Product Description: This is an extremely attractive example of the hard to find Hitler Youth winter cap. This one was definitely worn and used, giving it a lot of character. It’s made out of a black wool material, with a distinct and visible weave. The Bevo style, machine woven Hitler Youth emblem on the front is very neatly hand stitched to the cap. The exterior of this Hitler Youth winter cap shows nap wear and some inset dust and soiling from use, as well as some UV fading, but no damage. The front buckle is neatly marked on the reverse with an RZM logo and manufacturer code. The cap retains a great shape even after all these years. Inside, the original artificial leather sweatband has deteriorated due to age and wear; it’s cracked and broken, and parts have broken off here and there. The interior lining fabric is a thin rayon or cotton material, which remains mostly clean, showing only normal wear. There is a very nice oilcloth RZM tag certifying that the cap meets the regulations of the Reich Youth Leader. This Hitler Youth winter cap has a great look, as if it was just removed from the head of a Hitler Youth in Berlin in 1945. This is a very evocative and impressive artifact.
Historical Description: The first Nazi youth organization was created in Germany in 1922. In 1926, this organization took on the name “Hitlerjugend” (Hitler Youth) and by 1930, it had over 25,000 members. From 1933 to 1945, the Hitler Youth was the only official youth organization in Germany. The Hitler Youth was for boys aged 14 to 18, and also included the “Deutsche Jungvolk” for boys aged 10 to 14, and the “Bund deutsche Mädel” for German girls. This was primarily a paramilitary organization. Members learned military skills such as drill and marching, and were arranged in units with a command structure similar to that of the military. These units were subject to political lectures and other types of indoctrination using Nazi propaganda. By December of 1936, the Hitlerjugend had over 5 million members. During WWII, The Hitler Youth assisted the German postal service and the Reich national railways, among other tasks. By the end of the war, Hitler Youth members were being deployed in combat as anti-aircraft gunners attached as auxiliaries to the Luftwaffe, and as members of the Volkssturm militia units. Hitler Youth personnel had a wide variety of uniforms and headgear, including tan summer uniforms, wool winter uniforms, and specialized clothing for sports competitions or special units. These uniforms were worn with a wide variety of different insignia which designated specific functions and units. Headgear ranged from simple field caps and ski caps, to specialized equipment. Hitler Youth members were also eligible to earn a range of awards. At the end of the war, the Hitlerjugend was disbanded, and later banned by the German criminal code.
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