At a beautiful height in the national park Eifel in North Rhine-Westphalia lies Ordensburg Vogelsang. Between 1936 and 1939 this ordensburg  was 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 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 was performed outdoors to create an atmosphere that was not possible indoors. The theme was often tributes to martyrdom and 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 were appointed positions in occupied Eastern Europe. 

Vogelsang was one of three Ordensburg (Schools) built, the other two was Krössinsee in Pomerania (now Poland) and Sonthofen in Bavaria. Vogelsang consisted of several buildings, lodges, doctor’s office, classrooms, dining rooms, cinemas, sports halls, outdoor fields, glorifying statues and other sculptures/artworks. Together, it created a sense of power and fear of being part of something greater and chosen. In a way Vogelsang reminded of a large gigantic medieval castle with views in every directions. This also gave it a sense of a historical connection where Nazism united the historical with the present. In early February, 1945, Vogelsang was captured largely intact 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 otherwise destroyed in the final stages of the war or demolished afterwards because its connection to Nazism. Of course, all Nazi symbols at Vogelsang are removed from the buildings. Vogelsang is not emotive charged that makes it a politically historical sensitive place that causes debate about its existence. Hopefully it will remain that way. There are several museums and exhibitions in the area, one is about the Nazi era. It is also beautifully situated overlooking the Eifel area.

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