Books by Eileen Heyes

Released: Feb. 1, 1993

At the close of WW II, American troops were shocked to find among their opponents boys as young as eight years old—members of the Hitler Youth, recruited, trained, and packed off to war in a desperate attempt to defend the ``Fatherland.'' In this fascinating, thoroughly researched account, Heyes discusses the origins of the Nazis' youth arm and explains how it was converted from an idealistic independent coalition into a vital part of Germany's war machine. In addition to describing the formal organizations (separate wings for boys and girls) and the activities they undertook (propaganda, physical and military training), the author uses particular incidents and personal testimony to convey the flavor of participation. Especially enlightening is an account of how Hitler appealed to these young people to defy their parents' traditions: ``I wanted to escape from my childish, narrow life and I wanted to attach myself to something that was great and fundamental,'' reported one leader. Fictional and autobiographical first-person accounts now available provide a stronger sense of the participants' personal involvement; but Heyes's survey is a useful complement to them. Photos; source notes; bibliography; chronology; index. (Nonfiction. 12+) Read full book review >