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Barškiai Elementary School
The elementary school was established in 1837. It is unclear as to who was the first teacher, but earliest records show that Heinrich Gottfried Siedeberg was transferred from Klaipėda to teach in the school in 1841. He was a pupil of the Iława Seminary. His documents indicated that he was Lithuanian and that he was the son of a guard.
In 1854, Siedeberg was replaced by Ernest Heinrich Schultz, an alumnus of the same seminary, who graduated in 1852. Unfortunately, the pedagogue fell ill with cholera after just one year of work in the school. His students escorted the late teacher to the cemetery.
In 1868, August Ferdinand Haack took over as the new teacher. He was born into a German family of teachers, hailing from Znamensk.
The Barškiai Village was growing rapidly in the second half of the 19th century. Since it was really close to the eastern border of Klaipėda, the school was not capable of housing the ever growing number of students and required bigger premises. As requested, the new and bigger buildings were constructed in 1890.
The number of students never stopped growing, so a second teacher was hired in 1903. Two forms, constituting approximately 60 students, were established in the school and existed until the end of World War II. Lessons were conducted in German, despite the fact that the majority of the inhabitants within the vicinity were Lithuanians. In 1905, out 77 of 117 registered inhabitants spoke Lithuanian in their households.
The Barškiai Elementary School played a significant role in history. In the beginning of January, 1923, a group of soldiers was housed in the building. This and another military unit from the nearby Ginduliai village were waiting for the order to attack the French, who have settled in Klaipėda. The green light was granted to the soldiers on the night of January 14th leading into the 15th.
Following World War II, the Soviet regime was established in the region. The school in Barškiai was reopened and 20 to 25 students attended it on a regular basis. However, the school was shut down when the number of inhabitants dwindled. The school still exists, but it has been converted into a residential building.
Submitted: Bachmano dvaro bendruomenė
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