What Schools and Parents Need to Know About the Goals of National Socialist Education
The source: “Die Erziehungsgrundsätze des neuen Deutschlands,” Frauen-Warte, #22 (1936/37), pp. 692-693.
German people, German parents! The new Germany created by our people’s chancellor Adolf Hitler places special demands on the German youth. The German youth are a foundation of the rebuilding of the German people and the German fatherland. The people and the fatherland place their hands on the shoulders of the youth and determine what educational and cultural values and goals are necessary for this youth to meet the needs of people and fatherland. This requires a truly national and social education for the German youth, and all involved in education has to serve these educational and cultural goals with their full energy. Parents and teachers above all!
All those involved in education must have a clear and unified idea of the educational tasks before them. The four iron pillars of the national school and educational system are: race, military training, leadership, and religion!
National Socialist education is an education in the thinking of the German people, in understanding German traditions, in awakening the pure, uncorrupted, and honest people’s consciousness, their sense of belonging to the people. Only a pure member of the German race can have such an understanding of his people, crowning it with the willingness to sacrifice all for the people. He must know that without his people he is a miserable nothing, and that it is better if he himself die than that his people and fatherland perish! He who thinks that National Socialist education has as its goal a kind of hyperpatriotism has not understood it. Something entirely different is intended. Something should be awakened in the soul of young Germans that will fill their hearts and whole being until their souls can no longer restrain the overflowing, until a powerful and jubilant “Hail Germany” springs from their lips! That call itself is not the first or most significant goal: but rather it is its foundation in the soul, a foundation that jubilantly, freely, confidently, cheerfully and passionately expresses itself. It is the holy sense of people and fatherland! Awakening this in the German youth requires that they have a clear understanding of the value of people and fatherland. They must realize that the German people has a right to independence and freedom, honor and power. They must learn that it has a right to its own fate among the peoples of the earth, and it must gain with the other peoples the place in the sun that belongs to it. It must do this not through force, but rather because the German people is a noble nation that has created values for the entire world that no other people was capable of. We want to awaken in the German youth this free, just, and noble national pride so that at the thought of Germany’s past, present, and future their hearts will pound and their eyes will gleam. That is the first foundation of National Socialist education.
It is clear that the German youth must be resolved to defend their fatherland with their lives. Despite all the nonsense about promises and disarmament, Germany is surrounded by weapons. The German youth must learn military virtues. Their bodies must be steeled, made hard and strong, so that the youth may become capable soldiers who are healthy, strong, trained, energetic, and able to bear hardships. Gymnastics, games, sports, hiking, swimming, and military exercises must all be learned by the youth. Our youth should not sit in stuffy rooms and develop crooked backs and weak eyes. Alongside the basic and truly important education of the mind, they should develop healthy bodies by being outdoors. The idea of the healthy and strong German should not be mere empty talk. Parents can help here. They will train our youth in simplicity and cleanliness. They will train them, even when they are older, not to waste their spare time by dubious or even harmful activities such as card playing, drinking alcohol, and bad music, but rather to prepare their bodies for their future tasks.
A youth being trained for such important national duties must accept the idea of following the Führer absolutely and without question, without unhealthy carping criticism, without selfishness or opposition. They must learn to obey so that they, having themselves learned to obey, can believe in and trust their own leadership and can grow to be leaders themselves. Only he who has learned to obey can lead. Germany no longer believes that the masses can lead themselves by majority rule! The masses themselves are nothing! We do need not a people ruled by majority votes, but a people with the will to leadership. The German youth must learn that and act accordingly! Thus the German youth belong in organizations where they will learn the nature of leadership in its most noble form, where they can learn to obey and — if they are called to it — also learn to lead. They will not bend to an empty mass will expressed through useless votes, but rather look with enthusiasm to the nation’s strong and noble Führer. They must learn that once again. We parents want to exhibit such authority to our youth by strengthening family authority and establishing in our homes a healthy and natural obedience on the part of our children. This will not suppress the youth, but rather provide them the controlled freedom and authority they need to develop their abilities.
Life comes from God and returns to God. All life and all races follow God’s ordinances. No people and no race can ignore them. We want the German youth to again recognize the religious nature of life. They must realize that God wants the individual as well as the whole people, and that they lose contact with life when they lose contact with God! God and nation are the two foundations of the life of the individual and the community. We want no shallow and superficial piety, but rather a deep faith that God guides the world, that he controls it, and a consciousness of the relationship between God and each individual, and between God and the live of the people and the fatherland. The National Socialist state will promote such a deeply religious educational system. We want parents to support and strengthen this by honesty and by good example.
Race, military training, leadership, religion! These are the four unshakable foundations of the new German National Socialist education!