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The role of the hitler youth movement

They believed in the importance of rediscovering nature without any modern conveniences. They sang old German folk songs around the campfire and greeting each other by saying "Heil. In May 1922 Lenk held a beer hall meeting in Munich, to officially proclaim the foundation of League. The Nazi Youth League was formally established small units were created in Nuremberg and other cities. Gustav Lenk maintained strong convictions on exactly how the League should be managed, and soon had a falling out with the party and its leader Adolf Hitler.

Lenk had no recourse and was eventually removed from all party functions and replaced by Kurt Gruber.

  • By 1939 the Hitler Youth became the largest youth organization in the world with over 7;
  • At the end of 1933, the Hitler Youth had 2,300,000 members;
  • Towards the fall of 1944, many of the Hitler Youth were drafted into service digging anti-tank ditches around eastern German towns to stop the advancing Red Army, and in the west to stem the advance of the Allied forces.

Kurt Gruber, who impressed Hitler with his zeal and organizational talent was officially proclaimed as its first leader. In 1923, the organization had a little over one thousand members. In 1925, the membership grew to over 5,000. Five years later, national Hitler Youth membership stood at 25,000.

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By the end of 1932 a few weeks before the Nazis came to power it was at 107,956. At the end of 1933, the Hitler Youth had 2,300,000 members. Kurt Gruber organized the corps under adult leaders, and the general membership comprised boys aged fourteen to eighteen.

Banne Flag of the Hitler Youth By the end of 1927, a further requirement was that Hitler Youths turning 18 had to join the storm troopers. However, this resulted in a shortage of trained leaders within the upper echelons of the Hitler Youth.

The basic unit of the Hitler Youth was the Banne, the equivalent of a military regiment. Every unit carried a flag of almost identical design, but the individual Bann was identified by its number, displayed in black on a yellow scroll above the eagle's head.

The flags measured 200 cm long by 145 cm high. Baldur von Schirach At the end of 1928, Gruber called for a meeting of the entire Hitler Youth leadership to streamline the organization. That meeting resulted in the addition of a new department for boys aged 10 to 14, later known as the Jungvolk.

The Nazis capitalized on the natural enthusiasm of young people, their craving for action and desire for peer approval, hoping, ultimately, each young person would come to regard his or her Hitler Youth or BDM unit as a home away from home,in some case as an alternative to their real home. On December 1st, 1936, a law was enacted which made it mandatory for all German youths to be educated according to the philosophies of Nationalist Socialism from the age of 10 and higher.

This was called the Reichsjugenddienstpflicht mandatory youth service and it essentially legalized the Hitler Youth movement and organization while also neutralizing nearly every other, non Hitler Youth affiliated youth movement. Schirach's goal in 1936 was to enroll the entire population of ten-year-olds throughout Germany into the Hitler Youth as a present for Hitler on his 47th birthday.

In September 1938, the last peacetime Nuremberg rally was held.

Der Sturmer article depicting Hitler Youth On Saturday, September 10, over 80,000 Hitler Youths marched into the city stadium and performed military-style parade maneuvers, which they had been practicing for an entire year, ending with a grand finale in which they spelled out the name 'Adolf Hitler' in the grandstand.

On November 9 1938, a coordinated destruction broke out in cities, towns and villages throughout the Third Reich. In a single night, Kristallnacht saw the destruction of more than 2,000 Synagogues, and the ransacking of tens of thousands of Jewish businesses and homes. Although predominantly perpetrated by Nazi SA Storm troopers, German women and children also participated in the riots and destruction of Jewish property.

When von Schirach learned that Hitler Youth members had indeed engaged in such offensive actions, he issued an order officially forbidding Hitler Youth members from taking part in any similarly minded actions in the future.

Hitler Youth

By 1939 the Hitler Youth became the largest youth organization in the world with over 7. A new law was issued on March 25, 1939, conscripting any remaining holdouts into the organization amid warnings to parents that unless their children were enrolled they would be forcibly removed and placed in the custody of state run orphanages. Baldur von Schirach evacuating children from German cities In 1940 Baldur von Schirach organized the evacuation of 5 million children from cities threatened by Allied bombing.

Not wanting to be left out of the war, received Hitler's permission to volunteer for the army and later that year, he joined the army and volunteered for service in France, where he was awarded the Iron Cross. The Hitler Youth became active in German fire brigades and assisted with recovery efforts to German cities affected from Allied bombing. The Hitler Youth also assisted in such organizations as the Reich Postal Service, Reichsbahn, fire services, and Reich radio service, and served among anti-aircraft defense crews.

These were special military training camps lasting three weeks in duration.


If all of the Hitler Youth boys at their local school were 17, the whole class was sent to the W-E Lager as a single unit.

The division was deployed during the Battle of Normandy to be deployed against the British and Canadian forces in the north of Caen. During the following months, the Hitlerjugend division earned itself a reputation for ferocity and fanaticism. Towards the fall of 1944, many of the Hitler Youth were drafted into service digging anti-tank ditches around eastern German towns to stop the advancing Red Army, and in the west to stem the advance of the Allied forces.

Hundreds of miles of trenches were frantically dug by young boys all over the country. By September of the same year, the war had taken its toll on German youth. The Hitlerjugend division numbered only 600 surviving soldiers, and with little ammunition and no armor, thousands had of young lives were wasted in Normandy and Falaise.

Explain the nature and purpose of the Hitler Youth movement?

The division also participated in the failed Battle of the Bulge, and were later sent to Hungary where they participated in the failed attempt to recapture Budapest. The Hitler Youth formed a major part of the last line of German defense, and were reportedly among the fiercest fighters. The city commander, General Helmuth Weidling, ordered Axmann to disband the Hitler Youth combat formations but the order was never carried out, and many more Hitler Youth died defending Berlin street by street from the ever-advancing Soviet army.

The Hitler Youth was disbanded by Allied authorities as part of the De-Nazification process and many of its leaders were put on trial by Allied authorities for corrupting the hearts and minds of millions of young Germans.