Rupert Egenberger

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Rupert Egenberger (* 29. December 1877 in Obergermaringen ; † 3. May 1959 in Bad Tolz ) was a German special - / remedial teacher .

Rupert Egenberger's tomb
Rupert Egenberger's personal dedication to his work "The Pure Child's Achievement"; archived in the Ida-Seele archive
From 1923 to 1935 Rupert Egenbeger was the co-editor of the "Zeitschrift für Kinderforschung"; archived in the Ida-Seele archive

Life and scientific-educational work

Rupert Valentin August Egenberger was the first of two sons of the teacher Rupert Egenberger and his wife Wilhelmine, nee. Gouge skirt. He spent most of his youth in Thalfingen near Ulm on the Danube. In later years he liked to talk about life in the village, fishing in the Danube, hunting in the open fields, walks to the nearby Elchingen monastery and the adventurous carriage ride to Neu-Ulm , the border town to the then Kingdom of Württemberg. The young man followed his father and also took up the job of school man. He completed his studies in Lauingen / Donau, at the teacher training institute there, and also at the universities in Munich (among others with Theodor Lipps and Georg Kerschensteiner ) and in Leipzig (among others with Wilhelm Wundt ). At the universities mentioned he took the subjects of psychology, psychiatry, physiology and speech medicine. Subsequently, he was particularly interested in the auxiliary school system and he fought vehemently to ensure that the “speaking, reading, writing, arithmetic or movement-impaired auxiliary students” were not seen as “idiots”. From autumn 1902 he taught on behalf of Georg Kerschensteiner in the first auxiliary school class he opened in Munich , which was housed in a barrack on Bergmannstrasse and was attended by children of various disabilities. In 1911 he was elected first chairman of the auxiliary schools section of the Munich teachers' association and from 1918 chaired the main association of auxiliary schools in Germany. In addition, Egenberger was appointed first chairman of the Society for Curative Education in 1922 , which he co-founded. He was also co-editor (1923–1935) of the magazine for children's research . As head of the one-year state curative education courses for the training of (then) auxiliary school teachers (the first one-year course took place in Munich in 1922/23), he passed on his well-founded specialist knowledge to this group of people. One of his students was Gustav Lesemann , who after 1945 granted his curative education activities during the Nazi dictatorship general absolution, in which he stylized it as "a rescue work".

Egenberger was not a member of the NSDAP. Since July 1, 1934, he was a member of the NSLB . From 1933 until his retirement in 1942 he was director of the Munich Schwindschule. It was bombed out towards the end of the Second World War. He then moved to Wörleschwang (near Zusmarshausen ), where his wife came from. In his new home, the pensioner performed organist services in the parish church and the neighboring pilgrimage church of St. Michael in Violau .

In 1949 he founded the Joseph Haas Society . This foundation was not just for the friend he had met at the teachers' seminar in Lauingen an der Donau, but also for him as a cultural worker. In this regard, Egenberger wrote: The need to found societies to promote the art of a great man is not a hobby, but a service to culture .

In 1952 he moved to Jachenau near Lenggries . Rupert Egenberger spent his old age here and found his final resting place there. After a long and serious illness, he died in Bad Tölz hospital .

Rupert Egenberger was married to Rosa Strödel (* 4.5.1879, +26.10.1965) since 1902. The marriage had two children, a daughter and a son.

The auxiliary school teacher and remedial teacher was active as a journalist, mostly in specialist journals, and also wrote basic writings such as “Psychic Failure” (1913) and “The Learning Disabled and Low-Performing School Child” (1932). His comprehensive textbook "Heilpädagogik", still a standard work of special / curative education, appeared in 1958. Within the special / curative education literature, Egenberger used the term "handicap" for the first time, which he did not define and rather in the sense of " Damage "was needed. With his scientific research, Egenberger is considered a pioneer in education for mentally handicapped children, auxiliary school education, special / curative education in general.

Criticism of his work

The social elites of the Weimar Republic "were anti-democratic, the loyalty of their civil servants was largely due to the monarchy". Egenberger was also no friend of the Weimar Republic and its political innovations, including in the field of auxiliary school education. At a meeting in 1922 he condemned “the revolutionary forces as psychopaths and the insane”. He commented on the training of auxiliary school teachers as follows:

The last few years have proven that psychopathic inferiorities can be the greatest evil in public life. Many illogically thinking screamers and agitators, the uninhibited and unscrupulous, the shipwrecked and incapable of survival, the educated, the unwilling, traitors of all kinds largely belong to the category of psychopaths ... They are that part of the population that thinks of itself apart from the rest of society; they are that part which is most easily exposed to decay, namely the economic as well as the moral and spiritual. We have enough evidence that the long and often mentioned degeneration is widespread and in some cases has tried to take over the lead in public and social life. Let us only think of those many wavering people who had no solid ground under their feet and could not show political, moral, national or civic reliability.

