20. SEPTEMBER 2021 KÄTHE DASSLER REALSCHULE PLUS PIRMASENS (PART 1)
Pirmasens in September 2021. Now it's official: Kirchberg Realschule Plus will now be called "Käthe Dassler Realschule Plus”. The businesswoman at the helm of the adidas Group has the most significant connection to the school's new mission statement; explains principal Jeanette Kriwy, "My special thanks go above all to Sigrid Dassler, who has stood by us in word and action. Starting with the approval of the name change, the provision of pictures, film and sound recordings, family recipes, documents, and self-authored writings. Without her, none of this would have been possible."
In the future, the school wants to bear Käthe Dassler's name because of its focus on sports and social life. A permanent exhibition will be set up in the building, dedicated to the life and work of Käthe Dassler. In recent months, the students and teachers have created beautiful projects to showcase her life story.
Episode 1: Excerpts from the principal's speech at the naming ceremony.
Jeanette Kriwy: "Everyone entering our school today will have noticed our new logo on the facade."
Why a new name at this time?
Those of you who have been in the fortunate situation of being able to name your child know about the problems involved. Every suggestion is commented on and picked apart by everyone.
The situation is similar when you set out to name a school. In the case of one's child, all one must do is consult with one's partner and family in the best-case scenario. Here, however, 400 students and, perhaps even worse, 36 teachers and members of the overall conference want, should, and must participate.
But we were lucky! After suggested names over a longer period such as: Europa, Otto Strobel, Pirminius, Rheinberger, Heinrich Bürkel, Landgravine Caroline, the suggestion Käthe Dassler came from one class. This name quickly became the favorite of the school community and was adopted by an overwhelming majority.
Why Käthe Dassler? Who was Käthe Dassler?
Käthe Dassler was born in Pirmasens on July 17, 1917, the daughter of Franz and Katharina (née Schauer) Martz. At that time, her parents lived on Winzler Straße, 1.2 kilometers from our school. They moved a few times before Käthe left Pirmasens. Their moves included Fahrstraße in the Winzler quarter, Lembergerstraße, and finally, a house in Pestalozzistraße, where Franz Martz had his workshop. Her father, Franz Martz, was a well-known shoe modeler, also called the doctor for lasts, who taught at the “German College of Footwear Design and Technology” “Technical College for Shoes” shoe school. He also worked as the plant manager of the "Schuhleistenfabrik Schmitt & Co."
Käthe first attended the Wittelsbach elementary school and later the girls' academy, today's Hugo Ball Gymnasium, which was then in Alleestraße.
At the age of 15, the bright, cheerful Käthe met an attractive and ambitious young entrepreneur from Herzogenaurach, who was putting the finishing touches on his shoe manufacturing skills at the shoe school in Pirmasens. Adi Dassler was in close contact with his teacher Franz Martz and exchanged development ideas for shoe lasts. Käthe and her sister Marianne were responsible for running errands for their father and Adi, and this is how the two met in November 1932. Slowly a romantic relationship developed. After all, Adi was 17 years older than Käthe.
In April 1933, Adi proposed to Käthe, and their engagement lasted until March 1934. On March 17, 1934, the two were married in the old town hall in Pirmasens, after which Käthe moved to Herzogenaurach.
She was a modern manager:
Mother of five children.
Wife of an inventor who always had her husband's back.
Hostess and organizer of an ever-growing household.
She was “The Boss” in the company who concentrated on foreign customers.
Käthe Dassler was a very modern and emancipated power-woman for her time.
Due to her open, friendly, and charming Palatine manner, Käthe was popular with all business associates and contributed significantly to making the company stronger, better known, and larger, becoming a globally recognized and respected enterprise. She was highly valued and respected as a reliable business partner. Despite these enormous tasks, she always had a big heart and an open ear for her employees. She was always present and accepting of the concerns of others.
Despite all its internationality, adidas had many economic links with the shoe metropolis of Pirmasens, her original home. For example, the Brill company in Pirmasens supplied the spike bands, and the Keck chemical company, which developed the screen printing inks for the adidas footballs. And of course, the Framas company, founded by her father Franz Martz, which to this day closely accompanies the development of innovative sports shoes with its knowledge base for sport-shoe components and works the adidas company as a supplier.
On her 65th birthday, Käthe Dassler was celebrated as an honorary citizen of the city of Herzogenaurach, and in 1982 she received the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
At the age of 67, on December 31, 1984, she succumbed to a heart condition, leaving a considerable gap in the company and among her surviving relatives.
Now our school is getting her name. Why Käthe Dassler in particular?
There were many economic ties to our region, from which Pirmasens and the Southwest Palatinate also benefited economically.
She also attached great importance to creating a family-oriented company policy, which included caring for her employees and their concerns, just as we do with the students entrusted to our care.
She showed outstanding social commitment to charitable organizations, schools, and sports clubs throughout her life.
Of course, we also dealt with the topic of National Socialism, and it became clear from several sources that she never joined the NSDAP.
Käthe Dassler was a strong, courageous, fair, kind, cosmopolitan, emancipated, and modest woman. All virtues that we also want to pass on to our students.
"Our school community has been intensively studying Käthe Dassler for some time. The more we learned about her as a person, the more certain we felt about our choice. Not only because she was an extraordinary woman but also because of her connection to our local history. We are proud that we can now bear the name Käthe Dassler Realschule plus Pirmasens.