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Study Notes

Edelweiss Pirates

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 12 Apr 2018

This group of young people appeared during the later part of the 1930s, in the districts of large cities. These districts were mainly made up of working class people. There were groups across Germany in differing cities each called something different. However, each group used the white edelweiss flower to show support with the wider Edelweiss movement.

Membership of the groups was predominantly teenagers. Teenagers who joined were unhappy with the lifestyle which were imposed upon them by the Nazis. They did not like the military aspects of the lifestyle which was imposed by the Nazis. In open defiance to the Nazi beliefs the members of the Edelweiss Pirates, wore white or checked shirts and white socks. This was a stark contrast to the military uniforms of the Hitler Youth or League of German Maidens.

Members of the Pirates were often difficult to catch by Nazi Security forces as the Pirates would gather on street corners. Pirate members would also sing songs, and joked about leading Nazis and the regime, although to do this they would often go into the mountains or German countryside.

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