The Golden Hitler Youth Honor Badge (Goldenes Hitler-Jugend Ehrenabzeichen) was instituted by Baldur von Schirach on the 23rd June 1934 as an award for those members of the Hitler Youth, its affiliate organizations, and the NSDAP who attended the Youth Rally in Potsdam on the 2nd October 1932, or had been a member of the Hitler Youth prior to the rally. These have the RZM mark on the back
The Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend), often abbreviated as HJ, was the youth organization of the Nazi Party in Germany. Its origins date back to 1922 and it received the name Hitler-Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiterjugend (“Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth”) in July 1926. From 1936 until 1945, it was the sole official boys’ youth organization in Germany and it was partially a paramilitary organization. It was composed of the Hitler Youth proper for male youths aged 14 to 18, and the German Youngsters in the Hitler Youth (Deutsches Jungvolk in der Hitler Jugend or “DJ”, also “DJV”) for younger boys aged 10 to 14.
In 1922, the Munich-based Nazi Party established its official youth organization called Jugendbund der NSDAP. It was announced on 8 March 1922 in the Völkischer Beobachter, and its inaugural meeting took place on 13 May the same year. Another youth group was established in 1922 as the Jungsturm Adolf Hitler. Based in Munich, Bavaria, it served to train and recruit future members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the main paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party at that time.
One reason the Hitler Youth so easily developed was that regimented organizations, often focused on politics, for young people and particularly adolescent boys were a familiar concept to German society in the Weimar Republic. Numerous youth movements existed across Germany prior to and especially after World War I. They were created for various purposes. Some were religious and others were ideological, but the more prominent ones were formed for political reasons, like the Young Conservatives and the Young Protestants. Once Hitler came onto the revolutionary scene, the transition from seemingly innocuous youth movements to political entities focused on Hitler was swift.
Following the abortive Beer Hall Putsch (in November 1923), Nazi youth groups ostensibly disbanded, but many elements simply went underground, operating clandestinely in small units under assumed names. In April 1924, the Jugendbund der NSDAP was renamed Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung (Greater German Youth Movement). On 4 July 1926, the Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung was officially renamed Hitler Jugend Bund der deutschen Arbeiterjugend (Hitler Youth League of German Worker Youth). This event took place a year after the Nazi Party was reorganized. The architect of the re-organization was Kurt Gruber, a law student from Plauen in Saxony.
After a short power struggle with a rival organization—Gerhard Roßbach’s Schilljugend—Gruber prevailed and his “Greater German Youth Movement” became the Nazi Party’s official youth organization. In July 1926, it was renamed Hitler-Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiterjugend (“Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth”) and, for the first time, it officially became an integral part of the SA. The name Hitler-Jugend was taken up on the suggestion of Hans Severus Ziegler. By 1930, the Hitlerjugend (HJ) had enlisted over 25,000 boys aged 14 and upward.[a] They also set up a junior branch, the Deutsches Jungvolk (DJ), for boys aged 10 to 14. Girls from 10 to 18 were given their own parallel organization, the League of German Girls (BDM).
In April 1932, Chancellor Heinrich Brüning banned the Hitler Youth movement in an attempt to stop widespread political violence. However, in June, Brüning’s successor as Chancellor, Franz von Papen, lifted the ban as a way of appeasing Hitler, the rapidly ascending political star. A further significant expansion drive started in 1933, after Baldur von Schirach was appointed by Hitler as the first Reichsjugendführer (Reich Youth Leader). All youth organizations were brought under Schirach’s control.