Early HJ Aviation Activities (1933-36)

Figure 1.--HJ boys even before the creation of the Fliger-HJ could paticipate in a range of aviation related activities, many organized by the NSFK, like the glider comoetition here. The wire servive photograph here read, "Air-minded Hitler Youth: At a recent model glider contest held at the Trabbin Dei Zossen Field in Germany, by the Fourth National Flying Group [probany refrring to the NSFK], hundreds of elaborate models were demonstrated by the contest about to launch their models." The photograph was dated April 23, 1935. The next step in the Fliger-HJ was for the boys to build a real glider and fly it. The boys here look to be about 13-years old. They would thus be of military age (age 18 years) the year after Hitler launched the War.

World War II histories commonly focus on the German lead in air plane design and contruction. This was only partv of the story. Another German lead was in pilot training. And this, not the availability of airgraph almost led to a Luftwaffe victory in the Battle of Britain. A range of activities air activities were devised for interested DJ and HJ boys from an early point after Hitler seized power (1933). This began even before the Luftwaffe and Fliger-HJ was established. DJ and HJ boys built gliders and then participated in annual glider flying competitions. Here they participated in the already existing prograns established by the Nationalsozialistisches Flieger Korps (NSFK), a kind of NAZI Party gliding/flying club. Gliding clubs had been an important feature of sport in Germany during the 1920s. Thev HJ from an early stage worked closely with the NSFK which had begun as more of a youth/young adult group rather a boys' group like the HJ. The HJ arranged for HJ boys as young as 14 years of age to join (1934). Younger boys could participate in NSFK-organized competitions. Both DJ and HJ boys built and flew model gliders. Some 1,550 boys participated in the 1936 copetition and this was before the HJ became compulsory. The boys after the Luftwaffe was made public (1935) created visited Luftwaffe facilities, usually air fields where they could admire the new planes rolling off the production lines. Some boys were able to go on rides in the planes, both fighters and bombers.


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Created: August 9, 2002
Last updated: 9:25 PM 4/15/2009