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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Science - History of Education

Research

Dissertation project

 

Between Sudetenland-Nationalism and Reich-Identity. The German-speaking school system in the Reichsgau Sudetenland 1938-45

Subject of this dissertation project is the German-language school system in the Reichsgau Sudetenland between 1938 and the end of the war in 1945. Special attention will be given to the examination of the school system‘s function as an element of identity formation. In Czechoslovakia, the Sudeten Germans had developed a distinct "legitimation literature", which was intended to transfigure them as particularly brave fighters for "Germanism" in contrast to the Reich Germans. As a result of this specific identity construction, the NS-school policy did not solely execute centrally given guidelines but did also consider the specific local circumstances. In this respect, the status of the German-speaking population, who were previously just perceived as a minority, now gained tremendous importance in its new political role. For the first time, this dissertation analyses the administrative apparatuses as well as the school reality of the German-speaking school system in the Reichsgau Sudetenland and potential tensions between Reich-identity and regional identity.