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November 22, 1935, Page 4

Young Germans Learn Obedience
      To Fuehrer in Militarized Camps

Editor of Yale News Finds Dull Spirit Among Hitler Youth;
      Bodies Made Srong and Healtahy in Order That
            There May Be Cannon Fodder, Bingham Says

Editor's Note: Written for the Spotlight and the Associated Collegiate Press by Jonathan B. Bingham, chairman of the Yale, Daily News.

            Nearly ten years ago, in the hey-day of the German youth movements, a small organization was started devoted to Hitler's brown-shirt Fascist party. Today every other movement is suppressed, and the Hitler Jugend claims 5,000,000 members who are being trained in mind, spirit and body to follow the Fuehrer unquestioningly and to have the strength to do his will.

            With efficient headquarters in Berlin, under the directions of Baldur von Shirach, who has been the leader since the beginning; the organization descends in a perfect regional hierarchy to the local village and town groups. As in Italy, the units are organized along military lines, and the whole movement is divided into four parts, the Hitler-Jugend proper, boys from 14-18, the Young Folk, boys from 10-14, and girls of the same ages. Smart as soldiers in their brown shirts, black ties and little Sam Brown belts, they are to be seen everywhere, marching through towns, bicycling along highways, and drilling by the thousand in the big summer camps.

            The Hitler-Jugend makes no attempt to offer artistic or technical training. Its sole expressed purpose is the teaching Nazi Philosophy, of discipline, of obedience, and the building up of good strong bodies.

            To the first of these ends alone is devoted the principal activity of the Hitler-Jugend, the nation-wide weekly meeting. On Wednesday night, at two different hours for the younger and older children, the local groups assemble all over the country in !their various club-rooms or club-houses.

            The meeting starts off with a broadcast from headquarters and then proceeds according to directions sent to each leader from the "spiritual department" in Berlin. There will be Nazi songs to learn (the words of which the authorities are reluctant to release), some history studied, something read aloud, a discussion, and the inevitable teaching of Nazi philosophy.

            To accomplish the same purpose and to give a certain amount of physical training, the young Nazis are sent to camps for two weeks perhaps every other summer. and at least once to one of the big camps, where it is considered the youngsters can be really taught what Nazism means.

            At the Hocland Lager, which we visited, in Southern Bavaria, there were 4,000 boys, besides 1,200 German boys from foreign countries in Germany for two months at the invitation of the Nazi government. Everything in the camp was, of course, carried on like a military encampment, with rows of tents, rolling kitchens, a huge drill-ground, sentries, and a great deal of saluting. Although the Hitler-Jugend have as yet no arms of any kind, a considerable part of their daily activities is concerned with military training or drill, and while we were there demonstration of erecting a war telephone line was given lay a Reichswehr unit.

            The spirit of the camp was one of rigorous discipline with no friendliness between boys and leaders, and a certain dull apathy or weariness, the result of strenuous organized exercise. In the midst of the beautiful Bavarian mountains, nothing could he more depressing than this evident return to the old Prussian ideal and the developing of these healthy, sun-tanned boys into perfect cannon-fodder.


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May 20, 2004