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Students from the Goldschmidt School carry a long table outside.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 60488

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    Students from the Goldschmidt School carry a long table outside.
    Students from the Goldschmidt School carry a long table outside.


    Students from the Goldschmidt School carry a long table outside.
    Circa 1936 - 1937
    Folkestone, [Kent] England
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Gertrud Thompson
    Event History
    The Goldschmidt School was a private, co-educational Jewish school in Berlin founded by Dr. Leonore Goldschmidt in 1935 to provide a tranquil environment for Jewish students who were being forced out of the public school system by the Nazi regime, to continue their education and prepare for emigration. Goldschmidt (1897-1983) was a German Jewish school teacher who had taught both in England and Germany. Following her dismissal from her teaching post at the Sophie-Charlotte school in Berlin in April 1933, Goldschmidt taught at the private Jewish Waldschule Grunewald run by Toni Lessler on the Hagenstrasse. On May 1, 1935 she opened her own school in rented quarters on the Kronberger Strasse. Her lawyer husband, Ernst Goldschmidt, served as its chief administrator. Soon after opening, the school was moved to a large villa on the Hohenzollerndamm Strasse in Berlin-Grunewald that had been built by the Roseneck-Terraingesellschaft in the early 1920s. The school eventually expanded to include four buildings located on Hohenzollerndamm 102 and 105-110 and Berkaer Strasse 31. The buildings were elegant mansions with wide halls and tall windows that were surrounded by expansive lawns. The enrollment grew quickly, numbering more than 500 students at the height of its operation in 1937. Almost all the children were the sons and daughters of upper or upper middle class professionals and businessmen, whose families had lived in Germany for generations. Few of the students were either ardent Zionists or Orthodox Jews. In February 1937 the school was authorized to give the English matriculation exam to its students, which allowed those who passed it to continue their studies in Cambridge, England, thereby improving their chances of emigration to England or the United States. Many students fled Germany during the four years of the school's existence, and almost all escaped the Final Solution. On the morning after the Kristallnacht pogrom the Goldschmidt school was threatened by a mob of Hitler Youth. Goldschmidt defused the situation by transferring legal ownership of the school to one of the British teachers and ordering the Union Jack hoisted atop the building. The students were led quietly out the back of the building in shifts and told to return in three days after the situation had quieted down. While the school reopened, it no longer remained a tranquil retreat, and the students had to endure constant heckling from members of the Hitler Youth who took up a permanent post outside the school. On December 8, 1938 the school's application to sell the Roseneck property was rejected by the city of Berlin. The following spring, on April 19, 1939, the Roseneck complex was taken over by the SS and the remaining students were moved back to the Kronberger Strasse site. After Goldschmidt's emigration to England in 1939 the school was run by one of its teachers, Dr. Kurt Lewent, until it was closed on November 30 of that year.

    [Sources: Wyden, Peter. "Stella." Doubleday, NY, 1993, pp.25-7; 41-5; 66-9; "Juedische Privatschule von Dr. Leonore Goldschmidt Wirkungsstaette." (23 June 2004)]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Gertrud Thompson
    Source Record ID: Collections: 2005.484

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    Record last modified:
    2015-08-18 00:00:00
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