Youth and Education in Nazi Germany

Youth and Education in Nazi Germany

Nazis wanted to control young people and sure their support for the future. They did this by changing what children learnt in school and creating ‘out of school’ youth movements.


The German Minister of Education (Bernhard Rust) said “The whole purpose of education is to create Nazis.” To do this the Nazis changed the school curriculum to contain what they saw as the main needs, military skills for boys and domestic skills for the girls.

The Nazis placed great emphasis on the learning of:
• History – to show the greatness of the Nazis.
• Biology – to teach ‘race science’ which highlighted the superiority of the Aryans.
• PE – to get boys fit for the Army and girls fit to be mothers.

To ensure that the German youth were taught corrected, all teachers had to swear loyalty to Hitler and join the Nazis Teachers League.

Bernhard Rust, Minister for Education, inspecting a school.


Membership to Nazi Youth Movements was made compulsory. These were for young people of a variety of ages. There were separate groups for boys and girls, these groups put an emphasis on different aspects of life and they were taught different things depending upon which group they were involved in. Boys went on outdoor activities such as hiking and camping., and then later were taught more about ideology and military training. Girls were taught how to care for their health and prepare for motherhood.

Pimpf (Boys aged 6-10)
Deutschejungvolk (German Young People, boys aged 10-14)
Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth, boys aged 14-18)

Jungmadel (Young Maidens, girls to the ages of 14)
Bund Deutscher Madel (League of German Maidens, girls ages 14-21)

Activities of these groups were shown in Propaganda films as being very popular. The numbers in the movements gradually increased but the attitudes of the members of the groups were sometimes different to those of the Nazis.

Although the Nazis killed off many other official youth groups which had been attached to other political parties. But during the war several other groups developed in Germany which the Nazis saw as rebellious and a threat because they didn’t behave as the Nazis wanted them to.

German History Homepage

The Second Reich
Unification of GermanyPolitical systems within the Second Reich
German Society during the Second ReichCollapse of the Second Reich

Weimar Republic

Interim GovernmentFounding of the Weimar Republic
Impact of the First World War on GermanyThe Treaty of Versailles
Weimar Constitution1919-1923: Years of Crisis?
Spartacist UprisingKapp Putsch
The Munich PutschHyperinflation in Germany, 1923
ReparationsDid the Economic Crisis of 1923 help the Nazi's?
Origins of the Nazi Party1924-1928: A Golden Era?
Gustav StresemannGerman Foreign Relations 1919-1932
Germany in the Great DepressionRise of the Nazi Party
Failings of the Weimar RepublicTotalitarian Regime
How did Hitler consolidate power?Mein Kampf
Nazi methods of controlOpposition to the Nazi Regime
Organisation of the Nazi PartyFuhrerprinzip
KristallnachtYouth and Education
Goering and the 2nd 4 Year PlanAnti-Jewish Boycott, 1933
Nazi Anti-SemitismDAF (The German Labour Front)
PropagandaEconomic Policy
Weimar GermanyOur sister site provides in depth coverage of many aspects of life in Germany at the time of the Weimar Republic
Resistance and Opposition to the Nazi RegimeA wide ranging series of articles on the different opposition and resistance movements in Nazi Germany.
Lesson plans, resources and ideas on Nazi GermanyA range of lesson plans, teaching resources and links of use in the classroom
Economy under Nazi ruleArticles, Resources and Documentation relating to the Economy under Nazi rule

Revision Diagrams

Was the Weimar Republic Doomed from the outset?To what extent did Germany recover under Stresemann?
The Nazi Party up to 1929How did Hitler become Chancellor of Germany?
Who gained from Nazi rule?

Revision Diagrams

Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start?|To what extent did Weimar recover under Stresemann?
How did the Nazi Party develop up to 1929?How did Hitler become Chancellor?
How did Hitler become Chancellor?How did the Nazi's create a Totalitarian State?