Board of Trustees for the Education of Youth in Bohemia and Moravia


The collection called BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUTH IN BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA contains 45 newsreel segments from Český zvukový týdeník Aktualita (Czech Aktualita Sound Newsreel) and the UFA weekly newsreel from 1942 to 1945. The Board of Trustees for the Education of Youth in Bohemia and Moravia was established on 28 May 1942, the day after the assassination of Acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich, with the main objective to re-educate Czech children and teenagers in the spirit of Nazi ideology. The organization was established in compliance with the government decree on mandatory youth service from 1942. In fact, it was set up in response to the existence of Czech resistance against the Nazis on the territory of the Protectorate and, according to State Secretary K. H. Frank, it was “ to win the hearts of Czech youth, who until now, lacking leadership and partly idle, were subject to the merciless influence of the destructive segment of Czech intelligentsia  (...) a nd finally had to be guided in the direction of the Reich and integrated into the work process, especially when the young did not take up arms against the enemy of the continent as the youth of other European nations did.”  The organization officially began its activities on 13 March 1943 and used the network of the original youth associations that had been dissolved after the Protectorate was established, particularly Sokol, Eagle, Junák, and the YMCA, to create a territorial-administrative structure . The reason for the creation of the organization was to supervise all associations and societies of Czech youth aged ten to eighteen, and to promote the ideological, political, and war aims of the Third Reich as well as its ideas about the Germanisation of the Bohemian-Moravian region and the role of the Czech nation in the future, so-called “New Europe”. The Board was placed under the direct German supervision of Baldur von Schirach, the Reich’s NSDAP Youth Leader.  Minister of Education and People’s Enlightenment Emanuel Moravec was appointed as the Board’s chair, and František Teuner, a former functionary of the Vlajka (Flag) organization, was appointed as its general secretary.

Through a selection of segments, the collection BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUTH IN BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA offers an insight into the tools of the totalitarian re-education of young people, including the denial of a high-quality education; information selection and censure; a focus on physical and ideological educational aspects; and emphasis on performing dedicated work for the Reich. The activities of the Board were divided into five areas, which were performed by so-called work groups.

The first group was in charge of financial and administrative matters as well as the training of the youth leaders. The development of the Board’s structure is illustrated by segments dedicated to various training courses for the leadership cadres. They show physical training and the ideological preparation of instructors at Slapy Chateau; the training camps for educational cadres in Luhačovice and Prachovské skály; the inauguration of the training camp in Protivín; the training course for the regional leaders of the Youth Care and Social Assistance organizations at the Čeperka guesthouse near Unhošť; the girls’ training stay in Poddoubí in the Semily region; and the apprentice camp near Týn nad Vltavou. Other spots capture the ceremonial meeting of the course participants with State Minister Karl Hermann Frank at Czernin Palace and the meeting of the Board’s top officials at the Congress against Bolshevism held in Prague’s Lucerna Palace.

The results of the second group, which was focused on sports, are conveyed in segments showing the Track and Field Championship held during the Days of Czech Youth in Kolín nad Labem; ski training in Pustevny; a course for ice sports teachers at the Štvanice Ice Arena in Prague; the Youth Basketball Championships in Prague’s Lucerna Palace; the swimming races in Luleč near Vyškov; the Sailing Promotion Day event in Podolí; swimming races in Barrandov; and the Ice Sports Championships in Lázně Bělohrad. The culmination of the Board’s winter sports activities was the Winter Sports Week at the Štvanice Ice Arena and the Ice Sports Week, combined with the Ice Hockey and Figure Skating Championships, organized in cooperation with the Ice Hockey and Skating Association.

Another group, this one focused on propaganda, and the cultural and spiritual education of youth, organized a number of cultural campaigns, events, and competitions, such as Art for Youth; Cultural Care for Czech Youth; Library for Youth; Show What You Can Do; or the On-Request Concert in Lucerna Palace. Its activities also included collective commemorations marking the anniversaries of the death of Bedřich Smetana and the birth of Josef Suk.

The fourth group dealt with social issues and the results of its activities are offered in segments capturing camp stays for apprentices as part of the Reinhard Heydrich Legacy and sports stars’ visits to vocational camps. The camp form of education, which entailed the removal and isolation of the child from his or her natural social milieu, was to encourage their identification with Nazi views of the world. A separate girls’ section organized social campaigns, in which Czech girls made toys for the children of Czech workers who were sent to work in the Reich and the children of German soldiers at the front. In addition to the Sewing Dolls campaign, cameramen captured Christmas gift-giving to poor children in Lucerna Palace; the sewing of gloves for men in the labour camps; and the painting of Easter eggs.

The last, the so-called “construction group”,  guaranteed the participation of Czech youth in work groups. The children helped to shovel snow, joined in harvest work, crop gathering and unloading potatoes, clearing rubble after bombing, or even building military trenches and roadblocks.

Within the public context, the organization for ideological re-education and the Germanisation of Czech youth presented itself through spectacular mass events. The largest of its kind included the propaganda rally of youth from Moravian Slovakia at the Chapel of Saint Anthony of Padua, where the occupational authorities took advantage of the popularity of the pilgrimage site to organize a Nazi gathering. Prague’s Lucerna Palace repeatedly served as a venue for the Board’s meetings against bolshevism, while the Municipal House became a venue for concerts to celebrate those Czech composers who were tolerated by the Germans, or for the festival Five Years Leading the Nation, dedicated to State President Emil Hácha. The Board’s public propaganda culminated in the enormous Nazi event, the Week of Czech Youth, which was held between 1 and 9 July 1944, and included the opening event held at Karlštejn Castle and a concert on Old Town Square in Prague.

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