Why would Hitler be
WALT: How successfully
indoctrinated were the
German Youth
Can explain and describe the Nazification of schools (D-C) and assess its impact (B)...... Can
compare and contrast the different experiences of boys and girls in the Hitler Youth (C)....
understands the motives behind the Nazi focus on youth (D)..... can evaluate the success or
otherwise of Nazi policy towards youth (A)
6-10 Pimpfen (cubs)
10-14 Deutsches Jungvolk (Young German Boys)
14-18 Hitlerjugend (HJ Hitler Youth)
• Girls
• 10-14 Jung Madel (JM) Young Girls
• 14-18 Bund Deustcher Madel (BDM) – League of German
• 18-21 Glaube und Schonheith – Faith and Beauty
Progress of Youth
• Created in 1926
• Expanded rapidly in 1933, all other youth groups were taken over.
• All other youth groups were banned by 1936.
• Although made compulsory many managed to avoid it. In addition
rival groups were set up which the authorities failed to suppress.
• As membership became more widespread, the Hitler Youth arguably
became less successful, because it included less committed
youngsters and because there developed an increasing stress on
military preparation at the expense of other, more popular, activities.
• 1932 – 107,956
• 1934 – 3,500,000
• 1936 – 6,000,000+
• 1935-7 – 973,803 HJ members attended camps
• 1937 – 96,699 BDM members attended camps.
• In 1935 during a rally of 199,000 members of the HJ
and BFM, 900 15-18 year old girls became pregnant.
• You will have to create a revision resource on the success of the
German Youth indoctrination.
- A Mind map
- A PowerPoint
- A Prezi
- A Podcast
- A Video
- A Poster
- Detailed Notes
• You can be as imaginative as you like. You will need to have a USP.
Once everyone is done you will be ‘selling’ your resource to others.
You will each be given £150 to spend. You must accumulate as much
money as you can.
• Whoever has the most money wins a prize.
• “These boys and girls enter our organizations [at] ten
years of age, and often for the first time get a little
fresh air; after four years of the Young Folk they go on
to the Hitler Youth, where we have them for another
four years . . . And even if they are still not complete
National Socialists, they go to Labor Service and are
smoothed out there for another six, seven months . . .
And whatever class consciousness or social status
might still be left . . . the Wehrmacht [German armed
forces] will take care of that.”
--Adolf Hitler (1938)
• One day, fittingly enough on Hitler’s birthday, may age group was
called up and I took the oath: ‘ I promise to do my duty in the Hitler
Youth, in love and loyalty to the Fuhrer.’ Service in the Hitler Youth,
we were told, was an honourable service to the German people. I
was, however, not thinking of the Fuhrer, nor of serving the German
people, when I raised my right hand, but of the attractive prospect of
participating in games, sports, hiking, singing, camping and other
exciting activates away from school and the home. A uniform, a
badge, an oath, a salute, There seemed to be nothing to it … Thus,
unquestioningly, I acquired membership, and forthwith attended
meetings, joined ball games and competitions, and took part in
weekend hikes…It was not long, however, before plain-faced leaders
taught us marching drill and marching songs. I hated marching…
There were now lectures on National Socialism, stories about modern
heroes and about Hitler…. While extracts from Mein Kampf were
used to expound the new racial doctrines.
M Gartner joined the HJ in
1938 aged 12. (f)
• I and all the other girls of my age had to attend evening classes
twice weekly. We had to be present at every public meeting and
at youth rallies and sports. The weekend were crammed full with
outings, campaigns and marches, when we carried heavy packs
on our backs. It was all fun in a way, and we certainly got plenty
of exercise, but it had a bad effect on our school reports. We had
no time for homework. The young BDM leaders taught us songs
and tried desperately to maintain a certain amount of
discipline…we were marched up and down as though we were
soldiers on the barrack square… we were of course lecture a lot
on National Socialist ideology, and most of this went over our
heads… We were told to prepare for motherhood, as the mother
of our beloved leader and the national socialist government was
the most important person in the nation. WE were Germanys
hope and Germanys future.
Useful Links
“If other people rave about their time in the Hitler Youth, I cannot share
their enthusiasm. I have oppressive memories. In our troop, the Jungvolk
activities consisted almost entirely of boring military drill. Perhaps there was
a method in the madness: from childhood onwards we were drilled in
toughness and blind obedience. But how did we put up with it? My only
explanation is that we were all in the grip of ambition. For those who did
well, they were promoted and could give orders. ‘Youth must be youth’ was
the motto. In practice, it meant that those on top put the boot in.”
Adapted from the recollections of A. Klonne, in his book Youth in the Third
Reich, 1982
Source A
“Erna Kranz was a teenager in the 1930s and remembers the early years of
Nazi rule,
in 1933 and 1934, as offering a ‘glimmer of hope, not just for the
unemployed, but for
everyone’. She looked at the effect of Nazi policies on her own family and
Erna spoke fondly of the amusements, such as parades and celebrations
that the Nazis organised for young people. ‘I can only speak for myself,’ she
emphasised a number of times, aware no doubt that her views were not
politically correct. ‘I thought it was a good time. I liked it. We weren’t living
in affluence like today but there was order and discipline.’”
Adapted from the recollections of Erna Kranz, described by L Rees, in The
Nazis: A Warning from History, 2000
Source B
Use Sources A and B and your own knowledge.
Explain how far the views in Source B differ from those
in Source A in relation to the experiences of young
people in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Question One
“Teachers knew within a few months of the Nazi seizure of power the basic
outlines of what they had to teach. A directive issued in January 1934 made
it compulsory for schools to educate their pupils ‘in the spirit of National
Socialism’. In every school, libraries were checked for non-Nazi literature
and Nazi books were stocked instead. By 1936, 97 per cent of all
schoolteachers were members of the National Socialist Teachers’ League. By
1938, central directives, which dealt with the teaching of different subjects
in different years, covered every school year and most subjects, even those
without any ideological content.”
Adapted from R Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 2005
Source C
Use Sources A, B and C and your own knowledge.
How successful was the Nazi regime in indoctrinating
German youth in the years 1933 to 1939?
Question Two
• Plenary
• Two truths and One lie about the Youth and Education
of the German Youth.
Find the Fiction

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