The Hitler Youth: Origins and Development 1922-1945 Paperback – 8 Aug 2000
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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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Top customer reviews
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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I agree, it is a detailed background and explanation of German history that explains the rise of Hitler,
the reasons in the German psyche and the defeat of WW1 that allowed Germany to go in the direction that it did.
Unfortunately I bought the book to study the Hitler Youth, the title of the book. This is included, but mostly as
a part of a larger narrative. It lacks in detail about what it was to be a member, and instead gives too much detail
about what goes in in the NSDAP itself.
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.
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