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Show #341: Boy + Girl Scouts in Germany

I am currently listening my way through your archived shows, and I am really enjoying it!

Much as I love your shows though, I hope you won't mind my correcting a false information given in your show #341. It was a minor point really, yet one that - in all justice to boy and girl scouts - should not remain uncommented.

In your show, you said that during Nazi time, all kids basically had to be boy or girl scouts.

That is a grave misconception. What all kids had to be was "Hitlerjugend" (Hitler youth) or "Bund deutscher Mädels" (League of German Girls). And those organisations certainly copied many scouting ideas.

Practically all independent organisations, at that time, were either forced into assimilation ("gleichgeschaltet") or forbidden. This was the fate of the German boy and girl scout movements too. Nearly all German boy and girl scout associations were closed by 1938, and their members were forced to join the Hitlerjugend resp. the BDM.

The problem is that many Germans, to this day, are not aware of this part of scouting history and tend to think of boy and girl scouts as a sort of paramilitaric organisation, with those uniforms and special vocabulary and everything.

Posted by
21544 posts

Anna, that's a good point to make. It sounds like you think you are feeding back to Rick Steves, but you may not know that he doesn't tend to hang out here. Sometimes his staffers pass through but there's guarantee. Perhaps if you copy and paste the post to the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page you could be sure that it will get to the staffers.

Posted by
583 posts

Thanks, Nigel, I've been told that before, and since I assume it's his fan club reading this forum and also listening to his programs, I hope that whoever is interested in the topic will read it.

Also, I feel that if the Rick Steves team sets up a dedicated feedback forum for their radio programs, they might at least have a team member drop in once in a while and check for any important feedback information. If they don't care enough to do that, they won't care for this piece of information by other means of contact either.