Georg-August-University Goettingen

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Georg-August-University Goettingen
motto In publica commoda
(For the good of all)
founding 1734
Sponsorship Foundation under public law
place Goettingen
state Lower SaxonyLower Saxony Lower Saxony
country GermanyGermany Germany
president Reinhard Jahn (acting)
Students 30,196 (WS 2019/20)
Employee 12,781 (2018) with medicine (without assistants)
including professors 482 (2018) with medicine
Annual budget € 1.290 billion (2018) with medicine
Networks CG , German U15
University seal
New construction of the Lower Saxony State and University Library

The Georg August University in Göttingen was founded in 1732/1734 by Georg II under the leadership of Gerlach Adolph von Münchhausen and opened in 1737. The university developed rapidly and, with almost 1,000 students, was one of the larger in Europe at the time. It is the oldest university still in existence in Lower Saxony and with 30,153 students in the 2019/20 winter semester, it is the second largest university in Lower Saxony after Leibniz Universität Hannover. Reinhard Jahn has been President of the university since December 2019 . From October 2007 to June 2012, the Georgia Augusta future concept was funded as part of the Excellence Initiative. According to the World University Rankings 2020 by the Times Higher Education, Georg-August-Universität ranks 125th worldwide and 11th in Germany.

The Göttingen State and University Library is one of the largest libraries in Germany with around nine million media units (as of 2019) and looks after several specialist information services for science. As part of the collection of German prints , it covers the 18th century and is integrated with it into the “distributed national library” for Germany.

Legal structure

Since January 1, 2003, the university has been sponsored by a foundation under public law. The name of the supporting foundation is Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Foundation under Public Law . The legal form of the university itself has not changed, but has changed from being sponsored by the state of Lower Saxony to sponsoring the sponsoring foundation. In the executive functions, there is extensive personal union between the university and the supporting foundation. The foundation's executive committee, the foundation board, is identical to the university's five-person executive committee, i.e. the university management. The foundation's office will continue to be managed by the head of the science law department and the sponsoring foundation of the university administration.

A specialty is the university medicine of the university . The medical faculty - as an integral part of the university - and the university clinic - as a hospital operation - are combined under the umbrella of the University Medical Center under the joint management of the three-person board of the University Medical Center Göttingen . In matters of university medicine, the board takes the place of the university presidium.

The Board of Trustees is a newly established body with the transfer of sponsorship . The Board of Trustees advises the university on matters that affect the entire university, including university medicine. It also decides on matters of fundamental importance for the Foundation. The independent role of university medicine is reflected in the two committees of the Board of Trustees:

  • University Foundation Committee , which advises the university and decides on matters of fundamental importance to the foundation that exclusively concern the university. He assumes a supervisory function vis-à-vis the executive committee of the university.
  • Foundation Committee for University Medicine , which advises the University Medicine and decides on matters of fundamental importance to the Foundation, which exclusively concern University Medicine. He assumes a supervisory function vis-à-vis the Board of Directors of University Medicine

These bodies also determine the president. The Senate of the Georg-August University of Göttingen unanimously elected Ulrike Beisiegel as President of Georgia-Augusta for the six-year term of office beginning January 1, 2011, and thus as the successor to the biochemist and cell biologist Kurt von Figura . The foundation committee has confirmed your choice. She became the first woman to head the university, which was founded in 1737. Beisiegel resigned from office at the end of September 2019; Reinhard Jahn is now temporarily president of the university.


The university is not a campus university, but for historical reasons it is spread over a large number of buildings throughout the city up to the present day. Since the 1960s, however, there has been a process of spatial concentration on two locations. The Humanities Center  (GWZ) planned at the time is located immediately north of the Göttingen city center. The central library of the Goettingen State and University Library, the central lecture hall building (ZHG), the multi-purpose building (Blue Tower), the central cafeteria and numerous other buildings (e.g. Juridicum, Theologicum, Oeconomicum) are located there. Adjacent to the east are the buildings of the former university clinic, which are now mostly used by the philosophy faculty, as well as, a little further away, the former college of education on Waldweg. The center of the natural sciences is the northern area of ​​the university in Weende . Between the old pedagogical college and the northern area are some institutes v. a. the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and the new university hospital. A decreasing number of buildings are located in the districts of Innenstadt and Südstadt , u. a. the Paulinerkirche and the university auditorium on Wilhelmsplatz.

The site has a total area of ​​around 600,000 m². The foundation owns 235 buildings, and another 15 (parts of) buildings are rented. 66 buildings have the status of a monument . Land and buildings have a combined value of around 398 million euros.

