Life in the Reich

State Service

With the exception of the Talented, all men within the dominant racial group are encouraged to serve the Reich for a period of at least five years, unless they enter the Reich armed forces on a more permanent basis immediately on leaving school. Known as State Service, this can either be in the armed forces, or by virtue of physical or clerical work for the greater glory of the State (construction or other RAD projects, joining the bureaucracy, serving in a state hospital or other beneficial organisation, etc). While it is technically voluntary, and is not imposed by actual conscription, it is rare that anyone declines to serve because of the stigma and difficulties attached to doing so. The Talented are exempted from the requirement because they have key importance in other areas, although some do still choose to serve the Reich in this way.

For women, State Service is completely voluntary, although approximately 10% choose to join the forces, and another 15% choose to fulfil other functions.

For the racial minorities, State Service is sometimes the only way to get out of the rut that a person’s circumstances of birth drive them into, but for those who choose to take the State Service route, they generally have to work twice as hard as the rest of the population to gain the trust of the establishment and be seen to be playing their part. That said, successful State Service is one of the best ways for these groups to gain some measure of acceptance within Reich Society, and may eventually lead to them being able to apply for Citizenship.

The Reichsjugend (the Reich Youth Movement)

One of the fundamental beliefs of the Reich is that its future lies with its children, and therefore the offspring of Citizens, boys and girls alike, are encouraged to join the Reichsjugend, an organisation formed by the Lebensborn Society in conjunction with the Reich Military and the SS. Its purpose is to make sure all its members are instilled with a true understanding of the beliefs and principles of the country they live in, as well as preparing them for life in a country at war. It also serves as a youth organisation to make sure that children of the Reich are fit, healthy and have a grounding which can later be developed and built upon once they undertake State Service.

There are two branches of the Reichsjugend. Children from ten upwards join the Reichsjungvolk, where activities include team games to improve hand/eye co-ordination, sports – especially athletics, running and throwing – marching and moving together, and give a rough grounding in the history and beliefs of the Reich. At the age of thirteen, the children transfer to the Reichsjugend proper, where they remain until they reach the age of eighteen. Activities within the Reichsjugend include: shooting (mainly pistol, although the oldest children are sometimes taught the basics of rifle drill), bayonet drill, throwing and preparing for attacks (trench digging, gas defence, use of dugouts) and some unarmed combat, as well as continuing to encourage sports, including cross-country running and fencing, and a simple assault course. The older children, of sixteen and seventeen, sometimes find themselves assigned to help in the protection of the State – for example, manning road blocks or anti-aircraft weapons (the latter naturally on Shadows where airplanes are functional).

At the age of eighteen, the children often go into their State Service. If they choose to do this within the military, they enter it with the basic military grounding already in place such that they are likely to be sent on assignment within a few weeks, instead of a few months for those children who did not join the Reichsjugend programme. If they choose to take State Service in other areas, the grounding in the history and beliefs of their country attained within the movement is helpful for allowing them to progress quickly.

The Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein

The Lebensborn Society is run under the auspices of the SS Ahnenerbe division. It was founded to give young, female, unmarried, patriotic Reich Citizens the chance to serve their country in a more unusual way: by bearing a child for the Fatherland, without it having the stigma of illegitimacy, or the woman having to have the responsibility of bringing the child up beyond its second year. Such children are born within special enclaves and are either brought up by their mothers within those for the first two years, or the mothers are allowed in assigned housing outside them.

More details of the Lebensborn Society can be found here.