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Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) was established as an organization in Nazi Germany that physically trained youth and indoctrinated them with Nazi ideology to the point of fanaticism. Even at the onset of war, Hitler Youth totaled 8.8 million members. Numbers decreased significantly to just over one million once the war began as many local and district leaders were drafted for the national army. Previous average age for local and district leaders was 24, but following the onset of war, this had to change to those who were 16 and 17 years of age. These youths were in command of up to 500 boys.
One Hitler Youth soldier, Heinz Shuetze, aged 15 from Leipzig, was only given a half-day of training with a primitive form of tank-killing rocket. He was immediately given an SS uniform and directed to the front lines to fight. Huge numbers of youths were removed from school in early 1945, and sent on, essentially, suicide missions. Hitler Youth activities often included learning to throw grenades, dig trenches, bayonet drills and escaping under barbed wire under pistol fire and, while doing so boys were encouraged to find these activities exhilarating and exciting. Hitler Youth was essentially an army of fit, young Germans that Hitler had created, trained to fight for their country. They had the choice to either follow Nazi party orders or face trial with the possibility of execution.
The boys of Hitler Youth first saw action following the British Air Raids in Berlin in 1940. Later, in 1942, the Wehrertüchtigungslager or WELS (Defense Strengthening Camps) were created in Germany, which were designed to train Hitler Youth boys aged 16–18. They learnt how to handle German infantry weaponry, including hand grenades, machine guns and hand pistols. By 1943, Hitler Youth boys were facing the forces of Britain, the United States and Soviet Russia. Even younger boys from the ages of 10–14 years could be involved in the Hitler Youth movement, under the Deutsches Jungvolk.
Girls were also involved in Hitler Youth Operations, although in a limited capacity, through the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM, the League of German Girls). Avoiding direct armed conflict, their primary role was to produce healthy, racially pure baby boys. They were also required to run 60 meters in 14 seconds, throw a ball at least 12 meters, march for 2 hours and swim 100 meters.
A 13 year old boy manned a machine gun against advancing Allied tanks on the Rhineland frontier, while his mates passed the ammunition. An execution squad composed of 14-16 year old shot Polish civilian hostages. A monument was erected to a boy still living, commemorating the fact that he denounced his father loyally to the Fuehrer, (the father was executed for treason). Herbert Norkus, the Hitler Youth martyr, is the Horst Wessel of most of Germany’s young today. Seven years of Nazi indoctrination, at a most susceptible age, in the Hitler Youth has done its work.
The Hitler Youth was not something like a Boy Scout or Girl Guide organization. It was in no respect comparable to any organization for young people known to the Western World. It was a compulsory Nazi formation, which has consciously sought to breed hate, treachery and cruelty into the mind and soul of every German child. It was, in the true sense of the word, education for death. Under no circumstances should the Hitler Youth be taken lightly or be considered a negligible factor from an operational or occupation point of view.
(a) Hitler Youth proper : boys from 14 to 18; (b) German Young Folk : boys 10 to 14; (c) League of German Girls : girls from 14 to 18; (d) Young Girls : girls from 10 to 14. A rough estimate on the basis of overall figures available would place between 3 and 3.5 millions into each branch. Of this number, 30.000 serve as fully-paid, full-time leaders. Approximately 1000 male and 1000 female Banne (Regiments averaging 6000 members each) carry on administration and training. In addition, in 1943, the Hitler Youth maintained between 7000 and 8000 camps and other establishments. 1.5 millions boys (most of them over 14) attended special Hitler Youth training courses there in one year. 514.000 17 year olds received Hitler Youth training in pre-military Training Camps of which some 300 are at present in operation throughout the Reich.
The emphasis of the following Basic Handbook and appended Order of Battle tables is on the 14-18 year old male group, the Hitler Youth proper, the primary potential source of disaffection and the primary source of replacements for the Wehrmacht. The above figures not only indicate the vast scope of the Hitler Youth in German life today, but demonstrate the role which it plays in Germany’s actual and potential military strength. Both, the SS and the Wehrmacht, have long since appreciate this. From mere liaison with the Hitler Youth, their relationship with the HJ (Hitlerjugend) has passed through the stage of supervision and has finally resulted in complete domination.
The Hitler Youth has become a Wehrmacht replacement pool, a manpower reservoir for auxiliary war services, and a means of strengthening the increasingly pernicious hold on the German people of the most ruthless of all Nazi organizations, the SS. A few courageous young Germans, risking their lives in order to salvage their minds, spirits and perhaps their country, have sought to escape from the tentacles of the Hitler Youth, and some underground cells composed of such young people are known to exist. But it must not be forgotten that every young German has been schooled by Nazi teachers, and that this Junior Army is ready to take the field either individually, in small groups, on a larger more organized scale, or as saboteurs, informers and even franc-tireurs in defense of Nazism, its fanatical creed.
