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Barbie Densk shivered under a blanket as she lay in a slit trench inside the barricaded German city of Aachen on the night of October 12, She was a member of Hitler's Bund Deutscher Madel — or League of German Girls — and had volunteered to defend her home and family from the American infantry encircling the city. The assault finally came at 9am. I blew my whistle to raise the alarm. I clicked off the safety catch on my rifle, the other girls followed suit, and we began to fire at the Americans. The reality of warfare came as a shock. I first came across the extraordinary role played by girls in the Third Reich after a chance encounter with Kirsten Eckerman, by then 74, in the German military cemetery at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. Idol: Hitler meets members of the League of German Girls, who would be asked to defend the Fatherland. She told me about belonging to the Bund Deutscher Madel and introduced me to friends who had similar, sometimes horrifying experiences. As I embarked upon countless interviews, I soon realised this was a rapidly disappearing generation of women whose compelling stories of fighting in their country's last stand against the Allies should be told before it was too late.
On days like today the end of Ostern or Easter holidays with no family nearby and only medium-nice weather there is a question of what exactly to do. So for today we decided on a visit to the swimming pool. My little girl is three and few things give her greater pleasure than splashing around in a pool. Sames for me. But going to the pool in Germany can be a bit odd. Here are some of my top observations about swimming pools in Germany and my favorite pools for the whole family in Berlin. That one time was at touristy Tropical Island. I highly recommend it if you are also a spa novice. It is a full-on water park with slides and waterfalls and artificial beach front. But deep in its center lies an area cloaked in palm trees and signs barring entry for those under
It was set up under the direction of Hitler Youth leader, Baldur von Schirach. All girls in the BDM were constantly reminded that the great task of their schooling was to prepare them to be "carriers of the Nazi world view". The historian Cate Haste has pointed out: "The leadership immediately set about organizing youth into a coherent body of loyal supporters. Under Baldur von Schirach, himself only twenty-five at the time, the organization was to net all young people from ages ten to eighteen to be schooled in Nazi ideology and trained to be the future valuable members of the Reich. From the start, the Nazis pitched their appeal as the party of youth, building a New Germany Hitler intended to inspire youth with a mission, appealing to their idealism and hope. In fact, its leaders were part of "an enormous bureaucratised enterprise, rather than representative of an autonomous youth culture.