The Hitler Youth

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German Youth Movement, Germany, history, military, propaganda


European History | Military History | Political History | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The German Youth Movement began in the late 1800's and underwent a number of transformations in response to the turbulent conditions of the later 19th and earlier 20th centuries. From Bismark to Hitler, German young people sought reform and recognition while distinguishing themselves as a powerful movement. Their movement, however, would abruptly end in 1945, closing a unique period in the history of the German youth.

The uniqueness of the German youth in WWII is a result of their militant, brutal, and "fanatical" behavior. This behavior, however, is not only the product of National Socialism. While Jewish deportation, war propaganda, and military training certainly affected their behavior, the racial and authoritarian components of National Socialism were present in the German Youth Movement pre-Hitler. Thus, German middle class traditional society and pre-Hitler Youth ideology (in the middle-class youth movement), coupled with war propaganda, Jewish deportation, and combat against the Allied soldiers, resulted in the "fanatical" behavior of the Hitler Youth in 1944 and 1945.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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