Adolf Hitler Schule – prominent Nazis were educated in Jihlava
The only Nazi school outside the territory of the Third Reich stood in the Heulos Park in Jihlava. Here, young people were taught total devotion to the Nazi idea and to Adolf Hitler. The Adolf Hitler Schule emphasized languages, physical fitness and obedience.
Through the barred gates in Jihlava’s Heulos Park, the silhouette of the Germanic mansion that grew up here in the early 1940s under the Nazi regime shines through. We will not be able to get inside, but Ladislav Vilímek, a Jihlava archivist and historian, will take us there for a while in his memories and notes.
„Here were to be educated boys who would then administer the occupied territories. It is obvious that the Jihlava Nazis must have had very good contacts somewhere, because the other schools were in the Reich. There was only one school in the territory of the Protectorate here in Jihlava,“ says Ladislav Vilímek. The school was officially opened by the German State Minister for Bohemia and Moravia, Karl Hermann Frank, on 26 April 1944. The construction and subsequent operation of the school was taboo for the public. Everything took place in complete secrecy.
„The construction was strictly guarded and separated by barbed wire. SS troops and the German Protectorate Police were also involved. After the war, I corresponded with a nurse from the Jihlava orphanage. She remembered how she and her children sometimes got to the other side of the stream and how the guards chased them away,“ Vilímek says. The Germans selected prominent students from all over the Reich to attend the Adolf Hitler School in Jihlava. Here they were to prepare for their future professions. Almost no information has survived in the archives, but the teaching was probably similar at all schools. There was a strong emphasis on languages, physical fitness and obedience. There were also students who were partially proficient in Czech. They were destined to serve as commissioners in the Slavic countries.
Bizarre admission procedures
Ladislav Vilímek had been interested in the castle on Heulos for a long time. After 1989, he was one of the few people to visit the site – unfortunately, no photographs from that time have survived. „The washroom was under the roof. The boys always ran upstairs in the morning, had a quick rinse there and then ran around Heulos half naked. This corresponded to the Nazi system, which required good physical condition.“
Prospective students, of course, had to take entrance exams. But the main criterion was not knowledge. „For example, the committee opened a window and said, ‚jump out of the window.‘ Only those who lived by their devotion to the Nazi idea and Adolf Hitler almost jumped. Some even jumped, but the tarpaulin was supposedly ready at the bottom,“ Vilímek describes the bizarre admission procedure.
What will happen to the dam today is not clear at the moment. It is managed by the Interior Ministry, which occasionally houses students from the local police academy there. But most of the time it’s empty. Even the Jihlava municipality is not interested in buying it. Behind locked gates, Heulos has a mysterious atmosphere.