During the Nazi regime's swift rise to power, no single target of nazification took higher priority than Germany's young people. Well aware that the Nazi party could only thrive through the support of future generations, Hitler instituted a youth movement, the Hitler Jugend, which indoctrinated the easily malleable students of Germany's schools and universities. Along with its female counterpart in the Bund Deutscher Mädel (The League of German Girls), the Hitler Youth produced thousands of young Germans who were deeply and fanatically indoctrinated into the Nazi racist ideology. This illustrated book outlines the history and development of the Hitler Youth from its origins in 1922 until it was disbanded by the allied powers in 1945. Topics include: early German non-Nazi and religious youth movements which were adapted and absorbed by the Hitler Youth; Baldur von Schirach and other Reich youth leaders; the Hitler Youth's organization, structure, uniforms, ranking system, flags, and regalia; sports and other common training activities; the place and role of women and girls in the Third Reich; the appearance of German youth opposition groups such as the Swing Youth and the Edelweiss Pirates; and the origins, structure, and combat records of the 12th Waffen SS division, which consisted primarily of Hitler Youth members. The book also includes appendices providing a chronology and the Hitler Youth's song "Vorwärts! Vorwärts!" (Forward! Forward!).
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Historian, writer and illustrator Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage is the author of numerous books. His interests include World War II, medieval history, and French history. He lives in Groningen, Netherlands.
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