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Hitler Youth

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1994.121.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1176 | Film ID: 972

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    Hitler Youth


    Heini Voelker (Juergen Ohlsen, an unidentified Hitler Youth) is a 15 year old and non-political apprentice in Berlin with a jobless Communist father. While at a Communist Youth camp to which he was sent by his father, Heini is deeply intrigued by the expression of discipline and comradeship at a nearby Hitler Youth camp. His mother gasses herself and attempts to gas the boy. During his recovery in the hospital, he is incorporated into a "substitute family" of Hitler Youth. Heini is stabbed to death by members of the Communist Youth while disseminating Nazi propaganda materials for the parliamentary elections of July 1932 in his poor and heavily Communist neighborhood of Beusselkiez. He dies with the final chorus line of the Hitler Youth song on his lips, "die Fahne ist mehr als der Tod" [the flag is more than the death]. The feature film was based on the life of Hitler Youth Herbert Norkus who was killed in January 1932 by Communists while campaigning for the Nazi party.

    In the first years after coming to power, National Socialist propaganda focused in particular on topics including the irresistible rise of their once splinter movement towards the ruling party and the heroic deeds of some of their martyrs during the mythical "Kampfzeit" [era of struggle]. Similar in this vein are the less sophisticated and less successful films "SA-Mann Brand" and "Hans Westmar." By depicting unconditioned obedience, dedicated combat, and heroic sacrifice for the higher goal of National Socialism, the film was intended to increase membership in Nazi youth organizations. The contrast between the disorganized, filthy, and shadowy Communists and the orderly, idealistic, and bright Nazis is striking. UFA decided to produce this film on its own initiative based on a 1932 book with the same title by Karl Aloys Schenzinger. Soon, it came under the patronage of Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach. This Staatsauftragsfilm [film commissioned by the state] passed censorship on September 7, 1933 and premiered on September 11, 1933 in the Ufa-Phoebus-Palast in Munich. Hitler, Hess, and Heydrich attended the premiere, von Schirach addressed the crowd, and all observed a minute of silence for the murdered members of the Nazi movement. The film won distinctions as "kuenstlerisch besonders wertvoll" [especially artistically valuable] and "jugendwert" [of worth for the youth]. The forces of the future -- school classes and youth groups -- were targeted with special screenings at "Jugendfilmstunden" [youth film events] from 1934 on. The movie was eventually banned from the screens in 1942, with the exception of special screenings.
    Production:  1933
    Berlin, Germany
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Library of Congress
    Director: Hans Steinhoff
    Producer: Karl Ritter
    Producer: UFA (Berlin)
    Camera Operator: Konstantin Irmen-Tschet

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    04:11:28:00 to 04:31:23:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 972 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing station. There are no additional access restrictions to this material.
    Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung
    Conditions on Use
    Contact Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung at for permission to reproduce and use this film.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased the films from the Library of Congress in October 1994.
    Released in US as "Our Flag Lead us Forward" (1933) with running time of 87 minutes. Length of entire film: 95 minutesSchenzinger's book was printed first in the "Voelkischer Beobachter" [main Nazi party daily newspaper] between May and September 1932 as a sequel, and later was on the reading lists of elementary school libraries and the Hitler Youth. It sold half a million copies until 1945. The text of the Hitler Youth song "Unsere Fahne flattert uns voran" [our flag leads us forward] was written especially for this movie by von Schirach himself.

    Other credits:
    Script: Karl Aloys Schenzinger; Bobby E. Luethge
    Music: Hans Otto Borgmann, Baldur von Schirach (text)
    Actors: Heinrich George (Mr. Voelker), Berta Drews (Ms. Voelker), Claus Clausen (SA-leader Kass), Juergen Ohlsen (Heini Voelker), Rotraud Richter (Gerda), Hermann Speelmans (Stoppel), Hans Richter (Franz), Ernst Behmer (Kowalski), Hansjoachim Buettner (doctor), Franziska Kinz (nurse), Rudolf Platte (carnival singer), Reinhold Bernt (barker), Hans Deppe (furniture dealer), Anna Mueler-Lincke (Voelkers' neighbor), Karl Meixner (Wilde), Karl Hannemann (grocer), Ernst Rotmund (desk sergeant)

    See Film and Video departmental files for additional documenation and a summary of the film. See Stories 1175-1179 on Film IDs 972 and 973 for the entire film.
    Copied From
    35mm; b/w
    Film Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2556
    Source Archive Number: FGC 1079
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:03:25
    This page:

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