Station: [334] Karl Benjamin Preusker

On 22nd September 1786, while Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was in Vicenza on his journey through Italy, Karl Benjamin Preusker was born in Löbau in Saxony. A good 40 years later the aforementioned Goethe would read a small book entitled „About the Medium and Purpose of the Fatherland’s Archaeology “ and put a flower between the pages containing especially noteworthy passages. This little book was written by none other than the senior civil servant Karl Benjamin Preusker.

Alongside his job at the Großenhain Pensions Office, Preusker was a keen antiquary and historian. His book, „ Insights into the Prehistory of the Fatherland,“ was what founded Saxonian archaeology.

In Großenhain, the multi-talented autodidact was also regarded as an exceptionally active citizen who voluntarily and unceasingly committed himself to the interests of the town and its inhabitants. Among other things, he founded a trade association for work-related further education, a savings bank and a children’s creche for working parents. 

Preusker strove to pass knowledge and information on to the people right up until his death and in accordance with his aim to make education accessible for all, Preusker opened a public library in Großenhain in 1828 that was free to everyone. It was the first public library in Germany.

Preusker worked tirelessly to create a library system that disregarded no level of society, that was to include prison libraries and libraries in old-age institutions.  

When Preusker reached old age his heartfelt life-mission to provide education was reflected in his new title: „Veteran of Library Science.“