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Luftwaffenhelfer

Luftwaffenhelfer

Luftwaffenhelfer (commonly: Flakhelfer) are terms commonly used for German students deployed as child soldiers during World War II.

The Luftwaffenhelfer ("Luftwaffe support personnel") program was the implementation of the "Kriegshilfseinsatz der Jugend bei der Luftwaffe" ("Deployment of the youth to support the war effort with the air force") order issued on January 22nd, 1943. The order called for drafting whole school classes with male students born in 1926 and 1927 into a military corps, supervised by Hitler Youth and Luftwaffe personnel. The draft was later extended to include the 1928 and 1929 births. Deployment included ideological indoctrination by the Hitler Youth, military duties and limited continuation of the normal school curriculum, often by the original teachers.

While the official term was "Luftwaffenhelfer (HJ)", the term more commonly used is "Flakhelfer" (Anti-Aircraft-support). The 1926-1929 births are commonly referred to as the "Flakhelfer-Generation".

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