Baldur von Schirach
(1 of 5)

May 9, 1907: Baldur Benedikt von Schirach is born in Weimar, the son of a theater director and his American wife. Through his mother, Schirach is related to two signatories of the US Declaration of Independence.

1917: Ten year old Schirach joins a military cadet group (Wehrjugendgruppe).

From Schirach's IMT testimony: My father was a professional officer in the Garde-Kuerassier Regiment of the Kaiser. I was born in Berlin and one year later my father retired and moved to Weimar, where he took over the management of the Court Theater there, which later became the Weimar National Theater. Thus I grew up in Weimar, and that town, which in a certain sense is the native city of all Germans, I regard as my native city. My father was well off; our home offered a great deal of intellectual and artistic stimulation, above all in the literary and musical field, but apart from and beyond the educational opportunities of our home, it was the atmosphere of the town itself, that atmosphere of the classic and also the post-classic Weimar which influenced my development. It was most of all the genius loci [Note: In Roman mythology a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place.], which early captured my imagination. It is directly due to those experiences of my youth that later on I led the youth back again, year after year, to Weimar and to Goethe . . . .

Even my worst enemy cannot deny the fact that I was to the young generation of the German people at all times not only the propagandist of National Socialism but also the propagandist of Goethe. A certain Herr Ziemer has submitted a lengthy affidavit against me in which he quarrels with the youth education for which I am responsible. I believe that Herr Ziemer did his work a little too superficially. In his description of German national education he should at least have taken into consideration my educational efforts designed to guide youth toward the life work of Goethe.

I joined my first youth organization when I was 10 years old. I was then just the age of the boys and girls who later on entered the Jungvolk. That youth organization which I joined was the so-called "Young German League," (Jungdeutschland Bund), which Count von der Goltz had founded, a Boy Scout organization. Count von der Goltz and Haeseler, impressed by the British Boy Scout movement, had formed Pathfinder units in Germany, and one of these Pathfinder organizations was the Jungdeutschland Bund just mentioned. It played an important part in the education of German youth until about 1918 or 1919. Much more significant in my development, however, was the time which I spent in a country boarding school (Waldpaedagogium). This was an educational institution directed by an associate of the well-known educator, Hermann Lietz.

Lietz' idea was to give youth an education in which they have in the school an image of the state. The school community was a miniature state and in this school community was developed a self-administration of youth. I only want to point out in passing that he, too, was applying ideas which long before him had been developed by Pestalozzi and the great Jean Jacques. All modern education, of course, goes back somehow to Rousseau, be it a question of Hermann Lietz or the Boy Scouts, the Pathfinder movement or the German Wandervogel movement. At any rate, that idea of self-administration of youth in a school community gave me my idea of the self-leadership of youth. My thought was to attract the younger generation in school to ideas that Froebel had originated 80 years before. Lietz wanted to win over youth from early school days onward.

I may perhaps mention very briefly that when in 1898 Lietz began his educational work, the British Major Baden-Powell was being surrounded by rebels in a South African town, and was training youngsters to scout in the woods and with this laid the groundwork for his own Boy Scout movement, and that in that same year, in 1898, Karl Fischer from Berlin-Steglitz founded the Wandervogel movement ... that educational work had no political and most certainly no anti-Semitic tendencies, because Lietz came from the circles around the Democrat Naumann, from the Damaschke circle.

1919: Karl von Schirach, Baldur's older brother, commits suicide.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: My father had been thrown out of his position by the Reds [in the so-called the revolution of 1918-1919]. The National Assembly in Weimar had convened. The Weimar Republic had been founded. We had a parliamentary system, we had a democracy, or what we in Germany thought was a democracy--I doubt that it was one.

March 8, 1922: The establishment of the first Nazi Youth group, the Jugendbund der NSDAP, is announced in the Voelkischer Beobachter.

May 13, 1922: The first meeting of the Jugendbund der NSDAP is held.

April 1924: The Jugendbund der NSDAP is renamed Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung (Greater German Youth Movement).

April 27, 1923: Hitler speaks in Munich:

What our people needs is not leaders in Parliament, but those who are determined to carry through what they see to be right before God, before the world, and before their own consciences--and to carry that through, if need be, in the teeth of majorities. And if we succeed in raising such leaders from the body of our people, then around them once again a nation will crystallize itself . . . . It is the pride of our Movement to be the force which shall awake the Germany of fighters which yet shall be...

November 9, 1923: The Beer Hall Putsch, or, variously, the Munich Putsch, or Hitlerputsch, or Hitler-Ludendorff-Putsch—a failed attempt at revolution by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, Erich Ludendorff, and other right-wing nationalists—occurs. Note: Putsch is the German word for a military coup d'état.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: It was about 1923. I was at home at the time. It was a period of general insecurity, want, and dissatisfaction; many respectable families had become beggars through the inflation, and the worker and the citizen had lost their savings. The name "Hitler" made its appearance in connection with the events of 9 November 1923. I was not able at the time to gain any exact information about him.

February 26, 1924: Hitler is tried on a charge of high treason for the failed Putsch. From Hitler's opening remarks at the trial:

Our youth has--and may this be heard in Paris--but one thought: that the day may come when we shall again be free . . . . My attitude is this: I would rather that Germany go Bolshevist and I be hanged than that she should be destroyed by the French rule of the sword . . . . It turned out that the back-stabbers were stronger than ever . . . . With pride I admit that our men were the only ones to really resist in the Ruhr. We intended to hold fourteen meetings and introduce a propaganda campaign throughout Germany...

March 27, 1924: From Hitler's closing remarks at the trial:

When did the ruin of Germany begin? You know the watchword of the old German system in its foreign policy: it ran--maintenance of world peace, economic conquest of the world. With both these principles one cannot govern a people. The maintenance of world peace cannot be the purpose and aim of the policy of a State. The increase and maintenance of a people--that alone can be the aim...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: This Trial has informed me and people of my generation for the first time what Hitler actually wanted. At that time I was not a National Socialist. Together with some boys of my age I joined a youth organization which had the name Knappenschaft. It was in some way connected with the people's movement, but it was not bound to any party. The principles of that organization were simply comradeship, patriotism, and self-control There were about 100 boys from my city in it at the time who, in this youth organization, fought against the shallow tendencies of youth in the postwar period and against the dissipation indulged in by growing youngsters.

In that circle, as a 16-year-old, I first came in contact with socialism, for here I found youths from every level, working boys, craftsmen, young office employees, sons of farmers. But there were some older ones among us too, who were already settled in life, and some also who had been in the World War. From discussions with these comrades I came to grasp for the first time the consequences of the Versailles Treaty in their full import. The situation of the youth at the time was this: The school boy had the prospect of struggling through somehow or other as a working student, and then he would in all probability become a member of the academic proletariat for the possibility of an academic career practically did not exist for him at all. The young worker had no prospect of finding an apprenticeship. For him there was nothing other than the grim misery of unemployment. It was a generation nobody would help unless it helped itself . . . .

In central Germany there were disturbances. I need only mention the name of the Communist bandit leader, Max Holz, to indicate what conditions obtained at the time. And even after outward calm had come, conditions still prevailed that made it impossible to hold patriotic meetings because they were usually broken up by Communists. There came an appeal to us young people to furnish protection for these patriotic meetings, and we did. Some of us were wounded in doing this. One of us, a certain Garschar, was killed by Communists. In that manner a large number of national meetings took place which otherwise could not have been held in the Weimar Republic, National Socialist meetings, too; and to an increasing degree it was exactly such meetings that we had to protect because the Communist terror was directed against them particularly.

Through this protective activity I met leading National Socialists at first as speakers, naturally, not personally. I heard Count Reventlow speak; I think I heard Rosenberg then too; I heard Streicher speak and heard the first oratorical efforts of Sauckel, who soon after became Gauleiter of the National Socialist Party in Thuringia . . . .

I do not know what my comrades read, with the exception of one book which I shall give you directly I know only what I read myself; I was interested at that time in the writings of the Bayreuth thinker, Chamberlain, in The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, in the writings of Adolf Bartels, in his Introduction to World Literature and History of German National Literature. these were works which had no definite anti-Semitic tendencies, but through which anti-Semitism was drawn like a red thread. The decisive anti-Semitic book which I read at that time and the book which influenced my comrades was Henry Ford's book, The International Jew; I read it and became anti-Semitic. In those days this book made such a deep impression on my friends and myself because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the exponent of a progressive social policy. In the poverty-stricken and wretched Germany of the time, youth looked toward America, and apart from the great benefactor, Herbert Hoover, it was Henry Ford who to us represented America.

