London, March 8 (ANI): Secret intelligence papers have revealed that Britain's Boy Scout movement was infiltrated by the Hitler Youth in the 1930s.
According to a report in the Daily Express, the Scouts were targeted by hundreds of Nazi teenagers sent on cycling tours of England, Scotland and Wales in the 1930s.
The Nazi teams, dubbed "spyclists", fraternized with innocent toggle-wearing youngsters nationwide and were encouraged to gather information.
Baden Powell, the Scouts' founder and leader was even duped into meeting Hitler's man in London, Joachim von Ribbentrop.
MI5 chief Sir Vernon Kell was so worried about the Nazi uniform-clad youngsters that he ordered his agents and police chiefs to closely monitor their activities.
Hitler's plot to poison the minds of British youth is detailed in files released to the public at the National Archives in Kew, south-west London.
They contain memos to and from Sir Vernon, which describe the arrival of dozens of "Hitler Jugend" in the summer of 1937.
One, from a Scotland Yard -Special Branch officer, describes how he followed 22 Germans from a Bavarian branch of the movement.
They arrived at Harwich in Essex and caught a train to London, where they were met at Liverpool Street station by a Scout and master from a Norfolk troop.
The Special Branch man followed them on the Tube to Euston, reporting that there was no - "untoward incident".
In Sheffield, two schoolmasters and 37 exchange students from Berlin were monitored as they visited a steelworks and power station.
A police report noted that both masters and some of the boys were "in possession of cameras" and a teacher "was found taking photographs" of the countryside.
That same summer, an intelligence officer warned that an article had appeared in a Nazi cycling magazine urging readers travelling abroad to gather information.
His memo says the German Cyclist journal said they should memorise towns, villages, roads, paths, streams, rivers, churches and other landmarks.
They should size up bridges, estimate the depths and width of streams, and wade through fords to "be able to find them in the dark".
The article said, "Perhaps you may be able to utilise these - sometimes for the benefit of the Fatherland."
But, British intelligence was not swayed and later produced a handbook condemning Hitler Youth as "education for death".
Published in 1944, it said, "The Hitler Youth is not a Boy Scout or Girl Guide organisation. It is a compulsory Nazi formation, which has consciously sought to breed hate, treachery and cruelty into the mind and soul of every German child." (ANI)