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my Polish Grandfather in Hitler Youth? HOW?



Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #1

Hey I am very confused please help me !

I am going through my late grandfathers documents from WW2 and I discovered he has a German Identity Card of him in the Hitler youth!!!!!!

I always thought he was POLISH he was born in Gniezno, Poland in 1929 he has a Polish First name and Surname and both his parents had Polish first names and Surnames,

On his German Identity card it has all the NAZI stamps and information ect. about him saying where he was born and lived. Where it says his ETHNICITY it says '' Ethnicity assumed Polish ''

So my question is how could my Grandfather who was born in Poland and who has both a Polish first name and surname whos parents that have both Polish names and born in Poland be allowed to be in the HITLER YOUTH ? seeing the Germans ''Assume he is of Polish Ethnicity ''

please only honest and helpful people comment

Thank you

jon357 69 | 13,456    
5 Jul 2012  #2

Nothing here in Poland is quite as it seems.
PolkaTagAlong 10 | 188    
5 Jul 2012  #3

@Slavicaleks

Was he a stolen child that was Germanized? That was happening more in the 1940s though.
Harry 81 | 13,362    
5 Jul 2012  #4

I would assume that his parents signed the Deutsche Volksliste as Eingedeutschte or Rückgedeutschte.
jon357 69 | 13,456    
5 Jul 2012  #5

Was he a stolen child that was Germanized?

Oh dear. You think people had to be stolen children in order to cooperate with the regime?

By the way,those children who were stolen were usually babies and toddlers, and given that Poland fell in late 39 a toddler would hardly have been old enough by the end of the European part of the war in early 45 to join the HJ. And they had their names changed.
Hipis - | 227    
5 Jul 2012  #6

Does it give an enlistment date? From 1944 onwards when the Nazis realised they were going to lose the war they were desperate for new recruits to bolster their flagging numbers. Many people from other nations were forcibly conscripted into the German ranks.
PolkaTagAlong 10 | 188    
5 Jul 2012  #7

You think people had to be stolen children in order to cooperate with the regime?

I didn't know they wanted Poles cooperating with them. To join the Hitler youth I assumed you had to be purebed German or pass as Germanic from their racial tests.

By the way,those children who were stolen were usually babies and toddlers, and

In rare cases they took children as old as 12.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #8

At the start of the war his Mother fled to Germany with my grandfather and his sister where they attended German school.

His father was in the Polish army and died at the start of the war.
(A family rumor was that he changed sides at the start of the war and went into the German army and was sent to the Russian front where he was captured he later escaped but died from illness on the way back home )

thats all I know
Hipis - | 227    
5 Jul 2012  #9

There's your answer then. If he was living in Germany then he wouldn't have had a choice.
PolkaTagAlong 10 | 188    
5 Jul 2012  #10

At the start of the war his Mother fled to Germany with my grandfather and his sister where they attended German school.

Is it possible the mother moved to Germany because it was mandatory that they be Germanized and she had the choice not to leave them or was it just because she had nowhere else to go because of the war?
Harry 81 | 13,362    
5 Jul 2012  #11

At the start of the war his Mother fled to Germany with my grandfather and his sister where they attended German school.

That would suggest that she was at least partially German (or at least German enough to be considered German by the German authorities). The Hitler Youth was open to (and more or less mandatory for) all boys considered German, except black Germans.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #12

It says he was accepted into The Hitler Youth in Krotoszyn, Warthegau in January 1943 at 14 years of age
archiwum 13 | 125    
5 Jul 2012  #13

Hi,

The germans did not only have poles on their payroll, Belarussians to.

The farmer, the local police officialls. I do not know the exact amount, but I'm guessing it was 500 rub.,
or 50 marks. It was bearly after the great depression.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #14

@ Harry

But on her Polish documents it says she is Polish and her husband Polish also....

Do you have to be of Fully German or Part German ethnicity to be in the Hitler Youth?
PolkaTagAlong 10 | 188    
5 Jul 2012  #15

Fully German, that's why I think he and his sister were probably Germanized based on subrace.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #16

Interesting.
So If he was partly of German Ethnicity why would it say on his German Identity Card ''Ethnicity assumed Polish'' ?
PolkaTagAlong 10 | 188    
5 Jul 2012  #17

Because that was probably the nationality of his ancestors going back a few generations, but if they thought you had Germanic blood of pheasants that migrated there and you passed racial tests they could make it mandatory that you be Germanized. They needed to increase their birth rate so they were trying to get all the flesh and blood they could. You couldn't survive Germanization without being deemed "Aryan" and all Aryans were required to join the hitler youth.
Gruffi_Gummi - | 106    
5 Jul 2012  #18

how could my Grandfather who was born in Poland and who has both a Polish first name and surname whos parents that have both Polish names and born in Poland be allowed to be in the HITLER YOUTH ?

Nothing surprising. Last names can be carried through generations and have little to do with the national identity. According to such mechanism, despite having a Polish name, Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski had nothing to do with Poland. This also worked in the other direction. Adm. Unrug (German ethnic background) declared himself as a Pole and as a POW refused efforts by Germans to switch sides. Same story about the bacteriologist Dr. Rudolf Weigl (typhoid vaccine).

