Hitler Youth: how the Third Reich used childrenâ€™s organisations to wage war
They started out as youth groups designed to educate German boys and girls in Nazi principles and secure the longevity of the Reich for future generations. But, over the course of the Second World War, clubs such as the Hitler Youth became Germanyâ€™s back-up armies, with children as young as 12 being armed with weapons and teenagers sent to fight Soviet forces on the front line.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Exhibition in Bielefeld shows the dark side of the Nazi Youth Movement, events resulted in hundreds of teenage pregnancies
An exhibition opened in the German city of Bielefeld, showing the dark underbelly of the famed Hitler Youth Movement. Using recorded testimonials, books, films, posters and other propaganda material the exhibition shows how the Nazis lured German children into the official Youth Leagues by offering sweets, comics, and camping trips. Under the guise of having fun, these leagues essentially brainwashed millions of young Germans to accept the Nazi doctrine and follow Hitler with slavish devotion.
Re-Educating The Hitler Youth (What To Do With The German Boy Soldiers?) – From Yank Magazine, 1945
Re-Educating The Hitler Youth (What To Do With The German Boy Soldiers?) – From Yank Magazine, 1945.
Footage shows Nazi Summer Camps In 1930s America
To the unsuspecting observer, the 25-minute silent, black and white video from the vaults of the U.S. National Archives seems to showcase a quaint, carefree summer camp for boys in 1937. Healthy, happy, high-energy guys - against the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains in New York - pitch tents, get muddy, shoot rifles, box and wrestle one another, raise a Nazi swastika flag ... Wait, what? In the 1930s Nazi summer camps for youngsters — like the one near Windham, N.Y., featured in the clip — popped up around the US. The pro-Hitler retreats were sponsored by German loyalists, such as the German-American Bund led by Fritz Kuhn. The Bund, "which came to include more than 70 local chapters," according to a 2014 National Archives blog post, "was founded in 1936 to promote Germany and the Nazi party in America.
Wolfhilde's Hitler Youth Diary 1939-1946 to be featured at Frankfurt Book Fair
`Wolfhilde's Hitler Youth Diary 1939-1946,` published by the nephews of Wolfhilde von König, will be featured at Frankfurt Book Fair. In this diary discovered after her death, Wolfhilde covers her life as a Hitler Youth from August 1939, when she is only 13 years old, through her 21st birthday in November 1946. Through her eyes we see the total involvement of the people during this time of war, experience her service as a Bund deutscherMädel and move on with her as she deals with devastation of the old reality and adjustment to the new ideology brought in by the Allied Occupation.
Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth by Cynthia A. Sandor
"Through Innocent Eyes" is a historical non-fiction novel based upon the journal of the author's mother, Gertrude Kerschner, and her life growing up in Kleinzell, Austria, during WWII, and how she meets PFC Robert Sandor, Sr. of the 65th Infantry. As Austria ceased to exist in 1938 when it was annexed into Nazi Germany, Gertrude joined the girls division of the Hitler Youth called the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BdM) and her life changed forever. This story takes an in-depth look into the education she received that leads her to become a chosen girl of the Hitler Youth, serving in the Country Service Camp called "Landjahr Lager Seidorf."
Loyal member of the Hitler Youth grew up to become a Jew
As a boy growing up in the Third Reich Theo Haser idolized Hitler. When the Führer came to his hometown of Munich to visit, Theo - a member of the Hitler Jugend - and his father were at the front of the crowd reaching out to touch his hand. "I know if I was able to shake his hand I probably wouldn't have washed for a few months." Theo's father was quite high up in the Nazi party: "Hitler, as far as my dad was concerned, was the best thing since sliced bread." Seventy years later, in a bid to come to terms with his Nazi past, Theo has converted to Judaism.
