Original German WWII HJ League of German Girls Youth Group Uniform Jacket - BDM JM Kletterjacke

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is something that we have not had before! This is a Uniform Jacket for the female side of the HJ National Youth Organization, the Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls/Maidens - BDM). This short jacket was worn by members of the Jungmädelgruppe (Young Girls Group) for girls aged 10-14, and was termed a Kletterjacke (Climb Jacket). the BDM JM was the female equivalent of the DJ.

On 1 June 1932 the BDM JM gained official status as an independent organization of the NSDAP. Uniform regulations were first introduced in 1931 and consisted of a long brown skirt with white collar but it wasn’t until 1933 that BDM JM uniforms began to become standardized, and on 10 October  1933 the tan Kletterjacke (Climbing Jacket) with white blouse and navy-blue skirt was introduced.

The jacket is in very good condition, showing some wear from service, and is made from a light tan colored velour (imitation suede). There are four small front pockets, and the jacket features a five button front closure, and as this is a jacket for girls, the buttons are on the left side, with the reinforce buttonholes on the right. The buttons are all made of plastic with embossed designs, and the front closure buttons and the top two pocket buttons are correctly embossed with B D M / JM.

The jacket features a lay down collar with lapels, and has the HJ National Youth organization diamond on the left sleeve which looks to have been resewn by hand, with an enamel cap badge on the upper left pocket. The jacket is unlined, and there are no internal pockets. We can see some labels on the inside which look to have had markings at one point, but laundering has removed them.

Overall condition is quite good, though the jacket does definitely show wear and tear from service. There is some tearing around the cuff on the left sleeve, and on the lower right pocket. There are also other scattered areas of wear, and the velour has lost some of the "nap" of the fabric.

A lovely BDM - JM Climbing Jacket, ready to add to your collection!

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 8"
Shoulder to sleeve: 20”
Shoulder to shoulder: 13”
Chest width: 15"
Waist width: 14"
Hip width: 14"
Front length: 19"

The Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls/Maidens) of the HJ had its origins as early as the 1920s, in the first Mädchenschaften or Mädchengruppen, also known as Schwesternschaften der AH-Jugend (Sisterhood of the HJ). In 1930, it was founded as the female branch of the HJ movement. The league of German Maidens was nicknamed "The League of German Mattresses", perhaps suggesting sexual promiscuity between the gender-separated groups. Its full title was Bund Deutscher Mädel in der AH-Jugend (League of German Girls in the HJ). In the final electioneering campaigns of 1932, AH inaugurated it with a mass meeting featuring the League; on election eve, the League and HJ staged "evening of entertainment." It did not attract a mass following until the NSDAPs came to power in January 1933.

Soon after taking office as Reichsjugendführer on 17 June 1933, Baldur von Schirach issued regulations that suspended or forbid existing youth organizations ('concurrence'). Those youth groups were compulsorily integrated into the BDM, which was declared to be the only legally permitted organization for girls in Germany. Many of the existing organizations closed down to avoid this.[citation needed] These NSDAP activities were a part of the Gleichschaltung (Equalization) starting in 1933. The Reichskonkordat between the Catholic Church and NSDAP Germany, signed on 20 July 1933, gave a certain shelter to the Catholic youth ministry, but they were the object of much bullying.

The Gesetz über die jugend (law concerning the HJ) dated 1 December 1936, forced all eligible juveniles to be a member of HJ or BDM. They had to be ethnic Germans, German citizens and free of hereditary diseases. Girls had to be 10 years of age to enter this League.

The BDM was run directly by Schirach until 1934, when Trude Mohr, a former postal worker, was appointed to the position of BDM-Reichsreferentin, or National Speaker of the BDM, reporting directly to Schirach. After Mohr married in 1937, she was required to resign her position (the BDM required members to be unmarried and without children in order to remain in leadership positions), and was succeeded by Dr. Jutta Rüdiger, a doctor of psychology from Düsseldorf, who was a more assertive leader than Mohr but nevertheless a close ally of Schirach, and also of his successor from 1940 as HJ leader, Artur Axmann. She joined Schirach in resisting efforts by the head of the NS-Frauenschaft (NSDAP Woman's League), Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, to gain control of the BDM. Rüdiger led the BDM until its dissolution in 1945.

As in the HJ, separate sections of the BDM existed, according to the age of participants. Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years old were members of the Young Girl's League (Jungmädelbund, JM), and girls between the ages of 14 and 18 were members of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) proper. In 1938, a third section was added, known as Faith and Beauty (Glaube und Schönheit), which was voluntary and open to girls between 17 and 21 and was intended to groom them for marriage, domestic life, and future career goals. Ideally, girls were to be married and have children once they were of age, but importance was also placed on job training and education.

At the beginning of World War II, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (National Labour Service; RAD) became compulsory also for young women. It lasted half a year. Many young women became Blitzmädel (Wehrmachthelferin or female armed forces helpers) during World War II.

While these ages are general guidelines, there were exceptions for members holding higher (salaried) leadership positions, starting at the organizational level of "Untergau". As regards lower (honorary) positions, even members of the JM could apply for them after two years of membership and would then obtain such a position typically at the age of 13. The higher leadership was recruited from members over 18 and was expected to maintain salaried office for no more than 10 years, and to leave the BDM by the age of 30. As a general rule, members had to leave when they married and especially when they had children.

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