Burgstraße 27, Berlin, Germany
Adolph’s dream was simple – that everyone should have a good education, and a fair one. And that the state should provide it. Education was, and is, after all, the only way a man could better himself or improve his lot. ‘A man should be educated to become a human being,’ he said. It’s a philosophy to which Adolph dedicated his life. He started work as a teacher of Latin when he was just 21-years old in 1811. First in a school in Mannheim, and then in Frankfurt. In 1832, he was offered a new job as director of state-run teaching seminary in Berlin. He believed that education should be non-sectarian, that it should be free from the influence of religion and religious institutions. He also believed it should be free and available to those from every walk of life. And during his long career he worked hard to see those dreams made reality. ‘Learn to do by doing,’ he wrote in one of the 50 books he published. And Adolph is remembered to this day as a man who spent his life doing, who acted for what he believed. This statue by Berlin-born artist Robert Metzkes has stood in Berlin since 1990. It shows a bust of Adolph resting on a table where two youngsters are studying – geometry, by the looks of that set square. But Adolph’s real and lasting legacy is the human beings he created, and the human beings his reforms create to this day.