Win Schendel was forced to join Hitler youth league while growing up in Nazi Germany
Win Schendel remembers what it was like growing up in the Third Reich: having little personal freedom, using a ration card to get food and being distrustful of anyone. "I turned in my own father without even knowing it." His father, a doctor, disagreed with the Nazi ideology. Schendel revealed this to Nazi officers while training with Hitler Youth. German soldiers came one night to take his father away, and Schendel has never seen him since. "Everything was for survival." He also remembers having to pick up shrapnel after battles so the Germans could melt the metal down and use it to build ships.
Trautmann's Journey: From Hitler Youth to FA Cup Legend (book review)
In the 1956 Wembley Cup Final, Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann broke his neck but played on, inspiring his team to a 3-1 win. Many British fans remember him as a gentle giant who never hurt a fly - a good German captured early in the war. Too bad that none of it is true. His father was a member of the Nazi Party, and Trautmann joined the Hitler Youth as early as possible, volunteering for the Luftwaffe at 17. He saw combat as a paratrooper on the Eastern Front, earning the Iron Cross medal. In the POW camp Trautmann was classified as "black" - an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi regime.
Spyclists: How Hitler Youth's cycling tours caused panic in prewar Britain
Cycling tours by Hitler Youth groups and Nazi attempts to form links with the Boy Scout movement caused a security panic in prewar Britain, MI5 files reveal. Authorities monitored German students on bicycle tours in the late 1930s. A meeting between Lord Baden-Powell, head of the Scout movement, and Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German ambassador, rang even louder alarm bells in Whitehall. The term "spyclists" was coined because of an entry in the German Cyclist magazine: "Impress on your memory the roads... and other landmarks... Perhaps you should be able to utilise these sometime for the benefit of the Fatherland."
George Michelson, a member of the Hitler Youth, shares lessons learned (Article no longer available from the original source)
George Michelson recalls his first lesson in democracy: In 1950s his commander in the U.S. Army was telling troops that German children were forced to pray to Hitler. Michelson knew that was false, because he had been a member of the Hitler Youth. He disputed the captain, who apologized in front of the unit. Michelson said he realized that would have been impossible in Nazi Germany. "I learned to see the difference between America and Nazi Germany. I didn't embrace democracy early on because I didn't know what it meant." When Michelson turned 10 he signed up for the Hitler Youth. The Nazi way of life was all he knew, and he supported it.
Hitler Jugend photographs: Several galleries of Hitler Youth related pics
Dozens of Hitler Jugend (HJ, Hitler Youth) related photos. Notice: Two galleries, both featuring several pages.
Legendary tough guy Joe Munch (Hitler Youth, French Foreign Legion) reflects on life
Joe Munch - former child Nazi, French Legionnaire, cop and chief of security at Idaho's penitentiary (dry-eyed through the war and the prison life) - wiped away a tear: "You ask me which is the real Joe Munch. It's all of them. I've been the person who fit the situation." He joined the paramilitary Hitler Youth organization as a young boy, while his father served on the Russian Front (presumed to have died in Stalingrad) and his mother welded Panzer and Tiger tanks. By the war's end Joe delivered ammo to Nazi anti-aircraft gunners. "We got bombed by the Americans and lost everything. I hated Americans. I was taught that they were all bullies and gangsters."
Ex-Hitler youth warns America: Every day brings Nazi-style totalitarian abyss closer
Because it has gave up moral absolutes and its historic Christian faith, the U.S. is moving closer to a Nazi-style regime, says a member of the Hitler Youth in a new book. "Every day brings this nation closer to a Nazi-style totalitarian abyss," writes Hilmar von Campe, author of "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America." Von Campe grew up under the Nazis, served in the Hitler Youth and fought as a WWII tank gunner. Von Campe says he sees parallels among Americans and Nazi Germany. "I lived the Nazi nightmare, and, as the old saying goes, 'A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.'"
