Shaping Future Soldiers

Deutsches Jungvolk members at rifle practice.

Members of the Deutsches Jungvolk (junior branch of the Hitlerjugend) learning to fire rifles. This is an example of the military style training boys recieved. 

Hitler Youth encampment

A military style Hitlerjugend encampment. 

Members of the Hitler Youth learning to shoot rifles.

Another Deutsches Jungvolk unit practicing with rifles. Their uniforms resemble the black SS uniforms. 

          In addition to promoting a militant image among men, the Nazis sought to instill a soldierly identity in boys from an early age. In particular, they made use of the education system and the state-run Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) organization to indoctrinate youths in the importance of German racial purity and to give boys militaristic training.Youth were easy to influence and were particularly receptive to indoctrination. Hitler made it mandatory in 1936 for boys from 10 to 18 years old to join the Hitlerjugend, where they learned a variety of skills including how to shoot rifles and to fight fires. They also participated in activities such as hiking, camping, and marching, which fostered an environment of soldierly comradery. Raising boys in the image of military masculinity was not just important for ideological reasons, these young men were to become the next generation of soldiers who would continue the fight for German dominance. 

Shaping Future Soldiers