The Nazis were aware that education to the German youth would create loyal Nazis by the time they reached adulthood. Their overall aim was to create a generation of racially pure Germans who were ready to do what Hitler asked of them and most importantly; serve their country. Therefore it was necessary to mould young boys into being prepared for war. Education is supposed to open closed minds to liberate the minds of the youth and of the ignorant. It aims make a person to be an independent thinker. However in Germany under the Nazis the purpose for education was to close the minds.
Leading Nazis stated that the whole purpose of education is to create Nazis. Education played a very important part in Nazi Germany in creating a loyal population of youth. The Nazis were aware that education would create loyal youth by the time they were adults. The pupils were made to believe in Hitler, and the youth movement made sure that they would not even think of opposing him. Education meant indoctrination. Hitler used the schools to reinforce Nazi ideas. The school curriculum was changed, to serve the Nazi purpose. Physical education, Biology, German and History were given special emphasis.
Science had a military slant to it and focussed on chemical warfare and explosives. Maths dealt with social issues and artillery calculations. History was changed in classes to uphold the glory of Germany, the Treaty of Versailles was described as the work of jealous nations, and hyperinflation in 1923 was said to be the work of Jewish saboteurs. Biology became a study of the different races. It aimed to prove that the Nazi belief in Aryan racial superiority was correct. All teachers had to be accessed by local Nazi officials. Any teacher considered disloyal was sacked.
Nazi curriculum classes were held during school holidays and most teachers attended. In 1933 the NSLB (National Socialist Teachers League) had 6,000 members, by 1937 it had 320,000 members. This meant that about 97% of all teachers had joined the NSLB. Teachers taught their pupils that Jews, and socialists were the cause of all Germanys problems. This is evident in exam questions that showed the governments anti-Semitic views, A bomber aircraft on take-off carries 12 dozen bombs, each weighing 10 kilos. The aircraft takes off for Warsaw the international centre for Jewry.
It bombs the town. On take-off with all bombs on board and a fuel tank containing 100 kilos of fuel, the aircraft weighed about 8 tons. When it returns from the crusade, there are still 230 kilos left. What is the weight of the aircraft when empty ? . Girls were indoctrinated into following the 3Ks: Kinder (Children), Kiche (Kitchen) and Kirche (Church). Girls had to learn first aid and help on the land. But with the Nazis concerned about the falling birth rate and scared Germany would become a second class power, girls main aim was to reproduce.
Hitler wanted a master race, so he encouraged women to produce Aryan babies. Organisations that promoted family planning were banned and doctors who carried out abortions on Aryan women were given a two year jail sentence. There were many youth organisations for girls to join, all controlled by the Fuhrer. Girls could join in the Jung Madel (young girls) between the age of ten and fourteen. The Bund Deutscher Madel (the league of German maidens) for fourteen to eighteen year olds. And the Glaube und Conceit (faith and beauty school) for eighteen to twenty-one year olds.
The League of German Girls offered a chance for them to get out of the house and do sport, singing, hiking camping, etc. In the League of German Girls could escape from the ties of domesticity and from the female role-model of child care and devotion to family As with the girls, youth organisations were set up for boys. There was the Pimpfen (little fellows) for six to ten year olds, ten to fourteen year olds had to pass an exam to join the Deutches Jungvolk and Hitlerjugend for fourteen to eighteen year olds.
After this the young adults would join either the Reich Labour service or the Wehrmacht. There was also a patrol service who would check that all the members of the Hitler Youth were looking smart and that they were carrying a clean handkerchief and comb. Young boys were taught to concentrated on boxing, shooting, marching, athletics and military exercises. Hitler had stated that he wanted boys who could suffer pain a young German must be ¦ as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupps steel. Team games were also encouraged because it gave boys a sense of unity.
Most boys were made to take proficiency tests, these tests involved marches. On average the boys had to march 15 miles a day. These journeys were aimed at teaching young boys the history of their ancestors. Both boys and girls would go to summer camp. Summer camps promoted unify and the idea of working in a team. It is obvious that education policies and the introduction of the Hitler Youth was aimed at preparing the youth of Germany for war. Hitler wanted a thousand year Reich, and wanted the German youth to understand the imperative of war.
