Sources on Nazi Youth

The sources will give you an insight into the lives of young people in Nazi Germany.  


Some of them will amaze you!

New Words

Indoctrinated: brainwashed/ conditioned

Genetic: to do with heredity/ genes.



Source A

Why children are important

When an opponent declares, `I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, `Your child belongs to us already.. . . What are you ? You will pass on.   Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp.   In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.

Hitler, speaking in the 1920s.


Source B

Girls from the Jungmadel BdN cheer Hitler.   Girls were always given the front rows in Nazis parades and rallies because they became hysterical and added to the atmosphere of fervour and adulation.


Source C

How we want our children to be...

My system of education is a harsh one.   The world will shrink in fear from the youngsters who grow up in my Ordensburgen.   A violent, masterful, dauntless, cruel younger generation - that is my aim.   There must be nothing weak and tender about it.   Its eyes must glow once more with the freedom and splendour of the beast of prey.

Hitler, speaking in the 1930s


Source D

...and how we make them like that

When an instructor blows a whistle, we have to start building dug-outs.   There are about a dozen of us, each with a spade.   And we all start to dig like lunatics. 

Because in front of us are ten Benz armoured cars waiting, their engines slowly ticking over.

We have twenty minutes to dig the hole which will shelter us.   Which will save our lives.   It's every man for himself.   We aren't comrades any more ...

Never mind, I must dig and dig and dig.

I can hear an engine revving up.   It is a sinister and menacing sound.   This is it.   They're moving off, advancing, straight ahead.   The drivers have been ordered to take no notice of anybody clumsy or foolish enough to get in the way.   They thunder towards our dug-outs.

With wild shouts the boys jump into the holes they have dug, burrowing into the earth, burying their faces against the damp clay.

In front of me, like some monster in a nightmare, the Benz lumbers forward, its engine roaring.

It's getting bigger and bigger, and bigger still...

They're past.

Of course, some of our chaps are killed.   But none are cowards.

Thus do we learn courage - at the risk of our lives.

Boys marked out to be future Party Leaders were sent to special training camps called Ordensburgen.   This description of the kind of thing they did is from P Neumann, Other Men's Graves (1958).  

I find the words: 'of course...' the most amazing thing about this amazing extract.


Source E

Children were conditioned (brainwashed) into Nazi beliefs from an early age.   Here, a story book for small children stereotypes a Jew as a degenerate pervert.   Anti-Semitism came easily and naturally to children who had been brought up looking at this kind of picture.


Source F

Getting Germany ready for war

All subjects - German language, History, Geography, Chemistry and Mathematics - must concentrate on military subjects, the glorification of military service and of German heroes and leaders and the strength of a rebuilt Germany .   Chemistry will develop a knowledge of chemical warfare, explosives, etc, while Mathematics will help the young to understand artillery, calculations, ballistics.

The Nazis also used teaching in the schools to brainwash children.   Here, a German newspaper (controlled by the Nazis) describes the school curriculum in 1939.


Source G

Indoctrination at School

When Klauss got back from school at five o’clock he bullied me into helping him with his homework ...   Here is a maths problem picked out at random: ‘A plane on take off carries 12 bombs, each weighing ten kilos.   The aircraft makes for Warsaw , the centre of international Jewry.   It bombs the town.   On take off with all bombs on board and a fuel tank containing 1500 kilos of fuel the aircraft weighed 8 tonnes.   When it returned from the crusade, there were still 230 kilos of fuel left.   What is the weight of the aircraft when empty?’

A German father describes a question his child had to answer at school.   It is clearly designed to inculcate the Nazi principles of militarism and anti-Semitism as the child works, ostensibly, on his Maths.


Source H

Another Maths question

The construction of a lunatic asylum costs 6 million marks.   How many houses at 15,000 marks each could have been built for that amount?

In a school Maths textbook from Germany in the late 1930s.


Source I

Unfit to be parents

Children have been deliberately taken away from parents who refused to say they believed in Nazism...   Refusing to let your child join the Hitler Youth is regarded as an adequate reason to take the children away from their parents.

Written by a schoolteacher in 1938.


Source J

A girl's job...

`Tell me, Fraulein Liselotte, if I may call you Liselotte, you seem so charming, and kind.   What happens here? I mean, in general.   Naturally, I'm not just talking about the genetic part of it, but . . .'

`But you're dying to know how we all go to bed together according to Nazi rules?' she broke in, smiling again.

I was rather embarrassed.   I must have blushed.

'That isn't quite what I meant.   I want to know the routine here.'

She became more serious.

`All I can tell you is that we live in dormitories of six or twelve beds.  The girls who are ... chosen, are moved to another section, which deals with the legal details of the partnership, and of course any births which result from it.   Because we must remember that that's what we're all here for,' she ended quietly, looking away.

'A strange thing for your country to ask you to do, don't you agree?'

German girls, meanwhile, had to grow up and become the good mothers of strong, violent Aryan boys.   Suitable Aryan girls were taken away to special camps, where they were married to perfect Aryan boys in a bid to improve the genetic stock.  

This amazing passage is from P Neumann, Other Men's Graves (1958).