Hitlerjugend: An In-Depth History: Education and special schools
by Arvo L. Vercamer

After the German Nationalist Socialists came to power in 1933, they were in a position to re-align the education and schooling programs to more optimally conform to the needs of the party. High on their priority list was to introduce all of Germany's student to a full and comprehensive physical fitness routine. Also high on the list was to introduce more "politically correct" textbooks and curriculum into the education system. Strong emphasis was laid on the theory that from now on, everything that was learned in school would only do Germany good if the learned knowledge remained inside of Germany and was put to use for Germany. If a field of study or a particular view was not approved by the NSDAP, it was considered to be bad for Germany.

From the very smallest or rural schools to the most prestigious of German universities, German Nationalist Socialists ideology and party leaders removed all the teachers and professors who were adherents of the Jewish faith from their jobs and posts. In addition, they removed those who were declared by the state to be anti-German in their views. One's standing in the international community did not provide any layer of protection, though it shielded a few very high-profile individuals from persecution for a short while.

For example, students were now expected to submit politically appropriate materials to their teachers, such as in their essays. Teachers were afraid (intimidated) to challenge or question the "new" curriculum for fear of being turned in to the Gestapo as being anti or un-German. Only the party's view was the correct educational view. Student assignments, such as "How did Adolf Hitler save the Fatherland" or "The German man", were now standards of education excellence in Germany. For example, for Jungmädl and Jungvolk students, a new school plan was established:
1st School year - Germanic gods and Germanic mythological heros
2nd School year - Great Germans (Bismarck, Frederick the Great, Carl Peters, Widukind, etc.)
3rd School year - Twenty years struggle (Battle of upper Silesia in 1919; Battle of Tannenberg in 1914, World War One, HJ in the "Kampfzeit", the Battle for Berlin, etc.)
4th School year - Adolf Hitler and his political supporters (Baldur von Schirach, Horst Wessel, etc.)

The inclusion of Nationalist Socialist philosophies was not only limited to writing essays in school. It was also worked into the sciences. For example, a typical school examination for mathematics might be phrased in the following way:
Student Problem: The construction of an asylum for the mentally challenged (Irrenanstalt) costs 6 million Reichsmarks (RM). How many apartments, each individual unit costing 15.000 RM, could one have built (in place of the medical ward)? (This question was psychologically rigged so that the young reader would be left with the impression that the construction of an asylum was a waste of money - it would have been better to have spent it on new residences for "healthy" and "new" Germans.)
Student Problem: A mentally challenged person (Geisteskranker) requires a daily state subsidy of 4 RM; a physically challenged person (Krüppel) 5,50RM daily and a common criminal (Verbrecher) 3,50RM daily. It is estimated that there are about 300.000 people in Germany for whom the state must pay these costs. How many state sponsored, 1.000 RM marriage loans, could be supported for the same amount of money? (This question was psychologically rigged so that the young reader was left with the impression that if Germany got rid of such people, the state would have more money left over to support a more just cause - the marriage of true Germans).

German students were expected to become obedient servants of the state, strict discipline was to be maintained at all times in both home and school environments. Students were also expected to greet their teachers with a "Hitlergruß" followed by the phrase "Heil Hitler" both during school hours and during their off-hours.

In addition to re-aligning the educational standards more in line with NSDAP philosophies, a new school system was also created in German paralleling the existing public schools. This new system was supposed to be for the education and training of Germany future elite, its future SA and SS administrators, law enforcement forces (police) and labor service leaders.

Reichsjugendakademie: This institution was established to educate and train the future instructors and teachers of the various party established educational institutions.


Ordernsburgen: In 1933, the first "special" three-year political education school was created - the "Ordensburgen" (Order Castles). Ordensburg students were hand-selected students from the Adolf Hitler Schools (after 1937) and the Napola schools. The graduating students were to be the new ruling "blue-bloods" of the Third Reich. In addition to learning political materials, these students also were exposed to many military and military-like training efforts. From an architectural design perspective, most of the "Ordensburg" schools were supposed to resemble medieval castles - but this plan in fact never materialized.

There were four Ordensburgen active during the Third Reich era:

Special cuff titles bearing the name of the specific Ordensburg were worn on the uniforms of the staff at these institutions.

An Ordensburg, containing approximately 1.000 students (identified as Junkers), would contain the following structure:
Burgkommandant (the castle commander)
Adjutant (the adjutant to the castle commander)
Ordensburg Stab (the general staff of the castle)
Lehrer (instructors and teachers)
- 1 Gemeinschaftsführer (community leader)
- 3 Bereitschaftsührers (each managed 300-400 personnel)
- 10 Hundertschaftsführers (each managed approximately 100 students)
- 30 Kameradschaftsführers (each managed approximately 50 students)

Nationalpolische Erziehungsanstalten: Shortly thereafter, the "Nationalpolische Erziehungsanstalten" (Napola) also opened for business. They were geared for German boys aged 10 to 18. They were essentially very strict and Prussian like boarding schools where the emphasis was on military values and militaristic philosophies. Later, Napola's for German girls were also opened. These schools, administered by the SA and the SS, were intended to resemble German military barracks (not carried through though). Approximately 23 Napola schools were in operation during the Third reich era.

Adolf Hitler Schools: Starting in 1937, efforts were undertaken to establish special "Adolf Hitler Schulen" (AHS) schools (Hitler approved of the use of his name for a school system on January 15th, 1937). Unlike regular grade schools, which were regulated by state standards, the "Adolf Hitler" schools were subordinated directly to the control of the Nationalist Socialist party as per Hitler's personal orders. Each AHS was subordinated directly to the local NSDAP Gauleiter. The Adolf Hitler schools were essentially free boarding schools.
The AHS schools were geared towards creating a new generation of German political leaders. Of special note is that only "qualifying" Deutsche Jungvolk" members were accepted; those deemed to have leadership potential or who performed exceptionally well in the DJ. The AH schools were supposed to contain six grades (six years); one was admitted to the school at 12 years of age. Graduation essentially ensured the successful HJ student a good career in either the NSDAP or in government service in general. The admission ceremony was conducted every April 20th, the Führer's birthday.

"Hohe Schulen" Supreme Schools: Around 1941, Alfred Rosenberg proposed the creation of "Supreme Schools". Once creted these schools were supposed to be the equivalent of the University of the NSDAP. These plans did not progress much beyond the discussion stages. Only the "Hohe Schule" in Frankfurt am Main was established in 1941. Of note is that a similarly minded "Reich University" was established in Posen in 1941 and one was established in Strassburg.

Education goals: The goal of Germany's Nationalist Socialist education program was to create blind obedience to authority with absolute (party) control. With a stroke of the pen, one of the world's best education systems was, proverbially speaking, thrown back to the stone age. The overall focus of the education program was also redirected toward NSDAP goals. As soon as they came into power, the NSDAP's education program prepared itself for war. Classes, curriculum, education, research, etc. - everything possible was focused on military issues; military history, military science, medicine, psychology, etc. The Nationalist Socialists had thus largely achieved their political education goals at the cost of having a well-educated next generation.