Hitler Youth: Activities--Anti-Semitic Actions

Figure 1.--The NAZIs after the Anschluss publically humiliated Jews by making them scrub the sidewalks on their hands and knees. This photograph was taken in Vienna. The Hitler Youth boy at the left looks to be involved in supervising the work. Notice the boys in the background who appear to have formed an organized cordon around the Jews.

It is unclear to us at this time to what extent Hitler Youth (HJ) boys were used in the various actions asociated with the NAZI anti-semitic campaign. The SA Stromtroopers would physically asault Jews on the street. We are unsure if HJ boys were involved in such activities. We know that even before Jews were expelled from German state schools in 1935, many Jewish children had to leave the schools because of verbal and physical abuse by both teachers and fellow students. To what extent this abuse was random individual acts rather than coordinated acts I do not know. I know of no coordinated HJ national policy. It seems inconceivavable given the intensity of the propaganda and educational campaign that HJ boys did not discuss actions aginst Jewish children in their class or school. To what extent such actions were encouraged or guided by the adult leadership we do not know. There were of course many opportunities for HJ members to participate in ant-semitic campaign. HJ boys could report on Jewish neighbors for violation of the myriad of activities affecting their lives. They might notice, for example, a Jew who entered a movie theater or sat on park bench or who tried to hide property in their back yard. Given all the restrictions on Jews, the possibilities are virtually endless. I am not sure to what extent HJ boys carried out acts of vandalism on property. Here they may have been discouraged by NAZIs officials more concerned with stealing Jewish property than destroying it. There were of course exceptions. We wonder to what extent HJ boys were involved in Crystal Night. We note that HJ boys were involved in the public humiliation inflicted upon Jews after the NAZI Anchluss in 1938 (figure 1).


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Created: October 10, 2002
Last updated: 2:54 PM 6/21/2014