The growth and success of the Hitlerjugend organizations (HJ) cannot be properly appreciated without some reference to the earlier history of the Deutsche Jugendbewegung (German Youth Movement). Since the end of the last century, the latter gave young people an opportunity to express themselves and to carry on various activities in organizations of their own. Young people of both sexes joined the Jugendgemeinschaften (Youth Communities), and formed groups of Wandervögel (Young Hikers), which had no political programs, but were animated by youth’s determination to express itself unfettered by the older generation. Their activities included hiking, camping and evening meetings for lectures and discussions; much emphasis was placed on the rediscovering and singing of old German folk songs. The Meissner Formula, a proclamation made by a Youth Rally in 1913, shaped a general policy of Inner Freedom, a reaction against the complacency and restrictions of German middle-class life, its prejudices and bourgeois mind.
After the First World War the youth movement developed at an accelerated pace and reached its peak in the twenties when many new groups sprang up, and the Bündische Jugend (League of Youth), partly took the place of the original Jugendbewegung. At this point many political parties, among them the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP, (National Socialist Workers’ Party), began to form their own youth organizations, and it is estimated that in the late 1920s four million German boys and girls belonged to the young people’s sections of various political and non-political factions, some 80.000 being members of the original Bündische Jugend (League of Youth). The Nazis were regarded as outsiders by virtually all, other youth formations.
On March 8, 1922, Hitler, in his own newspaper, the Völkische Beobachter, announced : the establishment of the Jugendbund der NSDAP (Youth League of the Nazi Party), later known as the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler (Youth Shock Troop Adolf Hitler).
Other youth groups with National Socialist tendencies also existed, but were not directly affiliated to Hitler’s Jungenbund. Thus the Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterjugend (Nazi Workers Youth), operated in the Rhein and Ruhr regions. In May 1925 the Wandersportverein Vogtland (Hiking Club Vogtland), in Plauen, Saxony, merged with the Munchen Jugendbund in Munich, Bavaria, under the new name of Hitler-Jugend, a term coined by the notorious Anti-Semite Julius Streichek, the Nazi chieftain of Franconia. This new Nazi organization, culminating in the HJ of today was under the leadership of Kurt Gruber, of the Plauen group.
Although the Hitlerjugend had borrowed much of its technique and some of its symbols from the old Jugendbewegung, from the very first it added a nationalistic and decidedly militaristic note.
In 1925 it became a junior branch of the Sturmabteilung SA (Stormtroopers), and directly subordinate to the SA High Command. The movement, in true Nazi fashion was opposed to school, church and home and attracted many youngsters. In 1928, 600 boys gathered at the first national Hitlerjugend Rally at Bad Steben. At the Nuremberg Party Rally of the following year 2500 boys were present. In 1929 the NS Schülerbund (Nazi Secondary School Boys League), was recognized as an official affiliate of the Hitler Youth Organization.
By 1930 the HJ had 900 Ortsgruppen (Local Groups), in Germany and the DG, Deutsches Jungfolk (German Young Folk), for boys aged 10 to 14 and BDM Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls), were founded as branches of the HJ. In 1931 the total membership had expanded to 15.000.
Despite the fact that the HJ was temporarily banned by the Republican Government its ranks continued to swell under the leadership of Baldur von Schirach and by 1932 its numbers had risen to 250.000. In the same year, the HJ was separated from the SA, mainly to free it from the ban imposed on the Stormtroopers.
When Hitler took over full Governmental power in 1933, many more boys and girls joined, and all other youth organizations were rapidly prohibited and disbanded, their members being subsequently urged to join the HJ. Considerable opposition was encountered at first from the Catholic and Left Wing Youth Movements, but these organizations, too, were partly crushed and partly absorbed in ruthless fashion.
After the first year of the Nazi regime, the HJ, including its branches, DJ, JM, and BDM, counted two million. One year later this figure had actually doubled, and by October 1 1934, when the HJ was declared Staatsjugend (Government-Sponsored Youth Organization), the total amounted to six million of which one and a half million belonged to the HJ proper, the others to its branches.
The Decree of December 1 1936, providing for Reichsjugenddiesntpflicht (Compulsory Youth Service), not legalized the existence of the HJ, but also completely destroyed all the remaining youth organizations in Germany. The decree contained three major points : (a) All German Youth shall join the HJ; (b) The mission of the HJ is to train all German Youth physically, mentally and morally for national service in the spirit of National Socialism. School and home are subordinated to the interests of the State and (c) The Reichsjugendführer (Reich Youth Leader), is entrusted with all phases of the education of German youth and is responsible only to the Führer.
Every child being compelled to serve in the HJ, the Party gained an enormous influence over the youth of the country and an assured supply of recruits for its own ranks. By voluntary application the highest age group may apply for transfer into any NSDAP Gliederungen (NSDAP Formations) e.g. the SA, SS, or NSKK. Only the select are accepted for the NSDAP (Nazi Party proper) itself. An attempt to maintain a Stamn-HJ (Original HJ), as a superimposed structure, including only members of long standing or those who had proved themselves ardent Nazis, resulted in much confusion and had to be abandoned.
