We don't read this
April 26, 2006

Posted by BDM Historian

I was reading through some of the old issues of "The German Girl" magazine that are in the website digitized materials archives. For those of you who read German they are a great source of information. Even for those of you who read little German they are still a nice source of photographs and period advertisements, but they don't reach their full potential unless you have a very good working understanding of the language so that you can read and understand all of the text.

One interesting article that I came aross was in the October 1933 issue, where it is on page 21 and entitled, "We don't read:". It's an article speaking out against a book called "Glauben und Kaempfen - Aus dem Leben eines Hitlermaedels" (To Believe and Fight - From the life of a Hitler Girl). If any historian were to locate this book, which was widely sold at the time, at an auction or flea market nowadays and used it as a source, he or she may get the idea that this was what the BDM did and that the material was approved by the Hitler Youth since it was written about them.

And this is a trap us historians fall into easily - we take a text, a personal account, a publication, and don't have the ability to view it within the context that it was viewed in at the time. Neither the social context ("this is the background and because of this, these people felt a certain way"), nor in an organizational context ("this group / organization felt this way about this item"). This is why it is especially important that we should never use just one source or interview to base research on, but several.

A book, such as the one mentioned above, written by someone who has nothing to do with a group or organization, and published because the publishers think this sort of thing will sell quite well (which is, of course, why most books make it into the book stores), may not exactly give us a good insight. Even today, a lot of books written, for example, about the military, by third persons who may not have any first-hand knowledge of the military, are often quite inaccurate and don't represent the way soldiers see themselves or the armed forces.

See what I'm getting at?

In the case of the article in question, it's warning BDM girls not to buy the book because it gives a wrong image of the BDM and they do not want to be looked at as some kind of Female SA, which they say the book makes them out to be. They say the book gives the reader an entirely inaccurate view of what the BDM is and does, and they're sorry to see that it was ever published because nothing in the book is worth the time spent reading it.


Jungmaedel Service
April 05, 2006

Posted by BDM Historian

If you are a researcher or student interested in learning more about the Jungmaedel, you can now purchase a translated version of the book, "The Jungmaedel Service - An Overview of the nature, form, and work of the Jungmaedel League". (Click on the cover to go to the order page.)

This small book is a direct translation from a booklet published in 1940 by the National Youth Leadership Staff introducing the Jungmaedel League to new members as well as their parents. As such, it includes a wealth of information for any student or scholar interested in this time period: a short history of the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls, a comparative unit structure, as well as rules and regulations that governed the girls' appearance and behavior during their duty.

The book also includes detailed information about uniforms and equipment, including descriptions of the cut and color, information on where to purchase these items, and which clothing and equipment articles were allowed to be used with civilian dress as well.

Includes four black-and-white illustrations from the original book: two charts on the organization of the Hitler Youth and the Path of the German Girl, and two drawings showing the different uniforms and the uniform / equipment labels found on proper issue items.

The book has color covers featuring some photographs from my collection and is otherwise printed in black-and-white. It is a softcover edition and a little over 40 pages thick. Perfect bound. Price for the book is $10 which covers the print-on-demand manufacturing cost, binding cost, and a $3 royalty that will go to support this website so we can continue to bring you all this research and these archives without any kind of advertising or "pay-to-access" sections!

Copyright Notice

Under the Berne Convention Act pertaining to copyright, materials that were published between 1923 and 1963 without any kind of copyrights or rights notice, are considered to be in the public domain and may be reprinted, translated, and otherwise used.

The original booklet, which we are planning to publish in the future, does not include a copyright notice and may therefore be reprinted or translated. This book includes absolutely no anti-semitic or otherwise offensive material.

Copyright of the translation is 2006, Chris Crawford.