So far it is hardly known that the highly praised pioneer of special / curative education also expressed himself negatively about the "feeble-minded" and auxiliary pupils, called them a "class of the superfluous", spoke of the "inferiority of fellow citizens" who a " Ulcer on the national body "would be. And he further warned that a whole "people ... are regressing to a low type of man". can:

Care - according to Rupert Egenberger - also means devotion to the prevention of racial deterioration, to the use of the “capital of people's power”, and the establishment of a holy law that commands the prevention of the spread of inferiority.

According to Egenberger, in the interests of the national economy, for example, the “inferior” auxiliary school children should not be excluded from the work process. They may not be as consumers and devourer of wages of other forces apart, but they have along-ape. However, they should not be used for work that requires high skill ... or high quality raw material . As a result, Egenberger demanded: Let's turn the auxiliary school children into newspaper carriers, messenger boys, and unskilled workers. Logically, Ellger-Rüttgardt writes that Egenberger is one of the special / curative educators who primarily propagates the availability of auxiliary students for non-educational purposes - on the other hand, the idea of ​​overcoming the auxiliary student status with the help of a professional qualification almost completely neglects. The founder of disability care , Konrad Biesalski , commented on the idea of ​​economizing disability care as follows:

The cripple should become employable, in short, a charity recipient should become a taxpayer, a parasitic person a productive, and an unsocial person a social member of human society. If this succeeds through adequate welfare institutions, many millions of people who serve to support disabled cripples are freed up for other purposes, and just as many millions [...] are earned anew through the work of the disabled cripples.

Concerning the special education training of the teachers, Egenberger took the view that the establishment of special education schools "had to be based on the matter". Happy is a people who do not need such institutions, because they testify to the health of a people, that they feel in good time and instinctively that they are taking measures against racial deterioration and racial camouflage and defends itself with all means. If there are already tens or hundreds of thousands of degenerate or inferior people in our people, after one cannot eliminate the inferior ones oneself, there is only the possibility to fight with bitter seriousness the effects of inferiority and further contamination through curative educational means . It is shocking that the highly praised curative pedagogue claims the necessity of curative pedagogical training as a practical obligation and justifies it with arguments based on racial hygiene . On this, the educational scientist Manfred Berger :

Essential basic elements of his ... language (were) at that time ideological consensus and at the same time also part of the racial hygiene paradigm .

Awards / honors

For his achievements, the "pioneer of curative education in Bavaria" was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit in 1954 . Streets in Munich and Obergermaringen are named after him, as are special schools in Bavaria , in Amberg , Bad Aibling , Höchberg , Neu-Ulm and Unterschleißheim . These names are questioned because of Rupert Egenberger's racial hygiene formulations.

Works (selection)

  • Mental failures. Langensalza 1913.
  • The pure child's performance. Langensalza 1914.
  • The social and educational importance of the auxiliary school. In: Die Hilfsschule 1919, pp. 132–150
  • The training of curative teachers. In: Hans Goeppert (Ed.): Report on the first congress for curative education in Munich. Berlin 1923, pp. 79-87.
  • The learning handicapped and poorly performing school child. Langensalza 1932.
  • Curative education. Munich 1958.


  • Michael Atzesberger : Rupert Egenberger 1877-1959. School reformer - curative teacher - teacher guide - scientist. Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1971.
  • Sieglind Ellger-Rüttgardt : The auxiliary school teacher. Social history of a group of teachers. Weinheim / Basel 1980
  • Manfred Berger : Rupert Egenberger. His life and work. In: 2008 / H. 2, pp. 27-30.
  • Rupert Egenberger on his 80th birthday. In: Joseph Haas : Speeches and essays. B. Schott's Sons, Mainz 1964, pp. 134-136.
  • Dagmar Hänsel : The Nazi period as an asset for auxiliary school teachers , Bad Heilbrunn 2006.
  • Dagmar Hänsel: Special school teacher training under National Socialism , Bad Heilbrunn 2014.

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Hansel 2006
  2. , see note 5
  3. ^ Atzesberger: Rupert Egenberger 1877-1959. School reformer - curative teacher - teacher guide - scientist. Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1971, p. 49 f.
  4. Longerich 1995, p. 354.
  5. Ellger-Rüttgardt 1980, p. 157
  6. Egenberger 1922, p. 181
  7. Egenberger 1919 p. 133 and 148 f
  8. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from October 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , P. 5 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Quotation from Ellger-Rüttgardt 1980, p. 266
  10. Quotation from Ellger-Rüttgardt 1980, p. 267
  11. Ellger-Rüttgardt 1980, p. 268
  12. Konrad Bieslski: Dealing with and nature of juvenile crippling and care for cripples in Germany according to the official census made by the federal government , Verlag Leopold Voss, Hamburg / Leipzig 1909
  13. Egenberger 1923, p. 87
  14. Egenberger 1923, p. 87
  15. Hansel 2014, p. 46
  16. Manfred Berger, Rupert Egenberger - His life and work ( Memento of the original from September 26, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: , 2008 / H 2, pp. 27–30. Retrieved August 14, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

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