The Hitler Jugend is organized into four main branches : (a) Hitler Jugend (HJ) for boys aged 14 to 18; (b) Deutsches Jungvolk (DJ) (German Young Folk), for boys aged 10 to 14 who subsequently transfer to the HJ proper; (c) Bundes Deutscher Mädel (BDM) (League of German Girls), for girls aged 14-18 and (d) Jungmädel (JM) (Young Girls), for girls aged 10 to 14 who subsequently transfer to the BDM proper.
The terms HJ and BDM are used very loosely, and require a special note. Strictly speaking HJ refers to (a) above, and BDM to (c) above. In practice, however, HJ is widely used to cover both (a) and (b), and BDM to cover both (c) and (d).
Further, the term HJ is used in a third sense, to indicate the whole Youth Movement. For convenience all these meanings have been used in this handbook, as the sense should invariably be clear from the context. Organization of the four branches runs along parallel lines. The program of the DJ consists of preparatory training for the HJ.
Although special training in Sondereinheiten (Specialist Units), is officially limited to members of the HJ proper, specialist units such as Flieger-DJ (Aviation), and Nachrichten-DJ (Signals), have recently been reported in the HJ. The task of the BDM and JM is the education of girls for companionship, honor and faith. They are to be made conscious of their duty as German girls to become good housewives and to have as many children as possible. A sub-section, Glaube und Schönnheit (Faith and Beauty), organizes women volunteers between the ages of 18 and 21 who aspire to careers in the girls and women organizations of the Nazi Party and its affiliates, e.g. the NSF (National Socialist Party Women’s Branch), and the NSV (National Socialist Welfare Organization).
(6) Die Reichsjugendführung (Reich Youth Directorate)
The Reichsjugendführung-RJF (Reich Youth Directorate) controls the policy as well as the administration of the whole HJ. It is headed by a Reichsjugendführer (Reich Youth Leader), assisted by an Adjutant and a Stabsführer (Chief of Staff). The Reichsreferentin (BDM) controls the BDM, Bund Deutscher Mädel (German Girls) and the JM Jüngmädel (Young Girls) and she is responsible directly to the Reichsjugendführer.
The RJF is divided into five special executive branches : Zentralamt; Auslands und Volkstumsamt; Kinderlandverschickung; Kriegsbetreuungsdienst and AH Schulen, and into six Hauptämter (Departments). The bureau of the Hauptämter are known as Ärmter, and their sections and sub-sections, as Hauptabteilungen and Abteilungen respectively. All Reichsschulen (National Schools) are controlled by the RJF. (Note) Used in connection with the RJF, the abbreviation HA indicates Hauptamt (Department), in the Gebietsführung it stands for the Hauptabteilung (Executive Section).
The HJ inside Greater Gemany is organized into 43 Gebiete (Regions). With the exception of the Gebiet Sudetenland and the Gebiet Befehlsstelle Böhmen und Möhren, each such region corresponds to a Gau (District) of the Nazi Party proper. Each Gebiet is headed by the Gebietsführer (Regional Leader), deputy is his Stabsleiter (Chief of Staff). The Gebietsführer (Regional HQ), is organized into Hauptabteilungen (Executive Sections), abbreviated to HA, and special semi-independent offices. The functions of Hauptabteilung, in general correspond to those of the Hauptämter (Departments) of the RJF : HA-I Personnel; HA-II Pre-military Training and Sports; HA-III Ideological Training and Cultural Activities; HA-IV Social Services; HA-V Buildings and Homes and HA-VI Legal Matters.
Hauptabteilungen are split up into Abteilungen (Sub-sections). The Gebietsführer may appoint a subordinate to perform tasks which are normally the function of a HA or its sub section. Such specially appointed officials are termed e.g. : Gebietsbeauftrager (Regional Plenipotentiary) fur KLV, or Kinderlandsverschickung, (Evacuation of Children) or Gebietsmusikreferent (Regional Director of Musik) or Gebietsarzt, Regional Director, of Medicine). A Gebietsinspektor may be a general inspector of the Hitlerjugend within the region, or he be a specialist, e.g. Inspector of Flying, Signals or Camps in charge of specialist units. Each Gebiet administers and maintains schools and camps. Two or more Gebeitsführerschulen (Regional Officer’s School), provide training for the many executive posts required by the Organization. Some Gebiete conduct Special schools, such as music or medical schools or provide other specialist’s courses.
Although the Armed Forces have actually taken over the operation of the Wehrertüchtigungslager (Pre-military Training Camps) the Gebietsführung concerned still administers them. All youth hostels, nominally under the Deutsche Jugendherbergen DJH (German Youth Hostels) an organization carried over from the Republic, are actually under HJ administration and supervision.
The HJ Standort (Garrison) is the highest local authority on all matters concerning German Youth. It is under the command of the Standortfahrer (Garrison Commander) and handles all administrative details with regard to Reichsjugenddienstpflicht (Compulsory National Youth Service).
