How the Hitler Youth Prepared Boys for War

At the outbreak of World War Two, the Hitler Youth enlisted boys aged 16-18 to help fight fires and assist in recovery efforts. By 1943, as the tide of the war turned, the Hitler Youth was transformed into a fighting unit and by the end of the war they regularly recruited boys as young as 12.

This video shows one of the Hitler Youth’s training methods, a large-scale but generally light-hearted skirmish between a considerable number of boys. The exercise was intended to build aggression and prepare the boys mentally for war — a technique that seemed to work as the Hitler Youth was regarded as one of the fiercest and most fanatical fighting units left to defend Berlin at the end of the war.

Lee is a freelance writer with a keen interest in history and science.