HOME

TheInfoList




The Hitler Youth (german: Hitlerjugend , often abbreviated as HJ, ) was the youth organisation of the
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
in Germany. Its origins date back to 1922 and it received the name ''Hitler-Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiterjugend'' ("Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth") in July 1926. From 1936 until 1945, it was the sole official boys' youth organisation in Germany and it was partially a paramilitary organisation. It was composed of the Hitler Youth proper for male youths aged 14 to 18, and the German Youngsters in the Hitler Youth (''Deutsches Jungvolk in der Hitler Jugend'' or "DJ", also "DJV") for younger boys aged 10 to 14. With the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, the organisation ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' ceased to exist. On 10 October 1945, the Hitler Youth and its subordinate units were outlawed by the
Allied Control Council , Berlin, 1945–1990 Headquarters of the Allied Control Council: View from the Kleistpark The Allied Control Council or Allied Control Authority (german: Alliierter Kontrollrat) and also referred to as the Four Powers (), was the governing body o ...
along with other Nazi Party organisations. Under Section 86 of the
Criminal Code A criminal code (or penal code) is a document that compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, ha ...
of the
Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...

Federal Republic of Germany
, the Hitler Youth is an "unconstitutional organisation" and the distribution or public use of its symbols, except for educational or research purposes, is illegal.


Origins

In 1922, the Munich-based
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
established its official youth organisation called ''
Jugendbund The Jugendbund der NSDAP was a youth organisation attached to the Nazi Party and a predecessor to the Hitler Youth. It was effectively the youth section of the Sturmabteilung (SA, or Storm Troopers) and it existed between 1922Its formation was ann ...
der NSDAP''. It was announced on 8 March 1922 in the ''
Völkischer Beobachter Metal advertising sign for the ''Völkischer Beobachter'' The ''Völkischer Beobachter'' (; "'' Völkisch'' Observer") was the newspaper of the Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: N ...

Völkischer Beobachter
'', and its inaugural meeting took place on 13 May the same year. Another youth group was established in 1922 as the ''Jungsturm Adolf Hitler''. Based in
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by population, third-largest city in Germany, ...

Munich
,
Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian language, Bavarian: ''Bayern'' ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: ''Freistaat Bayern''; ), is a Landlocked country, landlocked Federated state, state (''States of Germany ...

Bavaria
, it served to train and recruit future members of the ''
Sturmabteilung The (; SA; literally "Storm Detachment Detachment or detached may refer to: * Single-family detached home A stand-alone house (also called a single-detached dwelling, detached residence or detached house) is a free-standing residential bu ...
'' (SA), the main paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party at that time. One reason the Hitler Youth so easily developed was that regimented organisations, often focused on politics, for young people and particularly adolescent boys were a familiar concept to German society in the
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
. Numerous youth movements existed across Germany prior to and especially after
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. They were created for various purposes. Some were religious and others were ideological, but the more prominent ones were formed for political reasons, like the Young Conservatives and the Young Protestants. Once Hitler came onto the revolutionary scene, the transition from seemingly innocuous youth movements to political entities focused on Hitler was swift. Following the abortive
Beer Hall Putsch The Beer Hall Putsch, also known as the Munich Putsch,Dan Moorhouse, ed schoolshistory.org.uk, accessed 2008-05-31.Known in German language, German as the or was a failed coup d'état by Nazi Party ( or NSDAP) leader Adolf Hitler, Erich Lu ...
(in November 1923), Nazi youth groups ostensibly disbanded, but many elements simply went underground, operating clandestinely in small units under assumed names. In April 1924, the ''Jugendbund der NSDAP'' was renamed ''Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung'' (Greater German Youth Movement). On 4 July 1926, the ''Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung'' was officially renamed ''Hitler Jugend Bund der deutschen Arbeiterjugend'' (Hitler Youth League of German Worker Youth). This event took place a year after the Nazi Party was reorganised. The architect of the re-organisation was
Kurt Gruber Kurt Gruber (21 October 1904 in Syrau, Vogtlandkreis, Vogtland – 24 December 1943 in Dresden) was a Nazism, Nazi politician and from 1926 to 1931 the first chairman of the Hitler Youth (''Hitler-Jugend'' or HJ). Career