1925: Schirach joins the NSDAP.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I must say that I did not become a National Socialist because of anti-Semitism but because of Socialism. I met Hitler as early as 1925. He had just left Landsberg on the Lech, his imprisonment was ended, and he came to Weimar and spoke there. It was on that occasion that I was introduced to him. The program for the national community which he developed appealed to me so enormously because in it I found on a large scale something I had experienced in a small way in the camaraderie of my youth organization. He appeared to me to be the man who would pave the way into the future for our generation. I believed that through him there could be offered to this younger generation the prospect of work, of happiness. And in him I saw the man who would liberate us from the shackles of Versailles. I am convinced that without Versailles the rise to power of Hitler would never have happened. That dictate led to dictatorship . . . .

I became a member of The Party in 1925 [at the age of 18]. I joined the SA at the same time, with all my comrades ... The SA furnished the protection for the meetings, and we simply continued in the SA, as part of the Party, the activities which we had carried out before in our youth organization.

July 4, 1926: The first Nazi Party Rally Day following the 1925 re-founding of the Party is held in Weimar. The Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung is officially renamed Hitler Jugend Bund der deutschen Arbeiterjugend, (Hitler Youth League of German Worker Youth). Note: The only previous Nazi Party Rally had been held in Munich in 1923. All subsequent Rally's will be held in Nuremberg.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I was to have talked personally to Hitler one year earlier. On this occasion [Nazi Party Rally Day in Weimar] there was another meeting. He was making speeches at various mass meetings in Weimar, and he came back to Weimar again during the same year to speak before a smaller circle. Together with Rudolf Hess he paid a visit to the home of my parents and on that occasion he suggested that I should study in Munich. He thought I ought to know the Party at its very core and thought I would become acquainted with the Party work in that way. But I want to say here that at that time I did not have any intention at all of becoming a politician. Nevertheless, I was very much interested, of course, in getting acquainted with the Movement at the place where it had been founded. I then went to Munich. At first I did not concern myself with the Party. I was occupied with Germanic studies, history, and the history of art; I wrote and I came into contact with many people in Munich who were not actually National Socialists but who belonged, I should say, to the periphery of the National Socialist movement. At that time I lived in the house of my friend, the publisher Bruckmann [Hugo Bruckmann, an early Hitler supporter, co-owner with his brother Alphons of F. Bruckmann KAG in Munich] . . . .

The situation at the beginning was this: I attended Party meetings in Munich; in Bruckmann's salon I met Hitler and Rosenberg and many other men who later played an important role in Germany. And at the university I joined the university group of the National Socialist German Students League . . . . I also started to take an active part in this group. I spoke there before my comrades, at first about my own work in the literary field, and then I began to give lectures to the students also about the National Socialist movement. I organized Hitler student meetings among the students in Munich, and then I was elected a member of the General Students Committee, the ASTA, and through this activity among the students I came more and more into contact with the Party leadership.

1929: Schirach becomes leader of the NSDStB, National Socialist German Students' League (Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Studentenbund).

From Schirach's IMT testimony: In 1929, the man who was the then so-called Reich Leader of the National Socialist Students Union retired, and the question arose of who should be given the leadership of all the university groups. At that time Rudolf Hess, on behalf of the Fuehrer, questioned all university groups of the National Socialist University Movement and the majority of all these groups cast their vote for me to head the National Socialist Students Union. This accounts for the curious fact that I am the only Party leader who was elected into the Party leadership. That is something which has otherwise never occurred in the history of the Party.

1931: Schirach becomes a NSDAP youth leader (Reichsjugendfuehrer).

From Schirach's IMT testimony: At the meeting of the General German Students Congress in 1931, at which all German students and all Austrian students and Sudeten-German students were represented, one of my collaborators whom I had suggested as leader was unanimously elected head of the entire student group. This was a very important affair for the youth and for the Party. Two years before the seizure of power the entire academic youth had unanimously given their vote to a National Socialist . . . .

After the student meeting at Graz in 1931, the success of which was very surprising to Hitler, I had a conference with him. In the course of that meeting, Hitler mentioned a conversation we had had previously. At that time he had asked me how it came about that the National Socialist University Movement was developing so quickly, whereas the other National Socialist organizations lagged behind in their development.

I told him at that time that one cannot lead youth organizations as an appendix of a political party; youth has to be led by youth, and I developed for him the idea of a youth state, that idea which had come to me from experiencing the school community, the school state. And thereupon in 1931 Hitler asked me whether I would like to assume the leadership of the National Socialist Youth Organization. This included youth cells, then the Hitler Youth and the National Socialist Students Organization, which also was in existence at that time. Several men had already tried their hand at the leadership of these organizations: the former Oberstfuehrer SA Leader Pfeffer, the Reichsleiter Buch, actually without much result.

I agreed and became then Reich Youth Leader of the NSDAP, temporarily a member of the staff of the Oberst SA Leader Roehm. In that position, as Reich Youth Leader of the NSDAP in the staff of Roehm, I had the rank of an SA GruppenFuehrer and kept that rank also when, half a year later, I became independent in my position. That explains also the fact that I am an SA Obergruppenfuehrer. I got that rank many years later, honoris cause. However, I did not possess an SA uniform-even after 1933.

March 31, 1932: Schirach weds 19-year-old Henriette Hoffmann (Henny), the daughter of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's photographer. The reception is held in Hitler's apartment. The Schirach's will have four children.

April 1932: The Hitler Youth is banned by Chancellor Heinrich Bruening in an attempt to stop widespread political violence. By June the ban will be lifted by his successor, Franz von Papen, as a way of appeasing Hitler.

April 1932: 23-year-old Hartmann Lauterbacher is hired by the HJ.

1932: Hitler makes Schirach a Reichsleiter (Reich Leader) for the Education of Youth of the NSDAP.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I think that Hitler invited the Reichsleiter and Gauleiter, on an average, twice a year to a conference, during which he retrospectively discussed political events. Never at any time did Hitler discuss before these men operations of the future, whether of a political or military nature . . . . I had expressed the opinion to Hitler that youth could not be the appendix of another organization, but youth had to be independent; it had to lead itself; it had to become independent; and it was in fulfillment of a promise which Hitler had already given me that, half a year later, I became an independent Reichsleiter.

October 2, 1932: A Hitler Youth meeting is held at Potsdam.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The boys and girls paid membership fees. A part of these membership fees was kept at the so-called district leadership offices, which corresponded to the Gauleitung in the Party or to the SA Gruppenfuehrung in the SA. Another part went to the Reich Youth Leader. The Hitler Youth financed its organization with its own means.

Before the seizure of power, in 1932 the Hitler Youth was already the largest youth movement of Germany. I should like to add here that the individual National Socialist youth organizations which I found when I took over my office as Reich Youth Leader were merged by me into one large unified youth movement. This youth movement was the strongest youth movement of Germany, long before we came to power.

On 2 October 1932, the Hitler Youth held a meeting at Potsdam. At that meeting more than 100,000 youth from all over the Reich met without the Party's providing a single pfennig. The means were contributed by the young people themselves. Solely from the number of the participants, it can be seen that that was the largest youth movement.

January 30, 1933 Machtergreifung: Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany and swears in his Cabinet.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I did not participate in any conspiracy. I cannot consider it participation in a conspiracy if I joined the National Socialist Party. The program of that party had been approved; it had been published. The Party was authorized to take part in elections. Hitler had not said--neither he nor any of his collaborators--"I want to assume power by a coup d'etat." Again and again he stated in public, not only once but a hundred times: "I want to overcome this parliamentary system by legal means, because it is leading us, year by year, deeper into misery." And I myself as the youngest deputy of the Reichstag of the Republic told my 60,000 constituents similar things in electoral campaigns.

There was nothing there which could prove the fact of a conspiracy, nothing which was discussed behind closed doors. What we wanted we acknowledged frankly before the nation, and so far as printed paper is read around the globe, everyone abroad could have been informed also about our aims and purposes.

As far as preparation for war is concerned, I must state that I did not take part in any conferences or issuing of orders which would indicate preparation for an aggressive war ... I can state only that I did not participate in a conspiracy. I do not believe either that there was a conspiracy; the thought of conspiracy is in contradiction to the idea of dictatorship. A dictatorship does not conspire; a dictatorship commands.

April 3, 1933: Schirach orders that the majority of Germany's youth organizations be placed under his control. He sends fifty Hitler Youths to storm the Berlin offices of the Reichs Committee of German Youth Associations, an organization representing nearly six million German children. Officials of the Committee are told that they were now under the authority of the Hitler Youth.

June 17, 1933: 26 year old Schirach assumes the SA rank of Gruppenfuehrer and becomes head of the Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend, or HJ).

From Schirach's IMT testimony: [I had the right to report to Hitler directly,] but this right to make reports was more or less only on paper. To picture that precisely, before the seizure of power I frequently reported to Hitler in person. In 1932 he quite often announced his intention to dine with me in the evening, but it is clear that in the presence of my wife and other guests political questions were not discussed, particularly not the questions which fell into my special sphere. Only now and then, perhaps, could I touch upon a subject which interested me in connection with education.

