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Youth in the Total War State

Youth in the Total War State

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Youth in the Total War State

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  1. Youth in the Total War State Steven Welch University of Melbourne

  2. ‘Ideal Type’ of Total War • Total war aims • Total methods • Total mobilization • Total control Stig Förster and Roger Chickering

  3. British propaganda leaflet‘Total war against weaker opponents caused you little suffering’

  4. British propaganda leaflet‘We strike back’

  5. Richard Bessel, Nazism and War ‘War was both cause and effect, condition and consequence of Nazism. War was the precondition of the Nazis’ success and the essence of the Nazi project; it dominated the activities of the Nazi regime and the lives of people subjugated by Nazi rule’

  6. Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick, 1933 ‘The training of a German youth which must be filled with military spirit is our top priority. With pacifist claptrap we will not be able to again conquer our [rightful] place in the world.’

  7. Hitler on education “The folkish state…has to direct its entire education primarily not at pumping in mere knowledge, but at the breeding of absolutely healthy bodies. The training of mental abilities is of secondary importance…first place must be taken by development of character, especially the promotion of will-power and determination…a man of little scientific education but physically healthy, with a good, firm character, imbued with the joy of self-determination and will-power, is more valuable for the national community than a clever weakling.” (Mein Kampf.

  8. Hitler on youth ‘I want a brutal, domineering, fearless, and cruel youth…they must endure pain; they cannot be weak and tender. The glow of the free and predatory animal must thunder from their eyes…I am going to eliminate two thousand years of domestication. Then I’ll have a pure, noble material of nature before me of which I can create the New.’

  9. Hitler creating the ‘new man’

  10. Themes from a secondary school curriculum 1st year: tales from the World War and from the national socialist struggle; 2nd year: tales from German history, especially from the World War; 3rd year: heroes of the Germanic and German epics, world war and years of struggle, aggressiveness and manly discipline; 4th year: military commanders and soldiers, fights for freedom, Germany struggles for its own territory and manly dignity

  11. Teachers’ guide to film Operation Michael, 1937 “Every last member of the nation must know that he will be mobilized and that he must mobilize himself when emergency calls. The total war will pay no heed to age or gender nor to uniform or weapon; it will threaten everyone and therefore demand from each the fulfillment of his great and small tasks.”

  12. Schools need to ‘awaken the slumbering heroic potential in German youth’ and develop an ‘aggressive attitude and joyful appreciation of and readiness for war’

  13. Maths textbook

  14. ‘The construction of an asylum for the insane costs 6 million RM. How many communities could one have built with the same money at a cost of 15,000 RM per community?’

  15. 1935 Handbook for teachers ‘[The upkeep of] A mentally ill person costs daily around 4 RM, a cripple 5,50, a criminal 3,50. In many cases a civil servant earns only 4 RM daily, an employee barely 3,50 and an unskilled worker only 2 RM for each member of the family. a) Draw a graph illustrating these figures. According to careful estimates there are 300,000 mentally ill, epileptics, etc. in institutional care in Germany; b) how much do they cost annually at a rate of 4RM per day?; c) How many marriage loans at 1000 RM each could be made each year using this money?’

  16. Page from a 1939 biology textbook

  17. Pupils at a NAPOLA(National Political Education Institution)

  18. Adolf Hitler Schule

  19. Dresden school class 193726 of 31 in HJ

  20. Groups within the Hitler Youth • Deutsches Jungvolk (German Young People) boys aged 10-14 • Jungmädelbund (League of Young Girls) girls aged 10-14 • Hitler-Jugend (Hitler Youth) boys aged 14-18 • Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls) girls aged 14-18

  21. HJ rally May 1937

  22. Youth serves the Führer

  23. From underground Social Democrat report June 1934 ‘The youth remain in favour of the system, for the new: the drill, the uniform, the camp life, [the fact] that school and the parental home take second place behind the community of the young—all this is wonderful. Great times without danger.’

  24. HJ meeting, reading Der Stürmer

  25. ‘We are born to die for Germany’

  26. BDM campfire

  27. HJ camps 1934 there were 450 camps, visited by 100,000 children, either for meetings lasting several days or several weeks; by 1938 there are 1,800 HJ camps with 400,000 visitors; by 1943 there are between 7,000 and 8,000 camps visited by 1.5 million German youth

  28. Hitler Youth weapons training

  29. Hitler Youth weapons training

  30. HJ leader, 1936 ‘In the end everything depends on the well-aimed, successful shot which kills the enemy. All training leads ultimately to training in shooting. It is difficult to overemphasize this…the soldier must be able to shoot and shooting is a matter of practice. Our youth must learn to shoot. The rifle must rest in the hand as naturally as the fountain pen.’

  31. ‘Officers of tomorrow’

  32. Military Training Camp

  33. Character building as part of pre-military training ‘iron will, self-denial, sacrifice, bravery, honour, and a spirit of freedom’ ‘orderliness, cleanliness, honour, sense of duty, unconditional obedience, discipline, comradeship, willingness to take responsibility, toughness, discretion’

  34. Gerhard Bennewitz, HJ ideologue in the war one has to free oneself ‘completely from the liberal-Christian view according to which universal “peace on earth” is thought to be the greatest happiness for the individual and for peoples.’

  35. Youth in War 10-year old Monika Schypulla writing to her father in September 1944: “Ja, Daddy, it is total war after all. Every single one of us counts!!” 16 year old Werner Kolb in January 1945: “Everyone has a secret longing, for a loving girl, for some other kind of secret. This is mine—to join the battle somewhere, on any front in this great war, for you, Führer, and for my homeland…”

  36. Blitzmädel

  37. Soldiers of the 12th SS Panzer Division ‘Hitler Youth’ 2 September 1944

  38. 1944 HJ conscripts

  39. HJ on way to front 1945

  40. Josef Goebbels and 16-year-old soldier, March 1945

  41. Hitler’s last public appearance, with Hitler Youth soldiers 19 April 1943

  42. Death toll from ‘Old Reich’ 1.879 million of ‘Hitler Youth generation’ killed in the war = 32.6% of all German military dead if those young Germans in the areas annexed after 1938 are included the figures are 2.135 million dead = 40.1% of all German military dead

  43. KLV

  44. Children departing from Bochum in April 1943

  45. Anna Maria R., euthanasia victim, murdered 27 June 1941, age 6

  46. Classroom sceneMessage reads ‘The Jew is our greatest enemy; protect yourself from the Jew’

  47. Helmuth Hübener ‘So this is the Hitler Youth, praised far and wide. A compulsory organization of the first order for the recruiting of Nazi-enslaved national comrades. Hitler and his accomplices know that they must deprive you of your free will at the beginning in order to make submissive, spineless creatures out of you. For Hitler knows that his contemporaries are beginning gradually to see through him, the suppressor of free nations, the murderer of millions…turn your back on the Hitler Youth, the tool of the Hitler regime for your own destruction.’