- Kusel and Fritz -

 

Schoolyears 2

Progymnasium

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On September 18th 1941 Fritz Wunderlich started the Progymasium, which was located in Luitpoldstraße opposite the Evangelical City Church. Here for the first time music was taught as a subject. Dr. Julius Gerlach then senior teacher at the Gymnasium (High School) and later the Headmaster examined the school files on Fritz Wunderlich as a student. From the report presented for the change from the primary school, his sister Marianne quotes "a well tempered, companionable, very open assiduous young man" and underlined was his "agility and enthusiasm for sport as well as great comprehension. Apart from his imagination and being very articulate, his special inclination to music was noticed". (Marianne Decker: Fritz Wunderlich, Mein Bruder und ich.[My brother and I]. Fritz Wunderlich Collection at the Fritz Wunderlich Association, Kusel).

     
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In autumn 1944 teaching was more and more interrupted by air raids. Consequently the school was closed. Because of infestation of lice the whole interior from maps to the last exercise book had to be burnt in the school yard. Because of this unfortunately the school archives were lost. Shortly before the end of the war and even subsequently, former Russian and Polish prisoners of war were lodged at the Luitpold School.

     
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After the war in autumn 1945, after a break of almost one year, teaching commenced again in what had become a totally out of date building at Luitpoldstraße. The lack of teachers meant that not even half of the subjects could be taught. Fellow students realised that on Mondays Fritz was tired and the classes became a torture for him. The reason was probably the performances over the weekends where he played with dance bands at festivals and dances, to support the tight budget he and his mother lived on. The combination of sacrificing sleep on weekends and the lack of nutrition caused a health stress.So the report of the first year of the High School stated a long term illness of the "quite talented pupil".

     
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Meanwhile the German music scientist Dr. Joseph Müller-Blattau had arrived in Kusel. He taught German in the class of Fritz Wunderlich. It must have been a fantastic class. This teacher had also built up a Choir and School Orchestra. Fritz Wunderlich sang in this choir.

     

Education Academy


After he had completed grade seven, in 1948, Fritz Wunderlich left the Progymnasium and enrolled at the Education Academy at Landschaftstraße until he left for Freiburg in 1950. It was Professor Müller-Blattau who organised the place to study at Music High School, Freiburg im Breisgau and who gave him a certificate of approval on the way. The name of Professor Joseph Müller-Blattau was highly valued in the world of music scientists. The certificate was dated 28th February 1950.

   
 

Professor Emmerich Smola also met Fritz Wunderlich in autumn 1949 at rehearsals for the radio program "Hausmusik bei Zelter" (House music at Zelter's). The manuscript for this program had been written by Professor Joseph Müller-Blattau. Later Smola also advised young Fritz Wunderlich to go to Freiburg to study music.

The story of the discovery of the voice of Fritz Wunderlich falls into those poor post war years and is quite well known. So in summer 1950 his years of study in Kusel came to an end.*

     
* From : Die Luitpoldschule in Kusel
Geschichte und Geschichten - Ein Lesebuch

Published byVerein zur Förderung der Grundschule Kusel e.V.
Kusel 1998