Explain the nature and purpose of the Hitler Youth

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Gustav Adolf Lenck started the Hitler Youth in 1922; he had first tried to join the Nazi Party but was considered underage, so he formed a Youth league called the 'Hitler Youth.' The League was aimed at Aryan Germans aged between fourteen-eighteen. Once Hitler came to power, he banned all the other groups apart from the Hitler Youth, because he only wanted young people to hear one message, his! He wanted complete control of Germans Youth from the moment they were born. Hitler's plan was to re-build Germany in order to achieve 'Lebransraum' part of this plan was the Hitler Youth. The activities, which the young Germans had been experiencing, soon changed once Hitler came to power. All the activities had a focus on military exercise and creating tough fighting machines out of the boys and mothers out of the girls. Hitler wanted to create a 'Master' race of Aryan Germans; the Hitler Youth was the way forward.

Young people were very important to Hitler's plans because he based the Hitler Youth on competition; physical fitness and military training for this you need young people. He also saw young people as the leaders of tomorrow. You could describe it as 'cradle to the grave' this means having control of young people right from the beginning and until the end. By introducing the Hitler Youth, Hitler could indoctrinate young people from an early age. Hitler thought it was vital to take control of the German youth movement and schools. The reason for this was because he wanted the young people to be loyal and enthusiastic supporters of the Nazi state. Also it was easier to use propaganda on young minds. Hitler used the schools to reinforce Nazi ideas and to teach young people about such things as racial hygiene, the glories of Germanys past and the benefits of physical fitness. It was only later that teachers discerned a decline in academic performance resulting from an over-emphasis upon physical activities. Lessons began and ended with the teacher and the students raising one arm and saying 'Heil Hitler.'
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Hitler had such great control that many parents were worried about the effects of so much propaganda on young minds. As children grew older, the spirit of independence, which Hitler Youth had given them often, surfaced, causing them to challenge the views and authority of their parents. Some parents even became afraid of their children and worried that they might report them to the Gestapo. Denunciation of parents by children was encouraged not least by schoolteachers who set essays entitled "What does your family talk about at home?" The changed characters of their children prompted well-heeled families to ...

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