Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

4.4 15
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
     
 

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In her first full-length nonfiction title since winning the Robert F. Sibert Award, Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups.

"I begin with the young. We older ones are used up . . . But my magnificent youngsters! Look at these men and boys! What material! With them, I can create a new

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Overview


In her first full-length nonfiction title since winning the Robert F. Sibert Award, Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups.

"I begin with the young. We older ones are used up . . . But my magnificent youngsters! Look at these men and boys! What material! With them, I can create a new world." --Adolf Hitler, Nuremberg 1933

By the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth. It would become the largest youth group in history. Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany's young people. Her research includes telling interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Bartoletti (Kids on Strike!) offers a unique and riveting perspective on WWII by focusing on the young people who followed Hitler from 1933-1945….Bartoletti's portrait of individuals within the Hitler Youth who failed to realize that they served “a mass murderer” is convincing, and while it does not excuse the atrocities, it certainly will allow readers to comprehend the circumstances that led to the formation of Hitler's youngest zealots."
--Publishers Weekly, May 23, 2005
*starred review*

"Case studies of actual participants root the work in specifics, and clear prose, thorough documentation and an attractive format with well-chosen archival photographs make this nonfiction writing at its best….Superb."
--Kirkus Reviews, April 1st, 2005
*starred review*

"Hitler's plans for the future of Germany relied significantly on its young people, and this excellent history shows how he attempted to carry out his mission with the establishment of the Hitler Youth....Bartoletti lets many of the subjects' words, emotions, and deeds speak for themselves, bringing them together clearly to tell this story unlike anyone else has."
--School Library Journal, June 2005
*starred review*

The handsome book design, with stirring black-and-white historical photos on every double-page spread, will bring in readers and help spark deep discussion..."
--Booklist, April 15th, 2005
*starred review*

"With clarity and apt quotation (scrupulously sourced), Bartoletti takes readers from the prewar beginnings of Hitler Youth, through its significant role in gaining Hitler the government, to its ultimate position as a feeder for the German war machine….The power of the account is matched by the many period candid and propaganda photographs, well-married to the text by strong captions and placement and an unobtrusive but period-evocative Art Deco page design."
--The Horn Book, May / June 2005
*starred review*

"This solid offering deserves wide readership by today's young people, and it is certain to promote extensive discussion."
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, June 1st, 2005
*starred review*

VOYA 8/05

4Q - 3P- M - J - S
Bartoletti, Susan CarnpbeU, leder Youth: Growing Up in I-litleis Shadow. SchoWtic, 2005. 176p. $19.95.0439-35379-3. I
I

How could so many Germans go along with Hitler's inhumane public policies that led to

the deaths of millions? This book, through the testimony of youth, successfully answers

that question. The Hitler Youth program offered its often-irnpoverished members hope,

excitement, and even power. The dangling carrot of camping trips, uniforms, and parades

enraptures tens of thousands children. From the story of its first martyr to the executions of those who left its ranks in the war's waning years, the history of the organization, and

on a wider scale the story of the Holocaust, is told against the backdrop of Germany's

youth, used as campaigners, informants, laborers, and even soldiers. The program

infiltrated churches and schools and intimidated teachers and clerics to

conform to Nazi policies of anti-Semitism, book burning, and eradication of all things
"non-German." As these policies became more outrageous, many tried to leave, but by then it had become dangerous to challenge the mob mentality
.
This profusely illustrated book relates the stories of youth who were - and still are
-
supportive of Hider's deeds as well as those who resisted, and in some cases died
,
trying to away public opinion. Heartbreaking photographs include images of the i