In addition to the central cafeteria, which was renovated from 2007 to 2009 for 16.5 million euros, the Studentenwerk also maintains three other canteens and 5290 dormitory spaces. (Last updated 2012)

Subject offer

It is a classic full university . The subjects of the Philosophical Faculty as well as medicine , law , economics , Protestant theology and mathematics as well as all natural sciences can be studied. The university's reputation was established above all by the law faculty , the subjects of the philosophy faculty, mathematics and the natural sciences. The humanities subjects taught at the Philosophical Faculty are well represented and traditionally successful . The courses in agricultural science and forest science are also important . Students of all disciplines can learn a large number of languages ​​with a UNIcert degree at the Central Facility for Languages ​​and Key Qualifications (formerly the language teaching center) .

Multi-purpose building (MZG, also "Blue Tower") and central canteen

The following faculties are represented:

Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Faculty of Biology and Psychology
Faculty of Chemistry
Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology
Faculty of Earth Sciences and Geography
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Faculty of Physics
Law Faculty
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Business and Economics
Philosophical Faculty
Faculty of Theology (Protestant)
University Medicine

The courses and degrees were redesigned as part of the Bologna Process . The aim was to increase the competitiveness of the Göttingen graduates on the globalized labor markets by introducing the internationally standardized Master's and Bachelor's degrees . As a further consequence of this reorganization, new courses were offered. In the 2006/2007 winter semester, the master’s courses were introduced in the subjects Equine Management and Equine Sciences , International Nature Conservation and Molecular Medicine . The American Studies bachelor's degree is also new . On the other hand, the courses in Sinology (re-introduced as a BA / MA course from 2009), Japanese Studies , Byzantine Studies and Media Studies have been deleted .

Tuition fees and semester ticket

On December 9, 2005, the Lower Saxony State Parliament decided to introduce general tuition fees from the first semester within the framework of the Budget Accompanying Act. These had to be paid by freshmen from the winter semester 2006/07 and by all students since the summer semester 2007. The tuition fee was 500 euros. Tuition fees for long-term students who exceeded their standard period of study by more than four semesters were introduced as early as the summer semester of 2003. The long-term tuition fees were paid instead of the normal tuition fees and amounted to 600 euros for the summer semester 2008 if the standard period of study was exceeded by 5 to 6 semesters, 700 euros for 7 to 8 semesters and 800 euros for nine or more additional semesters. Students who have reached the age of 60 also pay 800 euros. In addition, there is an "administrative fee" of 75 euros, a contribution of 62 euros for the student union and a student body contribution . In the winter semester 2012/13, a student had to pay a total of 735.22 euros without exceeding the standard period of study for at least four semesters. For the 2013 summer semester, EUR 741.46 had to be paid. Due to the discontinuation of tuition fees in Lower Saxony from the 2014/15 winter semester, the semester fee for the 2020 summer semester is only 375.31 euros.

The student body fee includes a mandatory semester ticket for all students . This cost 203.31 euros for the 2019/20 winter semester and enables free use of the local trains of Deutsche Bahn in Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Bremen, the Metronome , the Eurobahn , the Cantus and individual routes of the NordWestBahn . Furthermore, a culture ticket, which means reduced or free use of some Göttingen cultural establishments, and a bus semester ticket (use of Göttingen local transport) are included in the semester fees.

Development of student numbers

Development since 1950

From the mid-1950s, there was a sharp increase in the number of students. From 1954 to 1986, the number of enrollments exceeded the number of de-enrollments in each year. The university experienced the strongest increase in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers flocked to the universities. In 1974 alone, the number of students increased by over 2,200, making Göttingen more and more a mass university . In 1986 the number of 30,000 students was exceeded for the first time. In the following years the number remained relatively constant. The university reached its highest number of enrolled students to date with 31,733 in 1991. After that, the number fell for nine years in a row, and in 1999 alone it fell by over 2,800. This can be explained by the fact that the low birth cohorts reached old age to study as a result of the pill break . Since 2001, the number of students has stabilized again at around 24,000, despite the introduction of initially long-term and later general tuition fees. In the 2014/15 winter semester it was just over 29,000. In the 2015/16 winter semester, this number of students was above 30,000 for the first time since the early 1990s.

Research environment

The central body for the development of the science location Göttingen is the Göttingen Campus Council (GCC) established in 2006 . In addition to the University of Göttingen and the University Medical Center Göttingen , it includes representatives from the following institutions.

The university also cooperates with the Max Planck institutes located in Göttingen in the field of data processing. The Society for Scientific Data Processing mbH Göttingen operates the joint data center for the university and the institutes. Furthermore, the Georg-August-Universität has been a so-called "corporate sponsoring member" of the Max Planck Society since 2007 .

The research environment in laser technology includes the Laser Laboratory Göttingen (LLG) and the Canon Law Institute of the Evangelical Church in Germany .

The university works internationally with other universities in Europe in the network of the Coimbra Group , which has existed since 1985 .

The Center for European, Governance and Development Research (cege) is an interdisciplinary research institute of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, founded in 1999. It supports international and interdisciplinary research projects in the areas of European integration, governance and development economics and publishes several series of publications. Members of the cege are professors from the research areas of economics, business administration, economic history, agricultural economics, law and political science.

