SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz
Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
[ source: Wikipedia]
The SS-Junkerschule functioned as the officer training school for the Waffen-SS, the armed branch of the SS, and was the equivalent of West Point Academy. The school was founded in 1937 in the town of Bad Toelz, about 30 miles south of Munich (Munich vacation rentals | Munich travel guide). This site was selected for the school because of its awe-inspiring scenery and its good transportation connections. The school was built in an imposing architectural style meant to impress all who saw it, and it was formally opened by Adolph Hitler himself. Although the typical student at the SS-Junkerschule was supposedly Aryan, the labor at Bad Toelz was taken from the sub-camp of a Dachau (Dachau vacation rentals | Dachau travel guide) concentration camp, which was also located in the town.
The SS-Junkerschule in Bad Toelz utilized regular army training techniques and employed army officers as instructors. Instruction was provided on an array of topics, ranging from etiquette (such as, how to close a letter with the Hitler greeting) to Nazi ideology to athletics and military field exercises. Besides Nazi ideology, one of the primary goals of the school was to produce fighting officers, and classes were given on assault tactics. Due to the emphasis on physical prowess and skill, the SS invested a substantial amount of money into the school's athletic facilities, which included a football stadium and a building that was devoted to gymnastics, boxing, indoor ball games, a sauna, and a heated pool. Excellent athletic instructors was also hired; at one time, 8 out of the 12 coaches were German national champions in their disciplines.
All applicants to the SS-Junkerschule in Bad Toelz were assessed according exacting standards, including height restrictions and a prerequisite of 6-12 months of active duty. The array of classes at the school included the following: tactics, terrain and map reading, combat training and weapons training, general practical service (weapons technology, shooting training, war exercises), religious education, military tactics, SS and police tactics, administration, physical training, weapons doctrine, pioneer teaching, current events, tank tactics, vehicle maintenance, sanitary engineering, and Air Force doctrine.
After the end of the war, the SS-Junkerschule became the base of the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Branch, until 1991. Once the U.S. Army moved out of the school, the buildings stood empty for some time, but were then converted into a shopping area.
[ source: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
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