Hitler Youth

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Swingjugend

Translating to ‘Swing Kids’ or ‘Swing Youth’ the Swingjugend were a group of teenagers between the ages of 14-18, that opposed Nazi Germany and the Hitler Youth. Their name acts as a parody of the numerous youth groups that flourished before the National Socialists. They also referred to themselves as Swings or Swingheinis (“Swingity”); the members were called “Swing-Boy”, “Swing-Girl” or “Old-Hot-Boy”. Throughout Germany, many young people were encouraged to join the fascist Hitler Youth movement. As swing music and Jazz music was offensive to Nazi ideology, because it was often performed by blacks (Negroes) and a number of Jewish musicians, the leaders formed their own group, focusing on American and British swing and jazz.  They organized dance festivals and contests and invited jazz bands. These events were occasions to mock the Nazis, the military and the Hitler Youth, and they even chanted “Swing Heil!”, mocking the Nazi “Sieg Heil!”