The University was established at Hamburg in the British Zone of Occupation in March 1946, with aid from UNRRA, the Lutheran World Federation, and other groups. In early 1947, it was moved to a former Luftwaffe barracks in Pinneberg (Eggerstedt-Kaserne) and renamed the Displaced Person's Study Centre. The Estonian astronomer Ernst Öpik became its first rector, and the Lithuanian archaeologist, Jonas Puzinas, was rector from April 1948 to September 1949. Because many of the staff and students had found homes in other countries, the University was closed in September 1949.
A total of 76 students graduated from the Baltic University in its short existence: 53 of them were Latvian, 16 Lithuanian, and 7 Estonian. Many others went on to complete their studies at other universities. Three male student fraternities, Fraternitas Imantica, Gersicania and Fraternitas Cursica, and two female, Spīdola and Zinta, were founded in Pinneberg.
In 1947 it was written that "The Baltic DP university with about 170 professors on the teaching staff and 1,200 students in eight faculties and 13 subdivisions has been running for three semester."
People associated with the university
- Mykolas Biržiška
- Viktoras Biržiška
- Teodoras Daukantas
- Aleksis Dreimanis
- Pāvils Dreijmanis
- Eižens Laube
- Jonas Puzinas
- Lauri Vaska
- Arthur Võõbus
- Zabiela, Gintautas (2005). "Jono Puzino gyvenimo kelias" (PDF). Lietuvos archeologija (in Lithuanian). 29: 13–26. ISSN 0207-8694.
- "50 Year Anniversary of the Baltic University in Exile". Washington University- Baltic Fund News. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- Baltic Refugees and Displaced Persons. London: Boreas Publishing. 1947.
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