Baldur von Schirach
(2 of 5)

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I gather from the affidavit that Herr Ziemer before the war was headmaster of the American school in Berlin and that he has written a book which apparently deals with youth and school education in Germany. This affidavit is an extract from that book. The affidavit as such, if you regard it in its entirety, has, I believe, more importance as propaganda than as an impartial judgment.

I want to start by quoting something from the very first page, which is the page containing Ziemer's affidavit, and in the last paragraph it says that street fights took place outside the American school between the Jewish children going to this school and the local youngsters. I need not deal with the difficulties which the school itself had, because that was not part of my department. But these street fights took place outside the school, and I think I ought to say something about them. I never heard anything about these clashes, but I should have heard about them under all circumstances, because during most of 1938 I was in Berlin. I should have heard of them first through the youth organization itself, because the senior youth leaders would have been obliged to report to me if such incidents had taken place.

Furthermore, I would have had to hear about it through the Foreign Office, because if youngsters from the American colony had been molested, protests would certainly have gone through the Embassy to the Foreign Office, and these protests would without fail have been passed on to me at once or reported to me by telephone. I can only imagine that the whole affair is a very gross exaggeration. The American Ambassador Wilson even had breakfast with me [in the Foreign House]--I think in the spring of 1939, and I do not think I am wrong about the date--in Gatow. And we discussed a number of subjects privately. I believe that on that occasion or afterwards he would most certainly have mentioned such incidents if they had in reality occurred in the way Herr Ziemer describes them . . . . Perhaps for the sake of credibility--and I shall not deal in detail with the accusations contained in that affidavit--I might be allowed to say, with one sole exception, all the annual slogans of the Hitler Youth are reproduced falsely in this affidavit and that Gregor Ziemer nevertheless swears to the correctness of his statement . . . .

Herr Ziemer mentions the slogan on Page 15 of the English document. Herr Ziemer says that in 1933 the motto for German Youth had been "One Reich, One Nation, One Fuehrer." He probably means "One People, One Reich, One Fuehrer." Actually, the year 1933 was the year of "Unity." 1938 was the year of "Understanding." Herr Ziemer says the slogan was "Every Youth a Flyer." [1939] was the year of "Duty Towards Health." According to Herr Ziemer, it was "Hitler Youth on the March." [1940] was the year of "Instruction." But he called it "We March Against England."

Ziemer said that during a meeting of students in Heidelberg--I think either at the end of 1938 or the beginning of 1939--I had made a speech against the Jews in connection with a rally of the National Socialist Student Union. He says that on that occasion I praised the students for the destruction of the Heidelberg Synagogue, and that following that I had the students file past me and gave them decorations and certificates of promotion.

First of all, I have already referred to my activity in the student movement. Upon the request of the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Rudolf Hess, I handed the leadership of the student movement over to him in 1934. He then appointed a Reich student leader; and after that I did not speak at any student meetings. As far as I can remember, I visited Heidelberg during the summer of 1937; and there I spoke to the youth group. This was 1 or 1 1/2, years before Ziemer's date. And on one occasion I attended a festival play at Heidelberg . . . .

I have no recollection of any meeting of this sort with students, and I have no recollection of ever having publicly stated my views about the Jewish pogrom of 1938. I will state at another point what I said in my capacity as Youth Leader regarding this. Ziemer says--I am translating from the English text--he says that "the day will come when the students of Heidelberg will take up their place side by side with the legions of other students to win the world over to the National Socialist ideology."

I have never spoken like that before youth, in public, or even in a small circle. These are not my words; I did not say that. I had no authority whatsoever to confer decorations or certificates, et cetera, upon students. Medals of distinction for students did not exist. All decorations were conferred by the head of the State. I personally had the right to confer the golden youth decoration, and I think it was conferred by me about 230 times in all, almost entirely upon people who earned distinction in the field of education, but not upon unknown students. I had nothing to do with the student movement, and I do not remember having spoken before such a meeting. I consider it quite out of the question that such a meeting of students took place at all. I did not make those statements.

May 1, 1937: Hitler speaks in Berlin:

Life imposes on each generation its own struggle for this life. The prejudices and the irrationalities which centuries have created cannot be completely eradicated in four years. It cannot be accomplished overnight! But we do have the will to do this and with this will we shall never capitulate! And you will concede that we are doing a thorough job. In these four years we have established order...

From Germany Speaks by Bernhard Rust (1937): There is, indeed, twofold evidence to show that something was wrong with education. In the first place, the high level of popular enlightenment had failed to protect the German people against the poisonous effects of Marxist teaching and other false doctrines. Large masses of people had fallen victims to them, whilst other sections--more especially those of higher education--had been unable to take up an effective stand against the spread of the poison. If they had, the events of 1918 and the succeeding period of national disintegration and deterioration would have been prevented. In the second place, a careful study of the situation shows that the German people are sound to the core and are gifted with just as much national sentiment as any other. Hence, the temporary lowering of their previous high standards could not have been the result of any innate inferiority, but the reason must be sought in a faulty system of education, which--notwithstanding its high intellectual achievements--tended to impair the healthy spirit of the nation, men's energies and their soundness of judgment, and to produce selfishness and a deficient sense of national solidarity.

