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Professor Bierwirth Thinks Well of New Youth Movement in Germany--Postwar Cult Has Tried to Tackle Sex Problems


"There is a great deal of high value in the Youth Movement as it has developed in Germany," said Professor H. Conrad Bierwirth '84, when interviewed yesterday by a CRIMSON reporter.

"The tendency of youth all over the world to emancipate itself from the social and educational dictums of the elder generation, had its start in Germany and was precipitated by the failure, from the German point of view, of the World War. Youth resented the militarism and plans of conquest forced upon it by statesmen and diplomats. Of course it is hard to say whether or not German youth would have reacted against militarism had it proved successful in the war. At any rate it did not succeed and the young men and women of Germany revolted against forced military culture.

"Like every reaction which takes hold of vast numbers of individuals there was present the very real danger that the pendulum would swing too far, that in freeing itself from a too dictatorial predecessor, the post war generation of Germany would cast off all restraint, and, in seeking freedom, find license.

'In certain localities, and to a certain extent everywhere, this condition obtained and caused the downfall of the world's faith in the Youth Movement. Freedom and frankness between the sexes resulted in an unfortunate towering of moral standards when the thing to be hoped for was an elevation and clarification of those same standards. Many conventional standards set by previous generations are hypocritical, and in breaking away from them, other and better standards should be set and maintained. From the countless articles on the younger generation which I have read in every sort of periodical I should judge that the youth of America is facing many of the same problems which are before the German Youth Movement. Here there is not the same crying need for a social shake up that there is in Germany. Hence the reaction of youth to old standards is correspondingly less violent and perhaps less inspired."

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