What was the Hitler Youth? What was Hitler’s goal in creating the Hitler Youth?



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By Shasta Rizzi and Bryce Rigg


Hitler’s Youth Boy Poster



The Youth of Germany was enraptured by Hitler from the beginning. The Hitler Youth were the child Nazis.
What was the Hitler Youth?
What was Hitler’s goal in creating the Hitler Youth?
What role did the Hitler Youth play in Hitler’s rise to power?
What was the influence of the Hitler Youth on WWII and the Holocaust?
How was the youth of Germany (not the Hitler Youth) affected?
What did the boys do in the Hitler Youth, and what did the girls do?

More Information

Works Cited

What role did the Hitler Youth play in Hitler’s rise to power?


The Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend) was formed in 1926. In 1929 it was declared the official youth group of the Nazi party. Soon after, in 1930, the BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel), a League of German Girls, was formed. In the January of 1933, Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany, a title that made him the 2nd most powerful man in the country. By June of that year, there were over 2 million people enrolled in the Hitler Youth.

Propaganda marches organized by the Hitler Youth occurred frequently throughout Germany. These propaganda marches inspired patriotism within people, making them want to join Hitler. Hitler’s successful rise to power was in part due to these marches. Melita, a former member of the BDM describes the influence that these marches had on her in the book Hitler Youth. On pages 18-19, it describes how “She became carried away by their spirit of self-sacrifice as they sang, ‘For the flag we are ready to die . . . .’ Feeling a surge of patriotism, Melita burned with the desire to join these young people. ‘I longed to hurl myself into this current,’ she said. ‘I wanted to belong to these people for whom it was a matter of life and death.’” (Bartoletti 18-19). Soon after that, Melita joined the BDM against her parents wills.

When Hitler became the Führer (head of the country) in 1934, the Hitler Youth membership totaled 3,577,565. Hitler got to power because of his supporters. The Hitler Youth was one of the driving forces behind his massive amount of followers.
For a timeline of the Hitler Youth click here.

For more on Hitler’s rise to power go to: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005204



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Timeline of the Hitler Youth



1926: Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) officially formed, with Kurt Gruber as its leader. Hitler Youth membership totals 6,000.

1929: Hitler Youth declared official youth group of the Nazi Party. Hitler Youth membership totals 13,000.

1930: Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) founded. Hitler Youth (including BDM) membership totals 26,000.

1931: Baldur von Schirach appointed Hitler Youth leader. Hitler Youth membership totals 63,700.

1932: Hitler youth membership totals 99,586.

1933: Hitler named chancellor (January), Reichstag building burns (February). Enabling Act grants Hitler dictatorial powers (March). Nazis boycott Jewish stores and businesses (April). Hitler Youth raid Berlin headquarters of German Youth Association (April). Law passed against “overcrowding” of German schools (April). Nazis burn books (May). Schirach appointed youth leader of the German Reich (June). Hitler Youth membership totals 2,292,041.

1934: Hindenburg dies and Hitler becomes Führer. Reich Land Service sends city children to work on farms (October). Hitler Youth membership totals 3,577,565.

1935: Hitler initiates Reich Labor Service and begins to rearm military. Nazis pass Nuremberg Laws against the Jews (September). Hitler Youth membership now totals 3,942,303.



1936: German troops reoccupy Rhineland (March). Summer Olympic Games staged in Berlin (August). Hitler Youth Law makes membership compulsory for all eligible youth, ages 10-18 (December). Hitler Youth membership now totals 5,437,602.

1937: Hitler withdraws Germany’s name from Treaty of Versailles. Hitler Youth membership now totals 5,879,955.

1938: Germany annexes Austria (March) and the Sudetenland (September). Kristallnacht takes place (November). Hitler Youth membership totals 7,031,226.

1939: Germany annexes Czechoslovakia (March). Hitler toughens Hitler Youth Law, conscripting remaining eligible youth (March). Hitler and Stalin create German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (August). Germany invades Poland (September). Euthanasia program begins (October). BDM help ethnic Germans move into Polish farms. Hitler Youth membership totals 7,287,470.

1940: Germany conquers Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, and France. Artur Axmann succeeds Schirach as Hitler Youth leader (August).

1941: Germany invades the Soviet Union (June). Germany declares war on the united states (December).

1942: Nazis’ Wannsee Conference formalizes plans for the “final solution of the Jewish problem.”

1943: Germany suffers major defeat at Stalingrad (January). Antiaircraft batteries manned solely by Hitler Youth (January). The 12th SS Panzer Greandier Hitlerjugend Division official activated (June).

1944: Allied troops launch D-Day invasion (June). The 12th SS-HJ is sent to Normandy front (June). Hitler creates Volkssturm to defend homeland (September).

1945: Germany collapses as Allies invade (February-April). Hitler commits suicide (April). Germany surrenders unconditionally (May).

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How was the youth of Germany (not the Hitler Youth) affected?


We all know the fate of what happened to those people that were of the Non-Aryan race. They were sent to concentration, work, and death camps. They were simply doomed. The same goes for the children that were Non-Aryan. They were sent to the same camps, where depending on their age and gender, they were either immediately gassed, or sent to work.

The youth of the Aryan race were not sent to the camps. But those who lived near them lived in fear. They were sworn to silence, and had to deal with the horrors of what they thought/saw was going on. In Hitler Youth, Susan Campbell Bartoletti relays the experiences of Elisabeth Vetter, “During the last days of the war, Elisabeth Vetter witnessed a death march when the SS forced the concentration-camp inmates from Auschwitz to march through her German village. ‘When they couldn’t walk anymore, the SS shot them in the neck,’ said Elisabeth. ‘In my mama’s garden, I saw two or three right in front of the gate. There were dead people all over. We had to bury them.’” (Bartoletti 152).

