Children in Nazi Germany - Growing up in the Third Reich.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
How the Hitler Youth Turned a Generation of Kids Into Nazis
The Boy Scouts` motto was `Be Prepared.` But nothing could prepare Max Ebel for what happened after Hitler banned the Boy Scouts. As other boys cheered, the 17-year-old was surrounded by a gang of Nazi Youth—one of whom had a knife. Ebel`s refusal to leave scouting behind had just turned into a fight for his life. It was 1937, and the Boy Scouts were one of many youth organizations on the Nazis` verboten list. Ebel, a pacifist who distrusted the Nazis, refused—and paid the price. The Boy Scout was harassed and then attacked by a group of Nazi Youth. In an attempt to force him to join, one of the members stabbed him in the hand. Ebel fought back, grabbed the knife, and cut the other boy`s face. Ebel was just one of millions of young Germans whose lives were changed by the Hitler Youth—a group designed to indoctrinate kids into Hitler`s ideology, then send them off to war.
Movie review: The Wave (Die Welle) shows how to turn children into Nazis
In Die Welle (The Wave, by Dennis Gansel) teacher Wenger invites his students to take part in an experiment. Put their faith in him and he will deliver a unique insight into the mindset of a citizen in a nazi state. What begins as a light-hearted study in psychological manipulation soon runs away with itself. By midweek, Wenger is recoiling in horror. His students have been transformed into an ersatz Hitler Youth complete with uniform, badge, salute and an keenness to jackboot all nonbelievers. The film is modelled on a real experiment that took place in a classroom in Palo Alto, California.
German schoolgirl`s wartime diaries: Bombing raids on Hamburg, evacuation
Bombing raids on Hamburg, evacuation to the countryside and the dangerous journey home are all recorded in a German schoolgirl`s WW2 diaries. The "battered, chintz-covered little book" belonged to Geseke Clark`s elder sister Hilke and might have stayed an unread heirloom if Geseke had not translated it. The diary also gives a glimpse of how effectively the children were brainwashed. Even at the end of the war, Hilke was still in awe of Adolf Hitler. "She had been at a school where the teachers were all Nazis. She was definitely indoctrinated, although not by our parents."
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.
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German children born during World War 2 not yet over trauma
The psychological wounds of older Germans who were children during WW2 were never handled. As a result, many are still carrying the wartime trauma they experienced, said Hartmut Radebold, who studied the German war children for years. Many women found it hard to open up to a male partner because most of them were raised exclusively by their mothers and grandmothers since the German men died in the war. The painful war memories were locked in the children`s memories and stayed in their adult subconscious while they attempted to live normal lives. Now, as they near retirement age, with no work to distract their attention, the memories resurface.
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.
During WWII German children collected Hitler cards - Now auctioned
During the 1930s, British children collected cards of their sporting heroes. But over in Nazi Germany, kids were gluing pictures of less innocent figures into their prized albums. One collection focused on Adolf Hitler, with its 204 cards recording the dictator`s rise to power and pics of the Führer in uniform with his Nazi henchmen, like Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels. The 133-page book, published in 1935, is one of a rare set of 3 made by the Nazis and now being auctioned. The others are a 151-page history of the Nazi party (204 collectors` cards, 1933), and a 97-page history of Germany in the post-First World War era (`Die Nachkriegszeit`, 252 cards, 1935).
The secret history of the Nazi mascot Alex Kurzem
Alex Kurzem came to Australia in 1949 carrying just a small brown briefcase. Tucked away in his briefcase were the secrets of his past: fragments of his life that he kept hidden. In 1997 he finally revealed himself. He told how, at the age of 5, he had been adopted by the SS and became a Nazi mascot. His personal history, one of the most remarkable stories to emerge from the Second World War, was published in a book The Mascot. "They gave me a uniform, a little gun and little pistol." In newsreels he was paraded as `the Reich`s youngest Nazi` and he witnessed atrocities. But his SS masters never discovered that their little Nazi mascot was Jewish.
