The appearance of this organization was preceded by another, earlier. According to a number of researchers, it was founded on March 8 of the year 1922. On this day, Hitler made his characteristic expression, which the public liked so much, in Volkisher Beobachter. His speech was addressed to the German youth, he called on its representatives to join the ranks of the Youth Union organization (Jugendbund), thereby joining the NSDAP. The initiator of the creation of this union was 18-year-old party member Gustav Adolf Lenk. At the same time, Lenk himself was not accepted into the game in 1920 due to his small age. Despite a number of disagreements that were between Lenk and Hitler, the latter nevertheless appointed him as the head of the Youth Union, which Germans from the ages from 14 to 18 could join. Those who entered had to fully share the views of the Nazis. The organization itself was divided into three subgroups: Jungmannschaften, designed for boys from 14 to 16 years, Jungsturm Adolf Hitler - for teenagers from 17 to 18 years, the organization also had a section for girls.
4 July 1926 was decided to rename Hitlerjugend as part of the Weimar Party Congress. This name was coined by Julius Streicher, and the full name of the organization was Hitlerjugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiter-Jugend (Hitler youth, union of German working youth). Two years later, Jungvolk (Young People) was created at 1928, the organization was designed for boys between the ages of 10 and 14 years. After some time in Germany, BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel) began to operate, which included German girls between the ages of 14 and 18. At the time of Adolf Hitler's coming to power, there were approximately 100 000 people in the Hitler Youth.
Members of the Hitler Youth, 1938 Year
In the last years of the Weimar Republic, the Hitler Youth managed to contribute to the escalation of violence on the streets of Germany. Organized groups of young people participating in this movement attacked the cinemas of the country, in which the anti-war film "On the Western Front Without Change" was shown based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque. Violence against viewers of the film and cinema owners led to the fact that this picture was even withdrawn from film distribution in many regions of the country.
In the early stages of the organization’s existence, its leadership sought to attract young people to it by any means. Solemn processions, parades and propaganda marches were organized throughout the country, sports competitions and military games, youth gatherings, hiking tours, international meetings with members of the youth fascist associations of Italy and other European states were held. The joint life and a large number of different events made the Hitler Youth an attractive enough organization for the German youth of 1930. Members of the organization also conducted regular pilgrimages to Braunau-in-Inn, the home of Adolf Hitler. In those years, any German youth could find something interesting for himself in the organization’s activities: it was not always war games, parades or sports, the organization’s members found time for aeromodelling, music, art or folk crafts, etc.
The Hitler youth did not consist only of paramilitary actions. On Sundays, its participants held parties in which small groups of young people gathered. They were engaged in the elaboration of plans for further action, and also collectively listened to propaganda broadcasts. At the same time, the young men who were not members of the Hitler Youth, were increasingly moving away from their comrades who were in the organization.
The camp of the Hitler Youth in the 22.08.1938 Mountains.
Joining the organization was possible with 10 years. Every year on March 15, all boys who reached the age of 10 were registered on a mandatory basis at the Imperial Youth Headquarters. After a sufficiently careful study of the information about the child and his family members, where special attention was paid to the “racial purity” of the young man, he was considered “free from shame”. In order to be accepted into the organization, it was necessary to pass the so-called "Tests of boys", as well as the examination by doctors. This was followed by a solemn ceremony of admission to the younger age group, which was called junfolk. The transition to the next step was carried out on reaching the 14 age, on April 20 on the Führer's birthday, in the presence of high-ranking party leadership. This transition was quite pompous and solemn.
Important attention in the youth organization was given to topics such as racial theory, German история and political geography, as well as population policy. In the foreground, in the Hitler Youth, there was a policy towards the Jews and the “Main race”, according to the history of the young man they traversed the history of the party and the biography of its leader - Adolf Hitler. In political geography, the greatest attention was paid to countries with fascist regimes in power. At the same time, even more important than the mental education of adolescents, was their physical education. The basis of the sports development of the German youth were various sports competitions. Since 1935, sports competitions of the Reich were organized annually in Germany. There were competitions in team sports and athletics, hand-to-hand combat and many other disciplines. Beginning in 1937, the Hitler Youth introduced compulsory adolescent training for shooting weapons.
At the first stage, even despite the fact that the Third Reich needed perfect people without flaws and injuries, special departments were created in the Hitler Youth for those children who had problems with hearing or sight, but on one condition that it happened not their fault. In general, it all began quite harmlessly. Something the organization was like any other organization of adolescents, be it the pioneer or the boy scout movement. So the boys were engaged in the fact that in the summer they sailed, pasted model airplanes, went on campaigns. It would seem okay. For children and adolescents, such training was interesting, and for adults it was a great opportunity to circumvent the terms of the Versailles Treaty, according to which the German army was limited to a minimum. The winning countries in World War I did not care about the German teenagers, who for some reason played war. However, after graduation from the Hitler Youth, almost every young man was ready for military service. In the middle of the 1930-s, those of them who glued airplanes began to learn to control the glider, who sailed - they served on ships, and in the campaigns, children increasingly practiced shooting, orienteering and disguise skills. A little later, they will sit down at the controls of the most real bombers and fighters, become submariners, take small arms in their hands and go to kill and enslave entire nations, subjugating almost all of Europe.