The attainment of high intellectual standards will certainly continue to be urged upon the young people; but they will be taught at the same time that their achievements must be of benefit to the national community to which they belong. As a consequence of the demand thus clearly formulated by the Nuremberg Laws, Jewish teachers and Jewish pupils have had to quit German schools, and schools of their own have been provided by and for them as far as possible. In this way, the natural race instincts of German boys and girls are preserved; and the young people are made aware of their duty to maintain their racial purity and to bequeath it to succeeding generations. As the mere teaching of these principles is not enough, it is constantly supplemented, in the National Socialist State, by opportunities for what may be called "community life". By this term we mean school journeys, school camps, school "homes" in rural neighborhoods, and similar applications of the corporate principle to the life of schools and scholars. History insists that every biological race deterioration coincides with the growth of big towns, that these latter exercise a paralyzing effect upon community life, and that a nation's strength is rooted in its rural elements. Our National Socialist system of education pays due regard to these important considerations, and makes every effort, to take the young people from the towns to the country, whilst impressing upon them the inseparable connection between racial strength and a healthy open-air life.

1937: A handbook for cultural work in the HJ youth camps, Enjoyment, Discipline, Faith, is published. An extract:

If there is no one who can make a short formal address--it must be good and command attention--extracts from Mein Kampf or from the Fuehrer's speeches or Rosenberg's works should be read . . . . Poor Michael was a wretched man; he had to serve the Jewish clan. ... He gave the gang and the Jew a kick. [The handbook then goes on to suggest that Party youth leaders have a shadow show as part of Sunday morning ceremonies:] The nose of Isidor must be strongly exaggerated; the German Michael should be presented in the conventional manner; the Communist as a wild stormer of barricades; the Social Democrat with a balloon cap; the Center Party man with a Jesuit cap, and the reactionary with top hat and monocle . . . . [T]his Sunday morning ceremony does not aim at presenting arguments or conflicts with confessional points of view, but at imbuing life and men with courage and strength to fulfill their greater and lesser tasks through unqualified faith in the divine power and the ideology of the Fuehrer and his movement.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I do not know all our publications. We had such an enormous number of publications that unless I have the book in front of me I cannot make any statement on the subject. [The book is shown to Schirach] I never made any comparison between Hitler and God; and I consider it blasphemous and have always considered such a comparison blasphemous. It is true that during the long period of years in which I believed in Hitler, I saw in him a man sent by God to lead the people. That is true. I believe any great man in history-and in the past I considered Hitler such a man-may be regarded as being sent by God. 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 . . . .

The Hitler Youth was a state youth organization, and my aim was to separate religious and state education. A young man who wanted to go to church could go after the morning celebration--it was a camp function--or before it, according to whether he wanted to attend mass or gusto a Protestant service; and on these Sundays on which he was not in camp--the whole camp lasted 3 weeks at the outside--he was completely free to attend church at home with his parents or other friends . . . .

That [referring to the passage: "this Sunday morning ceremony does not aim at presenting arguments or conflicts with confessional points of view, but at imbuing life and men with courage and strength to fulfill their greater and lesser tasks through unqualified faith in the divine power and the ideology of the Fuehrer and his movement"] does not, after all, mean that Hitler is compared to God, but I believe that in the answer I gave a few minutes ago I did define my attitude.

May 9, 1937: Schirach celebrates his 30th birthday.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The only thing Hitler ever gave me was his photograph [with a few words of dedication] on the occasion of my thirtieth birthday.

1937: Schirach publishes his book Revolution of Education:

We consider that we are serving the Almighty when with our youthful strength we seek to make Germany once more united and great. In acknowledging loyalty to our Homeland we see nothing which could be construed as a contradiction of His eternal will. On the contrary, the service of Germany appears to us to be genuine and sincere service of God; the banner of the Third Reich appears to us to be His banner; and the Fuehrer of the people is the savior whom He sent to rescue us from the calamity and peril into which we were actually plunged by the most pious parties of the defunct German Republic.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: This is the Center Party of the old Republic and other similar organizations of a confessional and political nature. I wrote this. I really do not see anything in that which could be construed into a deification of the Fuehrer. For me, service to my country was service to the Almighty.

February 21, 1938: The Voelkischer Beobachter quotes Hitler as saying that the Hitler Youth comprised 45,000 boys; that the motor Hitler Youth 60,000 boys; that, as part of the campaign to encourage aviation, 55,000 members of the Jungvolk have been trained in gliding for group activities; that "74,000 of the Hitler Youth are organized in its flying units ... 15,000 boys passed their gliding test in the year 1937 alone . . . . Today, 1.2 million boys of the Hitler Youth receive regular instruction in small-bore rifle shooting from 7,000 instructors."

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I think that these figures are exaggerated and I think that there are errors in the text in my possession, which is a translated text. He probably received these figures from Dr. Stellrecht's office, or so I assume. The statements regarding armored troops were, I imagine, probably added by himself; for the conclusion that some thousands or tens of thousands qualified for driving licenses is really an incorrect one, just as it is incorrect to draw from the fact that some tens of thousands of lads qualify for driving licenses the conclusion that they were trained as tank troops. Glider training and model plane construction in the youth organization with ... 55,000--yes, that is correct ... "flying units"; those are "Fliegereinheiten," groups of Hitler youth airmen, who-as I must emphasize again-were concerned only with gliding and the construction of model planes. There may have been such a large number at the time. I have no documentary proof that we had 7,000 young men who conducted training in small-bore rifle shooting. I discussed this small-bore rifle shooting yesterday. It is well known that we carried that out . . . . I think the figures ... are correct . . . .

