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4/11/2019 Nazi Germany - Hitler Youth - History

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Nazi Germany – Hitler Youth


Nazi Germany

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In the early 1920s, the Nazi party had established a youth movement led by Kurt Gruber, with
the aim of attracting young men who could be trained to become members of the SA
(Stormtroopers). On 4th July 1926 the group was renamed the Hitler Youth, League of
German Worker Youth and became attached to and run by the SA.

The Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend) wore uniforms and  attended meetings and rallies where they
were indoctrinated with Nazi views.

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4/11/2019 Nazi Germany - Hitler Youth - History

Adolf Hitler believed that the support of the youth was vital to the future of the third Reich
and aimed, through the Hitler Youth programme, to produce a generation of loyal supporters
of Nazi views.

Posters were used to attract more members and membership rose from 5,000 in 1925 to
25,000 in 1930.

When the Nazis came to power in 1933 other youth groups were forcibly merged into the
Hitler Youth and by the end of 1933 membership stood at just over 2 million.

In December 1936, membership of the Hitler Youth became virtually compulsory for all boys
and girls aged over 10 years – membership could only be avoided by not paying subscription
fees, but this ‘loophole’ was relaxed in 1939 and membership increased to 8 million members
by 1940.

There were separate Hitler Youth groups for boys and girls:

Boys aged 6 – 10 years joined the Little Fellows (Pimpf). They did mainly outdoor sports type
activities such as hiking, rambling and camping.

Boys aged 10 – 13 years joined the German Young People (Deutsche Jungvolk). They still did
sporting activities but these had a more military emphasis such as parading and marching as
well as map reading. They also learnt about Nazi views on racial purity and anti-semitism.

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Boys aged 14 – 18 years joined the Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend). They were prepared to be
soldiers by doing military activities.

Girls aged 10 – 14 years joined the Young Maidens (Jungmadel) where they were taught good
health practices as well as how to become good mothers and housewives. They also learnt
about Nazi views on racial purity and anti-semitism.

Girls aged 14 – 21 joined the League of German Maidens (Deutscher Madel) where they were
further prepared for their roles as the mother of future Germans.

This post is part of our collection of resources on Nazi Germany. Click here for our comprehensive
information resource on the society, ideology, and key events in Nazi Germany.

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About the Editor

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Scott Michael Rank, Ph.D., is the editor of History on the Net and host of the History
Unplugged podcast. A historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, he is a
publisher of popular history, a podcaster, and online course creator.

Read Scott’s Full Bio.

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