Adolf Hitler did just about everything imaginable in his pursuit for power, and then some. He gave impassioned speeches, spread massive propaganda, had films made under his name, and he even convinced German youth to hang onto his every word as absolute, undeniable truth. Helmut Nieboy was simply one of many in the so-called Hitler Youth, from 1933 on. Luckily for today’s historians, he is also one who kept extensive documentation on his time as a member.
Due to an auction at Mullock’s of Shropshire, Nieboy’s journal has come to recent attention, as well as other belongings such as his bugle and his six-inch dagger, complete with a swastika on the handle. He also left behind his camping gear, such as a tent with a large swastika on the side. Along with his journals, which include essays on important Hitler Youth events as well as maps of the areas in which they took place, these items should auction well with any collector of WWII memorabilia.
Nieboy was apparently something of an artist in his youth, having drawn comic book-quality portraiture of Hitler in his books. Many of the records Nieboy left behind also include Nazi slogans as well as notes on rallies attended by the organization. Only available to young men between the ages of 14 and 18, the organization was essentially meant to train teenagers to fight for the Third Reich in the SS. There were millions of young men such as Nieboy, though perhaps the scariest element of his records is the names that have been crossed off of the several lists he made with no explanation as to what happened to those particular boys.
Many consider the Hitler Youth organization to have been something in between Boy Scouts of America and ROTC. They went camping, attended rallies, had color guard training, but above all they learned to follow the beliefs and behaviors of true Nazi soldiers. Nieboy was a rarity in that he saved his detailed records, whereas most surviving members did their best to eliminate any trace of their participation in the Hitler-Jugend, the Chichester Observer reports.
The auctioneers are not clear on Nieboy’s ultimate fate, but they believe his was certainly among those in the Hitler Youth who would have surpassed the Home Guard and gone straight to fight for the SS. He certainly gave his all, as demonstrated by his careful documentation. Even his penmanship showed complete dedication to his beliefs. Due to that dedication, historians now know just a little bit more about the songs, traditions, trainings and beliefs of the Hitler Youth than they ever knew before.