Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

( 13 )

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 ...

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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+)
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739336632
  • Publisher: Listening Library, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/24/2006
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 1,162,643
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    A great book for a History project.

    First things first.....This book gave me an A+ on both English and History project!! This book shows the unfortunate events of the souls of lost kids during World War II....These kids were soldiers, worksmen, and were part of child labor. This amazing book gives chills down the readers back, for all of these events were true.... Susan really captures the polt with pictures and real people that survived in Hitler's shadow.... The book is based on the auto-biographys from the kids who are konw all grown up...She tells their story that no one knows till you read this book...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2014

    no very good for my taist

    no very good for my taist

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2011

    This book is awsome!!!!! I totaly recomend it!!!!!

    I love the book because I like to learn about the holocaust and hitler. I recomend this book because it teaches you how the holocaust happened and what hitler did to influince all the killing that went on during the holocaust. I would read this book again because it was nice to know how that happened and it was a great book. This book is about how hitler lead a bunch of children to be just like him and then he damands that all the kids, parents, and random people be killed so when he ordered all the kids to be killed he was killing the hitler youth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    A must read for those who like reading about this kind of stuff!!!! GREAT READ!!!!

    I read the book called "Hitler's youth". This book was written by an amazing person and her name is Susan Campbell Rartolitti. It is a very sad story. I have always been interested in the way that the Nazis worked and what they did. I don't know why but it just seems interesting to me. The ways that the Germans treated the Jews, and anyone else that didn't fully support the Nazis, were treated very poorly. They were kicked out of their house, torn away from their families, and if a Jew was walking on the sidewalk and even looked at a German soldier that was even in the slightest way a smirk or a glare, the German Soldier would just attack the Jew. It is a terrible way to treat people just like you who just have different religious views. The book talked about how Hitler came into his reign and what happened and how he changed the world as we know it.When the German's had voted for Hitler, they thought he was going to save them from what was happening to them. But boy were they wrong! Hitler got so excited with his new power, that he got way out of control. He started making new laws that effected families, religions, adults, children, and the way that the teachers were teaching schools. Hitler started to form camps for children and made it a requirement for all "pure" children to go to these camps when they turned the appropriate age. At these camps, the children were taught how to fight in war. They were taught how shoot guns, how to dig trenches, how to stalk, and how to just plain out kill. Hitler was building an enormous army out if the children of Germany. Some children liked them, but most of the kids hated these camps.
    Some of the kids first really wanted to join the Hitler youth group saw the parades that the Hitler Soldiers did. They marched through the streets yelling, chanting, screaming, marching, and most of all, and which really was probably the absolute worst of all, was that they praised Hitler. The Hitler Soldiers marched up and down the streets praising Hitler as he stood on his balcony. I personally think that it was and really is wrong and sad.
    I think that it is sad because the when the people first elected Hitler, they thought he was going to save the world. The people trusted this man, Hitler, to help them; to keep them from going into total and absolutelly complete poverty. They trusted him, and he did the complete opposite of what they wanted him to do in the first place when they elected him.
    i would actually recommend this book to anyone who likes to read stories about hitler and the nazis.i would also recommend this to Anyone who is ok with a little tear now and then because it is a sad story at some times and parts in the book.So, i believe with all of my heart that if you are the exact kink of person who likes and if you are the kind of person who enjoys learning about the nazis and the germans and Hitler, then I recommend you read this awesome story.

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    This Book Must Be Read!

    I have always been entranced by the Holocaust and what happened during that time in history. Most everyone knows about Hitler and what he did, but this book lets you in on the lives of the children that followed him and what they endured and some of their stories. This book offers a unique and fascinating perspective on WWII by focusing on the young people who followed Hitler. It focuses on the members of the Hitler Youth, a group for children who follow Hitler and his quest for dominance. The author describes how the propaganda of the Hitler Youth attracted the children and also emphasized loyalty to the Third Reich above all. The author tells the reader about an eight year old girl named Elisabeth Vetter who turned her parents in to the Nazi's because they did not believe in all that the Nazi's were doing. The author personalizes the war by placing particular children in the center of the events. There are powerful black and white photographs, which are an essential part of the book, that testify and entice the reader and also the cruelty of the Nazi's. The author is convincing in the way she portrays the children and how they failed to realize that they served "a mass murder", and while it does not excuse the mayhem, it will certainly allow readers to comprehend the circumstances that led to the formation of Hitler's youngest. Children being so brain washed as to not comprehend that what they are doing is wrong is just beyond me. This book is a fantastic read an di would reccommend it to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 29, 2010

    Very Informative and a MUST READ!

