Les Jeunesses hitlériennes et la Seconde guerre mondiale
Pine, L (2017). Les Jeunesses hitlériennes et la Seconde guerre mondiale. Le Mouvement Social.
A history of teen combatants in war needs to take into account the role of the Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend or HJ) in the Second World War. This article traces the history of the HJ from youth movement to conduit for wartime personnel. Germany had a long and proud tradition of youth movements – the place of the HJ in this was distinctive. Hitler had stated at the Nuremberg Party Rally in September 1935 that: ‘In our eyes, the German youth of the future must be slim and slender, swift as the greyhound, tough as leather, and hard as Krupp steel’.Swiftness, toughness and hardness were Hitler’s three ideal values for Germany’s youth. An overtly military ethos came to be exemplified in the Hitler Youth, encompassing a hard, military masculinity much different from other types of maleness embodied in traditional institutions such as the family, school and church. This article begins with an initial exploration of the history of the HJ, in order to put the wartime period into context. It then explores HJ training and wartime experiences and the transformation of HJ boys from youth group members into soldiers. At the height of the war, German boys (and girls) were drafted into anti-aircraft (flak) work. Moreover HJ boys went into the Wehrmacht and into the SS. Towards the end of the war, young boys entered the Volkssturm (people’s militia), defending the National Socialist state until the bitter end in 1945.
|Keywords||2103 Historical Studies; History|
|Journal||Le Mouvement Social|
|Publisher||London South Bank University|
|20 Aug 2017|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||21 Feb 2018|
|Accepted||20 Jul 2017|
|Accepted author manuscript|
CC BY 4.0
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