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Bērzkalni school

The first school in Bērzkalni was in the old dairy building. That was a wooden building that no longer exists. Only the foundations and the basement have remained. The school could have been established in 1947. After the deportations of 1949, when the residents of the Bērzkalni farm were deported, the school was moved there. This building was built in 1935. It was built by the former chief forester of the state forest management organization Andrejs Bērziņš, son of Mačs, born in 1882. On March 25, 1949, he and his family (nine people in total) were deported to the Kalachinsk district of the Omsk region in Siberia. They were released on April 29, 1956. The building was spacious, as if it had been built for a large family. It still exists and now is the property of Andrejs Bērziņš’ descendants.

Marija Oše born Akots (born in 1942) remembers that there were several teachers at her school – Ķirve (or Ķerve), Broliš (Broliš was there when Arnis Ošis was small, then left) and Bulava (teacher Bulava’s son Rūdis also went to Bērzkalni school), also Šulca. M. Akots remembers: I know that Bulava was a teacher even before Brolish was a teacher. She had a son, Rūdis, and he didn’t listen to his mother so terribly. He also persuaded me not to listen and learn. And therefore I was left in the fourth grade for the second year. And then! I came home and cried the whole way. Only then did I realize that I was left in the 4th grade for the second year. And then Anniņš and I were in the same class with my sister in Alsunga. So that children can be influenced like that, so that is the danger. Where she (Bulava) was from, I don’t know. Here they (teachers) lived on the spot. At school. Ķerve was there, then there was Šulca. Bulava always taught something. It seems to me that the teacher was the first one. I don’t know so subtle. What I don’t know, I don’t know.

Leokādija Gūtmane born Ķikure (1939) started going to school at the age of 8. About Bērzkalni’s first school: When you go behind the basement, there was a bridge and on the left side there was a long house. Right behind the river. There is no building there anymore. My first school was there. There was a dairy and then a school, there were two classrooms there. I went to school there for two years. They laughed at me because I had a red band in my hair. – Why did you laugh? – I didn’t have such thick hair anymore. Well, there was a long room at school. The door was not put in there and I was called there. I was bad at math. There was nothing to show at home. Well, I was called there (in front of the teacher’s class) and I put my hands behind my back and count on my fingers. They there (from the other class of the room) laughed again. And the next year, when deportations happened, they took out those Bērzkalni residents and that house remained empty, and then they built a school there. The fourth year I went to Alsunga.
– How many classes were there in the dairy? – Two. There were two classes. We were in front of it, and further behind the wall was another class.

Names of teachers during Leokādija Gūtmane time: Anšević was. I don’t remember, but there was a very young teacher. She came out to us during class breaks, here in the front room. We had such an antechamber. Then they sang with us and made all kinds of jokes, and she was a very good teacher. And then there was a Lithuanian, an older teacher, and he had a saying: “foot to that side, snipe to that side” – well, if someone doesn’t listen there (laughs), he makes all sorts of jokes, that’s it, he was fooling around. He was such a kind person. He had such a funny last name.
– Did you have several teachers in this school? Yes. Anšević remembered it. Everyone came here from Alsunga (teachers). None of the teachers were local.

K. Anderson born in 1946. She started going to Bērzkalni school from the age of 8: There were several teachers. I don’t remember all of them. Teacher Hidriksone lived up here. Up there. I liked it there. Those rooms, such beautiful sunny ones, were always there. I went here in the summer when the Villert boys were there, then they showed me.

In 1961, a movie was shown in the Bērzkalni school building. (Soviet Kuldīga No. 92, 05.08.1961).

In 1962, the school was still there, because there was a polling station in Bērzkalni school.

In 1962, it was proposed to close the Bērzkalni school and extend the bus route to Bērzkalni so that the children could go to the Alsunga school. Instead of the school, it was proposed to build a library and assign the teacher’s apartment to the Braslu family with 5 children. (Soviet Motherland, No. 73, 01.11.1962).