Description: This thesis examines the National Socialists' ultimate designs for Germany's youth, conveniently organized within the Hitlerjugend. Prevailing scholarship portrays the Hitler Youth as a place for ideological indoctrination and activities akin to the modern Boy Scouts. Furthermore, it often implies that the Hitler Youth was paramilitary but always lacks support for this claim. These claims are not incorrect, but in regard to the paramilitary nature of the organization, they do not delve nearly deeply enough. The National Socialists ultimately desired to consolidate their control over the nation and to prepare the nation for a future war. Therefore, they needed to simultaneously indoctrinate German youth, securing the future existence of National Socialism but also ensuring that German youth carry out their orders and defend Germany, and train the youth in premilitary skills, deliberately attempting to increase the quality of the Wehrmacht and furnish it with a massive, trained reserve in case of war. This paper relies on published training manuals, translated propaganda, memoirs of former Hitler Youth members and secondary literature to examine the form and extent of the ideological indoctrination and premilitary training--which included the general Hitler Youth, special Hitler Youth subdivisions, military preparedness camps akin to boot camp, and elaborate war games which tested the youths' military knowledge. This thesis clearly demonstrates that the National Socialists desired to train the youth in skills that assisted them later in the Wehrmacht and reveals the process implemented by the National Socialists to instill these abilities in Germany's impressionable youth.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Miller, Aaron Michael