Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

Spring 2005 Non-Fiction
Ages: 10 - 16 yrs.
Author: Susan Campbell Bartoletti
ISBN: 0-439-35379-3
Hardcover Price: $19.95
Young people are idealistic, naive, and malleable. Adolph Hitler took full advantage of these traits as he gradually enticed the youth of Germany into the structured, doctrinaire programs of the Nazi. Begun in 1926 with 6,000 members, these members campaigned tirelessly for the successful election of the Nazi Party; fourteen Hitler Youth were killed in the street became martyrs for the "cause." By 1939, with membership in Hitler Youth compulsory for all eligible young people, membership soared to 7,287,420 members. With emphasis on physical prowess and military training, the program appealed to a large segment of young people, but not to all. With mindless obedience to leaders central to the philosophy and training, some independent thinkers began to rebel, and some withdrew from the intense programs. As Hitler's evil nature became known, some groups, such as "The White Rose" founded by Hans Scholl, and joined by his sister Sophie, at the medical school of Munich, fought against Hitler by making and distributing leaflets. They and all those killed fighting Hitler from within Germany became the true martyrs. Others are represented by people such as Elizabeth Vetter, who must live for the rest of her life with the knowledge that her parents were arrested because she denounced them.

Hitler's shadow is enormous and infinite. The author has written of the multitude of young people who lived in it and were influenced by it. While many fought against it, most grew up to serve his evil cause. The thorough research and the author's cool, neutral tone convey the horrors of the times in an objective manner. A splendid resource.

Kemie Nix   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Share This