Hitler Youth camps turned german boys into Nazis - HitlerJugend
The Hitler Youth was set up by Adolf Hitler in 1922, mainly to recruit new members to the Nazi party. German boys were sent to camps to be indoctrinated in Nazi beliefs. There they did assault courses and were taught military strategy. They had to learn shooting, marching, bayonet drill, grenade throwing and Nazi dogma. Recruits who stood out were honoured with a Nazi dagger engraved with a swastika and the words "Blood and Honour". In 1936, membership was made compulsory for all boys aged 15-18. At its peak the Hitler Youth had 4,000,000 members. The Hitler Youth also fought in the final defence of Berlin in 1945.
Jungvolk: The Story of a Boy Defending Hitler's Third Reich by Wilhelm Gehlen
"In the eyes of our parents we were still kids, in the eyes of Hitler we were a convenient substitute for older flak personnel sent to the front." This is the WW2 memoir of a boy, who happened to be the nephew of the head of Nazi Germany's intelligence agency, Foreign Armies East. Will Gehlen's father was drafted into the Wehrmacht to man a Sturmgeschutz assault gun in russian front. His older brother Len was in the Hitlerjugend. The author became a helper at the Luftwaffe flak battery. It was exciting task for Will, a member of the Jungvolk - his flak battery kept firing until American tanks were almost on top of the position.
Hitlerjugend leader Otto Duscheleit - Collect stories of former Nazis before they die off
In 1943 Otto Ernst Duscheleit, a Hitler Youth leader, got the call: Join the Waffen-SS or be sent to a penal battalion. He would spend 2 years on the front, setting Russian villages ablaze during the retreat of German forces. 40 years later, Duscheleit had a dream in which he was called an "SS pig." The former Nazi began to reflect on his past. Overcome by shame, he started sharing his story. He is often confronted by right-wing youths. "One young man came to me and said, 'How can you speak that way as a former SS man and Hitler Youth leader?' I answered, 'I have learned something since then.'"
A child of Hitler: Growing up in the Third Reich - Blood and Honor
In Nazi Germany childhood ended at the age of 10, with admission to the Jungvolk, the junior branch of the Hitler Youth. From that time on we children became the political soldiers of the Third Reich. On April 20, 1938, Hitler’s 49th birthday, I joined the Jungvolk. I could hardly wait to give my oath of eternal loyalty to the Führer and get the dagger with "Blut und Ehre" (Blood and honor) engraved on it. Even more exciting, I was one of two 10-year-olds who would represent our district Jungvolk at the Nuremberg Party Congress. ... The Panzer officer who inspected our Hitler Youth formation was a Colonel Erwin Rommel; 5 years later he would be a field marshal.
The Reich's youngest Nazi Mascot in miniature SS uniform with insignia
Alex Kurzem has kept a lonely secret. As a 5yo boy he had witnessed the massacre of villagers, among them his mother, baby brother and sister. He escaped into woods where he lived by scavenging from dead bodies, until he was found and handed to Latvian police who "adopted" him as a mascot. When the battalion was changed to a Nazi SS unit, it had a miniature uniform made for him, complete with the SS insignia and pistol. He was paraded for newsreels as "the Reich's youngest Nazi" and taken to the Russian front with his squad watching atrocity after atrocity. "The Mascot: The Extraordinary Story of a Young Jewish Boy and an SS Extermination Squad" by Mark Kurzem.
English boy in the Hitler Youth - "one of the happiest of my life"
Abandoned in Nazi Germany English boy Paul Briscoe joined the Hitler Youth. Only when he came to Britain did he confront his guilt, and discover his mother's was even greater - Besotted with Nazism, she travelled back to Britain to spy for the Nazis. "I joined the Hitler Youth. I was the proudest boy alive when I first put on my black shorts and brown shirt and made a solemn oath that dedicated the rest of my life to the Fuhrer." In a box are happy memories: An old photo of a little boy in lederhosen, his Hitler Youth registration book with its ink stamp of the Miltenberg Nazi Party. "even now I think the day I was issued with it was one of the happiest of my life".
