Dutch Youth Group Uniforms

Figure 1.--Right-wing Dutch elements and the NAZI occupation forces promoted the Jeugdstorm during the World War II occuopation.

The major Dutch youth groups have been the Scouts and a nationalist group during the German occupation which was based on a pre-War right-wing group. There is not much to report on the modern Netherlands. Holland now lacks the plethora of scouts and scout-like movements of France, Belgium, and Germany. There were five associationsm but they were united in 1973. There is now but one movement, Scouting Nederland, and I believe it has discarded uniforms long ago. A Dutch contributor to HBC reports, "I havenít noticed a single scout uniform since I came to live in my home country." The Germans promoted a Nordic youth movement during the World War II occupation. There was also Hitler Youth units for german boys living in the Netherlands.some of which have religious foundation.

Boy Scouts

Since 1973 all five Dutch Scout groups are united in one organisation called: Scouting Nederland. Scouting Nederland has the objective: to promote the Scouting programme in The Netherlands, based on the ideas of Lord Baden-Powell, in order to offer to boys and girls pleasant leisure activities, through which a contribution is made to the development of their personality. The total membership figure (all ages) of 1992 is, according to the annual report: nearly 115,000; i.e. 85,000 juniors and 30,000 adults (not all adults are leaders, so please don't interpret the figure as a 3:1 rate!). Scouting Nederland is a member of both WOSM and WAGGGS.

Boys' Brigade

We have very little information about the Dutch Boys' Brigade, but we know that there were Brigade units in the Netherlands. As in Britain, the Brigade had more of a Christian focus and for many years a Protestant focus. The Brigade was founded in the Netherlands during 1935. We know that it was operating in the 1950s. We do not know its current status.

Nationalist Groups

The Netherlands borders Germany. The Dutch are related to the Germany linguistically and ethnically. Many Germans lived in the Netherlands. The Germans in World War I respected Dutch neutrality and even gave scantuary to the Kaisser after he abdicated. Quite a number of right-wing Fascist parties were formed in the inter-war era, many had youth wings. Strangely for susposedly natinalist parties, several advocated union with Germany. There was some support for these groups even before the German invasion in 1940. The Germans did not respect Dutch neutrality in World War II. Interest in the NAZI-approved party increased markedly in the early years of the War when many thought that the Germans would win. Participation in the principal Fascist youth movement, the Jeugdstrom, also increased.

Hitler Youth

Germany borders the Netherlands and German business were active in the Netherlands quite a number of Germans moved to the Netherlands and of course the Dutch did the same in Germany. As a result, a substantial number of Germans lived in the Netherlands before World War II. There were Hitler Youth units formed for the German boys living in the Netherlands. I'm not sure about restrictions put on them by the Dutch Government before the German invasion in 1940, but after occupation they were free to opperate openly.

Jonge Wacht

The Jonge Wacht was a Catholic youth organization. It was comparable to the Scouts which in the Netherlands were dominated by the majority Protestants. We do not know a great deal anout the group because most internt sites are in Dutch. We have managed to collect a little information, although wev are a little uncertain about the translation. Jonge Wacht means someting like Young Watch or Youth Guard. It was founded in 1928. It seems to have grown out of an earlier Catholic group--Patronage. The group did not operate in the Diocese of Haarlem. There a separate Catholic group was active--Kruisvaart (the Crusade). Jonge Wacht was very similar to the Scouts, but could make their own program and was not bound strict to Baden Powell's program. The Jonge Wacht boys were called Pioneers. The boys were 12-15 years old. We do not know if there was an associated Cub-age group. There was ab older group--De Jonge Werkman for youth 16 to 21 years. This actially was a group organized earlier in 1917. It was essentially an appretince group for the Roman Catholic Workers' Association. The NAZI occupation authorities banned he group (1941). There was some attemp for the leaders to operate cladetinely, but this was discinytinued in 1942 when it became to dangerous. After World War II, Jonge Wacht was reconstituted, but gradually evolved into Yong Netherlands.

Jong Nederland

Jong Nederland (Young Netherlands) emerged after World War II. It was another Catholic group. It was particularly prominant in the two largely Catholic provinces (North Barbant and Limburg). The group is still active in the Netherlands. One report indicated that about 2005 there were 80 local youth clubs awith 12,000 members. In addition, there is a related group, Young Limburg Netherlands which consists of 42 local youth clubs and 5,500 members. Internationaal is is affiliated with the Netherlands Fimcap. In Belgium there are comparable groups--Chiro, Patro, and the KSA, but these grouops seem less focused on the Catholic foundation.

Communist/Socialist Groups

I do not know of any Young Pioneer groups that swere formed in the Netherlands. The Pioneers were primarily Government sponsored groups formed once the Communists seized control in a country. A Dutch reader mentions the Arbeiders Jeugd Centrale (AJC), a communist/socialist organization for boys and girls from working class families that was active in the Netherlands during the 1930s before World War II. They did not have a very elaborte uniform. They usually wore blue shirts and a red neckerchief and the boys often brown corduroy long or short pants, perhaps to emphasize their prolitarianism. He believes the AJC groups were mixed, boys and girls together. They would march in the May Day parades and go to summer camps. The AJC was disbanded by the German occupation immediately after the Dutch surrender in 1940. Our Dutch reader report that AJC members were looked upon with disdain by most Dutch. He remembers how people talked about them. The same goes for a group of problem boys who were in a state reformatory. These boys were dressed in brown corduroy suits (jackets and long trousers). Corduroy is called manchester in Holland. Our reader remembers his father telling him, "If you don't behave, I'll send you to the Manchester School". He was not aware that the Manchester School was a very respected political and economical party in 19th century England.


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Created: April 12, 2001
Last updated: 10:38 PM 11/24/2008