The Standort maintains the individual youth’s Jugendstammblatt (Personal Record) which contains all the personal data, information on activities etc. in the greatest detail. Extracts of the most essential information are kept on the Karteikarte (Filing Card) held by the member’s unit, and on the Dienstkarte (Service Card), which also serves as personal identity card.
Being a local administrative authority, the Standort is not part of the unit structure of the HJ, although, as will be seen in the Order of Battle lists, the Standortführer (SOF) is often also the commander of a Bann.
The Bann (Regiment) is the basic unit of the HJ in a Gebiet there are from ten to thirty, or even more Banne. In 1943 the Jungbann of the DJ, parallel to the Bann, was abolished and the DJ JungstAmme (Youth Tribe) were placed under the supervision of the HJ Bann. Generally each NSDAP-Kreis (Party, not Governmental
District) contains one corresponding HJ Bann, and its Headquarters are located in the same town as the corresponding NSDAP-Kreis HQ. Larger Banne sometimes organize their own schools and courses and some even operate youth hostels and homes as well as camping sites.
The Bann is led by the Bannführer who frequently also holds the office of Standortführer (Garrison Commander). He is assisted by an Adjutant and a Hauptstammführer. The Bann administration is divided into 6 Hauptstellen (Executive Offices) the functions of which generally correspond to the 6 Hauptämter (Departments) of the RJF and the 6 parallel Hauptabteilungen (Executive Sections) of the Gebietsführung (Regional Command HQs).
An average Bann of about 6000 is sub-divided into 5 Stämme (Tribes) of the HJ and 5 Jungstämme of the DJ with a strength of about 600 each, but a large Bann of 9000 might contain 15 Stämme.
Each Bann has some special service units, usually : Motor-Stamm (Motorised); Flieger-Stamm (Aviation) and Nachrichten-Stamm (Signals). These special service Stamme are sub-divided in accordance with the established pattern of Gefolgschaft (Company), Schar (Platoon) and Kamaradschaft (Comradeship) as outlined below. Among the smaller special service units found in the average Stamm are : One or two Musik-Gefolgschaften (Music), a Sicherungsdienst (SRD)-Gefolgschaft (Security Detachment) for patrolling, and one Feuerwer-Schar (Firefighting Platoon).
(11) Organisation below Regimental level
From the Stamm downwards the unit of organization is standardized. A Stamm is divided into 4 Gefolgschaften (Companies) of 150 each, and the Gefolgschaft is organized into 3 Scharen (Platoons) of 50 each. Each Schar is sub-divided into 3 Kamaradschaften (Comradesships) of 15 each, and the latter split into 2 Rotten (Files). A diagram giving organization details will be found bellow. The number of youths in a community determines whether a Stamm Gefolgschaft or Schar is
(12) Numbering of Units
The numbering system of the Banne was originally designed to correspond with the regimental numbers of the Wehrmacht in the same area. The HJ was to ‘carry on the old tradition’ but the rapid expansion of the HJ made great inconsistencies inevitable. Besides its number each Bann carries a name; this may be a special name (e.g. a party martyr or a geographical term) or simply the name of the HQ location, or both. Unit designations are usually given in arabic numerals, the first indicating the Gefolgschaft, the second indicating the Bann. Thus 1/100 stands for first Gefolgschaft of Bann 100. Na. 1/100 stands for first Nachrichten-Gefolgschaft (Signals Unit) of Bann 100.
The Stamm is indicated by 4 Roman Numeral. Thus I/100 stands for the first Stamm of Bann 100. Na.I/100 stands for the first Nachrichten-Stamm of the Bann 100. The special service units are numbered consecutively in a separate series for each branch within every Bann.
Conscription proceeds each year as follows : the ten year old registers in January and receives his Meldeschein (Registration Card). In March he appears at the Aufnahmeappell (Preliminary Rollcall) of his Standort. Between the April 10 and April 19, the Standort conducts a technischer Aufnahmedienst (Preliminary Technical Course) culminating in he Pimpfenprobe (Cub’s Entrance Examination).
On April 20, the Führer’s birthday, a ceremonial Standortappel (Total Rollcall) is staged, at which all HJ members, old and new, must appear. The new Pimpf (Cub) of the DJ and the new ‘Jungmädel’ (Young Girl”) of the JM, together with the 14 year olds who are being transferred into the HJ and the BDM respectively, take the oath of allegiance : [Ich gelobe meinem Führer Adolf Hitler Treus. Ich verspreche ihm und den Führern, die er mir bestimmt, jeder-zeit Achtung und Gehorsam entgegen zu bringen’] (I promise to be faithful to my Führer, Adolf Hitler. I promise obedience and respect to him and to the leaders he shall appoint over me”).
It is noteworthy that this oath is strikingly similar to that administered to the Waffen SS. The new boy member is now entitled to wear the dagger with the inscription ‘Blut und Ehre’ (Blood and Honour).
