The Hitler Youth (Hitler-Jugend, HJ) was established by the Nazi party in 1926 to create a new youth-training system for young Germans to gain military training and develop their understanding of and obedience to Nazi ideology.
In 1928 the HJ gained a section for males 10-14, initially the Deutsch Knabenschaft in 1931 it was renamed the Deutsche Jungvolk in der Hitler-Jugend. A section for females, 14-18, was added in 1929 called Schwesternschaft der Hitler-Jugend, it was renamed [[Bund Deutscher M�del]] (BDM) in 1930 and a section for younger females, the [[Jungm�delgruppe]], was added in 1931.
Following the Nazi seizure of power other right-wing youth groups were merged into the HJ. From December 1 1936 under the Jugenddienstpflicht all other youth groups were banned and their membership was merged into the Hitler Youth. HJ membership was made compulsory for youths over 17 in 1939 and for all over the age of ten in 1941. Von Schirach was replaced as leader by Arthur Axmann in 1940.
The basic motivation of the Hitler Youth was to train future "Aryan supermen" and future soldiers who would serve the Third Reich faithfully. Physical and military training took precedence over academic and scientific education in Hitler Youth organizations. Youths in HJ camps learned to use weapons, built up their physical strength, learned war strategies, and were indoctrinated into anti-Semitism. They typically wore uniforms composed of light brown shirts and brown shorts, similar to children in a military camp, with some high-ranking boys wearing black shirts.
As the war progressed the group took on the work of men drafted into the armed forces, manned anti-aircraft defences and also produced many soldiers, especially for the Waffen SS, notably the 12th SS Panzer division under Kurt Meyer. As Germany was invaded members of the HJ were taken into the army at ever younger ages, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945 they were a major part of the German defences. The Hitler youth fought with great courage during the battle. One group of Hitler youth even managed to hold off a Soviet tank division for three days. Many soldiers said that no one scared them more than the Hitler youth. After the war the Hitler Jugend was dissolved and banned forever.