• Internationalism, peace and reconciliation: Anglo-German connections in the Youth Hostels movement, 1930-1950

      Cunningham, Michael; Constantine, Simon (Wiley, 2020-02-11)
      This article examines the close relationship that existed between the English and Welsh Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and the Deutsche Jugendherbergswerk (DJH), the German pioneer movement, between 1930 and 1950. It emphasises the importance of shared cultural values and the influence that the German DJH had on the YHA from its beginnings. It argues that the internationalism and pacifism of the fledgling national association, its debt of gratitude to the parent organisation, and close relationship between leading figures, all pushed it towards a position of accommodation with Germany, even when the German movement was subsumed within the racist, nationalist and militarist Nazi movement in 1933. The YHA thus reinforced the spirit and policy of Appeasement between the wars. In the aftermath of war, the same commitment to peaceful cooperation between nations, and the same personal ties, saw the hostel movement re-emerge as a vehicle for reconciliation.