Elisabeth von Thadden as Headmistress
In 1927, Elisabeth von Thadden fulfilled her wish to establish a boarding school on a distinctively Christian foundation. She commenced operation of her school in Wieblingen Castle, near Heidelberg, at Easter. A registered association named the “Protestant Rural Boarding School for Girls, Wieblingen Castle” was established in 1928. Its affiliation with the Inner Mission and the regional church of Baden were a priority for the association and its board. Thadden’s curriculum was oriented less toward Salem’s socially progressive concept than toward Protestant beliefs. Education producing a clear Protestant consciousness was foremost.
When war broke out in 1939, Thadden was concerned about her pupils and the school because of their proximity to the French border. What is more, the Rural Boarding School was supposed to be confiscated as a field hospital. She therefore relocated part of the boarding school to Hotel Simson in Tutzing on Lake Starnberg in the fall.
There, denunciation by a pupil, the daughter of the “leader of the local National Socialist Women's League”, landed her in the sights of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs and Gestapo. Inquiries and interrogations increased. When the Bavarian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs had revoked the permit for lodging guests in Bavaria on February 26, 1941, Thadden returned to Baden in April. A decree from the Baden Ministry of Education of May 14, 1941 put an end to her school for good. She was forbidden to run the Rural Boarding School since this educational venture did not provide reasonable assurance of an education for young people geared toward National Socialism.
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- © Archive of the Elisabeth von Thadden-Schule, Heidelberg-Wieblingen