Dorothy Thompson: Letter from Murnau (1934)

Dorothy Thompson (9 July 1893 - 30 January 1961)
In 1934, American newspaper columnist and broadcaster Dorothy Thompson drove through the German town of Murnau, passing a Hitler Youth camp that had been built to accommodate six thousand boys between the ages of ten to sixteen. "They were beautiful children," she wrote to a friend. "I did not think they would ever grow up to be thickset beer drinkers with rubber-tire necks. They sang together, and no people sing in unison as the Germans do, thousands of them, in the open air, young voices, still soprano, and the hills echoing! It made one feel sentimental.

"An enormous banner stretched across the hillside [and] dominated the camp. It was so huge that you could see it from the farthest point. It was so prominent that every child could see it many times a day. It was white, and there was a swastika painted on it, and besides that only seven words: YOU WERE BORN TO DIE FOR GERMANY!"