After the failed Beer ...
, a law student from
Plauen Plauen (; Czech language, Czech: ''Plavno'') is, with around 65,000 inhabitants, the fifth-largest city of the Free State of Saxony after Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and Zwickau, the second-largest city of the Vogtland after Gera, as well as the ...
in Saxony. After a short power struggle with a rival organisation—
Gerhard Roßbach Gerhard Roßbach (28 February 1893 – 30 August 1967), also spelt Rossbach, was a German ''Freikorps ''Freikorps'' (, "Free Corps") were irregular German and other European military volunteer units, or paramilitary, that existed from t ...
's ''Schilljugend''—Gruber prevailed and his "Greater German Youth Movement" became the Nazi Party's official youth organisation. In July 1926, it was renamed ''Hitler-Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiterjugend'' ("Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth") and, for the first time, it officially became an integral part of the SA. The name ''Hitler-Jugend'' was taken up on the suggestion of
Hans Severus Ziegler Hans may refer to: *Hans (name) Hans is a Germanic languages, Germanic masculine given name in German language, German, Danish language, Danish, Dutch language, Dutch, Estonian language, Estonian, Faroese language, Faroese, Norwegian language, Nor ...
. By 1930, the ''Hitlerjugend'' (HJ) had enlisted over 25,000 boys aged 14 and upward. They also set up a junior branch, the ''
Deutsches Jungvolk The ''Deutsches Jungvolk in der Hitler Jugend'' (; DJ, also DJV; German for "German Youngsters in the Hitler Youth") was the separate section for boys aged 10 to 14 of the Hitler Youth The Hitler Youth (german: Hitlerjugend , often abbreviat ...
'' (DJ), for boys aged 10 to 14. Girls from 10 to 18 were given their own parallel organisation, the
League of German Girls The League of German Girls or the Band of German Maidens (german: Bund Deutscher Mädel, abbreviated as BDM) was the girls' wing of the Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalso ...
(BDM). In April 1932,
Chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ''cancellarii Cancelli are lattice-work, placed before a window, a door-way, the tribunal o ...
Heinrich Brüning Heinrich Aloysius Maria Elisabeth Brüning () (26 November 1885 – 30 March 1970) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ances ...
banned the Hitler Youth movement in an attempt to stop widespread political violence. However, in June, Brüning's successor as Chancellor,
Franz von Papen Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen, Erbsälzer zu Werl und Neuwerk (; 29 October 18792 May 1969) was a German conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals wit ...
, lifted the ban as a way of appeasing Hitler, the rapidly ascending political star. A further significant expansion drive started in 1933, after
Baldur von Schirach Baldur Benedikt von Schirach (9 May 1907 – 8 August 1974) was a Nazism, Nazi German politician who is best known for his role as the Nazi Party Reichsjugendführer, national youth leader and head of the Hitler Youth from 1931 to 1940. He later s ...

Baldur von Schirach
was appointed by Hitler as the first '' Reichsjugendführer'' (Reich Youth Leader). All youth organizations were brought under Schirach's control.


Doctrine

The members of the Hitler Youth were viewed as ensuring the future of
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
and they were indoctrinated in Nazi ideology, including racism. The Hitler Youth appropriated many of the activities of the
Boy Scout movement
Boy Scout movement
(which was banned in 1935), including camping and hiking. However, over time it changed in content and intention. For example, many activities closely resembled military training, with weapons training, assault course circuits and basic tactics. The aim was to turn the HJ into motivated soldiers. There was greater emphasis on physical ability and military training than on academic study. Sacrifice for the cause was inculcated into their training. Former Hitler Youth Franz Jagemann claimed that the notion "Germany must live" even if the members of the HJ had to die was "hammered" into them. The Hitler Youth were used to break up church youth groups, spy on religious classes and Bible studies, and interfere with church attendance. Education and training programs for the Hitler Youth were designed to undermine the values of traditional structures of German society. Their training also aimed to remove social and intellectual distinctions between classes, to be replaced and dominated by the political goals of Hitler's totalitarian dictatorship. Besides promoting a doctrine of classlessness, additional training was provided that linked state-identified enemies such as Jews with Germany's previous defeat in the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
, and societal decline. The Hitler Youth were indoctrinated with the myths of Aryan racial superiority and to view Jews and Slavs as subhumans. As historian Richard Evans observes, "The songs they sang were Nazi songs. The books they read were Nazi books."


