In 1933 the year the Nazis came to power Hitler already had girls saluting the Nazi flag every morning at school, this is but one action that shows the importance he placed on support of the youth. The youth were the future of Germany and if Hitler was to stay in power he needed to create a generation of adults who would be totally loyal to him and his Party. The Nazis started indoctrinating the children from a young age, especially the boys who began attending the Pimp fen at just 6 years old, girls began slightly later in the Jung M”adel at 10 years old. From this age on the children were brought up with Nazi influences until they were 18 for boys and 21 for girls. The main aims for boys and girls were quite similar but there were two major differences and the distinct organisations reflected this. They both were taught to be obedient, to idolise Hitler and to strengthen the German Nation, much emphasis was also placed on sacrificing oneself for the good of the nation.
However all these aims contributed to different things; to making the boys strong, obedient fighters and the girls were all groomed to be strong mothers who could bear healthy children. However whether they were effective or not is dependent on a number of things, firstly on the definition of effective, whether it achieved its aims and if it achieved them in the desired way. And if effective is taken to mean that they achieved some or all of their aims one must taken into consideration why people accepted (or didn’t accept) the things the Nazis did. If Nazis desired fanaticism then in some cases they did succeed, there were some young men who conformed with incredible enthusiasm. One man remembering his days in the Hitler Youth recalls that he was “full of enthusiasm, what boy isn’t fired by high ideals such as comradeship, loyalty, honour.” However despite this enthusiasm he does not mention idolisation of the Fuhrer, but in 1934 a report by the SOPADE claimed that “the chaps are so fanatic ised they believe in nothing but their Hitler.” Of course there is the possibility that these feelings have been exaggerated in order to consolidate the power of the Nazis but if all cases were reported like this then it would be a fair conclusion to say that the Nazi Youth policies were very effective. However at the other end of the spectrum there were young men and women who totally rejected all of Hitler’s youth movements, one such group were the Edelweiss Pirates who were so fervently against Hitler they were prepared to die for their cause.
... for the Third Reich.Both boys and girls were taught loyalty to Hitler, indoctrinated in Nazi ideas and policies. Acceptance of Hitler Youth: Many Young people ... adolescent was allowed to become a member of the Hitler Youth. Each boy or girl had to meet certain standards to join.Standards for ... is that the recruitment campaign for the young was very effective and this made it easy for them to gather ...
A favourite song of theirs contained the line “And smash the Hitler Youth in twain/ Our song is freedom love and life”, this blatant rebellion was not tolerated and many Pirates were killed, as shown the photograph of 6 being hung for treason. However in between these two extremes fall many people who conformed (or not) in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. There were people who conformed to the Nazi regime and accepted it because they believed it could further their careers, another extract from a SOPADE report claims “many believe they will find job opportunities through the persecution of Jews and Marxists.” There is the suggestion here that they did not find jobs but the belief in opportunities was enough to lure some people to conformity. Other young people would conform through apathy, they didn’t really take the time to understand the Nazis but did it because they saw no reason not to. One German man recalls that “On the whole we didn’t know much about Nazi ideology”, which suggests that him and many others around him just ‘went along with the crowd’.
Introduction The M 1 Youth Connection is an annual event held by The Necessary Stage (TNS). This event is a theatre festival held for, as the name implies, the youth. The festival does not only include theatrical productions but also art exhibitions, concerts. It is an established event that has been on-going for five years. It is also Singapore's only annual festival of theatre and other arts for ...
Further down the conformity spectrum are people who conformed through obedience – a common excuse used by men being tried for war crimes. One man remembering his youth in 1987 claims that they “were politically programmed to obey orders”, these young people may not have agreed with all the things the Nazis promoted but the desire to impress their superiors with exemplary discipline was strong enough to overcome doubts. Moving on to those who didn’t conform begins with those who merely didn’t conform because of a natural desire to rebel a little, one report described the breaking of National Socialist laws as a “favourite game” amongst the youth in Germany. Some of the laws were still being followed through any number of reasons that I have already discussed but obviously the Nazis were failing somewhere in their aim for total obedience and idolisation of the Fuhrer. The party could not make people conform when they let their young people down, not at first perhaps but gradually people became disillusioned with certain aspects. In his book “Youth in the third Reich” A.
