„After a period following inflation when more money was made available for education, there are now cuts across the board. Ford gets by with 75 percent untrained workers. So why invest further in the school system? We cannot afford this luxury anymore. [...] In the fight between city and state, which is now being fought on a financial level, the greatest pressure is put on the economically weakest, unproductive link - the school administration.“
Fritz Ausländer, Rettet die Schule! (Save our schools!), 1927
Fritz Ausländer, son of a merchant, became a member of the SPD as a student in Königsberg. In 1908 he gained a doctorate with a thesis on Prussian history. He started teaching the same year. From 1914 to 1915, he fought in the First World War. He befriended Karl Liebknecht and co-founded the revolutionary Gruppe Internationale and Spartacus group on his return from the front. In 1920, he took a post as a teacher at the Luisenstädtisches Gymnasium secondary school in Prenzlauer Berg. At the same time, he was a KPD functionary and a leading member of an interest group for teachers in opposition. In 1924, he was elected secretary of the Reichsfraktion, an association of communist teachers. In the same year, he started working at the Köllnisches Gymnasium, an experimental school which prepared pupils with seven years of primary education for the Abitur leaving certificate in six years and taught methods of democratic self-government. These school reforms came under intense attack and were pushed through with great difficulty against the conservative Prussian administration. In 1927, Ausländer published Rettet die Schule! Der schwarzblaue Block und die proletarische Abwehrfront (Save our schools: The black-blue block and the proletarian defence front) against this background. In 1928, he was elected to the Prussian state parliament. He was not nominated by the KPD in the next election in 1932 because he had protested against its ultra-left-wing course and Stalinist direction. Party members like him were pejoratively dubbed appeasers. He left the KPD. On 28.2.1933, the night of the Reichstag fire, he was arrested and taken initially to Sonnenburg concentration camp, then Oranienburg concentration camp and later to the Emsland camps. He was dismissed from his teaching position with effect from 1.9.1933 on the grounds that he had been employed as a party member official without having the correct training or qualifications. He was no longer eligible for his pension. On his release from detention, Ausländer earned a living for himself and his family by writing addresses and later by working as a foreign correspondent for the Deutsche Buchgemeinschaft. He was arrested again when the war began in 1939 and detained in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. On 30.10.1939 he was taken to the Gestapo headquarters for questioning. After trying to commit suicide, he was released from Sachsenhausen at Christmas 1939. In May 1943, in anticipation of being arrested again, he succeeded in committing suicide.
Fritz Ausländer was a municipal councillor 1926 – 1928 (KPD)