History of the Jewish grammar school Jawne in Cologne (1919 – 1942)
On April 1st, Dr. Erich Klibansky takes over as head of the Jawne, which will receive its first sixth form classes this year. The school is now called “Privates jüdisches Reformrealgymnasium mit Realschule für Knaben und Mädchen” (“Private Jewish Reform Grammar School with Secondary Modern School for Boys and Girls”) and has 149 pupils.
By now 224 pupils attend the Jawne. The first pupils receive their high school diploma.
Some weeks after the National Socialists come to power, the “Statute on the Overcrowding of German Schools and Universities” is passed on April 25, limiting new admissions of Jewish pupils to schools and universities to 1.5 percent.
Following a decree of the Reich Ministry of Education issued on September 10th concerning the “racial separation in public schools,” more and more Jewish students are being forced to leave their schools even in Cologne. As more and more families decide to emigrate, there is great fluctuation in the classes. Increasingly, children and young people from Bonn, Wuppertal, Düsseldorf or the Ruhr Valley also attend the Jawne.
With 423 students, the Jawne reaches its peak level of children and young people learning there this year. A new English-speaking graduating class is intended to prepare for the entrance examination to British universities.
In the pogroms of November 9 and 10, the buildings at St.-Apern-Strasse 29-31 are also devastated. Among the approximately 800 Jewish men arrested by the Gestapo in Cologne and deported to the Dachau concentration camp are also teachers of the Jawne. With a decree of November 15, all Jewish children and young people who still attend state schools are expelled from there. The high school diplomas of Jewish secondary schools are now only recognized abroad.
At the end of March, 163 children and young people are still visiting the Jawne. Between January and July, about 130 students are able to leave for England on transports organized by principal Erich Klibansky.
In October, the former municipal Jewish elementary school Lützowstraße, which was last housed in Löwengasse, also has to move to the school building on St.-Apern-Strasse.
The Jawne as a “high school” is closed down. For a short time the pupils are transferred to the elementary school, then the entire school operation is finally closed. In the fall, deportations begin for the Cologne Jews as well – the last stage of persecution; escape is no longer possible.
A decree issued by the Reich Ministry of Education on June 30 forbids any further teaching for Jewish students. Like all other Jewish schools, the Jawne is finally closed on July 1.