I considered the rifle training as constituting only a part of our training, and not the most essential part; and he [Stellrecht] pushed it too much into the foreground ... he was a reliable man, but differences of opinion arose between us because I did not agree with him on the question of overemphasizing pre-military training. I was very glad to have that gift [10,000 small-bore rifles presented to the Hitler Youth in 1937] from the Armed Forces. As we in any case did small-bore shooting, I was grateful for every rifle we received because we always had less than we needed for training purposes.

From the IMT testimony of Unterbannfuehrer Gustav Dietrich Hoepken: The Hitler Youth were trained in shooting with air guns or small arms. They did not shoot with military weapons.

March 1938: From a letter published in Der Stuermer by Baldur von Schirach:

It is the historical merit of Der Stuermer to have enlightened the broad masses of our people in a popular way as to the Jewish world danger. Der Stuermer is right in not carrying out its task in a purely aesthetic manner, for Jewry has shown no regard for the German people. We have, therefore, no reason for being considerate toward our worst enemy. What we fail to do today, the youth of tomorrow will have to suffer for bitterly.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I was always in close collaboration with the press; in fact, I came from the press myself. In my press office, as Reich Youth Leader, I gave definite instructions that all requests from Gau papers for an introduction, or something else of the kind from me should be granted on principle. Therefore, whenever a Gau paper celebrated a jubilee--perhaps the tenth or twentieth anniversary of its existence, or published some special issue--then the experts in my press office would run up a draft and, together with the considerable volume of evening mail presented to me for my signature, these drafts and elaboration’s would be submitted to me. In this way it might have happened that I signed that introduction for Der Stuermer which, of course, was the paper of the local Gaul Otherwise I have no recollection of the episode. I definitely believe that I did not draft it myself, because such short introductions--as already stated--were always submitted to me. I wrote my newspaper articles myself but never introductions of this description.

March 12, 1938 Anschluss: The German Army marches unopposed into Vienna.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I heard of the Anschluss of Austria, which of course I hailed enthusiastically, through the radio, if I remember rightly, during a trip by car from my Academy at Brunswick to Berlin. I continued my journey to Berlin, boarded a train at once, and arrived the following morning in Vienna. There I greeted the young people: youth leaders, some. of whom had been in prisons or in a concentration camp at Woellersdorf for a long time, and also many women youth leaders, who had also experienced great hardships.

October 6, 1938: Hitler speaks in Nuremberg:

National Socialism is not a cult-movement--a movement for worship; it is exclusively a 'voelkic' political doctrine based upon racial principles. In its purpose there is no mystic cult, only the care and leadership of a people defined by a common blood-relationship. Therefore we have no rooms for worship, but only halls for the people--no open spaces for worship, but spaces for assemblies and parades. We have no religious retreats, but arenas for sports and playing-fields, and the characteristic feature of our places of assembly is not the mystical gloom of a cathedral, but the brightness and light of a room or hall which combines beauty with fitness for its purpose...

September 29, 1938 München Konferenz: The Munich Conference concludes.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I regarded that [Munich] agreement as the basis for peace, and it was my firm conviction that Hitler would keep that agreement.

October 1938: Schirach enters into an agreement with Himmler under which members of the Hitler Jugend who meet SS standards will be considered as the primary source of replacements for the SS:

Organization of the Streifendienst. 1. Since the Streifendienst in the Hitler Youth has to perform tasks similar to those which the SS perform for the whole movement, it is organized as a special unit for the purpose of securing recruits for the General SS. However, as much as possible, recruits for the SS Special Troops, for the SS Death's Head Units, and for the officer-candidate schools, should also be taken from these formations . . . . The selection of Streifendienst members is made according to the principles of racial selection of the Schutzstaffel. The competent officials of the SS, primarily unit leaders, race authorities, and SS physicians, will be consulted for the admission tests . . . .

To insure from the beginning a good understanding between Reich Youth Leadership and Reich SS leadership, a liaison officer will be ordered from the Reich Youth Leadership to the SS Main Office starting I October 1938. The appointment of other leaders to the higher SS sections is a subject for a future agreement . . . . After the organization is completed, the SS takes its replacement primarily from these Streifendienst members. Admission of youths of German blood who are not members of the Hitler Youth is then possible only after information and advice of the competent Bannfuehrer.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The patrol service was one of the special units of the HJ. The patrol service was a youth service for keeping order. It consisted of outstandingly decent lads who had no police duties--I now refer to documentary reports which I procured--but who had to supervise the general behavior of the young people, examine their uniforms, control the visits of the boys to the taverns; and it was their duty to inspect the HJ hostels for cleanliness and neatness, to supervise the hiking expeditions of the young people and the youth hostelries in the country. They stood guard and were on order duty at mass meetings and demonstrations. They watched over encampments and accompanied the convoys. They were employed in the search for youths who were lost. They gave advice to traveling youth, attended to station service, were supposed to protect young people from criminal elements, and, above all, to protect national property--that is, woods, fields, for instance--and to see that they were safe from fires, et cetera.

