Hitlerjugend: An In-Depth History: 1926 - The official birth of the Hitlerjugend
by Arvo L. Vercamer

On July 4th, 1926, at the NSDAP party day in Weimar, the fledgling, and essentially defunct Jungendbund organization was re-named or re-born as the Hitlerjugend (HJ). Its official name was Hitler-Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiter-jugend (Hitler-Youth, the association of German workers' youth) - a name recommended by Julius Streicher. Kurt Gruber, who had been taking the lead on all German youth movement issues on behalf of the NSDAP up to that time, as now elevated to the position of "Referent für Jugendfragen". For all of Gruber's hard work, Hitler rewarded him well. With his new title in hand, Gruber continued to work towards an expanded HJ organization.

To better control his political activities and ambitions, Hitler created 34 "Gaue" inside Germany. A further seven "Gaue" were created in places such as Austria, Danzig, the Sudetenland, etc., - geographic regions Hitler decided that unquestionably belonged to Germany. Each "Gau" was divided into "Kreise". In the larger urban and industrial regions, the "Kreise" were further subdivided into "Zellen" and finally, on the smallest scale, into neighborhood "Blocks". This structure in fact remained as the basic political administrative structure of Germany until May of 1945.

Gruber also formalized many rules and regulations pertaining to membership in the HJ such as, but not limited to HJ attire/uniform standards, membership dues (four Reichspfennigs per month), etc. Because the NSDAP and as a result, the HJ, were experiencing some cash-flow problems at this time, Gruber requested that all HJ members go on "donation marches" as party rallies or major party events were taking place. As the fortunes of the Nationalist Socialists increased, so did the recruitment efforts of the HJ.

In 1926, additional NSDAP political activity groups were added to the existing structure. The new, main groups were:
HJ Hitlerjugend
NS Ärtztebund (Physicians' League)
NS Deutscher Studentenbund (NSDStB) (1)
NS Frauenschaftbund (Women's League)
NS Lehrerbund (Teachers' League)
NS Rechtswahrerbund (Attourneys' League)
NS Schülerbund (Students' League)

On November 1st, 1926, Hauptmann (Captain) Franz Felix Pfeffer von Salomon was promoted to the rank of "Oberster SA-Führer" and with that position, he demanded that the HJ be made a direct sub-component of the SA. Pfeffer von Salomon eventually won his power grab, but not without some difficulties.


1. Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund (NSDStB) (National Socialist German Students League) was formed in February 1926 at the University of Munich by Wilhelm Tempel who also was made the first Bundesführer. In July 1928 he was replaced by Baldur von Schirach assumed control of the NSDStB. In April 1933 Oskar Stäbel became the new Bundesführer, a position he held until July 1934 when he was removed for embezzling funds. He was replaced by Albert Derichsweiler who in turn was replaced by Dr. Gustav Adolf Scheel in Novemeber 1936 who held the position until the end of the war.