Hitler Youth In Alfons Heck's A Child Of Hitler

1210 Words 5 Pages
As an individual voice from the millions of children who were raised on the ideologies of the Nazi Party and the powerful image of Hitler, Alfons Heck shares the story of his experience before and during his time in the Hitler Youth. His novel, A Child of Hitler, gives a child’s account of one of the most momentous events in all of history. World War II broke out in 1939, but the Nazi movement began much earlier, persuading German citizens to fight for their country and to have faith in their powerful leader. While the story of Adolf Hitler and the effects of his reign have been retold time and time again, Heck lends a new voice to the crowd, offering an honest insight into his experience in climbing the ranks of the Hitler Youth as well as …show more content…
Young Germans grew up with tales of disgrace from the previous war and were given Hitler as the proposed ticket to the rebirth of their great nation. The propaganda was first introduced at the early age of five with regular radio messages, but to them it was nothing strange, children “swallowed [their] daily dose of nationalistic instruction as naturally as morning milk” . The Nazis wasted no time in brainwashing their nation’s children towards favoring the harsh principles decreed by Hitler. The children, malleable to the manipulation of their elders, were subjugated to the doctrine of teachers while at school and separate from the comfort of their parents. At a young age, Heck already believed in the two fundamental tenets of the Nazi creed: “belief in the innate superiority of the Germanic-Nordic race, and the conviction that total submission to the welfare of the state – personified by the Führer – was [his] first duty” . With this in mind, it is clear how Heck and the other Hitler Youth members were susceptible to the propaganda exposed to them. The pomp and paraphernalia of the organization amplified the belief that the youth were none other than the future leaders of Germany – the chosen ones. Very much like enlisted soldiers, Hitler Youth were rarely seen …show more content…
I would highly recommend Heck’s novel to anyone interested in reading a unique account of an event that most people have only viewed from the winners’ side. Alfons Heck’s generation essentially had no time to form individual identities before they were thrust in government mandated education and instilled with the ideals of the Hitler Youth. While the novel is based on factual events, Heck is able to write in a captivating and moving voice where the story reads similar to fiction. The everyday nature of his writing is essentially what gives the book a powerful quality, leaving the reader in awe after turning the last page. Through his personal story, Heck forces readers to take a step back and truly see the Nazi movement from the side of someone who did not come out as a hero but instead as a misunderstood

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