Französisches Gymnasium Berlin

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Französisches Gymnasium
Lycée français de Berlin
FranzGymnasium2.jpg
Entrance on Derfflingerstraße
Location
Derfflingerstr. 7, 10785 Berlin
Germany
Information
Type Gymnasium
Established 1689
Website

The Französisches Gymnasium (French: Lycée français de Berlin) is a long-existing francophone gymnasium in Berlin, Germany.

History[edit]

It was founded in 1689 by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg for the children of the Huguenot families who had settled in Brandenburg-Prussia by his invitation, being persecuted for their Protestant beliefs in the Catholic Kingdom of France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV in October 1685. Its first headmaster was the French jurist Charles Ancillon from Metz.

Original site of the Französisches Gymnasium on Niederlagstraße, Berlin-Mitte

Since its foundation, the school has had an almost continuous history, occupying several buildings in Berlin. In the beginning, the faculty comprised Huguenot refugees only and the language of education was French. The school soon was attended also by numerous German children of school fee paying Prussian nobles and officials, and developed into an elite school.

In the course of the Prussian reforms, the Collège Français became a common public school in 1809. In view of the growing numbers of pupils, it moved into a larger building built on Reichstagsufer in the Dorotheenstadt quarter in 1873. The school was attended by an above-average number of Jewish pupils, who under the Nazi regime — like Jewish teachers — were harassed and finally excluded in 1938. However, despite all nationalist efforts, the French language remained the medium of teaching. After 1943 the school was evacuated from Berlin and the historic school building on Reichstagsufer was destroyed in 1945.[1]

After the war, the school moved to the Wedding district in the French sector of what was to become West Berlin. In 1952 the Französisches Gymnasium — Collège Français Berlin was re-established by merging the traditional Huguenot school with the Berlin collège of the French Armed Forces.

Several of its pupils (though not all graduated) became prominent in later life, among them the poet Adalbert von Chamisso, the authors Maximilian Harden and Kurt Tucholsky, the engineer Walter Dornberger and the resistance fighter Adam von Trott zu Solz, the songwriters Reinhard Mey and Ulrich Roski, as well as political scientist Gesine Schwan, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 2009.

The school today[edit]

The school moved to its current building in Berlin-Tiergartenon Derfflingerstraße not far from Nollendorfplatz in 1972, having been located in Berlin-Reinickendorf before. It educates both German- and French-speaking pupils from francophone countries all over the world. Grades are from 5 to 12, bilingual classes and teaching starting in grade 7. Other taught languages are English, Latin, Ancient Greek and Spanish. The pupils can graduate with either of two diplomas (though many Germans pass both): the Abitur (German high school diploma) and the Baccalauréat (French high school diploma).

On June 15, 2002, a gang of ex-pupils burglarized the school, vandalizing many facilities and stealing electronic equipment to sell in the street. The damage was estimated at 100,000 euros. Their motivation was apparently vengeance for their problems at the school, since they also destroyed personal belongings of the teachers.

Memorial plaque at the former site on Reichstagsufer

Notable people[edit]

Faculty and staff[edit]

Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

German international schools in France:

References[edit]

  1. ^ History Archived June 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. (German)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°30′12″N 13°21′20″E / 52.50333°N 13.35556°E / 52.50333; 13.35556