June 2, 1934 - Article - Hitler Youth (Part 2), by Kenneth Roberts
On June 17, 1933, the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Nazi Government created the office of Federal Youth Leader, and appointed to that office Baldur von Schirach, a young man who was 27 years old when the late war started. Baldur von Schirach is said by many careful observers is said by many careful observers to be one of the most interesting figures in Germany; not only because, at the age of 27, he is leader of millions of young and extremely impressionable people, but because he controls and directs publications that have a great influence on the cultural life of National Socialist Germany. Hid chief assistants in this delicate task of guiding the lives of Germany's youth are Carl Nabersburg, Willi Körber and Frischewski. Nabersberg is 25 years old, Frischewski is 23 and Körber 22.
Von Schirach is a poet and a writer of songs, as one of Germany's outstanding phrase makers and slogan coiners. He is particularly adept at producing slogans that stir the youth of Germany to their utmost depths. One of his slogans is constantly in the mouth of all Hitler Youth - "Our flag is more to us than death." This slogan excites Young Hitlerites to an unbelievable degree. It fills their cosmos with a mystic yearning and a holy fervor for Germany and the swastika flag.
When examined closely, this slogan becomes obscure. There seems to be no good reason why a flag should be more to a person than death, or even why anyone should want a flag that is more than death..... The lack of meaning in the slogan, however, is not questioned by the Hitler Youth, and for good reason. Any member of that organization that dared to criticize anything connected with it would not only have his Führerschnüre, or colored whistle cord, taken from him, and be obliged to turn in his uniform and leave the party in disgrace, but would certainly be rough treated in addition. (pg. 23)
The Germans are a docile people - more docile, probably, than any in the world, once they are enlisted in a cause. Once persuaded, they believe whatever they are told, do whatever they are ordered; march and sing and drink in unison with the utmost contentment.
The Protestant Youth are going over to the Hitler Youth and donning mustard-colored uniforms by the tens of thousands. The leaders of the Hitler Youth have even made slight concessions to the angry ministers and parents of the Protestant Youths, who strongly object to having their children perpetually drilled in hand-grenade throwing, gas defense and other warlike sports.
The relations between the Catholic Youth and the Hitler Youth are involved and delicate. ..... They refused to agree to any Nazi interference with the policy of the Catholic Church towards its youth, and they demanded the freedom and the right to dictate the corporal, spiritual and professional education of the youth entrusted in their care.
This was not pleasing to the Nazis; for the Nazi theories hold that a church cannot interfere with anything except the spiritual development of youth. They were even less pleased when the Catholic bishops spoke unkindly of the totalitarian state, which is the Nazi ideal.
"A conception of a state," the bishops said, "which desires to make all its youth subject to the state alone, and which is determined that all youth, inside and outside the school, must be educated in its own philosophic channels, must be rejected by the Church as incompatible with its teachings."
At that moment the Hitler Government was engaged in intricate negotiations with the Catholic Church. Consequently, it was inexpedient for the S.A.'s and the Hitler Youth to deal with the Catholic bishops in the style to which the Nazis have become accustomed.
The National Socialist newspapers called them all sorts of names, and said, in effect, "You just wait!" But when the negotiations between the Hitlerites and the Catholic Church were concluded, it was discovered, to the annoyance of Baldur von Schirach and his followers, that a concordat had been agreed on, and that one of the articles in this concordat gave to the Catholic Church the right to retain complete control over all its religious, cultural and charitable organizations.
The Nazis predict freely that the Catholic Church cannot hold out against them, and that the Catholic Youth organizations will soon be Hitler Youth. (pp. 30, 32)
This, then, accounts for all the German Youth organizations. All of them, barring the Catholic Youth, have been Hitlerized. German Youth is Hitler Youth, marching, marching, marching. Wherever you go in Germany, you see their mustard-colored uniforms and hear their heavy boots pounding on the cobbles, clop, clop, clop.
Their numbers surpass belief. The membership of the Hitler Youth is steadily and rapidly growing. Early in the spring of 1934 it was estimated to be 4,700,000, half of whom were girls. By the end of 1934, its membership, Germans think, will be close to 6,000,000.
