Original German WWII Service Used HJ National Youth Organization Member Armband with Embroidered Insignia

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This HJ German Youth Organization Armband is in good, service used condition. The band is red with a white center stripe that is woven directly into it. In the center is an applied HJ diamond with a machine embroidered swas (hook cross). It measures approximately 15" x 4 1/8", and is sewn together in the back. It has been taken in once, most likely for a smaller arm.

Overall condition is very good, showing overall age toning on the white areas, and some wear and fraying at the edges, which looks to be from stitch holes used to attach it in the past. There is some staining as well as a few small holes, however the stitching is still all sound.

Comes ready to be displayed!

In 1922, the Munich-based NSDAP established its official youth organization called Jugendbund der NSDAP. It was announced on 8 March 1922 in the Völkischer Beobachter, and its inaugural meeting took place on 13 May the same year. Another youth group was established in 1922 as the Jungsturm Adolf “AH”. Based in Munich, Bavaria, it served to train and recruit future members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the main paramilitary wing of the NSDAP Party at that time.

One reason the HJ so easily developed was that regimented organizations, often focused on politics, for young people and particularly adolescent boys were a familiar concept to German society in the Weimar Republic. Numerous youth movements existed across Germany prior to and especially after World War I. They were created for various purposes. Some were religious and others were ideological, but the more prominent ones were formed for political reasons, like the Young Conservatives and the Young Protestants. Once AH came onto the revolutionary scene, the transition from seemingly innocuous youth movements to political entities focused on AH was swift.

Following the abortive Beer Hall Putsch (in November 1923), NSDAP youth groups ostensibly disbanded, but many elements simply went underground, operating clandestinely in small units under assumed names. In April 1924, the Jugendbund der NSDAP was renamed Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung (Greater German Youth Movement). On 4 July 1926, the Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung was officially renamed HJ Bund der deutschen Arbeiterjugend (HJ League of German Worker Youth). This event took place a year after the NSDAP Party was reorganised. The architect of the re-organization was Kurt Gruber, a law student from Plauen in Saxony.

After a short power struggle with a rival organization—Gerhard Roßbach's Schilljugend—Gruber prevailed and his "Greater German Youth Movement" became the NSDAP Party's official youth organisation. In July 1926, it was renamed H -Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiterjugend ("H” Youth, League of German Worker Youth") and, for the first time, it officially became an integral part of the SA. The name H -Jugend was taken up on the suggestion of Hans Severus Ziegler. By 1930, the Hjugend (HJ) had enlisted over 25,000 boys aged 14 and upward. They also set up a junior branch, the Deutsches Jungvolk (DJ), for boys aged 10 to 14. Girls from 10 to 18 were given their own parallel organization, the League of German Girls (BDM).

In April 1932, Chancellor Heinrich Brüning banned the H Youth movement in an attempt to stop widespread political violence. However, in June, Brüning's successor as Chancellor, Franz von Papen, lifted the ban as a way of appeasing “AH”, the rapidly ascending political star. A further significant expansion drive started in 1933, after Baldur von Schirach was appointed by H as the first Reichsjugendführer (Reich Youth Leader). All youth organizations were brought under Schirach's control.

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