Erich Schönebeck

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Erich Schönebeck (born December 28, 1884 in Berlin , † 1982 ) was a German educator and writer.


Schönebeck studied German, Classical Philology and Philosophy. In 1910 he received his doctorate with the thesis "Tieck und Solger". phil. In 1913 his pedagogical career began with stints at various Berlin high schools, although this was interrupted by military service from 1915 to 1916. From 1917 to 1923 he was a teacher at the Köllnisches Gymnasium in Berlin and from 1923 to 1925 he was a senior teacher and director of a state reform high school in Holzminden . In 1925 he returned to Berlin and took over as senior director of the Andreas-Gymnasium in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain. Schönebeck, who had been a member of the Association of Resolute School Reformers since 1919 , joined the SPD in 1923 and was also a member of the Working Group of Social Democratic Teachers , joined the German Peace Society in 1925 . As an educator, he was committed to modern principles of education. In 1931 he was appointed chairman of the test center for textbooks in German teaching.

In the Berlin branch of the German Peace Society, Schönebeck temporarily held the office of 1st chairman. He became known to a wider public when in 1928 he branded the behavior of the SPD leadership on the battleship issue as electoral fraud and referred to the “ Vorwärts ” in this context as a “joke sheet”. His departure from the DFG in 1930 is probably due to the deep organizational and political crisis of the German peace movement at the time. After the National Socialists came to power , Schönebeck lost his position as school director and all other offices in May 1933. Since then he has been dependent on private lessons. In 1944 he got a job as a research assistant at the Albrecht-Dürer-Haus publishing house in Berlin . After the war ended, he returned to his old position in May 1945 as head of the Andreas High School. When the SED was formed in 1946 in the eastern part of Berlin under Soviet pressure from the KPD and parts of the SPD, Schönebeck was one of the Social Democrats who remained loyal to their party. He ended his membership in the SPD in 1948. When he reached the age of 66, he resigned from his post as headmaster at the end of 1950, but continued to teach at the Gray Monastery until 1952 . From 1948 on he was a lecturer for German methodology at the pedagogical faculty of the Humboldt University , later for Middle and Old High German as well as Middle and Neo-Latin at the German Institute of this university, an activity which he continued until he was 87 years old.

Literary work

As a young man Schönebeck was already active in literature. His often essayistic works were primarily educational, philosophical or literary. In old age he also dared to write stories, novellas and novels, most of which were devoted to interesting phases in the life of people of intellectual or historical importance, such as Kant , ETA Hoffmann , Galileo Galilei or Klopstock . His 1966 novel “And on Earth Tschingis-Chan”, which was published several times, was successful. The novel about the cruel world conqueror Genghis Khan ends with a commitment to pacifism, which is unusually clear for GDR literature of the time .


  • Johannes Hus. A drama in five acts. 1908
  • Strindberg as an educator. (= Decided School Reform Volume 3), Verlag Ernst Oldenburg, Berlin 1922
  • Europe's dance of death (speech), Holzminden 1924
  • Immanuel. A story about the young Kant. Lorch / Württ. and Stuttgart 1946
  • The dangerous flea. A novella about ETA Hoffmann's last days. Berlin 1953
  • Galileo Galilei. Berlin 1958
  • And Chinggis Khan on earth. Leipzig 1966
  • Klopstock travels to Zurich. Berlin 1969.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Berlin (Hermann Blankes Spezialdruckerei for dissertations) 1910, 87 pp.
  2. “Die Welt am Abend” from September 26, 1928.