Organisation

The Hitler Youth was organised into corps under adult leaders, and the general membership of the HJ consisted of boys aged 14 to 18. The Hitler Youth was organised into local cells on a community level. Such cells had weekly meetings at which various
Nazi doctrines
Nazi doctrines
were taught by adult leaders. Regional leaders typically organised rallies and field exercises in which several dozen Hitler Youth cells would participate. The largest gathering usually took place annually at
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...

Nuremberg
, where members from all over Germany would converge for the annual Nazi Party rally. Since the HJ and BDM were considered fully Aryan organizations by Nazi officials, premarital sex was encouraged in their ranks. The Hitler Youth maintained training academies comparable to preparatory schools, which were designed to nurture future Nazi Party leaders. The Hitler Youth also maintained several corps designed to develop future officers for the
Wehrmacht The ''Wehrmacht'' (, ) was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the German Army (1935–1945), ''Heer'' (army), the ''Kriegsmarine'' (navy) and the ''Luftwaffe'' (air force). The designation "''Wehrmacht ...
(Armed Forces). The corps offered specialised foundational training for each of the specific arms for which the member was ultimately destined. The Marine Hitler Youth (Marine-HJ), for example, served as an auxiliary to the ''
Kriegsmarine The ''Kriegsmarine'' (, ) was the navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily inte ...
''. Another branch of the Hitler Youth was the ''Deutsche Arbeiter Jugend – HJ'' (German Worker Youth – HY). This organisation within the Hitler Youth was a training ground for future labour leaders and technicians. Its symbol was a rising sun with a swastika. A program entitled ''Landjahr Lager'' (Country Service Camp) was designed to teach specifically chosen girls of the BDM high moral character standards within a rural educational setting. The Hitler Youth had a number of monthly and weekly publications: among them were the ''Hitler-Jugend-Zeitung'' (Hitler Youth Newspaper), the ''Sturmjugend'' (Storm Youth), ''Junge Front'' (Young Front), ''Deutschen Jugendnachrichten'' (News for German Youth), and ''Wille und Macht'' (Will and Power). Other publications included ''Das Junge Deutschland'' (Young Germany), ''Das deutsche Mädel'' (a paper for girls in the BdM), and ''Junge Dorfgemeinschaft'' (Young Villager).


Membership

In 1923, the youth organisation of the Nazi Party had a little over 1,200 members. In 1925, when the Nazi Party was refounded, the membership grew to over 5,000. Five years later, national membership stood at 26,000. By the end of 1932, it was at 107,956. The Nazis came to power in 1933, and the membership of Hitler Youth organisations increased dramatically to 2,300,000 members by the end of that year. Much of this increase came from the forcible takeover of other youth organisations. The sizeable ''Evangelische Jugend'' (Evangelical Youth), a Lutheran youth organisation of 600,000 members, was integrated on 18 February 1934. In December 1936, a law declared the Hitler Youth to be the only legally permitted youth organisation in Germany, and stated that "all of the German youth in the Reich is organised within the Hitler Youth". By December 1936, Hitler Youth membership had reached over five million. That same month, membership became mandatory for
Aryan Aryan or Arya (, Indo-Iranian *''arya'') is a term originally used as an ethnocultural An ethnoreligious group (or ethno-religious group) is an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each othe ...

Aryan
s under the ''Gesetz über die Hitlerjugend'' (Hitler Youth Law). This legal obligation was reaffirmed in March 1939 with the ''Jugenddienstpflicht'' (Youth Service Duty), which conscripted all German youths into the Hitler Youth—even if the parents objected. Parents who refused to allow their children to join were subject to investigation by the authorities. From then on, the vast majority of Germany's teenagers belonged to the Hitler Youth. By 1940, it had eight million members. Even before membership was made mandatory in 1939, German youth faced strong pressure to join. Students who held out were frequently assigned essays with titles such as "Why am I not in the Hitler Youth?" They were also the subject of frequent taunts from teachers and fellow students, and could even be refused their
diploma A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as college or university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study. The word diploma also refers to an academic award w ...
—which made it impossible to be admitted to university. A number of employers refused to offer apprenticeships to anyone who was not a member of the Hitler Youth. By 1936, the Hitler Youth had a monopoly on all youth sports facilities in Germany, effectively locking out non-members. Hitler spoke of the regime's ability to make Nazis out of these German youth, exclaiming in 1938: Over time, a number of boys dropped out due to the regimented nature of the organization. Some of these boys later rejoined after they learned that they could not get a job or enter university without being a member. There were a few members of the Hitler Youth who privately disagreed with Nazi ideologies. For instance,
Hans Scholl Hans Fritz Scholl (; 22 September 1918 – 22 February 1943) was, along with Alexander Schmorell, one of the two founding members of the White Rose Widerstand, resistance movement in Nazi Germany. The principal author of the resistance mo ...

