Sunday, February 16, 2014

Inside the Hitler Youth Camps - Landjahr Lager Journal Goes Up for Auction

Inside the Hitler Youth Camps

The article in the Daily Mail - UK web site tells of a fascinating story about 15 year old Friedhelm Huhn's time in Landjahr Lager during 1938.  The article goes on to talk about the 'chilling' photographs that show how teenagers in Germany were brainwashed into supporting the fascist cause at these Hitler Youth indoctrination camps.  This is far from the truth. Let me explain exactly what the Landjahr Lager (Country Service Camps) were all about. 

I know first hand about Landjahr Lager because my mother wrote about her time in Landjahr Lager - in 1941 when she was in Seidorf, Niederschlesien. I currently hold her journal in my possession. 

FACTS about Landjahr Lager for the BDM girls, which are very similar to the boy's time in Landjahr Lager.

Landjahr Lager (Country Service Camp) taught the girls courage, confidence, and built their moral character in a friendly and fun atmosphere through the power of camaraderie. This elite rural educational program provided the fundamental building blocks which would stay with them the rest of their lives. 
The educational curriculum was designed exclusively by the Reich’s Ministry of Science, Education, and Culture.  The focus was to build the girls full individual potential to become full productive members in society. 
Their education went beyond the traditional home economics and child rearing as we have all come to believe.  Through a myriad of enriching experiences, these girls developed their interpersonal mental, physical, and spiritual skills. Their challenging assignments included thought provocative discussions, problem-solving activities, and team-building exercises, which ended in their daily prayer.  
They contributed to local society by working with the farmers planting and harvesting the local crops, holding theatrical plays and musical performances, and organizing summer festivals for the townspeople. 
By the time these girls graduated at the age of 14, they could move into their chosen vocation from agriculture, hospitality, retail, office work, or full home management and child care. They had an exact understanding of their responsibility and duties to their state and in their work place.  It was a great honor to be chosen for Landjahr Lager. 

Hidden for more than 50 years, my heritage was revealed I found mother's personal journal from the time she was in the Landjahr Lager - Seidorf camp.

Four months before my mother passed away, I accidentally found her personal, hand written journal, written in Fraktur script. 
Reviewers have said........
"Ms. Sandor brings history to life in her first published non-fiction book, "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth." "She is significantly breaking new ground by chronicling the hidden history of the emotional toll that World War II exacted on the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) girls who participated in the Landjahr Lager (Country Service Camp) program, and those who loved them.

Sandor explains the origin of her book: "In 1941, my mother Gertrude Kerschner wrote a personal journal (complete with photos) when she was in "Landjahr Lager Seidorf," while serving in the BDM, the girls division of the Hitler Youth. This book captures the self-actualization of 10-year old Gertrude as she progresses from childhood and living in poverty, to adolescence and becoming 'one' with her country." 
Sandor's book has become a national voice for German/Austrian mothers and grandmothers who have remained silent about their experiences in the BDM and are still in fear of speaking about this time to their daughters and granddaughters.  "Through Innocent Eyes" is considered by some as the "Opposite of the Anne Frank Diary."
Gertrude met and married Cynthia's father, PFC Robert Sandor - 1280th Army Corp. of Engineers Battalion, Company "C" - 65th Infantry (Battle Ax), after the war and moved to Greenwich, Ct.

...."This is such an important, authentic, and engaging piece of scholarly work that it should become a valuable part of WWII history." Verlagsagentur (Publishing Agency) Mag. Michael Hlatky – Germany


For more information on Landjahr Lager, please visit:   
Thank you. 
~ Cynthia A. Sandor ~


No comments:

Post a Comment