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German Private School

Tsumeb | Namibia

Visitors to Tsumeb who visit the town's museum will know that the small inconspicuous building that informs of much of the town's history was initially a school. It is one of the few remaining buildings in Tsumeb that date back to the times of the German colonialists. The Official Gazette stated that the building was proclaimed a national monument because:

'This building was erected in 1915. It initially served as a school, later as a hospital and residential building and from 1975 as a museum'.

An initial sum of 3,000 Marks was donated by the Otavi Mining and Railway Company in 1913 with a further 15,000 Marks subsidy from the German Government. Work began in March 1915, only four months before the Germans surrendered control to the Union of South Africa. Construction was completed in June 1915 and it was used as a school before being taken over as a military hospital.

Classes resumed from 1st July 1920 and 10 years later class sizes had risen from 20 to 100. The building served as an education centre until 1950.

The German Private School Building, Tsumeb was officially proclaimed a national monument on 15th February 1990, 5 weeks before Namibia's Independence.

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