    This book is a Newberry Honor book. In the foreword the author makes it known in bold and in the first sentence, "THIS IS NOT A BOOK ABOUT ADOLF HILTER." (Campbell Bartoletti, 2005) She goes on to inform the readers that this is a book about the children and teenagers who followed Hitler and joined the official Hitler's Youth which began in 1926. This book follows several young children who are named and their life story is given and it walks the readers through the changes that took place in their lives and why they choose to be a part of Hitler's Youth. This book is very informative and gives a firsthand look into what these children were being taught and what they were subjected to if they did not follow the status quo of this time period. There whole world was changing before their eyes. Hitler stated, "I begin with the young, we older ones are used up.. But my magnificent youngsters! Are there finer ones anywhere in the world? Look at all these men and boys! What material! With them I can make a new world." (Campbell Bartoletti, 2005) This is what he did, he started Hitler's Youth (Training them) and he gradually changed the schools, which only taught what Hitler wanted them to know and what he felt was most important for what he was going to happen in the near future. I learned so much through this book, that I was not even aware that took place. He did unspeakable things to the Jews and his own people when he deemed it necessary. I learned that he had the Nazi teachers take their students on field trips to observe patients in hospitals for the elderly and for the disabled children to show them and teach them that these people where not capable of having a life. Hitler said, "These people are unfit to live productive lives, that they could not build Germany up, that they were worthless, and that they were using the government's money." (Campbell Bartoletti, 2005) Could you imagine being a young child and being taught that if you were disable or elderly that you just wasted space and money. These children were taught unthinkable things and had to do unthinkable things and those who disagreed or those who spoke out were just another example to be made out of. I would recommend this book to older children as references to History and what children their age went through when Hitler was dictating what needed to happen. This was a sad book, but I was unable to put it down for the information was so well written and I wanted to know more and I wanted to know what took place in this time. I hope that many get a chance to read this book, your thoughts of this time will change forever. I know mine have and I did not realize that Hitler infiltrated these children's minds as deep as he did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2009

    most addictive book I ever read.

    The most addictive book I have ever read is "Hitler Youth". Bartoletti offers a unique book about little boys and girls in Germany who work almost like slaves they had under gone harsh military training. Hitler established these camps because he believed they were the future of Germany. These camps train the boys for fighting and the girls for being ladies. They were also taught to hate all other races besides their own. Boys and girls who had blue eyes and blond hair were treated better than the rest. But The real strength of Susan Campbell Bartoletti's handsome book, which is illustrated with documentary photographs, lies in its interviews with former members, as well as with Jews and Mischling (half-Jews) who were forbidden to join the ranks. But for a redemptive ending, look elsewhere. Many of the former members she writes about believed there was no option but to serve the Reich and still excuse, albeit apologetically, being members of the Hitler Youth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2009

    awesome book

    i love learning about the holocaust and this provided me with a lot of information

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    Hitler Youth greatest Book Ever!

    Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti an amazing historical fiction. I believe I have read the most interesting book about World War II with all of the people who followed Hitler or the people who betrayed Hitler lives turned out.<BR/> The story takes place in Europe during WWII while Hitler was in control of Germany. The issue is that Adolf Hitler started war with 38 countries by the end of 1941 which was supported by the Hitler Youth program and the Military of Germany. I believe that a great part of the novel was when Germany¿s Military was invading Poland which became the start of WWII, another exciting part was when Hitler invaded Russia and breaking the treaty he made with the Russian leader, and the saddest part which is a sub-plot was when the Scholl family tries to show Germany that Hitler was a liar which lead to the daughter¿s and son¿s beheading. This novel may look like a racist book praising the Nazi culture, but this novel isn¿t this book is made for the followers of Hitler and with all of the facts and imagery.<BR/> I think that anyone who likes WWII stories and drama should read this novel and they will love this book with all the facts and stories of the good and bad Germans who followed or rebelled against the leader of Germany Adolf Hitler.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2006

    Great Read for a World War II Project

    I saw that this book was a Newberry Honer pick and I am always intersted in World War II and the Holocaust. I read this and I was deeply amazed about how different each child's story was. I never knew about The White Rose. From a 15year old reader

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2005

    Chilling

    I picked up this book for a Children's Lit assignment and couldn't put it down. As a grandchild & child of Polish immigrants, I found this book fascinating reading. The stories of twelve very different youth in a tumultuous time and place are riveting. From the heroics of Herbert Norkus to the shame of Elisabeth Vetter the reader is gripped. The photographs used are well chosen. There are no graphic or gory images. Best for 11-12 and up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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