"As headmaster he asserted an independence that at times came across as splendid isolation. During his tenure Salem seemed “very British”; and it did the school good. It certainly did not fail to impress us. We had a direct experience of the breadth of Salem pedagogy with its English roots. We – that is Götz Plessing, Ekkehard Ulrich, Ekkehard Günther and I as well as numerous others – were his apprentices.
Learning from this master of headmasters, we transformed into boarding school people."
Dieter Plate, former colleague, member of the Salem Board of Governors - in his memorial address for JWY, Salem, May 1st 2012 ∞
In 1963, JWY moved from England to Germany, where he became head of the Salem campus (1964-1972).
„At the core of Young’s educational practice was the security and promising future of students entrusted to the care of their house- masters. He applied the rules that are unquestionably accepted by the services and Outward Bound to the school community at large. Education by experience is also education toward the protection of one’s own life.
And yet, like Hahn Young believed that especially during puberty young people should experience their limits in order to realize the best within them. This can occur in class or any other academic setting, but above all it is part of the everyday life of the boarding school. If there was a divide in Salem between teaching and boarding school, then Young stood with both feet on the latter side. Despite its humanist tradition Hahn’s system of education was not without authoritarian features, such as may be found Plato’s Politeia. Salem however, was fortunate to have a British democrat within its walls. It was during Young’s tenure that appointed guardians turned into elected school speakers and the assembly of prefects or colour-bearers installed by the headmaster gave way to a democratically empowered council. This, to say the least, did not take place against his will.” (Dieter Plate, in his memorial address for JWY, Salem, May 1st 2012 ∞)
Until 1985 JWY remained honorary member of the Board of the Heads of Salem as Warden, as Head of Security and as coordinator of the Emergency Services.
Top row photos, left to right:
* Family collection
º Kurt Hahn Archive