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Rankenheim is a country house on the Zemminsee in Groß Köris in Brandenburg . It was used as a Nazi teacher camp and since 1945 as a children's home. Rankenheim also refers to the surrounding district of Groß Köris.


Rankenheim on the map from the Brockhaus from 1894

Friedrich Wilhelm Ranke was a Prussian government councilor , brother of the historian Leopold von Ranke . From 1843 he bought land in Schwerin , Groß Köris and the neighboring communities in Brandenburg , where he a. a. built a brickworks and bakery and operated peat cutting. Knowing about the planning of the Berlin – Görlitz railway line , Ranke bought over 100 hectares of land in the area north of Zemminsee from 1857 . In 1865 he built a country house on the banks of the Zemminsee . Further large stables and outbuildings were built on the site. Groß Köris itself was a small village around 1860 with 2 public buildings and 41 houses. When the railway opened in 1866, the region became more attractive - a stop was set up at the neighboring Schulzensee .

Ranke initially used his country estate as a summer residence, but in 1867 he moved entirely here. In a letter to his brother Heinrich he wrote:

"On a hill by the lake my house, at the foot of the hill the farm buildings, next to the house a navigable canal of 1/2 hour length flows into the lake, which I have drawn, on the smooth roof of the house an iron belvedere, from which one overlooks 10 lakes, many cities and villages, many richly wooded hills, my brick kilns and peat views and the railway with a stop at the lake. "

He was an art lover and owned an extensive collection - he himself stated that he owned 150 valuable oil paintings, 400 copper engravings and 3,000 miniatures. With these treasures he planned to set up a gallery in Rankenheim.

After Ranke's death on June 16, 1871, the property passed to a community of heirs who sold it. There have been several changes of ownership. In 1897 two pulmonologists took over Rankenheim and planned to set up a sanatorium there. They did not implement this plan and in 1901 sold Rankenheim to a Berlin merchant. After further changes of ownership, Rankenheim fell to Dresdner Bank around 1930 . This subdivided Ranke's land into 160 individual parcels in order to sell them.

National Socialism

During the Nazi era in 1935, Dresdner Bank transferred Rankenheim to the state “Jubilee Foundation for Education and Teaching”. On July 24, 1935, the Reich and Prussian ministers for science, education and public education announced the establishment of the "training facility on Lake Zemmin", which is to be used for training camps. Rankenheim should also be able to be used for other purposes. According to the institute's presentation, Rankenheim was an ideal location for both the rural location near Berlin and the design.

“You can hardly imagine a nicer place in Brandenburg than this manor house made of shining bricks in a beautiful old park directly on the Zemminsee, which creates the connection between the Teupitzsee and all the lakes around Köris. The central institute for education and instruction has set up its permanent training facility, the Rankenheim, in the modern and friendly furnished manor house . "

Teachers camp

Rankenheim primarily served as the “Reichsschulungsstätte” of the Central Institute for Teachers' Camps on behalf of the Nazi Ministry of Education . The first of these camps took place in October 1935 under the direction of Hans Reinerth and Alfred Pudelko. In the other camps, u. a. Rudolf Benze and Bernhard Kummer presented their racist ideas, but also other well-known lecturers such as the Indo-Germanist Kurt Stegmann von Pritzwald or the music teacher Dietrich Stoverock gave lectures in Rankenheim.

Initially, these camps also took place in the former spruce school in Essen-Kettwig . From the war onwards, Rankenheim was the only place for the teachers' camp. The aim of these camps was to retrain all teachers in line with the National Socialist educational ideology and thus to reorganize the school system. Initially, around 80–100 teachers from Germany were trained in events lasting several days (mostly eight days) with roll calls, work assignments, sports, marches (or excursions) and (relatively short) lectures on content. This structure corresponds to the anti-intellectual orientation of Nazi education:

“This new form of further training, physical activity and professional-scientific discussion and promotion, both on the basis of camaraderie, aroused many concerns and serious worries about the health of mind and body. When eight days had passed, we all had the certainty that we had a week of physical and mental refreshment behind us, the effects of which we will feel for a long time. "

Topics were, for example, "Military education in mathematics and science lessons" whose aim was summarized as follows:

“It is always important to direct the pupils' attention - according to their age and their nature - to the things that are important for the life and self-assertion of the German people in their narrow living space and thereby the joyful willingness to do all they can to preserve the German people To awaken the soil and life. "

A very large number of teachers were indoctrinated with these training camps: 10,000 teachers were retrained in over 150 camps by 1941 alone.

