Aline Mayrisch Biography

Aline de Saint Hubert, future wife of Emile Mayrisch, was born on august 22nd 1874 in Luxembourg. From the age of 20 she became interested in politics, education, diplomacy and law, and became a Patron of the “Pan” magazine, a Belgian weekly devoted to these topics. Soon after she joined together with Octave Maus, chief of “L’Art Moderne” journal, and so joined the world of avant-garde ideas. From then on she became more and more passionate about literature and the arts, and it was with artists like Edmond Picard and Emile Verhaeren, that they tried to fight for the advancement of intransigent art. Thereafter, Aline Mayrisch published articles about several German painters and wrote literary criticisms, of which the best known was about “L’Immoraliste” by André Gide. She saw herself as a mediator between the French and German cultural worlds and from 1917 hosted meetings of the Franco-German Committee in her and her husband’s castle in Colpach.

In the years between the wars, these meetings became more frequent and many intellectuals went there to exchange ideas. She began to make friends and establish connections with a number of artists and intellectuals of that time. Among them were André Gide, Jean Schlumberger, Jacques Rivière, Henri Michaux, Mary and Théo van Rysselberghe, Marie Delcourt, Alexis Curvers, Annette Kolb, Gertrude Eysoldt, Ernst Robert Curtius and Bernhard Groethuysen. Aline Mayrisch also published articles in the “Nouvelle Revue Française”, including an article on Rainer Maria Rilke, which help to increase awareness of him in France.

But it is not only on the cultural level that Aline shines, from early on she was known for her active social engagement. As a result of her initiatives, the “Association pour les Intérêts de la Femme” (Association for Women’s Interests) was created in 1906, which helped the poor, and promoted education for young girls. It was then also the basis for founding the School for Young Girls in Luxembourg. Aline also became vice-president of the Luxembourg Red Cross and even its President later on. She received the Grand Duchess Charlotte Cross of Honour and contributed to many other social works, such as the “Ligue contre la Tuberculose”, “La Anticancéreuse” (League against Tuberculosis, League against Cancer), health centre clinics for infants and the first crèche in Esch-sur-Alzette.

Aline Mayrisch died on january 20th 1947 in Cabris,France and bequeathed Colpach Castle to the Luxembourg Red Cross, making it a place of rest for convalescents.

Aline Mayrisch and the spirit of our school

From this femme de Lettres and patron of Luxembourg, our school takes its name; a fact which did not happen by coincidence. In the spirit of Aline Mayrisch, this school is a place for meeting, debate and exchange. In fact many parallels can be drawn between her achievements and our school design. The motto “Donner aux jeunes, qui nous sont confiés, à la fois des racines et des ailes” (giving students entrusted to us, both roots and wings) that accompanies our educational work could not be more appropriate to demonstrate the close relationship between Aline Mayrisch and the school. Furthermore, the collaboration that Aline Mayrisch had with the intellectuals of her time causing Franco-German relations to flourish, compares with the principal importance that we give to the close collaboration of students, faculty and parents, where the responsibilities of each partner, must be rethought, re-defined and valued. Our teaching approach is to foster independent learning and responsible students, and to teach values ​​and cross disciplinary skills, an approach that is only possible through this close collaboration of all partners.

Lycée Aline Mayrisch is a place of intellectual education, but also social. Like Aline Mayrisch, social engagement is a key focus of our school. To realise the idea of living and working together in school, it is important to raise awareness among students about the learning of values such as respect, tolerance, commitment, listening, and equal opportunities, which are indispensable in today’s world. Through numerous projects (GIN, preferential project, Solidarity Day etc.) our school endeavours to motivate students to be interested in the world, to raise their awareness and to empower them.

Since 2013, the Prix Aline Mayrisch has been honoring students from Lycée Aline Mayrisch for outstanding achievements.

Read more (FR) by Mr Franck Colotte – french and latin teacher at the Lycée Aline Mayrisch.