Background: The “Pimpfs” were members of the Nazi organization for boys aged 10-14, part of the larger Hitler Youth organization. What follows is the introductory chapter from the handbook for these boys, a brief biography of Adolf Hitler, who is presented as the model. Nearly every German boy had a copy of this book.
The Life of the Führer
Our great and only youth organization bears the name of the Führer.
We bear it happily and proudly, and know that this name is an obligation. We begin our book with an outline of his life. Adolf Hitler is a great man for us, both as a person and as our leader. Everything about him is both great and simple. We want to thank him and obey him. We want to become what he is. We want to learn from his wonderful life, both for ourselves and for our tasks.
Today Adolf Hitlerís birthplace belongs to Germany. He was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn in Upper Austria. But he is German. He does not feel like an Austrian. When war breaks out in 1914, he volunteers for the German army. As Point 1 of the National Socialist program states: “We demand a Greater German Reich.” On page 1 of the Führerís autobiography Mein Kampf we find these words: “Common blood belongs in a common Reich.” We can better understand the first point of program of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party when we realize that Adolf Hitler himself is a German who was born outside of Germany. We affirm that the law of common blood transcends state borders. Austria fulfilled this German longing on 13 March 1938.
He is an adventurou boy. He plays outdoors with his friends and soon becomes their leader. The Führerís father, an official in the Austrian civil service, dies when the Führer is thirteen years old. The Führer, too, is supposed to become a civil servant, but he has other ideas. He wants to become an artist. Again and again, he tries to be admitted to an art school, but he lacks sufficient prior training. But he does not give up. He becomes a construction worker in Vienna and learns about social problems and the misery of the working class. In his free time, he spends all his money on education. He buys books, attends the theater and museums, and gathers the enormous knowledge that we admire so often today.
Here for the first time he learns about parliamentarianism, and recognizes that Marxism and Jewry are the greatest enemy of the German people. He builds his vision of the world, the worldview that will be the foundation of his later actions.
War begins. Adolf Hitler asks to serve in the German army, and goes as a volunteer to the Western Front. He is wounded repeatedly and earns the Iron Cross. He is esteemed as a courier and a comrade. He is put to work wherever a determined and courageous man is needed. His superiors know they can rely on him. While in Germany on a short leave to recover from his wounds, he sees that Marxism and Jewry are trying to weaken the German peopleís powers of resistance in the homeland. He is happy to return to the front. He never took a leave otherwise. His place was always at the front lines.
When revolt breaks out in 1918, he lies blinded by gas in a hospital and must powerlessly watch the collapse of the army. Here in the hospital, he suddenly feels the calling to become a politician and take up the battle against Marxism and Jewry. He feels he has the power within himself to lead the battle and create a Reich that will restore the honor of what the revolt destroyed. More than that, he wants to fulfill the ancient longing of Germans for a Greater German Reich.
The Führer goes to Munich and joins the six men of the “German Workers Party.” He becomes its leader and give the tiny group his stamp. Working tirelessly, they try to reach the people with their ideas. The Führer himself is one of the most energetic leaflet distributors. Meeting attendance rises from 11 to 13, then to 17, then to 34. More and more come, and the small group gradually becomes known to the public. Hitlerís speeches are the high point of the meetings. All provide a brilliant reckoning with the measures of the black [conservative] and red [Marxist] governments of the day.
The struggle continues to grow. It reaches the soul of the German people. The battle is guided entirely and only by the leading personality of Adolf Hitler.
The opponents begin to take notice. They can no longer simply ignore Hitler. The Reds decide to disrupt his meetings. Hitler organizes a protective force: Lads and determined men join together to protect the meetings. It is the first S.A. group.
24 February 1920 is a memorable day for the young movement. It holds its first mass meeting in Munichís Hofbräuhaus. Thousands of people fill the hall as the Führer proclaims National Socialismís 25 Theses. The jubilant crowd approves each point. Ever since, National Socialismís demands have been firm. After the takeover of power, they are being realized.
The Period of Struggle
The new defense force faced its first test in the Hofbräuhaus. The NSDAP had announced a large mass meeting at which the Führer would speak. The meeting was to begin at 8 p.m. By 7 p.m., the police had to close the doors, since the hall was already packed. The Reds had come in force, intending finally to put an end to National Socialism. There is no more room for the Führerís supporters. The Führer enters the hall, accompanied only by 46 men of the defense group. Chaos breaks out in the middle of his speech. The Reds want to disrupt the meeting, whatever the cost. The Führerís followers prove that they are ready to give their lives for Hitlerís idea. In groups of 8 or 10, they charge the enemy like a pack of wolves over and over again and slowly begin to drive them from the hall. Within five minutes, every one of them is wounded. The impossible happens. Within 20 minutes under Rudolf Heßís leadership, they drive 20 times their number from the hall. The meeting continues. From this point on, the S.A. always accompanies Hitler. It is the force that broke the Marxist terror.
