The Hitler Youth was a mandatory organization by law set up by Adolf Hitler to train young males aged 13 to 18 to become soldiers and receive Nazi indoctrination. One wing of the Hitler youth, intended for females aged 10 to 15, was known as the League of Young Girls. At the age of 15, German girls were promoted to the League of German Girls.
On 30 October 1931, Baldur von Schirach assumed leadership of the Hitler Youth.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933, other youth groups were forcibly merged into the Hitler Youth and by the end of 1933 membership stood at just over 2 million. In December 1936, membership of the Hitler Youth became virtually compulsory for all boys and girls aged over 10 years - membership could only be avoided by not paying subscription fees, but this 'loophole' was relaxed in 1939 and membership increased to 8 million members by 1940.
During the final months of the war, the severe lack of pilots in the Luftwaffe prompted the decision to give glider training to an entire year's intake of the Hitler Youth, before sending them to fly combat missions using the Heinkel He 162 jet fighter. They were deployed by Germany during the last days of war in Europe when most regular German soldiers were killed, wounded or captured. In the battle of Berlin they were essentially becoming part of the Wehrmacht in which boys as young as twelve were forced to defend the city of Berlin from the Russian Army.
The Hitler Youth organization also had their own kinds of weapons. They had knives and guns, which they used for training and for war.
- ↑ Weber, Louis and others. The Holocaust Chronicle. Publications International Ltd, 2001. ISBN 0 7853 2963 3. Website Page 39
- ↑ Weber, Louis and others. Page 44.
- ↑ Weber, Louis and others. Pages 48-49.
- ↑ http://www.historyonthenet.com/nazi_germany/hitler_youth.htm
- ↑ Brown, Eric Melrose. Wings of the Luftwaffe. The Crowood Press Ltd - New edition (14 Feb 1998). ISBN 1853104132.