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German Youth of the East (Germany)

deutsche jugend des ostens, djo, now djo-deutsche jugend in europa

Last modified: 2013-08-03 by pete loeser
Keywords: german youth of the east | deutsche jugend des ostens | djo | eastern germany | ostdeutschland | vertriebene | bund der vertriebenen | rune: odal |
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[German Youth of the East (Germany)] 3:4 Image by Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002

On this page: See also:

Introduction: German Youth of the East
Deutsche Jugend des Ostens

The "Eastern Germany" referred to is the eastern part of the German Reich until the end of World War II - Pomerania, Posen, West and East Prussia and Silesia. The post-World War II East Germany (The German Democratic Republic - GDR) was then considered "Middle Germany". The political parties in West Germany which aspired for the reannexation of "Eastern Germany" were connected to the powerful Association of Exiles (Bund der Heimatvertriebenen).
Jarig Bakker, 20 June 2000

     Originally founded in 1951 as a youth organization of the refugees and expellees from the German East (lands lost to Poland and the Soviet Union), it is still in existence now as the DJO-German Youth in Europe (DJO-Deutsche Jugend in Europa). The political orientation changed fundamentally over time. Originally the DJO wanted the reunification of the lost "East German" territories with the Federal Republic (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (Central Germany). Over the years, and especially after the SPD became the leading party under Chancellor Brandt in 1969, they accepted the fact that these territories are lost to Germany. Now the DJO is a slightly left youth organization, documenting with the name change in 1974 (to DJO - Deutsche Jugend in Europa), that it supports European Union cooperation.
     I do not have any information on any current flags of the DJO. However, in earlier times (up to 1970 probably) the DJO used a wide variety of flags and pennants - the sheer number and symbolism of these had generated many criticism of militant, even neo-Nazi behavior for the DJO. The main source for these is the article by Arnold Rabbow [rab65]; in this article he describes several flags, which for some reason were not shown in the article. However, I have got a photocopy of these drawings from the author.
     Beside the common flag, each local branch had own flags and pennants; only six of these are described in Rabbow 1965 [rab65].
     Sources: DJO website; Rabbow 1965 [rab65], with some additional material from the author Rabbow 1970 [rab70]
Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002


Description: Flag of the German Youth of the East
Flagge der deutschen Jugend des Ostens

     The DJO flag was designed by Helmut Greif and adopted at the foundation on 8 April 1951. The flag was black, with a white Odal rune within a white outlined lozenge (a square rotated 45°). The different local branches of the DJO added their name in the canton of one of the sides, in white letters. The flag was also used in square shape as a trumpet banner.
     The Odal rune was interpreted as a symbol for the heritage of German pioneer settlers who cultivated the eastern provinces in the Middle Ages. The arrow pointing eastwards speaks for itself. The black colour should show the mourning about the loss of the Eastern territories.
Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002


Münster Regional Group of the DJO (Regional Group pennant)
Bezirksgruppe Münster der DJO

[Münster Regional Group of the DJO, obverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)]
[Münster Regional Group of the DJO, reverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)]

Images by Marcus Schmöger, 20 June 2002

The obverse of the pennant shows a black cross on white, derived from the cross of the Teutonic order. In the upper and lower hoist corner there are six coats-of-arms in three rows of two each. First row:

  • yellow field, black eagle, armed red with white crescent with cross on the chest (for Silesia);
  • white field, red eagle with yellow clover leaves on the wings, armed yellow, crowned with an electoral cap, holding a yellow sceptre and a sword proper, supporting on its chest a small blue escutcheon with an electoral sceptre (for Brandenburg).
Second row:
  • white field, a red griffin armed yellow (for Pomerania);
  • blue field, yellow demi-eagle hovering over a yellow scythe and a pair of crossed mining hammers, also yellow (for Upper Silesia).
Third row:
  • red field, a golden crown over two golden crosslets (for Danzig);
  • white field, a black elk's antler (unofficially used coat-of-arms for East Prussia).
The reverse is black, shows the Odal rune emblem in silver-gray, in the canton the inscription "Bezirksgruppe Münster" in white. Along the edges of the obverse as well as the reverse there is a red border.
Source: Rabbow 1965 [rab65] with some additional material form the author.
Marcus Schmöger, 20 June 2002


East and West Prussian DJO Group of Münster (group branch pennant)
DJO-Gruppe Ost- und Westpreussen in Münster