Eleven-year members of the organization train in rifle shooting
Over time, the influence of the organization increased, it turned into a mandatory for all adolescents without exception. 1 December 1936 of the Year in the Reich adopted the “Law on the Hitler Youth”, according to which all the young people of Germany, in order to prepare for their future duties, were to join the Hitler Youth and be brought up exclusively in the spirit of National Socialism. After this law was adopted, as well as the accession to the Reich of Austria and the merger of the youth organizations of this country with the Hitler Youth in 1938, the number of the union of German working youth increased to almost 9 million people. Also in 1938, the leadership of the Nazi Party comes to mind another "bright" idea to educate the German youth in the tradition of serving the community and the people not only in words but also in deeds. In 1939, the imperial youth leader Baldur von Schirach, together with Heinrich Himmler and the leadership of the German police, formulated instructions for the voluntary service of the organization’s members in special security units designated Streifendienst-HJ. The main purpose of these units was to assist in the fight against fires.
So first, formally voluntary participation in the youth movement has become a prerequisite for life and existence in Nazi Germany. According to the laws adopted in Germany, all without exception the families of ethnic Germans, who had state citizenship, were obliged to give their children to Jungfolk, Hitler Youth and BDM. They were threatened with large monetary fines or imprisonment, as well as rejection of children from the family in favor of numerous social shelters for refusing this practice. Also, despite the existing treaty between the Vatican and Hitler, innovations about the obligatory presence of adolescents in the Hitler Youth extended to the Catholic organizations operating in the country. As a result, the Nazi youth organization swallowed up all the young men and women whom she was able to reach.
After the start of the Second World War, in 1940, Germany developed a special program for the evacuation of children - the government rented farm houses and hotels located far from large industrial facilities and cities of the country, where more than 1940 thousand small were transported from September to November 200 German children. In the 1942 year, there were already about 600 thousands of boys and almost 1,5 of a million girls who provided all possible assistance to farmers. Also in 1942, a camp was opened, intended for three-week training of adolescents under the age of 17. The pupils of German schools went to these classes as whole classes, which were taken for a separate military unit. By November of the same year, the 120 camps in favor of the Wehrmacht and 45 in favor of the SS troops were operating in the Third Reich.
In the 1943 year, when 6, the German army agonized around Stalingrad, when the country could no longer ignore the increasing human losses on all fronts, when Churchill and Roosevelt announced at the Casablanca conference that they would accept only the unconditional surrender of Germany and others Axis countries, the Nazis set themselves the task - to win the war at any cost. However, where were the people to get to patch all the gaps that were formed. In response to the demands of unconditional surrender, Joseph Goebbels proclaimed a "total war".
On January 26, 1943, a law was passed in Germany that allowed the use of Hitler Youth members as assistants in the ground services of the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine, as well as in rear anti-aircraft batteries. Fortunately, the organization’s pupils completed the necessary physical training course, were faithful and loyal to their Fuhrer, and were also ready to sacrifice their lives in the interests of the Reich. Then in 1943 the idea came up to create a whole unit, which would consist, if possible, of the members of the Hitler Youth. So at the beginning of 1943 the 12th was born tank Waffen SS division of the same name "Hitler Youth". A decree on her education was signed on February 10, 1943. Later, division soldiers earned the fame of fanatics, stubbornly fighting the Allied forces in Normandy in 1944. Most of the division will be lost in those battles. In one month of service, the division will lose 60% of its strength: dead, wounded, and missing. An interesting detail is that Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Alois Ratzinger) became a member of the Hitler Youth in 1941, and in 1944 he served in the Munich Air Defense Support Unit.
By the autumn of 1944, a very large number of members of the Hitler Youth was attracted to digging anti-tank ditches, and members of the organization’s flight sections began to quickly prepare as pilots for all types of combat aircraft available, including jet aircraft. The culmination of the transformation of children and adolescents into soldiers was the last year of World War II, when 13-year-old German boys were hastily trained to use Panzerfausts, sending Hitler Youth to anti-tank units. Particularly fierce resistance to the Soviet troops these Hitler cubs in a uniform, which was often more than their own size and in helmets dangling on their heads, had during the battle for Konigsberg, Breslau, Danzig and, of course, Berlin. For clarity of their devotion to the regime and the Fuhrer, even at the time of the complete collapse of the state, we can give one illustrative example, when a group of German teenagers 500 held defenses of the Berlin bridge Pihelsdorf for 5 days. During the fighting for this bridge, the group lost 450 people killed and wounded.
In fact, the members of the Hitler Youth and other Reich youth organizations became the last line of German defense. Even after the order was issued to dissolve the organization and the surrender of Germany, some members of the Hitler Youth continued to resist the forces of the allies. They sabotaged, fired allied soldiers, continuing to wage their own war out of revenge, or perhaps because they could not do anything else. After the end of the Second World War, some members of the organization were accused of committing war crimes, but they didn’t bring the youngsters to court because of their small age.
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