Girls welcoming army column, Germany, World War Two, 1940s.
© Nigel Dobinson / Science & Society Picture Library
The girls throwing flowers at the soldiers are wearing BDM uniforms. The Bund Deutscher Madel (League of German Girls) was made up of girls between 10 and 18. Its purpose, in the patriarchal movement of Nazism, was to train girls in 'three important interrelated functions': to 'serve as helpmates to the men'; 'bear them children and rear them according to Nazi values'; and 'to be faithful homemakers'. Hitler wanted girls to procreate in order to continue the Aryan race. Girls participated in the same activities as boys, such as country hikes, campfires, theatrical plays, and folk dances. The uniforms were designed, much as the boys' officer-like outfits, to subliminally impart conformity and sameness. The BDM, like its male counterpart, was extremely effective in educating girls for life in Hitler's Germany.