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Topic: The Kaiser: Education Reformer
Replies: 1   Last Post: Mar 27, 2009 9:58 AM

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Domenico Rosa

Posts: 2,675
Registered: 2/16/05
The Kaiser: Education Reformer
Posted: Mar 26, 2009 10:18 AM
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It is unfortunate that Kaiser William II is known only through the lingering, pernicious World War I propaganda.

A scanned copy of the Kaiser's "My Memoirs: 1878-1918," Cassell and Company (1922) is available at:

Chapter 7 is entitled "Science and Art," pp. 191-202, and opens with the following:

<<The broad and many-sided field the care of which devolved upon the Ministry of Public Worship and Instruction--embracing art, science, research, medical matters, etc.--always aroused my lively interest and enlisted my efforts on its behalf.
Special pleasure was afforded me by the development of the technical high school. The growing importance of technical matters drew increasing numbers of the ablest youths to institutions of learning of this description, and the achievements of the teachers and of the young engineers who graduated there constantly brought new laurels to the German name.>>

Does anyone know if "technical high school" refers to a school of engineering?

On p. 192, the Kaiser makes the following startling revelation:

<<Influenced by the achievements of the technical high schools and of such men as Slaby, Intze, etc., I resolved to give the high schools the same privilege of representation in the Prussian Upper House as was enjoyed by the universities. The universities, however, protested vehemently against this to the Minister of Public Worship and Instruction and there ensued a violent struggle against the classical-scientific arrogance of the savants, until I finally enforced my will by a decree. Slaby received the news from me by telegraph while he was delivering a lecture in his laboratory, and gave it to the students, who burst into wild cheers. The technical high schools have shown themselves worthy of the honour conferred upon them.>>

It is unfortunate that no political leader has been willing to confront the "arrogance of the savants" who have controlled our schools of education for many decades and who have a track record of abject failure.

On pp. 193-94, the Kaiser also describes how he confronted the theological "savants" who opposed Adolf von Harnack, a distinguished theologian and church historian.

<<I had to face a severe fight to get Professor Harnack to Berlin. The theologians of the Right and the "orthodox" section protested vehemently. ... I insisted upon the summoning of Harnack, and summoned he was.
Nowadays it is impossible to understand the opposition to him. What a man Harnack is! What an authoritative position he has won for himself in the thinking world!>>

More information on Harnack is at:

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