As a boy of 8+ years I was aware of the War and the Hitler Youth (HJ) organisation. I was never a member because boys and girls were not old enough until we reached age 10 years. Returning to school in fall 1944 after the summer holidays, I attended with other children from my class three to four times an afternoon event
of the HJ as a socalled "Pimpf", no uniform and no much obligations. This was probably the preparation for the official joining of the HJ because during this 4th schoolyear I and most of my classmates would have become 10 years old and would
be required to enter the HJ. My mother and the aunt didn't push me. My grandparents at the other side had to be very cautious not to become suspicious as not supporting the regime. At Christmas 1944 my mother took me to another small town nearby where she was working in a hospital. From this time on I was no longer going to school - well, I was out of the view of the regime, as the organisation even of school visiting obviously was no more under control.
Do boys, 8 - 10 years old, not look what elder boys are doing, everywhere in the world and at all times? As I wrote the family didn't push me towards the HJ, I saw it as an institution like school where boys (and girls) became involved , had to be involved, like school. Are boys in this age not interested in group playing in camps? This was what I saw in the events which I had to attend. At 5 o'clock in the afternoon you had to go to the playfield where the HJ met, not being able to run around with your playmates having school work completed, going to feed the
chickens in the garden, looking to trains at the railway on the way to the garden. And compared to the younger friends around you are now an older boy whom they are looking up? Let children at this age be children, not much involved in adult situation if not really touched by war, by Hitler, by HJ etc.
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