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German Educational Reconstruction (GER): War and Peace

Introduction to the German Educational Reconstruction (GER) archive

Resources in the collection relating to education, war and peace

This is the Archive's central collection relating to the impact of the Second World War on German educationists, and the reconstruction of education post-1945. Archive catalogues can be difficult to navigate, so here we have compiled some of the main themes of the collection to enable access.  However, the whole collection will be relevant to any research on this subject.

  • Understanding the organisation: to get a better understanding of what the GER was, who they represented and their philosophy start with the central administrative papers, bulletins and reports. For the full list click here
  • Help Schemes: the GER includes a number of post-war schemes, including: encouraging British people to help German Prisoners of War, the repatriation of German educationist, training for social workers, and the collection of books to be sent to Germany. For the full list click here
  • Exchanges & Visits:  one of the GER's central roles was to organise a range of exchanges between Britain and Germany. Such exchanges could be for particular groups (e.g. drama, football), activities (e.g. harvest camps), exchange holidays, or information gathering visits made by German educationists from as early as 1947. For the full list click here.
  • Correspondence: a substantial part of the collection comprises correspondence files between a large number of people. The catalogue includes the names of all those who wrote to the GER, so a simple name search on the catalogue is the best way to find any items that may be in the collection.

How this collection has been used by our researchers

The GER collection can support a range of research subjects, and is always a popular collection amongst readers. Recently it has been used to research:

  • The work of the GER's sister organisation in Bonn
  • British role in the reconstruction of Germany after the Second World War
  • Educationist Alex Bloom and the experience of one German teacher who met him during one of the GER's study visits
  • Transnational connections between historians in West Germany in the 1940s and 1950s

Subject Guide

You may also be interested in...

Our guide on post-war reconstruction

S H Wood collection, a co-founder of the GER, comprising letters from various individuals written on his retirement (RefNo SHW).