The Sending and Evacuating of German Children to Hitler Youth KLV During World War II

As the Allies stepped up their bombing campaign, the Nazis began evacuating children from threatened cities into Hitler Youth KLV (Kinderlandverschickung) camps located mainly in the rural regions of East Prussia, the Warthegau section of Poland, Upper Silesia, and Slovakia.

From 1940 to 1945, over 2.8 million German children were sent to these camps. There were separate KLV camps for boys and girls. About 5,000 camps were eventually in operation, varying greatly in sizes from the smallest which had 18 children to the largest which held 1,200. Each camp was run by a Nazi approved teacher and a Hitler Youth squad leader. The camps replaced big city grammar schools, most of which were closed due to the bombing. Reluctant parents were forced to send their children away to the camps.

Life inside the boys’ camp was harsh, featuring a dreary routine of roll calls, para-military field exercises, hikes, marches, recitation of Nazi slogans and propaganda, along with endless singing of Hitler Youth songs and Nazi anthems. School work was neglected while supreme emphasis was placed on the boys learning to automatically snap-to attention at any time of the day or night and to obey all orders unconditionally “without any if or buts.”

Isolated in these camps and without any counter-balancing influences from a home life, the boys descended into a primitive, survival of the fittest mentality. Weakness was despised. Civilized notions of generosity and sympathy for those in need faded. Rigid pecking orders arose in which the youngest and most vulnerable boys were bullied, humiliated, and otherwise made to suffer, including sexual abuse.

Quotes and Sayings

Jungvolk Oath (taken by ten-year-old boys on first entering the Hitler Youth)

“In the presence of this blood banner which represents our Fhrer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the saviour of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God.”

Pledge of Allegiance

“I promise to do my duty in love and loyalty to the Fhrer and our flag.”

Hitler Youth ‘Prayers’ (modeled after the Lord’s Prayer)

“Adolf Hitler, you are our great Fhrer. Thy name makes the enemy tremble. Thy Third Reich comes, thy will alone is law upon the earth. Let us hear daily thy voice and order us by thy leadership, for we will obey to the end and even with our lives. We praise thee! Heil Hitler!”

“Fhrer, my Fhrer, give me by God. Protect and preserve my life for long. You saved Germany in time of need. I thank you for my daily bread. Be with me for a long time, do not leave me, Fhrer, my Fhrer, my faith, my light, Hail to my Fhrer!”

Mottos for Boys

“Live Faithfully, Fight Bravely, and Die Laughing!”

“We were born to die for Germany!”

“You are nothing–your Volk is everything!”

Motto for Girls

“Be Faithful, Be Pure, Be German!”

Sayings of Hitler Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach

“We do not need intellectual leaders who create new ideas, because the superimposing leader of all desires of youth is Adolf Hitler.”

“Your name, my Fhrer, is the happiness of youth, your name, my Fhrer, is for us everlasting life.”

“He who serves Adolf Hitler, the Fhrer, serves Germany, and whoever serves Germany, serves God.” Quotes of Adolf Hitler

“I begin with the young. We older ones are used up. We are rotten to the marrow. We are cowardly and sentimental. We are bearing the burden of a humiliating past, and have in our blood the dull recollection of serfdom and servility. But my magnificent youngsters! Are there any finer ones in the world? Look at these young men and boys! What material! With them, I can make a new world. This is the heroic stage of youth. Out of it will come the creative man, the man-god.”

“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,” I say calmly, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community.”

“… Knowledge would spoil my young people. I prefer that they learn only what they pick up by following their own play instinct. But they must learn self-control. I will have them master the fear of death through the most difficult trials. That is the heroic stage of youth. Out of it will grow the stage of the free man, a human being who is the measure and center of the world.”

“The German youth must be slender and supple, fast as a greyhound, tough as leather, and hard as Krupp steel. He must learn to do without, to endure criticism and injustice, to be reliable, discreet, decent, and loyal.”

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