Flags Down Under - Flags from around the world - Make a statement
Flags Down Under - Flags from around the world - Make a statement
Flags Down Under - Flags from around the world - Make a statement
Flags Down Under - Flags from around the world - Make a statement

The German Wandervoegel 1890

Hitler Youth Flag Ther German "Wandervoegel" in 1890 - the Hitler Youth?
Long before the Nazi Party was founded there was a male only movement known as the "Wandervoegel" - kind of "back to nature group" active in Germany. Its members had idealistic, romantic ideas of a simple lifestyle by rejecting the industrial revolution and its strict rules. Instead, they longed for a youth culture led by youth.

Dressed in shorts and hiking boots they slept under the stars and sang old German folk songs around the campfire and developed a custom of greeting each other by saying "Heil." The movement grew rapidly from 1900 to 1914, attracting the attention and admiration of the mainstream political and religious establishment in Germany. The Catholic Youth Organization, the Boy Scouts and others were than led by youth, with the leader being just a few years older than the boys he led.

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, most German youths were quickly caught up in the war mania that swept Germany. Glorifying the war they died by the millions by the machinery of modern warfare till Germany was defeated in 1918.

Oath taken by ten-year-old boys on first entering the Hitler Youth

"In the presence of this blood banner which represents our Führer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the saviour of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God."

Pledge of Allegiance
I promise to do my duty in love and loyalty to the Führer and our flag."

Mottos for Boys: "Live Faithfully, Fight Bravely, and Die Laughing!" "We were born to die for Germany!" "You are nothing--your Volk is everything!"

History Talk: What was it about the "Hitler Youth"?

Movements for youngsters were part of German culture. The Hitler Youth had been created in the 1920's. Other youth movements were abolished when Hitler came to power. In 1936, the figure stood at 4 million members and it became compulsory to join the Hitler Youth.It was most likely a logical extension of Hitler's belief that the future of Nazi Germany was its children. The Hitler Youth was seen as being as important to a child as its education was. It was expected that all had to be strong of character - in short "The weak should be chiselled away. Young men and women had to be prepared to suffer pain.

A young German was supposed to be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel."

The Hitler Youth catered for 10 to 18 year olds. There were separate organisations for boys and girls. The task of the boys section was to prepare for military service. For girls, the organisation prepared them for motherhood. Girls had to be able to run 60 metres in 14 seconds, throw a ball 12 metres, complete a 2 hour march, swim 100 metres and know how to make a bed.

The German Wandervoegel in 1890

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