Strength through Joy
The Strength through Joy organisation was set up to encourage workers to work as hard
as they could for Germany and the Nazis. The offer of cheap holidays and a car were
good ways to win the support of the average person in the street. A cruise to the Canary
Islands cost 62 marks - easily affordable to many, though most cruises were taken up by
Nazi Party officials. Walking and skiing holidays in the Bavarian Alps cost 28 marks. A
two-week tour of Italy cost 155 marks. Ley ordered the building of two new cruise-liners
that were used to take German workers on foreign holidays. In 1938 an estimated
180,000 people went on cruises to places such as Madeira and the Norwegian fjords.
Others were given free holidays in Germany. The Strength through Joy programme also
built sports facilities, paid for theatre visits and financially supported travelling cabaret
groups. Although the German worker paid for these benefits through compulsory
deductions, the image of people being given holidays and subsidized entertainment was
of great propaganda value to the Nazi government.