An autobiography by former Hitler youth soldier Hilmar von Campe
"How Was it Possible?" is an autobiography by Hitler youth and German soldier Hilmar von Campe, describing his life and remorse as an active participant in the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century. Von Campe lived through years of Nazi power and brain-washing. After WWII he came to grips with his own contribution to the Nazi atrocities, and why something like that could have happened, while the world looked the other way. "I had thought that as a soldier I was fighting for my country, but I came to realize that in reality I was fighting for the immoral purposes of a bunch of gangsters," von Campe says.
Fury at Hitler Youth uniform sale - with a swastika-daubed sword (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Royal British Legion has criticised an antiques shop for selling a Hitler Youth uniform and displaying it in the window. But staff have hit back, saying that the outfit was "harmless" and had attracted a lot of interest. The store is offering the genuine black cloth uniform, complete with a swastika-daubed sword, for £1,850. It is one of many items of Nazi memorabilia on sale. Behind the cash desk hangs a portrait of Hitler - also for sale. The Hitler Youth (HitlerJugend) was a paramilitary organisation that paved the way for German youngsters to join the Nazi party.
Investigation: Czech soldiers killed 5 HitlerJugend boys post-war (Article no longer available from the original source)
Czech authorities have started the investigation into the murder of 5 German boys in Postoloporty, that took place after the end of World War Two in June 1945. Five members of the Hitlerjugend youth organisation were standing an honorary guard in the Postoloporty barracks. However, the boys aged 14-15 left the barracks. According to one version, they intended to escape and according to the other they just wanted to pick up fruit in an orchard behind the fence. However, the boys were caught and shot dead. They were evidently killed by Czech soldiers. In May 1945, 700-800 German men were shot dead in Postoloporty.
Manfred Schmellenkamp: In Hitler’s army in the last days of Reich (Article no longer available from the original source)
"When I was 10, I joined the Hitler Youth like all boys did. Hitler Youth was comparable to Scouts. We camped... But we were indoctrinated politically. We were told that Germans are 'the' race, the English were all high-lipped, the French were all lovers and the Americans were all gangsters... We wore uniforms and worked on projects. ... When I was 18, everyone was drafted into the infantry, and I volunteered for the air force. I was shipped to the Mediterranean with the Luftwaffe. ... Our company commander said if we died, we were going to die for Fuhrer and Fatherland. I thought, not me."
Neatly dressed and disciplined, Hitler Youth were a hit in Japan (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Hitler-Jugend (Hitler Youth), a paramilitary youth organization of Third Reich's Nazi Party, sent a delegation to Japan on the eve of World War II. The group stayed for 3 months and received a passionate welcome as it toured the nation, which strengthened its ties with Nazi Germany. On the morning of Oct. 7, 1938, members of the Hitler-Jugend stood in front of Yamada Station. The German youths raised their right hands in a Nazi salute in response to a throng of spectators who welcomed them with waving flags, and marched on to the shrine in perfect order. The Hitler-Jugend visited Japan again from Oct to Dec 1940.
Man hid his true identity by enlisting in the Hitler Youth
An 81-year-old Jewish man who hid his identity by enlisting in the Hitler Youth was honoured at the German factory where he saw out the war. After fleeing to Russia from Lodz following the 1939 invasion of Poland, Solomon Perel was captured by the Nazis in 1941. But he was able to join the youth movement and secure employement at a plant which made military vehicles for the Third Reich. A plaque was unveiled at the VW factory commemorating his bravery. He said: "In the daytime, I acted like an enthusiastic member of the Hitler youth."
Nazi brainwashing started with Germany's youths
Hitler proved it. An organization can have a profound influence on what people believe. "Hitler Youth: Growing Up In Hitler's Shadow" shows photographs, facts, a number of stories and the means that the Nazi party used to mold the German youth through youth organizations, special activities and propaganda. One of the many means the Nazi party used to influence young people was the organization known as the HitlerJugend, formed in 1926 with 6,000 members. In a mere 13 years, it influenced a generation to an unbelievable degree. By 1939 HitlerJugend 7.3 million members had contributed greatly to the Nazi Army and Waffen-SS.
