Late For School by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

In the 19th century, many factories were locating at the river in this valley somewhere in Germany. Benefiting from the direct position at a railroad line to a bigger city, a paper mill was emerging here around 1880. For more than 100 years the factory lasted. Only in 2013, the company was finally abandoned after years of financial problems. However, what’s actually more interesting for us isn’t the factory itself but the treasure hidden behind it.

Strawberry School #01 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Strawberry School #06 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

To be honest, it was impossible for us to find any information about this place. Everything, we claim now, is based on speculation. Due to the proximity to the plant we are presuming that this is the former company school of the paper mill. It was a huge facility in the past and so, they were training their junior staff here for certain. The structure was constructed sometime after the founding of the German Democratic Republic in 1949 and closed down for unknown reasons when Germany was reunited again (1990). Our first thought in such a case always is that there probably wasn't any demand anymore. Maybe it wasn't possible to pay for the education due to the financial problems we already mentioned.

Strawberry School #05 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Strawberry School #12 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

This is a small building with only a few classrooms. So, only a little number of apprentices could be taught here. The curriculum covered subjects like the function of different machines but also, chemistry and the substances which were used in the course of production. And last but not least it was all about paper. And you can find plenty of that still today! In the cupboards we were discovering a variety of work drawings. On closer inspection it turned out that they were all showing the paper factory next door.

Guerrilla Preservationists by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Strawberry School #15 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Directly adjacent we had found another interesting place. The former arts and leisure center on the premises we didn't want to miss. Inside here something was awaiting us which we usually wouldn't expect to find in a building like this.

Invader by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr



Apparently, the building is still used as a storage area. There is no other reason why there would be so much materials and especially a modern boat waiting in here. The arts and leisure center was constructed in 1950 and was meant to keep the workers entertained. Even movies were shown here in the past.

Strawberry School #20 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Arts And Leisure Center by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

For the full adventure report feel free to watch our documentary on Youtube now: