A guest review from Teen Room Staff Lydia!
“‘I begin with the young,’ said Hitler. ‘We older ones are used up…But my magnificent youngsters! Are there finer ones anywhere in the world? Look at all these men and boys! What material! With them I can make a new world.’”
In 1926 Hitler founded the “Hitler Youth,” an organization that on the surface resembled the boy scouts, but which he would later use to manipulate the youth of Germany into carrying out the terrible crimes of the Nazi party. “Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow” tells the story of not only the organization itself, but of the German children and teenagers living in Germany under the Nazi party—both those who supported their Führer and those who stood against him and suffered the consequences.
Melita Maschmann had been forbidden by her parents to join the BDM, the girl’s branch of the Hitler Youth. However, convinced that Hitler was doing great things for Germany, she snuck out to attend the weekly meetings contrary to her parents’ wishes.
Helmuth Hübener was sixteen when he began illegally listening to foreign radio stations. When he realized the lies the German people were being fed by the Nazis, he, along with two of this friends, began printing anti-Nazi leaflets and passing on the foreign news, a crime punishable by death.
Stories of the Jewish and occupied experiences under the Nazi regime fill the pages young adult literature, from “The Diary of Anne Frank” to “Number the Stars.” But what about the German experience? What were the German youth doing during the Nazi Regime, and why didn’t they try and stop it? “Hitler Youth” recalls the true stories and events surrounding the youth of Germany and the opinions they formed.
P.S. from Melissa. If you're looking for fiction about the same subject, try The Boy Who Dared
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti