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It was supposed to be a counterbalance to the state universities with their "medieval character", the "Freie Hochschule", whose solemn foundation took place on 13 January 1902 in the Berlin Red Town Hall. The disrespectful words about the previous institutions of adult education came from one of the initiators, the writer Bruno Wille. Freedom seemed to be Wille's life theme, as he had been acting as publisher of the "Freethinker" for years and had not co-founded the "Freie Volksbühne Berlin" until 1900. The German initiative was based on the Scandinavian tradition, especially on its great teacher Nicolai Grundtvig. The educator had already founded the first community colleges in Denmark in 1844. The idea of ​​offering courses and courses for adults had different drivers. On the one hand, it was the general urge to learn, which was accompanied by the fact that in the course of industrialization non-academic strata had "free time" for the first time. This was increasingly joined by the aspirations of the working class. This direction also stems from the founding of Berlin.

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