The permanent exhibition at Vogelsang IP focuses on the young men who were selected to be moulded into a future leadership elite of the National Socialist regime. The example of Vogelsang demonstrates the large extent to which architecture was used to document power and control of the Party.
The Ordensburgen were always both training centres and stages for the self-projection of the NSDAP leaders. At the same time, they were characterized by an air of incompleteness and haste: many things appeared to be improvised and driven by restlessness. This applies above all for the educational curricula of the courses, which were constantly changed and criticised within the Party.
Nevertheless, the Ordensjunker, (knights of the Order), as they called themselves, were presented to the German people as the new party elite. Many of them actually felt as if they were just that. With their entry into the Ordensburgen they believed that they had found a way to achieve social advancement and a professional career. The male association into which they were accepted promised them safety and protection and the comradeship of like-minded men.
Their minds were ideologically moulded by lectures and seminars but also by physical training with military drills and many kinds of sports. Particularly in the courses on “racial studies”, the image of their alleged superiority was constantly reinforced. A National Socialist substitute religion with rites and solemn ceremonies helped the Ordensjunker believe that they were participating in the creation of a “new race” of the future.
With this ideological background, the men of the Ordensburgen initially went as soldiers into a war which was, particularly in the east, a war of racial extermination. Several hundred of them were deployed to Poland, the Baltic States, Belarus and the Ukraine like modern colonisers. Many of them were involved in the National Socialist crimes in these regions. It took a very long time before post-war society and ultimately the judicial system began to take an interest in individual perpetrators.
At the conclusion of the exhibition, questions remain that deliberately reach beyond the history of National Socialism: What would we have thought ourselves? How would we have acted had we been alive in a similar time and given a similar task? Are there any comparable situations in the today’s world? What do democracy and plurality mean to us in our society today?
Impressions from the exhibition
Vogelsang IP gemeinnützige GmbH
Klaus Ring I Julia Schaadt M.A. I Stefan Wunsch M.A. (Kuratoren)
Gabriele Harzheim M.A. I Andrea Nepomuck
Markus Steger I Iris Vasic-Engels M.A. I Sabine Weber (Mitarbeit)
Mira Huppertz I Lukas Lüder I Kim Selbach (Studentische Hilfskräfte)
Historisches Seminar der Universität Heidelberg
Prof. Dr. Edgar Wolfrum (Leitung) I Prof. Dr. Cord Arendes
Prof. Dr. Frank Engehausen I Carlos A. Haas M.A. I Miriam Koch M.A.
Nastasja Pilz M.A. I Mirjam Schnorr M.A. I Dr. Angela Siebold
Martin Stallmann M.A.
Dr. Eckhard Bolenz I Dr. Markus Krause
Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Thamer (Vorsitz) I Dr. Dieter Bartetzko I Dr. Gudrun Brockhaus
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hirschfeld I Kirsten John-Stucke M.A. I Prof. Dr. Alfons Kenkmann
Dr. Martin Liepach I Prof. Dr. Kiran Patel I Prof. Dr. Karl-Josef Pazzini I Prof. Dr. Jürgen Reulecke
Prof. Dr. Peter Romijn I Prof. Dr. Margit Szöllösi-Janze I Prof. Dr. Silke Wenk
Prof. Dr. Dorothee Wierling I Prof. Dr. Michael Wildt
gwf-Ausstellungen I Konzept + Gestaltung , Hamburg:
Ika Gerrard I Nina Holsten I Arne Petersen I Simone Wörner I Michael Teßmer
(Mitarbeit: Arnd Crigee I Nadia Schrader I Christian Mull)
Matthies & Schnegg, Ausstellungs- und Kommunikationsdesign, Berlin
Katharina Matthies I Julia Schnegg mit It’s About, Berlin Charlotte Kaiser (Mitarbeit: Golnar Mehboubi Nejati I Annika Buchheister)
Licht: Zolghadri GmbH LICHTTechnikDesign, Hamburg Cornelia Zolghadri
Ausstellungsbau: barth Innenausbau KG/S.a.s. d. Ivo Barth I Stefan Kröll
Grafikproduktion: m.o.l.i.t.o.r. GmbH – art in motion, Berlin Hannah Opitz
Medienproduktion: IT’S ABOUT, Berlin; MATTHIES & SCHNEGG, Berlin; GRAPHSCAPE GmbH, Berlin; die InformationsGesellschaft mbH, Bremen; ATELIER 36, Berlin
Tastobjekte: Bettina Bick, Berlin