Since Himmler might make trouble for this section of the youth organization, I was interested in having the Police recognize my patrol service; for in my idea of the State youth as a youth state, the Police should not be employed against the youth, but these young people should keep order among themselves. That this principle was a sound one can be judged from the immense decline in juvenile delinquency from 1933 up to the outbreak of the war . . . .

In order to assure its leader replacements, the SS founded its own training schools which were entirely outside my influence. They were the so-called National Socialist Training Institutes. The Reichsfuehrer SS was a farmer with an agronomic degree. In his student days he had belonged to the so-called "Artaman Movement," whose program it was to prevent the flight from the land, and he was particularly keen to collaborate within the SS with the farm labor service groups of the HJ who were doing the same work as the "Artaman" groups in the past.

In conclusion, I should like to say about the Landdienst and the patrol service, that no coercion was ever brought to bear on the young people to enter the SS. Any lad from the patrol service was, of course, free to become a member of the SA or of the NSKK--and frequently did so--or else become a political leader just like any other boy from the farm labor service or the Hitler Youth.

October 9, 1938: Hitler speaks in Saarbruecken:

Inquiries by British statesmen or Parliamentarians concerning the fate of the Reich's subjects inside Germany are out of order. We do not bother about similar things in England. The rest of the world would sometimes have had reason enough to bother about international happenings--happenings in Palestine. We leave this to those who feel themselves pre-ordained by God to solve these problems. And we observe with amazement how they do solve them. We must, however, give these gentlemen advice to attend even more to the solution of their own problems and to leave us in peace. It also is part of the task of securing world peace that responsible statesmen and politicians look after their own affairs and refrain from constantly meddling talk with the problems of other countries and peoples. By such mutual consideration, preconditions are really created for durable peace, of which no one is more earnestly desirous than the German people...

October 1938: Thousands of Catholic youth gather in the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna for prayer and meditation by invitation of the Archbishop of Vienna, Theodor Innitzer. Considered an anti-Communist pro-Nazi cleric--he is commonly known as the "Heil Hitler Cardinal"--he is also quite critical of the anti-Semitic and racist policies of the Nazis against the Viennese Jews and also the Catholic gypsies. In his sermon at the gathering, Innitzer incurs the wrath of the Nazis by declaring: "There is just one Fuehrer: Jesus Christ." The following day about 100 Nazis, among them many older members of the Hitler Youth, ravage the archbishop's residence.

From the IMT testimony of Unterbannfuehrer Gustav Dietrich Hoepken: Schirach told me repeatedly that he would like to have a talk with Cardinal Innitzer, but that he was not allowed to do so, firstly, because of a decree issued by the former head of the Party Chancellery, Martin Bormann, prohibiting the Gauleiter from contacting Church dignitaries and, secondly, because Schirach knew that he himself was under surveillance ... and thought that if he forced such a discussion, Bormann would be certain to know of it on the next day, which would have had most unpleasant consequences both for Schirach and Cardinal Innitzer.

On the other hand, it was Schirach's view that Cardinal Innitzer also would certainly have liked to have a talk with Schirach and Schirach thought that certainly would not have been the case if Cardinal Innitzer had not known of his tolerant attitude toward the Church and the Christian religion. It is furthermore known to me--and I think this happened in the winter of 1944 to 1945--that Cardinal Innitzer was molested by youthful civilians while returning from mass. Cardinal Innitzer had the police find out the names of these youngsters, and they turned out to be Hitler Youth leaders. Schirach ordered the competent district leader of the Hitler Youth to him the same day, took him severely to task, and demanded that the youth leaders in question be relieved of their duties at once. As far as I know, this was actually done. I believe I also remember that Schirach had a letter of apology sent to Cardinal Innitzer, either personally or through one of his officials.

November 6, 1938: Hitler speaks in Weimar:

From the very first day I have proclaimed as a fundamental principle: 'the German is either the first soldier in the world or he is no soldier at all.' No soldiers at all we cannot be, and we do not wish to be. Therefore we shall be only the first. As one who is a lover of peace I have endeavored to create for the German people such an army and such munitions as are calculated to convince others...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: No, never in my speeches to German youth, or in anything which I laid down for youth in the way of orders and directives, did I prepare German youth for war; nor have I ever, even in the smallest circle of my collaborators, expressed myself in such terms. All my speeches are contained in the collection Das Archiv, at least their essential contents. A considerable part of my speeches is collected also in a book Revolution der Erziehung (The Revolution in Education), which has been submitted to the Tribunal. All this evidence shows that I never spoke to the youth of the country in that sense; it would have been in direct contradiction to all my aims of co-operation with the youth of other nations.

