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  1. #1

    Jungsturm Adolf Hitler

    The first attempt to create a youth section within the NSDAP was the short-lived Jugendbund der NSDAP. The initial impulse came from Adolf Lenk, a piano maker from Munich who had joined the NSDAP aged 18 in 1921. He began to recruit boys aged between 14 and 18 for his 'Jungsturm Adolf Hitler' and whilst attending a meeting in early 1922 at which Hitler was present he he suggested that his organisation might become the party's youth section. The idea appealed to Hitler and the official formation of the 'Jugendbund der NSDAP' was announced in the newspaper 'Völkischer Beobachter' on the 8th of March 1922. This new organisation was essentially a youth section within the 'Sturmabteilung' (SA) which had been formed in the previous year.
    The Jungsturm pennant (blue anchor on a white background) was confiscated by the Munich police along with other party flags when they broke up a demonstration in 1923 and it would be ten years before the flag was retrieved. Around 140 groups were founded across Germany but following the failure of the Munich Putsch the NSDAP and with it the Jugendbund der NSDAP were banned. Some cells of the Jugendbund went underground and continued their activities including that of Kurt Gruber in Plauen (Saxony) who would eventually become the first national leader of the Hitler Youth.

    When the NSDAP reformed in 1925 Lenk went back to the party and offered his services as youth leader but was rejected as the party didn't think him capable or worthy of the position. He attempted to join the ranks of the 'alte Kämpfer' but was turned down. He played no further part away again and played no further part within the NSDAP. .

    According to a quote from Hartmann Lauterbacher in 1936 the Jungsturm still existed at that time. Adolf Lenk sent out invitations to high-ranking HJ leaders to a meeting of the Jungsturm on the 9th of November 1936 which was turned down with the words 'the HJ does not consider the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler to be the forerunner of the Hitler Youth. The Hitler Youth was created in 1926'.

    In my opinion the reason for the later Hitler-Jugend not viewing the Jugendbund der NSDAP (to which the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler belonged) as its origin is because after Hitler left Landsberg and rebuilt the NSDAP with himself as its absolute leader he did not name Lenk's Jugendbund as its youth organisation. Hitler was only interested in unconditional subordination to himself and the party. Lenk's Jugendbund der NSDAP was not reformed after Landsberg and Hitler instead named Edmund Heines as Lenk's successor responsible for youth matters in the new NSDAP. This appointment meant that the Schilljugend was now Hitler's favoured youth organisation.

    Lenk also formed the Vaterländischer Jugendverband Großdeutschland and the Deutsche Wehrjugend. On formation of the Großdeutsche Jugendbewegung he was approached and asked to become its leader. Again he failed to make any real progress and this indirectly led to him falling out of favour with Hitler.

    Kurt Gruber continued to work on building his base and was eventually able to take control of the 'Großdeutsche Jugendbewegung' (yet another youth organisation founded during the turmoil prior to 1926) due to Lenk's incompetence..

    The Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung under Kurt Gruber resisted all attempts to be integrated into the Schilljugend and it was through this that Hitler first became aware of Lenk. Hitler eventually appointed Lenk as leader of the nationalist youth movement in Sachsen in 1925. Lenk had sought from Hitler, and had been granted, permission to call his youth group 'Hitler-Jugend'.

    The Schilljugend fell out of Hitler's favour in 1926 and this paved the way for the Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung to become the only real candidate (in Hitler's eyes) for a unified nationalist youth organisation. Streicher suggested the name ''Hitler-Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiterjugend' to Hitler (this wasn't however Streicher's own idea - see previous paragraph) in the same year and Gruber was appointed to Reichsführer der HJ.

    So, the HJ is officially formed in 1926 and the hard work began for Gruber. Von Schirach started making moves in 1928/29. Basically he wanted all youth organisations in Germany at the time to come under one single organisation and he began contacting their respective leaders behind Gruber's back. Gruber found out what was going on and made great efforts to strengthen his position and to increase the size of the HJ and was successful in beating off von Schirach's initial attempt to get a 'foot in the door'.

    After a reorganisation of the party in 1931 the HJ came under direct control of the SA and eventually the headquarters of the HJ in Plauen was moved to Munich. This was the beginning of the end for Gruber as leader of the HJ and he viewed this relocation as an affront. Things deteriorated after that and he eventually offered his resignation to Hitler in 1931 which was accepted. Von Schirach's only real part in this seems to be that comparisons had been made in the party between the strong growth of von Schirach's Studentenbund and the apparent stagnation of Gruber's HJ. Adrian von Renteln was then appointed as Reichsführer of the HJ and Kurt Gruber was out of the picture.

