Albert Bitzius (Jeremias Gotthelf), reformed parson in Lützelflüh, founded, together with colleagues, a local children’s poorhouse in Sumiswald in 1835 that moved to a larger place in Trachselwald in 1839. Bitzius managed to convince the government in Berne that financial support of the Trachselwald poorhouse would be a good investment with regard to sustainability. He and his fellow members strove for economic independence and self-sufficiency, which implied that the pupils had to work hard and get used to parsimony and modesty as far as food, bedding, clothing and spare time were concerned. On this basis the school turned out to be more successful than competing endeavours.
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