Hans Scholl
—the brother of
Sophie Scholl Sophia Magdalena Scholl (9 May 1921 – 22 February 1943) was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose Nonviolence, non-violent Widerstand, resistance group in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of high trea ...
and one of the leading figures of the anti-Nazi resistance movement ''Weiße Rose'' (
White Rose The White Rose (german: Weiße Rose, ) was a non-violent, intellectual Widerstand, resistance group in Nazi Germany which was led by five students (and one professor) at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, University of Munich, includi ...

White Rose
)—was also a member of the Hitler Youth. Despite rare instances of disaffection, overall, the Hitler Youth constituted the single most successful of all the mass movements in the Third Reich.


World War II

On 1 May 1940,
Artur Axmann Artur Axmann (18 February 1913 – 24 October 1996) was the German Nazi national leader ('' Reichsjugendführer'') of the Hitler Youth (''Hitlerjugend'') from 1940 to the war's end in 1945. He was the last living Nazi with a rank equivalent to ...

Artur Axmann
was appointed deputy to Schirach, whom he succeeded as ''Reichsjugendführer'' of the Hitler Youth on 8 August 1940. Axmann began to reform the group into an auxiliary force which could perform war duties. The Hitler Youth became active in German fire brigades and assisted with recovery efforts to German cities affected by Allied
bombing A bomb is an explosive weapon that uses the Exothermic process, exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy. Detonations inflict damage principally through ground- and atmosphere-tr ...
. The Hitler Youth also assisted in such organisations as the Reich postal service, the Reich railway services, and other government offices; members of the HJ also aided the army and served with
anti-aircraft Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
defence crews. By 1943, Nazi leaders began turning the Hitler Youth into a military reserve to replace manpower which had been depleted due to tremendous military losses. The idea for a
Waffen-SS The ''Waffen-SS'' (, "Armed SS") was the combat branch of the Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a political party ...

Waffen-SS
division made up of Hitler Youth members was first proposed by Axmann to ''
Reichsführer-SS (, ) was a special title and rank that existed between the years of 1925 and 1945 for the commander of the (SS). ''Reichsführer-SS'' was a title from 1925 to 1933, and from 1934 to 1945 it was the highest rank of the SS. The longest-servi ...
''
Heinrich Himmler Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (; 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was of the (Protection Squadron; SS), and a leading member of the Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationa ...
in early 1943. The plan for a combat division made up of Hitler Youth members born in 1926 was passed on to Hitler for his approval. Hitler approved the plan in February and
Gottlob Berger Gottlob Christian Berger (16 July 1896 – 5 January 1975) was a senior German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Gottlob Berger
was tasked with recruiting.
Fritz Witt Fritz Witt (27 May 1908 – 14 June 1944) was a German SS commander during the Nazi era. During World War II, he served with the SS Division Leibstandarte before taking command of the SS Division Hitlerjugend. He was killed in action in June 1944. ...
of
SS Division Leibstandarte The 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler", short LSSAH, (german: 1. SS-Panzerdivision "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler") began as Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politic ...
(LSSAH) was appointed divisional commander. In 1944, the 12th SS-Panzer-Division ''Hitlerjugend'' was deployed during the
Battle of Normandy Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A cont ...
against the British and Canadian forces to the north of
Caen Caen (, ; nrf, Kaem) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what ...

Caen
. Over 20,000 German youths participated in the attempt to repulse the D-Day invasion; while they knocked out 28 Canadian tanks during their first effort, they ultimately lost 3,000 lives before the Normandy assault was complete. During the following months, the division earned a reputation for ferocity and fanaticism. When Witt was killed by Allied naval gunfire, SS-''Brigadeführer''
Kurt Meyer Kurt Meyer (23 December 1910 – 23 December 1961) was an SS commander and war criminal A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law Internatio ...
assumed command and became the divisional commander at age 33. As German casualties escalated with the combination of
Operation Bagration Operation Bagration (; russian: Операция Багратио́н, Operatsiya Bagration) was the codename for the 1944 Soviet Belorussian Strategic Offensive Operation (russian: Белорусская наступательная опера ...
and the Lvov-Sandomierz Operation in the east, and
Operation Cobra Operation Cobra was the codename for an Offensive (military), offensive launched by the United States First United States Army, First Army under Lieutenant General Omar Bradley seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Invasion of Norman ...
in the west, members of the Hitlerjugend were recruited at ever younger ages. By 1945, the ''
Volkssturm The ''Volkssturm'' (, "people's storm") was a national militia established by Nazi Germany during the last months of World War II. It was not set up by the German Army (1935–1945), German Army, the ground component of the combined German ''Wehr ...

