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The particulars of their frightfulness are well sketched in Kater's study.(Jana Prikryl Salon 2004-12-03)[A] riveting history of the Nazis' use of children... Hitler Youth focuses on the methods used by the Nazis to indoctrinate young boys and girls--from ten to eighteen years old--to follow authority and sacrifice for Adolf Hitler.He also shows that the values of militarism and self-reliance clashed with German family values of nurturing—and that, for the most part, the Hitler Youth won out.Nor does Kater ignore the few who resisted these imposed values.Millions of Hitler youth joined the armed forces; thousands participated in the subjugation of foreign peoples and the obliteration of "racial aliens." Their story stands as a harsh reminder of the moral bankruptcy of regimes that make children complicit in crimes of the state.
Within the greater Nazi nightmare, the Youth are uniquely frightening.
Kater's account, written with clarity and verve, moves freely between analytic generalizations and individual case studies, which cover the spectrum of political, emotional, cultural, and ethical responses to a vicious regime that tried-often successfully-to turn adolescents into its most pliant tools.
(Peter Jelavich, Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University and author of Berlin Cabaret)An engaging study of the comradeship and feeling of belonging, sense of power and superiority imparted to Germany's young boys and girls as they became ideologically charged paramilitary men and women ready to serve, to follow orders and to sacrifice for Adolf Hitler.
Kater has crafted a masterful history essential to comprehending Germany through the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich.
This will be the definitive history of the Hitler Youth.
(Sybille Steinbacher German Historical Institute of London Bulletin 2007-05-01)An essential topic for understanding indoctrination and socialization in the Third Reich, Michael Kater’s timely synthesis is a rich work of scholarship, both in terms of the documents and the historiography.