In the first half of the 19th century, the Polish and German residents of Poznań came up with the idea of establishing a “Realschule”, i.e. a school whose curriculum would be customised to fit the specific needs of burghers, helping them in their social and economic growth. By working together, Poznań social activists headed by the main funder, the German merchant Gotthilf Berger, managed to set up this new institution of education. The donor wished for the school to “always admit students of all denominations and nationality with no distinction whatsoever”. The school’s mission of non-discrimination made it highly popular among the local Jews.