Baulder von Schirach was appointed Youth Leader of the German Reich in June 1933 and it was his objective to make the Hitler Youth the leading German youth organisation. When Schirach took over leadership in 1933 the Hitler Youth had 55,000 members. Various methods were used to persuade boys to join the Hitler Youth. Teachers influenced youngsters to join, it became difficult for those outside the Hitler Youth to get jobs and apprenticeships were granted to members.
Although membership rose significantly, in March 1939 it became compulsory to join the Hitler Youth and it claimed 7. million members, What quickly became the largest youth organisation in the world subscribed to the philosophy of youth leading youth. The first purpose of the Hitler Youth was to prepare and train young boys to become soldiers of the third Reich, that the nazis would have full control off. Hitler had always held the same three main aims: to reverse the Treaty of Versailles, to unite all the German-speaking people and to grant the nation more living space (lebensraum). Hitler knew he not achieve these aims alone, and therefore he needed a strong, dependable, loyal army.
The young boys of Germany were going to be this army, and the young girls of Germany were going to give birth to his new soldiers. He took children early, and put a lot of effort into making the Hitler Youth an organisation with military instincts. To achieve the great army Hitler craved the nazis had to incorporate military training with psychological preparation. An important part of this aim was the Hitler Youths military athletics (wehrsport). This included war activities, which taught the youth psychical strength and military tactics that soldiers would need in war.
For example grenade throwing, needed on a battlefield, trench digging gave boys strength and endurance, map reading taught intelligence and teamwork. Also activities like wrestling matches between boys were arranged to prove how manly they were, It was the National Socialist youth leaders method that everything took the form of competitions. The Hitler Youth boys were taught to pick on the weaker members within each group. If a boy lost a wrestling match or failed in a task, they were picked on. Severe cross country hikes and marches left boys in hospital.
This shows how far the Nazis would go in search of their beliefs; to create a perfect, Aryan army. Boys also had to learn Nazi dogma, (nazi beliefs) and once they passed the necessary tests they were given a special dagger marked Blood and Honour which was more propaganda for the boys to train hard. They all wanted to achieve this special dagger, it gave the boys an aim, and a feeling of achievement when they fulfilled their challenge. For those who failed, they suffered great humiliation. The second purpose of the Hitler Youth movement was to prepare young men psychologically for war, through a flooding of Nazi ideology.
Training the boys, making them strong, and preparing their bodies for fighting, would not be sufficient enough, Hitler had to prepare the youths minds too. Forcing Nazi ideals on children mainly depended on teachers, and Hitler Youth Movement (HYM) group leaders delivering them. Hitler knew that if boys were going to die for him he would have to give them a reason to. This was also the case with girls, if they were going to give up their jobs, and lives, to give birth to large numbers of pure German babies they had to have a reason to.
He wanted to indoctrinate young people so that they accepted Nazi ideas, beliefs, and values to become ideal nazis; the building blocks for the peoples community. Hitler seized advantage of the young and innocent minds plaguing them with Nazi ideology. The HYM meetings were shaped to allow for this, they gave lectures and speeches on the superiority of the Aryan race and the evil of the communists and the Jewish. Like the HYM the school curriculum was designed to reinforce the Nazi values. The curriculum was ripped apart as subjects tried to prove that the nazis were superior. Racial instruction started at the age of 6.
Nazi leaders had children under their full control at all times, as Hitler Youth membership became compulsory. Propaganda techniques including movies, radio, posters and magazines, aswell as the education system and Hitler Youth meetings all influenced the opinions of the youth. The third purpose of the Hitler Youth was teach boys to become future leaders of the Nazi society. Hitler wanted his Reich to prosper for a thousand years, and he wanted superiority over other nations.
He wanted Germany to be a super-power. To do this he needed the best Generals, Officers, Senior Officers, etc. nd the Hitler movement was structured to accomplish his aim. Those boys who were considered physically fitter and stronger than the rest went to Adolf Hitler Schools. Here, they were taught to become the future leaders of Germany. The very best pupils went to Order Castles. Here pupils were trained to the limits of physical endurance. Students endured 6 years of tough training and those who graduated at 18 from Order Castles would be granted a high position in the army or the SS (Hitlers personal army). The fourth purpose of the Hitler Youth movement was to ensure loyalty to the fuehrer himself.
