Adolf Hitler and the German Youth

Emily Larson

Prelude to War

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. There was a massive torchlight parade conducted that night and Hitler's Youth was among the columns of people. After two months, Hitler acquired his power after the Enabling Act. After this, Hitler and his organizations had the power of State on their side.
Pictured above (left) is the torchlight ceremony. We can see how people attended this event. To the right is Hitler as his salute.

The German Youth

Hitler made it very clear as to what he wanted in his youth. He said "The weak must be chiselled away. I want young men and woman who can suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel". The Hitler Youth was created in the 1920's. By 1933, there were 100,000 active members in this group. In 1936, the membership reached 4 million members. The age targeted was children 10 to 18 years old. There were two separate groups: the boys and the girls. The boys were trained and prepared to head to war. The girls were prepared for motherhood. Boys age 10 to 13 were in Deutsches Jungvolk and then transferred to Hitler Jugend till age 18. At this point they were being trained for the military. For girls, at age 10 they were placed in Jungmadelbund and at age 14 transferred to Bund Deutsches Madel. They had to run 60 meters in 14 seconds , throw a ball 12 meters , complete a 2 hour match, swim 100 meters and make a bed.

Down below are boys and girls of the German Youth. To the left are the boys taking a march and to the right are the girls being taught a useful lesson. In the middle is a poster advertising Hitler's Youth and how you can be happy when you join the organization.

Education of the Youth

Devotion to Adolf Hitler was a key point in the education of the German Youth. In fact, the children celebrated Hitler's 20th birthday as a nation holiday for membership inductions. Adolescents took a pledge to Hitler and to serve the nation and their leader in the future. The schools and their education played an important part in spreading Nazi ideas. For example, some books were removed and books about the love for Hitler, racism, and militarism were now on the shelves. Textbooks described the thrill of a child seeing their leader for the first time. Board games and toys were another way to spread racial and political propaganda to the youth. When the men turned 18, they were required to enlist in the military or into the Reich Labor Service for which their past activities have prepared them for.


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