A Story to Tell EDELWEISS Pirates

Organization

The Edelweiss Pirates were a group of Anti-Hitler German youth. They were teenagers who helped they Jews during World War II and refused to participate in Nazi activities. The Pirates wore checkered shirts with a metal Edelweiss pin an the collar. The were also known to sing songs.

Location

The Pirates were located in Düsseldorf, Essen, Cologne, and other industrial cities in Germany.

Purpose

The Edelweiss Pirates were a resistance network against the Nazis. They fought Hitler Youth and supported resistance groups. The Pirates also stole food, supplies and sometimes explosives to help small adult resistance groups.

Successes

They were able to provide shelter to those fleeing from the Nazis. It didn't matter if these people were concentration camp escapees, army deserters, or escapees from forced labor camps. The Pirates just wanted to help. Another thing they did was sabotaging some trains that transported Jews to camps.

Failures

In the end the Edelweiss Pirates were constantly being hunted by Nazis. Those who were caught were sent to jail, reform school, labor or concentration camps, and many lost their lives. The Nazis were brutal to the Pirates, they beat, threatened, and shaved their heads. There was even an instance when a group of members were hanged in public.

What difference did they make and what would have happened if they did nothing?

This group was able to help many Jews, deserters, and resistance groups find shelter and get supplies during the war. If they did nothing some Jews who escaped from camps would have instantly gotten caught by Nazis. Even though they didn't make as much of an impact as people like Irena Sendler and Oskar Schindler, they were able to save people and sing songs about the horrors that were going on. The awareness they gave probably caused others to help during the war.

Works Cited

Messy Nessy. "The Anti-Nazi Teen Gang that Beat Up Hitler Youth and Danced to Jazz." Messy Nessy. Things Ltd, 29 October 2015. Web. 27 January 2017.

"Teenage rebels who fought Nazis are honoured at last." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 25 June 2005. Web. 6 February 2017.

Rogow, Sally M. "Faces of Courage, The Edelweiss Pirates." Holocaust Teacher Resource Center. Holocaust Teacher Resource Center, 5 April 2016. Web. 26 January 2017.

Van Duisen, Michael. "10 Awesome Groups of Germans Who Resisted the Nazis." Listverse. Listverse Ltd, 29 September 2013. Web. 26 January 2017.

Credits:

Created with images by fdecomite - "Edelweiss" • sudurtxo - "P9041164BN" • mandy0242 - "birdhouse outdoor nature"

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