"It looked as if the building had been abandoned in a hurry", says janitor markus pistor during a tour of the old school. Cups were still on the desk in the teachers’ room, books on the shelves. The movable furniture has been disposed of in the meantime. At the moment, the employees of recyclinghof koob from hildburghausen are busy with the professional disposal of ripboard& co. Employed. Then the old schmeilsdorf school, built in 1965, is demolished.
Until its closure, the school, which belonged to the former fassoldshof youth center, was full of life. Countless young women studied there to become housekeepers or hairdressers. In addition to classrooms, the school also had a kitchen and a gym. At that time, the schmeilsdorf house was purely a girls’ home. The youngsters were housed a few kilometers away in fassoldshof.
A lot has happened since then. Since 1988, the residential area has no longer been reserved for female residents alone, but is now home to people with disabilities who are cared for by the rummelsberger diakonie. The school building was still used for teaching purposes by fassoldshof for a while.
But even that was about a decade ago. Since then, the school has been closed. The ravages of time gnawed at the roof, rainwater dripped through the ceiling into the gymnasium and classrooms.
"They were partially under water", janitor pistor describes the conditions in the vacant building. The black mold stains on the walls of the gymnasium’s gym room are visible proof of his words.
"The building’s condition was no longer up to date and it was no longer possible to refurbish the building – neither for school nor for other purposes", explains regional director fritz glock of the schmeilsdorf house.
Therefore, the decision was made to demolish the former school. "Before all that’s left is a ruined building that tempts one or two people to do stupid things …", glock explains another background.
The reconstruction started two weeks ago. In the meantime, all movable inventory has been removed from the school and disposed of properly. The demolition should go over the stage in the next few weeks, be completed by the end of september.
What is to happen to the land that has become vacant has not yet been decided. Glock already had one wish – and speaks on behalf of the employees: "if parking spaces were added there, it would significantly improve our situation here. Because places are really scarce."
One person who worked at the schmeilsdorf school for many years is theo waldmann. The hairdresser is still proud of the girls he trained in his own hairdressing salon. "All the apprentices passed their exams", he says with pride in his voice and adds with a smile: "provided the girls haven’t run away."
Because his hairdresser apprentices came from difficult backgrounds and were not housed in the girls’ home belonging to the fassoldshof youth center for nothing.
In the school next to the dormitory, the young women could learn various trades: that of ladies’ tailor, industrial seamstress, housekeeper and hairdresser. The school is now being torn down – and with it many memories.
Theo waldmann – now 82 – has equipped many girls with the handicraft tools for their future. Even two of his apprentices were best in their guild, says the master hairdresser, who still remembers the beginnings in schmeilsdorf very clearly.
"I was recommended to the jugendheimstatte as a trainer, had many customers who worked at the fassoldshof and came to me in my salon in neudrossenfeld."
At 1. September 1974 was the start
On 1. September 1974 was his first day in schmeilsdorf. "There I started with the hairdressing salon from scratch. It developed well, we even made a profit," he says looking back, he looks back.
He has only good words for his apprentices at the time: "the girls were not all difficult to raise, but 90 percent of them came from failed marriages. They were standing on the road and did not know where to go."
No wonder that the girls saw him not only as an instructor, but also as a sturdy substitute for a father. "They were also able to talk to me about problems and confided more private information to me than to the teachers."
Theo waldmann ran the hair salon in schmeilsdorf for around 15 years – until the girls’ home was closed in 1988.
After that, he worked as a caregiver for people with disabilities – a job that also fulfilled him. "I will go the same way again", he says looking back.