Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow
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Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  2,506 ratings  ·  517 reviews
In her first full-length nonfiction title since winning the Robert F. Sibert Award, Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups.

"I begin with the young. We older ones are used up . . . But my magnificent youngsters! Look at these men and boys! What material! With them, I can create a new world." --Adolf...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Scholastic Nonfiction
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Newbery Medal Honor Books
75th out of 306 books — 241 voters
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German History
83rd out of 309 books — 77 voters


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Mara
I was not an easy adolescent to rear. Or maybe I was just typical. My teenage years definitely featured more than a few slammed doors and threats to never talk to my parents again, along with the occasional 'I wish xxx's parents were my parents.' Now just imagine if these types of disagreements ended with angst-ridden teens shouting "I wish Hitler were my father." But instead of a slammed door they go to school where they're learning eugenics, tell their 18 year old teacher, and then some Nazi s...more
Kellee
Full review at: http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=1592

During World War II, Hitler controlled more than just the military; he controlled the entire country of Germany. Much of what this book explains are parts of the WWII history that is not taught in our schools and shows the true extent of the power that Hitler had over everyone.

The Hitler Youth began as a voluntary organization to support Hitler, but it quickly became a way for Hitler to control the youth. Soon the Hitler Youth was not volu...more
Laurel
This chilling book offers its readers an unusual perspective. As the author states, it is not a book about Hitler himself, nor is it really about the millions of victims who were horrifically murdered under his regime. This book instead focuses on a generation of young men and women who were seduced by his false promises and who chose to follow and devote their hopes and energies to his movement, unwittingly playing a role in the unimaginable horrors that followed. The book is based on first-han...more
Anna
Closing lines: Could another despot like Hitler rise to power on the shoulders of young people? Only young people today can answer that question. What are you willing to do to prevent such a shadow from falling over you?

Rating: 4.5

I read The Boy Who Dared and loved it. And, naturally, as this was a Newbery, I had to read this.

As you can tell from the excerpt above, this would be a great book for Holocaust study for middle-schoolers, but with discretion. The subject matter is handled quite well....more
Lewis Weinstein
Frightening book. Shows how pervasive and persuasive were Hitler's successful efforts to attract young people to his Nazi movement.

Some of my notes from an earlier read ...

Each boy in the Hitler Youth had a Party Record Book in which his performance and progress were recorded. Boys who held exemplary Party Record Books were selected to attend elite schools established by the Nazis.

The Hitler Youth enjoyed the power they had over teachers and other authority figures. Dressed in full uniform, e...more
LeeAnn
What a chilling book. It documents what can happen when youth are indoctrinated by evil men (or women) from a young age and how it can happen in any culture. The necessity for good people to guide youth in learning to choose good over evil and recognize it for what it is.

And yet it also caused me to look over our own society and wonder how many of those scenarios have already occurred. How many history textbooks have already rewritten? How many do not learn from the classics? How many accept oth...more
Tatiana
Not wholly satisfying in terms of depth and nuance, like all YA non-fiction I've read thus far. But still this book managed to shock me. And, raised on WWII movies and books, I am not easily shocked when it comes to Nazis.

Very sad to read about so deeply indoctrinated children, but then again, there is nothing particularly new about it. Young men seem to be the easiest to influence and they are the first to die in wars.
Josiah
"What can happen to a people whose youth sacrifices everything in order to serve its greatest ideals?"

—Adolf Hitler, "Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow", P. 157

"By nature, human beings search for ways to make sense and meaning out of their lives and their world. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of our stories. Stories connect us, teach us, and warn us never to forget."