Story of Anton Geiser - assigned to the Nazi Waffen SS
Geiser has lived quietly in the US for 47 years. Nobody knew that he was a camp guard for the German army during World War II. Geiser, assigned to the Nazi Waffen SS, was so ashamed of his service that he kept it to himself. As a teenager he joined the German Youth: "If you didn’t join the rest, you wouldn’t be respected." He was 17 when he got a letter: The Nazis had ordered that all ethnic Germans serve in the German military. He traveled to Breslau and was issued a uniform and an 8 mm rifle with bayonet. Infantry training included use of a rifle, machine gun, pistol and hand grenades, and marching. The new soldiers also attended classes in Nazi ideology.
Massacre in Velke Mezirici - A commando from Hitlerjugend (Article no longer available from the original source)
South Bohemian police have ascertained the circumstances of a massacre that occurred at the end of WW2 in Velke Mezirici. The findings would help police uncover persons responsible for the massacre. However, this will not be enough putting the perpetrators to trial since it is still necessary to question possible eye-witnesses living in Germany. During the massacre that happened on May 7, 1945, 63 people died. At the time when the war ended at most places in Europe a commando of young people from Hitlerjugend decided to punish people who joined the new local authorities.
Hitler Youth: An Interview with Michael H. Kater
The media reported that Cardinal Ratzinger had been a member of the Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend). Is it significant that he was a member? Not as such, because after 1939 every child above 10 up to 18 was forced to join. -- Why did Hitler create the Hitler Youth? He was persuaded before 1933 that in order for the Party and the National Socialist movement to continue they needed recruits. Those had to be reared in good time and systematically. -- Did anybody refuse to join the Hitler Youth? In severe cases, when they did not join and went in for physical attacks on the Hitler Youth (Edelweisspiraten) they could be arrested and put in a special youth concentration camp.
From HitlerJugend to the Vatican
The first German pope for nearly 1,000 years comes from Bavaria. His father was a police officer whose career suffered because he refused to become a Nazi. The young Ratzinger served briefly and unenthusiastically with the Hitler Youth and later with a German army anti-aircraft unit guarding the BMW factory in Munich. Ratzinger has defended himself from criticism of his war record by claiming - not strictly truthfully - that he could not have avoided military service in the circumstances. Others did and maybe he could have used his training in a seminary to dodge the call-up. In April 1945 he deserted, briefly becoming a prisoner of war.
HitlerJugend messenger Armin Lehmann - Memoirs From Hitler's Bunker
He was a high-flying member of the Hitler Youth, just 16yo and one of the youngest, proudest occupants of the Fuhrer's bunker. Armin Lehmann, brought up to idolise Hitler, revelled in his duties as a courier for the German High Command in the WW2. In April 1945, he was chosen to run messages between the radio room below the party Chancellery and Hitler's secret bunker in Berlin. He had distributed Hitler's last orders not to surrender. "It never entered my mind, even then, as the bombs rained down, that we would lose," said Lehmann, author of "In Hitler's Bunker: A Boy Soldier's Eyewitness Account of the Fuhrer's Last Days."
Hitler Youth Movement
Immediately after Adolf Hitler was given dictatorial powers he ordered that either youth organizations join the Nazi’s or disband. Hitler Youth Movement were under the power of Baldur Von Schirach. He set up age brackets as well as a Hitlers youth for girls called the BDM (Bund Deutcher Madel - League of German Girls). The age brackets for boys were from 10 to 14 in the jungvolk, and the boys from 14 to 18 were in the HJ (Hitler Jugend). The girls had their age brackets as well: the young girls from 10 to 14 were in the Jungmadel, and the girls from 14 to 18 were in the actual BDM.