There were many special programs associated with the Hitler Youth. The basis activities of marching, camping, games, and other activities is described above. In addition there were special programs including labor service, assisting the Getstapo, and heloping with various aspects of the war effort. The HJ was also involved in special party schools.
The Land Service (Landdienst) was created in 1934 by Artur Axmann, who
headed the National Youth Directorate. This “back to the land” ideal was
originally created back in 1924 by the right-wing Artamanen movement, but
was incorporated into the Nazi party structure as the leaders of that
movement willingly joined the Nazi party. Within the service, the youth were
encouraged to give back to the land by working the farms, plant trees and
flowers, and to help the rural people cultivate the land for the future of
all Germany. It was believed that the Jews populated only urban areas, and
so the rural folk were racially pure and needed the help to Hitler Youth
(who would then indoctrinate the children of those rural areas). The land
service credo was “Blut und Boden” (Blood and Soil). The Land Service was
very popular amongst the HJ. From spring until harvest time, the HJ would
work the farms before dispersing in the winter back to the cities. Some
would remain behind and venture out as theatrical entertainment to the rural
peoples, while most left for leadership schools or agrarian institutes. The
appeal of the Land Service was that it was cut-off from the main Nazi
machine, propaganda and drills. The members of the Land Service were
ultimately destined to settle in the country, found farming families and
work the land for the Reich.
After the war broke out, the Land Service was part of the detention process
as well, incorporating many convicted (former) Hitler Youth in armed camps.
Hard labor was seen as fit punishment for the lesser criminals, in the hopes
that these youth could be rehabilitated and return to active HJ service.
Land Service details were for first time offenders only.
One of the most important services of the Third Reich’s propaganda machine
was the Speakers Corps. Hitler himself had proved the power that oration
could hold over the masses, for that was how he came into power. Von
Schirach was also a keen speech writer and emulated Hitler’s approach to
public speaking to recruit new members into the youth movement, which lead
to the creation of the Speaker’s Service. The service was to train boys and
young men in the art of public speaking in order to captivate the youth and
people of the entire nation, as well as to invigorate and inspire the
members of the Hitler Youth. Boys and young men who showed promise were
designated for this elite unit, which was an extension of the Reich Youth
Office and the propaganda department of the Reich. Only those who excelled
were given licenses by state to speak for the Nazi party. The Hitler Youth
speakers were divided into three main groups: Reich groups, regional groups,
and unit speakers. At the lowest ranks was the speaker circle, where fresh
talent might be gleaned. Within the speaker circle and Speaker School,
special attention to ideological training was implemented, and the students
were expected to absorb every detail of Nazi literature, mythos, newspapers,
magazines and books published on National Socialism. Within the schools and
smaller circles, the boys learned from trained orators and Reich officials
on the proper intonation, wording and gestures needed to enthrall the
masses. Special attention was also given to an individual’s appearance,
uniform and played upon each individual’s unique voice to captivate an
By 1937, there were over 550 members of The Speaker’s Corps, spreading the
message of National Socialism and the “mythos” of Hitler himself. The
Speaker’s Corps were the evangelists of the Nazi party, and was as integral
as the foot soldiers in ensuring that all youth were led into the Third
The Hitlerjugend-Streifendienst (Patrol Service), was the HJ counterpart of
the Gestapo. An internal police service who worked in the shadows to enforce
the strict laws of the Third Reich. They ruled by fear, terror, and
violence. They sought out any dissident, or suspected traitor to the cause.
Like the Gestapo, they were everywhere and were the eyes and ears of top
party members. Any suspected disloyalty or even anti-Nazi (or Hitler) jokes
were said to have been reported. Patrol Service members were capable of
denouncing their own family and parents on occasion, as was the case of
Walter Hess. His father ended up at a concentration camp in Dachau, where he
died, after HJ member Walter reported that the man had described Hitler as a
“crazed maniac.” Hess received a promotion.
The Patrol Service had vast powers and were feared by all, especially the
underground resistance fighters. For Patrol Service agents would infiltrate
these subversive groups and expose them, leading to many mass arrests and
murders. These boys were involved in “The Night of the Long Knives,” the
eradication of Ernst Rohm and over 1000 brownshirts of the SA, as well as
the death of the Catholic Youth leader, Adalbert Probst, and other non-HJ
youth leaders. One of the main objectives of the Patrol Service was the weeding out and
extermination of homosexuals within the Hitler Youth and Jungvolk. It began
with “The Night of Long Knives,” and continued on into the war years. Up to
1941, more than one third of the boys that had been expelled from the HJ were expelled for suspected homosexual deviance."Somevboys were castrated, imprisoned, or executed.
Any Hitler Youth members who wandered off on their own (which was common,
especially among the units positioned in rural/mountainous areas and the
youth lead themselves without adult party supervision), or whose activities
were morally suspect could be convicted. The Nazi’s understood that some
units would produce rogues: those not toting the party line, singing
non-national socialistic songs, or idle wandering that weakened the units.
The Patrol Service made themselves known in the countryside (unlike in the
urban centers where they remained undercover); a Patrol Service unit
consisted of around 70 boys with a special designation embroidered upon the
lower part of their left sleeve: a blue-black stripe with HJ-Streifendienst
in yellow. The service investigated any and all reports of irregularity, not
only in the HJ and Jungvolk, but within the two associations for girls as
well. The Patrol Service units were also trained in police procedures,
including the use of pistols.
The Patrol Services other agenda was destroying the underground resistance
fighters and the many splinter groups that arose.
The NAZI Party established secondary schools for carefully children. The were primarily for boys, but a few were also for girls. The schools were to train the Party elite. The major program was the Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt (NPEA or NAPOLA). The other kind of secondary schools created by the NAZIs were called the Adolf Hitler Schulen (AHS--Adolf Hitler Schools). The AHS were founded because the SS essentially seized control of the NAPOLA. Reichsorganisationsleiter Dr. Robert Ley (DAF leader) and Baldur von Schirach (Hitler Youth leader) agreed to set up the new schools in January 1937. The schools as far as we know were very similar. The primary difference was simply who controlled them. The other kind of secondary schools created by the NAZIs were called the Adolf Hitler Schulen (AHS--Adolf Hitler Schools). The AHS were founded because the SS essentially seized control of the NAPOLA. Reichsorganisationsleiter Dr. Robert Ley (DAF leader of the DAF) and Baldur von Schirach (Hitler Youth leader) agreed to set up the new schools in January 1937.
Brenda Ralph Lewis, Hitler Youth: The Hitlerjugend in War and Peace, 1933-1945 (MBI Books, November 2000).
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