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Origins of Marienau

Preserving Memories

The origins of Marienau began in 1923 in Gandersheim where Dr. Max Bondy and Dr. Gertrud Bondy founded a small school community. However, just six years later the school was moved to the Marienau estate where it became one of the boldest school experiments of that time. The Bondys’ success story was however interrupted by the rise of National Socialism and the accompanying discrimination which the Bondy family could only escape by emigrating.

Preserving Memories Image 1


The archives of the Marienau School are to be found in the Bondy-Haus, named after the founding family. This building was built in 1990 with the support of former pupils “in order to document and keep alive the work of the founding family and their successors”.

The design and operation of the school archives are directly related to these objectives i.e. the main concern is the collection, storage and security of documents related to the history of the school und their continuing indexation.


The current archive collections available in Marienau consist largely of supplementary documentation as a result of the particular circumstances of the Marienau history during the period of National Socialism.

Many of the original documents, especially from the time of the foundation of the school, were almost lost to us at Marienau due to the expulsion of the Jewish founders of the school. We are grateful to former students and the Bondy family who have just recently made them available to the school for research purposes.

It’s important to us that all periods of Marienau’s history are recorded and displayed and we are continually adding to the collection through our ongoing history workshop e.g. interviews with eye witnesses from the time, correspondence and communication with former students and staff.

The setting out of these memories in the “Marienau Echo”, a foundation project for students is a part of this work. As part of this project the students index and publish documents, for example “Morgensprachen Max Bondys” (preliminary work for publication of a collection of soldiers’ letters home), and stage exhibitions and documentaries on selected topics on Marienau school history. In the school’s project weeks, the history of the school very often becomes a part of these projects.

The archive works roughly in three steps i.e. the documentation, indexation and presentation of the school’s history. In this way, the school hopes to make its history accessible to students and everyone who has an interest in progressive education and its development at this school. Walter Dömmecke is responsible for the historical archive and his current work concentrates on the digitalisation of the archive materials.

Marienau School Archive

Walter Dömmecke
+49 (0)5851 - 941 43

90 Jahre Marienau

Werfen Sie hier einen Blick in die Broschüre zum Buch. Hier finden Sie auch Informationen zur Bestellung und Platzierung Ihrer Spende.


School's History

A brief summary of our history


Bondy Family Publication

A History of A Suppressed Form of Education (published 2012)

Bernhard Knoop Publication

The First 40 Years (published 2008)

Marienau Echo

A Change of Perspective: The 1940s In The Eyes of Marienau Students (published 2014)

90 Years of Marienau School

The Anniversary Chronicle (published 2020)

Our Alumni: Memories of a Wonderful Day

Video ansehen

As our students graduate from Marienau, so ends too a defining experience in their lives. At the same time, a new era begins full of new opportunities and challenges. As the gallery of graduation classes in the main building is not easily accessible we’ve put these wonderful memories of the last day of school here on the website. To read more about the Abitur 2021, please move to News

Slideshow Abitur 2021 Bilder: Thomas Ix













2011 12. Klasse

2011 13. Klasse