Youth in European Labor Camps

According to Theodor Wilhelm and Gerhard Graefe [authors of German Education Today (Berlin, 1936)] . . . an "overemphasis of the intellect," a tendency "to identify life with knowledge," to believe "that education could be restricted to the development of the intellect, and . . . could only be effected through the medium of instruction," excluding feelings, will, soul, and emotions, caused German youth to revolt against "this theory of teaching and the kind of school which resulted." The young longed for "finite values." They did not want "merely to be instructed"; they wanted "to be led." Wilhelm and Graefe maintain that young Germans accepted the dictum of Hitler that "the German youth of the future must be slim and strong, as fast as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp steel."

It is probable that the majority of the youth did not rationalize their feelings and desires to the extent these writers claim. Rather they were unemployed, dissatisfied, and frequently lacked the basic necessities of life. Faced by these difficulties they were critical and established institutions and grasped at any plan or program that promised better conditions.

Source: Kenneth Holland, 1939, Youth In European Labor Camps, p. 95.

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