people were thrilled to be wooed beyond limits by the powerful political and
propagandistic apparatus of the Third Reich. They were transfixed listening to
hate mongering of the Furher. They were flattered to
be the Reich’s future and proud to be part of a movement of monumental historic
significance: the creation of the New Culture, the New World Order, New Reich that would last
“a thousand years.” They were attracted by the spiritual and national hymns
glorifying camaraderie; they loved the cult-like activities, the swearing of
the oath of fealty to Adolf Hitler, the
“We are the joyous Hitler Youth,
We need no stinkin’ Christian virtue
Our Fuhrer is our savior and future
The Pope and Rabbi shall be gone
We wish to be pagans once again.”
“We follow not Christ, but Horst Wessel,
Away with incense and Holy Water vessel,
The Church should hang for all we care,
The Swastika brings salvation on Earth everywhere.”
―Yep, as Hitler said, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
is not the Church per se, which bothered Nazis. After all they disbanded the
Christian Youth organizations as soon as they came to power, and could throw
all priests into the concentration camps overnight. It was the religious
morality, the essence of what separates humans from animals that bothered them.
It was the “Golden Rule” promulgated
through the tenets of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. “Do unto others as you want them do unto you,”
and the Silver Rule: “Do not do
unto others as you do not want them do unto you.” These Rules are
prominently in the holy books of all religions, almost verbatim as quoted
above. This morality was in contrast to
the New World Order, the implementation of which called for physical
annihilation and subjugation of millions of non-German people, and torture and
murder of Germans who disagreed. As long as the oath of secrecy was maintained
while mass-murder was under way, German masses were kept happy. Do you think it
is much different in the
In the struggle for authority over the children, the children enjoyed to be bribed and in the center of everyone’s attention and the object of everyone’s desire to direct the Youth down “the true path.” The parents, church, schools, and the 3d Reich itself were fighting bitterly for control over the children. In most cases the children chose the Hitler’s Youth organization over the parents because the movement offered a “modern,” “progressive” and – frankly – far more exciting way of life, as compared to the drudgery of everyday life with their parents, or the Bible study in Church. Thus, the Old Culture lost the fight.
By hook and by crook, by directly intimidating, shaming or eliminating the parents, and by simultaneously enticing and indoctrinating the children into the Nazi camp, the state won the war for children, hands down. Now the Hitler Youth could be brainwashed for years to come: they were taught to crave active combat at the front. Motivated by a youthful lust for adventure, daring, and risk, their love of flirting with and daring danger were encouraged. School lessons in “biological racism,” German “master race,” and ideas of a “Germanic world empire” – no matter how abstract and off-the-wall – could not but leave a major impact on the impressionable young minds of the boys and girls, reinforcing their sense of superiority and purpose, their readiness to sacrifice their lives for the Thousand Year Reich (never mind it being crushed in less than 12 years), in which the memory of them was promised to live forever.
In 1931 Nazi party officials were given a formula for building up the German nation, the “Guide and Instructional Letter” that stated:
“The natural hostility of the peasant against the Jews, and his hostility against the Freemason as a servant of the Jew, must be worked up to a frenzy.” Where did this hostility come from in the first place? – Mainly from the Church.
Hitler viewed the Bible, Christian ethics, Judeo-Christian tradition and morality as ugly “vestiges of Judaism”: “The Ten Commandments have no validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention; it is as ugly as circumcision.” “The heaviest blow which ever struck humanity was Christianity; Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew.” 
Hitler commented about his critics: “They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians; to us it is an honored title. We shall rejuvenate the world.”
The most susceptible to such propaganda were the youth, who knew nothing else and were left alone to Nazi indoctrination: the parents, teachers and church were marginalized by the regime and did not dare to counter Nazi indoctrination on fear of punishment by slow death in concentration camps. The church was tolerated in as much as it would take years to eradicate Christianity; as long as the priests cooperated, they were free to practice their faith. But ultimately there must be one faith – in Fürher – and SS troops were obliged to solemnly repudiate any of their Christian beliefs.