In 1933, as far as I can remember, I reported twice to him personally, once regarding the financing of the youth movement, and the second time in connection with the Party Rally of 1933. During the following years my reports averaged one or two a year whereby I was treated in the same way as most people who reported to Hitler. Of the 15 odd points on which I wanted to report to him. I managed to deal with 3 or 4, and the others had to be dropped because he interrupted me and very explicitly elaborated on the things which interested him most.

I then tried to help myself by taking along models of youth buildings, views of the big stadiums and of youth hostels, which I had set up in a hall in the Reich Chancellery, and when he looked at them I used the opportunity to put two or three questions to him.
I must state here--I think I owe it to German youth--that Hitler took very little interest in educational questions. As far as education was concerned, I received next to no suggestions from him. The only time when he did make a real suggestion as far as athletic training was concerned was in 1935, I believe, when he told me that I should see to it that boxing should become more widespread among youth. I did so, but he never attended a youth boxing match. My friend von Tschammer-Osten, the Reich Sports Leader, and I tried very often to persuade him to go to other sporting events, particularly to skiing contests and ice hockey championships in Garmisch, but apart from the Olympic Games, it was impossible to get him to attend.

From Hermann Goering's IMT testimony: The Reich Cabinet as such consisted solely of the Reich Ministers. We differentiated between two kinds of sessions, Cabinet sessions and Ministerial Council sessions. The Cabinet sessions were normally attended by the ministers and their state secretaries. In some cases when special subjects were to be discussed, ministerial directors, or higher officials of the ministries concerned, could be called in for a short report. Then there were the so-called highest Reich posts. The Reich Youth Leadership was also one of these. If, therefore, legislation affecting the Reich Youth Leadership was to be discussed by the Cabinet, and Schirach learned about it, he could, by virtue of his position as Reich Youth Leader, request to be called to this meeting. On the same basis the Chief of the Reich Chancellery could order him to attend such a meeting. These representatives never attended the other regular Cabinet sessions. I believe I attended almost all sessions and, as far as I know, Schirach was never present. In contrast to that were the Ministerial Council sessions to which only Reich ministers were admitted and no one else.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I heard here for the first time that I was supposed to have been a member of the Cabinet. I never participated in a Cabinet meeting. I never received a decree or anything of the sort which would have made me a member of the Cabinet. I never received invitations to attend Cabinet meetings. I never considered myself a member of the Cabinet, and I believe that the Ministers did not consider me a member either. Resolutions passed by the Reich Cabinet, insofar as any were passed after 1 December 1936, only came to my attention in the same way as they reached any other higher official or employee of the Reich who read the Reichsgesetzblatt or the Reichsministerialblatt. Records and minutes were never sent to me.

Early 1933: The Hitler Youth begins issuing a monthly magazine, Will and Power (Wille und Macht): [The] Leadership Publication of the National Socialist Youth.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: It is true that the Reich Minister for Propaganda repeatedly demanded of my editor-in-chief anti-Semitic issue [of Will and Power] should be published. On receiving the report of the editor-in-chief I invariably refused to comply with this request. I believe that the editor-in-chief has already signed a sworn affidavit to that effect.

June 22, 1933: The greater German League [Grossdeutscher Bund] is dissolved. The Leagues member organizations are merged with the Hitler Youth. Schirach publishes the following order: The greater German League, together with its sub- and member organizations, is dissolved as of 17 June 1933. The property of the Greater German League and of the affiliated sub- and member organizations is to be secured...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The Grossdeutscher Bund was a youth organization, or rather a union of youth organizations, with pan-German tendencies. I wanted youth to be united, and the Grossdeutscher Bund wanted to continue a certain separate existence. I objected to that, and there was agitated public controversy between Admiral Von Trotha, the leader of the Grossdeutscher Bund and me, and in the end the Grossdeutscher Bund was incorporated into our youth organization. I do not recall exactly whether I banned the organization formally; I know only that the members came to me, and that between Admiral Von Trotha and me a discussion took place, a reconciliation. Admiral Von Trotha until his death was one of the warmest sponsors of my work.

From The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer: Schirach was named 'Youth Leader of the German Reich' in June 1933. Aping the tactics of his elder party leaders, his first action was to send an armed band of fifty husky Hitler Youth men to occupy the national offices of the Reich Committee of German Youth Associations, where an old Prussian Army officer, General Vogt, head of the committee, was put to rout. Schirach next took on one of the most celebrated of German naval heroes, Admiral von Trotha, who had been Chief of Staff of the High Seas Fleet in the First World War and who was now president of the Youth Associations. The venerable admiral too was put to flight and his position and organization were dissolved. Millions of dollars' worth of property, chiefly in hundreds of youth hostels scattered throughout Germany, was seized . . . .

Schirach, whose office had formerly been subordinate to the Ministry of Education, was made responsible directly to Hitler. This half-baked young man of twenty-nine, who wrote maudlin verse in praise of Hitler ('this genius grazing the stars') and followed Rosenberg in his weird paganism and Streicher in his virulent anti-Semitism, had become the dictator of youth in the Third Reich.

July 14, 1933: Hitler's Cabinet approves the Concordat with the Vatican. During the deliberations, Hitler stresses the significance of the Concordat, especially "in the urgent fight against the international Jews. Possible shortcomings in the Concordat can be rectified later when the foreign policy situation is better."

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: In 1933 and 1934 Schirach had numerous discussions with representatives of the Church, Reich Bishop Muller of the Protestant Church and the representative of the Fulda Conference of Bishops, Bishop Berning of Osnabruck. I remember that Schirach strove to draw a dividing line between their respective powers and jurisdiction on some such basis as: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's."

From Schirach's IMT testimony: In 1933 or 1934--but I think it was as early as 1933--Reich Bishop Mueller and the Protestant Bishop Oberheidt approached me on their own initiative and proposed that I incorporate the Protestant youth organizations into the Hitler Youth. Of course I was very happy about that proposal and accepted it. At that time I had no idea that there was opposition to Reich Bishop Mueller within the Protestant Church. I found out about that only much later. I believed that I was acting with the authority and in the name of the Evangelical Church, and the other bishop who accompanied him further strengthened this belief of mine. Even today I still believe that with the voluntary incorporation of the Protestant youth into the Youth State, Mueller acted in accordance with the will of the majority of the Protestant youth themselves; and in my later activity as Youth Leader I frequently met former leaders from the Protestant youth organizations, who had leading positions with me and worked in my youth organization with great enthusiasm and devotion.

Through that incorporation of Protestant youth--I should like to stress this--spiritual ministration to youth was not limited or hindered in any way; there never was a restriction of church services for youth in Germany, either then or later. Since Protestant youth had been incorporated on the basis of an agreement between the Church and the Hitler Youth, there was practically only a dispute about youth education between the Catholic Church and the Hitler Youth.

In May or June 1934 I asked personally to participate in the negotiations for the Reich Concordat because I wanted to eliminate entirely the differences between the Catholic Church and the Hitler Youth. I considered an agreement in this field to be very important and in fact I was allowed to participate in these negotiations which took place in June '34 in the Reich Ministry of the Interior under the chairmanship of Reich Minister for the Interior Frick. On the Catholic side Archbishop Groeber and Bishop Berning took part in the negotiations; and at that time I personally proposed a formula for co-operation, which met with the approval of the Catholic side, and I believed that I had found the basis for agreement in this sphere.

1933: The German system of justice undergoes "coordination" (alignment with Nazi goals). All professional associations involved with the administration of justice are merged into the National Socialist League of German Jurists (the Lawyers' League).

From Schirach's IMT testimony: May I remind you that the youth of the state was regarded by me as being a Youth State. In that Youth State all professions and all tasks were represented. My collaboration with the Lawyers' League was due to the necessity of training legal advisers for our working youth whom they could over the necessary legal protection. I was anxious that those Hitler Youth leaders who were studying law should return to the organization to deal with just such tasks within the organization.

From this type of training a large organization developed within the ranks of youth which was equivalent to the organization of doctors within the youth organization; our medical organization comprised approximately 1,000 doctors, men and women. These legal men assisted the staff, in the districts and other units of our youth organization, putting into practice those demands which I had first enunciated early in our fighting days, before the seizure of power, and which I had championed in the State later on, namely, the demand for free time and paid vacations for the young worker.

This legal work of our youth led to the founding of seminars for Youth Law and Working Youth Law, et cetera, attached to the universities at Kiel and Bonn. In particular it had the result that those demands which I voiced in a speech in 1936, before the Committee for Juvenile Law of the Academy for German Law, could be carried through.

November 6, 1933: From a speech by Hitler: "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say: 'Your child belongs to me already.' In a short time they will know nothing else."