WWII diaries of a young German girl: 1944-1945 an idyllic time in Bavaria (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War II diaries of young German girl Elsbeth Zambas have been rediscovered by their author more than 60 years after the conflict ended. In 1944, she was an 11yo evacuee forced to flee Castrop-Rauxel as Allied bombs pounded the collieries there that fed the Nazi war effort. Her family`s proximity to danger was illustrated in 1943, when the basement of their home was waterlogged after the Dambusters` raid holed four damns and flooded the Ruhr valley. 1944-1945 diaries record an idyllic time spent away from this in Bavaria. The war which gripped the globe seemed far away. She looks back on her evacuee years as some of the happiest of her life.
Nazi-era boardgames: Bombers over England, V-1 rockets, Paratroopers
During World War II, British children passed the time with marbles and hopscotch. But over in Nazi Germany, the amusements were far less innocent. In one version of bagatelle called Bombers over England, children were encouraged to blow up settlements by firing a spring-driven ball on to a board featuring a map of Britain. Players were awarded a maximum 100 points for landing on London, while Liverpool was worth 40. Historian Richard Westwood-Brookes said: "It is a very uncomfortable feeling, thinking of a group of German children back in 1940 getting excited at scoring 100 points for destroying London when the grim realities of the Blitz were taking place."
Lost Red Army Children - "being made pregnant by force"
More than 60 years after the end of World War II, the children of Red Army soldiers, "Russian children," born in eastern Germany during the Soviet occupation are now searching for their fathers. 61yo Jan Gregor can still remember "every word my mother said on the day she decided to tell me the truth." He knew what she meant when she talked about "being made pregnant by force" - violated by 4 Red Army soldiers during the final days of WWII. For decades this was a taboo subject in eastern Germany; initially the Soviet Occupation Zone. For 40 years in the GDR posters sang the praises of the "Soviet-German Friendship" and violation of women did not fit the image of the heroic Soviet army.
Life in Nazi Germany - Childhood disrupted by World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
Marianne Parrish was a young girl living in Koslin near the Polish border when WWII began. Her memories are vivid, like fleeing westward amidst constant fear of bombardment from Allied planes. "If I close my eyes I can still see these tremendous fires." She remembers the strife when the Nazis took control: "The Nazis were a minority when they came to power. They got the support of the old conservative landowners. It was a choice between the Nazis and the communists, there was fighting in the streets." In 1943 or 1944, her father was drafted into Wehrmacht as a quartermaster and sent to the Russian front. It was through him that they learned about the Nazi atrocities.
German son finds World War II GI dad from America
Michael Brison was one of many German children, fathered by American GIs who asked: "Who is my father?" While many Germans in this situation are still seeking the answer to their question, Brison was "lucky." Once he started his search he had the answer in a few weeks. In 2002, Brison met his father for the first time. "I knew my father was an American GI. and that he had served in the U.S. Army in Frankfort-Hoechst." Jim Brison said he was stationed in the Army in Germany with the 317th Engineers. He met Michael`s mother, Stefanie Zentner, and the couple had a relationship for more than a year before Michael was born.
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.
"...we had to dry our dishes with a swastika flag" - Hilke’s diary
She was 12, and she has just started a diary, probably her first. "To this diary I will entrust both my joys and my sorrows." Like most girl’s diaries, Hilke’s has never been published. The diary runs from July 27, 1940 to August 4, 1945. --- One day there is an outing to the zoo. Hilke is so disappointed not to be able to go, but, as she explains in her diary entry for Sept 28, 1941: "I was on duty with the Hitler Youth Group." April 25, 1945: "... All the pictures of Hitler are being buried, the flags torn to bits ... Today we had to dry our dishes with a swastika flag. I couldn’t stand that so I walked out."
Germans` desperate quest for fatherland with Army campaign maps (Article no longer available from the original source)
Ever since he was a teenager, Erich Hones has felt the need to know about his father. The only clue was a Florida address scribbled down in 1946 by his German mother who had sought solace in the arms of an American GI in the chaotic aftermath of World War II. He studied US Army campaign maps to find out which units had been in the area and last year, he had enough information to present his data to a search agency. He has become one of the thousands of Germans racing against time to track down their real fathers. Called the Soldatenkinder, they were the product of relationships between Allied soldiers and German women.
