National political educational institute

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Schoolchildren in front of the entrance to the National Political Educational Institution Vienna-Theresianum , 1940

The Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt (officially: NPEA , also: Napola - Nationalpolitische Lehranstalt or Napobi - Nationalpolitische Bildungsanstalt) were boarding schools that were founded after the National Socialist takeover of power in 1933 as "community educational institutions ". Attending schools led to university entrance qualifications . Similar to the Adolf Hitler Schools (AHS) and the SS Junker Schools, these were elite schools for the training of the next generation of National Socialist leaders .

Task of the NPEA

The main task of the NPEA was the "education to become National Socialists, capable of body and soul for the service of the people and the state". The students should form the coming leadership class in Germany. The physical exercises that advanced to the main subject played a special role.

Until the outbreak of the war , the Napolas served as highly politically accentuated elite schools within the general higher education system; During the war they increasingly developed into junior schools for the SS and Wehrmacht . Organizationally, they were separated from the general school administration.


Students in physics class in a Napola

The schools followed the tradition of pre-military training. If there were cadet schools in Prussia and in the Kingdom of Bavaria until 1918 , they were continued as State Educational Institutions (STABILAs) after the First World War due to requirements imposed by the victorious powers . After 1933 it became Napolas, who were attractive to the children of Wehrmacht officers because they had to pay less school fees than at other secondary schools. The teachers were also taken on. The students wore uniform. Special emphasis was placed on sport: morning exercise before breakfast, athletics, handball, swimming, but also boxing, rowing, off-road sports in the forest with introductions to map and compass reading and military camouflage. Classes were run as a train ; High school students received an honor dagger with the engraving “Be more than seem”.

In 1933, the first three national political educational institutions were founded in Plön, Köslin and Potsdam as state institutions and directly subordinated to the Reich Minister of Education Bernhard Rust .

Organizationally, from 1936 they belonged to the inspector of the National Political Educational Institutions , SS-Obergruppenführer August Heißmeyer , from 1939/1940 called Dienststelle Heißmeyer , and were thus under the direct influence of the SS. From 1940 until the end of the war, Otto Calliebe was the head of the NPEA Potsdam . Hotmeyer urged the teaching staff to actively join the SS and planned, for example, that the NPEA students and teaching staff would have to wear SS-like uniforms and rankings. So an SS-Hauptscharführer would have become an NPEA-Hauptscharführer .

In 1941 there were 30 NPEA in the German Reich with a total of 6,000 students. Two NPEAs for girls were in occupied territory. At the end of the war there were 43 NPEAs; three of them were specially for girls. The schools founded in Hubertendorf and Türnitz in Austria in 1938/39 and the one in Colmar-Berg in Luxembourg in 1941 are well known .

In her 2015 essay, the British historian Helen Roche states that the youngest generation who saw the end of the war in the NAPOLAs were characterized by a special sense of mission and pronounced fitness. As evidence, she cites that three professors for sports science emerged from her ranks. Most contemporary witnesses reported that the prison directors took care of their protégés with considerable care in 1945 and often saved them from being used at the front. However, the educational scientist Alexander-Martin Sardina came to the opposite conclusion in his state examination thesis presented in 2002.

Structure and organization

Logo of NAPOBI Anhalt in Ballenstedt

The structure and organization is shown using the example of the Oranienstein institution .

The institute near Diez was founded in 1934 and externally largely took over the tradition of the "Royal Prussian Cadet Institute", which was dissolved in 1919 . This was particularly evident from the clothing made of olive-green wool with blue epaulets to be worn inside the institution.

Decisive for acceptance into a Napola were first and foremost “racial”, secondly character, physical and only lastly intellectual aptitude. The main focus - similar to the selection process of the SS - was on " Aryan descent ", " hereditary health " and full physical performance. In the case of the children in question, particular attention was paid to characteristics such as courage, perseverance, bravery, ability to classify, but also to take on managerial tasks during the entrance exams.

