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Dagger National Political Educational Institute Nationalpoltische Erziehungsanstalt (NPEA)
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.
Dagger Information – NPEA 1935
In the first 4 years at an NPEA school, students wore the standard Hitler Youth knife. In 1935 a Holbein style dagger was introduced for older students between the age of 14 and 18 years.
The dagger was a much simpler design than the SA or SS dagger; being without insignia and having a plain brown wooden grip.
The steel scabbard was plain olive green in colour with no chape or top fittings and looked similar to a baynette scabbard. The scabbard was suspended vertically from a simple leather frog.
The blade had the NPEA motto “Mein sein als scheinen”. The hilt fittings were initially made from nickel silver, models after 1936 being made from aluminium.
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.
NPEA School ID
NPEA School ID Anhalt A
Plon Pl Backnang Ba
Potsdam P Bensberg B
Potsdam Grosses Waisenhouse PGW Berlin – Spandau Sp