Community Background Picture



The Nazi state ensured that most clubs and organizations were brought into line politically.



Table of contents

Page 1 / 7
Table of contents

Stemwede under National Socialism

NS organizations

The NSDAP exerted influence on all aspects of life through countless instructions and decrees, transferring associations and institutions into their own organizations and merging them. In the offices of Dielingen-Wehdem and Levern, the following institutions dominated public life:

  • The NSDAP
  • The Deutsche Jungvolk
  • The Hitler Youth
  • The League of German Girls
  • The Sturmabteilung
  • The National Socialist People's Welfare Organization
  • The National Socialist Women's League

It can be assumed that the above-mentioned associations were represented in the individual villages of today's municipality of Stemwede. The Hitler Youth, in particular, ran such homes. Their existence and planning can be proven by various documents, e.g. for Dielingen, Sundern, Haldem, Oppenwehe and the HJ home in Levern.

Page 2 / 7

Stemwede under National Socialism

Langemarck Leadership School

The name of the Führer School is based on a myth from the First World War: November 1914, the rapid advance of the German troops against France comes to a standstill. Reinforcements are quickly brought in. Reserve Infantry Regiment 244 marches to the front. The soldiers, all aged around 20, had only received brief training. Near the Belgian village of Langemark, they entered the battle and stormed to their deaths. Out of 2629 men, 1881 men (approx. 72%) died in one day to capture a few kilometers of land. The deaths of these soldiers were exploited for propaganda purposes and the German daily newspaper created the Langemarck myth one day after the battle, writing: "West of Langemarck, young regiments broke through and took the first line of enemy positions, chanting "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles". About 2000 men of French line infantry were taken prisoner and six machine guns were captured."

This spirit of self-sacrifice was to be instilled in the young leaders of the Hitler Youth at the Langemark Leadership School in Haldem. Since the summer of 1936, an average of around 120 young people between the ages of 15 and 17 were drilled for three weeks at a time to be tough and absolutely willing to perform their duties as young platoon or ensign leaders within the Hitler Youth in accordance with Nazi ideology.

Source: Geschichtswerkstatt Haldem, folder G2e, Schloss Haldem, Führerschule Langemark

Page 3 / 7
Langemarck Command and Staff College

Stemwede under National Socialism

The re-education camp

The success of the Christian boarding school "Paedagogium Canasium" in Lüdinghausen was not welcomed by the local NSDAP representatives. The founder of the school, Dr. Bernhard Hürfeld, had already called Hitler a "deceiver of the people" and a "foamer" in 1932 as a speaker for the Centre Party. The boarding school was converted into a secondary school in 1939. Until 1943, a number of incidents critical of the system occurred in and around the school. In 1943, for example, there was a small protest march under the motto "Now the war will soon be over and Hitler will be finished" and pupils loyal to the regime denounced their teachers to the Hitler Youth. These differing views among the pupils led to a dispute breaking out between pupils in the wake of Italy's capitulation. A brawl was the result.

The Gestapo took this dispute as an opportunity to arrest several teachers and the school management at the Gestapo prison in Recklinghausen on September 16, 1943. At the same time, all male pupils with the exception of the sixth formers (i.e. from year 6 onwards) were "called up for a Hitler Youth training camp in Haldem, Post Dillingen, for the period from September 17 to October 9, 1943. At the end of the course, they will return home," according to a letter from the Secret State Police, Münster State Police Station, dated 20.09.1943.

Ernst Reinkemeier, an 11-year-old pupil at the time, recalled this in a memorial protocol on September 17, 2012: 'The pupils were taken straight from class to the train and traveled to Bohmte Bhf. From there they had to march on foot to Schoss Haldem "Führerschule Langemarck". Once they arrived at the castle, they all had to strip naked and hand in their clothes. After a shower, they were all given run-down clothes without belts or straps.

In the morning, they had to line up for roll call in front of the castle and received their orders from three officers from the regional command school. The pupils were locked up all day in rooms near the cafeteria to peel potatoes. The older pupils received training on the carbine. In October, the children (6th grade and up) had to desilt the castle pond in freezing temperatures. The pupils fell ill and got diarrhea, the hygiene situation was catastrophic. The boys were beaten with leather straps at night for the slightest offense. When they were on guard duty, they were often beaten up by strange men in the castle park. At the end of the course, some parents were forced to send soap powder to the castle to clean the sheets.

According to Reinkemeier himself, he was released from this "re-education" on October 23, 1943 and sent home. On February 6, 1944, the arrested teachers were deported from the Gestapo prison in Recklinghausen to the Dachau concentration camp. There was no court verdict. Two teachers, Dr. Kleinsorge and Johannes Goebels, died in the concentration camp.

Page 4 / 7
The re-education camp

Stemwede under National Socialism


Page 5 / 7
Archival documents

Current witnesses about HJ activities

from "Zwischen Fahnenspruch und Dreschkasten", © Medienwerkstatt Minden-Lübbecke e.V. on behalf of the municipality of Stemwede

Page 6 / 7
Contemporary witnesses about HJ activities


We have some exciting questions for you. Have you been paying attention? Do you know the answers? Try it out. Here's how it works:

  1. Start the quiz with "Let's go".
  2. Answer the 3 questions. Time is running.
  3. Solve the quiz before the countdown expires.
  4. Try to set a new record.
  5. Share your result with people you care about.
Page 7 / 7