(14) Basic Training
Activities of the HJ membership are numerous and tale up a good deal of the German boy’s time; exactly how much it is impossible to estimate, even though many regulations have been issued on this subject. It may be said, however, that most of the time not spent at work or school is spent serving the HJ. At present it appears that the day-to-day situation largely regulates the duties required of HJ members, but the basic peace time program is carried on side-by-side with the war duties resulting from Germany’s manpower shortage.
Weltanschauung (Ideological Training) is at all times one of the important phases in a young German’s schooling. At least one evening each week is spent attending lectures given by specially trained leaders who use minutely worked out directives and Schulungsbriefe (Educational Pamphlets). Here the HJ boys memorize many stock phrases of the Nazi political program. Physical training in the HJ is designed to develop the young Germans into, Hitler’s own words, ‘junior supermen, hard as steel, tough as leather and swift as greyhounds’. All physical training is carried out with the help and supervision of the NSRBL, the Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübung (National Socialist League for Physical Training).
Two of the three weekly meetings are usually devoted to some form of physical exercise inevitably of military nature (grenade throwing, small arms practice, etc.). Thus when the boy arrives at a Sommerlager (Summer Camp) or Wehrertüchtigungslager (Pre-Military Training Camp), he is already well acquainted with basic military formations and drill. The training, both mental and physical, is permeated by Nazi ideology and method, and in these camps, vacation periods are utilized by the Nazi Party to strengthen still further its hold over the young.
Various contests, such as Musischer Wettbewerb (Music and Art Contest), Reichsberufswettkampf (National Vocational Contest), and sport meetings on national and regional levels, are held in order to stimulate a spirit of competition and to promote higher standards of performance. Winners are usually presented with certificates or badges, and receive commensurate publicity in HJ publications being hailed almost as junior heroes. Details of HJ Proficiency Examinations are given below.
(15) Vocational Training
The vocational guidance program of the HJ is conducted in the closest cooperation with the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF) (German Labor Front). The GauJugendwalter (Nazi Party Regional Youth Representative for the DAF) collaborates with the respective Gebietsführung in vocational guidance for the HJ. Landdienst (Farm Service), in distinct contrast to the Landjahr (Obligatory Year in Agriculture) involves four years of training in all phases of agriculture, part of which is conducted on a Landdienstlehrhof (Model Training Farm) see below.
In peacetime, upon graduation at 18 the boy receives his Neubauernschein (Junior Farmer’s Certificate). The aim of this training was to provide a number of young farmers to colonize the Eastern Territories.
Land Service formerly claimed many HJ boys, but today, because of shortages elsewhere, they are called for such work only when a farm labor shortage is acute enough to require them, either locally or elsewhere in the Reich or in occupied territories. For girls, this service year remains universally obligatory.
The Bergdienst (Mining Service) of the HJ trains boys of 18 (also during war-time) for leading positions in the mining industry. The five year course includes one year of Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD) (Reich Labor Service) and is divided into three phases. Each phase is completed by an examination, and the candidate progressively attains the rank of Knappe (Miner), Hauer (Hewer) and Steiger (Foreman).
Wages for productive work performed during the schooling range from 15 Reichmark to 45 Reichmark per month, and an additional 17 Reichmark are deposited in the boy’s’ Government Savings Account to which he has no personal access.
The HJ has developed an extensive system of schools designed to train future leaders for its own and other NSDAP organizations. These potential leaders are carefully build into the pattern of National Socialism and emerge as conscious Nazis, applying their philosophy to all situations and persons.
(Cases are on record of elderly citizens being thrown into concentration camps merely for making contemptuous references to HJ members). The lists of all HJ schools is published below.
Gebietsführerschulen (Regional Schools for Officers) are controlled by the Gebietsführung (Regional Command HQs) and serve as training centers for those boys who already lead large groups or who are capable of doing so. The boys are given special courses in physical training and Party doctrines by HJ training personnel and schooled to fill posts within the structure of the Gebiet. Instruction is given throughout the year, but primarily during holidays or summer months.
(18) Reichsschulen (National Schools)
These schools are under the direct supervision of the RJF. They are specialist schools attended by HJ members from all Gebiete. Curricula are based on military, naval, sport, administrative and other subjects, but leadership is stressed equally with proficiency in the special subject. Auslands und Volktumsamt (Bureau for Foreign Affairs and Germanism) conducts courses in foreign languages and awards the HJ-Sprachmittlerschein (Interpreter’s Certificate) for proficiency.
These establishments, which are abbreviated NPEA or Napola, are types of secondary school and components of the HJ organization. An NPEA is usually organized by a HF-Stamm and is directed by a staff of SS Leaders whose pedagogical and intellectual qualification are often outweighed by their political reliability and previous services to the Party.
Since physical training has first place, instruction in practically all kinds of military ‘sports’, such as skiing, glider flying, motoring etc. is emphasized. Tuition must be paid by parents. Graduates are not particularly enjoined to enter party or Government service, but are usually attracted to military careers because of preferential treatment in the attainment of commissions.
