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Location DB > Germany > Nordrhein-Westfalen > Hostert > St. Josefsheim Waldniel & Kent English School
 Name
St. Josefsheim Waldniel & Kent English School
 Viewing Options
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 Database Info
created by yokes on 7/5/2008 4:28 PM
last modified by Emperor Wang on 5/20/2021 10:35 PM
 Viewability
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
 Overview
 Description

 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Easy - It's a memorial park now
Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
 Physical Information
Address
Eschenrath 8, 41366 Schwalmtal
Hostert, Nordrhein-Westfalen
Germany
Owner:
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
     Interesting Features
    Beautiful church. Not much else, really.
     Security Measures
     Historical Dates
    Built: 1913
    Closed: 1992
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment

     History
    In summary it seems the Kent School site at Hostert was originally established by monks in the 14th Century. It is unclear quite when the first buildings were erected. The Order of the Franciscans of the Holy Cross from Waldbreitbach/Wied arrived in 1909 and started their ministry in Waldniel Hostert. Their activity ended 1937 due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

    The Franciscans looked after over 600 male patients, mostly mentally handicapped, those with learning disabilities and physically handicapped. The inhabitants worked, according to their abilities, on the farm and in the numerous workshops. This was clearly a commercial success as St. Josefsheim became self-sufficient. The centre also had a choir, band and theatre group which resulted in it becoming a highly esteemed cultural centre in the municipality.

    The National Socialists (Nazis) moved to systematically weaken the role of the Catholic Church throughout Germany. They achieved this by introducing an avalanche of rules and regulations from 1935 to 1937. As a result the Order had to pay high fines because of "violations" of foreign exchange regulations. Then several monks in the "Koblenzer brotherhood" were condemned because of alleged indecent assaults. Also the State refused to help finance the running of Waldniel Hostert and as a consequence the Order had to declare bankruptcy. The last of the brothers left the house on 23rd May 1937.

    The National Socialists set about their New Order which questioned certain groups of people's right to life. First "only" the mentally handicapped were sterilised, then by the outbreak of the war Berlin brought their "euthanasia program" into effect, which resulted in the death of over 200,000 people.

    In order to hide any trace of this process, people selected by the medical profession were shifted first to distant institutes, where they were then murdered (e.g. in Hadamar, Limburg or in occupied Poland and Chechnya).

    For the Institute, now renamed the "Waldniel Institution", at least 30 children were murdered through the National Socialist euthanasia programme. In total, more than 500 "patients" died. Another 1,044 people were transported to other institutions where many of them died. These were the site's darkest days.

    In 1952 the expropriation of all properties of the Franciscan Order by the Nazis was cancelled. Although the brotherhood could now redeem Hostert (at an appropriate price) the feeling was they would not be able to lead the St. Josefsheim community as before, so they sold the buildings to the newly-formed German federation.

    In 1952 the Allies rented the institute in Waldniel Hostert, initially for use as a military hospital.

    In 1963 Queens School was bursting at the seams and it was clear another school was required in the area. Wegberg was established to offer better hospital facilities so the Hostert site converted into a school.

    The redevelopment work included a gymnasium and swimming pool. To the right of the original buildings a cemetery and a large bus park were built, and on the left homes for British soldier families were built in 1967. During the redevelopment work human bones were discoverd - remains of the patients who died at the institute between 1939 and 1945.

    At the height of it's time as a school it had around 6,000 pupils attending. Interestingly, the school got nicknamed "Colditz", not due to it's wartime past but to it's gothic looking buildings sited high on a hill - so that could be clearly seen as you arrived on those lovely military tin can buses!

    Due to the general reduction of the Allies military engagment in Germany, Waldniel Hostert was no longer required and so the authorities offered the real estate for purchase. Schwalmtal made two of the buildings that were part of the original complex listed buildings and so protected from being demolished. There have been many proposals, including a catering company using the former church and the following administrative block. The latest thinking is a hotel.

    In 2000 the site was purchased by an investor from Duesseldorf. We wait to see what happens.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans

     Stories


    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    lopix was around
    Tue, Jul 1st, 2008
    posted by lopix
    4 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    yokes stops by
    Sat, Jul 5th, 2008
    posted by yokes
    7 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Kent School 2008/2009
    Thu, Jul 16th, 2009
    posted by Jascha_400D
    23 pictures
     


    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links
    http://www.faceboo...php?gid=4205935111 - Facebook group for students with a lot of historical pictures

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_School,_Hostert

    https://www.waldniel-hostert.de/
     Contribute

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     Moderator Rating
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     Validation
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 5/20/2021 10:36 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on May 20 21 at 22:36, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on May 20 21 at 22:35, Emperor Wang changed the following: Web Links
  • on May 20 21 at 20:33, fr00tCake changed the following: Street Address, Latitude, Longitude, Co-ordinate Accuracy, History, Year Built, Year Closed, Status, Accessibility, Recommendation, Security Measures, Web Links
  • on Dec 28 10 at 17:11, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Dec 24 10 at 21:51, IIVQ changed the following: Web Links
  • on Nov 20 09 at 18:33, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Nov 20 09 at 16:43, lopix swapped pictures 1 and 2
  • on Nov 20 09 at 16:43, lopix swapped pictures 2 and 3
  • on Nov 20 09 at 16:43, lopix added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Nov 20 09 at 16:43, lopix updated gallery lopix was around
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