The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Baldur Von Schirach

(Part 2 of 6)

[Page 878]


(Reference is made at this point to section 8 of Chapter VII on "Reshaping of Education and Training of Youth" See also 3054-PS.)

It was Schirach's task to perpetuate the Nazi regime through generations by poisoning the mind of youth, and thereby the mind of the German people, and to prepare the German nation for aggressive wars.

The basic law concerning the Hitler Youth, which under Schirach's tutelage became an instrument of the Nazi State, declares:

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

"All German youth in the Reich is organized within the Hitler Youth.

"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 the community, through the Hitler Youth.

"The task of educating the German Youth through the Hitler Youth is being entrusted to the Reich Leader of German Youth in the NSDAP. ***" (1392-PS).

For the five years preceding the promulgation of this law Schirach

[Page 879]

had been leader of the Hitler Youth and Reich Youth Leader of the NSDAP. He continued in these positions until the Nazis launched their aggressive wars. As late as 4 December 1945, Schirach declared his own feeling of responsibility for Nazi policies concerning youth:

"I feel myself responsible for the policy of the youth movement in the Party and later within the Reich." (3302-PS).

(1) Schirach actively promoted the NSDAP and its affiliated youth organizations before the Nazis seized power. In 1929 Hitler appointed Schirach leader of the National Socialist German Students League and in 1931 leader of the Hitler Jugend. After 1931, Schirach devoted his full time to Party work (3302-PS). Before 1933, Schirach moved throughout Germany, leading demonstrations and summoning German youth to the Hitler Youth. When this organization and the wearing of its uniform were forbidden by law, Schirach continued by illegal means. Of this period he writes:

"Whoever came to us during this illegal time, boy or girl, risked everything. *** With pistols in our belts we drove through the Ruhr district while stones came flying after us." (1458-PS)

Schirach admits that Rosenberg and he were not successful before 1933 in efforts to reach "an understanding" with other youth organizations. Schirach states that he thereupon arrived at a conclusion which later was to spell the doom of independent youth groups:

"I realized at that time that an understanding with the leaders of the League would never be possible and devoted myself to the principle of the totality [Totalitlaet] of the Hitler Youth which in the year 1933 cost all those leagues their independent existence." (1458-PS).

(2) Schirach, on behalf of the Nazi conspirators, destroyed all independent youth organizations or caused them to be absorbed within the Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend). After the Nazi conspirators seized political control of Germany, Schirach was aggressive in bringing the entire German youth within the Nazi orbit of control and domination. Referring to the period immediately following 30 January 1933, Schirach declared:

"Now the problem was to apply the victory of the movement to the entire youth. Our cabinet ministers were overburdened with their new tasks and were working day and night. We could not wait until they could find time to solve the youth question by their own initiative. Therefore, we had

[Page 880]

to act ourselves. My co-workers met in my Munich apartment and advised me to occupy the Reichs Committee [Reichsausschuss] of the German Youth Leagues [Jugendverbaende]. I commissioned General [0bergebietsfuehrer] Nabersberg with 50 members of the Berlin HJ to make a surprise raid on the Reich Committee in the Alsenstrasse early the next morning. This was done and at noon the press had the report that the HJ [Hitler Youth] had taken over the leadership of the Reich Committee."

By a second surprise raid, Schirach took over the Youth Hostels. Of this Schirach writes in the same book:

"In the meantime I gained control over the Reich League for German Youth Hostels [Reichsverband fuer deutsche Jugendherbergen] in similar manner to the one employed with the Reich Committee." (1458-PS)

By using the records of the seized Reich Committee, Schirach states that he obtained knowledge of the strength and influential personalities of all the German youth groups.

"From this point I recognized the necessity of coming to grips with the Greater German Union [Grossdeutscher Bund ].'' (1458-PS)

In June 1933, Schirach was appointed Youth Leader of the German Reich (Jugendfuehrer des Deutschen Reiches) in a solemn ceremony before Hitler. Concerning the period immediately following, Schirach writes in the same book:

"The first thing I did was to dissolve the Greater German Union [Grossdeutscher Bund]. Since I headed all German youth organizations and I had the right to decide on their leadership, I did not hesitate for a moment to take this step, which was for the Hitler Youth the elimination of an unbearable state of affairs." (1458-PS)

The dissolution of this and other youth organizations was accomplished by orders issued by Schirach as Youth Leader of the German Reich. (2229-PS)

In this position Schirach also appointed deputies to the various German states (Landesbeauftragte) "to carry out my instructions, and I appointed district leaders [Gebietsfuehrer] to these positions in all of the states in execution of my right" (1458-PS). In this book Schirach also admits directing the further assimilation or destruction of other youth organizations:

"The Marxist youth as well as all political youth organizations I prohibited after the occupation of the Reich Committee. The one million members of the HJ which we had on 30 January 1933 had grown to a round 3,000,000. Only

[Page 881]

the two large professional groups, the Protestant and Catholic youth, were opposed to us." (1458-PS)

Schirach proceeded to hold discussions with the Hitler- appointed Reich Bishop Ludwig Mueller,

"And in December 1933, the Reich Bishop and myself were able to inform the Fuehrer that incorporation of the Protestant youth into the HJ had become a reality." (1458-PS)

When this book was written, Schirach had not yet accomplished the complete coordination of Catholic youth into the Hitler Youth, though he argued that:

"No reasonable man in Germany can give a reason for the necessity of the existence of Catholic youth organizations in their present form." (1458-PS)

Schirach's objective of forcing all German youth into the Hitler Youth was finally accomplished by a decree in December 1936. (1392-PS)

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