Frederick William University

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This article is about the Frederick William University of Berlin. For other uses, see Frederick William University (disambiguation).
Frederick William University, about 1850

The Frederick William University (German: Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Latin: Alma Mater Berolinensis) was a university in Berlin, Germany. It was founded on 16 August 1809 by Frederick William III of Prussia as Berliner Universität.

The first semester at the newly founded Berlin university occurred in 1810 with 256 students and 52 lecturers in faculties of law, medicine, theology and philosophy under rector Theodor Schmalz. Since 1828 the university is officially called ″Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität″.[1] The university has been home to many of Germany's greatest thinkers of the past two centuries, among them G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Heinrich Heine, Otto von Bismarck, Max Planck, Alfred Döblin and Albert Einstein. From 1933 to 1945, under Nazism, the university lost many of its Jewish scholars and students.[2]

After World War II the authorities of West Berlin founded the Free University of Berlin (1948; FU Berlin). The old university, now in East Berlin, was renamed Humboldt University of Berlin (1949; HU Berlin).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Angela Klopsch: Die Geschichte der juristischen Fakultät der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin im Umbruch von Weimar. Berlin: Berliner Wiss.-Verlag, 2009. ISBN 978-3-8305-1666-8, p. 31.
  2. ^ Michael Bernard-Donals; Richard Glejzer (eds.): Witnessing the Disaster. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003, ISBN 0-299-18360-2, p. 177.

Further reading[edit]

  • Peter Bahl, Wolfgang Ribbe (eds.): Die Matrikel der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin 1810–1850. 3 vols., Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010. ISBN 978-3-11-023116-8
  • Kurt-R. Biermann: Die Mathematik und ihre Dozenten an der Berliner Universität 1810–1933. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1988. ISBN 3-05-500402-7
  • Ruediger vom Bruch (ed.): Die Berliner Universität im Kontext der deutschen Universitätslandschaft nach 1800, um 1860 und um 1910. München: Oldenbourg, 2010. ISBN 978-3-486-59710-3