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1st Leader of the Hitler Youth

 

Baldur von Schirach (9 May 1907 – 8 August 1974)  

Early life

Schirach was born in the capital of Germany, and was the youngest of four children of a theatre director. Ironically due to his mother being of American descent, he did not speak German until he was 5 yrs old.

On 31 March 1932 von Schirach married 19-year-old Henriette Hoffmann, the daughter of Heinrich Hoffmann; the personal photographer of Hitler.

He joined as a military cadet at10 yrs old and became a member of the NSDAP in 1925. From this he moved to a new position in Munich as the head of the (NSDStB, National Socialist German Students’ League). Further progression was made in 1933 when he was promoted head of the Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend). During his leadership he succesfully brought about a complete overhaul and provided a structure to the Hitler Youth.

He is known for the planned evacuations of children away from the cities that were being threatened by the British bombing attacks. Also after volunteering for military service in France, he was recalled for a different role.

Deemed to be too old for a leader of a youth organisation, he was made Governor of Vienna, and his original role taken by Artur Axeman.

At his position in Vienna, approximately 65,000 Jews were deported to Poland, although later in the war he did publicly criticised the harsh treatment of those that had been deported.

Schirach surrendered in 1945, and was put on trial at Nuremberg. In his defence he did denounce Hitler, the court found him guilty in 1946; and was sentenced to a 20 year prison.

Released in 1966, he retired in southern Germany, and published his memoirs before he died in 1974.

Hitler Youth Leader Dagger

The HJ Leader dagger for leaders from the rank of Stammfuhrer and above, was authorised in 1937; while production stopped in 1942. The dagger could not be purchased individually, therefore could only be received by the Order of the Baldur von Schirach or Arthur Axeman. The dagger was presented in a case and an official certificate. Read the rest of this entry »

The DLV & NSFK

DLV NSFK germany ww2

The Deutscher Luftsport-Verband (DLV) or German Airsports Club was officially formed in early 1933, by bringing together all the private and public aeronautical clubs in Germany.
There was a great deal of interest in aircraft at this time and the public imagination was caught by the well known and perhaps flamboyant nature of the well known World War One pilots.
Herman Goering being a former highly decorated World War One fighter pilot was able to create a national organisation of enthusiasts, that masked the real idea of the scheme. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hitler Youth WW2

Hitler_youth_image_ww2

The first NSDAP youth movement was announced in 1922, however after the unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, the Nazi youth groups were disbanded. However many members went underground, operating clandestinely in small units under assumed names. By 1926, the Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung was officially renamed Hitler Jugend Bund der deutschen Arbeiterjugend, (Hitler Youth League of German Worker Youth).

By 1930, the Hitler Youth had over 25,000 boys aged 14 and upwards, as members. It also set up a junior branch, the Deutsches Jungvolk, for boys aged 10 to 14. Girls from 10 to 18 were given their own organisation, the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM), League of German Girls. Read the rest of this entry »

Waffen SS

The Waffen-SS were troops trained to fight in Germany’s battles during WWII. For the early campaigns against Austria, Czechoslovakia as well as Poland, military SS units were of regiment size and came from the existing armed SS formations:

The invasion of France and the Low Countries in 1940 saw the three SS-VT and three of the SS-TV regiments organized into divisions (the future 2nd “Das Reich” and 3rd “Totenkopf”), and another division was raised from the Ordnungspolizei (later the 4th “Polizei”). After the campaign, these units together with the Leibstandarte and additional SS-TV Standarten were amalgamated into the newly-formed Kommandoamt der Waffen-SS within the SS-Führungshauptamt.

Himmler in 1941 announced that Waffen-SS Freiwilligen units would be raised from non-German foreign nationals. The goal was to obtain manpower from the occupied territories. These foreign legions came to include included volunteers from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Britain and the Netherlands. Read the rest of this entry »

SS Origins

The group was formed in 1923, as a specific group of SA personnel that had the sole task of  protecting the senior leaders of the Nazi Party at rallies, from physical assault.

