Boys' Uniformed Group: Activities--Meetings

Figure 1.--.

On occasion boys from different youth groups or boys in the same group from different countries had the opportunity to meet or encounter each other. Circumstances varied. The most common occasions were events like Scout Jamborees. There were other friedly interactions. In some countries there were conflicts. Rival youth groups in Germany fought eah other during the 1920s and 30s. After the NAZis seized power in Germany they incorporated the Scouts into the Hitler Youth. Thenthere were contacts with other Nordic groups in neighboring countries and even Scouts in other countries.

Boy Scouts

The Scouts almost from the beginning took an internationlist approach. This was the case eventhough in the early 20th century Europe and America where the first Scout groups appeared rather ugly racist and nationalist ideas were still common. While Scouting did little to encourage interaction with poor working class boys and the middle class boys that were domonated, they did reach out to other countries through Jamborees and other exchanges. In some countries where youth groups had become politicized, Scouts had more difficultties and there were some times fights between rival groups. Other Scout leaders had no interest in bringing boys together and the Scout movement was often organized on religious affiliation.

Boys' Brigade

HBU has no information at this time on efforts by the Boys' Brigade to promote exchanges with other groups.

Hitler Youth

While Scouts took an internationlist approach, the Hitler Youth took a virulently nationalistic approach. Given its political focus, during the 1920s and 30s, there were confrontations and sactual fights with other groups. There were of course incidents with Jewish youth, but probably more serious were incidents with communist and socialist groups, primarily because they were more of these groups and they were more politically active. The confrontations sometimes were serious and some boys were actually killed. After the NAZIs seized power, these incidentys ended as rival groups were outlawed or incorporated into the Hitler Youth. In addition propaganda exchnahes were proted as well as a variety of excahges with Hitler Youth or like-minded groups in Nordic or after 1940, occupied countries.

Nationlist Groups

No information available at this time.


Wandervogel was the first important German youth movement. The Wandervogel encouraged meetings with other units accross Germany. Because of the emphasis on Nordic culture, some Wandervogel units refused to meet with Jewish groups. I'm not sure what their attitude was toward international excahnges.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: December 8, 2000
Last updated: December 8, 2000