My Dad, The War Criminal - documentary
Hanns Ludin isn’t much more than a footnote in the histories of the Shoah. He is mentioned only once in William Shirer’s "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," in connection with his being thrown out of the Wehrmacht for supporting Hitler in 1930; twice in Hans Hohne’s history of the SS for his ability to survive as an SA officer after the "Night of the Long Knives". He may be a minor Nazi functionary, albeit a doggedly loyal one, but he was important enough for the Czechs to have tried, and hanged in 1947. In "Two or Three Things I Know About Him," Malte Ludin explores his father’s role in horrors of WW2.
Children of the Enemy - German mothers and Allied soldier fathers
In the decade after World War 2, more than 100,000 babies were born to unwed German mothers and Allied soldier fathers. Most of the men left without ever meeting their children. Now, many "occupation babies" are scrambling to find their fathers before it`s too late. According to the Federal Statistics Office, at least 66,700 children were born to Allied soldiers and West German women in the decade after WWII. In the former East Germany, at least that number are thought to have been fathered by Red Army soldiers. The true figures are probably much greater. Faced with illegitimacy and "fraternizing with the enemy," many hid their children`s paternity.
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.
Two sisters walking across burning wartime Nazi Germany
Barbie`s mother Mutti sent Barbie to live with 19-year-old Eva. But soon after Barbie`s arrival, the siren sounded nightly to warn of air-raids, and Nazi officials warned that the Allies would starve them to death by stopping food supplies. So two sisters set off on an 300-mile trek to find their mother. They reached Rudolstadt as the Allied bombardment of the city began. Hours later, they picked their way through twisted metal, leaving the rattle of machine gun fire behind them, the sisters fled into the forest. Later they spotted a convoy of American tanks. To their amazement, instead of shooting them, they grinned and waved.
Germany`s war children scramble to find their American GI fathers
They were offspring of the occupation era, born to German women who had flings with American GIs -- sometimes for love, sometimes for a moment`s passion, and sometimes, in the hardest days immediately after WWII, for a few packs of cigarettes or a pair of nylon stockings. Johnny went marching home, often leaving no forwarding address or even a full name. Perhaps unaware of the pregnancy. His lover was left to face disapproving parents and neighbors. Or a German soldier-husband returning from the front.
Witnesses of War - Children`s Lives Under the Nazis
With Nazi Germany`s defeat inevitable in the last months of WWII, Adolf Hitler nonetheless chose to hurl the nation`s last human resource into the maw of destruction. That many of the boys went to their deaths drunk on fascist idealism is proof of the propagandistic efficiency of the Third Reich. Nicholas Stargardt ranges across the experience of wartime life under the Nazis. Children were subjected to fearsome Allied bombings, forced labor, deportations, the violent deaths of parents and siblings, brutalization by enemies and starvation. "Children were torn between models of heroic resistance and the power of their conquerors."
Horrors of post-war German foster homes are exposed
A shameful chapter of Germany`s post-war past has surfaced in a new book exposing the plight of thousands of children who were locked up, beaten, and treated as slave labour in church-run foster homes during the 1950s and 1960s. Beaten in God`s Name, by the journalist Peter Wensierski, is a 300-page account of the ordeal suffered by an estimated half a million young people in West Germany`s 3,000 Catholic and Protestant church-run children`s homes shortly after the Second World War.
Vogelsang Castle: In the Shadow of the Third Reich
Since the US Army occupied Burg Vogelsang, one of the Nazi`s four elite schools, in 1945 hardly a civilian has had a chance to see it. Young men were molded into Nazi leaders of the future at Vogelsang Castle in the Rhineland. The complex is the best maintained example of Third Reich architecture in Germany, and since Jan. 1 it`s open to the public. For now though, security guards patrol the grounds to prevent former Nazis and neo-Nazis from making "pilgrimages" to the Third Reich`s old school.
School art from Nazi era shows children`s view of Third Reich
The exhibition is the first in post-war German history to illustrate in detail what adolescent school pupils chose or were ordered to draw in the Third Reich while they attended art classes at Munich grammar schools during the 1930s and early 1940s.