Hitler Youth




 
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July 20th, 2005  
Genghis Khan
 

Topic: Hitler Youth


What are your thoughts on the Hitler Youth from some of the things I have read they are ruthless killers that show no mercy to their enemies. Other info says they are just little kids with guns.
July 20th, 2005  
ghost457
 
 
i figured that they were like a Boy Scouts/ROTC/political indoctrination kinda thing for little kids. i know that towards the end of the war they had to fight, but i wouldnt see them as ruthless killers, more like kids with guns than anything else.
July 20th, 2005  
Jäger
 
 
Yes thats right, they were a youth association wich was founded to educate and train the youth physical for being better soldiers in future. They also were also educated in the nazi ideology. Later in war more and more kids of the hitler youth were taken for the military, e.g. in the battle of berlin the HJ formed a major part of the last defense line together with the 'Volkssturm'.

The hitler youth was not a organization of ruthless killers, but there was also a unit of the WaffenSS, the so called 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitlerjugend', wich is just named after the hitler youth. They took place in the Normandy Campaign and in the battle of bulge. I don't know if they were ruthless killers, but I think i heard, that in there were many convinced nazis, many were taken from the 1st SS Panzerdivision 'Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hilter'.
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July 20th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
They were neither ruthless killers nor kids with guns. Most of them were between the ages of 17 and 18 and so they were of adult or near adult age for military service.

Although they were indoctrinated into the Nazi ideology they were just, in reality, young soldiers fighting for the survival of their country.

I don't know what you mean exactly by 'convinced nazis' Jäger but the Leibstandarte SS 'Adolf Hitler' was a combat unit and not a general SS unit. It committed no more atrocities or was no more involved in Nazi Party activities than the Heer units it fought alongside.
July 20th, 2005  
Jäger
 
 
The members of the HJ were 14-18 years old and the HJ was originally just made as a paramilitaric group. In that age they were more accessible to the nazi ideology (i include extreme nationalism) and made them, especially at the end of the war, totaly convinced young soldiers, wich fought till death for a lost matter.

Leibstandarte SS 'Adolf Hitler' was not a normal unit of the waffen SS. They had their origin as the Adolf Hitlers personal Bodyguards, because he did not trust the Reichswehr. The 'Leibstandarte SS' had to swear on Adolf Hitler him self an was formed of mostly 'perfect arian' Soldiers wich were totally devoted to Adolf Hitler and convinced of the nazi ideology.
July 20th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jäger
Leibstandarte SS 'Adolf Hitler' was not a normal unit of the waffen SS. They had their origin as the Adolf Hitlers personal Bodyguards, because he did not trust the Reichswehr. The 'Leibstandarte SS' had to swear on Adolf Hitler him self an was formed of mostly 'perfect arian' Soldiers wich were totally devoted to Adolf Hitler and convinced of the nazi ideology.
Yes, initially that was true but when they were finally formed as a full division they were basically an elite unit of the Wehrmacht, for all extents and purposes. Moreover, as the war went on and Germany's manpower began to run out, the Waffen SS divisions 'relaxed' their standards and began to compete with the Heer for the best of the new recruits. In other words it was no longer an 'all-volunteer' force with impossibly high standards.

All soldiers had to swear a personal oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler not just those of the Waffen SS. And I think even the Leibstandarte (LSSAH) began to have doubts about Adolf Hitler, especially towards the end of the war. Sepp Dietrich, the long-time divisional commander of the LSSAH, began to express doubts about Hitler's judgement as early as December 1941.
July 21st, 2005  
Jäger
 
 
I think in the last years of the war nearly nobody who was on the front believed in the sh** Hitler said an did. and if Sepp Dietrich had doubts he was not the only one, but all I wanted to say was, that at the time the 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitlerjugend' was build ('43) they got their division officers, NCOs, and specialists from the 1st SS Panzer Division LSSAH. And this officers were in the average more connected to the nazi ideology, because they were chosen by this criterium.
July 22nd, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
They fought with great courage and to the death, British and Canadian troops ran into them around Caen, and they fought to the death inflicting very heavy casualties on our troops. It must be understood that they had been brought up all their short lives to think of Hitler as some form of God and like the suicide bombers the greatest thing that they could do was to die in the service of their country. You only need to check just how few of them were taken prisoner to understand just how hard they fought. If remember rightly out of one German Battalion there were just two prisoners taken, the rest died at their posts.
July 31st, 2005  
Ashes
 
The German youth was corrupted by Baldur von Schirach, head of the Hitler Youth movement.