Volkssturm
'' was commonly drafting 12-year-old Hitler Youth members into its ranks. During the
Battle of Berlin The Battle of Berlin, designated as the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, and also known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major Offensive (military), offensives of the European theatre of World War II. ...
, Axmann's Hitler Youth formed a major part of the last line of German defence, and they were reportedly among the fiercest fighters. Although the city commander, General
Helmuth Weidling Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling (2 November 1891 – 17 November 1955) was a German general during World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved ...
, ordered Axmann to disband the Hitler Youth combat formations, in the confusion this order was never carried out. The remnants of the youth brigade took heavy casualties from the advancing Russian forces. Only two survived.


Post World War II

The Hitler Youth was disbanded by Allied authorities as part of the
denazification Denazification (german: link=no, Entnazifizierung) was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social ...
process. Some Hitler Youth members were suspected of war crimes but, because they were children, no serious efforts were made to prosecute these claims. While the Hitler Youth was never declared a criminal organisation, its adult leadership was considered tainted for corrupting the minds of young Germans. Many adult leaders of the Hitler Youth were put on trial by Allied authorities, and Baldur von Schirach was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, he was convicted of crimes against humanity for his actions as ''Gauleiter'' of Vienna, not for his leadership of the Hitler Youth, because
Artur Axmann Artur Axmann (18 February 1913 – 24 October 1996) was the German Nazi national leader ('' Reichsjugendführer'') of the Hitler Youth (''Hitlerjugend'') from 1940 to the war's end in 1945. He was the last living Nazi with a rank equivalent to ...
had been serving as the functioning leader of the Hitler Youth from 1940 onward. Axmann only received a 39-month prison sentence in May 1949, but he was not found guilty of war crimes. Later, in 1958, a
West Berlin West Berlin (german: Berlin (West) or ) was a political enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' ...
court fined Axman 35,000
mark Mark may refer to: Currency * Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark The Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bo ...

mark
s (approximately £3,000, or US$8,300), about half the value of his property in Berlin. The court found him guilty of indoctrinating German youth with National Socialism until the end of the war, but concluded that he was not guilty of war crimes. German children born in the 1920s and 1930s became adults during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
years. Since membership was compulsory after 1936, it was neither surprising nor uncommon that many senior leaders of both
West West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are an evenly spaced set of horizontal directions (or azimuth An azimuth (; from Arabic اَلسُّمُوت ''as-sumūt'', 'the di ...
and
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
had been members of the Hitler Youth. Little effort was made to
blacklist Blacklisting is the action of a group or authority, compiling a blacklist (or black list) of people, countries or other entities to be avoided or distrusted as being deemed unacceptable to those making the list. If someone is on a blacklist, ...
political figures who had been members, since many had little choice in the matter. These German post-war leaders were nonetheless once part of an important institutional element of Nazi Germany. Historian Gerhard Rempel opined that Nazi Germany itself was impossible to conceive without the Hitler Youth, as their members constituted the "social, political, and military resiliency of the Third Reich" and were part of "the incubator that maintained the political system by replenishing the ranks of the dominant party and preventing the growth of mass opposition." Rempel also reports that a large percentage of the boys who served in the HJ slowly came to the realization that "they had worked and slaved for a criminal cause", which they carried for a lifetime. Some of them recalled a "loss of freedom" and claimed that their time in the HJ "had robbed them of a normal childhood." Historian Michael Kater relates how many who once served in the HJ were silent until older age when they became grandparents. While they were eventually able to look back at their place in "a dictatorship which oppressed, maimed, and killed millions", he maintains that an honest appraisal should lead them to conclude that their past contributions to the regime had "damaged their own souls." Once Nazi Germany was defeated by the Allied Powers, the Hitler Youth—like all NSDAP organisations—was officially abolished by the Allied Control Council on 10 October 1945 and later banned by the German Criminal Code.


