“The future of the German nation depends on its youth and the German youth shall have to be prepared for its future duties”
The youth of Germany were an important target for Hitler. He knew that if his dream for the thousand year Reich were to be fulfilled he needed the loyalty of the young German people. But how did he obtain that loyalty? How did he set about bending the German children’s hearts and minds to his will?
The answer is simple-the Hitler Youth.
In the years from 1929 to 1933 economic hardship, a faltering political regime and generational tensions left many young people with no place to turn. The Nazis used this situation to their advantage, pointing out to the youths the way the Weimar republic government were failing to care for them. It appeared to young people that the Nazis were a party tailor made for the youth. Indeed, the Nazis realised the importance of youth, whom they considered indispensable in their quest for power. This is why many young, disenchanted, lower class youths put their stocks in the Nazi party and in particular, the Hitler youth. However, at the time of Hitler’s assumption of power, the Hitler youth had a mere 100,000 members. Baldur Von Schirach, the head of Hitler Youth, solved this problem by merging other, larger, groups into Hitler Youth. This proved to be relatively easy, because often the leaders of the other youth groups sympathized with Hitler and were easily lured into Hitler youth. By the end of 1933 membership had increased to two million and by 1936 it had risen to five million.
With many young receptive minds at his disposal Hitler initiated the plans that saw all members of Hitler youth indoctrinated into the Nazi ideals. Hitler made it...