Hitlerjugend: An In-Depth History: 1935 - Jahr der "Körperlichen Ertüchtigung" - Year of bodily strengthening
by Arvo L. Vercamer

1935 was designated as the year of bodily strengthening. The word from the top was that physical strength was more important in the new Germany than educational excellence. The entire school program was rearranged to include many additional hours of physical excercises and sports fitness routines. Given that the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games were only a year away, this was an optimal means to find the best and most talented of Germany's atheletes who would compete against the world to bring home the gold.

By 1935, the German HJ youth movement could count on approximately 60% of all eligible German youths in its ranks. Hitler believed that the future of a "one thousand year old Reich" could only be realized if the German Nationalist Socialist Workers Party could control Germany's youths. At the September, 1935, Nürnberg Party rally, Hitler proclaimed to the 54.000 attending Hitler Youths that gone were the days of a weak German youth. A new Germany had arrived.

Hitler (and Germany) expected Germany's youths of the future to be "as swift as a Greyhound, as tough as leather and as hard as Krupp steel". The new German youth would be physically fit, he/she would be reared in strict discipline and they would be obedient to the needs of Germany (and the party).