From Salon Magazine’s review of Michael H. Kater’s new book “Hitler Youth”:
To that end, it was crucial to curb formal education and abstract thinking. By the end of the ’30s, teachers were encouraged to wear HJ uniforms to school, and a new category of “liaison teachers” was formed, answering directly to the HJ. The length of formal education was shortened by one year, and a set of Adolf-Hitler-Schulen (“Hitler Schools”) was established. Today it’s almost comical to think about how these schools divided the academic day: Ninety minutes for book learnin’, five hours for sports. But it’s less amusing to read that boys were chosen for these special schools based on their “character,” a quality deemed superior to intellect and based on Nazi notions of honor, bravery and devotion to the Führer.”
Gee, where else have we heard lately about “character” and blind devotion being valued above intellect? It’s a historically insensitive analogy, to say the least, yet something about it sticks. Maybe it’s just that anytime religious certainty infects politics the result bears a fascist echo.