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October 5, 2021, 09:01

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Photos of fifth grade students and teachers of the German school named after K. Liebknecht. 1926 year. Main Archive of Moscow

It was taught by native German speakers and high school teachers, and introduced experimental curricula.

The German school named after Karl Liebknecht appeared in Moscow in the early 1920s and existed until 1938. In the capital Glavarchiv preserved materials about the history of this educational institution, deposited by the teacher of the Russian language and literature Natalia Musienko, who for 10 years collected facts about the history of the school.

Most of the documents came to the teacher from the former students. Natalia Musienko was able to track down about 100 graduates living in Russia and 40 graduates living in Germany and Austria. Among the materials of the fund are letters with memories of teachers and their descendants, numerous photographs of both students with teachers and the school building. There is also a student record book, an attendance journal, diaries, letters and even a pioneer camp handwritten journal.

Until 1917, a lot of Germans lived in Russia, who were engaged in entrepreneurship or worked for hire in various fields. German clubs, schools, catering establishments were organized for them. After the 1917 revolution, when Moscow began accepting political emigrants from various countries, including Germany and Austria, the number of Germans increased. There were about eight thousand of them living in Moscow. To preserve their culture and language, the Germans collected the signatures needed to open a German school. The initiative was also supported by the German section of the People’s Commissariat of Education.

And already on March 15, 1924, the first students sat at the desks of the German labor school of the 1st stage No. 37 of the Sokolniki district. This educational institution became the sixth national school in Moscow, where Tatar, Armenian, Polish, Jewish and Latvian schools already existed at that time.

Since September 1924, the children studied in the third shift at school No. 63 on Meshchanskaya street. Then, in October 1925, the school moved to Bolshaya Spasskaya, and in the summer of 1932 – to Sadovaya-Spasskaya, where it began to share premises with the Anglo-American school. That year she received the name Karl Liebknecht.

Finally, in 1935, on the site of the Church of the Savior Not Made by Hands on Kropotkinskaya Street, which was destroyed in 1934, and renamed Prechistenka Street in 1990, a building was built specially for a German school.

The training took place in German. However, among the students were not only Germans, but also Jews, Russians, Hungarians, Italians, Finns and Japanese.

The educational institution was considered prestigious, because the teaching here was conducted by higher school teachers, many of them were native speakers of the German language and political emigrants who graduated from European universities. In addition, the educational institution introduced various educational programs, including experimental ones.

At the German school named after Karl Liebknecht, they also took care of the summer holidays for children. Summer pioneer camps worked at the school: one was located near Kaluga, on the Oka, and the other in Anapa.

In the early 1930s, teachers were arrested at the school, and later the director, and party workers took their places. In the fall of 1936, four more teachers and 40 parents of students were arrested. In December 1937, a decision was made “to recognize the existence of special national schools on the territory of the respective republics as harmful.” And in January 1938, Karl Liebknecht Secondary School No. 54 was closed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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