The political transformation of 1989 also brought about the collapse of the Trade Union College of the Free German Trade Union Federation (FDGB) in Bernau-Waldfrieden, which up until then had been unimaginable. Only six months after the opening of the Berlin Wall, on the 60th anniversary of the opening day of the Trade Union School, the association baudenkmal bundesschule bernau e. V. was founded, whose initiators included renowned architects, historians, engineers, art scholars, and journalists from Germany and abroad. From then on, the association sought to ensure the preservation of this unique ensemble of Bauhaus works.
The first modest projects began: door panels, fittings, and the floor were renovated in accordance with historical preservation guidelines. Out of concern for the original building materials, the association, under the leadership of members Friedrich Karl Borck and Volker Rumberg, developed a plan for the restoration and partial reconstruction of the architectural monument, which had been entrusted to then-Minister President Manfred Stolpe and other important state authorities in 1992. When it became clear that the Professional School for Public Administration, Brandenburg (Fachhochschule für Öffentliche Verwaltung Brandenburg), whose courses were taught at the former Federal School, was to give up the location in 1998, the association drew attention to the dangers of continued vacancy and the resulting deterioration of the Federal School in a letter to the State Office for the Protection of Monuments. Subsequently, a monument preservation mandate was submitted, which, among other things, incorporated the 1992 renovation plan developed by the association. The committed efforts of the association in the context of the restoration were honored in 1997 with the Sponsorship Award for the Preservation of Historical Monuments of the State of Brandenburg (Förderpreis für Denkmalpflege des Landes Brandenburg) and in 2008 with the German Prize for Monument Protection (Deutscher Preis für Denkmalschutz), followed in 2015 by the Building Culture Prize of the State of Brandenburg (Baukulturpreis des Landes Brandenburg).
From 2007 onwards, the association devoted itself to the establishment of a foundation to benefit the preservation of and research into the former ADGB Trade Union School. On September 9, 2011, the founding ceremony of the “baudenkmal bundesschule bernau Foundation,” endowed with a trust of 1.83 million euros, finally took place. From then on, the investment proceeds could be used to finance important projects, such as the design for the outdoor facilities (2016–2018). On July 9, 2017, the UNESCO Commission in Krakow decided to include the Trade Union School in the existing World Heritage entry for the Bauhaus. Since then, this inclusion has also been visible in the title: "The Bauhaus and its sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau."
The headquarters of the association baudenkmal bundesschule bernau e. V. is located in one of the three teacher accommodation buildings belonging to the former ADGB Trade Union School at #9 Hannes-Meyer-Campus. Today members of the association work on a voluntary basis in the house where the first and long-standing director of the Federal Union College, Hermann Duncker, once lived. This apartment also houses the only bathroom within the teachers' houses that is still nearly in its original condition from 1930. This gives the location a double historical significance, bringing together the history of Bauhaus, the GDR, and the association.
baudenkmal bundesschule bernau e. V.
16321 Bernau bei Berlin
Phone: +49 3338 76 78 75
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