(20) The Reichsjugendakademie
(National Youth Academy)
The Reichsjugendakademie (National Youth Academy) in Braunschweig, a formal institute of higher learning for senior HJ leaders, was set up in 1939 when it took over the enlarged functions of the Reichsjugendführerschule (National Youth Officers School) still in operation in Potsdam. Candidates for admission must have reached their seventeenth birthday and have completed secondary school or vocational training. The school trains HJ leaders who wish to make a career of their calling.
The ordinary course lasts two years and consists of five phases embracing practical experience in Bann administration, three weeks of manual labor in German industry and six months abroad. Successful completion of studies entitles the student to the Jugendführerpatent (Youth Leader Commission) and results in immediate appointment to a responsible position in the HJ. Recently disabled war veterans between the ages of 21 and 28 have been admitted in large numbers, and various shorter courses in Administration, Nazi Ideology, Cultural Work, Press and Propaganda, Health Service, Social Work or Farm Service were instituted for them.
Adolf-Hitler-Schulen (Adolf Hitler Schools) are free boarding schools conducted. by the NSDAP, so called because they were conceived, ‘partly endowed’ and allegedly architecturally planned by the Führer himself. Each school is directly under the supervision of the respective NSDAP Gauleiter (Party District Executive). Students are selected at the age of twelve from the ranks of the DJ, and admission depends on possession of all the basic characteristics of a good Nazi.
These schools combine a curious mixture of toughness and luxury. They, are on the secondary school level and place great emphasis on military ‘sports’, character building, and devotion to the Party-state. The teaching staff has received some or all of its training at the Reichsjugendakademie. The student is regarded as a member of the HJ throughout his five years of schooling. Upon graduation, the students designed for eventual NSDAP leadership are admitted into the Party proper.
Of the 4000 graduates emerging from the AH Schulen each year, 1000 are selected to reassemble after seven years of Party or HJ work, and with other outstanding young leaders, to enter one of the Ordensburgen (Castles of the Teutonic Order). Four Ordersburgen known as Krossinsee, Vovelsang, Sonthowen and Marienwerder are in existence. There, according to the chief of the German Labor Front, Robert Ley, this ‘Elite’ is trained as the future Masters of Germany – ‘great in knowledge, blind in obedience, fanatical in faith’.
War has imposed many additional responsibilities on the HJ and efforts are made to place the boys where manpower shortages are most pressing. To attract youth into German industries and simultaneously maintain political hold over them the HJ-Lehrlingsheime (Apprentices Homes) have been instituted in the large towns, where in addition to an eight-hour day in the factories, the boys also carry out nearly full HJ duties. Wages are nominal and saving is compulsory.
The Kriegseinsatz (War Emergency Service) was created to help with duties such as firefighting and ARP, HJ personnel also working as conductors, mail clerks, postmen, street cleaners etc. War salvage activities and collections for war charities are conducted regularly by the HJ as well as the Kinderlandverschickumg (KLV) (Evacuation of Children from Bombed Areas). In the Kriegsbetreuunesdienst (KBD) (Forces Welfare Service) the HJ writes letters and sends parcels to the front, entertains soldiers in hospitals or while on leave, and runs canteens for members of the Army.
The German High Command’s call for volunteers has been met by a considerable response from the 17 year olds of the HJ. Volunteering is made attractive by the granting of special privileges, such as short leaves, the wearing of the HJ armlet on the left upper arm of the arm-tunic, and the designation of ‘Kriegsfreiwilliger’ (Volunteer), instead of the customary ‘private’. HJ serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces are also entitled to receive regular army decorations for good-work. Many HJ boys of the older age groups have also volunteered to serve as Armed Force Auxiliaries in defence of the home country.
HJ-Luftwaffenhelfer (Air Force Auxiliaries) are sixteen year olds organized to man anti-aircraft defences, serve as spotters, and work at AA posts, releasing members of the Armed Forces for front line duty. Only students of secondary schools may volunteer for training and assignment as Luftwaffenhelfer. They may be transferred to any distant danger area, but are bi-annually guaranteed a two-week holiday to see their families. Their HJ uniform is supplemented by airforce boots, a steel helmet, and other necessary personal Luftwaffe equipment.
HJ-Marinehelfer (Naval Auxiliaries) are members of the Marine-HJ, who have volunteered for routine duties with the Kriegs Marine in the coastal areas of Germany.
Panzerschreckabteilungen (Tank Delaying Sections)
Panzerschreckabteilungen (Tank Delaying Sections) have recently been reported in action against the invading Allied armoured units.
(23) Liaison with the Armed Forces
All branches of the Armed Forces have maintained close liaison with the HJ having their own representatives in the RJF (Reich Youth Directorate). The Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine fix definite annual quotas for special training in the HJ with a view to future recruiting. Each Wehrkreis (Military District or Corps Commands of the Wehrmacht) and each Luftgau (District of the Luftwaffe) has a Nachwuchsoffizier (Recruiting Officer) who is assisted by a HJ Verbindungsoffizier (Liaison Officer).
