In 1911, German graphic artist Ludwig Sütterlin was commissioned to create a new handwriting to be taught in all German schools. In 1915 it became the national handwriting taught in Germany. The really remarkable thing about this particular script is most of the individual letters do not bear much superficial resemblance to any other script existing at the time.

In 1915, the script, now called Sütterlinschrift after its creator, became the national handwriting of Germany. Then, in 1941, the Nazis, after initially embracing Sütterlinschrift as exemplifying German virtue, banned it.

It’s a very difficult script to learn. It’s kind of a secret language, a Captain Midnight decoder ring script for those who can manage it.

The accompanying illustration shows a document written in a Sütterlin font designed to look like handwriting. It is not in German. It is in English and is, in fact, the text of this article.

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