August Zeune
Johann August Zeune was a German teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

 of geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 and Germanic languages
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

, as well as the founder of the Berlin Foundation for the Blind.


Zeune was born on 12 May 1778 in Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Wittenberg, officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a city in Germany in the Bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, on the river Elbe. It has a population of about 50,000....

 as the son of Johann Karl Zeune, professor of Greek at the University of Wittenberg. In his parents' house, he was educated by his father and tutor. In 1798 Zeune started studying at the Wittenberg University enrolled. He graduated with his thesis on the history of geography, and was awarded for a short time the dignity of an academic faculty, as a Quasi-professor of Geography. His novel „Höhenschichten-Karte” "Topological map" of the earth, had made him famous in academic circles.

In 1803, he moved to Berlin and became a teacher at the Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster (gray convent school). In Berlin, where he lived as a scholar, he was on friendly terms with Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a German philosopher. He was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, a movement that developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant...

 and the historian Johannes von Müller
Johannes Peter Müller
Johannes Peter Müller , was a German physiologist, comparative anatomist, and ichthyologist not only known for his discoveries but also for his ability to synthesize knowledge.-Early years and education:...

. He applied unsuccessfully for an expedition into the interior of Africa, and shortly thereafter went into the "inner world of the blind
Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors.Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define blindness...

". In the field of ophthalmology Zeune expanded his knowledge to the founder of the first European foundation for the Blind , Valentin Haüy
Valentin Haüy
Valentin Haüy - 19 March 1822 in Paris) was the founder, in 1784, of the first school for the blind, the Royal Institution for the Young Blind in Paris . In 1819, Louis Braille entered this school....

 in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. King Frederick William III
Frederick William III of Prussia
Frederick William III was king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel .-Early life:...

 decreed on August 11, 1806 to create a foundation for the blind in Berlin . Zeune was offered that job. On 13 October the same year he was able to start classes. It was the first blind school in Germany.

With money from friends and his own fortune, he saved the school by the time of distress. Johann August Zeune was a professor of geography in 1810 in Berlin. From 1811 to 1821 he lectured at the University of Berlin also about German language and literature. Educational skills were presented in his Manual of Education of the Blind "Belisarius" (1808) and the work "Gea. Attempt at a scientific geography" (1808).

After the French occupation, he joined as a political journalist of decidedly patriotic stance.

As Germanist Zeune stood under the spell of romantic notions, he fought against the usage of foreign words and worked on the publication of the Nibelungenlied
The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. The story tells of dragon-slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, how he was murdered, and of his wife Kriemhild's revenge....

 which he published a prose translation (1813) and a paperback edition (1815).

Johann died on November 14, 1853 in Berlin, after he had lost his eyesight in old age.

In his honor, the Johann August Zeune School for the Blind in Berlin-Steglitz and the Zeunepromenade where named after him (see Rothenburg (Berlin)).

Zeune died in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and was buried at the Berlin St. George's Cemetery in the Greifswald Street 229/234.


  • [Anonym]: expedition into the inner world of the blind (Expedition in die innere Welt der Blinden). In: Süddeutsche Zeitung
    Süddeutsche Zeitung
    The Süddeutsche Zeitung , published in Munich, is the largest German national subscription daily newspaper.-Profile:The title literally translates as "South German Newspaper". It is read throughout Germany by 1.1 million readers daily and boasts a relatively high circulation abroad...

    , 26 January 2004
  • Heinrich Kühne (Text), Heinz Motel (Zeichnungen): (Famous people and their connection to Wittenberg) Berühmte Persönlichkeiten und ihre Verbindung zu Wittenberg. Verlag des Göttinger Tageblatt, Göttingen 1990, ISBN 3-924781-17-6
  • Hartmut Mehlitz:Johann August Zeune. Berlin's father of the Blinden and his time (Berlins Blindenvater und seine Zeit.) Bostelmann & Siebenhaar, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-936962-05-7
  • Rotary Club:Famous Wittenberg and their guests. Berühmte Wittenberger und ihre Gäste. Wittenberg, s.a.
  • Frederick Dreves: "... unfortunately, for the most part become beggars ...". Support of the Blind between the Enlightenment and industrialization (1806 to 1860). / "... leider zum größten Theile Bettler geworden ...". Organisierte Blindenfürsorge zwischen Aufklärung und Industrialisierung (1806–1860). Freiburg im Br. 1998 (auch Hörbuchfassung: Deutsche Blinden-Bibliothek der Deutschen Blindenstudienanstalt e. V. Marburg, Nr. 9998, Sprecher: Hans-J. Domschat. Marburg 2000).

  • Hans-Eugen Schulze: Review of: Friedrich Dreves: ... unfortunately, for the most part become beggars ... - Organized the Blind in Prussia between the Enlightenment and Industrialization (1806–1860). Rezension zu: Friedrich Dreves: ...leider zum größten Theile Bettler geworden... - Organisierte Blindenfürsorge in Preußen zwischen Aufklärung und Industrialisierung (1806–1860). In: Horus. Marburger Beiträge zur Integration Blinder und Sehbehinderter / Hrsg.: Deutscher Verein der Blinden und Sehbehinderten in Studium und Beruf e.V. und Deutsche Blindenstudienanstalt e.V., Marburg, Lahn. 61. Jg., 1999, H. 2, S. 79 -81.

  • Alexander Mell (ed.): encyclopedic Handbook of the Blind. Encyklopädisches Handbuch des Blindenwesens. Wien/Leipzig, 1900.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.