The official name of the students was Jungmann (plural Jungmannen ). During the holidays, there was compulsory service for the organizations of the Hitler Youth at home. Therefore the general dress uniform of this youth organization corresponded to : 10-14 years old: Uniform of the German Young People , 14-18 years old: Uniform of the Hitler Youth. The ranks were the same. A young man, age 12, was usually the “ youth leader ” at home and wore a red and white cord.

The institution was divided into eight trains according to the class division of the upper secondary school . Internal ranks were Jungmann group leaders and train leaders.

The NPEA was (formally) subordinate to the SA , so the head of the institution was always an SA man. During the war the faculty was different from that in peacetime. After 1942 there were almost no teachers left who belonged to the SA. Since, in addition to regular school, pre-military training was a focus of the NPEA, war-disabled officers of the Wehrmacht, who were high school teachers in civilian life , gave school lessons. But they were also responsible for extracurricular education and training.

The longer the war lasted, the earlier the older students were drafted into service with the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS . A large part, however, entered voluntarily as officer candidates .


No. Location official name Reichsgau opening former building use current use
1 Plön NPEA Plön Schleswig-Holstein 05/01/1933 State educational institute (Stabila) / cadet institute in Plön Castle Academy for the optician trade of the Fielmann company
2a Potsdam NPEA I Potsdam Mark Brandenburg 05/26/1933 Stabila, cadet institute State Chancellery of Brandenburg
2 B Potsdam NPEA II Potsdam's Great Orphanage Mark Brandenburg 1934– January 28, 1938 Large military orphanage
3 Koslin NPEA Köslin Pomerania 07/15/1933 Stabila, cadet institute
4th Berlin-Spandau NPEA Berlin-Spandau Berlin 01/30/1934 Prussian University for Physical Exercise; Teachers seminar
5 Naumburg (Saale) NPEA Naumburg Province of Saxony 03/15/1934 Stabila / Royal Prussian Cadet Institute, Kösener Str. Technical school for languages ​​of the German Federal Armed Forces
6th Ilfeld NPEA Ilfeld Province of Hanover / Province of Saxony 04/20/1934 Ilfeld Monastery School
7th Election instead NPEA election place Silesia 04/09/1934 Stabila (monastery)
8th Diez on the Lahn NPEA Oranienstein Hessen-Nassau 1934 Kadettenanstalt / Realgymnasium / Schloss
9 Stool NPEA stool East Prussia / Danzig-West Prussia 10/01/1934 barracks hospital
10 Ballenstedt NPEA Anhalt Stop after 1936 The only new building of an NPEA
11 Klotzsche NPEA Klotzsche Saxony 04/01/1934 State school on Tümmelsberg Academy of the German Social Accident Insurance
12 Backnang NPEA Backnang Württemberg 05/02/1934 Backnang teacher training college Mörikeschule Backnang
13 Bensberg NPEA Bensberg Rhine Province 06/01/1935 formerly Pruss. Cadet Institute / Bensberg Castle
14th School gate near Naumburg (Saale) NPEA school gate Province of Saxony 07/01/1935 " State school at the gate " High school for gifted students
15th Rottweil NPEA Rottweil Württemberg 04/01/1936 Catholic teachers' college
16 New cell NPEA new cell Mark Brandenburg 1934/1938 Pen , secondary school for girls
17th Vienna - Theresianum NPEA Vienna-Theresianum Greater Vienna March 13, 1939 academy Theresianum Vienna
18th Vienna- Breitensee NPEA Vienna-Breitensee Greater Vienna March 13, 1939 Federal Education Institute Theodor Körner command building
19th Traiskirchen NPEA Traiskirchen Lower Danube March 13, 1939 Federal Education Institute Traiskirchen refugee camp
20th Ploschkowitz NPEA Sudetenland Sudetenland 10/10/1940 lock
21st to travel NPEA Wartheland Warthegau 1940 lock
22nd Praise NPEA praise (Eastern) Upper Silesia 04/01/1941 Speech therapy school
23 Putbus NPEA Rügen Pomerania 09/01/1941 Putbus Pedagogy (at the Circus)
24 Reichenau NPEA Reichenau to bathe 1941 psychiatric sanatorium and nursing home
25th St. Wendel NPEA St. Wendel Saarland 09/01/1941 Boarding school of the Steyler Mission
26th Weierhof NPEA at Donnersberg Bavaria (Saarpfalz) 1941 "Gau High School" Weierhof grammar school with boarding school
27 St. Paul in the Lavant Valley NPEA "Spanheim" in Carinthia Carinthia 1941 Benedictine Abbey Stift St. Paul Stiftsgymnasium St. Paul
28 Vorau ; Göttweig (from September 1, 1943) NPEA Vorau; NPEA Göttweig in Vorau; NPEA Göttweig Styria ; Lower Danube 01.1942 Vorau Abbey ; Göttweig Abbey
29 Seckau NPEA Seckau Styria 1941 pen
30th Rufach NPEA Rufach Alsace 10.1940 Nursing home
31 Haselünne NPEA Emsland Hanover Province 10/17/1941 Convent school of the Ursulines
32 Re-firing NPEA Neubeuer Bavaria 05.1942 Castle and country school home
33 St. Vitus on the Save (today: Šentvid) NPEA St. Veit Slovenia 07.1942 formerly the seminary Episcopal grammar school
34 Mockritz NPEA Mokritz Styria now Mokrice , Slovenia 1942 lock
35 Achern NPEA Achern to bathe 08.1943 Illenau sanatorium and nursing home Barracks for the French / town hall
36 Kuttenberg (Kutna Hora) NPEA Bohemia Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia 04/22/1944 Jesuit college and barracks
37 Raudnitz an der Elbe ( Roudnice nad Labem ) NPEA Raudnitz Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia 07.1944 Raudnitz Castle
38 Lambach Upper Danube 1941 Benediktinerabtei , Lambach Lambach secondary school


