Oral History

Guy Stern describes losing a friend to membership in the Hitler Youth

Guy Stern was born on January 14, 1922, in Hildesheim, Germany, into a Jewish family. As a child, he attended a German school, where he had many non-Jewish friends. 

Beginning in 1933, the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls had an important role to play in the new Nazi regime. Through these organizations, the Nazi regime planned to indoctrinate young people with Nazi ideology. This was part of the process of Nazifying German society. The aim of this process was to dismantle existing social structures and traditions. The Nazi youth groups were about imposing conformity. Youth throughout Germany wore the same uniforms, sang the same Nazi songs, and participated in similar activities.   

Guy describes how propaganda and membership in the Hitler Youth turned one of these friends from his staunchest defender to his worst enemy. 


Critical Thinking Questions

What is the significance of survivor testimonies in our understanding of the history of the Holocaust?

How do oral histories differ from other primary sources such as artifacts, documents, and photographs? What can we learn from different types of primary sources?

What can this excerpt tell us about the role of Nazi propaganda in society?


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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