Sunday, May 16, 2004

Youth Movement  

Every political group needs a youth movement, and the more dictatorial the movement is, the more ruthless they become in imprinting the youngsters with their political and lifestyle propaganda. Sure, many political youth movements today are benign phenomena, where people can voice their own opinions without the risk of harassment. But we have seen some extreme youth movements in the last century but the Hitler’s youth is the best known, although there are many that are as devious and grand in scale.

Hitler Jungend The Hitler's youth was aligned with a more general scheme of molding the nation to the Fuhrers will. His movement was to be an inspiration to other dictators for the decades to come. In it's peak, the movement had more than 4 million members.

"The weak must be chiseled away. I want young men and women who can suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel." - Adolf Hitler.

The movements had political motives but they also contained a tiny bit of the all consuming megalomania of the Fuhrer as well, as Erika Mann wrote in a book called School for Barbarians:

Every child says 'Heil Hitler!' from 50 to 150 times a day, immeasurably more often than the old neutral greetings. The formula is required by law; if you meet a friend on the way to school, you say it; study periods are opened and closed with 'Heil Hitler!', 'Heil Hitler!' says the postman, the street-car conductor, the girl who sells you notebooks at the stationery store; and if your parents’ first words when you come home to lunch are not 'Heil Hitler!' they have been guilty of a punishable offense, and can be denounced. 'Heil Hitler!' they shout, in the Jungvolk and Hitler Youth. 'Heil Hitler!' cry the girls in the League of German Girls. Your evening prayers must close with 'Heil Hitler!' if you take your devotions seriously.

It goes without saying that only a stern psychopath could induce this kind of worship of 'his people'. The youth movement was under the supervision of Baldur von Shirach and the movement had more than 4 million children enrolled at its peak. The boys spent much of their time in Wehrsport, military athletics, and trained in the various military-like activities, in addition of ingesting an unhealthy dose of propaganda. The girls joined the Jungmadelbund, the league of young girls, and trained for motherhood. The boys were drawn at an increasingly younger age into the army and in the battle for berlin, the army mainly consisted of the Hitler Youth.

Saddam Hussain, who was a dedicated fan of Adolf Hitler developed an extensive youth program, Saddam-style. The children were enrolled at the age of 5. The failure of parents to enroll the children to the program was of course dangerous. The most devious about this program was that the children were instructed to be little spies and told to report any comment that was not favorable to Saddam or his regime. The whole nation had to endure his intimate presence during most of his years in power.

Saddam also started an elite youth movement, Ashbal Saddam or Saddam's Lion Cubs. This movement mainly consisted of orphans and they were raised to become part of Fedayeen Saddam, the fiercely loyal guards of Saddam Hussain.

To avoid parents being a retrograde force in the home, we must arm the child with an inner light so that he can repel this influence. Some fathers have escaped our hold for various reasons, but a young boy is still in our hands... The family unit must comply with centralised customs, ruled by revolutionary positions and traditions. - Saddam Hussain.

The cultural revolution of Chairman Mao took the youth movement to new heights. Millions of youngsters were sent to the countryside, no questions asked and no one knew when or if they would return. This geriatric rampage of the weirdo dictator killed millions of his own people and sent the country back to the stone age, both in economically and ideologically. The cultural revolution lasted 10 years and ended only with the death of the Chairman himself. More on the cultural revolution in this site and this fantastic Dutch poster page: Stefan Landsberger's Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages .

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