Nazi Germany - Hitler Youth
In the early 1920s, the Nazi party had established a youth movement led by Kurt Gruber, with the aim of attracting young men who could be trained to become members of the SA (Stormtroopers).
On 4th July 1926 the group was renamed the Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth and became attached to and run by the SA.
The Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend) wore uniforms and attended meetings and rallies where they were indoctrinated with Nazi views.
Adolf Hitler believed that the support of the youth was vital to the future of the third Reich and aimed, through the Hitler Youth programme, to produce a generation of loyal supporters of Nazi views.
Posters were used to attract more members and membership rose from 5,000 in 1925 to 25,000 in 1930.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933 other youth groups were forcibly merged into the Hitler Youth and by the end of 1933 membership stood at just over 2 million.
In December 1936, membership of the Hitler Youth became virtually compulsory for all boys and girls aged over 10 years - membership could only be avoided by not paying subscription fees, but this 'loophole' was relaxed in 1939 and membership increased to 8 million members by 1940.
There were separate Hitler Youth groups for boys and girls:
Boys aged 6 - 10 years joined the Little Fellows (Pimpf). They did mainly outdoor sports type activities such as hiking, rambling and camping.
Boys aged 10 - 13 years joined the German Young People (Deutsche Jungvolk). They still did sporting activities but these had a more military emphasis such as parading and marching as well as map reading. They also learnt about Nazi views on racial purity and anti-semitism.
Boys aged 14 - 18 years joined the Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend). They were prepared to be soldiers by doing military activities.
Girls aged 10 - 14 years joined the Young Maidens (Jungmadel) where they were taught good health practices as well as how to become good mothers and housewives. They also learnt about Nazi views on racial purity and anti-semitism.
Girls aged 14 - 21 joined the League of German Maidens (Deutscher Madel) where they were further prepared for their roles as the mother of future Germans.
From the 1st century A.D. to the late 19th century, one medical compound reigned supreme over all other remedies: theriac. First concocted by a Greek king worried about poisons, theriac went from being a general antidote to snake bites to an all around panacea, used to treat everything from asthma to warts, including the Black Plague. Famous doctors throughout this long history experimented with the drug and... Read More
If you think, as some do today, that many drugs used as medicines are potentially deadly, consider what people living in medieval times were prescribed as curative agents—from ground up corpses to toxic mercury to crocodile dung. The annals of medieval medical history are full of substances that make us cringe. Yet people believed in these cure-alls and willingly took them when prescribed by a doctor of the... Read More
The Neo-Assyrian Empire used earthen ramps, siege towers and battering rams in sieges; the Greeks and Alexander the Great created destructive new engines known as artillery to further their sieges, and the Romans used every technique to perfection. That is to say, the Romans were not inventors, but they were superb engineers and disciplined, tough soldiers who fought against great odds and won, repeatedly.... Read More
Demetrius I, King of Macedon, invented many siege engines including battering rams and siege towers. For the Siege of Rhodes, he created the Helepolis, the Taker of Cities, a huge armored siege tower containing many heavy catapults.
The island city of Rhodes maintained its neutrality among the warring nations of the time, although it remained friendly to Ptolemy I of Egypt, the enemy of Demetrius of... Read More
In the first part of this series, we noted the siege equipment of the Assyrians consisted of complex battering rams, earthen ramps and a dedicated corps of engineers and sappers. Alexander the Great and the Greeks would take the next steps in the evolution of siege warfare. The Greeks had invented the catapult circa 399 B.C. Alexander innovated by fastening catapults and ballistas on the decks of ships to breach... Read More