How Nazis tried to infiltrate the Boy Scouts

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Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, responded enthusiastically to a Nazi charm offensive aimed at aligning his movement with the Hitler Youth in the run-up to the Second World War, according to secret MI5 documents.

The colonial warrior, whose best-selling military training manuals started the Scouting phenomenon, was wined and dined by senior Hitler Youth figures and Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German ambassador to Britain, who made a lengthy plea in 1937 for the two organisations to be put in “closer touch”.

The proposed alliance between the Scouts and the Hitler Youth, whose members were indoctrinated in anti-Semitism and told they would become “Aryan supermen”, coincided with growing alarm in MI5 at a sudden influx of uniformed German youngsters taking part in pre-war cycling tours around Britain.

Full story: Operation Dib-dib-dib: how Nazis tried to infiltrate the Boy Scouts – Home News, UK – The Independent