Hitlerjugend: An In-Depth History: 1932 - Control of Germany is in sight
by Arvo L. Vercamer

The year 1932 was a very difficult year for not only the NSDAP, but also its many ancillary support organizations, including the HJ. Hitler and his cronies had hoped to be in power in the year 1932. Fate dictated otherwise. The German general elections of March,1932, did not yield a majority vote for any political party. The runoff election of April 10th, 1932, between General Paul von Hindenburg and Adolf Hitler resulted in a plebiscite between the two of them.

The Reich government, recognizing the dangers presented by a militant NSDAP, moved quickly. It ordered the dissolution of the Schutzstaffel (the SS) and the Sturmabtailung (SA). And because the Hitlerjugend was at that time subordinated to the SA, it too had to officially cease its activities. Regretfully, most of the government's measures were not strictly enforced - nor did they come as a surprise to Hitler and the NSDAP. The NSDAP had its agents and people in place at nearly every German police station, so that the NSDAP knew what the police was going to do practically before the German police knew it themselves. To make things politically more palatable, the NSDAP was able to obtain a waiver of the injunction set against the HJ. This meant that the HJ could continue with its activities relatively undisturbed. The waiver really did not mean much in practical terms; the HJ continued with its activities, functions and recruitment drives regardless of any existing legal decisions.

But the resulting electoral problems encountered by the NSDAP did force it to re-evaluate its current position and its political strategies.

On June 17th, 1932, von Papen in his capacity as the new Reichskanzler, lifted the "verbot" on the SA. This meant that the SA could again "legally" take up its former activities; and this meant that the HJ was also free to resume business as usual.

One of the greatest HJ activities of 1932 was the "Reichsjugendtag" (the Reich's youth day) held in Potsdam between October 1/2. Over 70.000 youths (55.000 boys and 15.000 gilrs) attended these festivities (von Schirach claims on page 160 of his 1967 autobiography that over 100.000 youths marched passed Hitler that day - but this figure seems a bit high). The German planners of these festivities severely underestimated the number of participants, which would be attending. They could only accommodate 40.000 youths (the available tents were able to accommodate only 50.000 youths). Hitler held a speech for this massive group and for the next seven hours, he and his entourage watched all of the participating youths march pass him.

The German press was not kind to the "Reichsjugendtag" functions. They quickly focused in on the fact that Hitler and the NSDAP were using children to further their political ambitions.

On June 16th, 1932, Baldur von Schirach was named as the new "Reichführer der Jugend" to replace the departing von Renteln.