In the National Socialists’ Kirchenkampf (anti-church campaign), confrontations with Catholic youth organizations were among the most conspicuous proceedings. Yet until now the subject has received
only inadequate attention from scholars.
All the more important, then, the present study by Barbara Schellenberger, which depicts these confrontations between Catholic youth and National Socialism, especially on the territory of the old Prussian
Rhine Province. The author chose those geographical limitations because that region contained both the organizational headquarters and the largest chapters in the diocese. Their history is covered here.
By extending the time period she covers to beyond 1 December 1936, when the law mandating membership in the Hitler Youth was proclaimed, the author avoids the pitfalls of
interpretation that focusing exclusively on the events of 1933 might have engendered. The result is an impressive portrayal of Catholic youth organizations' resolute efforts at self-defense, which
succeeded in holding off the embrace of the Hitler Youth (HJ) and League of German Girls (BDM).