National Youth Groups: Denmark

Figure 1.--Boys from the DNSAP Hind in their black uniforms are seen hear on a train, setting off for a Hitler Youth summer camp in Germany. Notice the flowers they have been given. One boy holds a swastica flag, which is hard to see in this poor quality photograph. This was the symbol of the DNSAP. Many of these boys would have been German speaking ethnic Germans from southern Denmark.

The German invasion of neutral Denmark and Norway was launched April 9, 1940. The small Scandinavia country was occupied within hours. There was virtually no resistance. Denmark at the time had several pro-NAZI parties, not because there was a lor of NAZI sentiment, but because there was no one individual leader, like Vidkun Quisling, to dominate the movement. NAZI policy was to exploit Denmark economically and to eventually incorprate Denmark into the Reich. Thus they worked with the existing democratic Government rather than the Danish NAZIs (DNSAP) who were unable to generate support among the Danish populstion. Even after several years of occupation, the DNSAP was able to generate only minimal support, mostly from ethnic Germans in the southern part of the country. National Socialistiske Ungdom (NSU)The same was true of their youth group, the National Socialistiske Ungdom (NSU).

World War I (1914-18)

There was a great deal of anti-German sentiment in Denmark as aesult of Prusso-Danish War (1864). Prussia seized Schleswig-Holstein in a 1864 war that was a steping stone to German unification in 1870-71. Even so, Denmark remained strictly neutral in World War I. The League of Nations following the War I held a plebecite. North Schleswig voted to become part of Denmark while South Schleswig voted to remain part of Germany.

German Invasion: Studie Nord (April 1940)

The one Allied offensive in the first year of the War was planned to secure Norway. The Germans responded with an offensive north on April 9, invading Denmark and Norway. It was a rapidly organized invasion to counter a planned British attempt to move into Norway to cut off iron shipments. The German Krriegsmarine suffered severe losses, especilly of destroyers. The British fough on in northern Norway for 3 weeks, but the superiority of the Luftwaffe finally forced them to withdraw. The loss of Norway not only provided access to raw material, but meant that the U-boats could not br bottled up as they were in World War I. It also meant later in the War that supplying Russia would be very difficult.

Danish NAZIs

There was a small German population in North Schleswig or as the Danes called it, South Jutland. These Volksdeutsche eagerly embraced the pro-NAZI parties after the rise of NAZI Party in Germany (1930s). Several pro-NAZI parties were organized in Denmark during the 1930s, Denmark at the time had several pro-NAZI parties, not because there was a lot of NAZI sentiment, but because there was no one individual leader, like Norway's notorious Vidkun Quisling, to dominate the movement. The largeest Danish NAZI party was Danmarks National Socialistiske Arbejder Parti (DNSAP), the Danish National Socialist Workers Party. The party was founded in 1930 by which time the German NAZI Party had emerged as a real threat to Gerrman democracy. The part began under the leadership of a committe, but by 1933 it was taken over by Frits Clausen, a doctor. The party polled over 16,000 votes and by 1939 it had doubled its vote to 31,000 and won three seats in parliament. Party uniforms and flags openly employed the German NAZI swastica. In other countries the local NAZIs selected more reconiazably national symbols. Quite a number of smaller pro-NAZI parties and groups were formed in addition to the DNSAP. Unlike the other occupied countries, the German authorities did not insist in fusion into a single party. HBU is not going into the details of these groups as no information is available on their youth formations, if any. The Danish Governent in the 1930s, as in Norway, had banned political party uniforms. As a result, the DNSAP and other groups camouflaged their storm troopers as sports or social clubs. Some of the groups would carry out motor boat exercised with SS and SA units in German Flensburg--to the annoyance of Danish officials. Of course after the 1940 invasion it was nonlonger necessary to seek such supterfuges. The profusion of pro-NAZI groups and the Teutonic population in Denmark perhaps gave the the NAZI occupation authorities the mistalken impression that the NAZIs had achieved ca degree of public support. What ever the reason, the occuopations authorities actually alowed a free election--the only one of its kind in Europe. The pro-NAZI parties polled 7 percent of the vote. Most of the pro-NAZI vote was centered in the southern-most province of Schleswig-Holstein along the German border.


We do not yet have details on Danish Scouting during the German occupation.

National Socialistiske Ungdom (NSU)

The youth section of the DNSAP was the National Socialistiske Ungdom (NSU) or the National Socialist Youth. The NSU was divided into two groups based on the boys age. The Skjoldunge (Youth Defense Corps) was for boys 10 to 14 years of age. The Vaebnere (Squirles) was originally the name of the group for older boys, 15 to 18 years. The Vaebnere was subsequently renamed the Hird, sing the same term adopted by the Quisling Nasjonal Samling militia in Norway. The first Danish National Youth Leader was Count Christian von Schalburg. He was later succeeded by Hans Jensen.

Figure 2.--These girls are officers in the Danske Piger (Danish Maidens) wearing a similar uniform to the boys. Note the chin strap the girl on the left is wearing with her firage cap.

NSU Uniform

Both sections of the NSU wore the same black uniform: shirt, trousers or breeches, neckerchief, and forage cap. The Hitler Youth had adoped the Scout kneckerchief and many of youth movements of the pro NAZI parties also used the kerchief. Officers could wear black tunics and white shirts with black ties for ceremonial occasins. The NSU emblem was a white closed sun wheel. On the front of the forafe cap, a white national cockde was worn. A white tassel was hung from the peak of the cap--a Danish army tradition. In the winter boys wore a black tunic orbattle dress blouse. The belt buckle was a closed sun wheel. The summer dress was a black shirt worn with a black kerchief .


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Created: June 29, 2000
Last updated: 3:37 AM 11/1/2009