Hitler Youth perform gliding exercises at Dinglingen Airfield on January 16, 1937; Visit to Luftgaureserve 15 in April 1937 in the presence of Mayor Karl Winter.
Start title: Agfa / ZT: Gliding exercises of the Hitler Youth of the local group Lahr of the German Air Sports Association on the Dinglinger airfield on January 16, 1937. / ZT: Visit to the pilot training center Freiburg Luftgaureserve 15, April 1937. /
Context and analysis
Flying has a fascination for many. Here Hitler boys practice with glider pilots during "gliding exercises of the HJ Luftsportscharen of the local group Lahr of the German Air Sports Association at Dinglinger Flugplatz on January 16, 1937", as the starting title informs. The HJ group pulls the gliders up by hand so that the pilot can hover a few hundred meters and then land gently on a field. Then the glider has to be towed up the hill again. The trainee pilots had to be at least 14 years old and had worked for the holding and start team for six months as Hitler boys. However, the pilot does not take off on the first attempt, he remains on the ground. The film conveys very well how personnel-intensive this sport is. After various start and flight attempts, a group of older men can be seen who enable the boys to do this sport. Among them are some in uniforms of the National Socialist Air Corps (NSFK), which had taken control of these activities from 1934. This already indicates the military use of the exercises. On one of the planes there is a reference to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where there was a demonstration of glider pilots. In addition to the large gliders, there are model planes that are launched and are intended to teach the Hitler Youth the basics of gliding. There were similar activities in Bruchsal and other places in the region, for example.
The second part of the film documents the "Visit to Aviation Training Center Freiburg Luftgaureserve 15 April 1937", according to a plaque. Hitler boys no longer act here, but seasoned men. They no longer fly gliders, but planes. The first thing to see is a two-seater biplane with a swastika on the rear wing. From there, the camera pans to an open truck on which the student pilots are standing. Many wear the typical leather caps of the aviators. They jump off the car for sport. There is an elderly man in NSFK uniform. Three two-seaters can now be seen on the airfield. Then the start of an airplane. The NSFK official walks across the airfield with a flag, thus arranging flight operations. A group is discussing on an airplane. A machine lands. A plainclothed man starts a machine by turning the propeller. A group sits by the ambulance. The Mayor of Lahr, Karl Winter, visits the airfield. A pilot studies the map material intensively. Should you be familiarized with the German-French border area on this excursion? Another group shot with relaxed faces. People tell jokes and joke. Then a half-close shot of a boy wearing a hat, who wants to turn away and is pushed in front of the camera by one arm. A pan again shows the entire group, technology and the aircraft. A group of young people comes into the picture, with short pants they face the wind. A pilot gets a parachute, which makes getting in easy. The mayor says goodbye. At the end you can see flight operations again, the planes are in the air. On departure, guests wave from the open platform truck.
After the First World War, the Versailles Treaty prohibited the Germans from building and flying motorized aircraft. As a consequence, flight enthusiasts developed gliders and gliders that were not covered by this ban. This developed into a sport in which the Germans became very successful. In 1921 the best performance was still 21½ minutes in the air. Through the improvement of the gliders and the growing knowledge of glider flying, this could be increased to 36 ½ hours by 1933. The members of the German Air Sports Association (DLV) were transferred to the paramilitary National Socialist Air Corps (NSFK) in 1934, which was directly under the responsibility of Reich Aviation Minister Hermann Göring and financed through it. All equipment, buildings and facilities became property of the Reich. The NSFK took over the flying training of young people in aviation lessons at schools. 10- to 14-year-olds were taught model building and model flying. In the 'Hitler Youth Air Sports Group', from 14 to 18 years old, they built gliders and gliders as well as practical training, as can be seen in the film from Lahr. At the age of 18, the automatic transfer to the storm departments of the NSFK took place for further training in gliding and finally motorized flight on small aircraft. In addition, technical personnel were trained from radio operators to machine operators. This was a targeted training with a view to the later transfer to the Air Force in World War II.
Oberbürgermeister Lahr Karl Winter (1933-1945)
Places and monuments
HUBER, PETER, Flügel, Die Geschichte der Fliegerei über Kraichgau und Bruhrain, Historische Kommision der Stadt Bruchsal, 1991.
Article written by
Kay Hoffmann, 14 March 2019
- This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.