Europe and the West in the 1930's was a product of the Industrial Revolution. The world of Oliver Twist and industrial lives of quiet desperation were still part of the scene. Throughout Europe it was often the case that workers were not entitled to paid vacations, and when this was the case, it rarely amounted to more than 5 days per year. Mostly the only time off was Sundays and public holidays. Besides, there was almost nowhere that a normal laborer could afford to go on vacation, so there was little point?
Adolf promulgated legislation that gave workers a right to annual vacation time, up to 21 days per year. This was three times more than the next country in Europe (France) was to implement in 1936, as a copy-cat measure to soothe their own workers.
A giant vacation organization for workers was established, with the duty to provide affordable and enjoyable holidays for workers. Luxury trains, clean, well run holiday resorts in the mountains and at the seashore were built. The program included shops, hotels and convalescent homes.
Big cruise ships such as "Wilhelm Gustloff", "Robert Ley", "Cap Arkona" and
others enabled German workers to take sea cruises. These "Stength Through Joy" ships were barred from British harbors because the British government did not want British workers to see what was available to German workers under National Socialism.
Before the war began more than half of all Germans had taken advantage of this program to enjoy a luxurious and easily affordable holiday.
Workers on projects far away from home had always been neglected. Now their needs were catered for. Recreation facilities were established that moved site as construction advanced. Fourteen crews provided movies and other entertainment at different camp sites throughout Germany. Materials were provided to provide comfort, recreation and education, if desired. Laborers had the right to visit their families at intervals. Laborers were given public recognition for the work they did. Labor in Germany became something respected and celebrated.
The "Strength Through Joy" organisation supplied cruise ships, of the highest standard, to enable workers to enjoy an annual vacation.
Holidaymakers dancing aboard a cruise liner
on a trip through the Mediterranean.
Plush yet affordable luxury on board ship