May 22, 1934: Hartmann Lauterbacher become Stabsfuehrer of the Reich Youth Leadership under Schirach.

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: As the title of Stabsfuehrer indicates, I was in the first place the chief of the staff of the Reich Youth Leadership. As such, I had the task of dealing with the general directives of the Reich Youth Leader, particularly those concerning the Hitler Youth offices and regions insofar as the Youth Leader did not do that himself. I had to co-ordinate the various departments of the Reich Youth Leadership and in particular to deal with matters of an organizational and personal nature. I was his [Schirach's] deputy on occasions when he was prevented from acting personally. Our association was not limited only to official matters; we were also personal friends, and so our personal relationship was not interrupted by Schirach's appointment in Vienna. I always have been, and still am today, convinced of the fact that von Schirach made all his intentions and educational measures known to me ... he kept nothing from me. If Schirach had discussions with Adolf Hitler during the earlier years he always informed me immediately afterwards.

June 30-July 2, 1934: The Night of the Long Knives (in Germany, the Roehm-Putsch) occurs. The Nazi regime carries out a series of political executions. Most of those killed are members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary Brownshirts.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The conferences [with Reich Bishop Mueller and the Protestant Bishop Oberheidt] were unfortunately interrupted on the evening of 29 June; and on 30 June 34 we experienced the so-called "Roehm Putsch," and the negotiations were never resumed. That is not my fault, and I bear no responsibility for that. Hitler simply did not want to accept the consequences of the Concordat. I personally desired to conclude that agreement, and I believe that the representatives of the Church saw from these negotiations and from certain later conferences with me that the difficulties did not originate with me. At any rate Bishop Berning came to me, I believe in 1939. We discussed current questions between the youth leadership and the Church. I believe that he also got the impression at that time that it was not I who wanted to make difficulties.

The difficulties arose at that time from the increasingly strong influence of Martin Bormann, who tried to prevent absolutely any kind of agreement between the Party offices and the Church or between the youth leadership and the Church. In the course of the dispute about the leadership of confessional youth organizations and their incorporation, animated public discussions arose. I myself spoke at various meetings. Statements were issued by the Church also, which according to the state of affairs, were more or less sharp. But I did not make statements inimical to religion in connection with that subject, nor did I at any time during my life.

June 25, 1934: Rudolf Hess explains the basic tenants of the Fuehrer Principle (Fuehrerprinzip) in a speech broadcast from Cologne:

It is with pride that we see that one man is kept above all criticism--that is the Fuehrer . . . . The reason is that everyone feels and knows: he was always right and will always be right. The National Socialism of us all is anchored in the uncritical loyalty, in the devotion to the Fuehrer that does not ask for the wherefore in the individual case, in the tacit performance of his commands. We believe that the Fuehrer is fulfilling a divine mission to German destiny! This belief is beyond challenge.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: Of course, the HJ was built up on the Fuehrer Principle; only the entire form of leadership of youth differed basically from that of other National Socialist organizations. For instance, we had the custom in youth leadership of discussing frankly all questions of interest to us. There were lively debates at our district leader meetings. I myself educated my assistants even in a spirit of contradiction. Of course, once we had debated a measure and I had then given an order or a directive, that ended the debate. The youth leaders--that is the young boy and girl leaders--through years of working together and in serving the common purpose, had become a unity of many thousands. They had become friends. It is evident that in a group of that kind the carrying out of orders and directives takes place in ways entirely different from those in a military organization or in any other political organization. Leadership based on natural authority such as we had in the youth organization is something which is not alien to youth at all. Such leadership in the youth organization never degenerated into dictatorship.

September 10, 1934: The Annual Nazi Party Rally (6th Party Congress) is held in Munich. The Leni Riefenstahl film Triumph des Willens (Triumph of Will) was made at this rally. Initially, this rally did not have a theme. Later it will be labeled "Rally of Unity and Strength" (Reichsparteitag der Einheit und Stärke), "Rally of Power" (Reichsparteitag der Macht) or "Rally of Will" (Reichsparteitag des Willens). The following song is among those the Hitler Youth sang at this Rally:

We are the happy Hitler Youth
We need no Christian virtues,
For our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler Is always our mediator.

No parson, no evil man can prevent us
From feeling ourselves to be Hitler children,
We do not follow Christ but Horst Wessel,
Away with incense and holy water vessels.

We follow our flags singing
As worthy sons of our ancestors,
I am no Christian, no Catholic,
I go with the SA through thick and thin.

I can do without the Church,
The Swastika is redemption on earth,
I will (log its steps,
Baldur von Schirach, take me with you!

From the diary of the German Minister of Justice: The Advocate General notes that there is no doubt that the song in question [above] was sung or circulated in Hitler Youth circles; he thinks that the statement that this song was sung at the Party Rally, that is, to a certain extent under the eyes and with the consent of the highest Party of officials, can be refuted. [Note: Chaplain Heinrich Mueller and a town clergyman, Franz Ruemmer, are 'under suspicion' because they truthfully related in a circle of Catholic clergy that this song was sung by the Hitler Youth at the Party Rally in 1934.]

From Schirach's IMT testimony: This is the first time I have seen this song. I do not know this song. We gather that it is not a youth song. If the young people sang that song, I very much regret it. That song was certainly not sung at a youth festival at the Party Rally in 1934, as stated here. I myself read through all the programs for youth events at the Party Rally. I do not know this song; I have never heard it; and I do not know the text . . . .

The point that I should like to make clear to the Tribunal is that in the youth movement there was a period of storm and stress, a period of development, and that the organization must not be judged by the actions of a few individuals or groups in the same year in which these individuals or groups became members of the organization. The result of educational work cannot be judged until some years have elapsed. It is possible that a group of youths who entered our ranks from the atheist movement in 1934 composed and sang these songs. In 1936 they would certainly no longer have done it.

1934: German children's author writes Heute gehoert uns Deutschland, und morgen die ganze Welt (Germany hears us today, and tomorrow the whole world). It will be adapted as a HJ song.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The song says, in the original text which was written by Hans Baumann and is also included in a document here: "Heute da hoert uns Deutschland und morgen die ganze Welt". But it had come to my knowledge also that the song, from time to time, was being sung in the form which has been mentioned here. For that reason I issued a prohibition against singing the song which differed from the original text. I also prohibited, years ago, the song "Siegreich wollen wir Frankreich schlagen" (Victoriously we will conquer France) from being sung by the German Hitler Youth...Not out of consideration for guests but because it was contrary to my political conceptions . . . .

Very early in our work I included the blind and deaf and the cripples in the Hitler Youth. I had a periodical especially issued, for the blind and had books made for them in Braille. I believe that the Hitler Youth was the only organization in Germany which took care of these people, except for special organizations of the NSV (National Socialist Welfare Organization) and so on.

November 9, 1934: Hitler speaks to the Hitler Youth in Munich:

And you will have to be fighters! For there are still many, many opponents of our movement in Germany. They do not want Germany to be strong. They do not want our Volk to be united. They do not want our Volk to defend its honor. They do not want our Volk to be free. They may not want it, but we want it, and our will will defeat them! And your will shall be with us, and you shall contribute to preserving and immortalizing the will of that earlier time. We shall make even these last few bend under this will. We shall ensure that the times which once required these sacrifices will never again, within human power, return in Germany! Today the Party is by no means at the end of its mission, but at the very beginning! It is now in its youth. And thus you, my German Youth, are not entering something foreign; rather, youth is joining the Movement of youth, and this movement of youth thus welcomes you as one of its own. You have the task of doing your share to fulfill what your elders once hoped for...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: There were, of course, parents who did not like to have their children join the HJ. Whenever I made one of my radio speeches to the parents or to the youth' many hundreds of parents sent me letters. Among these letters, there were many in which the parents voiced their objections to the HJ, or expressed their dislike for it. I always considered that a special proof of the confidence which the parents had in me. I should like to say here that never, when parents restrained their children from joining, have I exerted any compulsion or put them under pressure of any kind. In doing that I would have lost all the confidence placed in me by the parents of Germany. That confidence was the basis of my entire educational work . . . .

Youngsters who did not join the Hitler Youth were at a disadvantage in that they could not take part in our camping, in our trips, in our sporting meets. They were in a certain sense outsiders of the youth life, and there was a danger that they might become hypochondriacs . . . .

{Membership in the HJ was mandatory for] the profession of teacher. It is quite clear that a teacher cannot educate youth unless he himself knows the life of that youth, and so we demanded that the young teachers, that is those in training to teach, had to go through the HJ. The junior teacher had to be familiar with the ways of life of the pupils who were under his supervision.

1934: Schirach declares 1934 "The Year of Training," and proclaims during a speech: Whoever marches in the Hitler Youth is not a number among millions but the soldier of an idea. The individual member's value to the whole is determined by the degree to which he is permeated by the idea. The best Hitler Youth, irrespective of rank and office, is he who completely surrenders himself to the National Socialist world view.

