Back to school for the classes of ’53

For the children living in Oberursel in 1953 who here six years old, 15th April was the day the remember as starting primary school.

Children living here now may well ask “which one?”, but there only was one primary school – the “Volksschule Mitte”, now called the “Grundschule Mitte” in the Schulstraße, and this served all of the children living between the border with Bommersheim and the Hohemark.

60 years later, and around 30 of those children – now aged 66 – returned to the school to visit their old classroom and to see how the school had changed.

The classes of 1953 at their reunion on the school steps

“I know that our classroom was on the left” one of the men said as they entered the second floor of the building, and soon they were standing in it comparing the modern seating to the benches that were once to be found there.

The reunion, organised by Dr. Christoph Müllerleile and Christel Brand was in fact a gathering of a school year made up of two different classes.  In the first four years at the school the boys and girls were segregated except for Religious Education, with around 50 in each class.

They were welcomed back to the school by the current Headmaster, Clemens Steden, who not only took them on a tour of the school but also pointed out the most recent changes, for where once the school garden and a playing field had been there is now a building offering lunch and a place to go in the afternoon for up to 105 pupils.

Down below, another new addition is the underground sports hall, although the “old” sports hall above ground has been kept to meet demands for additional sports classes until the new swimming pool opens in the town.

The school now has 12 classes, 3 per year, with a maximum of 25 children in each.  As a primary school it now only has pupils in years 1 to 4, but as a “Volksschule” it had more.  For a start there were the years 5 to 8, equivalent to a “Hauptschule” now.  At one end of the building, along the Eppsteiner Straße, there was also a “Realschule”.  Children going to the town’s grammar school left after their 4th year at the Volksschule, and some later switched to the newly built “Volksschule Nord”.

Many of those who had started school in 1953 still live in the town or nearby, but some had come from further afield and not only had the school changed in that time, but the town as well.  “How long have you had the U-Bahn here?” one person asked, commenting that on their last visit the tram line 24 had still been in operation and the station names had been different.

By the time the tour was over the sun had come out and the group were able to move on to their next location and compare how the “Jahnstuben” in the Korfstraße had changed and reminisce about old times.

(Click to enlarge)


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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