Training Institute of the Deaf in Berlin Neukolln

The Training Institute of the Deaf in Berlin-Neukölln was founded in 1788 as a school for the deaf. Some German schools had been founded by educators trained in France by Abbé de l'Épée.[1] The common view at the time was that the deaf were uneducable; they were even feared and shunned. L’Épée's school, students, and disciples helped to change that view.[2] The Paris school, which had been founded by the Abbé Charles Michel de l'Épée in 1771, was using French Sign Language in combination with a set methodically developed signs.[3] During l’Épée's lifetime, many schools were founded throughout Europe that were modeled on his teaching methods. Other German schools, such as the institute, were founded on the principles and methods of Oralism. Oralism is the idea that the Deaf should learn to speak in order to appear normal with the non-Deaf world, it became predominate in German schools. In 1811, this school became a training institute for teachers.[4] Students from all over Prussia were sent here to receive training.

Berlin Neukölln

Pre Nazi-era edit

Deaf education before this time was at its peak. In 1926 there were seventy-three schools for the Deaf, seven-hundred and seven teachers of the Deaf, and six-thousand one-hundred and forty-nine documented Deaf students[5] Around the time of World War I, Germans began to embrace the eugenics movement. Eugenics sought to arrange reproduction within the human population to increase the occurrence of heritable characteristics regarded as desirable. Eugenics soon began to be taught in the curriculum at the institute, beginning with first-year students. Gotthold Lehmann, in 1924, added the following classes to the curriculum:

  • Eugenics
  • The science of human heredity and German race cultivation
  • Contemporary problems in the maintenance of public welfare (heredity, eugenics, sterilization, conservation)
  • The theory of heredity and race hygiene
  • Hereditary diseases
  • General studies of Deafness, the collaboration of the schools for the Deaf in the implementation of the Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases
  • Environment and hereditary predisposition
  • Views on race hygiene
  • The theory of human heredity as the basis for race hygiene[4]

Nazi era and the training of deaf teachers edit

Because of this new curriculum aligned with Nazi party ideals, The institute became the main facility for training teachers of the deaf. They incorporated the National Socialist Racial ideas like eugenics, the science of human heredity and German race cultivation.[4] It seems that the surviving existence of these schools were the only positive aspect within the Deaf community at this time. Unfortunately, reality proves that these exact schools were what funneled the Deaf towards their suffering. In fact, the teachers and administrators within these institutions were greatly responsible for informing on their Deaf students.[5]

References edit

  1. ^ Donna, Ryan; John, Schuchman (2002). Deaf People in Hitler's Europe. Gallaudet University Press. ISBN 9781563681325.
  2. ^ Lane, Harlan (1989). When the Mind Hears A History of the Deaf. Vintage Books. ISBN 0679720235.
  3. ^ "History of ASL". Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  4. ^ a b c Biesold, Horst (March 2004). Crying Hands. Gallaudet University Press. ISBN 1563682559.
  5. ^ a b Sternin, Grace (3 December 2010). "Deaf and The Holocaust". Retrieved 4 March 2020. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)