May 12, 1935: A band the Hitler Youth appear in uniform on a Sunday to protest against the Archbishop of Paderborn. A HJ song about the foreign exchange racketeers [Devisenschieberlied] is sung by the protesters: When we were foreign exchange racketeers, there were the three of us, a Father and two monks, they were foreign exchange racketeers, there was a nun with them . . . . And when they continued racketeering, then there were only two, one was in jail, they nabbed him, then the fun was over . . . . Then she whispered softly, now it is your turn my friend, now you come with your close-cropped hair, looking like an A ... with ears, to answer the heavenly roll-call.

From the diary of the German Minister of Justice: When the Archbishop wanted to get into his car, the Hitler Youth try to prevent him, calls of "down with the foreign exchange racketeer" and so on. Hitler Youths rush after the car and try to overturn it. A few youths jump on to the running board of the car and when they are prevented from so doing, push their way forward brandishing their daggers of honor. A Hitler Youth tries to spit into the car. Passers-by who urge them to stop, are abused and beaten. A woman civilian has to be carried away from the square. When the Archbishop arrives at the church the Hitler Youth roar "Throw the black fellow down the stairs". During the sermon, the Hitler Youth continue the uproar, often banging against the church door so that the service is greatly disturbed. Finally the emergency squad restored order. On that day alone there were 7 Hitler Youth leaders from outside present in Hamm. They were in civilian clothes.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I do not intend to deny that isolated members behaved in that way [of the Hitler Youth sang songs and otherwise conducted themselves in a manner which was hostile to organized religious institutions] during the early years of the National Socialist State, but I should like to add a short explanation. In the early years I took into my movement millions of young people from Marxist organizations and the atheist movement, et cetera; and, of course, it was not possible in the space of 2 or 3 or 4 years' time to discipline all of them completely. But I think I may say that after a certain date, say 1936, things of that sort no longer happened.

September 15 1935: At the annual Party Rally in Nuremberg, the first two of what will become known as the Nuremberg Laws are announced.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I had no part in the drafting of these laws. In my room at the Hotel Deutscher Hof, here in Nuremberg, I was surprised to find a slip of paper stating that there would be a Reichstag meeting on the next day and that it would take place in Nuremberg. At that Reichstag meeting, at which I was present, the Nuremberg Laws were promulgated. I do not know to this day how they were drafted. I assume that Hitler himself determined their contents. I can tell you no more about them. I must say, first of all, that we had, as a matter of fact, not expected these laws at all. I believe that the entire youth of the country at that time considered the Jewish problem as solved, since in 1935 there could be no more question of any Jewish influence. After these laws had been published we were of the opinion that now, definitely, the last word had been spoken on the Jewish problem.

September 21, 1935: Hitler speaks before the Hitler Youth in Nuremberg:

... what matters is not merely how many glasses of beer he can drink, but how many blows he can withstand, not how many nights he can spend doing the rounds of the bars and pubs but how many kilometers he can march. Today the German People's ideal is no longer your average beer-drinker but the young men and girls who are fit and trim. What we want of our German youth is different to what was wanted in the past. In our eyes the German youth of the future must be slim and trim, swift as a greyhound, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel. We have to educate a new type of person so that our People are not destroyed by the symptoms of the degeneration of our time. We do not waste words, we act. We have begun to educate our People in a new school, to provide them with an education which begins in youth and is never-ending. In future a young man will be transferred from one school to the next. Schooling will begin with the child and will end with the old veteran of the movement. No one shall say that for him there is a time when he can be left entirely to his own devices...

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: The possibility of war was never discussed. Occasionally I attended Party rallies in the company of Von Schirach; and on these occasions, when Adolf Hitler delivered a speech, I only--on the occasion of these rallies I had the definite and unalterable impression that Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Reich were determined to maintain peace and to allow matters to follow a peaceful course. That is why it never occurred to me that youth should be trained specifically for war . . . . I always saw all the official mail. [I never saw anything regarding the preparations for war] neither open nor camouflaged ... during the early years of the period of development, Von Schirach rejected officers as youth leaders on ideological and educational grounds. The aim and mission of the Hitler Youth were those of a socialist community and of a socialist state; and the old type of officer of the period, the representative of a reactionary epoch, would have been absolutely incompatible...With the principles of education which Schirach had laid down for the Hitler Youth . . . .

Even in 1933 attempts were made to introduce officers into the Hitler Youth as leaders. As far as my information goes, two officers had been given appointments in the Hitler Youth before my period of office as Stabsfuehrer, under more or less direct orders from Hitler. They were entirely unable to cope with youth as such; and I think I am justified in saying that their appearance was a complete failure. Schirach went to Adolf Hitler and succeeded in having these gentlemen dismissed; also through him, a directive was drawn up by Hitler which said that officers were not to hold positions in the Hitler Youth.

1935: The first edition of the Liederblatt der Hitler Jugend by Bannfuehrer Wolfgang Stumme is published for the Nazi Youth. In it is "assembled an invaluable collection of the music of the New Order." Included is Blut und Ehre, a song saying, "We want to kill the priest, out with your spear, forward; set the red cock on the cloister roof."

From Schirach's IMT testimony: That is a song dating back to the Thirty Years' War and sung by the youth movement for many, many years, even before the first World War. It was sometimes sung by young people in the years 1933-1934. I tried to abolish this song, but I cannot give you any information as to special complaints which were lodged about it ... for many years this song was included in every collection. It is a song which appeared in the first songbooks of the Wandervogel movement in 1898.

October 2, 1935: Catholic Bishop Bares, in his official paper, takes exception to the following some lyrics in the Hitler Youth songbook Blut und Ehre, published by Schirach:

Pope and rabbi shall yield,
We want to be pagans again
No longer creep into the churches.
The orb of the sun alone is leading us.
Out with the Jews, and with the pope from the German home.

Another lyric the Bishop objected to:

We want to complain to the Lord in heaven, Kyrieleis!
That we want to kill the priest, Kyrieleis!
Out with your spear, forward,
Set the red cock on the cloister roof!"
(Set the cloister roof on fire)

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The song quoted, which has the refrain "Kyrieleis," which in itself shows it is a very old song [that] may possibly be included in the songbook 'Blood and Honor' [Blut und Ehre]. I am, of course, unaware that a clergyman was prosecuted for criticizing it. That is something new which I learn for the first time . . . .

The Prosecution accuses me concerning a certain song, a song which begins, "We are the black swarms of Geyer, hey, ho"; the chorus of which goes, "Spear them, spike them, put the red cock on the cloister roof," and one verse runs, "We will cry to Him on high that we want to kill the priest." This is a Christian song. This can be seen in the fourth and fifth verses. It is the song of the Protestant peasants under the leadership of Florian Geyer.

The fourth verse goes: "No castle, abbey, and monastery matters. Nothing but the Holy Scripture is of value to us." The next verse goes: "We want the same law from prince down to peasant." Protestantism, too, was once a revolution. The rebel peasants sang this song; and it may serve as an example, this song of the 16th century, like some of the songs of the French revolution. This song may be used as an example to show how, in the beginning, revolutions are radical rather than tolerant.

1935: Reich Prosecuting Authorities in Waldeshut, Baden iniciate Criminal proceedings against Catholic vicar Paul Wasmer. The vacar had criticized an alleged saying of Baldur von Schirach's: "The path of German youth is Rosenberg." The authorities consider that a penal sentence proposed by Rosenberg should be imposed on the vicar because of libel. Note: There is no record detailing any further steps taken against the vicar.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I know of this incident. I called the competent leader of the area, Langanke by name, to account for this. I had a good deal of trouble in connection with the incident. I shall therefore ask my counsel to question the witness Lauterbacher, who then held the rank of Stabsfuehrer and is acquainted with the details. Some lines of the song you quoted just now caused a good deal of violent feeling among the population at the time-some of those lines are quoted here-on account of the foreign currency racketeering indulged in by some clergymen. That is why this satirical song was sung.

I should like to say in conclusion that I thoroughly and obviously disapproved of the attitude of these youth leaders. The whole affair is, as I have already said, one of those incidents dating back to the years when I had to take into my organization an enormous number of youths from other organizations and with an entirely different intellectual background . . . .

Nothing is proved by the fact that such a reference is made in one of the numerous handbooks of cultural work to one of the training staff who attended those biannual discussions of Rosenberg's which I have already mentioned. I think you will look a long time before you find this particular passage in one of the many youth handbooks.

