Hitlerjugend: An In-Depth History: 1938 - Jahr der "Verständigung" - Year of understanding
by Arvo L. Vercamer

In 1938, the BDM was expanded to accommodate older girls. On January 19th, 1938, the BDM - Werk "Glaube und Schönheit" which was supposed to help transform young girls into refined and politically correct ladies. As with all other HJ groups, the BDM - Werk "Glaube und Schönheit" also focused a great deal of their efforts on physical education and sports events.

1938 also had a profound effect on the membership of the HJ. Both the Austrian and Sudeten region HJ groups were now officially added to the German HJ organization. Officially, the HJ leadership claimed to have close to 9 million members - or nearly 80% of all German youths.

1938 was also a rather sinister year for the HJ. In November, the Hitler ordered "Kristallnacht" to commence. NSDAP, Schutzstaffel (SS) and Sturmabteilung (SA) cronies and thugs rampaged throughout Germany attacking all adherents of the Jewish faith, destroying their places of business and many of their homes while Germans stood by and watched. Many of the targeted individuals were arrested and thrown into German concentration camps.

While many members of the HJ did participate in "Kristallnacht", the HJ was not officially asked to partake of the rampage and destruction. When von Schirach learned that HJ members had indeed engaged in such offensive actions, he issued an order officially forbidding HJ members from taking part in any similarly minded actions in the future.