Celebrities who attended national political educational institutions

Celebrities who taught at national political schools


Exhibition banner at the Stadtmuseum Ballenstedt for the special exhibition (photo from November 2016)

Since mid-2015 there has been a special exhibition in Ballenstedt on the eventful history of the Großer Ziegenberg training center, first as the “State National Political Education Institute Ballenstedt” and then as the “ Wilhelm Liebknecht District Party School of the SED District Management Hall, Ballenstedt”. The exhibition in the city ​​museum "Wilhelm von Kügelgen" comprises two rooms on the upper floor of the museum and is entitled "A school. Two stories. From NAPOBI to the SED party school. Großer Ziegenberg Ballenstedt. "

See also


  • Klaus Johann: Limit and stop: The individual in the “House of Rules”. On German-language boarding school literature (= contributions to recent literary history. Volume 201) Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2003, pp. 510-560, chapter Boarding school literature and Nazism , on literary and autobiographical versions of the topic, ISBN 3-8253-1599-1 (dissertation University of Münster 2002, X).
  • Johannes Leeb (ed.): "We were Hitler's elite students", former pupils of the Nazi elite schools break their silence. 6th edition extended to include an article on Leopold Chalupa . Heyne, Munich 2004 (first edition: Rasch and Röhring, Hamburg 1998), ISBN 978-3-453-16504-5 .
  • Klaus Montanus: The Putbussers. Cadets under the swastika. A Napola student tells. RG Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-89501-220-3 .
  • Albert Moritz (Hrsg.): "Torchbearers of the Nation": Elite education in the NS-Ordensburgen. Documentation of the International Vogelsang Days 2009. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-412-20554-6 .
  • Matthias Paustian: The National Political Educational Institution Plön 1933–1945. In: Information on contemporary history in Schleswig-Holstein . Issue 26, November 1994, pp. 3-100. ( online ).
  • Alexander-Martin Sardina : Contradictions of the Nazi educational conceptions and the national political educational institutions. (NAPOLA). State examination thesis. University of Hamburg , 2002 (comprehensive primary sources on racial studies in the appendix)., As a publisher's publication without appendix: The National Political Educational Institutions (NAPOLAs) as evidence for contradicting Nazi educational concepts in the Third Reich. Discourse and survey of contemporary witnesses. Abbreviated paperback edition, Grin, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-640-54533-9 .
  • Harald Schäfer: Napola: the last four years of the Oranienstein National Political Education Institute near Diez an der Lahn 1941–1945. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-89501-460-5 .
  • Wolfgang Schilling (Ed.): NAPOLA. Seduced elite in the Harz Mountains (Ballenstedt / Ilfeld). Blankenburg (Harz) 2018, ISBN 978-3-935971-94-2 .
  • Christian Schneider, Cordelia Stillke, Bernd Leineweber: The legacy of Napola. Attempt a generation story. Hamburger Edition HIS Verlagsgesellschaft, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-930908-25-5 .
  • Harald Scholz: Nazi reading schools. Boarding schools as the means of rule of the Führer state. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1973, ISBN 3-525-36156-4 .
  • Michel Tournier : Le Roi des aulnes. 1970.