November 9, 1938: German diplomat Ernst vom Rath, who had been shot by the seventeen-year-old Jew Herschel Grynszpan on the 7th in Paris, dies from his injuries. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels makes an inflammatory anti-Jewish speech in Munich:

It would not be surprising if the German people were so outraged by the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jew that they took the law into their own hands and attacked Jewish businesses, community centers and synagogues. Such spontaneous outbursts should not be openly organized by the Nazi Party or the SA, but neither should they be opposed or prevented.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I personally did not participate in any way, but I did participate in the Munich session . . . . The session which was traditionally held on 9 November of each year in memory of those who had fallen on 9 November 1923. I did not take part in all the discussions of that day. But I do remember a speech by Goebbels in connection with the murder of Herr vom Rath. That speech was definitely of an inflammatory nature, and one was free to assume from this speech that Goebbels intended to start some action. He is alleged--but that I only discovered later--to have given detailed instructions for this action directly from his hotel in Munich to the Reich Propaganda Ministry. I was present at the Munich session, as was my colleague Lauterbacher, my chief of staff, and we both rejected the action.

The HJ, as the largest National Socialist organization, was not employed at all in the anti-Jewish pogroms of 9, 10, and 11 November 1938. I remember one incident where a youth leader, without referring to my Berlin office and carried away by some local propaganda, took part in a demonstration and was later called to account by me for so doing. After 10 November I was again in Munich for a few days and visited, inter alia, a few of the destroyed business houses and villas as well. It made a terrible impression on me at the time, and under that impression I instructed the entire Youth Leadership, the regional leaders if I remember rightly-in other words, all the highest responsible youth leaders-to come to Berlin and there, in an address to these youth leaders, I described the incidents of the 9 and 10 November as a disgrace to our culture. I also referred to it as a criminal action. I believe that all the colleagues present on that occasion will clearly remember how agitated I was and that I told them that my organization, both now and in the future, would never have anything to do with acts of this sort . . . .

The only thing I did hear was that here and there individual lads, or groups of youths, were called out into the streets by local authorities which were not of the HJ. In the majority of cases these lads were promptly sent home again by the youth leaders. The organization was never employed, and I attach great importance to the statement that the youth organization, which included more members than the Party itself with all its affiliated organizations, was never involved in these incidents.

November 9, 1938: The Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht), an anti-Jewish pogrom, takes place in Nazi Germany and Austria. Most of Vienna's 94 synagogues and prayer-houses are partially or totally destroyed.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The synagogues in Vienna were destroyed 2 years before I assumed office in Henna. According to my opinion--in 1924-1925--Jews were to be entirely excluded from the civil service. Their influence in economic life was to be limited. I believed that Jewish influence in cultural life should be restricted. But for artists of the rank of, for instance, Max Reinhardt, I still envisioned the possibility of a free participation in this cultural life. That, I believe, exactly reflects the opinion which I and my comrades held on the solution of the "Jewish Problem" in 1924-1925 and in the following years.

Later, when I was leading the high school youth movement, I put forward the demand for the so-called Numerus clausus. It was my wish that the Jews should be allowed to study only on a proportional basis commensurate 'to their percentage of the total population. I believe one can realize from this demand for the Numerus clausus, known to the entire generation of students in that period, that I did not believe in a total exclusion of the Jews from artistic, economic, and scientific activities . . . .

After the events of 1938 I realized that Jewry's one chance lay in a state-supported emigration; for in view of Goebbels' temper, it seemed probable to me that overnight similar actions could arise from time to time, and under such conditions of legal insecurity I could not see how the Jews could continue living in Germany. That is one of the reasons why Hitler's idea of a closed Jewish settlement in the Polish Government General, of which he told me at his headquarters in 1940, was clear to me. I thought that the Jews would be better off in a closed settlement in Poland than in Germany or Austria, where they would remain exposed to the whims of the Propaganda Minister who was the mainstay of anti-Semitism in Germany.

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: Von Schirach was in Munich on 10 November 1938 and I was in Berlin. Schirach instructed me by telephone to tell the district leaders of the Hitler Youth that their organizations were in no circumstances to take part in these anti-Jewish demonstrations, and to call a meeting of all these leaders to hear a specific declaration on this point. This meeting took place about 15 November 1938.

November 15, 1938: Schirach convenes a meeting of all HJ leaders in Berlin.

From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: Schirach asked these district leaders to report to him and expressed his satisfaction at having in the meantime received reports to the effect that the Hitler Youth had not been involved in these excesses [Kristallnacht]. He then described the said excesses in his speech. I still remember this speech extraordinarily well, for it was particularly impressive. He described these pogroms as a disgrace to our culture and as amounting to self-defamation. He said that such things might be expected of an uncivilized people but not of the German people. He went on to say that we had antagonized not only the world in general but also all decent people in Germany itself by these demonstrations. He was afraid that serious political difficulties would arise at home, as well as difficulties within the Party itself. As we know, the Party was not at all unanimous in its judgment of these happenings. A very large section of the Party members and of the Party leadership condemned these excesses.

Von Schirach then gave the Youth Leadership special instructions to keep out of demonstrations of this or a similar kind in the future, no matter what the circumstances might be, and condemned every use of violence on educational grounds alone. He concluded the proceedings by prohibiting the reading of the newspaper Der Stuermer by the Hitler Youth at club evenings or on any other occasions. As an especially glaring instance, he quoted the case of the attempt, which was at least partially carried through, to loot the Jewish firm of Bernheimer, art dealers in Munich. He quoted this example to the Youth Leadership to illustrate the dangerous and irreparable inroads made on the reservoir of our culture and our cultural treasures by these demonstrations . . . .

