Hitler Youth Activities: Physical Conditioning--Ideological Component

Figure 1.--These HJ boys are engaging in field exercizes at the Reich Party Comgress (September 1938). At the time Hitler was brining his plan to destroy Czechoslovakia to a crisis over theSudetenland--Munich Crisis. Here ccarefully selected Hitler Youth boys are showing off their physical prowess. Physical conditioning was a primary goal of the HJ, in part to prepare German youth for the coming war that Hitler would launch. But there was more. Hitler's concept of the naster race meant that the bodies of every yong Germn were the property of the state and had to be developed to fully achieve their superior abilities. And here Hitler was promarily interested in physical not mental abilities. It meant that every German youth had the resonsbility to care for his or her body as a duty to the nation and Aryan racial community. What we are not fully aware of is just who and how these boys were selected. Looking at them, they obviously were csrefully selected. Put your cursor on the image to see he rest of the field exercize.

It should not be thought that the HJ emphasis on physical conditioning was limited to just military purposes for the boys and bearing babies for the girls. There was also a strong ideological compnent to the Hitler Youth physical condition effort. The idea of a master race and the superior abilities meant that German youth had to display strongly developed bodies and physical conditioning. Every German youth thus had the resonsbility to care for his or her body as a duty to the nation and Aryan racial community. The idea of the perfect body was represented in NAZI art. There re many examples of this. And we see Strength through Joy mass field exercizes emphasizing the fine physical conditioning of German youth as a result of the Hitler Youth program. In esence one's own body became property of the NAZI state. Hitler explained the concept in his writings, "Thus the entire education has to be directed towards employing the free time of the boy for the useful training of his body. He has no right to loaf about idly in these years, to make streets and movie theaters insecure, but after his daily work he has to steel and harden his young body so that life will not find him too soft some day. To get this under way and also to carry it out, to guide and to lead is the task of the education of youth, and not the exclusive infiltration of so-called wisdom. It has also to do away with the conception that the treatment of the body were the concern of each individual. There is no liberty to sin at the expense of posterity and, with it, of the race." [Hitler, p. p. 346.]


Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf.


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Created: 1:48 PM 11/6/2014
Last updated: 1:48 PM 11/6/2014