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Encyclopedia > Berlin University

Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Latin name Alma Universitas Humboldtiana Berolinensis (older: Universitas Friderica Guilelma Berolinensis)
Motto --
Established 1810
School type Public university
President Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek
Location Berlin, Germany
Enrollment 36,835 students (2004)
Staff -- (2004)
Member EUA
Homepage www.hu-berlin.de
Alternative meaning: Humboldt State University, located in Arcata, California
German Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) is the successor to Berlin's oldest university, the Friedrich Wilhelm University (Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität), founded in 1810 by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities. After the Second World War, in 1946, the university was reopened under the name of Humboldt-Universität.

Until the Third Reich, it had been home to many of Germany's greatest thinkers of the past two centuries, among them the subjective idealist philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, the absolute idealist philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, the Romantic legal theorist Savigny, the pessimist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the objective idealist philosopher Friedrich Schelling, and famous physicists Albert Einstein and Max Planck. Founders of Marxist theory Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels attended the university, as did poet Heinrich Heine, German unifier Otto von Bismarck, Communist Party of Germany founder Karl Liebknecht, and European unifier Robert Schuman. Until 1945, 29 Nobel Prize winners had been part of the university's faculty.

After 1933, it was, like all German universities, transformed into a Nazi educational institution. Jewish students and scholars, and political opponents of Nazis were kicked out of the university, and often deported and killed. In 1946, the university opened again, now under the new name and in the Soviet sector of the city. The Soviet administration soon took over control of the university, relegating all students who didn't conform to communist ideology. As a reaction, the Free University of Berlin was founded in 1948 in the Western part of the city. Until the collapse of the East German regime in 1989, the Humboldt University remained under tight ideological control of the communist party which, by rigorously selecting students according to their abiding to the party line, made sure that no democratic opposition could grow on its university campuses. Its students and scholars did not participate in the East German democratic civil rights movements of 1989 to a considerable degree, and elected the controversial communist party member and former Stasi spy Heinrich Fink as the director of the university still in 1990.

In the following years, the university was radically restructured, and the faculty largely replaced with West German professors, among them reknown scholars like the art historian Horst Bredekamp and the historian Heinrich August Winkler. Today, the Humboldt University is a state university with a high number of students (37,145 in 2003, among them more than 4,662 foreign students) after the model of West German universities, and like its counterpart Free University of Berlin.

Its main building is located in the centre of Berlin at the boulevard Unter den Linden. The building was erected by prince Heinrich of Prussia. Most institutes are located in the centre, around the main building, except the nature science institutes, which are located at Adlershof in the south of Berlin.

See also

External links

  • Homepage of the Humboldt University of Berlin (http://www.hu-berlin.de/indexe.html)
  • History of the Humboldt University (http://www.hu-berlin.de/hu/geschichte/hubdt_e.html)
  • [1] (http://www.panorama-cities.net./berlin/berlin.html) - Interactive 360° Panorama in front of the University

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