I must have listened to all the important speeches delivered by von Schirach before the Leadership Corps of the Hitler Youth, and on the occasion of these speeches I never heard him urge the use of violence, which would in any case have been completely foreign to his nature. At any rate, I cannot recall that von Schirach ever called upon the Youth Leadership, either directly or indirectly, to take part in acts of violence of any kind against anyone. One must certainly differentiate between the long speeches which he delivered at public demonstrations and the speeches which he made before the leaders of the Hitler Youth. In the speeches he addressed to the leaders he always discussed the main political and ideological tasks and the tasks of social policy, cultural policy, and professional training which he had assigned to the Hitler Youth.

1938: An article in the paper Das Archiv relates that year Schirach has invited among others, 1,000 children of French war veterans to come into the Hitler Youth camps in Germany and into the German-French youth skiing camps.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: Starting in 1933, and in an increasing degree year by year, I made efforts to bring about exchange camps with youth organizations in other countries. Here in Germany these groups of English youth, French youth, Belgian youth, and the youth of many other countries, particularly, of course, from Italy, often came as our guests. I remember that in one year alone, I think in 1936, there were approximately 200,000 foreign youths who stayed overnight in our youth hostels.

Perhaps it is important in this connection to say that the youth hostel system, which I took over in 1933, was developed by me and finally formed a part of an international youth hostel system, the president of which was sometimes a German, sometimes an Englishman. An international youth hostel agreement made it possible that youngsters of our nations could stay overnight in youth hostels of the guest nations.

I myself took great pains to bring about an understanding with the youth of France. I must say that this was a pet idea of mine. I think that my former assistants will remember just how intensely I worked towards the realization of that idea. I had my leaders periodical appear in the French language; I do not know whether more than once, but certainly at least once, so that the understanding between the French and the German youth could be strengthened thereby.

I went to Paris and I invited the children of one thousand veterans of the first World War to come to Germany. I very often had young French guests as visitors in Germany. But over and above this understanding with France, which eventually also led to difficulties between the Fuehrer and myself, I co-operated with many, many other organizations.

Perhaps I may add that German-French co-operation, as far as youth was concerned, was supported particularly by Ambassador Poncet in Berlin, Premier Chautemps, and other French personalities who wrote in my leadership periodical on that particular subject. I exchanged views with youth leaders all over the world, and I myself undertook long journeys to visit youth organizations in other countries and establish contact with them. The war terminated that work. I do not want to omit mentioning here that for one whole year I put the entire youth program under the slogan "Understanding," and that in all my speeches before the youth I tried to direct and educate it toward a better understanding of other nations . . . .

There were innumerable encampments of foreign youth in Germany and very many camps of German youth abroad, and I myself often visited such camps or received delegations from them. I would like to add that as late as 1942 I made an attempt to co-operate with the youth of France. At that time the difficulty lay in Mussolini's attitude. I went to Rome and, through Count Ciano's intervention, had a long conversation with Mussolini and succeeded in having him withdraw his objections to having our youth invite all French groups to come to Germany. Unfortunately, when I reported this result to our Foreign Minister, Hitler turned it down. At any rate, that is what Herr Von Ribbentrop said. ... as a matter of principle, foreign youth leaders who wished to get to know our institutions were shown everything without any reservations whatever. There was, in fact, no institution of German youth in the past which was not shown to our foreign guests. Also the so-called pre-military education was demonstrated to them in every detail.

December 7, 1938: Hitler speaks to the Hitler Youth:

This youth learns nothing else than to think German, to act German, and if these boys enter our organization at the age of ten and there often get and feel a breath of fresh air for the first time, then four years later they come from the Jungvolk [Young People] into the Hitler Youth, and we keep them there for another four years, and then we certainly don't give them back into the hands of the originators of our old classes and estates, but take them straight into the party, into the Labor Front, the SA or the SS, the NSKK [National Socialist Motorized Corps], and so on. And if they are there for another two years or a year and a half and still haven't become complete National Socialists, then they go into the labor service and are polished for another six or seven months, all with a symbol, the German spade. And any class consciousness or pride of status that may be left here and there is taken over by the Wehrmacht for further treatment for two years, and when they come back after two, three, or four years, we take them straight into the SA, SS, and so on again, so that they shall in no case suffer a relapse, and they don't get free again as long as they live. And if anyone says to me, yes, but there will always be a few left over: National Socialism is not at the end of its days but only at the beginning.

December 17, 1938: Schirach and Himmler enter into an agreement for recruiting SS members from the ranks of the Hitler Youth:

To secure full success for the common effort of the SS and the Hitler Youth by strict cooperation, to stem the flight from the land, to build a new peasant class, to bring the best part of the people into contact with the earth of the homeland the following arrangement has been made in connection with the agreement of 26 August 1938. 1. The farm service of the Hitler Youth is according to education and aim, particularly well suited as a recruiting organization for the Schutzstaffel (general SS and the armed sections of the SS; SS special troops and SS death head battalions). 2. Boys who suit the special demands of the SS according to physical conditions and moral attitude are preferably admitted into the farm service of the Hitler Youth . . . . 5. All farm service members who pass the general admission test of the SS will be taken over into the general SS after leaving the farm service.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: The SA tried to have an influence on the education and training of youth...It was in January of 1939. At that time I was in Dresden, where I arranged a performance which presented modern gymnastics for girls. I still remember it distinctly. While I was there, a newspaper was shown to me which carried a decree by Hitler, according to which the two oldest age groups of the Hitler Youth were to receive pre-military training from the SA. I protested against that at once and after my return to Berlin I succeeded not in having the decree withdrawn for that could not be done for reasons of prestige since Hitler's name was on it--but invalidated as far as the youth were concerned . . . .

