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The Hitler Youth: Origins and Development, 1922-1945 [Paperback]

H.W. Koch
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

8 Aug 2000
H. W. Koch, himself a former Hitler Youth brings a unique sensitivity and perspective to the history of one of the most fascinating vehicles for Nazi thought and propaganda. He traces the Hitler Youth movement from its antecedents in nineteenth-century German romanticism and pre-1914 youth culture, through the World War I radicaliztion of German youth, to its ultimate exploitation by the Nazi party.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishers Inc.,U.S.; New Ed edition (8 Aug 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815410840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815410843
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 675,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This well-documented and well-presented account of the intensifying authoritarian regimentation of German youth is likely to be the most satisfying we shall ever have...The author's analysis is shrewd and the incidental detail at times engagingly bizarre. The Economist Koch, born in Munich, brings a personal perspective of a brief membership in the Hitler Youth to bear on the rise and fall of this sometimes tragic, oftem pathetic, organization. By diligent use of Nazi Party and Hitler Youth archives, Koch has fashioned the best treatment of the Hitler Youth phenomenon yet published in English. Library Journal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Would've been much better with some pictures and more illustrations.
If you have studied the HJ before then i'd give this a miss as you won't learn anything new.
But if you only have a basic understanding of the organisation then this is well worth buying,
And if you know next to nothing then I'd recommend getting: The Hitler Youth 1933-45 by Alan Dearn first,as that covers the basics really well.And after you've read that then you'll appreciate and understand this much more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and well written 10 May 2004
By K. Spencer - Published on
I took a Nazi History class this year and ordered this (and a number of other books) for a report. Of the books I ordered, Koch's was the most detailed, best documented, and best written. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most informative 11 Aug 2006
By Michael N. Ryan - Published on
A most informative work on Hitler's Youth group. Starts with its very origins in the twenties. A good book to have for those interested in this subject.
4.0 out of 5 stars Impossible Society 18 Dec 2013
By A Customer - Published on
In the Western world of 2013, where diversity is allowed, making personal decisions encouraged, Nazi control of life would be inconceivable. How could adults give their children into bondage? Where joining a party-oriented group- males into one, females into their own- determines the schools attended and the community service they perform? It was a pipeline into military service and/or defense industry labor.
Forget the brutal concentration camps- they were an ultimate threat for undesirables. This society needed compliant citizens willing to do as they were told; hence training youngsters to fight in small-unit actions. First over obstacle courses, then practicing grenade throwing, marching with packs, or practicing as cavalry detachments (popular in rural regions).
Advantages: this early training taught self-confidence, identified future leadership, instilled the racial beliefs of the party, and cultivated national pride. -no wonder Allied G.I.s encountered rag-tag soldiers too young to shave who insisted that 'Germany would never give up'.
The Navy, Army and of course Luftwaffe sponsored units intended to supply fit youngsters conversant with military courtesy. The author combed archives for all the pictures; they carry captions identifying purpose, not location or names.
Disadvantages: Back in class, whether in a vocational school or university track, the Hitler Youth exhibited independence while parroting the party line.
' ...Pictures of prominent Weimar politicians which adorned the walls of classrooms, like that of the late President Ebert, were subjected to ceremonial burnings in the school playgrounds.
After the co-ordination of the German provinces later in 1933, Rust, aided by the militant NS Teachers League, carried out a systematic purge of the entire teaching profession. Teachers at secondary school or university level who belonged to one of the democratic parties Left-of-Centre were removed, mainly into a premature retirement, a measure which also affected all Jewish teachers, irrespective of previous party affiliations. They were replaced by men and women who were often better National Socialists than teachers. ' (pp 167-8)
Sadly, the Nazi takeover of all life in Germany was easy. This book shows how they did it.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hitler Youth 25 Oct 2012
By Ray Cantan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a very factual account of the Hitler Youth but was also full of insights as to what was going on at the time in Germany. I was researching for a book and found it very useful.
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