Sep Ruf’s Nazi buildings in Allach

1930s,architecture,education,munich,tradition — Benedikt @ 2:01 pm

Volksschule Allach (Sep Ruf, 1936-40)

This ensemble of buildings from the late 1930s in Munich-Allach could be seen as Sep Ruf’s darkest hour. While his single-family houses in Gräfelfing and Lochham have many modernist details like cubist shapes, pronounced horizontal windows that seem like ribbon glazings and of course rounded balconies, his Allach buildings are as far from Sep Ruf’s other buildings as possible. The ensemble consists of a primary school (Volksschule) built from 1936 to 1940, a 1937/38 built hostel for the League of German Girls (Bund Deutscher Mädels), the female branch of the Nazi party youth movement, a nursery and the “Hochlandheim”, a Hitler Youth hostel (Hitlerjugend-Heim) from 1938/39 that even won prizes on an exhibition for Nazi architecture.

Volksschule Allach (Sep Ruf, 1936-40)

One could argue that the buildings might be a hint too little monumental for official Nazi buildings, that they have a few windows too much compared with other educational facilities of the late 1930s – but all in all these buildings are not modern and have nothing in common with the Sep Ruf of the 1950s that became one of the most internationally acclaimed architects in Germany. These buildings were built as physical manifestations of Nazi ideology. Perhaps the only way for Sep Ruf, who had not been a member of the National Socialist party, to stay in business. But still this is conformism. I find myself asking, what these buildings do to the children visiting the kindergarten and school today. Is democratic education possible in Nazi surroundings?

HJ-Heim "Hochlandheim" Allach (Sep Ruf, 1938/39)

BDM-Heim mit Kinderhort Allach (Sep Ruf, 1937/38)

BDM-Heim mit Kinderhort Allach (Sep Ruf, 1937/38)

Hochbunker an der Volksschule Allach (Sep Ruf)


1 Comment »

  1. Was surprised to recognize my elementary school in Allach which I attended from l948 to 1955. Looks a lot better now than it did then. Yes, Sep Ruf built this school during the Nazi era, what of it? Why does the commentator think this building doesn’t lend itself to democratic education? That building “didn’t do” anything to me and I imagine this is also true for today’s children attending this school.

    Comment by Ferdinand Utz — October 17, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

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