I met Himmler in 1929 when I visited the offices of the Party Leadership. At that time he was the propaganda chief of the Party. That was our first meeting. One of the first agreements laid down was, I think, contained in the agreement regarding the patrol service, the date of which I do not recall. This was not, by the way, a guarantee of reinforcements for Death's-Head units, but for police units generally. These were special troops to be at the disposal of the Police. I did not artfully drive young people into the SS. But I permitted the SS to recruit among young people like any other organization. From 1940 on I tried constantly to have youth taken into Army units. The SS, the Waffen-SS, carried on very active recruitment among youth up to the last day of the war. I could not prevent this recruitment . . . .

I did know that all young people who were drafted or who volunteered had to fight . . . . I did not know that young men who volunteered to go into the Waffen-SS were used during the war to guard concentration camps . . . . Those guards [in the two concentration camps I visited] did not belong to the Waffen-SS. When I concluded that agreement, I did not know that he effected the supervision of concentration camps chiefly by means of Death's-Head units. Besides, I thought at that time that concentration camps were something quite normal . . . .

Close collaboration in the sense that Himmler had considerable influence upon education did not exist. I am not aware...that [Himmler assigned his SS personnel to the youth organization for training purposes]. The fact that there might have been liaison officers would not be unusual, because practically all ministries and organizations had liaison officers. What you have just suggested, however, I do not recall.

1939: From the HJ Year Book for 1939:

Since organized rifle training was started in the autumn of 1936, 10,000 shooting instructors have acquired the green shooting license in weekend courses and special courses; and this figure increases by some thousands every year.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I do not remember it, but I think you are probably presenting the facts correctly; I will not dispute it. Switzerland gave her young men a much more intensive rifle training than we did and so did many other countries . . . . I do not deny that our young men were trained in shooting . . . .

The question concerning pre-military or military education cannot be answered by me without describing small-caliber shooting practice. Small-caliber firing was a sport among the German youth. It was practiced on the lines laid down in the international rules for sport shooting. Small-caliber shooting, according to Article 177 of the Treaty of Versailles, was not prohibited. It states expressly in that article of the treaty that rifle clubs, sporting, and hiking organizations are forbidden to train their members in the handbag and use of war weapons. The small-caliber rifle, however, is not a war weapon. For our sport shooting we used a rifle similar to the American 22-caliber. It was used with the 22-caliber Flobert cartridge for short or long distance.

I should like to say here that our entire marksmanship training and other so-called pre-military training have been collected in a manual entitled "HJ Service." That book was printed and sold not only in Germany but was also available abroad. The British Board of Education in 1938 passed judgment on that book, in the educational pamphlet, Number 109. With the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to quote briefly what was said about it in this educational pamphlet. I quote in English:

"It cannot fairly be said to be in essence a more militaristic work than any thoroughgoing, exhaustive, and comprehensive manual of Boy Scout training would be. Some forty pages are, to be sure, devoted to the theory and practice of shooting small-bore rifle and air gun, but there is nothing in them to which exception can reasonably be taken, and the worst that one can say of them is that they may be confidently recommended to the notice of any Boy Scout wishing to qualify for his marksmanship badge."

As to the mental attitude of the Hitler Youth, I can only say that it was definitely not militaristic. Not a single German boy, until the war, had been trained with a war weapon, a military weapon, be it an infantry rifle, machine gun, or infantry gun; nor with hand grenades in any form . . . . The marksmanship training of youth in other nations went much further, much beyond that which we had in Germany. I know that from many of my assistants who constantly made a detailed study of the training in other countries, and I know about it from my own observation.

March 25, 1939: From the first executive order on the 1936 basic law concerning the Hitler Youth: "The Youth Leader of the German Reich is solely competent for all missions of the physical, ideological, and moral education of the entire German youth outside home and school."

April 1, 1939: Hitler speaks in Wilhelmshaven:

Anyway, we have not slaughtered thousands in Central Europe but instead we have regulated our problems with law and order. However, I should like to say one thing here: The German people of today, the German Reich of today is not willing to surrender life interests, it also is not willing to face rising dangers without doing something about them. When the Allies, without regard or purpose, right, tradition, or even reasonableness, changed the map of Europe, we had not the power to prevent it. If, however, they expect the Germany of today to sit patiently by until the very last day when this same result would again be repeated--while they create satellite States and set them against Germany--then they are mistaking the Germany of today for the Germany of before the war. He who declares himself ready to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for these powers must realize he burns his fingers...

