Nazi Youth Groups
During the period of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party took great steps to control Germany’s population of youths.
They aimed at developing youths who, in the long term, could become leaders and enable them to achieve Volksgemeinschaft.
They were taught and expected to...
Be obedient to the Nazi party and it's leaders
Idolise the Führer
Being physically fit
Sacrificing oneself for the national good
Do everything possible to strengthen the health and racial purity of the German nation
Generally, boys were expected to become strong fighters and girls were taught to bear many children.
Nazi Youth Groups for Boys
For boys aged 6 to 10, they were part of the Cubs, which promoted physical health among children.
Boys aged 10-14 were part of the Young German Boys and took part in outdoor activities, parades and sports. The overall aim was to promote Nazi ideology and build them up to becoming soldiers. Indeed, by the end of World War II, a significant number, especially those living in the cities, had become child soldiers, protecting against the inbound allied invasions.
Boys aged 14-18 were directly a part of Hitler Youth, which had a military-like hierarchical structure. Hitler Youth organised camps, parades and military training, gearing the population of young men up for war.
Their participation, heavily promoted during the mid-to-late 1930s (and later becoming compulsory from 1939) taught them to be loyal to Hitler and his Nazi regime.
Nazi Youth Groups for Girls
For girls, the First Hitler Youth Law in 1936 made it compulsory that girls aged 10-14 become members of the Young Girls group. They were required to be educated up to the fourth grade and be healthy, pure-blooded German citizens. In this group they were taught home economics and were educated on Nazi history and ideology.
Girls aged 14-18 were part of the League of German Girls (BDM). Their activities trained them for their expected roles within German society; being good housewives and mothers.
The organisation ‘Faith and Beauty’ provided working opportunities for women aged 18-21. The work included fashion designing, cooking and childcare. This was because the Nazi Party wanted to train women to become good mothers and housewives.