Hitler Youth and Bdm: Year 9 Project.

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By ilham Mukhtar

Introduction

Germany was left in an awful state after World War One. Suffering from the depression, having extremely high unemployment rates, street battles against communism, and occupation in most of its territories- the German Youth Movement went through a revival and many new youth groups were formed. Some of them were similar to our modern boy scouts, while others were nature or hiking clubs.

Youth Groups played an important role in the National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (NSDAP), the Nazi party, as well. The Hitler Jugend, Hitler Youth, became active as early as 1923 it started out with few members but as the time passed by they soon gained popularity and their numbers grew. After their male counterparts began to get organized, female groups soon followed. Once female groups started forming, they became known as Hitlerjugend Schwesternschaften, or Hitler Youth Sisterhoods.

The male Hitler Jugend was officially founded as the party's youth organization at the 1926 party congress (14th July), the National Party Day. The League of German Maidens, Bund Deutscher Maedel (BDM), meanwhile, remained widely overlooked. It was founded in 1930 and became the official part of Hitler Jugend in 1932. Although it was now active and the activities conducted were attractive to the young females, membership was much lower than in its male counterpart, and the BDM would never be able to reach the same numbers, but also did not enforce membership in the same ways that the male Hitler Youth did.

From the official beginning of the Hitlerjugend in 1926, and the Bund Deutscher Maedel in 1932, Baldur von Schirach was the head of the organization with the title of Reichsjugendfuehrer, Reich's Youth Leader. Von Schirach reported directly to, and was responsible only to Hitler.

Hitler Jugend

Purpose:
The main purpose of the Hitler Youth was to indoctrinate young people with important Nazi ideas and values, therefore duty, obedience, honour, courage, strength, and ruthlessness were stressed, whereas peace, kindness, intellect, individuality, and humanity were despised.

"We older ones are used up…We are cowardly and sentimental…But my magnificent youngsters? Are there finer ones anywhere in the world? Look at these young men and boys. What material! With them I can make a new world…A violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth--that is what I am after. Youth must be all those things. It must be indifferent to pain. There must be no weakness or tenderness in it. I want to see once more in its eyes the gleam of pride and independence of the beast of prey. . . I intend to have an athletic youth--that is the first and the chief thing. . . I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin to my young men." --Hitler

In Hitler's mind, young Germans were the key to the success of the nation and he declared this in speech after speech to persuade the youth to join his youth organizations. In the youth organizations, the children were prepared for the future. Hitler was in need of an army. He required an army to fight against the Allies and win back all that it has lost. He had plenty of time to prepare. The purpose of the Hitler Youth movement was educating them in mind, spirit, and morals toward National Socialism, and toward the selfless and loyal service to the German people. Hitler believed in the power of the young people in ensuring the continued strength of the "Thousand Year Reich."

"My program for educating youth is hard. Weakness must be hammered away. In my castles of the Teutonic Order a youth will grow up before which the world will tremble." --Hitler

By their usual activities, one would think they were no more than a "Boy Scout" organization: their meetings were often and regular, they learned inspiring songs, went camping, had field trips and activities and met for large rallies. The "Hitlerjugend", or "Hitler youth" Party was far more than just a wholesome...
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