Tags: children/youth, foucault, war/military, government/the state, race/ethnicity, theory, biopolitics, biopower, governmentality, microphysics, subtitles/CC, 11 to 20 mins
Summary: This clip is from the History Channel documentary, Third Reich: Rise & Fall, and features rare footage of the Hitler Youth Brigade. Examining the girl's division, the film's narrator explains that these Hitler Maidens from Nazi Germany were taught from a young age that it was their duty to breed and nurture new generations of Aryan youth. The clip might be a useful way for stimulating discussion about what Michel Foucault meant by governmentality. As sociologist Thomas Lemke summarizes, the concept suggests "a view on power beyond a perspective that centers either on consensus or on violence; it links technologies of the self with technologies of domination, the constitution of the subject to the formation of the state." From this Foucauldian perspective, one can see in the clip how the young girls were constituted as good Nazis. Strictly speaking, their political compliance and enthusiasm to "breed" for the Führer cannot be explained as due to simple coercion or consent. For Foucault, the state, and the individuals the state is said to govern, codetermine each other. At about 10:00, a "Hitler Maiden" writes about how most of the girls in the youth camp became pregnant during the summer. Upon learning of her daughter's pregnancy, a mother rushed to the camp and attempted to discipline her daughter, but the daughter responded by telling her mother to leave the camp, or else she would report her mother to the authorities for "sabotaging German motherhood." This section of the clip could be drawn on to underscore Foucault's theory of the “microphysics of power” and “the gaze,” which Foucault described as swarming through society and entering into the minds and consciousness of the people.
Submitted By: Raul Barboza
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