An Ordensburg (plural in German: Ordensburgen) was a fortress built by crusading German military orders during the Middle Ages. "Ordensburg" was also used during Nazi Germany to refer to training schools for Nazi leaders.
Medieval Ordensburgen Edit
The Ordensburgen were originally constructed by the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Brothers of the Sword (merged into the Teutonic Knights in 1237) to fortify territory in Prussia and Livonia against the pagan aboriginals. Later, Ordensburgen were used to defend against Poland and Lithuania.
Notable medieval Ordensburgen Edit
NS-Ordensburgen (National Socialist Germany) Edit
The term Ordensburg was later applied to four schools developed for elite Nazi military ranks. There were strict requirements for admission to the school. Junker candidates had to be aged between 25 and 30 years old, belong to either the Nazi Party, the Hitler Youth, the Sturmabteilung, or the Schutzstaffel, be physically completely healthy, and be pure-blooded with no hereditary defects.
The schools themselves were typically stark, modern structures with extensive facilities. Vogelsang, for instance, reportedly contained the world's largest gymnasium at the time. Each student attended all four institutions in sequence, for specialty training, finishing in Marienburg for training that included live-fire military exercises.
The three institutions for education of political leaders were:
- Ordensburg Vogelsang in North Rhine-Westphalia
- Ordensburg Sonthofen in Bavaria, Allgäu, built 1934 and was used by Germany's Bundeswehr until end of 2007.
- Ordensburg Krössinsee in Pomerania