Hitler knew that he had ensure that children were not open to any ideas, and were just fed nazi propaganda. He needed them under his full control, and had many different ways of achieving this. Nazis censored cinema and radio in a bid to glorify Hitler. As children walked to school Hitlers speechs would be on the radio, when they went to films with their friends, commercials glorifying Hitler would appear. Young minds were banned from listening to American radio stations, for fear that non-nazi influences would pollute their minds and bring them the truth.
They were made to believe that the Nazi way, was the only way. When trying to capture these young minds, hearts, and souls, the Nazis offered many incentives. The nazis gave a purpose to children and a sense of belonging and importance. The Nazis controlled young rebelliousness into aggressive military activities. They wanted to make sure that the youths had no reason to object, and rebel, and incentives such as uniforms, knives, drums, etc. kept them happy. Although sometimes severe, beatings and canings to rebels occurred. These were used as examples to stop others from attempting to rebel.
This is evident when looking at the edelweiss pirates. They opposed the Nazis by beating up Hitler Youth members, and writing anti-nazi slogans on the walls. 283 gang members were arrested, resulting in 124 pirates being executed. The Gestapo and Hitler Youth brought to bear an armoury of repressive measures that ranged from individual warnings, temporary detention¦to criminal trial or death . The fifth purpose of the Hitler Youth involved the fact that the Nazis wanted to Restructure German society, and the selection process.
Hitler needed a strong, and pure government, one that would not fail as the Weimar republic did. He abandoned the democratic selection process, as he knew that this may result in being a risk to his Reich. To achieve his aims, the youth movement was presented models and ideals of what they should be like when they grew older. For example, propaganda posters showing ideal families were used, girls were taught to wear simple clothes, tie their hair in a bun, and discouraged from work. Whereas boys were encouraged to be strong and militant.
Those boys who achieved the ideal nazi characteristics, like strong physical ability were rewarded with a position high in the system. Girls that bared children were also rewarded on a special day that was Hitlers Mothers birthday. Hitler also knew that for children to become good leaders, they had to take responsibility and urged them to inform teachers if they heard anyone denouncing Nazi beliefs, or not adhering to Nazi ideals, Denunciations of parents by children was encouraged, not least by school teachers who set essays entitled- what does your family talk about at home? .
The Hitler youth patrols co-operated with the Gestapo and were trained in policing, traffic control, and fire fighting. This motive was effective, and helped Hitler create a whole new generation who helped in sustaining fear in the opposition by acting as informants, in Hitlers totalitarian terror-state . It is evident that the Hitler Youth movement was carefully structured and shaped to allow for its many different aims. However it is obviously that the prospect of war was a key theme throughout all the possible purposes for the Hitler Youth, the desired educational goal of the technically skilled yet soldierly warrior.
Young children had Nazi ideas influencing them at all times, not only whilst they were at school but also from films, music, media, friends, church and family. Even whilst they were at Nuremberg rallies, they would be shown extracts of last years rallies and how the older generation were enthusiastic supporters of the Nazi State. Hitler made a speech at the Nuremberg Rally, 14 September 1935, in which he stated the exact nature and purpose of the Hitler Youth. What we look for from German youth is different from what people wanted in the past.
In our eyes the German youth of the future must be slim, slender, and as swift as the greyhound. They were indoctrinated with the idea that they had to sacrifice themselves for the good of the Fuhrer and Germany. This Cradle to Grave control, was enforced to create the Nazis of the future and indoctrinate them into thinking that they had to sacrifice themselves for the good of the nation. The positive reasons for joining the Hitler Youth were that there were children from all classes of families and there were no social or class distinctions.
Also the appeal of the Hitler Youth was the novelty, the drill, the uniform, the camp life and the fact that school and parental control and home took a back seat compared to the community of young people. However shortly before Germany lost the war, Germany found themselves drastically running out of adult fighting men so youth members were forced onto the front. They were too young, had little training, no experience, and facing an allied army determined to win, it was evident the Hitler Youth was not as well-prepared for war as Hitler thought.