Ranks and uniforms

''Reichsjugendführer'' (Reich Youth Leader) was the highest rank of the Hitler Youth and was held by the Nazi Party official in command of the entire organization. The rank of ''Reichsjugendführer'' was only held by two people during its existence, first by Baldur von Schirach and later by Artur Axmann. Members' summer uniform consisted of black shorts and a tan shirt with pockets, worn with a rolled black
neckerchief A neckerchief (from ''neck'' (n.) + ''kerchief A kerchief (from the Old French ''couvrechief'', "cover head"), also known as a bandana or bandanna, is a triangular or square piece of cloth tied around the Human head, head, face or neck for prote ...

neckerchief
secured with a
woggle A woggle is a device to fasten the neckerchief, or scarf, worn as part of the Scouting, Scout or Girl Guides uniform, originated by a Scout in the 1920s. Origins Early Scouts tied a knot in their neckerchief (scarf) to fasten it around the ne ...

woggle
, usually tucked under the collar. Headgear originally consisted of a
beret A beret ( or ; ) is a soft, round, flat-crowned cap, usually of woven, hand-knitted wool, crocheted cotton, wool felt, or acrylic fibre. Mass production of berets began in 19th century France and Spain, and the beret remains associated with ...

beret
, but this was discarded by the HJ in 1934. One flag/symbol used by the HJ was the same as the DJ, a white '' Sowilo''
rune Runes are the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing ...

rune
on a black background, which symbolised "victory". Another flag used was a red–white–red striped flag with a black swastika in the middle, inside a white shaped diamond. Full members would also receive a knife upon enrolment, with the motto "Blood and Honour" engraved upon it. Troop colours: * (''karmesinrot''): Area and ''Reichsjugendführer'' staffs * (''hochrot''): GeneralHJ * (''hellblau''): Flyer-HJ (''Flieger-HJ'') * (''rosa''): Motor HJ (''Motor-HJ'') * (''gelb''): Communications-HJ (''Nachrichten-HJ'') * (''grün''): HJ-agricultur service (''HJ-Landdienst)'' * (''weiß''): ** NSDAP educational institutions ** HJ-Patrol service (1943): (''Hj-Streifendienst'') * Navy-HJ (''Marine-HJ'') * Mounted-HJ: (''Reiter-HJ'') * HJ-mountain walk grups (''HJ-Bergfahrtengruppen'') * HJ-fire brigade units: (''HJ-Ferwehrscharen'') * HJ-field surgeon: (''HJ-Feldschere'') * BDM-health service girl (''BDM-Gesundheitsdienstmädel'') * Mountain-HJ: (''Gebirgsjäger-HJ'')


See also

*
National Socialist German Students' League The National Socialist German Students' Union (German language, German: ''Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund'', abbreviated NSDStB) was founded in 1926 as a division of the Nazi Party with the mission of integrating University-level e ...
*
National Socialist Schoolchildren's League The National Socialist Schoolchildren's League (Nationalsozialistischer Schülerbund), known under the acronyms NSS and more rarely NSSB, was a Nazi Party organisation for primary school pupils providing a student council and child protection syste ...
* Hitler Youth Badge * Vorwärts! Vorwärts! – Anthem of Hitler Youth *
Opera Nazionale Balilla Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB) was an Italian Fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of th ...
– Italian Fascist youth movement *
Great Japan Youth Party The , later known as the , was a nationalist youth organization in the Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of Jap ...
– Japanese Fascist youth movement *
Nationale Jeugdstorm The ''Nationale Jeugdstorm'' (English language, English: National Youth Storm; NJS) was a Dutch youth movement associated with the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) that existed from 1934 to 1945, organized as the Dutch equivale ...
– Dutch Fascist youth movement * ''
Jojo Rabbit ''Jojo Rabbit'' is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi, adapted from Christine Leunens's 2008 book ''Caging Skies''. Roman Griffin Davis portrays the title character, Johannes "Jojo" Betzler, a ten-year-old Hitler Y ...
'' – satire film about Hitler Youth


References

Informational notes Citations Bibliography * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


''Neville Chamberlain writes to the Hitler Youth''
on archive.org {{Authority control 1922 establishments in Germany 1945 disestablishments in Germany Nazi Party organizations Youth organizations established in 1922 Organizations disestablished in 1945 Youth in Germany Articles containing video clips