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NSDAP Rise to Power
German 1923 Inflation
German Elections
Winterhilfswerk
Greater German Reich
Berlin Olympics 1936
Munich Conference
Fall of France
Battle of Britain
Battle for the North Atlantic
Occupation of Europe
War in North Africa
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Stalingrad
America at War
German Home Front
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Liberation of Europe
Fall of Berlin
Holocaust
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Selected Exhibits > Hitler Youth
   Exhibits
   Selected Exhibits
   1. NSDAP Rise to Power
   2. Berlin Olympics 1936
   3. Hitler Youth
   4. Winterhilfswerk
   5. Battle of Britain
   6. German Home Front
   7. America at War
   8. Russian Front
   9. Holocaust
   10. Liberation of Europe

In 1923, the Hitler Youth movement was founded in Munich with just over one thousand members. By December 1936, Hitler Youth membership stood at just over 5 million. That same month, membership in Hitler Youth became obligatory (Gesetz über die Hitlerjugend). From that point, all of Germany's teenagers were incorporated into the Hitler Youth, and by 1940, the total membership reached eight million. Hitler Youth promoted the National Socialist ideology of the Aryan ideal and Volksgemeinschaft (People's Community).

The following is an excerpt from Hitler's speech to the Hitler Youth at the 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally documented by Leni Riefenstahl in the "Triumph of the Will".

"Regardless of whatever we create and do, we shall pass away, but in you, Germany will live on and when nothing is left of us you will have to hold up the banner which some time ago we lifted out of nothingness. And I know it cannot be otherwise because you are flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, and your young minds are filled with the same will that dominates us. You cannot be but united with us. And when the great columns of our movement march victoriously through Germany today I know that you will join these columns. And we know that Germany is before us, Germany is within us, and Germany follows behind us."
PHOTOGRAPH OF GERMAN YOUTH ORGANIZATION MARCHING.
  • Hitler Youth was organized into corps under adult leaders, and the general membership comprised of boys aged fourteen to eighteen
  • Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) (League of German Girls) for girls aged from fourteen to eighteen
  • Deutsches Jungvolk (German Youth) for boys aged ten to fourteen

POSTCARD OF HITLER AND CHILDERN IN HITLER YOUTH UNIFORMS. Hitler receiving a gift of flowers from a young follower. The postcard was mailed April 29, 1939 to Berlin from Emil Paull wishing his wife a happy 50th birthday.


HITLER YOUTH ARMBAND "21 JUNE 1934" HITLER YOUTH SPORTS PIN

A white porcelain pin proudly worn by boys and girls who had won a place in sports contests.

1941 GERMAN CLOTHING DRIVE POSTER JULY 28 TO AUGUST 23. CLOTHING DRIVE 1941 CONTRIBUTION CERTIFICATE. Receipt for Fritz Harms' donation of 1 kg. of clothing. The clothing was used to make uniforms for the troops.


The National Socialist placed great emphasis on competition and physical fitness. Just about every task, now matter how big or small, was turned into an individual, team, or unit competition. This included boys and girls sports, the quality of singing during propaganda marches, and Winter Aid collections. Both boys and girls enjoyed organized activities such as camping, hiking, and playing sports.

Hitler Youth group waiting at a train station to begin their journey. These organized programs allowed Germany's youth to travel for the first time without their parents.
Hitler Youth group visiting the gardens at the Palace of Sanssouci, in Potsdam, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.
Hitler Youth group at the beach.
Boys building a sand fort at the beach.
Boys at camp in line for lunch with their mess kits under the watchful eye of an adult supervisor. For many youths this was their first "vacation" away from the reality of the Great Depression.

As Germany's losses on the battlefield mounted the Waffen-SS and regular army were depleted of officers, Hitler ordered Hitler Youth boys to be trained as replacements and sent to the Russian Front and to fight against the Allied army's invasion of France. Everyone, both young and old, would be thrown into the final fight to stop the onslaught of 'Bolshevik hordes' from the East and 'Anglo-American gangsters' from the West.


"THE OFFICER OF TOMORROW" PROMOTIONAL CARD.

This promotional card from Munich encourages the Hitler Youth members to apply for Army officer training programs.
 
BACK OF CARD READS "HOW DO YOU APPLY TO THE ARMY'S OFFICER TRAINING SCHOOL". The card lists the application locations.

"Every German youth aged 16 and older can apply to officer training schools to join the Greater German Army".  
 


The Allied armies were surprised by the fanaticism and reckless bravery of the Hitler Youth in battle.

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