Re: schwabe gymnasium query #lithuania
Schwabe's, as it was known, got to be thus named after its first
headmaster. This was Moshe Schwabe, a Classical scholar, Hebraist and
Zionist >from Germany, who was brought as a young man to Kovno to run the
school - I'm not sure whether he actually established it. After a few
successful years (the dates need checking) he headed off to Palestine,
where he became in due course Professor of Classics in the Hebrew
University and a distinguished epigrapher, who published, among other
things, the inscriptions of the Beth She'arim tombs. The school gained,
in the two decades of its existence (how poignantly short) a reputation
as the star in the firmament of the Hebrew medium gymnasia of Lithuania
(and of course such schools grew up, to a lesser extent, elsewhere
too), with a remarkably high standard of education across the board. I
once heard it called 'the Eton of Lithuania'! (so you should be very
proud!). the combination of expertise, dedication and passion
involved is extraordinary, when you the think that textbooks and
syllabuses had to be created in modern Hebrew >from scratch, and that
parents as well as pupils needed - and got - basic education in the
language. A famous alumna was the Israeli poetess Leah Goldberg.
One can visit the school's last building in Kovno. It has been a
Lithuanian nursery school in recent times and it now has a plaque on it.
There were several alumni reunions in Israel during the eighties and
nineties. But apologies if all this is familiar territory.
The story of the school is told, in a series of essays, in a Hebrew
volume called Heikhal She-shakah (A Shrine That Has Sunk - or better,
perhaps, The Lost Shrine), ed. J. Jablokovski, Tel Aviv, 1962. This has
photographs, testimonies etc. I am contemplating re-telling it, in the
first instance for the Litvak SIG website. I'd welcome views as to
whether this would be of interest. A translation of the book is also
something to consider.
Prof Tessa Rajak
London and Oxford, UK
I attended Schwabe gymnasium in Kovno (Kaunas), as did many other. Inever
knew what that name "Schwabe" meant. Obviously it was named aftersomebody.
Who was that person?