Hitler and The German Youth

By: Jordyn Trog

Significance in WWII

Starting in 1920's, the Nazi Party was targeting young German kids to be an audience for their propaganda messages. Hitler would take any kid from the ages 10-18 years old.The Nazi Party emphasized that it was a movement for the young kids. They were told that the Party was dynamic, resilient, forward-looking, and hopeful. Millions of kids were won over by these facts they were told in the classroom. School played a big role in spreading Nazi ideas to these kids, they would replace their regular textbooks to ones that taught them to love Hitler. (Caption for picture: a group of young boys hailing to Hitler.)

Specific Details

In the beginning of 1933 the Hitler Youth group had only around 50,000 members, but by the end of the year it had reached over 2 million members. They it increased again to 5.4 million by 1936. In 1939 it was mandatory for the kids to join the Hitler Youth group. The boys and girls were separate into different groups. The boys had to learn how to march, do bayonet drills, grenade throwing, trench digging, map reading, gas defense, use of dugouts, how to get under barbed wire, and pistol shooting. The girls on the other hand had to be able to run 60 meters in 14 seconds, throw a ball at least 12 meters, had to complete a 2 hour march, swim 100 meters, and know how to make a bed.

Background Infomation

Before the Nazi Party was ever founded, there was already a strong youth movement that started in the 1890's. This movement consisted of only males. This youth group grew rapidly from 1900-1914, also this youth group inspired others to make youth groups. When World War I was starting in 1914, most of the German youths went to the battle field, they died by the millions. By 1918 German had been defeated and went into political and social chaos. In 1919 young Hitler lead the German Workers' Party. The year after he renamed it the National Socialist German Workers' Party(NSDAP) or also called the Nazi Party. The same year, 1920, he would formed a youth league of the Nazi party. At this time the youth party was taking kids from the age of 14-18 years. The Nazi Youth League would attracted very few members at first. On November 9, 3,000 Nazis, who were lead by Hitler, marched to the center of Munich and encountered a police blockade. 16 Nazis were killed along with 3 police, Hitler fled the scene and was arrested 2 days later. When Hitler went to prison the Nazi Party and youth group were officially disbanded. Most people that this was the last they'd see of Hitler. (Caption for picture: A League of German Maidens poster saying, "Every girl belongs to us".)

Organization/Appearance

The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were used as tools by the Nazis to shape the beliefs, thinkings, and actions of German youth. The leaders would stage propaganda events to create an illusion of one national community that characterized Germany before 1933. Hitler Youth was founded in 1926 and its original purpose was to train boys so they would be ready to enter the SA; but after 1933, the leaders sought to integrate boys into the Nazi group and prepare them to become soldiers in the SS.

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