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In memoriam Izabela Kestler

The German tour of Stefan Zweig in the Land of the Future

Stefan Zweig State School

15 Decisive Months


Review: Serpa Pinto, the Ship of Destiny

Zweig-Segall Correspondence

A vast oeuvre, a dog called Kaspar and suicide at the age of 60

Stefan Zweig, bridge for a life

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caixa postal 50060
Rio de Janeiro/RJ - Brasil



Stefan Zweig, bridge for a life

"Everything began and was over too quickly, the year was 1975.
I used to be so introverted, frightened and shy, I didn’t want to enter that building, which looked so enormous.
There were so many staircases, corridors and classrooms and my sister, who always took me everywhere, although she was only three years older, said to me: “Follow the crowd, wherever the crowd goes, you go.” because I was so scared of getting lost and not having anyone familiar around.
And so I began 5th grade, and that year announced great changes in my life. I was studying at an enormous school, a high school.
A marvelous school, the teachers, “wow!” I had a teacher for each subject, not like at primary school, one teacher in the classroom the whole time, teaching everything, and I had French class!
And my friends? Many, a generation of fine healthy people, the boys with green eyes (green eyes were so rare in those days), we studied, talked and took part.
5th grade was just a bridge to my growth, I left childhood and became a pre-teen.
6th serious was amazing, I was now a teenager, my friendships were more intense. The “Stefan”, as we called the school, was my favorite place.
I used to study in the afternoons, but twice a week we had Physical Education classes in the morning, and I’d stay all day, which my mother didn’t like, but I always had some school work to do.
It was as if the school had a magnet which pulled us, like magic, life pulsating so intensely.
They were four formative years in my life, because my life was school, study and friends.
Being a state school, it had its faults, it’s shortcomings, but I think I was lucky to have good teachers, they were attentive and devoted.

I remember I had one subject – Music – I don’t know why we had that subject, no one learned to play an instrument or sing, but we did learn some things do to with music, and culture.
I’ll never forget our music teacher, “Luigi”, I don’t recall his surname, I think he was Italian, he had a different accent.
He was a rather eccentric character, but I can’t deny he had talent: he’d go through the street teaching the school fanfare with such effort and dedication and he composed s hymn, which all the students learned and sang, now sadly forgotten by the new generations.
I don’t know how for long the hymn was sung at the school, in any case Luigi died a few years after I left, but my brother, who attended at the same time, and I never forgot the words of the hymn and to this day sing it, to the dismay of my nephew who also studied there but never knew the hymn.