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I heard about the negotiations [with Poland] which led to the war, only here in this courtroom. I was merely acquainted with that version of the negotiations which was officially announced through the radio or by the Ministry of Propaganda; and I know no more, therefore, than what every other German citizen knows. The version which Hitler announced before the Reichstag was considered by me to be absolutely true; and I never doubted it, or at least I did not doubt it until about 1943, and all I have heard about it here is new to me.

August 1941: Schirach writes a very long letter to Bormann. An excerpt: Dear Party Member Bormann...for more than one year an agreement in draft form has been submitted to the SA which requests that the SA cadre be furnished for the military training of the youth . . . . I would be happy if the SA would put personnel at my disposal for support for this purpose, similar to the way in which the SS and the Police have been doing for a long time already.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I said in my testimony ... that already in the spring of 1939, I believe, the SA had attempted to take over the pro-military training of the youth of the two older age classes, and such attempts were probably repeated in 1941. I cannot speak about this long teletype letter without having read through it . . . .

During the war, yes [I did have assistance from the SS]; since the beginning of the war in 1939 we had pro-military training camps and I wanted youth instructors for these camps. Neither the Army nor the SA could supply sufficient instructors; the SS and the Police could place a few young officers at my disposal. I do not think that there would have been need for SS instructors otherwise. As I have said, we selected youth leaders from among youth itself ... we had for example a training camp for skiing practice, and it was quite possible that one of the instructors was an SA man or an SS man only because by chance he happened to be one of the best sportsmen in that field. But I cannot think where such collaboration existed elsewhere. As far as pro-military training is concerned, it was only through this teletype message that I requested help for training purposes. Apart from that, I do not recollect any collaboration.

August 11, 1939: Schirach enters into an agreement with Keitel under which the Wehrmacht agrees to train 30,000 Hitler Jugend instructors each year and the Hitler Jugend agrees to carry out its pre-military activities under standards laid down by the Wehrmacht:

While it is exclusively the task of the Hitler Youth to attend to the training of their units in this direction, it is suitable, in the sense of a uniformed training corresponding to the demands of the Wehrmacht, to support the leadership of the Hitler Youth for their responsible task as trainers and educators in all fields of training for defense by special courses . . . . A great number of courses are in progress . . . . 30,000 Hitler Youth leaders are already being trained annually in field service. The agreement with the Wehrmacht gives the possibility of roughly doubling that number. The billeting and messing of the Hitler Youth leaders is done, according to the regulations for execution already published, in the barracks, drill grounds, et cetera, of the Wehrmacht, at a daily cost of 25 Pfennig . . . .
From a commentary on the above agreement by the editor of the collection Das Archiv:

An agreement was made between the High Command of the Wehrmacht and the Reich Youth Leadership representing the result of close co-operation between the Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, General Keitel, and the Youth Leader of the German Reich, von Schirach, and promising the co-operation of the Wehrmacht in the military education of the Hitler Youth.

From Schirach's IMT testimony: I cannot remember any details. Between Field Marshal Keitel and myself, according to my recollection, there was no discussion concerning that agreement, but I believe we arranged that by correspondence. And I should just like to state that during the entire time from 1933 to 1945, only one or two conversations of about half an hour took place between Field Marshal Keitel and me. The agreement, however, resulted from the following considerations: We endeavored in the Hitler Youth, and it was also the endeavor of the leading men in the Wehrmacht, to take nothing into our training which belonged to the later military training. However, in the course of time, the objection was raised on the part of the military, that youth should not learn anything in its training which later would have to be corrected in the Wehrmacht. I am thinking, for instance, of the compass.

The Army used the infantry compass; the Hitler Youth, in cross-country sports, used compasses of various kinds. It was, of course, quite senseless that youth leaders should train their boys, for instance, to march according to the Bezar compass if later, in their training as recruits, the boys had to learn something different. The designation and the description of the terrain should also be given according to the same principles in the Hitler Youth as in the Army, and so this agreement was made by which, I believe, thirty or sixty thousand HJ leaders were trained in cross-country sports. In these cross-country sports no training with war weapons was practiced . . . .

If that agreement had had any significance for the war, it would have had to be concluded much earlier. The fact that it was only concluded in August shows in itself that we were not thinking of war. If we had wanted to train youth for the war, we would have made an agreement of this kind in 1936 or 1937. As far as I remember, the agreement referred to training for outdoor sports, I believe that it says--and to that extent a connection with rifle shooting does exist--that in future field sports are to receive the same attention which has hitherto been given to shooting. I do not know if I am giving that correctly from memory ... field service should have the same prominence as rifle training in the program; but, here again, we are not concerned with training youth leaders to become officers. It was not a question of military training, but of training in field sports for the youth leaders who, after short courses--I believe they lasted 3 weeks; went back again to their units. A young man of 16 cannot be trained along military lines in that period of time, nor was that the purpose of the agreement. I am perfectly serious when I say that at that time I knew nothing about a war--the war to come . . . .

And I do not believe either that Field Marshal Keitel drafted that agreement; I think one of his assistants worked it out along with Dr. Stellrecht. If it had had any significance for the war, it would certainly not have been announced in August in an official publication.

September 3, 1939 Der zweite Weltkrieg: WW2 begins as Britain, Australia, New Zealand and France declare war on Nazi Germany.
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.