—"Hitler Youth", P. 162

From page one, Susan Campbell Bartoletti lays it out on the table that t...more
 (NS) Amie
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is a captivating informational text that takes a look at the young people who joined the Hitler Youth Organization, as well as the young Germans who opposed it and the young Jewish people who it targeted. The book starts with the rise of Hitler as Chancellor of Germany and his promise to make Germany strong and successful again after its fall from World War I. He enticed children to join Hitler Youth by promising them excit...more
Allison
I had heard about Hitler Youth but I never got a lot of details about that organization. I took a German film class in my undergraduate and we watched a movie called Sophie Scholl, so I knew quite a bit about her and the White Rose. I guess I never realized how the Nazi propaganda and Hitler’s speeches had totally and utterly brainwashed the children of Germany. It was astonishing and sad to see so many children willing to fight and die for a man that condoned the murder of Jews, gypsies, homose...more
Bonnie
In her book Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow, Susan Campbell Bartoletti examines the organization that included more than seven million boys and girls and was instrumental in the growth of the Nazi Party. Bartoletti chronicles the lives of twelve adolescents who lived in Germany between 1932 and 1945. Some of these youth were attracted to Hitler’s promise of hope for the German people. Others were attracted to the sports and recreational activities available to the Hitler Youth. And o...more
Dana
I really learned a lot from this book. I remember learning about World War II throughout my schooling, even at the college level. However, I never knew how much of an impact Hitler Youth had on the war. These children were brain washed to the point where they would even turn in their parents to the authorities for disagreeing with what Hitler said. I also had no idea that Hitler Youth were sent to the front lines to fight. These children were fighting for a cause that they were lied to about. Ma...more
Nikki
As someone who grew up when World War II was recent news rather than ancient history, who has lived in Germany, and has read quite a lot on World War II, Naziism and the Holocaust, I came to this book not expecting to learn much that was new. I read it as part of a scheme to read all the Newbery Award winners and honor books. Nine times out of ten, the Newbery Awards and Honors go to fiction, so I was also interested to see what kind of non-fiction was thought deserving of this honor.

Susan Camp...more
Astrid Yrigollen
This book contains many pictures and first person accounts of the children who were caught up in Hitler's chaos. From courageous ones who resisted with conviction & strength (some more then adults) to others who believed that salvation was going to come through Hitler. Starting from the time before Hitler came in to power, till after he so boldly claimed Germany Judenrein (Jewish Free)the stories from these young, impressionable children is captivating.Like a evil pied piper indoctrinating y...more
Katie
We listened to this on our return drive. I was a little concerned that it would be too gruesome, too dark, too heavy for my little ones; but in fact they were riveted by the individual stories and how one person could lead an entire country to such brutality. We had some nice discussions both during and after listening to the book, about the nature of satan/evil - my 10 year old son was quick to recognize that Hitler started out all "parties and parades," offering outdoor and life skills to all...more
Kristen
This book is about the youth of Germany who grew up under the beliefs of Hitler. It highlights different youth and their experiences. Some who believed Hitler, others who fought against what was being taught. Several boys highlighted are Mormons who never laid their beliefs aside, yet it highlights their struggles. A great new look of WWII.
Carolina
At first glance at this book, I was skeptical on reading it. I did not want to read yet another book about Hitler, butas the author state on the first line of the book “This is not a book about Adolf Hitler, it is a book about the young people that followed Hitler". Although, I was very apprehensive at first,I found itthe bookto be very informative, and it gave me a different perspective to Hitler’s followers.

This book gives a different perspective on the history we have known about WWII, it de...more
Elizabeth
This book fascinated me from beginning to end. Stunningly photographed and honestly written, Hitler Youth tells a story that most people would prefer not to remember. Sadly some of the evils described in this book still exist. The lessons it offers about how propaganda, rhetoric, and education can manipulate teenagers and children should motivate us to consider the consequences of our actions. It may not be pleasant to start viewing the Nazis as human beings, but these were idealistic people wit...more
Brenna Call
Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Scholastic - New York - 2005 - 176 pages

This nonfiction book chronicles the Nazi rise to and fall from power in Germany during the 1930s and 40s from the perspective of the massive number of young people who supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party any way that they could. From Nazi youth groups to mandatory service to the military the Nazi party depended on the young people of Germany to energize their party and help raise...more
Photina
Photina Haumschilt
Genre: Informational

Susan Bartoletti Campbell delves into World War II and the youth of the Third Reich. This is not about Hitler but the youth he recruited as soldiers, what the youth did for Hitler, and some that went against him. From a young age these youth went to special classes, were fed Nazi slogans and teachings, went on camping trips and hikes or worked in the fields together in the summer, and the top performers were taught military training. Those chosen for the You...more
Dale
"What can happen to a people whose youth sacrifices everything in order to serve its great ideals?" - Adolph Hitler, October 1932

4 CDs
4 hours, 27 minutes
Read by Kathrin Kana


Susan Campbell Bartoletti's Hitler Youth demonstrates how the Nazis separated children from the parents, their churches and their senses in an effort to make them loyal to the German state and Adolph Hitler.

