Hitler strongly believed that the future of German was its children. And the organization "Hitler Youth", which is also known as HJ (from German "Hitlerjugend"), was a logical step for the Nazi German. The youth organization was created back in 1922, but the most productive years for "HJ" were 1933-1944, when it existed as the only one official youth organization in Germany.
The importance of "Hitler Youth"
In the Nazi Germany this organization considered to be as important as schools. From the very beginning Hitler stated, that German kids are different, they are special and they need special education schemes and rules. Even in the early years of the Nazi government it was clear, that Hitler had high hopes about German youth: he demanded them to be mature, fearless, not childish and "as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp’s steel". The existing education partly fitted this scheme, but Hitler wanted more.
By the 1933s, there were up to 100,00 members of the youth organization. After Hitler came to power, this number increased rapidly. "Hitler Youth" was a significant part of the Nazi culture. By 1936, it was required to join the organization and the number was 4 million members already. And if during these years you could avoid the active service by paying some money, it became impossible by 1939.
About "Hitler Youth":
- The typical members were kids from 10 to 18 years old;
- At the same time existed separate organizations for boys and girls. Their task were completely different: they prepared boys for military service and girls for motherhood.
- Boys learned such essential skills as marching, map reading, gas defense etc. while girls had to be able to swim, run or make a bed.
- The whole movement for both sexes was under the supervision of Balder von Shirach.