You are on page 1of 3

German Youth Movement

The German Youth Movement (German: Die deutsche Jugendbewegung) is a collective term for a
cultural and educational movement that started in 1896. It consists of numerous associations of young
people that focus on outdoor activities. The movement included German Scouting and the
Wandervogel. By 1938, 8 million children had joined associations that identified with the movement.

Wandervogel
In 1896 the Wandervogel was founded in Berlin, and soon they crystallized many vital concepts from
the ideas of earlier social critics and Romantics that came to reach great and extensive influence on
many fields at the onset of the 20th century.
To escape the repressive and authoritarian society of the end of the 19th century and the adult values of
a new modern German society increasingly transformed by industrialism, imperial militarism, and
British and Victorian influence, groups of young people searched for free space to develop some
healthy life of their own away from the increasingly contaminated cities growing all around and from
where most of them came to be disappointed. Also a romantic longing for a pristine state of things and
older cultural diverse traditions played a part. They turned to nature, confraternity and adventure.
Soon the groups split and there originated ever more organisations, which still all called themselves
Wandervogel but were organisationally independent. Nonetheless, the feeling was still of being a
common movement but split into several branches.

Bündische Jugend
After the First World War, the leaders returned disillusioned from the war. The same was true for
leaders of German Scouting. So both movements started to influence each other heavily in Germany.
From the Wandervogel came a stronger culture of hiking, adventure, bigger tours to farther places,
romanticism and a younger leadership structure. Scouting brought uniforms, flags, more organisation,
more camps and a clearer, more rational ideology. There was also an educationalist influence from
Gustav Wyneken.
Together, this led to the emergence of the Bündische Jugend, a movement of many different youth
associations. There were Wandervogel groups, Scouting associations and others, all of which mixed the
elements described above with new ingredients. New styles and groups developed. A new tent form,
the kohte, was invented, which are still the typical black tents of German scouts on international scout
camps. The Deutsche Freischar and then the Jungenschaft was founded.

Nazi Germany
In the German Youth Movement one can find all the different reactions of German society as a whole
to the rise of the Nazis. Many welcomed it as a freedom movement to break free of the perceived

was also popular. still wanted to carry on their independent work and existence as organisations. or even left wing. In East Germany the Communist government did not allow it but instead outlawed all independent youth organisations.injustice of the Treaty of Versailles and make Germany strong again. Examples for this are the following: Adolf Eichmann was one of their members from 1930 to 1931. since the Nazi state did not allow any youth groups separate from the Hitler Youth. The groups remaining outside the Hitler Youth were outlawed and pursued. while some of them (e. On the other hand there were some connections between the German Youth Movement and the Free German Youth. The notion of a 'Volksgemeinschaft'. References . romantic and moral. Many more. an especially independent-minded association of the Bündische Jugend. which itself adopted many of the outer forms of the Bündische Jugend after 1933. Today Today there are still many groups and organisations which see themselves as part of this movement. among the Nazis and among the Widerstand. Some groups were genuinely democratic. a people's community. One thing which might have been different from other sections of German society is the following: The Youth Movement was very idealistic. all groups tried to have a more rational ideology and declared their support of the new Basic Law. The most distinctive features of German Scouting trace from this history. German Scouting also approached world Scouting (the World Organization of the Scout Movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) and was admitted to the world organisations for the first time. In contrast to the situation before the war. although Wandervogel. After the war After the war many associations were refounded in West Germany. On the other hand there were also many in the German Youth Movement who saw their associations as an elite superior to the more primitive Nazis. In West Germany the Youth Movement became strongly dominated by Scouting. Hans Scholl was a member of the Jungenschaft. This might be the reason why one can find significant members of the Youth Movement on both sides. Jungenschaft and other groups were also refounded. the Edelweiss Pirates) tried to carry on. Therefore its members tended to take greater risks in following and acting upon their beliefs and persuasions.g.. when the allies allowed it. Claus von Stauffenberg was a member of the Scout association of the Neupfadfinder. also an association of the Bündische Jugend. although the historical influence varies from group to group. even some of those who tended to the right. German Scouting is still heavily influenced by this history. This led inescapably to a confrontation with the Nazi state.

Start with de:Jugendbewegung or the category de:Kategorie:Jugendbewegung. . Institute for European History. Stachura. 1946. European History Online. OCLC 761549797 ISBN 978-0-415-86351-3 Peter D. Routledge reprinted this work as Volume 8 of its International Library of Sociology and The Sociology of Youth and Adolescence series. Detailed history and sociology of the various aspects of the youth movement. 2011. 1984. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-87855-960-4 There are many articles in the German Wikipedia about these topics. German Youth: Bond or Free. Transaction Pub. The German Youth Movement. 1981). Remarkable for the times. the discussion of homoeroticism and homosexuality within some of these groups is nonjudgmental. Walter Laqueur: Young Germany: A History of the German Youth Movement. last retrieved: 21 February 2013.Howard Paul Becker. OCLC 2083809 In 1998. 1900-1945: An Interpretive and Documentary History (London: Macmillan. Barbara Stambolis: Jugendbewegung.