If You Were a German Girl in 1939

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If you were a German teenage girl in 1939, you would be a subscriber to Das Deutsche Mädel, the monthly journal of the “League of German Girls” (BDM or Bund Deutsche Mädel) under the auspices of the Hitler Youth (see more issues here). Three sections of the BDM accommodated girls from 10 to 21 years old, as long as the blood-line was free of any racial or ethnic impurities. Other than Nazi doctrine, the BDM was something like the Girl Scouts. Well, a Girl Scouts that was conditioning its girls to become athletic and fertile mothers for the Fatherland.

The magazine Das Deutsche Mädel provided its readership with a regular diet of Nazi cheerleading, especially as relates to art and “volk” or back to the land. This was in contrast to the male Hitler Youth’s Der Pimpf, a Third Reich Boy’s Life, which emphasized military-style discipline at home and survival in the wilderness. Das Deutsche Mädel shows how doctrine is easily inserted into the consciousness of children and teens. Girls, the more malleable of German youth, were targeted for subjugation by the Party and the state. Although comparatively innocent in look and feel, this magazine was one of the many tools the Nazis employed to unify and bundle its next generations.

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