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: I do not believe that Herr Von Schirach even knew to what religious denomination I belonged or whether I left the Church or not. I left the Church in 1937 or 1938, without being influenced or forced to do so by anyone. On those occasions of his speeches] Schirach always told the youth to respect religious convictions, and characterized atheism as an evil, not only once but many times. In his speeches, Von Schirach vigorously criticized, for instance, the athletic clubs existing both before and after 1933 in connection with the various churches and demanded the unity of youth; but on these occasions he did not attack Christianity or the religious convictions of others either in public or in private.

1936: From the book The Fuehrer and the German Youth by Baldur von Schirach:

We were not yet able to account for our conception in detail. We simply believed. And when Hitler's book Mein Kampf was published, it was our bible, which we almost learned by heart in order to answer the questions of the doubters and superior critics. Almost everyone who today is leading youth in a responsible position joined us in those years . . . . At this time the HJ (the Hitler Jugend) gained its best human material. Whoever came to us during this illegal time, boy or girl, risked everything . . . . With pistols in our pockets we drove through the Ruhr district while stones came flying after us. We jumped every time we heard a bell ring, because we lived in constant fear of arrests and expected our houses to be searched...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: But I added something to that in my book The Hitler Youth, Its Faith and Organization. I want to say, first of all, that I did write this book. I would like to add an explanation. In this book--which I wrote in 1933, and which was published in 1933 [Note: On this date Schirach is mistaken. The book was in fact published in 1936--it says so on the Title page.] I said: "We could not yet offer detailed reasons for our belief, we simply believed. But when Hitler's Mein Kampf appeared, it was like a bible, which we almost learned by heart so as to answer the questions of doubtful and deliberating critics." That is how I worded it at the time; that is correct . . . .

The Hitler Youth was a large educational community on a political basis, but I cannot admit that it was led by the Party; it was led by me. I was a member of the Executive Committee of the Party, and in that sense one might speak of a Party influence. But I can see no reason for having to confirm this, since I have already testified to it. It is correct that the Hitler Youth was the youth organization of the Party . . . .

What is in front of me now, is contained in my book. What I heard from the interpreter ["They carry the National Socialist characteristics. The toy merchants are worried because these children no longer need toys; they are interested in camp tents, spears, compasses and maps. It is a particular trait of our youth. Everything that is against our unity must be thrown to the flames."] is not in my book. May I read the correct passage?

"The toy merchants have complained to me that the boys (they mean "the Jungvolk") no longer want toys, but are interested only in tents, spears, compasses, and maps. I can not help the toy merchants, for I agree with the boys that the times of the Indians are finally gone. What is 'Old Shatterhand,' what is a trapper in the backwoods of America compared to our troop leader? A miserable, dusty remnant from the lumber chest of our fathers. Not only the toy merchants are complaining but also the school-cap manufacturers. Who wears a school cap nowadays? And who nowadays is a high-school boy or girl? In some towns the boys have banded together and publicly burned such school caps. Burning is, in fact, a specialty of new youth. The border fences of the minor states of the Reich have also been reduced to ashes in the fires of your youth. It is a simple but heroic philosophy; everything that is against our unity must be thrown to the flames."

May I say that I think the military training of the youth of Germany falls much behind that of the Soviet Union.

April 1936: From a letter to Streicher's anti-Semitic newspaper, Der Stuermer:

The children of the "National Socialist Youth Hostel" at Grossmoellen in Pomerania also want to send you their greetings. We read your reports every week with great interest. The "Stuermer" is and will be a welcome guest in our house. With its help we get to know the Jew as he is. We also have a simple "Stuermer" case. We cut out the pictures from the "Stuermer" and fix them to a special notice board in our day room. There the boys and girls can get to know exactly what the Jews look like...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: Der Stuermer was not distributed within the youth organization. I believe that with the sole exception of those of the young people who lived in ... Gau Franken--that the rest of the German youth organization never read Der Stuermer at all. The paper was definitely rejected by all the youth leaders--both boys and girls--in my organization.

[The chief aims of the HJ youth education program was] Youth hikes, individually and in groups; also the construction of more and more youth hostels. In one year alone, more than 1,000 homes and youth hostels were built blame in Germany. Then there was additional professional training, and then what I called the "Labor Olympics," namely, the annual Reich trade contests, voluntary competition between all youth of both sexes who wanted to participate. In fact millions participated. Then our great Reich sports contests, championships in every type of sport, our cultural work, and the development of our singing groups, our acting groups, youth concert choirs, and the development of our youth libraries, and then something which I mentioned in connection with combating the migration from the country, the Rural Service with its rural help groups, those youths, who for idealistic reasons were working in the country, even town boys to show the farmer boys that the country was really more beautiful than the city, that even a city boy will give up his life in the city temporarily to devote himself to the land and to tilling the soil. Then, as a great communal accomplishment of youth, I must mention the dental improvement and the regular medical examinations. These, in a few summary words, were the main tasks which our youth organizations had, but they are by no means all . . . .

I should like to say in this connection that the National Socialist Youth Home at Grossmoellen, which is mentioned here, was not a Hitler Youth institution but was, I believe, a kindergarten run by the National Socialist Public Welfare Organization or some other organization. This is typical of the letters ordered by the publisher of Der Stuermer for recruiting purposes . . . .

It says here youth home (Heimstaette), not hostel (Herberge). I am not familiar with the expression "Heimstaette." That must refer to a home run by the National Socialist Public Welfare Organization or the National Socialist Women's League. We had only "Jugendheime" and "Herbergen." This letter was not written from any youth camp. I do not deny that this puppet play was shown and that this letter was written; but I believe the connection is pulled in by The hair, so to speak [it is possible that "pulled out of thin air" is the expression used here, and was mangled in translation]. The connection is a very remote one . . . .

I [still] dispute the statement that this is a Hitler Youth institution. I believe actually it is a day nursery run by the National Socialist Public Welfare Organization or something similar.

April 20, 1936: A Hitler's birthday celebration is held inside the ancient Marienburg Castle of the Teutonic Order. Ten-year-old boys entering the Jungvolk swear the following oath: "In the presence of this blood banner which represents our Fuehrer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the savior of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God."

September 1936: Reich Women's Leader Scholtz-Klink speaks at the Nuremberg Rally:

Good and evil are equally strong forces in life. They find visible form in National Socialism and Bolshevism. National Socialism is good become visible for we Germans. It respects the earth from which our people have grown. Bolshevism is absolute evil because it is a universal approach that rejects the eternal laws of nature. "Good" and "evil" have never stood in such stark contrast before all the world as they do today in these two forces...

Autumn 1936: The Reich Youth Leadership propagates a decree concerning the treatment of Jewish youth as contrasted with Christian youth:

Today in its youth, Judaism already assumes that special, isolated position, free within its own boundaries, which at some future date Judaism will occupy within the German State and in the economy of Germany and which it has already occupied to a great extent.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: Jewish youth organizations were to exist under the official supervision of the Reich Youth Leader, who controlled all the youth of Germany, and Jewish youth would be able to carry out their own youth education autonomously.

1936: From an essay by Schirach:

... the Fuehrer brought together all age groups of our people to serve a common ideal which each attempts to follow using his particular abilities. The young and youngest display a passion and enthusiasm that has ever been the mark of German youth storming forward; adults and the aged follow him with the quiet confidence, steadiness, and mature strength that mark their generations. Thus Adolf Hitler drew a whole people to serve an idea. Ten-year-olds are just as conscious of advancing his work and heralding his will as are those in their thirties and forties. Indeed, the youngest feel particularly close to the Fuehrer, for they sense with a sure instinct that cannot be deceived that the Fuehrer's thoughts and concerns center on them above all. They know that he serves the future that will be theirs...

December 1, 1936: All of the remaining Youth organizations in Germany are disbanded, including the Catholic Youth Organization. HJ membership now stands at just over five million.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I believe that the suppression of the Marxist youth organizations, if I remember correctly, came about in connection with the suppression of trade unions. I have no exact documents any more regarding that. But at any rate, from the legal point of view, I was not authorized in 1933 to order a suppression of that kind. The Minister of the Interior would have had to do that. I had the right to ban youth organizations, de jure, only after 1 December 1936. That the Marxist youth organizations had to disappear was a foregone conclusion for me, and in speaking about this suppression order as such, I can only say that the German working youth found the realization of its socialistic ideas, not under the Marxist governments of the Weimar Republic, but in the community of the Hitler Youth . . . .

I wanted, as I have already explained, the unification of all our youth. I also wanted to bring the Protestant organizations, which were not very large numerically, and the numerically very large Catholic organizations into the Hitler Youth, particularly because some of the organizations did not limit themselves to religious matters but competed with the Hitler Youth in physical training, hikes, camping, and so on. In this I saw a danger to the idea of unity in German national education, and above all I felt that among young people themselves there was a very strong tendency toward the Hitler Youth. The desertion from the confessional organizations is a fact. There were also many clergymen who were of the opinion that the development should perhaps take the following direction: All youth into the Hitler Youth; the religious care of the youth through clergymen; sports and political work through youth leaders.