By order of the Wehrmacht High Command, a direct relationship between units of the field army and units of the HJ was established in January 1944. A regiment or an independent battalion ‘adopts’ a HJ-Bann as Patenbann (Foster Bann). The regiment’s Ersatz Einheit (Replacement Depot), located in the vicinity of the Bann, actively collaborates in the military training program of the Bann. Members of the adopting army regiment or battalion in the field are often detached to the Bann to relate their war experiences and to act as temporary instructors.
In this connection it must be mentioned that the Waffen-SS exerts a disproportionately high influence upon the HJ. In response to the increased need for trained manpower in the Armed Forces, the HJ has undertaken to provide basic training for boys under military age. Although semi-military activities have always played an important part among the duties of the HJ formal pre-military training under direct supervision of the Armed Forces was not introduced Until 1942. Its purpose is to supplement the training which must be compressed into a very short period when the boys are called up for regular service.
(Pre-Military Training Camps)
The most effective form of pre-military training takes place in the Wehrertüchtigungslager (WEL) (Pre-Military Training Camps) of which some 300 are believed to exist in Greater Germany. Every 17 year old boy is required to take the three weeks basic course at a WEL before being drafted to labor service or prior to being ‘induced to volunteer’ for the Armed Forces, including the Waffen-SS. The usual WEL has accommodation for 300 to 400 boys, who are organized into Scharen and Kameradschaften. Instructors are Army officers or more frequently nowadays officers of the Waffen-SS and NCO’s with combat experience.
Professional or semi-professional HJ leaders serve as assistants and administrators only and a staff of male and female civilians maintain routine services. The WEL is a very modern establishment, in no way comparable to army barracks. It has dining rooms, lounges, modernly-equipped kitchens and sick bays, store rooms, lecture halls with special technical and demonstrating equipment, motor pools and shops, sports arenas and firing ranges.
The trailing plan provides for practical field exercises, and manoeuvres, the use of small arms, as well as sports and ideological schooling. Close order drill is kept to a minimum. The KL-Schein (War Training Certificate) marks the successful completion of the course.
(Specialist Service Units)
Sondereinheiten (Special Service Units) have assumed increased importance in the accelerated pre-military training program of the HJ. By decree of the RJF, 35% of each HJ group must supplement their basic training in Sondereinheiten where they acquire a rudimentary knowledge of the various branches of military service. HJ members of specialist units are organized into separate Scharen or attend a special WEL, e.g. one for signal, motor or aviation training. The various specialist service certificates and badges may be acquired during a course at the WEL. The most advanced trainees try to fulfill the requirements for the K.Ubungsleiter Schein (War Training Instructor’s Certificate). By the end of 1943 approximately 514.000 youths had passed through pre-military training camps of the Hitler Youth Organization.
The Nachrichten-HJ (Signals) prepares boys for duty in the signal units of the Army and the Luftwaffe, and recently signal training has also been given in special service units of the DJ preparatory to transfer into the Nachrichten-HJ. Training is conducted under direct supervision of the Armed Forces, and with full utilisation of their establishments and equipment.
It is divided into three phases : (1) course lasting six months; gives signal training, including an introduction to communication procedure and the operation of simple signal instruments and equipment. After, passing an examination, the Hj boy receives the Nachrichtenschein A (Signals Certificate A) which entitles him to wear a distinctive badge ‘A’ on his left forearm. (2) consists of two and a half years of basic signal training covering all types of signal communication. Upon passing his final examination in this course the trainee receives Nachrichtenschein B (Signals Certificate B) with the corresponding badge ‘B’ to wear on his sleeve. (3) a special course adding the final touch to the general signal training, and culminates in Nachrichtenschein C (Signals Certificate C) and the corresponding badge.
The Motor HJ, founded in 1939, is designed to train future recruits for the motorized and armored divisions of the Army. This training, is under the supervision of the Army, but the NSKK (National Socialist Motor Corps) furnishes instructors, equipment and facilities. Training during the first two years includes theoretical instruction, workshop practice, and lectures on traffic regulations. When the Motor HJ boy has reached a minimum age of sixteen, he takes an examination for his driver’s license.
The technical training includes a knowledge of all motor vehicles and the ability to perform on-the-spot repairs. The Motor HJ Abzeichen (Motor HJ Badge) is awarded for proficiency particularly in driving under difficult terrain conditions (from a tactical point of view).
(Assault Boat Units)
Sturmboot Einheiten (Assault Boat Units), are a recently developed branch of the Motor HJ but only a few such groups exist.
The Kriegsmarine HJ (Navy HJ) is generally composed of boys living in coastal regions and furnishes replaoements for the Navy and Merchant Navy. Training is under the supervision of naval personnel, and includes practically all phases of naval activities. After a three to four years course, the Kriegsmarine HJ boy has learned to man row-boats, barges and sailing boats, he has a knowledge of flag signals and basic naval communications and the employment of the various types of naval craft.
