Vogelsang


At a height of the national park Eifel in North Rhine-Westphalia is the Ordensburg Vogelsang which between 1936 and 1939 served as an elite school for future Nazi leaders. Here it was thought that young men who had distinguished themselves both ideologically and politically would be schooled into all the forms of society of the national socialist system and thus prepared for their future task of protecting and defending them nazi ideals. In addition to political teaching, racial ideology was also on the schedule where the students learned the importance of defending the Nazi racial ideals.

Not infrequently, teaching and political manifestations were placed outdoors to create an atmosphere that was not possible indoors. The message was often tributes to martyrdom and the race whose preservation was superior to everything else. Some military training was also included because it often went hand in hand with Nazi ideology. In connection with the outbreak of war in September 1939, all teaching and planned expansion was discontinued. Several of the former students received positions in occupied Eastern Europe. 

Vogelsang was one of three Ordensburg (Schools) built, the other two being Krössinsee in Pomerania (now Poland) and Sonthofen in Bavaria. Vogelsang consisted of several buildings, lodges, doctor’s office, classrooms, dining rooms, cinemas, sports halls, glorifying statues and other sculptures/artworks. Together, it created a sense of power and fear and being part of something greater and chosen. Many and much reminded it of a single large gigantic medieval castle with views in all directions. This also gave it a sense of a historical connection where Nazism united the historical with the present. They were captured largely intact in early February 1945 by American troops. 

Current status: Preserved with museum (2022).

Location: 50°35' 10.08" N 06°26' 52.65" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Vogelsang is one of the largest preserved Nazi structures that has survived to our days. Many were destroyed in the final stages of the war or demolished because of its connection to Nazism. Of course, all Nazi symbols are removed from the buildings. Vogelsang is not emotionally charged that makes it a politically historical sensitive place that causes debate about its being. Hopefully it will remain that way. There are several museums and exhibitions in the area, one of which is about the Nazi era. It is also beautifully situated overlooking the Eifel area.

Follow up in books: Kershaw, Ian: Hitler – A Biography (2008).