Ranks and insignia of the Hitler Youth

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The ranks and insignia of the Hitler Youth were a Nazi Party paramilitary rank system that existed from 1932 to 1945. The Hitler Youth had existed for nearly a decade before, but the organization did not maintain any particular system of ranks. Such ranks were introduced in the early 1930s and became widespread after the Nazi Party came to power in 1933.

The ranks of the Hitler Youth were divided into an adult leadership corps, which maintained their own system of ranks, as well as the general membership of boys between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years of age.

Reich Youth Leader[edit]

Reichsjugendführer (Reich Youth Leader) was the highest rank of the Hitler Youth and was held by the Nazi Party official in command of the entire organization.[1] The rank of Reichsjugendführer was only held by two people during its existence, first by Baldur von Schirach and later by Artur Axmann.[2] Von Schirach wore no particular insignia and can be seen in photographic evidence as donning a Nazi Party brown jacket with Hitler Youth armband. When Axmann took the rank of Reichsjugendführer in 1941, he adopted similar insignia collar patches to that of the rank of Reichsführer-SS.

Ranks and insignia[edit]

HJ Ränge Nr.jpg

Hitler Youth Rank Translation
Oberstammführer Senior Unit Leader
Stammführer Unit Leader
Hauptgefolgschaftsführer Head Cadre Unit Leader
Obergefolgschaftsführer Senior Cadre Unit Leader
Gefolgschaftsführer Cadre Unit Leader
Oberscharführer Senior Squad Leader
Scharführer Squad Leader
Oberkameradschaftsführer Senior Comrade Unit Leader
Kameradschaftsführer Comrade Unit Leader
Oberrottenführer Senior Section Leader
Rottenführer Section Leader
Hitlerjunge Hitler Youth

HJ Adult Ranks.jpg

Adult Leadership Rank Translation
Stabsführer Staff Leader
Obergebietsführer Senior Area Leader
Gebietsführer Area Leader
Hauptbannführer Head Banner Leader
Oberbannführer Senior Banner Leader
Bannführer Banner Leader

Rank comparison[edit]

Rank comparison of party, Hitlerjugend, and army rank
Ranks in the NSDAP[3] Ranks in the Hitlerjugend Equivalent rank in the Wehrmacht[4]
Reichsleiter Reichsjugendführer Generalfeldmarschall
Gauleiter - - Generaloberst
Hauptbefehlsleiter Stabsführer der Reichsjugendführung General
Oberbefehlsleiter Obrgebietsführer Generalleutnant
Gebietsführer
Befehlsleiter Hauptbannführer Generalmajor
Hauptdienstleiter
Oberdienstleiter Oberbannführer Oberst
Bannführer
Dienstleiter Oberstammführer Oberstleutnant
Hauptbereichsleiter
Oberbereichsleiter Stammführer Major
Bereichsleiter
Hauptabschnittsleiter
Oberabschnittsleiter
Abschnittsleiter Haupgefolgschaftsführer Hauptmann
Hauptgemeinschaftsleiter
Obergemeinschaftsleiter
Gemeinschaftsleiter Obergefolgschaftsführer Oberleutnant
Haupeinsatzleiter
Obereinsatzleiter Gefolgschaftsführer Leutnant
Einsatzleiter
Hauptbereitschaftsleiter Oberscharführer Oberfeldwebel
Oberbereitschaftsleiter
Bereitschaftsleiter Scharführer Feldwebel
-- Oberkameradschaftsführer Unterfeldwebel
Hauptarbeitsleiter Kameradschaftsführer Unteroffizier
Oberarbeitsleiter Oberrottenführer Obergefreiter
Arbeitsleiter Rottenführer Gefreiter
Oberhelfer -- Obergrenadier
Helfer Hitlerjunge Grenadier
Anwärter --

Unit designators[edit]

Membership in local Hitler Youth cells was denoted by a number worn on the upper portion of the rank insignia shoulder patch. These unit designators were worn by all members of the Hitler Youth, with the exception of the National Youth Leadership Corps, who served on the staff of the Reichsjugendführer.

Hitler Youth titles[edit]

Prior to the establishment of a paramilitary rank system, the Hitler Youth maintained a simple system of paramilitary titles which were as follows:

Reichsjugendführer and Hitlerjunge would later become actual ranks with Hitlerjunge also commonly used to denote any juvenile member of the Hitler Youth. The title of Hitlerjugendführer never became an actual rank but was used throughout the Hitler Youth's existence as a term applied to members of the adult leadership.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b McNab 2009, p. 15.
  2. ^ Hamilton 1984, pp. 247, 334.
  3. ^ Robert Ley, Organisationsbuch der NSDAP, Berlin: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1943, pp. 99–142.
  4. ^ Records Integration Title Book. CIA: Approved for release 1999/08/24. Retrieved 2017-12-26.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Hamilton, Charles (1984). Leaders & Personalities of the Third Reich, Vol. 1. San Jose, CA: R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0-912138-27-0. 
  • McNab, Chris (2009). The Third Reich. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-51-8.