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Hitler Youth of Germany and the Red Guards in China - Essay Example

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In the world history, especially in the authoritarian countries, there are many examples of teen involvement into certain types of government-supervised groups aimed at being a basic element of controlling the society. …
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Hitler Youth of Germany and the Red Guards in China
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Download file to see previous pages It was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded in 1922 as the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler, one year after the Sturmabteilung (SA) Stormtroopers. The group was based in Munich, Bavaria, and served as a recruiting ground for new Stormtroopers of the SA. The group was disbanded in 1923 following the abortive Beer Hall Putsch but was re-established in 1926, a year after the Nazi Party had been reorganized.

The second Hitler Youth began in 1926 with an emphasis on national youth recruitment into the Nazi Party. Kurt Gruber, a law student and admirer of Hitler from Plauen in Saxony, home to many blue-collar workers, initiated the reconstruction of the League. Then in 1933, Baldur von Schirach served as the first Reichsjugendfuhrer (Reich Youth Leader) and devoted a great deal of time, finances, and manpower into the expansion of the Hitler Youth. By 1930, the group had over 25,000 members with the Bund Deutscher Madel (BDM) (League of German girls), for girls aged from fourteen to eighteen). The Deutsches Jungvolk was another Hitler Youth group, intended for still younger children, both boys and girls (Sohn-Rethel 23-24).

In the People's Republic of China, the Red Guards were civilians who were the frontline implementers of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1960s-1970s). Most Red Guards were youngsters in their mid-teens summoned by Chairman Mao Zedong to protect the forward progression of the Chinese Communist Party against "evil forces" such as imperialism and corruption, including those within the Communist Party who were identified as deviationists. Red Guards could be found in all aspects of Chinese society from the Foreign Ministry down to supervision of siblings. The Red Guards sat in the Foreign Ministry supervising officials while briefly seizing power from Chen Yi to conduct foreign affairs. Many Red Guards used their freedom to carry out personal vendettas.
The original membership of the Hitler Youth was confined to Munich, and in 1923, the organization had just over one thousand members. In 1925, when the Nazi Party had been refounded, its membership grew to over 5,000. Five years later, the national Hitler Youth membership was at 25,000, at the end of 1932 (a few weeks before the Nazis came to power) it was at 107,956, and at the end of 1933, the Hitler Youth held a membership of 2,300,000. This rise for a large part came from the members of several other youth organizations the HJ had (more or less forcefully) been merged with, including the rather big one of the "evangelische Jugend" (600,000 members at the time), the YO of the Evangelical Church in Germany.
In December of 1936, Hitler Youth membership stood at just over 5 million. That same month, the Hitler Youth became obligatory and membership was required by law (Gesetz uber die Hitlerjugend). This obligation was affirmed in 1939 with the Jugenddienstpflicht. Membership could be enforced even against the will of the parents. From that point, most of Germany's teenagers were incorporated into the Hitler Youth, and by 1940, the total membership reached eight million. Later war figures are difficult to calculate, since massive conscription efforts and a general call-up of boys as young as ten years old meant that virtually every young male in Germany was, in some way, connected to the Hitler Youth.
The Hitler Youth had the basic motivation of training future "Aryan supermen" and future soldiers who would serve the Third Reich faithfully. Physical and military training took precedence over academic and scientific education in Hitler Youth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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