Nazi Germany would be remembered as long as history is taught as one of the worst things that had happened to humanity because of the extent of cruelty that the regime displayed to fellow humans and leading the world to yet another World War. But, just like a broken clock is correct two times a day, there were certain things that the Nazis got right and this list is about 5 such aspects of the Third Reich.
1. Enacted laws to protect animals
Though Nazism would be remembered as one of the cruelest and most infamous of political systems that was ever witnessed, Nazis were but surprisingly sympathetic towards how animals were treated. It is believed that many of the top officers of Nazi Government including Adolf Hitler were very concerned about how animals were butchered and banned experiments on animals altogether. Various laws were introduced to protect animals and anyone found treating animals wrongly would be arrested and sent to concentration camps. They went as far as enacting laws that would monitor how lobsters were to be prepared. It’s quite ironic that the same Nazis, who cared much for animals, would carryout one of the biggest genocides in human history.
2. Anti-tobacco movement
Much before other countries actively plunged into campaigning against tobacco consumption, it was but the Nazis that launched a full scale crusade against it. The Nazi Government funded several experiments and studies to access the impacts of tobacco on humans and correctly came to the conclusion that it was a severe threat to human body and the prime reason for multi-fold increase in the cases of lung cancer. Even Hitler gave up smoking. Smoking was banned in schools and cinema halls. It was discouraged in work places and the term ‘passive smoking’ was coined during this time. Tobacco was, nevertheless, not completely banned in Nazi Germany, much like the present scenario in almost all of the countries because it was a major source of income for the government.
3. Revolutionized road transportation
Under Hitler, Germany undertook one of the most ambitious projects of constructing road networks across the country that would eventually inspire other countries and change the way humans travel forever. Though the idea of constructing autobahn, a sort of multi-lane highways where there aren’t any speed limits, wasn’t conceived by Hitler but existed from the times of the Weimer Republic, it was but during the Nazi regime that the idea was fueled with much fervor. It was a revolutionary feat and even after many decades, today, Germany has the third thickest autobahn network in the world, only after USA and China, which but are impressively larger in areas comparing to Germany. The project also provided employment to more than 1,30,000 people at that time and in a way united the whole country together via road networks.
4. Welfare programme for the poor
In September 1933, soon after Hitler became the chancellor of Germany, his party undertook a large scale social welfare prorgamme known as Winterhilfswerk (Winter Help Work) under which the party used to collect funds annually from the people of Germany so as to assist the less fortunate Germans during the harsh times of winter. People were advised to donate to the programme instead of assisting the beggars directly. To collect funds, the party workers would go from door to door with canisters to ask for donations. They also would sell booklets and badges as a method of fund collections. Though there was never a public accounting of the funds, it is believed that a large amount of the funds would come from the plunders they did in the houses of Jews, Catholics, and homosexuals.
5. Pioneered space travelling
Wernher Von Braun was a Nazi rocket scientist who played pivotal roles during the World War II fighting for Germany. He was one of the pioneers in developing V-2 rocket, world’s first long range guided ballistic missile, designed to attack allied cities during retaliations during the war. He was such a genius that after the war was over, he was moved to the USA along with 1600 other Germans through a secret programme known as Operation Paperclip. Working for the US, he developed rockets that facilitated the country to launch its first space satellite Explorer I. He was inducted soon into NASA and was the chief architect of Saturn V Booster Rocket which would eventually made space travel a possibility and thereby allowed men to land on moon in 1969.