December 1, 1936: A basic law on the Hitler Youth (Reichsgesetzblatt) is promulgated:

The future of the German nation depends on its youth, and German youth will have to be prepared for its future duties ... All of the German youth in the Reich is organized within the Hitler Youth . . . . The German youth, besides being reared within the family and school, shall be educated physically, intellectually, and morally in the spirit of National Socialism to serve the people and the community through the Hitler Youth.... The task of educating the German youth through the Hitler Youth is being entrusted to the Reich Leader of German Youth in the NSDAP . . . . It will be taken into consideration concerning this schooling that the guiding line of German population policy which aims at the utilization of the space in the East will not be violated.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: For the school system in Germany the Reich Minister for Science, Education, and Culture was the only authority. My field was education outside the schools, along with the home and the school, as it says in the law of 1 December 1936. However, I had some schools of my own, the so-called Adolf Hitler Schools, which were not under national supervision. They were creations of a later period. And during the war, through the Child Evacuation Program--that is, the organization by which we took care of evacuating the young people from the big cities endangered by bombing--I was in charge of education within the camps where these children were housed. But on the whole I have to answer the question about competence for the school system in Germany in the negative . . . .

The membership in the Hitler Youth was voluntary until 1936. In 1936 the law already mentioned concerning the HJ was issued which made all the German youth members of the HJ. The stipulations for the carrying out of that law, however, were issued only in March 1939, and only during the war, in May 1940, was the thought of carrying out a German youth draft considered within the Reich Youth Leadership and discussed publicly. May I point out that my Deputy Lauterbacher, at the time when I was at the front, stated in a public meeting--I believe at Frankfurt in 1940--that now, after 97 percent of the youngest age group of youth had volunteered for the Hitler Youth, it would be necessary to draft the remaining 3 percent by a youth draft.

January 1937: Dr. Stellrecht--a HJ functionary--in a speech to military audience:

As far as purely military education is concerned this work has already been done in years of co-operation, and very extensively. The result has been set down in a book written by myself, regulating future work in military education down to the last detail of training and which, with our mutual agreement, included a foreword and preface by the Reich Defense Minister and the Reich Youth Leader . . . .

The basic idea of this work is always to present to the boy that which belongs to the particular stage of his development . . . . For that reason no boy is given a military weapon, simply because it seems to serve no useful purpose for his development. But, on the other hand, it seems sensible to give him guns of small caliber for training. Just as there are certain tasks occurring in military training which are only suitable for grown men, so there are other training tasks more suited to boys . . . .

This picture is the goal of a comprehensive education which starts with the training of the boy in outdoor games and ends with his military training ... has still a wider purpose ... because it is the only way in which the boy can get acquainted with the fatherland for which he will have to fight one day . . . . All training, therefore, culminates in rifle training. It can scarcely be emphasized enough; and because shooting is a matter of practice, one cannot start too early. The result we want to achieve in the course of time is that a gun should feel just as natural in the hands of a German boy as a pen . . . .

Along with the general training there is special training for new replacements for Air Force, Navy, and motorized troops. The training course for this has been established in conjunction with the competent offices of the Armed Forces ... on as broad a basis as possible, and in the country cavalry training is given . . . . Military education and ideological education belong together . . . . The education of youth has to take care that the knowledge and the principles, according to which the State and the Armed Forces of our time have been organized and on which they base, enter so thoroughly into the thoughts of the individual that they can never again be taken away and that they remain guiding principles all through life ... Gentlemen, you can see that the tasks of present youth education have gone far beyond the "playful."

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I was not present on the occasion of that speech and I do not consider myself responsible for any statement which he may have made in it. I cannot remember being informed of the fact that he spoke at a national and political training course for the Armed Forces; but I may have been informed of it. Disputes arose between Dr. Stellrecht and myself on account of a certain tendency which he showed with regard to defense training, because I felt that he insisted too much on his office. Disputes arose also with the other offices of the Reich Youth Leadership which finally led to his dismissal from the Reich Youth Leadership . . . .

Dr. Stellrecht, to put it mildly, considered himself very important. The importance of Dr. Stellrecht for the education of youth and the importance of the office which he held in the Youth Leadership were definitely not as great as implied by this training-course for men of the Armed Forces. I have already said before that disputes arose between Dr. Stellrecht and myself on account of his exaggerations and especially because of the extent to which he overestimated the value of rifle training and what he called "military training" and that these differences of opinion finally led to his dismissal and departure from the service of the Reich Youth Leadership. He was one of many heads of offices, and the importance of his special activity was not as great as he has represented it to be in his statement here. I think I explained yesterday what a large number of tasks confronted the Youth Leadership. I was also able to indicate the approximate proportion of pre-military training or military training, as Herr Stellrecht calls it, as compared with other forms of training. But this document also states clearly that there was no intention of anticipating military training, as I said yesterday. When he says that every German boy should learn to handle the gun as easily as the pen, that is an expression of opinion with which I cannot identify myself . . . .

He is a specialist in ballistics and outdoor sports and, of course, he represented his tasks, as is natural to human nature, as being the most important in youth training. Probably another office chief would have described cultural work or occupational competition contests, as the case might be, as being the most important aspects of youth training. At any rate, the decisive pronouncement for the education of German youth was not the remarks which Stellrecht made during a course for soldiers but my own remarks to the youth leaders.

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: In 1936 and 1937, and then again in 1938, attempts were made to influence the education of the Hitler Youth through so-called liaison officers. But these attempts also failed; and up to the very end there were no officers working with the Hitler Youth who were responsible to any other authority except Schirach, apart from former Hitler Youth leaders who had served in the Army and received officers' commissions.

From the IMT testimony of Gustav Dietrich Hoepken (HJ Unterbannfuehrer, from 1939 adjutant to Schirach): So far as I know, Von Schirach did not care whether his collaborators were soldiers or officers, on the contrary, it was his view, as he told me repeatedly, that soldiers and officers, as far as he could see, were less suitable as youth leaders.

1937: The HJ set up Adolf Hitler (boarding) Schools to train and indoctrinate boys between the ages of 12-18 to be future party leaders (Reichsfuehrer).

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The Adolf Hitler Schools were founded as scholastic units of the HJ. They were founded with the means which Dr. Ley placed at my disposal when I told him of my plans for the training I had envisaged. These schools were not intended to Main leaders for the Party exclusively but served to prepare the youth for all the professions. I myself often talked to these boys on their graduation and I always told them "You can choose any profession you like. Your training in this school carries no obligation, either moral or otherwise, to become a political leader." De facto, relatively few political leaders emerged from the Adolf Hitler Schools. Very many of the boys became doctors, officials, et cetera. I cannot quote any figures from memory, but the communications I have received from the young people, including statements from teachers in the Adolf Hitler Schools, show their attitude towards this point of the Indictment. And I should like to ask that at least 50 to 60 of these numerous affidavits, which confirm all that I have said, be submitted in support of my declarations.

1937: This years edition of the party handbook displays standardized uniforms for the HJ.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I have always described the uniform of the HJ as the dress of comradeship. The uniform was the symbol of a community without class distinctions. The worker's boy wore the same garb as the son of the university professor. The girl from the wealthy family wore the same garb as the child of the day laborer. Hence the uniform did not have any military significance whatsoever.

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: Uniform is perhaps not quite the correct term for the clothing worn by the members of the Hitler Youth. It was more in the nature of a national costume which was worn by members of youth organizations before the existence of the Hitler Youth, not only in Germany but in other countries as well. Moreover, Schirach was anxious that all boys and girls should, as he expressed himself, wear the dress of the socialist community ... Without any distinction as to descent or creed or anything else.

1937: Der Stuermer begins publishing a series of illustrated picture books for children, among them; The Poisonous Toadstool (Der Giftpilz) and Trust No Fox in the Field. An excerpt from Trust No Fox in the Field:

Jesus Christ says, 'The Jew is a murderer through and through.' And when Christ had to die the Lord didn't know of any other people that would torture him to death, so he chose the Jews. That is why the Jews pride themselves on being the chosen people." Yet another excerpt from the same children’s book: "The Jewish butcher: He sells half-refuse instead of meat. A piece of meat lies on the floor, the cat claws another. This doesn't worry the Jewish butcher since the meat increases in weight. Besides, one mustn't forget, he won't have to eat it himself."

From Schirach's IMT testimony: Of course this book (Der Giftpilz) was not distributed among the young people. It is quite out of the question that an office of the HJ (Hitler Jugend) would have transmitted that book to the youth. Besides, the picture books of the Stuermer Publishing Firm are unknown to me. I am, of course, not competent to speak on education in the schools, but I should also like to say on behalf of education in the schools that I do not believe this picture book was ever introduced into any school outside of this Gaul At any rate, that book and similar writings of the Stuermer Publishing Firm were not, as a rule, distributed among the young people and the youth organizations. What I have already said when judging Der Stuermer also holds good for these books--namely, that the leadership corps of the Hitler Youth categorically rejected writings of this description.

