1863 - 1921 (58 years)
||Selly Grafenberg |
||12 Jan 1863
||On staff of Academy for Social Studies & Business Administartion which opened in 1901. Jewish staff was welcome at this institution. Member of Frankfurter Adler (Eagle) a service club with many Jewish members. |
Signatory to an advertisement in the local paper which attacked Zionism as a nationalistic movement. The 300 Jewish signatories maintained that the only difference between Jews and Christians was their belief. Zionism being .......................................... Vice Principal and Professor Selly Graefenberg Ph.D. died 17 August 1921
Prof. Selly Graefenberg who was suddenly taken from us on 17 August of this year, was born On 12 January 1863 in Adelebsen (province Hannover). He obtained his education at the Real-Gymnasium [a German high school that emphasizes modern rather than classical languages] in Goettingen and also attended the university there to study modern languages.
Extended stays in England, France and Spain served him to practice the languages of those countries. He established a particular liking for Spain's land and language to which he devoted the majority of his later scholarly activity. After temporary work at a private institute in Pforzheim, Graefenberg in 1891 came to Frankfurt/Main where he then worked as a teacher for nearly 30 years, first at the Philantropin, then at the Woehler Real - Gymnasium.
The start of his teaching activity fell into a period when this profession was overcrowded, so that he was promoted to senior teacher only in 1899. Already at the Woehler school he devoted the major portion of his effort to the commercial high school that was located there. At the founding of the Municipal Commercial Institute in 1903, the commercial department at Woehler was combined with the new school; Prof. Graefenberg transferred to it and therefore became its first and oldest teacher.
It is hard to summarize in a few words what he has meant to our school in these 18 years. He did not belong to the kind of teachers who just through force of personality pulled their students along, and therefore they mostly understood his importance only gradually. But quite soon most of them came to understand the sure hand, based on his solid knowledge and his excellent educational talent, with which he led them up the steep path that leads to the understanding of a foreign language. And he worked unceasingly and tried new ways to help the weaker students to overcome their difficulties.
He plowed deeply and often the seed sprouted only gradually but then it bore the more tasty fruit; time and again former students said that what one learns from Prof. Graefenberg "stays put". Much as he, himself, was filled with a deep feeling of duty, so he considered it an urgent task of his profession as a teacher to awake in his students a consciousness of duty in order to strengthen them for life's struggle. In the fight against superficiality and laziness he was severe, much as there was absolutely no weakness in him. And yet this man who took life so seriously was at heart an optimist; with his warm and good heart he saw and awakened in his students primarily their good qualities.
Therefore his teaching did not lack the spice of humour, even though it appeared subdued in him because of his serious view of life. It was his heart's delight that he was able to make practical use in our school of his rich knowledge of Spanish which he had deepened through repeated study trips; he found a further field for this at the Academy for Social and Commercial Sciences and later at the University where since 1902 he served as docent in Spanish.
His rich and fundamental knowledge, the moral seriousness of his view of life, the quiet and clear manner of his being assured for him among his colleagues the leadership that belonged to him as their oldest member, and these qualities facilitated for him the office of vice principal in which he served repeatedly and for long periods during the 18 years, particularly after the death of Director Voigt and during the two-year army service of the undersigned.
These qualities also made him a natural and tactful mediator between the faculty and school principal. Also his professional activity in the field of the English and Spanish languages has largely benefited the school, and beyond that he contributed his rich knowledge to newspapers and periodicals, in societies and scientific associations.
Thus this rich life did not lack honours and acknowledgment and - more important to him - the respect, veneration and love of his students and his colleagues. We received much from him, and therefore have lost much in him; his memory as well as the blessing of his teaching will remain with us. L a n g e n b e c k. The Melton School [Alumni] Association, too, has suffered an irreplaceable loss through the sudden death of Prof. Dr. Graefenberg.
Professor Graefenberg was one of those outstanding and exemplary pedagogues for whom the education of his students did not end when they left school. Not only did he prepare us during the school years for the demands of business life, but he saw it as his duty to stand by his former students as a man and friend in life in general. He wanted to be not only our teacher but also our advisor and friend. We knew this, and gladly accepted his fatherly and friendly advice for many years after leaving school. He often said with pride that he never forgot any of his many students. This love for his students they returned to him most cordially. It goes almost without saying that this man, with such an exalted view of life and profession, and in spite of the many other important commitments, was a true friend and collaborator.
For many years until his death he was a member of the governing council. He not only served as an advisor but gladly gave his valuable time to former students a practical manner. None of us will ever forget his loving collaboration in the war-time publication of the "Field Post". His deep friendship for his former students new no bounds. We will also never forget how his calming, cordial manner worked successfully in mediating differences of opinion.
To merge the two previous societies into the Melton School Association was his objective for many years, and is much to his credit. He was always ready to forgive, to help and to sacrifice. The name Graefenberg is most intimately linked with the history of the Merton School. We will forever be grateful for the memory of our dear teacher and friend. To express our grief about the dear departed we will aim to follow this rare human being and his high qualities. H e r z o g
Translated by Walter Halstead
||21 Tev 5623
||13 Ab 5681
||Professor Of Modern Languages |
||17 Aug 1921
||Frankfurt, Germany 
||3 Jan 2011 |
||At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.|
- [S95] Jewish Cemetery Database Project, Jewish Cemeteries in Germany.