Hitler Youth - Post World War II

Post World War II

The Hitler Youth was disbanded by Allied authorities as part of the denazification process. Some HJ members were suspected of war crimes but, as they were children, no serious efforts were made to prosecute these claims. While the HJ was never declared a criminal organization, its adult leadership was considered tainted for corrupting the minds of young Germans. Many adult leaders of the HJ were put on trial by Allied authorities, and Baldur von Schirach was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was, however, convicted of crimes against humanity for his actions as Gauleiter of Vienna, not his leadership of the HJ.

German children born in the 1920s and 1930s became adults during the Cold War years. Since membership was compulsory after 1936, it was neither surprising nor uncommon that many senior leaders of both West and East Germany had been in the HJ. Little effort was made to blacklist political figures who had been youth members of the HJ, since many had little choice in the matter.

Despite this, several notable figures have been "exposed" by the media as former HJ Youth members. These include Stuttgart mayor Manfred Rommel (son of the famous general Erwin Rommel); former foreign minister of Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher; philosopher J├╝rgen Habermas and the late Prince Consort of the Netherlands Claus von Amsberg.

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