Gudrun Frey

On 8 December 2009 senior teacher, retd. Gudrun Maria Frey succumbed to her cancer at the age of 80 years.

She was born in Nuremberg, 7 June 1929. Growing up in a family of teachers she cut her teeth on pedagogic talent. After graduating from university in English and Romance studies (Staatsexamen, German equivalent to Master of Education) she started to work as a teacher at the Wilhelm-Loehe-School Nuremberg in 1959. At her retirement her colleagues acknowledged her vitality and verve, huge expert knowledge, up-to-dateness and humour.

During her time as a teacher she especially cherished an exchange programme with schools in England and Scotland which involved a lot of possibilities for pupils from all age groups. Connections and experiences from two university years in London helped her doing it.

Her retirement coincided with the reunification of Germany. She determinedly pursued the idea to help building up the school system in East Germany (i.e. the newly formed federal states) by offering her expertise with exchange programmes. Soon she contacted schools in Dresden, Leipzig, Magdeburg and Jena and provided the necessary contacts to English and Scottish schools as well as set up a fund which she financed with private tutoring in Nuremberg.

The Junior German Assistant Programme emerged – almost unexpectedly – from the German-British exchange programme of the Wilhelm-Loehe-School Nuremberg. Nowadays, between 15 and 20 high school graduates spent a year abroad. Until her 80th birthday, she had worked with permanent energy for and with young people.

To honour her work she was awarded the Federal Merit Medal (Bundesverdienstmedaille) in 1994. On the occasion of her 70th birthday in 1999, she was included in the group of “Famous People from Nuremberg in 900 years”. 

Hundreds of young people have profited from her dedication since then, have developed their personalities and are more than thankful for her efforts. The Gudrun Frey Foundation will continue her life’s work.