The History Place - Hitler Youth

Timeline and Organization

Beginnings to 1923


April 20, 1889 - Adolf Hitler is born in Austria.
November 9, 1918 - The Weimar Republic is proclaimed in Germany.
November 11, 1918 - World War I ends with Germany defeated.
June 28, 1919 - Germany signs the Treaty of Versailles.
September 1919 - Hitler joins the German Workers' Party.
April 1, 1920 - Hitler renames the German Workers' Party as the National Socialist German Workers' Party, or Nazi Party.
March 1922 - Hitler proclaims the first Nazi Party youth group.
November 8, 1923 - Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch ends in failure. He is soon sent to prison.

Road to Power 1923-1933

December 20, 1924 - Hitler is released from prison and begins rebuilding the Nazi Party.
Fall 1925 - Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" first published.
July 1926 - The Hitler Youth is formally established with Kurt Gruber as its leader.
August 19/20, 1927 - Gruber leads 300 Hitler Youths in a march at the Nuremberg Rally, earning a tribute from Hitler.
April 1929 - The Hitler Youth is declared the only official youth group of the Nazi Party.
July 1930 - The Bund Deutscher Mädel, the League of German Girls, is founded.
October 30, 1931 - Baldur von Schirach is appointed Nazi Youth Leader.
April 13, 1932 - The SA and Hitler Youth are temporarily banned by the German Weimar government.
January 30, 1933 - Hitler is named Chancellor of Germany.

Prelude to War 1933-1939

February 27, 1933 - The Reichstag building burns.
March 23, 1933 - The Enabling Act grants Hitler dictatorial powers.
April 1, 1933 - Nazis boycott Jewish shops.
May 10, 1933 - Nazis and college students burn books.
June 1933 - Schirach is named Youth Leader of the German Reich.
August 2, 1934 - Hitler becomes Führer of the German Nation.
October 7, 1934 - The Reich Land Service is introduced, sending city youths to work on farms.
September 15, 1935 - The Nuremberg Laws against Jews are proclaimed.
March 7, 1936 - German troops reoccupy the demilitarized Rhineland.
December 1936 - The Hitler Youth Law makes membership compulsory for all youths aged 10 to 18.
March 13, 1938 - Hitler annexes Austria.
November 9, 1938 - Nazis attack Jews during the "Night of Broken Glass."
March 1939 - Hitler annexes Czechoslovakia.
March 25, 1939 - A new tougher law concerning compulsory Hitler Youth membership conscripts all German boys aged 10 into the Hitler Youth.

Hitler's Boy Soldiers 1939-1945

September 1, 1939 - Germany invades Poland, beginning World War II.
October 7, 1939 - Nazis begin forcing Polish farmers off their land.
April 9, 1940 - Germany invades Denmark and Norway.
May 10, 1940 - Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
June 14, 1940 - Paris is occupied by Nazis.
August 1940 - Artur Axmann succeeds Schirach as Hitler Youth Leader.
Fall 1940 - The National Youth Directorate requires target practice and terrain maneuvers for boys aged 10 and older.
June 22, 1941 - Germany invades the Soviet Union.
January 20, 1942 - Wannsee Conference held in which Nazis formalize plans for the "Final Solution of the Jewish Problem."
March 13, 1942 - Hitler orders new military training camps to provide three weeks of mandatory training for all boys aged 16 to 18.
January 26, 1943 - Anti-aircraft batteries are officially manned solely by Hitler Youth boys.
January 31, 1943 - The German Sixth Army surrenders at Stalingrad.
May 1943 - The last German strongholds in North Africa fall to the Allies.
June 24, 1943 - The 12th SS-Panzer Division Hitlerjugend is created.
June 6, 1944 - D-Day: Allies landed at Normandy in northern France. The Hitlerjugend Division is sent to the Normandy Front.
July 20, 1944 - Assassination attempt on Hitler fails.
September 25, 1944 - Hitler creates the Volkssturm (People's Army) to defend Germany to the end.
February 1945 - The Werewolf project begins training children in sabotage.
April 20, 1945 - On his 56th birthday, Hitler pins medals on Hitler Youth boys outside his bunker in Berlin.
April 30, 1945 - Hitler commits suicide.
May 7, 1945 - Germany surrenders unconditionally.
May 8, 1945 - The 12th SS-Panzer Division Hitlerjugend surrenders to the U.S. 7th Army.
October 1, 1946 - At the Nuremberg Trials, ex Hitler Youth Leader Schirach is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for crimes against humanity.


    Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth for Boys aged 14 to 18)
    Smallest to Biggest Units

  • Kameradschaft was the smallest unit with 10 to 15 boys.
  • Schar consisted of 3 Kameradschaften totaling 50-60.
  • Gefolgschaft consisted of 3 Scharen totaling 150-190. Each Gefolgschaft, roughly the size of a military company, had its own flag and was the primary unit each Hitler Youth boy identified himself with.
  • Unterbann consisted of 4 Gefolgschaften totaling 600-800.
  • There were 223 Banne with each Bann consisting of 5 Unterbanne totaling about 3,000.
  • An Oberbann consisted of 5 Banne totaling 15,000.
  • The 223 Banne were divided into 42 Gebiete with each Gebiet totaling about 75,000.
  • The 42 Gebeite were divided into 6 Obergebiete with each Obergebiete totaling about 375,000 boys.
Hitler Jugend Ranks
lowest to highest
Deutches Jungvolk Ranks
lowest to highest
(Boys 14 to 18) (Boys 10 to 14)
Hitlerjunge Pimpf
Kammeradschaftsführer Jungenschaftsführer
Scharführer Jungzugführer
Gefolgschaftsführer Fähnleinführer
Stammführer Unterbannführer
Bannführer Jungbannführer

    BDM - Bund Deutscher Mädchen (League of German Girls 14 to 18)
    Smallest to Biggest Units

  • Mädelschaft was the smallest unit with 10 to 15 girls.
  • Mädelschar consisted of 3 or 4 Maedelschaften totaling 50-60.
  • Mädelgruppe consisted of 3 or 4 Maedelscharen totaling 150-190.
  • Mädelring consisted of 4 to 6 Gefolgschaften totaling 600-800.
  • Untergau consisted of 5 Maedelring totaling 3,000.
  • Gau consisted of 5 Untergaue totaling 15,000.
  • Obergau consisted of 5 Gaue totaling 75,000.
  • Gauverband consisted of 5 Obergaue totaling 375,000.
BDM Ranks
lowest to highest
Deutsche Jungmädel Ranks
lowest to highest
(Girls 14 to 18) (Girls 10 to 14)
Mädel Jungmädel
Mädelschaftsführerin Jungmädelschaftsführerin
Mädelscharfürerin JM-Scharführerin
Mädelgruppenführerin JM-Gruppenführerin
Mädelringführerin JM-Ringführerin
Untergauführerin JM-Untergauführerin
Pre-war Membership HJ DJV BDM DJM Combined
1923 1,200
1924 2,400
1925 5,000
1926 6,000
1927 8,000
1928 10,000
1929 13,000
1930 26,000
1931 63,700
1932 99,586
1933 2,292,041
1934 3,577,565
1935 3,942,303
1936 5,437,602
1937 5,879,955
1938 7,031,226
1939 7,287,470

Quotes and Sayings

Jungvolk Oath (taken by ten-year-old boys on first entering the Hitler Youth)

"In the presence of this blood banner which represents our Führer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the savior of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God."

Pledge of Allegiance

"I promise to do my duty in love and loyalty to the Führer and our flag."

Hitler Youth 'Prayers' (modeled after the Lord's Prayer)

"Adolf Hitler, you are our great Führer. Thy name makes the enemy tremble. Thy Third Reich comes, thy will alone is law upon the earth. Let us hear daily thy voice and order us by thy leadership, for we will obey to the end and even with our lives. We praise thee! Hail Hitler!"

"Führer, my Führer, give me by God. Protect and preserve my life for long. You saved Germany in time of need. I thank you for my daily bread. Be with me for a long time, do not leave me, Führer, my Führer, my faith, my light, Hail to my Führer!"

Mottos for Boys

"Live Faithfully, Fight Bravely, and Die Laughing!"

"We were born to die for Germany!"

"You are nothing–your Volk is everything!"

Motto for Girls

"Be Faithful, Be Pure, Be German!"

Sayings of Hitler Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach

"We do not need intellectual leaders who create new ideas, because the superimposing leader of all desires of youth is Adolf Hitler."

"Your name, my Führer, is the happiness of youth, your name, my Führer, is for us everlasting life."

"He who serves Adolf Hitler, the Führer, serves Germany, and whoever serves Germany, serves God."

Quotes of Adolf Hitler

"I begin with the young. We older ones are used up. We are rotten to the marrow. We are cowardly and sentimental. We are bearing the burden of a humiliating past, and have in our blood the dull recollection of serfdom and servility. But my magnificent youngsters! Are there any finer ones in the world? Look at these young men and boys! What material! With them, I can make a new world. This is the heroic stage of youth. Out of it will come the creative man, the man-god."

"When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I say calmly, 'Your child belongs to us already. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community' ."

"...Knowledge would spoil my young people. I prefer that they learn only what they pick up by following their own play instinct. But they must learn self-control. I will have them master the fear of death through the most difficult trials. That is the heroic stage of youth. Out of it will grow the stage of the free man, a human being who is the measure and center of the world."

"The German youth must be slender and supple, fast as a greyhound, tough as leather, and hard as Krupp steel. He must learn to do without, to endure criticism and injustice, to be reliable, discreet, decent, and loyal."

The History Place - Hitler Youth: Author/Bibliography
The History Place - Hitler Youth Index Page
See also: The History Place - Personal Histories
From Hitler Youth to U.S. Air Force - Personal History of Hubert Schmidt
See also: The History Place - Adolf Hitler (62 chapters)
Part I - The Rise of Adolf Hitler
Part II - The Triumph of Hitler
Part III - The Defeat of Hitler

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