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Small slate and wood blackboard used by a student in Nazi Germany

Object | Accession Number: 1990.45.2

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    Small slate and wood blackboard used by a student in Nazi Germany


    Brief Narrative
    Wood-framed slate blackboard used by a student in Germany before and during the Holocaust. Slate blackboards were made from thin sheets of slate stone and were used to complete schoolwork before the widespread use of paper. Students originally wrote with slate pencils, made from softer stone, but later switched to soft chalk. After Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933, the Nazi authorities passed new laws that dictated who could teach and be educated in the German school system. Quotas restricting the number of Jewish students who could attend public schools were established. Under the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service Act, Jewish teachers or ones considered “politically unreliable” were purged from schools, and Nazi Party membership was compulsory for all remaining teachers. At the entrance to school, students had to lift their arms and say, “Heil Hitler!” School curriculum was changed to emphasize sports, history, and racial science with the purpose of indoctrinating students with Nazi ideology. Subjects such as religion became less important, and were eventually removed from the curriculum altogether. Any textbooks used to educate students had to be approved by the party. Censors removed books that did not meet these standards from the classroom, and introduced new textbooks that taught students militarism, racism, antisemitism, obedience to state authority, and love for Hitler. Instruction aimed to produce race-conscious, obedient Germans who would be willing to die for the Führer and Fatherland. Nordic and other “Aryan” races were glorified, while Jews and other peoples were deemed inferior.
    manufacture:  approximately 1925
    use: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Schulmuseum Berlin.
    front, bottom, stamped : STE[illegible] / 4

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Blackboards (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Small, rectangular, black, slate chalkboard within a brown, wooden frame with rounded corners. The front of the board is gridded with 16 horizontal and 32 vertical engraved lines. The reverse has 32 evenly spaced, horizontal engraved lines. A small hole is centered in the right side of the frame. On the left side is a small stamped circle with an image of a small bird inside and small text around the interior edge of the circle. The markings are so faded they cannot be accurately distinguished. An "A" is scratched on the lower left of the slate, and there are scratches throughout on both sides. The bottom of the frame has light blue staining at the center. There is slight white staining around the edges where the board meets the wood.
    overall: Height: 7.375 inches (18.733 cm) | Width: 10.625 inches (26.988 cm) | Depth: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm)
    overall : slate, wood, ink, pencil
    back, lower left, scratched : A
    back, bottom right, frame, handwritten, pencil : SM/SchM 87/403
    back, left edge of frame, handwritten, ink : SM/SchM 87/403

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The blackboard was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990 by the Schulmuseum Berlin.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 22:05:38
    This page:

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