German Propaganda Archive Calvin University

Background: Das deutsche Mädel was the monthly for girls in the Hitler Youth organization. It clearly presents Nazi expectations for what girls should become. In contrast to the Der Pimpf, the corresponding magazine for boys, which suggests adventure and excitement, girls are to take quiet hikes, care for wounded solders, prepare for raising children, and work hard in factories. These are front covers from 1936-1943.

Digital scans of many issues of the magazine are available on a site focusing on the Bund deutscher Mädel.

The German Girl

<Nazi girls' magazine cover>
April 1936. The cover shows a group of girls hiking along the beach.

December 1936. Hermann Göring shows his appreciation of children.

January 1938. The cover features an article titled: “Who Would Wish to Change Places with the Soviets?” It was part of an anti-communist propaganda campaign then in progress. Another article, titled “The Tasks of the BDM in the Year 1938,” is a speech by the newly appointed head of the BDM, Jutta Rüdiger.

September 1938.

December 1938. The Christmas issue.

August 1941. This was the first issue to appear after the invasion of the Soviet Union. The caption reads: “Weary and ruined faces characterize the neglected children of the Soviet state. Cheerful and healthy on the other hand, the youth of Greater Germany are participating in sports festivals everywhere in the country.”

May 1942. The caption translates: “Bringing their full enthusiasm and the fresh strength of youth, our Labor Service girls are serving in the regained German territory in the East.

Anti-Semitic Nazi Poster
November 1942. The caption reads: “Just as German Red Cross nurses are constantly at work on all fronts to do their duty, so also young Norwegian girls cheerfully serve their comrades on the Eastern Front.”

March-April 1943. The caption reads: “Once again in these weeks, following the will of the Führer, our ten-year-olds are joining the community of the Hitler Youth, gladly and cheerfully doing their duty wherever they are needed.” This issue appeared just after the German defeat at Stalingrad. An interior article titled “You Have the Best Examples tells girls what is expected of them as they join the Young Girls.

July-August 1943. A Finnish woman serves coffee to the troops. The caption reads: “I come from the north, where the danger of Bolshevism is much closer than it is here. It is not easy to stand watch there, but it is the task history has given to us. Fanni Luukkonen, leader of the Lotta Svärd [a Finnish women’s volunteer organization].

November-December 1943. An article titled “Because Father Had Promised” tells how Hitler Youth members met the Christmas wish of a small boy.

[Page copyright © 2002 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail adress is available on the FAQ page.]

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