During the 1930s, Europe saw the emergence of fascism and National Socialism. Initially, some of these authoritarian ideas were applauded by both secular and denominational educational authorities. At the beginning of the 1940s, however, several Western European countries were attacked and subsequently occupied by a German government, which considered education an important means of gaining public acceptance. As a result of the cultural and political German supremacy, Catholic hopes for a “New Occident” soon swung into disappointment. After the occupation, the trauma of war and the burden of collaboration would result in a renewed attention for democratic education that served as a starting point for the reform of Catholic schools. This article is concerned with the ideological battle between National-Socialist and democratic educational authorities in Belgium during the war, on the one hand, and the ways in which the German occupation reverberated after the liberation in debates about educational reforms, on the other hand. By focusing on education, this article investigates and important element in the relation between war and the larger society and considers the function and use of education as a political tool for both wartime propaganda and post-war reconstruction.