Foundation of the FDJ in Exile between 1936 and 1939
It was the aim of the FDJ to unify the Antifascist youth movement in fighting the Hitler regime. The organization was founded by young people who had to flee from Fascism. So, groups of the FDJ were founded in Paris in 1936, in Prague in 1938 and in Great Britain beginning from 1939. Hence the name Free German Youth – they were free from Fascism. It was not possible to found groups within the territory of the German Reich to fight Fascism in their own country. Only after Germany was liberated, sections of the FDJ were assembled in all parts of Germany. They provided the German youth with new orientations and ideals. As the conditions were different in the various zones of occupation, the development of the organization went in different directions after the foundation of the two German States after the liberation by the Anti-Hitler-Coalition and its Allies in 1945.
Development in the German Democratic Republic (GDR)
The FDJ took an active part in developing a new antifascist and democratic society in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement. The FDJ became a mass organization at the end of this process. The vast majority of all young inhabitants were members of this organization and were formed by it. It tried to educate the youth in the spirit of internationalism.
Development in the Federal Republic of Germany
In the Federal Republic of Germany the FDJ fought against the re-arming and establishing oft the Bundeswehr, the West-German armed forces. During a demonstration for peace and disarmament Philipp Mueller, a member of the FDJ, was shot by the Police.
On 26.6.1951 the FDJ was banned by the German government headed by Adenauer. Many young people were sent to prison because of their engagement in the struggle for peace. Nevertheless and despite of the problems with the police, young people continued their fight for the right to have their own organization. The ban on the FDJ is still existing in the western part of Germany.
The FDJ after the Annexation of the GDR
After the GDR was annexed by the FRG in 1990 the GDR organizations were nearly totally smashed. But the FDJ did not break up. The number of members went down rapidly till 1992 but has been relatively small and solid since then. In 1994 young friends from West Germany joined our organization and founded sections in several greater West German cities.
Today the government does not fight the FDJ by banning it, but it is using the help of the “Treuhand” (judicial trustee). This is a trust administration which was used even in World War Two to get hold of other People´s property in all parts of the world. And also today this administration, managed by the government of the FRG, is used to get hold of the GDR property to put it in the hands of the FRG and its capitalists. The same means was used to damage the GDR enterprises and to expropriate the mass organizations. The FDJ is to pay costs that run into millions of Euros and that are only due to the change of political systems – because of the annexation. All this aims at breaking up the FDJ organization by using economic power.
We do fight against these plans because it is necessary to overcome dissipation and desorganization of the youth. We oppose the increasing nationalist contamination of the youth pursued by FRG government and we work for internationalism. Because twice in the last century racism and nationalism led German youth to march into and destroy foreign countries. Now, with the annexation of the GDR we were robbed of our youth clubs and kindergardens. It is nearly impossible to find an apprenticeship and hardly anybody but the rich can afford to study and pay the fees for university. We want to get education. We do not want to be trained for slaughtering, German Imperialism offers us an apprenticeship only in the trench.
That is a step back to the Middle Ages. This is the reason why we reject the FRG that invaded our country in 1990. But our country was only the beginning. We have to fight the policy of war persued by German Imperialism! Better leaving the Federal Republic of Germany than entering a new war!
We fight for friendship between the peoples, internationalism and against nationalism and war!