In 1934 work began on three construction projects to build “Order Castles” or “School Castles” where the future leadership of the NSDAP would be trained. These projects were under the direction of Dr. Robert Ley, head of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (Labor Front). These Ordensburgen were built at Sonthofen in the Allgäu (Bavaria), Crössinsee in Pomerania (now in Poland), and Vogelsang in the Eifel (North Rhein – Westfalia).
The Vogelsang Ordensburg was designed by architect Clemens Klotz, built on a hillside overlooking a large lake valley. The school was completed in 1936 and the first class of “Junker” (cadets) began training immediately. The overall project as planned was never completed, with a large “House of Knowledge” hall, a 2000-bed hotel, and other buildings being omitted. During World War II the site was used for military purposes and to house refugees from bombed German cities. The U.S. Army overran the area in February 1945 and briefly occupied Vogelsang, before turning it over to the British military. In 1950 Vogelsang and the adjacent military training area were turned over to the Belgian Army, who controlled the area until 1 January 2006. Since then the Ordensburg Vogelsang has been open to the public.
Overview of the Buildings
- the entry area with gate and two towers (almost completed)
- the “House of Knowledge” (Haus des Wissens) (only the foundation walls completed)
- the “Community House” (Gemeinschaftshaus) with “Adlerhof” (literally translated: “eagle’s yard”), tower, east wing and west wing (completed, partly destroyed in the war)
- ten “Kameradschaftshäuser” (literally translated: comradeship-houses) for 50 pupils each (completed, partly destroyed in the war)
- four “Hundertschafthäuser” (literally translated: houses of group of one hundred) for 100 pupils each (completed)
- the Thingplatz as event stage (completed)
- sports facilities with tribune, gymnasium and indoor swimming pool (completed)
- the torch bearer (Feuermal Fackelträger) (completed)
- the “House of female employees” (completed)
Source text: http://www.thirdreichruins.com/vogelsang.htm