The Prussian Elementary Schools by Thomas Alexander

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Thomas Alexander
Forgotten Books
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Excerpt from The Prussian Elementary Schools

The following study of the Prussian elementary schools was made during the year and a half preceding the outbreak of the Great War. In setting forth the facts there has been little attempt to draw any conclusions. We believe, however, that a careful study of the Prussian school system will convince any imbiased reader that the Prussian citizen cannot be free to do and act for himself; that the Prussian is to a large measure enslaved through the medium of his school; that his learning, instead of making him his own master, forges the chain by which he is held in servitude; that the whole scheme of Prussian elementary education is shaped with the express purpose of making ninety-five out of every hundred citizens subservient to the ruling house and to the state.

The elementary schools of Prussia have been fashioned so as to make spiritual and intellectual slaves of the lower classes. The schools have been used almost exclusively to establish more firmly the Hohenzollern upon his throne. The present Emperor wrote in 1889: "We have thought for a long time of making use of the schools in combating the spread, of socialistic and communistic ideas... The schools must create in the youth the conviction that the doctrines of socialism are contrary not only to Gods decrees and Christian moral teaching, but in reality incapable of application and destructive both to the individual and the state. The schools ... must impress on the youth how Prussian kings have continually taken pains to better the conditions of the working class from the time of the legal reforms of Frederick the Great down until to-day."

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The Prussian Elementary Schools

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