The most exhaustive training is offered in the Reichsseesportschulen (Reich Naval Sport Schools) (listed below), and on the Segelschulschiff (Sailing Training Vessel) Horst Wessel. See Sportabzeichen (Sea Sport Badges) A, B and C are awarded at the end of each stage of training. The uniform worn by the Kriegsmarine HJ differs entirely from the ordinary HJ uniform, and is almost identical with the blue uniform worn by the German Navy, though the HJ armlet is retained.
HJ members serving with the Merchant Marine may carry out inland waterway duties with the Reichsbann Binnenschiffahrt (National Inland Waterways Unit) or coastal duties with the Reichsbann Seeschiffahrt (National Sea Unit).
The Flieger-HJ prepares boys for service in the Luftwaffe. Training is controlled by the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL) (Air Force High Command), but instructors establishments and training equipment are furnished by the NSFK (National Socialist Flying Corps). Flying training begins in the DJ when the twelve year old volunteers, organized in the Flieger-DJ (Junior Aviation HJ) learn to build and to fly model planes. After transfer to the Flieger-HJ the construction end operation of gliders and theoretical instruction in aviation navigation, aerial geography and other related subjects form a full training program.
Many workshops of the German State Railways, German Postal Service, Vocational Schools and industrial concerns are at the disposal of the Flieger-HJ. There are three Segelfliegerabzeichen (Glider Badges) A, B and C, which are progressively acquired. To pass the examination for the Segelfliegerabzeichen C, the applicant must maintain his glider above starting height for at least five minutes. Selected boys may prepare for the examination for the Luftfahrerschein (Glider Pilot Certificate) and take further training as aircraft pilots.
HJ Feldschere train Mostly for first-aid work in the HJ, but also for duty as medical and ambulance personnel in the Armed Forces. Training takes place under the supervision of full-time HJ doctors, in extensive courses given at the Feldscherschulen (First Aid Training Schools). A list of these schools is given below. Medical lectures, First Aid, Dental care, Casts and Transporting the wounded are some of the items on the general training program. After passing an examination the boy receives a certificate and is ent led to wear the Feldscher Abzeichen (Medical Service Badge).
The Streifendienst (SRD) (HJ Patrol Service) comprises the elite of the Nazi Youth. Aboard of higl local HJ and SS leaders considers the individual applications or service in the SRD applying the rigorous standards of the original Allgemeine SS. In the SRD are combined all the various tasks of a supplementary SS and police force. Members check on the appearance of the other HJ members as individuals and in formations. They also control the youths passing through railroad stations and hostels. Furthermore they correct such offenses as begging, vagrancy and fraudulent collections.
The SRD operates in closest collaboration with the police authorities, including the Gestapo and its members, trained and supervised by the SS, are regarded as eventual SS replacements. The SRD may indeed be considered a major problem for an occupying force and a potential source of opposition and sabotage. Its members are among the most dangerous and unscrupulous types used as raiding squads and informers.
In Poland they made up execution squads and formed Rollkommandos (Pursuit Detachments) serving under the Death’s Head Officers of the SS.
(Schnellkommando) (Emergency Squad)
The Schnellkommando (Emergency Squad ) is a sub-unit of the SRD which is at the disposal of Germany’s various police forces for special duty at danger spots during air raids, etc. In localities where no regular Feuerwehreinheiten (Firefighting Units) of the HJ Bann have been organised, branches of the SRD are employed in this capacity. The distinctive insignia of the SRD is a black ribbon around the sleeve with the inscription ‘Streifendienst’ (above).
Musikzüge haye always paved a great part in the special activities of the HJ and meetings and festivities of the organisation are invariably embellished by the performances of these musical units. Combinations of band groups range from drum and fife bands to bugle (fanfares) corps and full size brass bands. Each Bann has at least one Musikgefoleschaft (Music Company), and musical training is given in special HJ Courses at most musical institutes in Germany. Some music schools have even been taken over by the NJ for this purpose (list is below). It is believed that bugle code signals have recently been taught in these schools.
The best musicians are selected to members of the Reichmusikzüg (National HJ Band) which frequently tours the Greater Germany and often broadcasts. All members of musical units wear ‘Schwalbennester’ (Epaulettes with fringes) as distinctive insignia. Spielscharen are propaganda troops which present shows and plays expounding Nazi ideology. Some Banne and each Gebiet maintain a Spielschar. Performances of particular interest and value to the organization are given over the air.
The Gebirgs HJ provides mountain training in preparation for future service with the mountain troops. This training is outlined by the Army, and given close cooperation with the Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) (German Alpine.Club). Members of the Gebirgs HJ are organised in so called Bergfahrtengruppen, small groups which undertake independent mountain expeditions involving climbing and skiing. Upon passing a special course, the Gebirgs HJ boy acquires the Bergfahtren führer Abzeichen (Junior Mountain Guide Badge).
There is something to note : (Reiter HJ) (Cavalry) was a peace time branch of the Hitlerjugend specialising as horse-mounted units. This specialty was abandoned and iIt has not been heard of since the outbreak of the Second World War.
End of Part One
Note : All the Annexes, mostly pointed out with (below) or (see table below) are in Part 2
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