On 13 May 2022, Helen’s book The Third Reich’s Elite Schools: A History of the Napolas received an extremely favourable review in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s leading broadsheets.
Some highlights of Rüdiger Görner’s review:
“The Third Reich’s Elite Schools can lay claim to the status of a standard work… The book’s great merit lies in its abundance of meticulously researched case studies… At no point in her account does Roche indulge in moralisation or judgment, and that makes her investigation all the more nightmarish and impressive.”
The book has also received critical acclaim in the online humanities review journal Sehepunkte:
Jana Wolf writes:
‘The first comprehensive study of these National Socialist educational institutions…, founded on an impressive source base… Roche very effectively carves out the schools’ ambivalent relationship between tradition and innovation…
Overall, with her source-rich and interestingly-written total history of the NPEA, which includes countless individual case studies, Roche has not only achieved a weighty contribution to the history of education, but also offers beyond that vital insights into countless subjects of contemporary historical research, such as, for instance, the promising concept of the ‘Volksgemeinschaft’; polycratic institutional competition; the struggle over the inclusion of women in leadership roles; the significance of the church and hence the question of the interpretation of National Socialism as “political religion”; eugenics, as well as Germanisation policies and the construction of a New World Order.’