Französisches Gymnasium Berlin

The Französisches Gymnasium (French: Lycée français de Berlin) is a long-existing francophone gymnasium in Berlin, Germany. Traditionally, it is widely regarded as an elite high school. It is also the oldest public school in Berlin. Its creation was ordered by Frederick William of Brandenburg.[1][2][3]

Französisches Gymnasium
Lycée français de Berlin
Entrance on Derfflingerstraße
Derfflingerstr. 7, 10785 Berlin

Established1689; 334 years ago (1689)
Grades5 to 12
GenderAll genders
LanguageGerman and French

History edit

It was founded in 1689 by Frederick William's son 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.[4]

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.

Today edit

The school moved to its current building, in Berlin-Tiergarten, on Derfflingerstraße, not far from Nollendorfplatz in 1972, after it had been located in Berlin-Reinickendorf. It educates both German- and French-speaking pupils from francophone countries all over the world. Grades are from 5 to 12, with bilingual classes and teaching starting in grade 7. Other languages that are taught are English, Latin, Ancient Greek and Spanish. 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).

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. ^ Erich Auerbach, Edward W. Said, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Thought, Princeton University Press, 1953/2003, Introduction, p.X.
  2. ^ Klemens von Klemperer, Voyage Through the Twentieth Century: A Historian's Recollections and Reflections, Berghahn Books, 2009, p. 12.
  3. ^ Robert Doran, The Ethics of Theory: Philosophy, History, Literature, Bloomsbury, 2017, p. 216, note 31.
  4. ^ History Archived June 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (in German)

External links edit

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