NAZI Teachers: Occupied Areas

Figure 1.--

Begining with the Austrian Anschluss in 1937, substantial territory was annexed to the Reich. This was especially true after the outbreak of World War I in 1939. By 1941, the Germans had annexed territories of Czecheslovakia, Poland, Belgium, France, and Yugolavia to the Reich. The policies toward teachers varied widely in these different regions.


The NAZIs seized independenty Austria in 1937 and annexed it to the Reich which is referred to as the Anschluss. All Jewish teachers and professors were immediately dismissed. We do not at this time know how the Austrians teachers were dealt with. There may have been a special training program for them, but we do not have details at this time. There was a great deal of antisemitism in Austria even before the NAZI takeover. Most Austrians in fact welcomed the Anschluss. Austrians enthusiastically joined the NAZI Party and were active in the death camp apparatus in proportionally greater numbers than the Germans themselves. Both Hitler and Adolf Eichmann were Austrian-born. The brutal NAZI governor for the Netherlands SeissInquart?? was Austrian.


The Germans invaded Belgium in May 1940 quickly defeating the Belgian Army and the British and Frnch Armies. After the Belgian surrender, the NAZIs on July 29, annexed Eupen, Malmedy (site of the SS masacre of American prisoners), and Moresnet to the Reich. We have few details, on what happened to the teachers. The schols certainly were changed to German language and NAZI cutticulum. We do not know if the teachers were fired or retrained.

Czechoslovakia (Sudetenland)

Hitler under the terms of the Munich Agreement in 1938 obtained the Sudentenland which had a substantial German population. Here we are not positive what hppened. Webelieve that even as part of Czecheslovakia, that there were German language schools. We do not know to what extent the German teachers at these schools required reduction. NAZI policy was to Germanize areas like the Sudetenland that were annexed. We are unsure to what extent Czechs were expelled from the Sudntenland. We do not think that Czech schools were allowed to operate, but we have few details at this time.

France (Alsace Lorraine)

The German Army occupied Alsace and Lorraine in May 1940. The NAZIs annexed both Alsace and Lorraine to the Reich. Both provinces had been seized by the Germans in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) anf had been part of the German Empire until the Germans lost World War I in 1918. First Jews and then non-Alsatian French were deported to France. Such teachers were not just fired, but deported. Alsatian teachers were sent to Germany for reducation before being allowed to teach. One Alsatian student at the time felt that when the Alsatian teachers returned they took he NAZI-imposed curriculum with great skepticim, but of course were careful about exactly what they said. [Ungerer, p. ?.] Lorrine was more French than Alsace, but presumably similar policies were pursued there.


Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 launching World War II. The Polish Army was defeated in a few weeks and Polanf forced to surrender in October 1939. Danzig, the Polish Corridor and other areas of western Poland were annexed to the Reich. Polish teachers along with professors, Government officials and cultural figures were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Polish schools were closed. The concentrtion camps were slave labor camps, the death camps with gas chambers had not yet been built. The idea, however, was to wok them to death. The Germans basically wanted to erradicate the Polish inteligencia and destroy Polish culture. Many Poles in the areas annexed to the Reich were deported to the Government General and German "colonists" brought in. In the cities, Germans cold simply walk into a business or apartment and take it. The Polish owners were simply have to leave. German occupation forces would help interested Germans find apartments and businesses.

Yugoslavia (Slovenia)

The Germans invaded Yugoslavia in May 1941 when the Yugoslav Government refused to allow the German Army to transit the country to attack Greece. The Yugoslav Army was quickly defeated, evn so the military action is of some significance because it delayed the German invasion of the Soviet Union which may have in the end been a critical factor in the defeat of the Wheremacht before Russia in December 1941. The Germans and Italians divided Slovenia, the northern part of Yugoslavia. The Germans annexed their zone of Slovenia to the Reich. Teachers and other Slovenian professinals were deported to Serbia. German teachers were brought in for the schools which became German schools.


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Created: May 17, 2002
Last updated: 10:47 PM 4/18/2011