Our Gymnasium was founded in the year 1938 by Max and Gustl Rill, when a school for girls was established in Reichersbeuern Castle. Since its foundation, the school feels itself obliged to admit children and young people who are at a disadvantage in terms of the respective contemporary political situation relating to education. Today this would, for example, involve the admission of children with special needs and children from disadvantaged social classes by means, for instance, of a reduction in fees.
For Max Rill it was a matter of course in the era of National Socialism to admit girls of mixed Jewish descent, that is, with one Jewish parent, girls who since 1942 had been strictly forbidden to attend a school and, despite this prohibition, to hide them from the Nazis. Formally, seen from the outside, Max Rill complied with the demands of the NSDAP. In the school itself, he wanted to enable the girls to gain enough inner poise to be able to form their own judgements.
In a speech on Parents‘ Day 1938 he reveals his tentative considerations on this matter:
“We want to strengthen our children through education, to give them poise. Since we do not have a particular stance in terms of a religious denomination, it is more difficult for us to assume a firm stance, to seek such a stance, and to obtain and achieve it. This is at the same time both unfavourable and favourable. I think the favourable element predominates. To strive after and to acquire such a stance has an extraordinary educational effect for children. A common ground of attitude, also the attempt to obtain a position and not the mere acceptance of what is given and of what is the rule. The children must realize that we do not know everything and cannot achieve everything.”
This quote is taken from the newly published chronicle “Schloss Reichersbeuern. Geschichte und Geschichten“ (p. 207), which our former head, Hermann Schmid, who worked at the school from 1985 – 2001, produced on its behalf.
Today, too, we are still groping and searching. We, the members of staff of the Max-Rill-Gymnasium want to show the children and young people ways forward, to help them to make the right decisions and to open up new perspectives in life for themselves.