The Influence Of The German Youth In The 1930s And 1940's

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German youth of the 1930’s and 1940’s were heavily influenced by German culture and historic norms of German society. Adults in their roles as parents and teachers were the main influencers of children and their behavior at home and at school. They taught children about the greatness of Germany prior to World War I (WWI). Over time though, many parents and teachers began to use the same message as the Nazi party for fear that if they didn’t they would lose their jobs or be penalized in other ways. This assumption of the Nazi message by adults became part of friendships and peer pressure and influenced families and children by emphasizing the benefits of the Nazi party. Over time, military service which was not very popular, became seen as …show more content…
Conforming to the rise of German nationalism became overwhelming. Membership was voluntary at first, but the pressure to join was intense. Then the Nazis party changed school curriculums to emphasize the greatness of Germany, as well as physical education. History lessons stressed German leadership. Physical activities were believed to be the best way to gain and maintain honor in school. Children were encouraged to participate in physical activities to be healthy and to become stronger. Over time, children were taught that the Aryan race was superior to all others.
At the age of 10, schoolboys had to purchase a brown shirt, or if too poor, classmates often bought it (Nardo 129). Boys belonged to ‘Youth Folk’, and girls joined the Union of German Maidens and wore a uniform of white blouse and blue skirt (Nardo 129). Children who refused to join these groups were accused of being anti-Nazi. These groups encouraged children to prepare for what their jobs would be as adults in Nazi
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“During ta trial period before they were accepted, each applicant had to pass a written examination to make sure they had mastered Nazi ideas about race and politics” (Bartoletti 25). They also had to prove their racial background. Although membership was voluntary, not every child could join the Hitler Youth. “Only healthy boys and girls of proven “Aryan” descent were permitted to join” (Bartoletti 25). Hitler Youth boys trained for the military (Bartoletti 28). Girls trained to become good housewives and mothers (Bartoletti 28). But physical fitness was stressed for each group: girls and boys hiked, camped out, and participated in competitive field exercises. The activities toughened up kids, building their endurance and determination. As part of their service, Hitler Youth boys had to attend three-week summer infantry camps, deisned to prepare them for military life as they got older (Baroletti 69). “At the camps, they were taught the virtues of being a good soldier, cleanliness, tidiness, teamwork, and obedience” (Bartoletti 69). A boy could rise from the simple rank of pimpf (boy) all the way to battalion commander or even to lead a regiment
(Bartoletti 27). Boys were given special uniforms and badges to show their superiority.
In the League of German Girls members received training and education that the government thought was needed to be good wives and mothers.

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