    **The Jungsturm Adolf Hitler should not be confused with the organisation 'Jungsturm' created in 1897.

  2. #2
    Great historical information Garry. Is it not true that the flag of the Munich Jungsturm Adolph Hitler was the first "youth organisation" Blutfahne prior to the flag of Shar 2 being selected after the death of Norkus?

  3. #3
    The Jungsturm certainly called their flag the 'Blutfahne' Darin but as you say, it had no symbolic significance for the HJ.

  4. #4

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    Jungsturm AH 1921 - 1923

    The rememberance badge from the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler 1921 - 1923

    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5

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    Would there be pictures of HJ boys wearing this? That would be great.

  6. #6
    I would say extremely doubtful Pat. The Jungsturm was a short-lived failure. The Hitler-Jugend was formed in 1926 and with its high leadership publicly distancing itself from Lenk and his Jungsturm the thought of a HJ member wearing one of the Jungsturm commemorative badges just wouldn't make sense. Quite apart from that it would have been forbidden anyway as it would effectively be the same as a boy wearing both the HJ membership badge plus a membership badge of one of the banned or assimilated youth organisations in existence prior to Jan 1933.

    If I remember correctly the Jungsturm badges have been sold for high prices because dealers link them directly to the HJ and therefore attach a higher level of perceived desirability and importance to them which they actually shouldn't have. The Jungsturm was just another failed attempt by Lenk to put himself and his organisation in a position to become the official party youth. Having said that, the badge itself must be very rare and has a really nice design but at the end of the day, these aren't HJ badges in my opinion.

    There is also some debate on the Jungsturm badges anyway in terms of how they should look. There are two designs - the one Dutch shows and a second design where the badge is circular with a large central swastika. That would be a good subject to explore in a different thread perhaps.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for clarification Garry. I see your point that they are just one of many youth groups before the HJ.
    They were involved in the beer hall putsch though weren't they?

  8. #8
    Difficult to say Pat. I haven't read any accounts which say that they did but if members of the Jungsturm were there then their flag certainly wasn't with them as it had been confiscated by the Munich police some months earlier after the Jungsturm became involved in a brawl following a demonstration.

    My description of the Jugendbund der NSDAP (the Jungsturm was its senior section) as being no more important than any of the other pre-HJ youth movements is a little unfair perhaps. The Jugendbund was, for a short period, a part of the NSDAP structure so it should rank higher than, say, the Schilljugend in terms of its importance as a legitimate predecessor of the HJ. The fact remains though that the Jungsturm was not a seperate organisation (in the way that the later HJ became) but rather the youth section of the SA. For this reason it can't be seen as the predecessor of the HJ. The Jungsturm badge is nevertheless often seen as an ultra-rare HJ badge, in some quarters even as the HJ equivalent of the Blood Order and I personally don't agree with that attributed status because the facts don't lend weight to such an assumption.

    Emil Klein, the later Gebietsführer of Gebiet 19 Hochland was a member of the Jungsturm. Prior to the Jugendbund being formed he had marched with the SA (he had lied about his real age) and when the Jungsturm was formed he joined its ranks. That says something I think about how the Jugendbund was seen, even by its own members.

  9. #9

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    Another Jungsturm badge was recently sold on militaria321 for 482 Euro - Auktion - Original-`JUNGSTURM ADOLF HITLER 1921-1923


    Quote Originally Posted by dutch View Post
    The rememberance badge from the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler 1921 - 1923

    Last edited by cemifor; 26th November 2009 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Text added

  10. #10

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    Thanks once again Garry. First rate information. I also think it's a little funny to call that badge the HJ equal of the Blood Order. But what if a Jungsturm member got a Coburg Badge? They were eligible weren't they, or am I getting confused? That would be seen as something of great respect.
    I guess I see the Jungsturm as a step in evolution toward the HJ. They served a purpose, then they died out and made way for the HJ. Sort of like Neanderthals died off and made way for cro magnons to take the wheel.
    With regards to Herr Klein, I think it was just more desirable to mix with the big boys rather than be in the junior group. I know I'd rather be in a men's group than a boys' group. But I just couldn't wait to be an adult so maybe it's just me.

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