It must always be remembered that when Hitler Youths pass their 18th birthday, they automatically become members of the S.A. - the regular Hitler army. One a German becomes an S.A., there's no escaping from it; no second thoughts; no cries of "I've changed my mind!"
Herr Staemmler believes that Germany should have a system of taxation which would allot a certain number of children to incomes withing certain brackets, and penalize all failing to comply with the income-tax regulations. He has worked it out with the utmost care. Under Herr Staemmler's scheme, a married man earning $250/month would have a quota of five children. If he has only three children, he must pay an extra tax; and the money thus raised will be turned over to a man who has been allotted five children, but has actually been blessed with seven. If a man earns $250/month, but has no children at all, he will be penalized 60% of his salary. If, however, his childless state is due to accident or sickness, Herr Staemmler is willing to permit him to escape his penalty, provided he adopts five children, and provided, also, that all five children are Nordics. (pp. 33-34)
One of the singular things about the wholesale militarization of the German people is that the people themselves seem wholly ignorant of the unhappy end to which this enormous regimentation will almost inevitably lead. This, competent observers believe, is due to the fact that they cannot see the woods for the trees. (pg. 34)
I went, in Berlin, to Hitler Youth headquarters, a commodious building near the Reichstag, fronting opulently on the River Spree. The swastika flag - the flag that is more to every Hitler Youth than death - hung over the front door. Under the flag stood two husky blonde youths in mustard-colored uniforms and black riding boots. As I passed between them, their heels cracked together, their right hands shot out in the Fascist salute and they cried, "Heil Hitler!"
In the building, an orderly sat at his desk. He, too, cried "Heil Hitler!" at me.
A young officer followed me in. There were more shouts of "Heil Hitler!" He ran up the stairs, and above me there were cries of "Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!" Doors slammed and the cries faded in the distance.
Nazis "Heil Hitler!" one another from breakfast time until midnight.
At the Hitler Youth headquarters I found the boyish officials agreeable to my suggestion that I would like to see Hitler Youth activities. They showed me, then and there, the enormous filing cabinets in which are card indexed all the Hitler Youth in the whole of Germany, with their pictures, their ancestry, their qualifications for leadership. What was it I most wanted to see? I wanted to see the aviation school for boys, the labor-service camps for Hitler Youth, the women's labor-service camps, the youth hostels, the big camp at Jüterbog, where many Hitler Youth and S.A.'s learn the arts of war in a camp that adjoins Germany's largest regular-army camp and artillery school.
They were kindness itself. Yes, they would show me everything. Later that day, however, word was sent to me that these things could not be shown unless I had official permission from the Propaganda Division of the Foreign Office.
The Nazis have no desire to be boycotted by the foreign press, and they want, above all things, to make a favorable impression on the outside world; yet they cannot understand why reputable foreign correspondents are deeply and persistently skeptical when they are not permitted to see certain things except with the consent of the Propaganda Division. They apparently cannot learn that foreign newspapers and magazines of integrity and standing would prefer to print nothing than to print propaganda. And seemingly they have never sensed that the very word "propaganda" is a stench in then nostrils of a large part of the North American Continent. (pg. 36)
Another thing accomplished by the aviation schools for Hitler Youth, which are established in every department of Germany, is to provide Germany with thousands and hundreds of thousands of boys qualified to enter an airplane factory tomorrow or next month or next year and go skillfully to work on the fuselage and wings of bombers or pursuit planes; with an equal number of boys who have the feel of the air and could be made into efficient pilots in record-breaking time.
There is an official publication of the Hitler Youth - German Youth in a Changing World. In this is explained how it happens that the exclusive right to youth movements is vested in Germany. It says:
In the middle of the 18th century, Klopstock founded our hymnal poetry at the age of 24. In Herder's sick room at Strasburg a youth of 26 kindled the spirit of another of 21 [Goethe] and later thereafter that of his comrades and contemporaries. Schiller was scarcely 20 when, under the double pressure of his education and age, he proclaimed rebellion sacred.