In 1933 he took over the entire Hitler Youth, which was to grow into an organization which had no equal. Hitler called on von Schirach "to project National Socialism through German youth into eternity." At its peak the Hitler Youth's membership included almost all of the German youngsters. By 1938 it comprised 8 million members, and von Schirach was presented as a kind of demigod, with his pictures second only to Hitler's in displays throughout Germany.

In the space of a few years he had shaped German youth into young men willing to prosecute the most destructive war in history as well as to engage or acquiesce in the most brutal atrocities in modern European history. The boys he helped trained remained loyal to the end, in many cases joining in the hopeless often suicidal defense of their towns and villages even though the War was lost.

No other group of Germans were so totally under Nazi control than children once they reached 10 years of age. Von Schirach used a powerful mixture of pagan romanticism, militarism and naive patriotism to build up recruits for Hitler's war machine. Young Germans were to be drilled into acceptance of Nazi concepts of character, discipline, obedience and leadership as set out in von Schirach's book, Die Hilter-Jugend (1934). A whole generation was molded into a new race of "supermen". The success of the Hitler Youth in imbuing German youth with Nazi principles and idealogy was an important element in preparing Germany for war. Von Schirach taught German youth that their blood was better than that of any nation and devoted his lyricism to hollow worship of the Führer's genius.

Von Schirach signed an agreement with the military to funnel Hitler Youth boys into the armed forces. There was no secret about this, posters shown exalts in the fact that the HItler youth was the training ground for future officers. More ominous was the fact that particularly outstanding boys were funneled into the SS and boys offered the opportunity considered it a great honor. Von Schirach was not liked by many top Nazi's. SS Leader Himmler was the major exception, presumably because Von Schirach helped create such an effective recruiting system and provided boys ready to accept the terrible tasks assigned the SS.




Certain Waffin S.S. units like the Leibstandarte, were units that were tied ideologically to fascism, many from the Hitler youth movement. The SS weren't just fighting units, they embodied the spirit of Nazism.

They were fanatical fighters, but their fighting record was stained by crimes, such as the Wormhoudt atrocity at Pas-de-Calais, on 27/28 May 1940 in France, where men of the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the Cheshire Regiment and the Royal Artillery, were taken prisoner and murdered.

And after fighting loyally for six years, and often achieving the great results, Hitler eventually turned on the Leibstandarte. After withdrawing from the failed Operation Frühlingserwachen, Hitler demanded the unit return their sacred Adolf Hitler cuffbands.

The Leibstandarte, Das Reich and Totenkopf [all now Panzergrenadier divisions] took part in the immense armour battles near Prokhorovka on the southern flank of the Kursk salient, and were fought to a standstill by General Rotmistrovs 5th tank army.

They were commanded for a time by Sepp Dietrich, who was convicted of the murder of civilians and P.O.Ws, and by SS Major Joachim Peiper, who was also convicted of war crimes, and met a grisly end in France after the war.
July 31st, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Hi Ashes.

Your previous post sounds like you're partly quoting wholesale from somewhere? If so you really should link your sources.

All the Waffen SS units were tied ideologically to Nazism I thought, not just certain ones. I include the 'foreign' SS formations under this.

All armies committed attrocities in WW2. The Germans no doubt started it but no army was free from the stain of war crimes.

What version of Prokhorovka are you referring to? The official 'Great Patriotic War' version or the accurate version. The Waffen SS units forming II SS Panzer Korps performed the best of all German tank units at Kursk, but only because their commander Paul Hausser came up with a very good tactical plan. 5th Guards Army and 5th Guards Tank Army did indeed halt the German advance but took heavy losses in doing so, much more so than II SS Panzer Korps did.

Hitler was never the same after July 20th, 1944 and he had been slipping away since Stalingrad. If this was due to the onset of his Parkinson's condition or just the way the war was going who can tell. Probably a bit of both.

The Hitler Youth were certainly well indoctrinated into Nazi ideology and this fanaticism certainly helped, as it did with all Waffen SS units, in aiding their fighting strength and ruthlessness.