The Nazis and Young People

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					       "In Germany, the Nazis first came for the
 Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't
  a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I
  didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they
  came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up
  because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came
for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was
   a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that
    time there was no one left to speak up for me.“

(From Martin Niemoeller, Berlin Lutheran pastor, arrested by the Gestapo and
sent to Dachau Concentration Camp in 1938; the Allied forces freed him seven
                                 years later.)
The Nazis and Young People
• Hitler wanted to turn all young people into
  Loyal Nazis – the future.
• Three great influences:
  – their families
  – their schools
  – youth movements
     • Hitler Youth
     • League of German maidens
• Man’s role was worker or soldier,
  Woman’s role was in the home, having
  children & caring for her family
• Declining birthrate – contraception & work
  if Germany was to be great its population
  needed to increase
• Campaign to promote motherhood
• Mothers expected to encourage children to
  worship the Fuhrer & join the Hitler Youth.
•   97% teachers joined Nazi Teacher’s Association
•   Nazi curriculum:
    –   PE 15% - exam & failure could lead to expulsion
    –   History – concentrated on rise of Nazis, injustices of TofV, evils of
        communism & the Jews
    –   Biology – Nazi ideas on race & population control – classify racial
        types, Aryans superior, should not marry inferior
    –   German – national identity, German heroes of myth & legend
    –   Geography – lands which used to be German & need for Lebensraum
    –   RE – less important, & by 1937 pupils could drop the subject
•   Girls studied domestic science & eugenics
•   Jews – school became very difficult
•   Leadership schools:
    –   “Napolas” (National Political Institutes of Education) controlled by SS
        for future chiefs in government & army
    –   Adolf Hitler Schools – military style education, (not classes but
        platoons) – complaints about falling academic standards
                Hitler Youth
• Youth movements popular for a long time:
  hiking, folk-songs, camping, sport
• Nazis formed Hitler Youth in 1920s
• After 1933 young people encouraged to join
  Hitler Youth
• Most other youth organisations closed down
• By 1936 almost impossible not to join Hitler
• Camps – military activities, oath of loyalty,
  customs, (jumping through fire at summer
• Adolf Hitler believed that the support of the youth was
  vital to the future of the third Reich and aimed, through
  the Hitler Youth programme, to produce a generation of
  loyal supporters of Nazi views.

• Posters were used to attract more members and
  membership rose from 5,000 in 1925 to 25,000 in 1930.

• When the Nazis came to power in 1933 other youth
  groups were forcibly merged into the Hitler Youth and by
  the end of 1933 membership stood at just over 2 million.

• In December 1936, membership of the Hitler Youth
  became virtually compulsory for all boys and girls aged
  over 10 years - membership could only be avoided by
  not paying subscription fees, but this 'loophole' was
  relaxed in 1939 and membership increased to 8 million
  members by 1940.
• There were separate Hitler Youth groups for boys and girls:
• Boys aged 6 - 10 years joined the Little Fellows (Pimpf). They did
  mainly outdoor sports type activities such as hiking, rambling and

• Boys aged 10 - 13 years joined the German Young People
  (Deutsche Jungvolk). They still did sporting activities but these had
  a more military emphasis such as parading and marching as well as
  map reading. They also learnt about Nazi views on racial purity and

• Boys aged 14 - 18 years joined the Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend).
  They were prepared to be soldiers by doing military activities.

• Girls aged 10 - 14 years joined the Young Maidens (Jungmadel)
  where they were taught good health practices as well as how to
  become good mothers and housewives. They also learnt about Nazi
  views on racial purity and anti-semitism.

• Girls aged 14 - 21 joined the League of German Maidens
  (Deutscher Madel) where they were further prepared for their roles
  as the mother of future Germans.
   League of German Maidens
• Girls encouraged to join
• Girls’ youth organisations less important than
  boys, as girls were not being prepared for
  military service
• Girls had to do similar activities & tests to boys
• Girls too had to attend camps, learn about Nazi
  leaders, memorise details of TofV, German
  Customs & stories
• Sports – javelin, running, throwing, somersaults,
  tightrope walk, two-hour march or 100 metre
  swim, (+ know how to make a bed)

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