This is all true, of course; but the original German youth movement antedated Klopstock by more than 500 years; and it was a bigger one than Klopstock ever visualized - a much bigger one - much, much bigger. I looked everywhere for references to this first German youth movement in all the attractive booklets published by the propaganda department of the Hitler Youth, but none of them referred to it.
This, it seems to me, in unfortunate; for history, as is well known, frequently repeats itself.
For the benefit of anybody, in Germany or elsewhere, who wishes to profit from the teachings of history, I give here an all-too-brief account of the original German youth movement, and of what can happen to such a movement when it is badly conceived and improperly led:
In the year 1212, between the Fourth and Fifth Crusades, there arose the pathetic madness that culminated in the Children's Crusade. In France a shepherd boy named Stephen appeared in the cities and by the power of his tongue induced thousands of children to enlist on a crusade to the Holy Land. With his boyish army he rode on a wagon southward to Marseilles, promising to lead his followers dry-shod through the seas. In Germany, a child from Cologne, named Nicolas, gathered some 20,000 young crusaders by like promises, and led them into Italy. Stephen's army was kidnaped by slave dealers and sold into Egypt; while Nicolas' expedition, utterly annihilated, left nothing behind it but an after-echo in the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. (pg. 38)
Comments: Computers have replaced the need for index cards and file cabinets, and they are far more efficient. It is no longer necessary to militarize the youth of a nation that has nuclear weapons, for large armies can be wiped out quickly with nuclear weapons. But that doesn't mean that the youth of a nation isn't nationalized for other purposes. What had been nationalized is labor, and, in America, all children get Taxpayer Identification Numbers at birth. The Social Security system did not exist when this article was written. This article brought out that when a Hitler Youth turned 18, his entry into the army was mandatory - there was nothing he could do about it short of fleeing the country or suicide. These were the only two means of emancipation available at that time. In America, during the beginning of the 21st century, all young people, when they come of age and begin working, their labor will be taxed to whatever levels their rulers desire. When this article was written in 1934, the income tax did not tax the wages of American workers and there were no social security numbers. Now when young people come of age to work, they will have to use their numbers to get employment. Those who refuse to comply with giving their numbers will not be hired by the vast majority of employers. The only means of emancipation is to flee the country or suicide, for it is very doubtful that any court in all the land will recognize the worker's claim to free labor, even though the right to free labor is still guaranteed by the Constitution. All the rulers and judges are, with rare exceptions, Cannibals now. So whether it be forced military service or the cannibalization of the worker's labor, the principle is the same. Herr Staemmler's income tax principle for the support of children should be applied in America to solve the child support problem. In America, for example, the old and disabled are provided with millions of social security checks every month. The money to provide this support does not come from imposing support obligations on close relatives - for example, their children and/or grandchildren - like child support does on non-custodial slaves. The support for the old and disabled is distributed equitably by taxing the entire laboring population and then redistributing the labor. The same should be done with the children of the nation, so that both old and young are provided support and the burden is equitably distributed over the entire laboring population. If we're going to have Cannibalism then the principles of equity should be broadly applied so that one class is not so oppressively enslaved that their allowance from labor won't even allow them to afford the basic necessities of life. Many of these non-custodial slaves have 35% or less of their labor to try and live on after taxes and child support take their toll. Thousand of these non-custodial slaves commit suicide each year to emancipate themselves. Using slavery as a tool to tear parents from their children and then punishing these slaves because the rulers have enslaved them beyond their means is cruel, but that's the way it is in early 21st century America and many other countries. I suppose every tyrannical system must have its minority class to persecute. The news doesn't report on this, but then again, they don't report the truth about the history of the income tax either. Just like the Nazis back in 1934, they conveniently leave out big chunks of history that reveal truths that the rulers don't want the people to know. The Jews were the minority class the Nazis chose to persecute without any restraints, and thousands of Jews committed suicide during the Nazi years. All that is necessary to create a suicide candidate is to crush their spirit and leave them no hope for the future. The Nazis also imposed oppressive taxation upon the labor of Jewish workers - up to 65% in some cases. Such is Cannibalism, and it will only get worse. A nation that is founded upon lies and deceit, and continues to perpetuate itself upon those same evil principles, will fail one day. It is only a matter of time. God does not give his blessing to what is evil.