Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hitler Youth” as Want to Read:
In modern times, the recruitment of children into a political organization and ideology reached its boldest embodiment in the Hitler Youth, founded in 1933 soon after the Nazi Party assumed power in Germany. Determining that by age ten children's minds could be turned from play to politics, the regime inducted nearly all German juveniles between the ages of ten and eightee ...more
Paperback, 355 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Harvard University Press
(first published 2004)
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
I haven't looked at the other reviews yet, but this one seemed to be rated pretty low. I'm not sure why. Kater is a very good historian and I like his writing style quite a bit. He examines the origin of the youth organizations in Germany and in surrounding parts of Europe and makes connections between an earlier rebellion against modernity to the volkish, heavily charged nationalism that would result in a framework for the Hitler Youth for the NSDAP. I found particularly interesting his examina ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Katherine Addison rated it did not like it
There's a curious phenomenon in historiography of the Nazis: the insidious way in which, if you aren't very careful, you will find yourself reinscribing the terms of the very discourse you're supposed to be studying. Hitler's ignorance and therefore innocence of the genocide of the Jews is probably the creepiest of these memes. It was a popular defense of the Führer during his reign, and then got picked up by Hitler apologist David Irving on his long descent from fire-eating muckraker to Holocau ...more
This is a typical European history writing in that it is short of addressing the "so what?" question. I do not find the question he poses, "Were those who joined the HJ legally responsible for what they did?" particularly interesting. (The answer is pretty obvious from the beginning.) It is rich in details based on memoirs recently written by survivors, however. If you are interested in this particular German historical issue and the experiences of German youth during the war, it is an interesti ...more
I actually really liked this book in some ways, but was confused by some of the conclusions Kater seems to want to come to. The thesis is allegedly wrapped up the dicey questions of complicity among the "average" Germans under the Third Reich. This sort of discussion is wrought with problems at the outset, and Kater avoids a real examination for the most part. It is, though, a highly readable and thorough history of one of the weirdest, most disturbing aspects of Hitler's regime.
Good book if you are looking for in-depth background information on the Hitler Youth, but I find it hard to believe that a person even finds himself questioning whether the children of Germany during WWII should bear a portion of the guilt for the atrocities committed by the leaders of the Third Reich. Clearly, the answer is no. All that being said, I did find the necessary dates and locations that I needed, so I'm grateful for the thorough research that the author did.