World War 2 Stories for Sheffield


Hitler Youth - Hitler Jugend and League of German Girls - Bund Deutscher Mädel

Unknown Sources

Hitler and Children on his birthday

Hitler pretended that he loved children, after all they were the future of Germany, but in reality he could not stand children. The youngens were just another tool for him to achieve his political goals!


Kurt Gruber formed the first group of young members of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in 1926. Rudolf Hess suggested the name of the Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend) and later that year transferred the leadership of the movement to Franz von Pfeffer of the Sturm Abteilung (SA).

The Hitler Youth (HJ) were taken over by Ernst Roehm in 1930 and remained as a adjunct to the SA. After Roehm was murdered during the Night of the Long Knives the group came under the control of Baldur von Schirach, the Reich youth leader.

Schirach asked Adolf Hitler to allow him to create an independent youth movement. Hitler agreed and Schirach now made several important changes to the way it was organized. Once girls reached the age of they could join the Jungmädel.


The Hitler Youth was a logical extension of Hitler's belief that the future of Nazi Germany was its children. The Hitler Youth was seen as being as important to a child as school was. In the early years of the Nazi government, Hitler had made it clear as to what he expected German children to be like:

Nazi education schemes part fitted in with this but Hitler wanted to occupy the minds of the young in Nazi Germany even more.

Movements for youngsters were part of German culture and the Hitler Youth had been created in the 1920's. By 1933 its membership stood at 100,000. After Hitler came to power,  all other youth movements were abolished and as a result the Hitler Youth grew quickly. In 1936, the figure stood at 4 million members. In 1936, it became all but compulsory to join the Hitler Youth. Youths could avoid doing any active service if they paid their subscription but this became all but impossible after 1939.  

The Hitler Youth catered for 10 to 18 year olds. There were separate organisations for boys and girls. The task of the boys section was to prepare the boys for military service. For girls, the organisation prepared them for motherhood.

Boys at 10, joined the Deutsches Jungvolk (German Young People) until the age of 13 when they transferred to the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) until the age of 18. In 1936, the writer J R Tunus wrote about the activities of the Hitler Jugend. He stated that part of their "military athletics" (Wehrsport) included marching, bayonet drill, grenade throwing, trench digging, map reading, gas defence, use of dugouts, how to get under barbed wire and pistol shooting.

Girls, at the age of 10, joined the Jungmadelbund (League of Young Girls) and at the age of 14 transferred to the Bund Deutscher Madel (League of German Girls). Girls had to be able to run 60 metres in 14 seconds, throw a ball 12 metres, complete a 2-hour march, swim 100 metres and know how to make a bed.

To the outside world, the Hitler Youth seemed to personify German discipline. In fact, this image was far from accurate. School teachers complained that boys and girls were so tired from attending evening meetings of the Hitler Youth, that they could barely stay awake the next day at school. Also by 1938, attendance at Hitler Youth meetings was so poor - barely 25% - that the authorities decided to tighten up attendance with the 1939 law making attendance compulsory.


The Hitler Youth is a term used to refer to the members of the youth groups that were implemented in Nazi Germany. The groups, founded in 1922, taught the infamous ideologies and practices of Nazism. They served as a “leisure” activity for German children to participate in outside of school. In 1935, Baldur von Schirach, the Reich Youth Leader, assimilated all of the youth groups into one major organization. Prior to 1936, there were various other youth groups in Germany promoting other causes, but under Hitler’s rule these groups were outlawed, leaving the Hitler Youth groups as the only activity for Aryan children to participate in.

The Hitler Youth involved two major groups: the Hitler-Jugend, the Hitler Youth, for boys and the Bund Deutscher Mädel, the League of German Girls, for girls.

The Hitler-Jugend was divided into two branches, one for boys between the ages of 10 and 14, and one for boys between the ages of 14 and 18. The Hitler-Jugend taught boys to be hard working and obedient to the greatest extent. Strong feelings of nationalism and pride were also instilled in the boys, convincing them that they must do anything that will help the German nation as a whole. The Hitler-Jugend also provided the children with military training because the best from the Hitler Youth went on to be members of Hitler’s police, the SS, or became members of the German military.
   

By 1939, 90 percent of children in Germany were members of the Hitler Youth. Hitler believed that this aspect of his regime was extremely important because it introduced the Nazi ideology at a young, impressionable, age. The Hitler Youth created a generation that only embodied characteristics that were compatible with Nazism and emphasized the passing on of these characteristics to future generations. This played a major role in ensuring Hitler of the success of the “Thousand Year Reich,” as all future generations would be subjected to this same indoctrination.

 

Hitler Girls