It would take maturity, brain-power and strength of conviction, such as those of the dissident German playwright and anti-Nazi poet Bertolt Brecht, to laugh at the absurdity of the claims made by the Nazis. A former Hitlerjugend commander Alfonse Heck, in his books “A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika,” and “The Burden of Hitler’s Legacy,” he described the replacement of his fathers’ human morality with the Nazi ideology: “We five- and six-year-olds received a daily dose of Nazi instruction, which we swallowed as naturally as our mother’s milk. The very young became defenseless receptacles for whatever was crammed into us.”
Hitler adopted certain rites from Freemasonry, which he also described as “bogeys for children”: “The hierarchical organization and the initiation through symbolic rites… without bothering the brains but by working on the imagination through magic and the symbols of cult – all these are dangerous elements and the elements that I have taken over. Our party must be of this character.”
Nazi regime’s militant atheism, or more specifically, its rigid stance against
Christian morality, culminated in certain SS and NSDAP rituals. One of the very
first SS rituals administered to the new recruits was a solemn renunciation of
their Christian faith. This was not optional. Since SS was recruiting primarily
from the ranks of HJ, the anti-Christian indoctrination began early in life and
intensified as the boys and girls matured. Not unlike today’s
16-year-old Hitler Youth (Bund Deutscher Mädchen, BDM) girl wrote cheerfully to her mother that out
of 38 girls in her summer camp, 35 got pregnant (including herself) by Hitlerjugend boys in the nearby camp. When mother arrived
in the camp to discipline the girl, her daughter retorted with a threat to
report mother to Gestapo as opposed to Furher’s call
for higher birth rates. By then,
The Official Handbook for the Schooling of Hitler Youth attacked freemasons, Marxists, and the Christian church for their “mistaken teaching of the equality of all men” by which Jews were said to be seeking power over the whole world. Jews and communists were to be exterminated on-sight, Masonic lodges and Christian clergy – were dismissed and their members sent to the concentration camps, although some clergy could function for a while, as long as they fully cooperated with the Nazis in the process of weaning the masses from the Christian religion. While mocking the ideals of equality, Hitler really attacked the achievements of humankind, which culminated in the Age of Enlightenment, of which the American Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights were the fruit, ever since serving beacons of hope for generations to come, until they became extinct for all practical purposes.
In 1941-43, quite a few of young SS soldiers, when home on furlough, warned their younger HJ comrades not only of the excessive harshness in the SS troops, whose standards were much tougher than those in the Wehrmacht, but also of SS requirement to shed all ties with Christian church, beliefs and behavior and to demonstrate loyalty to Fürher by committing crimes of untold cruelty, and in absolute secrecy. They whispered of horrific atrocities committed against partisans, POWs, and Jews that they had witnessed in the field, often as active accomplices. Naturally, some of the boys did not like the prospect of swapping whatever humanity was left for becoming an Ubermench, and would rather join Wermacht, as the statistics of higher casualty rate among the Waffen-SS were not entirely lost on them, at least not lost on the smarter ones. As soon as the Waffen-SS recruiters realized that news from the fronts was beginning to dampen the enthusiasm of the young SS candidates, they intensified flattery and pressure, making it very difficult to resist. The Eastern front was quickly thinning the ranks of SS and they needed a lot more cannon fodder. Children – inexperienced, naïve and easily brain-washed – were it, quickly placed into the East Front’s meat grinder.
◄ All rights reserved ● Copyright © 2011, Eric Ross, Ph.D. ►
 Translation from German by the author. For alternative translation see, e.g., The 12-year Reich: a social history of Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 By Richard Grunberger. P. 442
 Hitler’s speech at the Reichsparteitag, 1935
 The brown
book of the Hitler terror, and the burning of the Reichstag, prepared by the
World Committee for the Victims of German Fascism ; with an introduction by
 Gespräche mit Hitler,
 Norman Cameron
and R.H. Stevens, trans., (
 The Voice of Destruction; By Hermann Rauschning, Pelican Publishing, 2003; PP 240-1.
 Hitler Speaks, Hermann Rauschning.
 Fetscher, 46; Franz Schönhuber, Ich war dabei, 3rd ed. (Munich, 1981), 59–61; Wolfgang Klafki in Klafki, 165; Knopp, 322–323; Eppler, 118; Peter Petersen in Steinhoff et al., 9; Jörg Andrees in Winfried Maass, Die
Portrait eine verratenen