Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWandervogel - Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Kaspek

The Wandervogel is a loose collective of German youth organisations that adhere to the ethos of a return to nature.

The collective was established officially in 1901. After the First World War, its leaders returned to Germany disillusioned. Younger members assumed greater leadership roles, and the movement continued alongside the more regimented scout organisations.

During the 1930s, the Nazis saw an opportunity to take control of these organisations for their own ends. Some groups within the Wandervogel collective followed the anti-Semitic lead of the Hitler Youth while others resisted these trends.

After 1933, the Wandervogel and all similar groups were outlawed by the Nazi government, with only the Hitler Youth remaining, along with some religious groups until 1936.

However, the Wandervogel was reestablished after the Second World War, and it still exists today. The movement also has a large following in Japan, where it is popular among university students.