Camp for Czech teachers

From autumn 1941, the Prague branch of the Central Institute organized the retraining of Czech teachers, which was also carried out in teacher camps (with a higher proportion of ethnic-racist lectures) in Rankenheim. The goal was to an ethnic community of "" Bohemian-Moravian appeal "with the rich German teachers and to win for the target position of National Socialism. Josef Hanika brings central elements of Nazi ideology as anti-Semitism and anti-communism in his lecture in tendrils Home to the point:

“The swastika is an ancient symbol of salvation , a symbol of the moving sun. It was once attached to the Czech farmhouse, the Czech peasants worshiped this symbol of the conquering sun and the eternally renewed life from prehistoric times, just like the Germanic peoples, the Baltic peoples, the Finns etc. It would be degeneration "Alienation from the worldview, from one's own ancestors, if the Czechs allowed themselves to be upset by the destructive powers - today Judaism, Marxism, etc. - against this symbol under which today we are fighting for the national order."

Other use

In 1935, the institute carried out so-called “national political courses” for schoolchildren, as they took place in many places in Germany in school camps to indoctrinate and discipline young people. Everyday life in the camps "was strictly regulated and followed - as with all forms of Nazi camp education - a detailed duty roster in which military education and ideological indoctrination played a prominent role."

Rankenheim also served occasionally as a venue for specialist conferences such as B. the working conference of the office group Kriegsmarine armament on "Sound propagation in water" on 20./21. May 1943, at the u. a. the physicist Erwin Meyer participated. There were excursions by zoologists under the direction of Heinrich Jacob Feuerborn in which Konrad Herter and Günter Tembrock also took part. Herter describes in his memoir Rankenheim as follows: "Wonderful villa in an old park on Lake Zemmin ... We have very nice lounges with a terrace below. Even a music hall."

In August 1943, due to the war, the library and archive of the Central Institute were relocated to Rankenheim, including the entire holdings of the Berlin Curative Education Archive. From February 13, 1945, Rankenheim was officially the institute's "main office", even though operations had largely come to a standstill and was actually managed from the Potsdam apartment by Rudolf Benze.

Opponents of National Socialism in the neighborhood

The film producer at Tobis , Herbert Engelsing , built a holiday home on Zemminerseestrasse barely 150 meters from the manor house in Rankenheim to create a retreat for his family, who were threatened by the Nazis due to the Nuremberg Laws - his wife Ingeborg, née. Cahn came from a Jewish family. He left this house to other persecuted people and resistance workers . The Nazi opponents Libertas Schulze-Boysen and her husband Harro lived temporarily in Zemminerseestrasse. There they met with the members of the Red Orchestra .

Also nearby were members of a communist group that had set itself the goal of liberating Ernst Thälmann . They had the plan to help him to escape, whereby they wanted to hide him for a time in a mansion on the Zemminsee. These two groups were also in contact with each other.

Highway construction

In 1937–38 the Autobahn route 60 was passed through the Rankenheim part of the settlement. For this purpose, two bridges were built, the east bank of the Zemminsee was relocated and the resulting dam was compacted by blasting bog on February 6, 1938 so that a stable substructure was created for the motorway. Rankenheim was separated from the rest of Groß Köris with the autobahn, while the improved transport connections here led to the construction of a new residential and weekend area.

At the end of the war Rankenheim was north of the Halbe pocket . The Waffen-SS tried to blow up the motorway bridges in order to hinder the advance of the Red Army. This plan did not succeed because two elderly citizens from Groß Köris, who were deployed as Volkssturm to guard the bridges, cut the ignition cables. The bridge over Berliner Straße in Groß Köris was badly damaged. The motorway was not repaired until 1952 so that it was fully usable again.

After the liberation , Rankenheim served briefly as a hospital . In 1945 an orphanage was set up in the country house , which from 1947 was run by the state government as a state children's home with 100 places. The documents of the central institute were removed and most of them burned.