Most likely your ancestors were at least German enough to qualify as Volksdeutsche.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #19

@
Gruffi_Gummi

I am shocked ! I don't know what to say. And my Surname is sooooooo Polish too ! even my dads first language is Polish.

So how Germanic would you have be to be considered Aryan ?
Hipis - | 227    
5 Jul 2012  #20

You just had to look the part - blonde hair & blue eyes and hey presto, you are now part of the mythical Aryan race.
Harry 81 | 13,362    
5 Jul 2012  #21

According to such mechanism, despite having a Polish name, Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski had nothing to do with Poland.

He was born Erich Julius Eberhard von Zelewski. The 'von dem' bit was added by him and the Zelewski bit was dropped by him. Zelewski is a very Polish name and an aristocratic one at that. His mother was Elzbieta Szymanska, another very Polish name.

And my Surname is sooooooo Polish too !

Names don't often mean much when working out somebody's nationality. Look at Frederic Francois.

I am shocked ! I don't know what to say.

Forget about it: you are still the exact same person you were before you found this out.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #22

I was very Proud to be of Polish ethnicity but finding out im not that Polish and im more German is a little crazy but oh well we are all human

I still cant understand why on my grandfathers German identification card it says

Volkszugehorigkeit angeblich : Polen
Ethnicity Assumed : Polish

how does that work if he is considered an Ethnic German? I am still puzzled
teflcat 5 | 1,034    
5 Jul 2012  #23

I discovered he has a German Identity Card of him in the Hitler youth!!!!!!

Don't beat yourself up over this. It's nothing to do with you now.

It says he was accepted into The Hitler Youth in Krotoszyn, Warthegau in January 1943 at 14 years of age

Perhaps along with the current pope. If I'd been a fourteen-year-old boy at that time and in that place, I'd have been drafted into the same rotten boy scout gang, whether I wanted to or not.
Grzegorz_ 52 | 6,190    
5 Jul 2012  #24

I am going through my late grandfathers documents from WW2 and I discovered he has a German Identity Card of him in the Hitler youth!!!!!!

In October 1939 Polish lands occupied by Germany were divided into General Government (German administration of occupied territories) and the western regions, which were annexed directly into the 3rd Reich. There were much different policies applied to those territories. Majority of annexed lands were a part of Germany before 1918, Poles living there often spoke German and many had some German connections. Germans put a lot of pressure on such people to sign the Volksliste and become a kind of semi-Germans (those who refused were at best deported into General Government or send to proper Germany as forced laborers), in some cases (but that mainly in Silesia and Kashubia) people were classified as such without their will.

There are many possibilities... Your family could have had some German connections, significiant enough to get into big troubles If they resisted Germanization or... they decided to collaborate without much pressure... or children were taken away from parents nad put into German families, It didn't happen only to infants... What I don't understand here is that he was classified as Polish in the Nazi documents, the whole idea of the Volkliste was turning such people into Germans... Maybe, as someone else said, It was late at war when Krauts were desperately looking for people to throw granades at Soviet tanks ?
Harry 81 | 13,362    
5 Jul 2012  #25

I was very Proud to be of Polish ethnicity but finding out im not that Polish and im more German is a little crazy

Why not take pride in being the person you make yourself and not in being things which you had no choice about being? Take pride in the things you choose to be and the things you choose to do, not the things which you have no say at all over.

Please note that the above does not apply if you discover that you are actually English, for as we all know to be born an Englishman is to win first prize in God's lottery.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #26

I am confused to

it says on another Nazi identification card nationality : Polen

@ Harry

I am Australian so I am halfway to being British ;P and I think its important to know my family history no matter what comes out of it because that makes up apart of me.

the question is do you have to be of full or part Germanic to be in the Hitler Youth? if yes then my grandfather was of mixed Polish and German ethnicity which is why he was considered German enough to be fully Germanised... what do you good people think?
TheOther 5 | 3,334    
5 Jul 2012  #27

Last names can be carried through generations and have little to do with the national identity.

Last names are always tricky. Before 1874, the spelling of surnames was not regulated and could even change from child to child in the same family.

You just had to look the part - blonde hair & blue eyes and hey presto, you are now part of the mythical Aryan race.

Not correct. You had to prove that your ancestors were purebred Germans. Three generations back for regular folks, seven generations back for Waffen SS members. Since (protestant) church books and other documents are quite rare for the time before 1720, many people tricked the authorities. You knew your pastor personally, so he did you a favor and helped you out by rewriting your family history a little bit...
boletus 30 | 1,367    
5 Jul 2012  #28

it says on another Nazi identification card nationality : Polen

Polen stands for Poland, polnisch - for Polish. Are you sure you translate it correctly? Does not is say something like this:
Place of birth: Gnesen, Polen
?
jon357 69 | 13,456    
5 Jul 2012  #29

I didn't know they wanted Poles cooperating with them. To join the Hitler youth I assumed you had to be purebed German or pass as Germanic from their racial tests.

They didn't want Poles. They wanted anybody with a slight connection to Germany to become German. In Poland, such people were encouraged to join one of the categories on the Volkslist. This made a very big difference to the amount of food you were allowed to buy. Many signed it. Many refused.

Joining the HitlerJugend was not easy to avoid, especially later in the war.
OP Slavicaleks 8 | 98    
5 Jul 2012  #30

staatsangehorigkeit : Polen

Geburtsort : Gnesen/Polen




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