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Law on the Hitler Youth (December 1, 1936)

The education of youth was one of the leading priorities in the general mobilization of the population in the National Socialist spirit. The future of the German people was to rest on the shoulders of ideologically steadfast young people who were fully aware of their responsibility as German soldiers and mothers. To that end, Baldur von Schirach, the Reich Youth Leader of the NSDAP, ordered the dissolution of nearly all German youth organizations as early as 1933. He then worked to integrate them into the youth organization of the NSDAP, the Hitler Youth. Although membership was initially voluntary, Schirach used numerous sticks and carrots to get children and young people to join. The following law of December 1, 1936, made membership mandatory, and the Hitler Youth thereby changed from a party to a state organization. The Hitler Youth concerned itself not only with political-ideological but also physical education. Physical training took on increasingly paramilitary forms and emphasized ideals such as strength of will, obedience, and the unconditional fulfillment of duty.

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Law on the Hitler Youth (December 1, 1936)

The future of the German Nation depends upon its youth, and German youth shall have to be prepared for its future duties.

Therefore the Government of the Reich has prepared the following law which is being published herewith:

§ 1.
All of the German youth in the Reich is organized within the Hitler Youth.

§ 2.
The German Youth besides being reared within the family and school, shall be educated physically, intellectually, and morally in the spirit of National Socialism to serve the people and community, through the Hitler Youth.

§ 3.
The task of educating the German Youth through the Hitler Youth is being entrusted to the Reich Leader of German Youth in the NSDAP. He is the “Youth Leader of the German Reich”. The position of his office is that of a higher governmental Agency with its seat in Berlin, and is directly responsible to the Fuehrer and the Chancellor of the Reich.

§ 4.
All regulations necessary for the execution and completion of this law will be issued by the Fuehrer Chancellor of the Reich.

Berlin, 1 December 1936

The Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich
Adolf Hitler

The Secretary of State and Chief of the Reich Chancellery
Dr. Lammers

Source of English translation: Law on the Hitler Youth (December 1, 1936). In United States Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946. Volume 3, Document 001-PS – Document 1406-PS. Document 1392-PS, p. 972-73. (English translation accredited to Nuremberg Staff.)

Original German text printed in: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1936, T. I, No. 113, p. 993; reprinted in Paul Meier-Benneckenstein, ed., Dokumente der deutschen Politik, Volume 4: Deutschlands Aufstieg zur Großmacht 1936, edited by Axel Friedrichs. Berlin, 1937, pp. 328-29.

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