GDR time

From 1952 "difficult to educate" boys were housed in Rankenheim. The name of the home changed several times in the documents from “ special home ”, “auxiliary school home” and “home for difficult-to-educate, educable, feeble-minded children”. The capacity was 75 places, the responsible agency was the district of Königs Wusterhausen . In November 1965, Rankenheim was integrated into the combine of special homes for psychodiagnostics and pedagogical-psychological therapy as a special home for “behaviorally disturbed” or “difficult to educate” “auxiliary students”. Up to 72 boys aged 7 to 15 were accommodated in six groups, each group corresponding to a school class. The schooling took place in the group rooms. The milieu therapy was an important therapeutic tool : "that is, the influence of external home conditions and the daily routine on the home children". During a visit in December 1965, 50 children were living in Rankenheim - 24 of them were accommodated without a proper admission procedure, which was considered “completely unlawful”. There was the assumption that other home institutions had "pushed" "problem cases" into the special home. At the same time, it was found that the majority of the 21 pedagogical staff did not (yet) have the professional qualifications to implement the curative pedagogical concept. In addition, there was a psychologist - which was also a specialty in the combine facilities - who, in addition to implementing the “socio-political work”, was also supposed to instruct the educators on how to implement the concept.

Christian Sachse concludes from the visitation report from 1968: “The tone of the report reveals certain differences to the other rigid system of discipline: Teachers and educators understand the“ defects of children ”, which has a beneficial effect on the relationship between staff and inmates impact. The style and tone of the upbringing are adapted to the particular situation, 'so that the contact between the children and teachers and educators can be good.' ”In 1978, a school with a gym was built in Rankenheim.

In a planning meeting on April 24, 1984 , the Ministry for National Education responsible for the Kombinat again determined that children from other homes in Rankenheim designated as "problematic cases" would be "disposed of", for example those "extremely aggressive defensive reactions to educational measures, almost absolute disregard the authority of all persons involved in the upbringing ”or abnormalities such as“ abnormal habits and reactions such as wetting, fecing, screaming fits without cause, [...] chronic running away ”. From which the question arose as to whether the professional requirements had to be met by the staff - whereby the inspectors emphasized the high motivation of the employees and the planned introduction of psychotherapeutic offers.

An inspection in November of the same year by the Potsdam district , which is actually not responsible, made clear the political and technical disputes surrounding the combine. Christian Sachse summarized the results as follows: “It was found that although the home works very closely with the headquarters of the special home combine, it is“ strongly shielded from other kinds of influences ”. Suggestions from neighboring subject areas of special and auxiliary school education are neither perceived in theory nor taken into account in practice. "Very combination-specific interpretations" of the educational sciences were diagnosed. The internal possibilities of qualification in the whole combine were rated as inadequate. ”A demand was made for the district to exert greater influence on the home.

In 1987 the number of places was given as 70 - with an average occupancy of 55 boys. In 1988 the combine was transformed into the "Pedagogical Medical Center" (PMZ). Rankenheim thereby became an institution of the Potsdam district.

Since the turning point

After the fall of the Wall , Rankenheim, like the other former facilities of the combine, was subordinated to the Brandenburg Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports . In 1992 this called the “Great Orphanage in Potsdam” foundation back to life and gave it the task of organizing the sponsorship of these institutions. To this end, in 1994 the foundation established the “GFB-Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft zur Förderungen Brandenburger Kinder und Jugendlicher mbH”, which took over the sponsorship of eight institutions - including Rankenheim. According to the manager at the time, Heinz Gode, there were also talks on the part of the home management about joining the Association of Westphalian Children's Villages .

Rankenheim was then conceptually put on a new basis, rebuilt and reopened on September 1, 1995 as a children's and youth village as an institution for child and youth welfare . In addition to 33 home places are in tendrils home of the foster children services of the district Dahme-Spreewald and a public school.


  • Andreas Kraas: Teachers' camp 1932 - 1945. Political function and educational design. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2004, ISBN 3-7815-1347-5
  • Markus Vette : Wilhelm Ranke (1804-1871). Sketches of a life path that is more than a family affair of Leopold von Rankes. Eugenia Verlag Markus Vette, Rastenberg 2014, ISBN 3-9388-5329-8

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Friedmar John: Groß Köriser Geschichte (n), Teupitzer Nachrichten 06-08 / 2012, pp. 22–23, here: p. 23 [1] .
  2. Markus Vette: Wilhelm Ranke, 2014, p. 62 ff.
  3. Enders, Lieselott (edit.): Historical local dictionary for Brandenburg part IV. Teltow. Reprint 2012, p. 41. ISBN 9783941919815 .
  4. Markus Vette: Wilhelm Ranke, 2014, p. 62 ff.
  5. Friedmar John: Groß Köriser Geschichte (n), Teupitzer Nachrichten 04-06 / 2011, pp. 17-18, here: p. 17 [2]
  6. German science, education and popular education. 1935, p. 336. [3]
  7. Paul Troll: Multos castra iuvant, in: Askanische Blätter, No. 26, December 1937, p. 4 [4]
  8. German Science, Education and National Education - 1.1935, pp. 160 f [5] .
  9. German science, education and popular education. 2, 1936, p. 78 [6]
  10. to Pritzwald: Anastasia Antipova, Gerd Simon: Chronologie Stegmann, Kurt (von Pritzwald), 2011 [7] , to Reinerth: Der Ostpreußische Erzieher, August 31, 1935, p. 503 [8] , and to Stoverock "Lehrgang 'Musik 'of the German Central Institute for Education and Teaching in Rankenheim near Berlin, in: Die Mittelschule - Vol. 55 (1941) Issue 23, p. 163 f [9] .
  11. Dr. Paul Troll: Multos castra iuvant. in: Askanische Blätter, No. 26 (Dec. 1937), here page 4 [10]
  12. Kupsch: Report on the course "Military education in math and science lessons" in the Rankenheim training center of the Central Institute for Education and Teaching, Berlin. Instruction sheets 1936, p. 367f. Quoted from: Armin Kremer: Science teaching and professional interest. On the history of the professionalization of science teachers in higher schools. Part 2 - Documentation. Marburg: Redaktionsgemeinschaft Soznat, 1985, p. 339. [11] .
  13. ^ Andreas Kraas: Teachers' camp 1932–1945. Political function and educational design., P. 219.
  14. Josef Hanika: The structure of folk culture in the Bohemian-Moravian region. Unpublished manuscript of the lecture from 1942 to Czech history teachers in Rankenheim, published in: Petr Lozoviuk: Interethnik im Wissenschaftsprozess: Deutschsprachige Volkskunde in Bohemia and its social effects. (Writings on Saxon history and folklore) Leipziger Universitätsverlag, Leipzig 2008, ISBN 978-3865832887 , p. 378
  15. ^ "Camp and column form the new form of education". National political courses.
  16. Life data 1883-1979
  17. Konrad Herter: Encounters with people and animals. Memoirs of a zoologist 1891-1978. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1979, ISBN 978-3428045495
  18. ^ History of the curative education archive
  19. ^ Andreas Kraas: Teachers' camp 1932–1945. Political function and educational design. P. 199.
  20. Silke Kettelhake: "Tell everyone, everyone about me!" The beautiful short life of the Libertas Schulze-Boysen. Droemer Knaur, 2008 ISBN 3-426-27437-X .
  21. Moors blast near Teupitz on route 60 (today BAB A13)
  22. ^ Friedmar John: Groß Köriser Geschichte (n), Teupitzer Nachrichten 03/2014, pp. 32–34, here: p. 34 [12] .
  23. ^ History of the curative education archive
  24. ^ Processing of home education in the GDR - Expertise , 2012, p. 336.
  25. Christian Sachse: Special homes of GDR youth welfare in the state of Brandenburg 2011, p. 55, [13] .
  26. Christian Sachse: Special homes of GDR youth welfare in the state of Brandenburg 2011, p. 57 f., [14] .
  27. Christian Sachse: Special homes of GDR youth welfare in the state of Brandenburg 2011, p. 62, [15] .
  28. cf. Neues Deutschland vo, February 25, 1978 "58 classrooms planned"
  29. Christian Sachse: Special homes of GDR youth welfare in the state of Brandenburg 2011, p. 56, [16] .
  30. ^ Christian Sachse: Special homes of GDR youth welfare in the state of Brandenburg 2011, p. 64, [17] .
  31. Christian Sachse: Special homes of GDR youth welfare in the state of Brandenburg 2011, p. 117, [18] .
  32. About GFB .
  33. Heinz Gode: 35 years of educational work - a review, in: GFB-Zeitung, Edition 0, 2006, p. 11
  34. Berliner Zeitung of September 1, 1995: "Rankenheim village community center has been reconstructed"
  35. ^ Offer catalog of the Children's and Youth Village Rankenheim

Coordinates: 52 ° 9 ′ 51 ″  N , 13 ° 38 ′ 2.5 ″  E