How Much Impact Did the Nazi Rule Have on German Youth in the Years 1933-1939?

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History Learning Site- "The Hitler Youth was seen as being as important to a

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

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