Capt. Robert Charles Gale Collection
Pan slowly up to a Hitler Youth Flag waving. A mountain range is visible. 00:01:15 A Hitler Youth organizer meets with members outside the Salzburg train station prior to leaving for camp. The boys carry suitcases. Sign by the road with "HJ Fuehrerschule Groedig 1km" and a two-toned diamond with a swastika. Scenes of the camp at Groedig and mountain landscape from above. 00:02:00 The boys pile out of the bus and are arranged into groups. Boys carry uniforms out of the administration building. The algiz rune, a symbol Nazis used as a celebration of the history of German language, is displayed prominently on the door. 00:02:47 A doctor examines one of the youth members. The boys are woken up at 6:00 am and lined up for exercises and training. Boys exercising. 00:05:52 HJ throwing mock hand grenades. 00:06:11 HJ playing Battle ball (Kampfball).
00:06:25 Quick sequence in Munich, German soldiers drive past the cathedral. They march in Karolinenplatz by the large, metal-plated obelisk. Nazi propaganda hangs from houses and buildings. The NSDAP established a remote government location in the neighborhood’s Brown House as early as 1930; the building was destroyed by Allied air bombs late in the war.
00:06:59 Back in the mountains at Groedig camp, Hitler Youth members are taught to use compasses, maps, and guns. The boys march under a sign reading "elementary shooting space" on their way to target practice. 00:09:19 The boys work outdoors staking plots and digging. Older members of the Hitler Youth and their commanders hike up a mountain. They reach the summit mount and picnic. 00:11:07 Back at camp, the bare-shirted men sing and play a guitar and a zither. 00:12:17 Hitler Youth lay a wreath on a grave (from the cemetery built during WWI holding mostly Russian POWs and some Austrian war dead) and salute. The battalion commanders in uniform shake men's hands (in civilian dress).
Biography / History:
The camp at Niederalm, Groedig was used as a training school for the Hitler Youth after 1938. During the war it became a HJ training school for operating Flak guns. In 1944/1945, refugees were accommodated in the remaining barracks, also known as Swabia camp.
Education in Nazi Germany aimed at three primary goals: love of Fuehrer, belief in race hygiene and creating a more martial society (physical fitness and war-like skills and games). This film clearly supports the last goal with a bit of added comradeship and trust building exercises.
Kampfball [Battle ball] was a team sport. The point of Battle Ball was to move a medicine ball through the opposing goal by any means possible. Throwing, rolling, pushing, carrying or any combination thereof was permitted to move the ball forward. Any defense was allowed, even holding, punching, or tackling. Battle Ball was one of the most popular sports in Nazi Germany, especially in the Hitler Youth and SA. It supposedly promoted a "decisive take-action not think" and a "goal orientated" kind of approach to problem solving. It also certainly promoted team thinking and cooperation.
2013.22.1 Capt. Robert Charles Gale served with the U.S. 4th Infantry Division from 1942-1946. He obtained five 16mm films from the Berchtesgaden (15km from Groedig, Austria) in Spring 1945 and donated them via his son-in-law and daughter, James and Barbara Gatti, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in February 2013.
James and Barbara Gatti
16mm b/w orig B-wind Kodak and Agfa stock
16mm; HDCam; Uncompressed HD QT; ProRes 422; H264
00:00:08 - 00:13:03
US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of James and Barbara Gatti