  • Euro video: in rank and file. The national political educational institution in the Third Reich. 1994.
  • Gentlemen's children. Director: Christian Schneider, Eduard Erne. Contributors Theo Sommer , Hellmuth Karasek and others Documentation, ZDF, 2008 (52 min.)
  • From Napola to the SED party school. About the new building from 1936 in Ballenstedt . MDR, first broadcast: January 29, 2013, 8.45 p.m. (30 minutes)
motion pictures

Web links

Commons : Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Napola  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Dirk Gelhaus, Jörn-Peter Hülter: The selection schools as a cornerstone of the Nazi regime , Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2003, ISBN 3-8260-2460-5 , p. 73.
  2. Arnd Krüger : Breeding, Rearing and Preparing the Aryan Body: Creating the Complete Superman the Nazi Way, in: 'International Journal History Sport' 16 (1999), 2, 42 - 68.
  3. ^ Rüdiger von Wechmar : Actor in the Lodge. Worldly memories. , Siedler, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-88680-692-8 , p. 24.
  4. by Wechmar p. 26.
  5. by Wechmar p. 39.
  6. by Wechmar p. 44.
  7. Roche, Helen. Surviving 'Stunden Null': Narrating the Fate of Nazi Elite-School Pupils during the Collapse of the Third Reich, German History 33 (2015): 570-587.
  8. ^ Sardina, Alexander-Martin: Contradictions of the Nazi educational conceptions and the national political educational institutions. (NAPOLA). State examination thesis. University of Hamburg, 2002.
  9. ^ Wolfgang Keim: Education under the Nazi dictatorship. Vol. 2: Preparations for War, War and the Holocaust. Darmstadt 1997, p. 108.
  10. Newspaper article ( MS Word ; 402 kB)
  11. From Napola to the SED party school ( Memento of the original from November 23, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. Ordinance and Official Journal (PDF) In: Zgodovina Slovenije . P. 58 (No. 71). Born in 1943. Retrieved on September 17, 2011.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  13. National political schools and their students . Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  14. ^ Harald Scholz: NS-Ausleseschulen
  15. a b c d e Republik-deutschland-gelobt-sei-was-hart-macht-seite-2/5542842-2.html
  16. Republik-deutschland-gelobt-sei-was-hart-macht-seite-4/ 5542842-4.html
  17. a b c
  18. a b
  19. Republik-deutschland-gelobt-sei-was-hart-macht-seite-3/ 5542842-3.html
  20. Copies of the exam version with a complete appendix and excerpts from textbooks on Nazi racial studies can be found in the Hamburg State and University Library , the Library of Congress , the British Library , the Library for Research on Educational History , the German National Library , the Yad Vashem Library and in the Federal Archives (Berlin).
  21. mdr-Dokuhighlicht From Napola to the SED party school ( Memento of the original from November 23, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /