Ordensburg Vogelsang in the Eifel National Park

Tuesday, 9 November 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

Ordensburg Vogelsang is a former Nazi estate placed at the former military training area in Eifel National Park in North Rhine-Westphalia. The landmarked and completely preserved estate was used by the National Socialists between 1936 and 1939 as an educational centre for future leaders. Since 1 January 2006 the area has been open to visitors. It is one of the largest architectural relics of National Socialism. The gross area of the landmarked buildings is 50,000 m².

In a 1933 speech in Bernau near Berlin, Adolf Hitler demanded that new schools be built for the children of the leaders of his national socialist German labour party (NSDAP). The task was given to Robert Ley, the “Reichsorganisationsleiter” (literally: Reich Organisational Leader) of the NSDAP, who undertook the construction and operation of four educational camps (NS-Ordensburgen):

A fourth one was planned at (the historic) Ordensburg Marienburg, in West Prussia. The construction of Ordensburg Vogelsang, most of which lies within the district of the town of Schleiden, was financed by expropriating trade unions and employers’ associations. The contract for planning the Krössinsee and Vogelsang projects went to the Cologne architect Clemens Klotz.

© Manfred Dohmen/cc-by-sa-3.0 © VoWo/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0 Adlerhof © VoWo/cc-by-sa-3.0 Adlerhof © VoWo/cc-by-sa-3.0-de Gymnasium © Hans Weingartz/cc-by-sa-2.0-de Inner courtyard - Hans Weingartz/cc-by-sa-2.0.de
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Inner courtyard - Hans Weingartz/cc-by-sa-2.0.de
The three buildings at Eifel have been known as “NS-Ordensburg” since 1935. The first phase of the project was the construction of the Castle of Vogelsang, which with up to 1,500 workers took only two years. Several much bigger buildings were also planned, such as a huge library to be called the “House of Knowledge” (Haus des Wissens) measuring 100 metres by 300 metres, a “Kraft durch Freude” hotel with 2000 beds, and the biggest sports facilities in Europe. Construction at the site halted on the outbreak of war.

The buildings destroyed during the war were reconstructed by the Belgian military authorities, and the surviving structures—reduced to bare brickwork—acquired a practical use. The foundation walls constructed for the House of Knowledge (Haus des Wissens) were used for the Van Dooren barrack block, and the adjacent basement, originally intended for an auditorium, became a cinema. This cinema has room for an audience of over 200. Of the decorations, only the emblems of the Third Reich—the swastikas—were removed.

After its period as a military training area came to an end, the former Ordensburg has been open to civilians since 1 January 2006. It can be visited during daytime. The surrounding area is used for hiking trails. The complex will eventually accommodate the administration of the National Park Eifel, the visitor centre, and an exhibition in the Castle. The “Van Dooren” barracks block will be demolished soon because the accommodations are no longer needed. The cinema and all the other buildings still exist. In 2016 the German government said it would use some of the Vogelsang Barracks blocks to house migrant refugee claimants. The latest stage of a £40 million facelift is the opening of an exhibition, aiming to educate the young against fascism. The display depicts how ordinary men and women were conditioned by the Nazis to hate Jews and others branded as inferiors.

Read more on Vogelsang International Place, List of synagogues, Category: Lists of Judaism-related buildings and structures, Night of Broken Glass and Wikipedia Ordensburg Vogelsang (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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