What was education like in Nazi German occupied Europe?

I know that education in Nazi Germany itself was heavily censored and controlled by the state but what was it Like in the regions occupied by the Nazis such as northern France and Poland? I’m particularly interested in what pre university education was like for the people in the occupied regions.


Hi Amber Farmer,

Great question and a heartfelt welcome to the forum. Should there be any queries let me/us know and we can help.



Here is a link to a paper/article in a historical magazine about WW2 education in the Netherlands largely also about pre uni.

In short it was quite horrible. Books were banned. Many teachers were replaced by party loyalists which were non-professionals and (what I heard tried to indoctrinate kids). Also there was much more time for physical training and less intellectual. Lots of school buildings were willfully destroyed. Worst of were the persecuted. First there were separated Jewish schools which were closed later when after the schoolchildren and teacher had been sent to the deathcamps. (With a small number in hiding).

This quote tells it all:
"Jewish children and youth were not spared from deportation. In what
has become known as the ‘children’s shipment,’ in May 1943, some
'[sixteen thousand children were loaded in the cars. Where children were
under 4 years of age their mothers were sent along, and either the father or
the mother with children of 4 to 16 years of age, but never both …"
See page 340.

This illustrates that the German occupational Government instituted maximum sadism when emptying schools. On parent stayed grieving alone and the other was sent to a horrible death with his/her children. As for non-Jewish, they were being prepared to become (child) soldiers for the Reich)