child as school was". The Hitler Youth was a logical extension of Hitler's belief
that the future of Nazi Germany was its children.
"The weak must be chiselled away. I want young men and women who can
suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as
leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel."
Movements for youngsters were part of German culture and the Hitler Youth
had been created in the 1920's. By 1933 its membership stood at "100,000."
"After Hitler came to power, all other youth movements were abolished" and as
a result the Hitler Youth grew quickly. In 1936, the figure stood at "4 million"
members. In 1936, it became all but compulsory to join the Hitler Youth. Youths
could avoid doing any active service if they paid their subscription but this
became all but impossible after 1939.
The Hitler Youth catered for 10 to 18 year olds. There were separate
organisations for boys and girls. "The task of the boys section was to prepare
the boys for military service. For girls, the organisation prepared them for
Boys at 10, joined the Deutsches Jungvolk (German Young People) until the
age of 13 when they transferred to the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) until the age
of 18. "Part of their "military athletics" (Wehrsport) included marching, bayonet
drill, grenade throwing, trench digging, map reading, gas defence, use of
dugouts, how to get under barbed wire and pistol shooting."
Girls, at the age of 10, joined the Jungmadelbund (League of Young Girls) and
at the age of 14 transferred to the Bund Deutscher Madel (League of German
Girls). "Girls had to be able to run 60 metres in 14 seconds, throw a ball 12
metres, complete a 2 hour march, swim 100 metres and know how to make a
To the outside world, the Hitler Youth seemed to "personify German