November 14th, 2019

1920s-1940s German Education System

Setting: Germany, 1920s-1940s

Scenario: A female character is born to a middle or upper class family in Germany c. 1916-1918. (I’m not sure yet where she’s from, but if it makes a difference for early education, I’m thinking about Berlin, Bonn, or somewhere in Bavaria.) After her primary/secondary education she completes the university admission requirement of 6 months in the Reich Labor Service, then studies art history at Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin or the University of Bonn from the mid/late 1930s to early 1940s.

-What was the German education system at the primary/secondary level in the 1920s-1930s? Specifically what would be the path for a well-to-do girl who will eventually go to university? (Not looking for curriculum, just the actual age/grade structure.)

-What was the system at the university level in the 1930s-1940s? What were the degree types and how long did it take, for both undergrad and graduate programs? Specifics for the character’s situation would be a plus, but anything equivalent is great too.

-How did university education change under the Nazis and during WWII? I know some of the broad stuff (staff/students forced out, admission numbers for women fluctuated, admission requirements changed) and I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking for here, but just anything interesting that might be relevant to her situation.

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