hitlerjugend

A soldier from the 12. SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend pass the burning wreckage of a Sherman tank in the area north-west of Caen, Normandy, shortly after the invasion in June 1944.

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Counterattack with the 12. SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend in the area north-west of Caen, Normandy, June 1944. The division fought superbly throughout the Normandy campaign, its performance a testimony to the training it had received, its leaders and the calibre of its individual recruits. However, its fighting qualities were to no avail in the face of the Allies so-called ‘materialschlacht’, their overwhelming strength in tanks, aircraft, motorised infantry and artillery.

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Some of the victims of the 12. SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend in the Caen sector, Normandy, summer of 1944.

Grim beyond their years, boys belonging to the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) turn eyes at a Nazi rally. Their belt buckles carry the stern motto: “Blood and Honor”. The Hitlerjugend admitted children at the age of 10, and continued until the age of 18. It was organized on a military pattern and prepared a young man to become a soldier or an SS. The young men were indoctrinated with the Nazi ideology.