The original group of 8 although disbanded after the 1923 failed takeover attempt by the Nazi Party, returned to a 30 strong group in 1925. It was named the “Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler”, and then after further expansion called the Schutzstaffel (SS). Hitler’s personal SS protection unit was later enlarged to include combat units and after April 13, 1934, was known as the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH).

In January 1929, Adolf Hitler appointed Heinrich Himmler as the leader of the SS, and by the end of 1932, the SS had 52,000 members, and by the end of the next year, it had over 209,000 members.

Initially the SS were only distinguished from the brown uniforms of the SA, by a black tie and black cap with a deaths head symbol placed on it. Greater differentiation was seen in 1932 when an all black uniform was designed, and in later years an earth grey uniform was issued. Read the rest of this entry »

RAD Reich Labour Service

RAD German ww2 logo THE REICHSARBEITSDIENST

THE REICHSARBEITSDIENST (RAD – REICH LABOUR SERVICE)

The RAD was initially formed during July 1934 as the official state labour service. The RAD brought together all the different  labour organisations formed in Germany during the Weimar Republic.

RAD members provided essential manpower for various civil (autobahns), military (Atlantic Wall defences), and agricultural construction projects (flood prevention).

Konstantin Hierl was its director during the organization’s entire lifetime, and his initial plan was to have a 2 year service structure for all men between 17 and 23. He was presented with an Officers Dagger that had a unique Damascus blade, this was sold in a UK auction house many years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Reichsluft schutzbund (RLB) german ww2

Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB)

The Reichsluftschutzbund (State Air Protection Group) was a Nazi organization founded in late 1932, and from 1933 given the role of air raid protection and civil defence duties. The Reichsluftschutzbund maintained a system of paramilitary ranks similar to that of the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA).

The bulk of the members were volunteers trained to deal with air raid precautions as well as the resulting damage cause by British and American bombing raids.

The organisation worked very closely with the DRK (Deutsches Rote Kreuz) – German Red Cross, TENO (Technische Nothilfe) – Technical Emergency Corp; as well as the Polizei Feuerwehr (Police and Fire Departments). Read the rest of this entry »

Leaders of the Third Reich

Hermann Wilhelm Göring

Göring was born on 12 January, 1893 in Bavaria. His father Heinrich Göring had been the first Governor-General of the German protectorate of South West Africa Namibia, and a cavalry officer. His mother Franziska Tiefenbrunn came from a Bavarian working class family.

At a young age he was sent to a boarding school to prepare himself for military college and then entrance to the Imperial German Army.

He initially served with an infantry regiment in World War 1, but then transferred to the new air combat group of the Army. By the end of the war he had 22 confirmed “kills”, had been made commander of the famed “Flying Circus”; and been awarded many medals including the “The Blue Max”.

Göring became a member of the Nazi Party in 1922 and took over leadership of the Sturmabteilung (SA). Read the rest of this entry »

Gunther Prien German navy Kriegsmarine ww2

German navy Uboat captain Günther Prien ww2

Günther Prien started his naval career in 1923 by going to sea as a cabin boy with the Merchant Navy, and very quickly learnt the trade of seamanship via various sailing ships.

In 1933 he joined the Reichsmarine (the forerunner of the Kriegsmarine), quickly he impressed his superiors so that after his initial training and posting on a light cruiser; he embarked on his U-Boat career. After specific U-Boat training at Kiel he joined U-26 that went on two patrols during the Spanish Civil War. Rising through the ranks he became Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant) on 1 February 1939 of a brand new U-boat – U-47. Due to his rank he would have been able to procure a Naval Officers dagger. Read the rest of this entry »

German airforce [Luftwaffe] sword and dagger history of ww2

Gererals airforce Luftwaffe sword ww2

The Air Force [Luftwaffe] swords and daggers

German swords and daggers were an big part of  the German military during WW2. Germany capitalized on the offensive and defensive capabilities of aviation. The potential of airpower was quickly recognized, and the Luftwaffe (Air Force) was established as a separate branch of the Armed Forces. Hitler, in an attempt to develop the embryonic Luftwaffe to the maximum extent consistent with the state of the art, designated World War I fighter ace Hermann Göring as both Commander in Chief of the Air Force and Minister of Aviation. Read the rest of this entry »