Publishers Weekly
Bartoletti (Kids on Strike!) offers a unique and riveting perspective on WWII by focusing on the young people who followed Hitler from 1933-1945. The narrative primarily focuses on members of the Hitler Youth, but also profiles some of the group's dissidents and its Jewish targets. Hitler began his quest for dominance with young people, recognizing them as "a powerful political force" and claiming, "With them I can make a new world." Bartoletti describes how the propaganda of the Hitler Youth attracted children: "The overnight camping trips, campfires, and parades sounded like a great deal of fun," said one 12-year-old. But the organization also emphasized loyalty to the Third Reich above all (including family-one eight-year-old, Elisabeth Vetter, turned in her parents to the Nazis). The author personalizes the war by placing identifiable individuals at the center of the events, such as Sophie Scholl, who moved away from Nazi ideas as a teen and in college joined the "White Rose" group that published pamphlets detailing Nazi evils and urging resistance-a crime for which she and others were executed. Powerful black-and-white photographs testify to the lure and also the cruelty of the Nazis. Bartoletti's portrait of individuals within the Hitler Youth who failed to realize that they served "a mass murderer" is convincing, and while it does not excuse the atrocities, it certainly will allow readers to comprehend the circumstances that led to the formation of Hitler's youngest zealots. Ages 7-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Yes, the Hitler youth is mentioned in most young adult nonfiction on the subject, but to see through this lens creates a completely different book! Bartoletti is quickly becoming a nonfiction writer who tops lists with her engaging writing, viewpoint, obvious dedication to research and knowledge of how important pictures are to the telling for this audience. Her book is filled with chilling quotes, anecdotal stories derived from research and interviews, and stories about how Hitler's young were manipulated and used as a primary source of his power and vision for the future. There are many facts revealed that may be new to readers. For example, the required year of service after graduation, the Landjahr, required youth do everything from clearing forests to shoveling "gravel through sieves for seven full hours" and by 1938 "the Reich Labor Service has turned so many acres of forests and swamps into useful land that it made up for nearly all the territory Germany had lost in the Treaty of Versailles." The author threads through the pages the stories of young heroes who stood up against Hitler, such as Sophie and Hans Scholl who wrote and distributed pamphlets until they were executed. 2005, Scholastic, Ages 11 up.
—Susie Wilde
VOYA
How could so many Germans go along with Hitler's inhumane public policies that led to the deaths of millions? This book, through the testimony of youth, successfully answers that question. The Hitler Youth program offered its often-impoverished members hope, excitement, and even power. The dangling carrot of camping trips, uniforms, and parades enraptured tens of thousands of children. From the story of its first martyr to the executions of those who left its ranks in the war's waning years, the history of the organization, and on a wider scale the story of the Holocaust, is told against the backdrop of Germany's youth, used as campaigners, informants, laborers, and even soldiers. The program infiltrated churches and schools and intimidated teachers and clerics to conform to Nazi policies of anti-Semitism, book burning, and eradication of all things "non-German." As these policies became more outrageous, many tried to leave, but by then it had become dangerous to challenge the mob mentality. This profusely illustrated book relates the stories of youth who were-and still are-supportive of Hitler's deeds as well as those who resisted, and in some cases died, trying to sway public opinion. Heartbreaking photographs include images of the infirm, and mentally and physically handicapped being sent to eradication centers, and in the final chapter, images of astonished Germans watching films of Holocaust atrocities that they had helped to bring about, many unwittingly so. This book offers through simple and powerful primary sources an important though tearful lesson in history, citizenship, and responsibility. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Willappeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Scholastic, 176p.; Index. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. Appendix., Ages 11 to 18.
—Kevin Beach
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Hitler's plans for the future of Germany relied significantly on its young people, and this excellent history shows how he attempted to carry out his mission with the establishment of the Hitler Youth, or Hitlerjugend, in 1926. With a focus on the years between 1933 and the end of the war in 1945, Bartoletti explains the roles that millions of boys and girls unwittingly played in the horrors of the Third Reich. The book is structured around 12 young individuals and their experiences, which clearly demonstrate how they were victims of leaders who took advantage of their innocence and enthusiasm for evil means. Their stories evolve from patriotic devotion to Hitler and zeal to join, to doubt, confusion, and disillusion. (An epilogue adds a powerful what-became-of-them relevance.) The large period photographs are a primary component and they include Nazi propaganda showing happy and healthy teens as well as the reality of concentration camps and young people with large guns. The final chapter superbly summarizes the weighty significance of this part of the 20th century and challenges young readers to prevent history from repeating itself. Bartoletti lets many of the subjects' words, emotions, and deeds speak for themselves, bringing them together clearly to tell this story unlike anyone else has.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Formed in 1926, the Hitler Youth involved seven million boys and girls by 1939 and was instrumental in Hitler's rise to power. Bartoletti makes it clear what appealed to youth: "Excitement, adventure, and new heroes to worship," hope, power, and the "opportunity to rebel against parents, teachers, clergy, and other authority figures." She covers Hitler Youth, the resistance movement among young people and the de-Nazification process after the war in this study of Hitler's horrifying 12 years and the courageous moral stance of those who resisted. Case studies of actual participants root the work in specifics, and clear prose, thorough documentation and an attractive format with well-chosen archival photographs make this nonfiction writing at its best. Essential for WWII collections as well as teaching units on conformity, peer pressure and resistance. Superb. (epilogue, time line, author's note, about the photographs, quote sources, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439353793
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/23/2005
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
184,740
Product dimensions:
10.24(w) x 10.58(h) x 0.73(d)
Lexile:
1050L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author


Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books, both fiction and nonfiction, for children. Her fiction includes the novels THE BOY WHO DARED, Dear America: A COAL MINER'S BRIDE, and NO MAN'S LAND, as well as a number of picture books. She won the Newbery Honor for her nonfiction book HITLER'S YOUTH. A former eighth-grade teacher for eighteen years, Bartoletti now writes full-time and lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

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