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Hitler Youth

Film | Accession Number: 1994.121.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1203 | Film ID: 984

The fifteen-year-old Johannes von Redel returns to his father's rural estate in Prussia after his mother dies. Johannes lived with his mother for ten years in Argentina, where he is portrayed as an urban, decadent, and fastidious Auslandsdeutscher [German living abroad] alienated from his German roots. After encountering trouble with his father, he enters a "Napola" [Nazi elite boarding school] where fellow students ridicule his alien customs and behavior. It is only after accomplishing a heroic deed during a military summer drill that he gains the comradeship of the elite pupils and is incorporated back into the Volksgemeinschaft [ethnic-racial community].

In the late 1930s, the Nazis increased efforts to persuade Germans living abroad to return to Germany or at least to reject the corrupt alien culture surrounding them abroad. This film propagates the Nazi idea that assimilation diminishes the superior quality of German blood when it is removed from the strengthening environment of its people. Furthermore, "Kopf hoch Johannes!" illustrates the superior Nazi teaching methods of command and obedience practiced in sport and military exercises that foster comradeship and heroism. As an advertising effort for Nazi boarding schools, most of the film was shot in the model-school of Oranientein near Diez. Goebbels strongly believed in the merits of such movies for educating and agitating the youth. This Staatsautragsfilm [film commissioned by the state] passed censorship on February 5, 1941 and premiered March 11, 1941.

Production:  1941
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Library of Congress
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:03:18
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