Nazi policies towards Youth

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  • Created by: naomi
  • Created on: 10-05-13 21:27


Position in 1933:

  • only included 1% of children in youth clubs
  • there was an important 'free' youth movement, organised by the youth themselves
  • this had a long tradition in Germany, descending from the'wild birds' of the Kaiser's empire - involved camping, community singalongs & strong dislike or contemporary (adult) policies

Nazi Attitudes:

  • Hitler placed a higher value on what children did than on what they studied - youth service probably seen as at least as important as schools (possibly more so!)
  • viewed youth as slim, slender, swft as a greyhound, tough as lead, hard as steel
  • wanted to offer youth a vital part in the new Germany - wanted them to be enthusiastic - learned their parents would not be
  • tried to liberate youth from their parents 'wild birds traditions' - needed to get control 
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Nazi policies towards Youth - Nazi Actions

Initial moves

  • July 1933 Baldur von Schirach - leader of the HJ - appointed Reich youth leader - told to co-ordinate all youth organisations
  • by end of 1933 the HJ had absorbed all the non-Catholic organisations
  • membership was not compolsory but heavier + heavier pressure was put on children and parents - eventually made it compolsory by a law of March 1939

Youth leaders:

  • principle adopted by the Nazis was 'youth must lead youth' - hoping to copy the popularity of the 'free' youth organiations they had absorved - leaders selected from among the members


  • a lot of singing, marching, camping + adventure - all sorts of leisure activities and music
  • great deal of drill + practice with lethal weapons - presented with a dagger when first koining - progessed through to air rifles, then  machine guns 
  • team sports encouraged - competition, all children were equal - social classes had been abolished + middle class children mixed with others 
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  • membership of HJ 1932: 107,000, 1936: 6million+
  • many children loved the HJ & some of the activities they arranged would be regarded as excellent today - there was no harm in training children in leadership, responsibility to their leaders & cooperation
  • the HJ undoubtedly gave many children some feeling of independence from the authority of their parents 
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Failures + Conclusion

  • as young people were forced to join HJ, fewer enjoyed/bought into the ideas
  • 1936 onwards - activities were less fun, it was more about preparation for was
  • it  had a damaging effect on education - taken out of school


  • at first enthusiasm was high as they gained independence but as the emphasis on preparation for war increawsed many stopped enjoying it and conscription made it less of a choice meaning they started to resent Hitler + the Hitler youth 
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