Starting with the story of a member of the Hitler Youth who was killed in a bloody street fight with Communist youths,...more
Bruce
Each year from 1926 to the end of the Second World War thousands of German boys and girls took the oath, “I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the Savior of our county, Adolf Hitler. I am willing to give up my life for him, so help me, God.” The mass ceremonies were always held on April 20th, Hitler’s birthday, as a present to the leader. At the height of its membership the Hitler Youth had over seven million members. To free themselves from the past, and the influence of their p...more
Nancy
"It would take years for many Hitler Youth to digest the truth about National Socialism: They had served a mass murderer and, in so doing, had contributed to the deaths of millions of people."

Wow.

I generally avoid reading anything about WWII, the Holocaust, or Adolf Hitler because it makes me both incredibly sad and incredibly livid. I can't stand to look at pictures of the horrific conditions in the ghettos and concentration camps, and was therefore a bit hesitant to pick up this book. But, I a...more
Shannon
Shannon Miranda
Informational Book Genre

This is the true story of the Hitler Youth Organizations (for both boys & girls) created by Adolph Hitler in Germany the 1930’s. This book exposes the cult-like brainwashed atmosphere, and the twisted die-hard nationalism that was a result. Although this is a non-fiction book, it is hard to wrap your head around what went on – almost hard to believe at times. It is scary to realize that parents lost their rights when it came to their children as far as...more
Carly Allen
Chilling History You Probably Didn't Learn in School: An eye opening and emotional read, this Sibert & Newberry Honor book is about the child Nazi’s of Germany and how they came to be part of the Nazi Party, some willingly and some forcefully. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for any grade under sixth grade as they probably don’t have a strong concept of what the Holocaust is even about, not to mention it’s a bit disturbing for their age level. This book would be best for seventh grader...more
Linsey Ward
Hitler Youth is an informational book on how Adolf Hitler influenced the Germans. This book covers his rise to power. On April 20, 1936, Hitler's birthday, boys and girls were sworn into the young people and young maidens. These were Nazi children combining to form "a perfect race." An important point this book makes is that, "Today scientists agree that race is a meaningless concept since human differences are only skin deep." The Nazis, however, considered the Aryan race to be the master of al...more
L12_sarah
Hitler's Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow is the fascinating true story of young people growing up in Nazi Germany. Some joined the Hitler Youth, an organization for young people that trained them to be physically fit, disciplined, militaristic and obedient, indoctrinating them in the ways of Nazis. Other young people joined the Hitler Youth only to become disillusioned with its values, ultimately fighting back by undermining Nazi efforts with pamphlet campaigns and other actions, all of w...more
Annie Zuckerman
A surprise to many, Hitler Youth is a book about the youth in Germany who preceded the Holocaust and those who followed Hitler and his National Socialist party. The book focuses closely on the years 1933-1945 which were the years of the “Third Reich, a regime that changed history and the world forever” (Bartoletti, 2005). Bartoletti largely focuses on the boys and girls who adhered to Hitler’s reign and ruling and periodically includes those who rebelled and rejected his power. Beginning with an...more
Diana Gagliardi
This book does a very good job on focusing exactly where she says she will- the young people who were influenced and members of the Hitler Youth.

It is important to see how closely education and patriotism were used to indoctrinate and subvert children. Once everything was standardized and what was taught was codified and villified anything outside of the cirriculum (Jewish authors, non- German promoting books, etc) it was simple for them to convince kids that this was the be all and end all. Add...more
Rll520a_gaylehassan
Horrifying and fascinating all at once. What this horrifying satanic man could have achieved if he had been trying to achieve good instead of evil. The kind of loyalty he inspired in so much of the German youth population was incredible to read about. Of course many of them were coerced and all of them were lied to, but he made them feel valued and empowered, which is one lesson that I took away from this book -- we should not underestimate the contributions of our country's youth, rather we sh...more
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Susan Campbell Bartoletti is an American writer of children's literature. She was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but eventually the family ended up in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. Susan started as an English teacher and inspired many students before deciding to pursue writing in earnest. She sold her first short story in 1989. Three years later in 1992 she published her first pict...more
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“By nature, human beings search for ways to make sense and meaning out of their lives and their world. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of our stories. Stories connect us, teach us, and warn us never to forget.” 9 likes
“In the end, I felt hope. I realized that my soul was not permanently scarred after all. I was still a human being."

—Karl Schnibbe”
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