January 3, 1937: Hitler speaks before the Reichstag:

The Four-Year Plan will give permanent employment to those workmen who are now being released from the armament industry. It is significant for the gigantic economic development of our people that there is today a lack of trained workmen in many industries. There will be no strikes or lockouts in Germany, because every one has to serve the interests of the entire nation. Education of the people will never come to an end, and this education includes the Hitler Youth, the Labor Service, the Party, and the Army...

From The Third Reich: A New History by Michael Burleigh: Viewed superficially, the Hitler Youth and their female analogue seem akin to a militarized version of the prohibited Boy Scouts, with a similar emphasis upon clean living, competition, drill, team work, sport and so forth. Specialist formations, the Hitler Youth air, motorized, and naval sections, had an overt military agenda, as did the generalized training in marksmanship and other weaponry. A Hitler Youth patrol service catered for would-be policemen. While much of this sounds as if it might have been fun--particularly the opportunity to fire guns or fly gliders—the wider consequences were mixed. Some things would have remained the same if all the Hitler Youth had been Boy Scouts. There was a diminution of parental control, as children began to visit their homes between school and youth activities, with parents reduced to a bed and breakfast service. They complained: "We no longer have rights over our children."

Further drawbacks included a succession of children with broken arms and legs sustained during riskier exercises, not to speak of the financial strain on households with disposable incomes of 5 Reichsmarks per week of an elaborate kit which cost up to 135.40 Reichsmarks. Whether parents minded children so clapped out by fifty-kilometer weekend hikes that they were inert for the rest of the week is uncertain. However, many dreaded their children's exposure to a not inconsiderable number of pedophiles and perverts among the older Hitler Youth leaders, for whom politics were a cover for flushed and furtive pursuits. Employers discerned a decline in academic performance resulting from an over-emphasis upon physical activities. Hitler's insistence on the general re-legalization of boxing in schools, and his contempt for weedy intellectuals, was partly responsible ... children appeared to have become more brutal, fitter and stupider than they were.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: Military training, in my opinion, is all training with weapons of war, and all training which is conducted by military personnel, that is, by officers, with and without weapons of war. Pre-military education-pre-military training is, in the widest sense, all training which comes before the time of military service; in particular cases it is a special preparation for military service. We, in the Hitler Youth, were opponents of any military drills for youth We disliked such drills as not youthful. I am not giving my personal opinion here, but the opinion of thousands of my co-workers.

It is a fact that I rejected the Wehrjugend (the Youth Defense Groups), which had formerly existed in Germany, and did not allow any continuation of Wehrjugend work within the HJ. I had always been strongly opposed to any soldier-playing in a youth organization. With all my high esteem for the profession of an officer, I still do not consider an officer capable of leading youth because in some way or other, he will always apply the tone of the drill field and the forms of military leadership to youth.

That is the reason why I did not have any officers as my assistants in the Hitler Youth. Just on account of my refusal to use officers as youth leaders, I was severely criticized by the Wehrmacht on occasion. I should like to stress that that did not come from the OKW; Field Marshal Keitel, especially, had a great deal of understanding for my ideas. However, in the Wehrmacht, now and again, criticism was heard on account of the general attitude of opposition of the Youth Leadership corps toward having officers used as leaders of a youth organization. The principle of "youth leading youth" was never broken in Germany.

If I am now to answer definitively the question of whether the youth was prepared for the war and whether it was trained in a military sense, I shall have to say, in conclusion, that the main efforts of all youth work in Germany culminated in trade competition, in the trade schools, in camping, and competition in sports. Physical training, which perhaps in some way could be considered a preparation for military service, took only a very small part of our time.

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: [The HJ] were not trained in the use of military weapons during the period in which Schirach and I held office (1933-1944) ... to my knowledge the Hitler Youth never received any training in armored cars, tanks, or anything of the kind, even after Schirach's term of office.

January 14, 1937: Schirach institutes a policy--announced in both the Berliner Tageblatt and the Berliner Zeitung--to the effect that the Hitler Youth should, in principle, not be on duty on Sundays during church time to allow HJ children to attend religious services.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: many parishes the Church authorities forbade young people wearing uniform to enter the church ... I do not believe one can say that it was an agreement with the Church. If I remember correctly, I issued a decree based on various letters I had received from clergymen--which to a very great extent took into account the wishes expressed in these letters. I then issued that decree and I gather from many affidavits which have been sent by youth leaders to me recently that that decree was very carefully obeyed.

Difficulties arose in the Party Chancellery on account of my attitude. Bormann, of course, was an energetic enemy of such a basic concession to the Church, and Hitler himself--I don't know whether it was in connection with this decree, but, at any rate, in connection with the regulation of the dispute between the youth leadership and the Church--also reprimanded me once . . . .

I deny absolutely that I worked against the Church in such a way. In the years 1933-34, I was concerned mainly with the denominational youth organizations. In the course of time ... many clergymen either approached me personally or complained in public that they were hampered in their spiritual ministration by the youth service and the forms which it took; and that is why I adjusted matters ... There were periods of great tension [with the churches], periods of heated argument, just as there was a stormy period in youth organization generally. Later, all these things were satisfactorily settled and put in order.

From the IMT testimony of Unterbannfuehrer Gustav Dietrich Hoepken: I also know the order issued by the Reich Youth Leader of that time stating that on Sundays there should be no Hitler Youth duty for all those boys and girls who wanted to attend church. Every boy and girl in the Hitler Youth at that time was supposed to be able to attend religious services of his or her own free will; and it was made part of the duty of the Hitler Youth leaders at the time to refrain from entering into any arguments or controversies about the Hitler Youth and the Church. He prohibited that.

As soon as the agreement between the Church and the Hitler Youth was made, the article mentioned appeared in the Berliner Tageblatt. On the day that article appeared, Schirach was at a meeting in Rosenberg's office. Hitler called Schirach to the telephone at that time. Hitler took Schirach sternly to task, firstly, for making an agreement between the Church and the Hitler Youth and, secondly, for publishing this article. His intention was to cancel the agreement and to ban any further issue of the newspapers. Neither of these things happened.

1937: From a booklet of material for Hitler Youth leaders:

Our genetic policy therefore combats those injuries that develop in our people's genetic stream from within. We have already learned that countless genetic characteristics of physical, mental and spiritual nature are passed on from person to person. Besides natural, healthy genes, there are unfortunately many that are unhealthy. Although genetic diseases could only be thoroughly studied and understood after the laws of genetics were discovered, we already know of many genetic diseases. 400 of every 1,000 cases of mental illness have genetic origins. But there are also physical and spiritual inheritable diseases...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I should like to mention briefly that the same area, in the time from 1936 until 1943, made no expenditures for racial-political education; in 1944 there was an entry of 20 marks under the heading of racial-political education for the acquisition of a picture book about hereditary and venereal diseases. However, in that same district, in one single town, during the same time, 200,000 marks were given to have youth visit the theaters.

From the affidavit of Gregor Ziemer: He [Schirach] declared that the most important phase of German university life in the Third Reich was the program of the N.S.D.S.T.B. He extolled various activities of the Bund. He reminded the boys of the service they had rendered during the Jewish purge. Dramatically, he pointed across the river to the old university town of Heidelberg where several burnt-out synagogues were mute witnesses of the efficiency of Heidelberg students. These skeleton buildings would remain there for centuries as inspiration for future students, as warning to enemies of the State.

Twitter: @3rdReichStudies
Featured Sites:
Austria: The Other Germany
Adolf Hitler: The First Super-Villian
Third Reich History: What Happened Today?
Countdown to Infamy: Timeline to Pearl Harbor
Biographical Timeline: of the Infamous Adolf Hitler
Countdown To WW2: August 22 - September 1, 1939
The Nuremberg Nazis: Detailed, Documented Biographies
Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry
Main Sites:

Adolf Hitler: The Volkswagen
Adolf Hitler: The Fuehrer's Mercedes
Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf Examined
In the Shadow of Frederick the Great
Hitler's Battleship: Sink The Bismarck!
Non-Fiction Comics: Military Periodicals
History of Olympic Boycotts: From Berlin to Beijing
Hogan's Jews: 5 Cast Members Were Jews; Their Stories

Disclaimer: The Propagander!™ includes diverse and controversial materials--such as excerpts from the writings of racists and anti-Semites--so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and anti-Semitic discourse. It is our sincere belief that only the informed citizen can prevail over the ignorance of Racialist "thought." Far from approving these writings, The Propagander!™ condemns racism in all of its forms and manifestations.

Fair Use Notice: The Propagander!™may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of historical, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, environmental, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.