Jaroslav Šůla, Sorbian School System in Northern Czechia after World War II

The Sorbs used to study in Czechia since 15th century. Especially in 19th century the majority of Catholic intelligentsia used to study in Prague. After the fall of the Nazi regime in 1945, school system in Lusatia was nonexistent. The help came from Czechoslovakia. On 2nd December 1945 the first Sorbian gymnasium opened in Czeska Lipa. Its teachers consisted of Czechs and Sorbs (among whom was the linguist - Mikławš Krječmar PhD). The students consisted of Catholics and Protestants coming from Lower but mostly Upper, Lusatia. The gymnasium conducted various courses, but was also a home of municipal school. The files found in the archives contain the names of the students, records of their progress but also their afterschool activities. Gymnasium in Czeska Lipa was moved to Varnsdorf on 1st January 1947, and later to Liberec. Sorbian students were warmly welcomed by the Czechs, however, after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic and partial establishment of Sorbian school system, The Sorbs could no longer study in Czechoslovakia. The graduates of Czech schools put the knowledge they gained during their studies to good use and later became the pillars of emerging Sorbian intelligentsia. From the opinions they were expressing after the years one may draw a conclusion that they were very glad for the time they spent in Czech schools as well as for the help from the Czech government during the times of the worst Lusatian suffering. It is estimated that a few hundreds of Sorbian students studied in Northern Czechoslovakia.