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In April in 1933, Dr Bernard Rust, Minister for Science, Education and Culture, set up the first of a number of special residential institutions to train the future Nazi elite.
They were termed National Political Education Institute [Nationalpoltische Erziehungsanstalt (NPEA)]. 3 schools were opened in 1933, 5 in 1934, 8 in 1935. Favorite locations were old Army cadet schools, requisitioned monasteries and refurbished castles.
The motto of the NPEA was "Mehr sein als scheinen" which translated means "Be modest but always excel". The training was designed to prepare the Nazi elite with the necessary skills and ideology to act as a leader in state departments or the Army.
Each school enrolled about 400 students, of which about only 100 students were successful. Education covered a strong academic curriculum with a strong emphasis on physical training. In addition to the political curriculum, instruction was given in marksmanship, boxing, horsemanship, sailing, gliding and military science. Age of students was from 10 to 18 years old.
Students were grouped in Army style companies and platoons with the teachers wearing uniforms and holding military style ranks.
Supervision of the NPEA (or NAPOLA) school system was placed in the hands of the SS after which loyalty to Himmler was a compulsory requirement of all tutors.
Female students were admitted into the NPEA in 1941 with the foundation of the first all girl school. 3 NPEA schools were established in occupied countries for the Nazi education of Nordic non-German youths.
The leaders and instructors for the school system were taken from the ranks of the SS and SA.
Daggers were introduced under the SS management as part of uniform wear.
The number of institutions continued to expand and stood at 40 in 1945.
Main manufacturers for the NPEA dagger were Carl Eickhorn and Max Weyersberg although they seldomly had the makers mark on the blade. More commonly they bore the daggers distributor trade mark of Karl Burgsmuller of Berlin.
NPEA daggers remained property of the school and were normally on loan to students being returned upon completion of their studies. Each dagger was stamped on the cross guard with the NPEA establishment number and an inventory number.
N = Naumberg/Saale NPEA School