The photographs in our HJ boy's album rather focuses on the trips that he and his HJ unit took. The albumn suggests that HJ got the opportunity to take many different trips. We note visits to: Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Kiel, Laboe, Turingen, Timmendorf, and other places. There are photogrphs of the sites in Berlin such as Reichstag (an empty shell at the time) and the Brandenburg gate. There are many photographs from Hamburg and perhaps other sea ports. Our HJ boy seems particularly interested in ships. The Berlin sites are easy to identify. There are other scenes that I can't recognize, but perhaps our German readers will recognize. This boy was able to see quite a bit of Germany as a result of his HJ trips. I'm not sure how common this was. Perhaps he was more active ans involved in the movement than most boys.
Berlin as the capital of the country would have been a very ecxiting place for Hitler youth boys to visit. Durng World War II, Berlin was seen as the heart of NAZIdom, but when the NAZIs took over, there was a great deal of opposition to the NAZis in Berlin. The NAZIs did not do well in Berlin during the Weimar elections. There was a large working-class population which was oriehted toward the Communists and Socialists. There was also a substantial Jewish popultion. Even so there was plenty for nationalistic HJ boys to see in Berlin. We see the boys at the Reichstag, but at this time it was a burned out shell. The NAZIs used the Reichstag fire to act against the Communists and pther political opponents. It was never restored. The writing over the Reichstag read, "Der Deutsche Volk". All of Hitler's appearances before the Reichstag were held at a nearby opera house. We also see the boys at the Brandenberg gate.
We see a number of photographs of the boys at various sites along the Rhine River. The Rhine has a magical image among Germans, especialy Germans during the NAZI era. We are not sure just where these sites were. We think some may have been taken at Cologne / Köln. Cologne is Germany's fourth largest city and the most important in the Rhineland. It was a major industrial city, located south of the Ruhr The Ruhr was the heart of Germany's iron and coal industries. Cologne is a city of considerable historical importance, one of the earlist cities in Germany. It was founded by the Romans (30 AD). The city is dominated by its famous Cathedral--the Kölner Dom. The Kölner Dom is one of the most important clerical catholic centres in Germany. The Cologne Cathedral is officially the Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne, under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the most important monument of German Christianity. It is a prime example of Gothic architecture.
Hamburg is Germany's most important seaport. There are many photographs from Hamburg and perhaps other sea ports. Our HJ boy seems particularly interested in ships. We see both photographs of ships as well as the boys on some of the ships. I'm nt sure what else the boys might have done in Hamburg, but all the photographs are centered on the port. We wonder if he might have got involved in the HJ Marine Division, but we don't see any sailor suit uniforms. We don't see the boys involved in German naval ships. Rather thy seem to be on excursion ships or at least ships carrying excursion passageners. Perhaps they were just having a look at the port or they may be taking an excursion to some coastal site. Its not clear frm the photographs.
Kiel is a German port city on the Baltic coast. It is located at the base of the Jutland peninsula. It shares its name with the Bay of Kiel at the head of the Kiel Fjord. Kiel has been a major German naval base since 1860s. This was about the time that Prussia began toi build a small navy. It is also the ite of important shipyards. It is perhaps best known for the Kiel Canal and is the eastern terminus. The Kiel Canal provided easier access to the Atantic for Baltic shipping. Kiel University founded in 1665 is one of Gerany's most prestigious universties. Importan sailong competitionare held at Kiel, the most important on Kiel Week. The sailing events for the 1936 Berlin Olympics were held at Kiel. We see the boys here having a look at the Canal.
Trips to historical sites, especially sites related to the military were popular with the HJ. Here the boys visit the naval memorial at Lanoe near Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein. The German Government began construction of the memorial several years after World war I (1927). It was finished several years later (1936). It was originally meant to honor the World War I war dead of the Imperial German Navy. The HJ boys here, smarly in formation, are probably visiting in 1937 or 38. Many Germans were unsure what it symbolized. Some thought the bow of a ship or the conning tower of a U-boat. Architect Gustav August Munzer insists that he had no symbolism in mind and just wanted to inspire a positive feeling. After World War II, the meaning of the memorial was extended to include those who died in the second war. The Government rededicated it to honor the sailors of all nationalities who died during the World Wars. The Laboe monument is 72 metre high with an observation tower at the top. There is a hall of remembrance. And after World War II the U-995 was installed to serve as a technical museum at the foot of the monument. The U-995 is a Type VII U-boat. Serving on a German U-boat proved after mid-1943 obe of the most dangerous activites of the War with a horendous mortality rate.
One photograph was labeled München so apparently the boys were on a trip to Munich. Or possibly they were going to attend the annual NAZI Party Congress at Nuremberg which was close to Munich. They appeared to be using Wehrmacht trucks. I am not entirely sure what is happening here. Are they picking up boys waiting along the road? This boy is wearing Lederhosen so we are guessing he was from Bavaria.
The boys took a biking trip to Niedernjesa in Saxony. Niedernjesa is part of the municipality Friedland in the south of Lower Saxony. It is a small community. It is about 7 km south of Goettingen in the Line Valley. The first recored reference to Niedernjesa appears in the medieval era (1022). The village centr has a chirch built about 1100 AD.
The church as an impresive tower. It served the monastery there for military purposes. When attacked the monks could retreat to the tower for protection.
This Troop of HJ bots really got around. Here we see the boys at Passau, a town on the Austrian border (figure 1). As we don't know when this photograph was taken, we do not know if it was taken before or after the 1938 Anschluss. The caption read, "Blick vom Oberhaus auf d. Donau." (d. is an abbreviation of die, der or das. In the case of the Danube it is die, because she is female.) That meant, "View from Oberhaus at the Danube." Notice how narrow the river was at this point. Also notice the baroque churches, more common in southern Germany. Actually the River here is the Inn River which joins with the the Danube at Passau. Across the river on the left is Austria. The Inn flows down from the Austrian Alpes. The famous town "Innsbruck" in the Tirol is also on the Inn River. The photo was taken from the "Veste Oberhaus". This was a fortified ("Veste") old castle build by the bishops of Passau to control the citizens of the town who were sometimes and repeatingly rebellious against them, It was also a fort to defend against foreign enemies. There is also a "Unterhaus"", down in the valley just as a first protection for the bishops. German bishops in medieval Germny were also sovereign rulers in a number of small principalities of the Holy Roman Empire.
We think the boys may be from Turingen in the middle of Germany. This is becuse of self portraits which may identify the HJ boy who took the photographs in the album here.
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