Kl one states that “Later when I became a leader the negative aspects became obvious.” Apparently all was not well within the Party if people can see the negative in something there is no way they can be totally internalise and fulfilling all the aims Hitler had for his young people. One cannot idolise someone in whom faults have become obvious. Once these faults became apparent the next step was to criticise the Nazis but unlike the Edelweiss Pirates some criticised anonymously, obviously this was a safer way to spread the anti-Nazi feeling. Some youths had gratified a wall with “Down with Nazi brutality” and each time it was removed new subversive messages would appear.
Also underground magazines would show cartoons, which criticised the treatment of young people within Hitler’s Youth, organisations. Provisionally I would argue that the Nazis achieved very limited success in indoctrinating the Youth of Germany, they aimed to make people idolise Hitler and be totally obedient to the Party. But from the evidence so far it would appear that but for a select few only the superficial aims of the party were achieved, such as physically fitness and strengthening the Party – the internalisation was barely achieved, even of those who appeared to support the Party many had ulterior motives. Many other historians have commented on this aspect of Nazi Policy.
Youth and Poetry Poetry by definition is the art of writing that shows more imagination and deep feeling that ordinary speech. Poetry is a set of sensual words with deep meaning, but for some reason young people do not appreciate it. Hugh Maclennan states, 'For without poetry these youths were poor.' ; He was referring to a group of teenagers he encountered, but this statement can be directed to ...
In the book ‘Nazi Germany’ A. Wilt claims that “as many as 95% percent of the German youth backed the Nazis”, however it is worth remembering that it was written in 1994 a long time after the event. Indeed this extra time could have been beneficial in collaborating more evidence but there is little evidence of how much these people backed Hitler or for what reasons. It is a rather vague sweeping statement which gives rise to many more questions about who these people were and whether they truly supported the Nazis or if it was all for show.
Other Historians have given more specific comments on the effectiveness of Youth Policies; K. Fischer claims that although the Nazis couldn’t destroy Germany’s European heritage they were “able to miseducate and misuse a whole generation of young people.” Although also written after the event in this case the extra time appears to have given the author time to evaluate all the evidence. It suggests that although the Nazis did not manage to internalise all the young people they little they did do was enough to at least begin to achieve their aims of domination, even if they did not achieve the idolisation of their people. Some historians have argued that the Nazis were too successful in what they did, that their ideals of having people whom obeyed all their orders created a generation of people who were incapable of thinking for themselves at all. In the book ‘inside Hitler’s Germany’ B.
Sax and D. Kuntz suggest that because of this “they would… not resist the regime, they were incapable of either providing political leadership… or contributing intellectual or technical skills.” This source appears to be quite critical of the Nazi regime overall and this gives rise to the suggestion that perhaps it will be over critical of the education policies. But it does give a point of view that someone living on Germany at the time would be unlikely to put forward and is therefore useful in showing a new negative aspect to the debate.
2012 HSC Question –“ How successful was Nazi foreign policy in achieving its aims to September 1939?” Following the Nazi rise to power, Adolf Hitler’s regime conducted, and to a certain degree implemented a foreign policy that aimed for the incorporation of all Germanic speaking peoples into the Reich (Volksgemeinschaft); German domination of Western Europe; and the attainment of vast areas of ...
This suggests that the policy was not successful in that it had not been thoroughly thought through and achieved things beyond the minds of even top Nazis. Perhaps it was too successful? With this additional information I stand by my original provisional judgement that the Nazi Youth Policies were not particularly successful in that they did not achieve their primary aims of indoctrinating the German Youth to create a generation of people who would worship Hitler and be totally loyal to the party. Indeed there were a number of young people who were grateful for the opportunities Hitler gave them and they did internalise the Nazi ideology. However there were a sizeable number who did not accept what was happening even to the point where death was a more viable option than living under such a regime and those who secretly rejected the party and did not even try to achieve Nazi aims. Even amongst those who appeared loyal there were many who had their own reasons for supporting the Nazis, some wished to further their careers, other were desperate to please and impress superiors and some were merely apathetic to what was going on.
The Nazis were not infallible and allowed the youth to observe their mistakes, the young people were given the opportunity for disillusionment which prevented them from the giving the party the total loyalty and idolisation that was desired. Whilst there were all these other options to total internalisation it is difficult to say that The Nazi Youth Policies were successful, there were a number of aims set out but mostly they were not achieved in the space of time the Nazis had. Indeed it had limited success but not enough to claim that the policies overall were successful.