[East and West Prussian DJO Group of Münster, obverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)] [East and West Prussian DJO Group of Münster, reverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)]

Images by Marcus Schmöger, 20 June 2002

The obverse of the pennant is black and shows the Odal rune in silver; along the hoist the inscription "DJO" and in the fly the inscription "Münster i.W." (i.W. stands for in Westfalen, in Westphalia), both in silver as well. The reverse is divided black over white, provincial colours of East and West Prussia; along the dividing line the inscription "Ost=u=Westpreußen" in gray Gothic letters. Along the hoist there are three small coats-of-arms arranged vertically, from top:

  1. a black elk's antler on white: unofficially used coat-of-arms for East Prussia;
  2. on red, a golden crown over two golden crosslets: Danzig coat-of-arms with wrongly-coloured crosslets, which should be silver;
  3. a black cross on white: unofficially used coat-of-arms for West Prussia, derived from the coat-of-arms of the Teutonic order.
Marcus Schmöger, 20 June 2002


Upper Silesian Youth Münster, Group St. Barbara (group branch pennant)
Oberschlesische Jugend Münster, Gruppe St. Barbara

[Upper Silesian Youth Münster, Group St. Barbara, obverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)] [Upper Silesian Youth Münster, Group St. Barbara, reverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)]

Images by Marcus Schmöger, 16 June 2002 |

As the Silesian youth groups mainly contained the Lower Silesians, there were also specific Upper Silesian groups. The obverse of this pennant is divided blue over yellow; at the hoist there is the provincial coat-of-arms of Upper Silesia (blue field, yellow demi-eagle hovering over a yellow scythe and a pair of crossed mining hammers, also yellow); the inscriptions O/S Jugend (short for Oberschlesische Jugend) and Münster in the fly are in counterchanged colours. The reverse is divided yellow over blue (the provincial colours); in the fly there are the inscriptions "Gruppe" and "St. Barbara" in counterchanged colours; at the hoist there is a representation of Saint Barbara, the patron-saint of the miners, on a blue rectangular field. She is clothed in gray with a red cloak, hands and face in natural colours; the crown is golden, she holds a silver sword and a golden chalice with a shining silver cross.
Source: Rabbow 1965 [rab65] with some additional material form the author.
Marcus Schmöger, 16 June 2002


Billerbeck German Youth of the East (local branch pennant)
Billerbeck Deutsche Jugend des Ostens

[Billerbeck local branch pennant, obverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)] [Billerbeck local branch pennant, reverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)]
Images by Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002

Billerbeck (Westphalia) local branch of DJO. The obverse of the pennant is black; the white Odal rune is shown here in a white double circle. The reverse is white with a different DJO symbol, a black Maltese-like cross - derived from the cross of the Teutonic order - on a white shield within a black disk surrounded by the black inscription "FERN DOCH TREU" (far away, but faithful). Along the hoist there is the vertical inscription "DJO BILLERBECK" in black letters. At the upper and lower edge of the flag there is a thin black-white bordure.
Source: Rabbow 1965 [rab65] with some additional material form the author.
Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002


Coesfeld Youth of the East (local branch pennant)
Coesfeld Deutsche Jugend des Ostens


[Coesfeld local branch pennant, obverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)] [Coesfeld local branch pennant, reverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)]
Images by Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002

Coesfeld (Westphalia) local branch of DJO. The obverse of the pennant is white; the black Odal rune is shown here in a blue outlined lozenge. The fly bears the black inscription "Deutsche Jugend des Ostens Coesfeld" in three rows. The reverse is black with the same symbol as the Billerbeck branch pennant, but in this case outlined in gold.
Source: Rabbow 1965 [rab65] with some additional material form the author.
Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002


Silesian Youth Münster City (city branch pennant)
Schlesische Jugend Münster Stadt

[Silesian Youth Münster City, obverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)] [Silesian Youth Münster City, reverse (German Youth of the East, Germany)]
Images by Marcus Schmöger, 16 June 2002

The obverse is divided white over yellow - the provincial colours - the provincial coat-of-arms of Silesia - yellow field, black eagle, armed red, with a white crescent with cross on the chest - is shown at the hoist; the inscriptions "Schlesische Jugend" and "Münster Stadt" are shown in black letters in the fly. The reverse shows on a black field the Odal rune in the lozenge outlined in white.
Source: Rabbow 1965 [rab65] with some additional material form the author.
Marcus Schmöger, 16 June 2002


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