The 1922 “German Rally” in Coburg is a memorable day. In long chartered trains, SA. men travel to Coburg. As they reach Coburg, the “fortress leaders” tell them that they can not enter the townwith with unfurled flags or march in formation. The Reds are behind it. The Führer rejects these shameful conditions and announces that he will immediately begin marching in troops of one hundred, with band music and waving flags.
That is what happens. Cheered by jubilant and cheering crown, the young S.A. marches into the city. They refuse to be provoked by shouts of “murderers, bandits, thieves, criminals, etc.” Only when comrades are injured by stones does the S.A. lose patience. In a furious attack, they drive the Red bandits from the streets within a quarter of an hour.
The Coburg rally gives the young S.A. self confidence and faith in the correctness of its leadership. Many people recognize for the first time that the National Socialist movement is called to put an end to Marxist nonsense in Germany,
Our beloved swastika flag appears at this time, too. The Führer himself designed it. For us, it is more than an outward symbol. We National Socialists see our program in our flag. We see the social in the red, the movementís national thinking in the white, and in the swastika we see the symbol of the victory of Aryan humanity and the victory of productive humanity, which was always anti-Semitic and will always be anti-Semitic. When this flag flies, it is a parable of our desires: We think of national freedom and social justice, of racial purity and the victory of Nordic humanity. The swastika reminds us of the time when Nordic farmers and warriors marched to Italy and Greece. It was borne at the front of the soldiers as a holy symbol of the Germanic-German spirit.
German misery reaches its pinnacle in 1923. Inflation constantly increases and the French, Belgians and English march into the German Rhine and Ruhr districts, threatening to cut Germanyís jugular. The government has no idea what to do in the face of looming collapse. Hitler wants to bring down the government in Berlin through a general uprising. In November 1923 in Munich, he declares that the government has been overthrown and that he himself will take command. False allies betray him. But the Führer still wants to force a decision. He marches through Munich with all of his followers. Hitler, Streicher, Ludendorff, Göring, Rosenberg, and many other fighting comrades, all of whom we know today, march at the forefront. When they reach the Feldherrnhalle, the police are waiting. As they keep marching, lead flies into their ranks. National Socialismís leadership lies in its own blood in front of the Feldherrnhalle. By a miracle, Hitler and Ludendorff are uninjured. The movement seems finished.
Hitler is tried for high treason. In brave and manly fashion, he proves that he and his supporters acted from a sense of responsibility to the people, and that the guilt is not theirs, but rather it belongs to the foreign traitors of 1918. But nonetheless, the Führer is sentenced to prison.
In Landsberg prison, Hitler writes down his beliefs and his goals in “Mein Kampf,” the basic work of National Socialist thinking. It has become National Socialismís book. In his cell in Landsberg, it becomes even more clear to him that his struggle and his goals are correct. He can make but one decision: to continue his fight fanatically.
Upon his release from prison, Hitler rebuilds his party with faith and determination. A network of local groups and strongholds spreads throughout Germany. Small meetings and mass meetings bring Hitlerís idea to the very last village. A tough and difficult battle for power breaks out in all the provincial parliaments. Election after election brings successes for the National Socialists. In 1928 they have 12 seats in the Reichstag. In 1930 it is 107, and in 1932 they become the largest party in Germany.
Hitler wants to gain power legally. He does not want a revolution. He wants to persuade all Germans of National Socialismís idea and lead them to a National Socialist peopleís community.
In August 1932, we reach the memorable hour when Reich President and Field Marshall von Hindenburg offers the Führer a place in the government. But only a role, not leadership. Hitler can reach his goals only when he alone is Führer. But the Reich President refuses.
But Hitler knows that his historic hour will come. After several more attempts to form a government the misery of the Reich has reached its depths, and Hindenburg gives Adolf Hitler the leadership of the Reich on 30 January 1933.
We boys are proud to live in this age and share the Führerís battle.
Adolf Hitler is to us the image of what it is to be German. Just as he sets a goal and works tirelessly for it, just as he risks his own life for it, so also we want to live and fight with him for our highest goal:
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