that all the cultural activities were in line with Nazi ideology to serve the Nazi party culture. The rules also stipulated that only people who were from the Aryan race and politically consistent with the authorities could be part of the German Cultural Association. Only members of the German Cultural Association would perform “cultural work,” including “producing, reproducing, ideologically or technically processing, propagating, protecting, marketing and assisting the sale of the cultural wealth.” (JM Ritchie, England, Nazi Germany Literature History, Wenhui Press, page 81)

This meant that in Germany every intellectual, whether writers, reporters, announcers, actors, directors, painters, or sculptors, would have to rely on or join the Nazi cultural organizations to become part of the system. If they did not join, they could not create any art at all.

This same control happened in the schools, where 97% of all middle school and elementary school teachers joined the German National Socialist Teachers’ Association. The rules of the association stipulated, “The organization had the responsibility to unify all the teachers ideologically and politically according to the theory of National Socialism.” The universities’ autonomous status was canceled. The presidents of all colleges and universities and the deans of each department were appointed by the Ministers of Science, Education and National Education. Each university founded its own University Teachers’ Association, which included all the teachers. The German National Socialist University Teachers’ Association directly led all the associations. The university teachers’ ideas were strictly controlled and unified. University education then became rigid and monotonous.

In this way, by forming and controlling all official social organizations and associations, the Nazi regime successfully had control of all the German people through a huge network that existed everywhere. Individual freedom was non-existent. It was extremely difficult for those who wanted to escape from the network.

Mass Organizations in Today’s China

Similar to the Nazi party, the Chinese Communist Party also founded many official social organizations according to people’s age, occupations and backgrounds in China. Young Pioneers controlled juveniles; the Youth League controlled the youth; Women’s Federation controlled women; the Union controlled workers; the cultural associations controlled intellectuals; and the Association for Science and Technology controlled scientists and engineers. In the Communist Party, these were usually called “mass organizations.”

Targeting the Youth, “The Successors of Communism”

In China, when children start elementary school, they have to join the Young Pioneers. The Young Pioneers’ rules stipulate, “Any 7- to 14-year-old children who are willing to join the Young Pioneers and are willing to obey the rules of the Young Pioneers can apply to the Squadron Committee. If they are approved by the Squadron Committee, they can become members.” It is stipulated that it should be voluntary to join the Young Pioneers, without any additional conditions. However in reality, usually the children join the Young Pioneers as a group. If some children do not join together with others, he will be treated differently and be discriminated against by his teachers and fellow students. Under this pressure, what child would not join “voluntarily”?

When the children join the Young Pioneers, they have to participate in all of its activities. The Young Pioneers often have to sing the song, “We Are the Successors of Communism.” The lyrics are:

“We are the successors of communism,
Inheriting the glorious tradition of revolutionary predecessors,
Love the motherland and the people,
The bright red scarf flying on the chest.
Not afraid of difficulties, not afraid of the enemy,
Study hard and fight firmly
March forward toward victory bravely
March forward toward victory bravely, march forward
March forward toward victory bravely
We are the successors of communism.”

Why would the Chinese Communist Party want all students in elementary schools to join the Young Pioneers? It is like the song says, “Inheriting the glorious tradition of revolutionary predecessors.” It is to brainwash children from an early age into thinking that they will be the successors of communism.

The Young Pioneers is “for children to learn about communism”; the Communist Youth League is “for youth to study socialism with Chinese characteristics and communism” and “be the Chinese Communist Party’s assistant and reserve force.” After all, the children are still young. Although they have studied some aspects of communism in the Youth Pioneers, that knowledge wouldn’t give them much of an impression. So when they attend middle school, the Chinese Communist Party puts them into the Youth League so that communism can take root firmly in their minds. They will become the back-up force and fresh blood of the next generation’s Chinese Communist Party.

According to the Department of the Central Youth League, by the end of 2007, there were about 130 million Young Pioneers and 75,439,000 Communist Youth League members. After the children join the Young Pioneers and Youth League, they are under the CCP’s direct control.


The China Federation of Literary and Art Circles ( CFLAC) is the official social organization for people who are in various fields of literature and art. It includes the sub-associations Chinese Writers Association, Chinese Dramatists Association, Chinese Film Association, Chinese Musicians Association, Chinese Artists Association, Chinese Ballad Singers Association, Chinese Dancers Association, Chinese Folk Literature and Art Association, Chinese Photographers Association, Chinese Calligraphers Association, Chinese Acrobats Association, Chinese Television Artists Association and dozens of other cultural associations.

The nature and purpose of the CFLAC is stipulated in its regulations as,

“CFLAC is a national literature and art organization led by the Chinese Communist Party. It is the people’s organization formed by the provincial, autonomous regions and municipalities levels of Federation of Literary and Art Circles and various field of national literature and arts associations. It is the bridge and link for the Chinese Communist Party to connect with the literary and art circles. It is an important force for the prosperity and development of the socialist literature and art, and building an advanced socialist culture.”

The purpose of the CFLAC was defined as,

“Stick with the leadership of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thinking of the ‘Three Represents’ as guidance. Comprehensively implement the scientific concept of development, unity, and mobilization of writers and artists to adhere to the Communist Party’s basic line, basic guideline and basic experience. Adhere to serve the people, serve the direction of the socialists and the flourishing of socialist literature and art. Obey the constitution and laws. Actively participate in the reform and the development of socialist modernization. Promote and cultivate the national spirit and the spirit of the times. Establish and practice the socialist concept of honor. Commit to the prosperity of China’s socialist literature and art. Develop national, scientific and popular socialist culture toward modernization, the world and future. Build the culture of harmony. Work hard to establish a moderately prosperous society, build a socialist harmonious society and fulfill the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

It is very clear that the CFLAC is a political tool for the CCP to control writers and artists, through their literary and artistic creations. All the associations under the CFLAC are channels for the CCP to control all of literature and art, and those who work in these fields inside and outside of China.

In China, the CCP’s control and directives to various fields of literature and arts are conveyed through the CFLAC associations to all the writers and artists. Especially in the Mao era, if anyone engaged in literary and artistic creation wanted to be popular and be praised with support from the CCP and the government, it was essential for them to join the CFLAC and accept their control and leadership.

Controlling the Hearts and Minds of the People

All other similar organizations such as the Union, the Women’s Federation, and the Association for Science and Technology are also political tools for the CCP to control the people in these fields. These “mass organizations” are actually ropes to tie up the people. There is no artistic and literary freedom, nor is there genuine scientific and technological freedom. Through these organizations, the CCP controls the Chinese people’s hearts and minds inside and outside of China.

By categorizing different people into different social organizations, the Communist Party and the Nazis deliberately constructed very similar social control networks in the countries they ruled. These networks had the Nazi or Communist Party as the core, and thus the parties penetrated society. The Chinese Communist Party has overlapping departments and complicated organizations for its strictly controlled, giant social network. It is like an enormous “black hole” which swallows all the fundamental freedoms and dignity of the Chinese people.


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