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Hamburg's block letters

Grundschrift (base font, literally ground script) is a simplified form of handwriting adopted by Hamburg schools, and it is currently endorsed by the German National Primary Schoolteachers' Union.[1]

If nationally adopted, it would replace the three different German cursives currently being taught in schools: the Lateinische Ausgangsschrift (introduced in 1953), the Schulausgangsschrift (1968), and the Vereinfachte Ausgangsschrift (1969), providing a standardized system of handwriting in German school systems.[2]

Grundschrift letters are written separately as block letters as opposed to cursive script, in which letters are conjoined together in a flowing motion.


One of the most important critics of the Grundschrift is Ute Andresen. The former president of the German Society for Reading and Writing (1999 to 2002) argues that "children cannot teach themselves to write."[3] The introduction of the basic inscription would mean abolishing cursive handwriting. This is "putting a cultural technique at risk, the ability to write a common readable font ". Andresen contradicts in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung interview the statement of the Grundschulverband that the Grundschrift is a connected spelling. "That's wrong. The basic inscription is a modular font, which means the letters are juxtaposed."[4] Andresen is supported by the writer Cornelia Funke. "To master a non-cursive handwriting does not suffice as a script, in my opinion. It does not flow like cursive and is therefore much slower. A flowing script, on the other hand, promotes the flow of thought - and at the same time is so individual that one is completely at one's own."[5]

In a series of articles for the taz, Andresen already pointed out that learning a bound script is a fundamental learning process for every child. Failing to learn a script increases the risk of bad education. In this way, it occupies the position of Wilhelm Topsch against the Vereinfachte Ausgangsschrift. The Oldenburger education scientist has proven in 1996 that there were no other scientific reports for the introduction of these in the 1970s than those of their inventor Heinrich Grünewald.[6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Guardian - German teachers campaign to simplify handwriting in schools
  2. ^ Grundschrift - Schreibschrift: Verlust oder Gewinn?
  3. ^ - Schreibschrift stirbt aus
  4. ^ - Kinder können sich das Schreiben nicht selbst beibringen
  5. ^ - Die Handschrift soll Gedanken fliegen lassen
  6. ^ - Zurück zur guten Handschrift
  7. ^ - Gutachter, Lobbyisten und Autoren
  8. ^ Wilhelm Topsch: Das Ende einer Legende. Die vereinfachte Ausgangsschrift auf dem Prüfstand. Analyse empirischer Arbeiten zur vereinfachten Ausgangsschrift. Auer Verlag, Donauwörth 1996, ISBN 3-403-02855-0.