In some places, they were pressured to join the Hitler Youth by their teachers and peers. When and if they joined, they were rewarded. By not joining, they were criticized by their teachers, and sometimes rejected by their friends. Teachers were required to do this—the Hitler Youth had control over the teachers.

In other places, there was not as great a pressure, but they were still affected. At a catholic school, instead of praying to Christ, they prayed to Hitler to guide them into the new Reich. Greetings were now always ‘Heil Hitler.’ There were no other options. From a young age, they swore their allegiance to Hitler. All schools taught only Nazi approved principals, and individual freedoms gradually got taken away. Schools were only for the Aryan race, and questions were not welcomed. Basically, the youth was brainwashed to love Hitler from day one.


For a timeline of the Hitler Youth click here.
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What was the influence of the Hitler Youth on WWII and the Holocaust?
The Hitler Youth was a key feature in Hitler’s rise to power. They campaigned to get the Nazis to power. Hitler believed that by having the youth of Germany under his grip meant that in the future, when they were adults, he would be the leader with undying support. Even after he died, his plans would be carried out. To enlarge the Hitler Youth, he made teachers promote the ideas to their students, praising those who joined, punishing those who did not. Soon most of Germany’s youth were under his spell. Hitler instilled national pride in them—the Youth were confident that he would be their savior. They would do whatever he told them to. Some of the Hitler Youth’s loyalty to Hitler was greater than that to their family, Elisabeth Vetter, a girl who joined the BDM at age 8, turned in her own parents for speaking out against Hitler.

Just like the National Guard, marines, and navy are part of the military, Hitler Youth was part of Hitler’s military. Hitler Youth was essentially part of the army. Many of the older Hitler Youth fought at the fronts. Others promoted Hitler and his ideas, and still some recruited more people to the Hitler Youth. By promoting Hitler’s ideas, they were spreading racism throughout the country. They were brought up with the racism, and thus believed it with every fiber of their being. One of the main uses of the Hitler Youth was propaganda…one of the reasons why Hitler gained so much support.


For a timeline of the Hitler Youth click here.
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What was the Hitler Youth?


Hitler’s youth was basically the children of Germany being influenced and controlled by Hitler and the Nazis. The Hitler Youth was an organization the Nazis created to control the youth of Germany. Members of the Hitler Youth were trained to be Nazi soldiers and nurses. At first joining was optional but later it was made mandatory for all children. The Hitler Youth emphasized activism, physical training, Nazi ideology, and racial and national superiority. It is called the Hitler Youth because nearly all of Germany’s youth followed Hitler and believed in his ideas. In nearly every way the Nazis were able to ‘own’ these youths. In all of the schools they were taught Nazi ideology.
*Some parents did not want their children in the Hitler Youth groups and they kept them out until it was made mandatory that every child goes to them. The children of those parents sometimes joined secretly, and some even turned their parents in for keeping them out.
For a timeline of the Hitler Youth click here.
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What was Hitler’s goal in creating the Hitler Youth?


“He who owns the youth, owns the future.”(Hitler). This was a quote made by Adolf Hitler which he believed true. So by creating the Hitler Youth, he owned the youth of Germany, and therefore owned the future of Germany. The Nazis taught the children in school about Nazi ideology and other strict education. Non-German philosophies and teachings were considered immoral and evil. Basically Hitler wanted to control the future of Germany. When the children got older and into adulthood Nazi teachings were all that they knew, so that is how they led their lives. Hitler wanted to not only control what was going on then in Germany but also what would happen to Germany after he died. That way, everything that he believed in would still being practiced.
For a timeline of the Hitler Youth click here.
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What did the boys do in the Hitler Youth, and what did the girls do?


Boys of the Hitler Youth Group Hiking (they had to hike a number of miles every day)


There were different groups for the girls and boys of the youth. When the boys turned 10 they went to Deutsches Jungvolk. They stayed there until they turned 13 and joined up with the Hitlerjugend

When the girls turned 10 they went to the Jungmadelbund until they were 14. Then they went to the Bund Deutscher Mädel

For both boys and girls, the Nazis were very focused on physical ability. Boys were trained to be future soldiers in the German army and to believe in the Nazi ideology.

They had to do military athletics such as:



  • marching

  • bayonet drill

  • grenade throwing

  • trench digging

  • map reading

  • gas defense

  • use of dugouts

  • how to get under barbed wire

  • and pistol shooting

Girls were trained to believe in the Nazi ideology, and to become future nurses and mothers.

They had to be able to:



  • run 60 meters in 14 seconds

  • throw a ball 12 meters

  • complete a 2 hour march

  • swim 100 meters

  • and know how to make a bed .

For a timeline of the Hitler Youth click here.


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More Information
For a timeline of the Hitler Youth click here.

For information of the Nazi’s rise to power click here.

For information on the boys and girls jobs of the Hitler Youth click here.
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Works Cited

Bartoletti, Susan C. Hitler Youth: Growing Up In Hitler’s Shadow. New York: Scholastic, 2005.

Author, Unknown. "Germany: Establishment of the Nazi Dictatorship." USHMM. 25 Oct. 2007. Smithsonian Museums. 8 Nov. 2007 .

Trueman, Chris. "The Hitler Youth." History Learning Site. 2007. History Learning Site. 8 Nov. 2007 .

Artist, Unknown. Hitler’s Youth Boy Poster.



Photographer, Unknown. Boys of the Hitler Youth Group Hiking.

Historical Boys’ Clothing. 15 Jan. 2004.
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