Hitler Youth: Activities--Other

Figure 1.--Sewing is not an activity normally associated with the Hitler Youth. Presumably the idea was to make the boys more independent. Notice the boy in the sailor suit uniform of the Marine Division.

Hitler Youth boys engaged in a wide range of other activities. Many activities like hiking and singing were staples of any uniformed groups. The Hitler Youth borrowed liberally from other youth groups like the Scouts. Some activities, however, were rather surprising--like sewing. One unknown at this stage is how actively the HJ was involved in the NAZI anti-semetic campaign.

Anti-semitic Campaign

It is unclear to us at this time to what extent Hitler Youth boys were used in the various NAZI anti-semitic campaigns. The SA Stormtroopers would physically asault Jews on the street. We are unsure if HJ boys were involved in such activities. We know that even before Jews were expelled from state schools in 1935, many Jewish children had to leave te schools because of verbal and physical abuse by both teachers and fellow students. To what extent this abuse was random individual acts rather than coordinated acts I do not know. I know of no coordinated national policy on the aprt of the HJ. It seems inconceiveable given the intensity of the propaganda and educational campaign that HJ boys did not discuss actions against Jewish children in their class or school. To what extent such actions were condoned or guided by the adult leadership we do not know. There were of course many opportunities for HJ members to report on Jewish neighbors for violation of the myriad of acrivities affcting their lives. We note that HJ boys wre involved in the public humiliation inflicted upon Jews after the NAZI Anchluss in 1938.



Concerning religion there were activities with a two-fold purpose. The first was to help break the children's ties to what ever affiliation with organized religious groups they received from their parents as well as any religious training they had received. This may have been more intense with the Hitler Youth than the BDM. Hitler Youth activities were often sponsored on Sunday to conflict with church attendance. At Hitler Youth activities, especially summer camps, away from their parents, the campaign against religion may have even been more effective than in the NAZI-controlled schools. Hitler Youth Leader, Grupenführer Baldur Van Schirach composed catchy little marching ditties as, "We are the rollicking Hitler Youth; Wec have no need of Christain truth; no evil old priest these ties can sever; We're Hitler's children now and ever." The second was to sponsor a new pagan pseudo religious creed that would embrace NAZI values, especially volk culture, xeophobic nationalism, and racial hatred.


One image shows a group of older Hitler Youth boys, including a boy in the Marine Division uniform, involved in a sewing lesson. I do not know how common this was or what the purpose was. Perhaps it was an effort to help the boys be mnore independent.



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Created: December 12, 2000
Last updated: October 10, 2002