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The nature and purpose of the ‘Hitler Youth’ movement.

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Introduction

GCSE Modern World History Coursework Assignment 1 By 1939, about 90 percent of the "Aryan" children in Germany belonged to Nazi youth groups. They started at the age of six. At ten, boys were initiated into the Jungvolk and at fourteen promoted to the Hitler Youth or HJ (for Hitler Jugend). Girls belonged to the Jungmaedel and then the BDM (the Bund Deutsche Maedel or the League of German Girls). In such groups, said Hitler, "These young people will learn nothing else but how to think German and act German. . . And they will never be free again, not in their whole lives." The first, perhaps the most important purpose of the Hitler Youth that I am going to discuss is training young boys to become soldiers, political solders of the 3rd Reich, that the nazis would have full control off. This purpose is linked to Hitler's foreign policies- he wanted to reverse the Treaty of Versailles, unite all the German-speaking people, and give the nation more 'living space' (lebensraum). Hitler and the nazis could not achieve these policies alone, they needed a strong, and powerful army. Hitler, being an opportunist, saw the Youth, and took his chance. The young boys of Germany were going to be this army, and the young girls of Germany were going to give birth to his new soldiers. ...read more.

Middle

They had 6 years of tough physical training, and when they left aged 18 they went to the army, or to university. The best went to "order castles" that were schools, which took pupils who excelled the limits of physical endurance. War games used live ammunition, and pupils were even killed at these schools- which just shows the risks, and the extent that the Nazis went to, to try and create a master army. Those who graduated from the order castles were the ones that made it to the top; they were expected to attain a high position in the army, or SS. This one 'purpose' of the Hitler Youth was to act as a selection process for the Nazis. The fourth aim I am going to discuss is that the Hitler Youth movement aimed to ensure loyalty to the fuehrer himself, Hitler. They knew that they had ensure that the children were not open to any ideas, and were just polluted with nazi propaganda. They needed them under full control, so they would not even think about rebelling. He had many different ways of achieving this aim. They recited poems, every day, that members of the Youth movement had to memorize, and this is one example: That is the greatest thing about him, That he is not only our leader and a great hero, But himself, upright, firm and simple, In him the roots of our world. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sixth and final aim that I wish to discuss is how the Nazis took advantage of the youth and used them as informants that helped 'police' the German adult population for their totalitarian terror-state. The Hitler youth patrols co-operated with the Gestapo and were trained in policing, traffic control, and fire fighting. They were encouraged to inform on anyone who bad-mouthed Hitler, the nazis, etc even their parents. This motive was effective, and helped Hitler create a whole new generation who helped in sustaining fear in the opposition by acting as informants. In conclusion, I think that the Hitler Youth movement was carefully structured and sculpted to allow for its many different aims, which were all very militant. The aim that I think was most important was one which trained the youths to be political soldiers. Although this aim may not have been extremely successful- as shortly before Germany lost the war they had practically ran out of adult fighting men, and so the Nazis began to use Youth members as soldiers, and these kids them found themselves on the front line. Not only too young, but little training, no experience, few weapons left, and facing an allied army determined to win- regardless of the lives it might cost. It was suddenly tough on the kids, the glamour of being a member was gone, and many perished on the front line. ...read more.

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