one thousand-year Reich

Photo Of The Day

Girls dancing at the rally of Greater Germany in 1938.

Girls dancing at the rally of Greater Germany in 1938.

German League of Girls

With origins in the 1920s, the Bund Deutscher Mädel was the only female youth organization within Nazi Germany. Against a racial ‘defilement’ and pro-rebelling against parents should they compel female youth to take part in events that involved Jewish people, the Mädel formed as a way to harvest good German mothers for the one thousand-year Reich. Members contributed to the Nazi war effort by collecting money, goods and clothing for Nazi charitable donations. The female arm of the Nazi movement was severed in 1945 at the hands of the Allied Control Council.

In 1930 the Bund Deutscher Mädel (German League of Girls) was formed as the female branch of the Hitler Youth movement. It was set up under the direction of Hitler Youth leader, Baldur von Schirach. There were two general age groups: the Jungmädel, from ten to fourteen years of age, and older girls from fifteen to twenty-one years of age. All girls in the BDM were constantly reminded that the great task of their schooling was to prepare them to be “carriers of the… Nazi world view”.

“The leadership immediately set about organizing youth into a coherent body of loyal supporters. Under Baldur von Schirach, himself only twenty-five at the time, the organization was to net all young people from ages ten to eighteen to be schooled in Nazi ideology and trained to be the future valuable members of the Reich. From the start, the Nazis pitched their appeal as the party of youth, building a New Germany…. Hitler intended to inspire youth with a mission, appealing to their idealism and hope.” Schirach promoted the idea of the German Girls’ League as “youth leading youth.” In fact, its leaders were part of “an enormous bureaucratised enterprise, rather than representative of an autonomous youth culture.”

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