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German Youth of the East (Germany)

Deutsche Jugend des Ostens, DJO, nowadays djo-Deutsche Jugend in Europa

Last modified: 2005-11-05 by santiago dotor
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

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The 'Eastern Germany' referred to is the Eastern part of the German Reich until the end of World War Two [Pomerania, Posen, West and East Prussia and Silesia]. Post-World War Two East Germany [i.e. the German Democratic Republic] was in the West German terminology 'Middle Germany'. The political parties in West Germany which aspired the reannexation of 'Eastern Germany' were connected to the powerful Bund der Heimatvertriebenen — Association of Exiles.

Jarig Bakker, 20 June 2000

Originally founded in 1951 as a youth organization of the refugees and expellees from the German East —lost to Poland and the Soviet Union—, it is still in existence nowadays as DJO-Deutsche Jugend in Europa (DJO-German Youth in Europe). The political orientation changed fundamentally over the 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. Nowadays 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 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 been the reason for many criticism of a militant, even neonazi behavior of 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 have not been shown in the article as a drawing. 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].


Marcus Schmöger, 15 June 2002


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