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New beginnings after World War II (page 2 of 3

Mittwoch, 24 November 2010


The new beginning of the education system in Brandenburg after the end of World War II was extremely difficult.

Many schools were destroyed and in rubble, including the buildings of the Saldria and the Lyceum.


To ensure the continuation of higher education, that is to say the Abitur (final college entrance exams), there were four different schools planned:


  • An Oberschule for boys on Wredowplatz
  • An Oberschule for girls, likewise on Wredowplatz
  • An Oberschle for boys at the Dom (Cathedral)
  •  An Oberschule for girls also at the Dom


The lessons took place even during the rebuilding period. The first Abitur was taken in 1947. In the following years, the schools mentioned experienced different changes. In 1949 the Oberschule for boys on Wredowplatz was renamed the "Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Oberschule". The cathedral school was renamed the "Pushkin School" at the same time.


The classes in the upper levels of both schools accomplished a certain degree of specialization. The A-classes learned modern languages, the B-classes studied scientific subjects, and the C-classes maintained the old languages.

These different educational paths were already in place at the Oberschule for boys on Wredowplatz, which had a "Mathematic and Natural Sciences Division".


As can be expected, the new social relationships were reflected in lesson contents and also in the choosing of themes for exams. Also, the evaluation of the character of the students was based on political conditions.


In 1951, there was no longer a separation of gender in the classes. From now on, boys and girls were taught in the same lessons.


At this time, the schools were renamed aged. The Oberschule for girls on Wredowplatz was integrated into the Goethe School. The Pushkin School was renamed The Theodor Neubauer School.


Thus two schools led to the Abitur test. Lessons were taught by the former teachers of the Saldria and Lyceum as well as new teachers trained in new teaching methods. The younger teachers hardly differed in age from the students.


The 1957-1958 school year was the last time the students at the Neubauer School could take the Abitur test. The students in the upper classes, as well as some of the teachers, transferred to the Goethe School. Therefore, in the city of Brandenburg there was only one educational institution where it was possible to take the Abitur. It remained this way until 1991.


In 1960 the system of a general education school was introduced and the Goethe School received a designation as an Extended Oberschule as it implemented these new ideas.


The upper level instruction lasted for two years at the beginning, however it was soon seen that a four year program was preferred. There was an experimentation with additional vocational training, but this was also ended after a short time since it had a negative effect on the overall achievement. At the beginning of the 1980s, special language classes were returned to the two year program. This was met with a general lack of interest and understanding. The number of students on track to take the Abitur in 1971 was up to 134.

With the fall of the GDR, the school system underwent another enormous change. The school system was restructured to include Grundschulen, Realschulen, Gesamtschulen, Gymnasien, und Oberstufzentren (elementary or primary schools, vocational schools, comprehensive schools, college preparatory high schools, and other upper level high schools). All school names were eliminated and the schools were numbered according to their school level or designated by their location.


The Gymnasium Neustadt was founded. Whether intended or adapted through local conditions, a confusing school history has an amazing conclusion:

The buildings of the Goethe School and the Neubauer school formed the foundation of the new Gymnasium. The faculty was composed of teachers from both schools.


In 1993, the school was given the name "von Saldern Gymnasium" as a recognition of the history.



  • Festschrift zur 400 Jahrfeier der Gründung des von Saldernschen Reform-Real-Gymnasiums mit Oberrealschule zu Brandenburg/Havel
  • Beiträge zur Geschichte der Saldria