Importance as an employer

With 12,781 employees working directly for the university and the affiliated hospital in 2018, it is of paramount importance as an employer for the city and the entire region. 4,209 employees work in the scientific field, 482 of them as professors. Of the 8,090 non-academic staff, 5,404 are employed by the clinic. The dependence of the city of Göttingen on the university increases due to the indirect effect on other scientific institutions. The over 31,600 students (WS 17/18) are an important economic factor for the gastronomy, retail and cultural institutions of the city.

Equality and Ombudsman Matters

Since 1992 the university has had an equal opportunities office and an equal opportunities officer who is active in the areas of "equality, family friendliness and diversity". The university was successful in both rounds of the female professorial program and was thus able to promote three standard appointments in each round. In June 2015, then University President Ulrike Beisiegel signed the Diversity Charter . The university also has an office for questions of good scientific practice and the ombudsman in conflicts with scientific misconduct .


The university's expenditures amounted to over 1.2 billion euros in 2018, with the lion's share (almost 778 million euros) going to the medical faculty with the lavish university clinic , which in turn is financed through its medical services. The figures are the so-called imputed expenses, which cannot be compared with the breakdowns of other universities.

As a foundation university, the university continues to receive support from the budget of the state of Lower Saxony. Like other universities, it is increasingly dependent on the acquisition of additional third-party funds . However, together with the other universities in the state, it has the advantage that the Volkswagen Foundation, the largest German foundation for the promotion of science, is based in the state. The Lower Saxony advance to be made available by this in accordance with the statutes is not distributed by the foundation itself, but by the state government.

Excellence Initiative

In October 2006 the university was able to introduce a scientific excellence cluster into funding line two of the federal and state excellence initiative in the first round . As part of this measure, the expansion of the DFG research center "Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CMPB)" was funded. A cluster of new junior research groups should expand the existing CMPB. The aim was to develop innovative microscopy methods with a resolution in the nanometer range and their biological application.

The applications of the University of Göttingen to set up a Haeckel Center for Functional Biodiversity Research and to support the Göttingen Graduate School for Humanities and Cultural Studies were rejected.

In the second selection round of the Excellence Initiative, the university - as became known on October 19, 2007 - submitted a full application for its “future concept for the project-related expansion of top-class university research” (funding line three) with the designation “Göttingen. Tradition - Innovation - Autonomy ”.

In addition, the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB) was earmarked for funding under the program.

An important component in the university's future concept is the networking with the non-university research institutions in Göttingen. The Göttingen Academy of Sciences, the five Max Planck Institutes, the German Primate Center and the German Aerospace Center play a special role.

In June 2012, the university lost its elite status.

Prizes awarded by the university


Celebration of the Siegel promotion (June 1920): Siegel in the wagon, as well as Grandjot, Bessel-Hagen , Rogosinski , Ness, Windau, Walfisz , Krull , Emersleben , Kopfermann , Hedwig Wolff, Boskowits and Kneser .

One of the few generally practiced relics of student tradition in Göttingen is the kissing of the Gänseliesel . Traditionally, every new doctor kisses the symbol of the city, namely the bronze figure standing on the market square in front of the town hall, after being driven there in a wagon by friends and acquaintances.


Until the inauguration in 1737

First representation of Göttingen as a university town (1735)

In 1732, the Hanoverian state government under Georg August, Elector of Braunschweig-Lüneburg ( Kurhannover ), Duke of Braunschweig and Lüneburg and, as Georg II, also King of Great Britain and Ireland, decided to found the new University of the Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg in Göttingen .

For Europe-wide recognition of university degrees, however, a special imperial privilege was required , which Charles VI. on January 13, 1733 in Vienna to the Hanoverian ambassador Johann Diede zum Fürstenstein . In terms of content, it largely corresponded to that of the University of Halle founded 40 years earlier , albeit in a more secularized version with a significantly lower influence of the theological faculty , which, in contrast to other universities, no longer had the right to oversee the other faculties. Because Göttingen, like Halle, was conceived as a university of the Enlightenment , which is why the research results were no longer subject to the censorship of the church. In order to implement the teaching practiced in Halle in Göttingen, some students of the Halle-based scholars Gundling and Thomasius were recruited to Göttingen, for example Georg Christian Gebauer or Johann Jakob Schmauß .

Elevator from Göttingen students for Münchhausen on the occasion of the inauguration (in front of the commandant's house )
1/6 thaler Georg II on the inauguration;  Inscription: VNIVERSITAS GEORGIA AVGVSTA QVOD FELIX FAVSTVMQVE SIT INAVGVRATA GOETTINGAE D • XVII • SEPTEMB: MDCCXXXVII (Georg-August University that may be happy and blessed inaugurated in Göttingen September 17, 1737) 1/6 thaler Georg II on the inauguration;  Inscription: VNIVERSITAS GEORGIA AVGVSTA QVOD FELIX FAVSTVMQVE SIT INAVGVRATA GOETTINGAE D • XVII • SEPTEMB: MDCCXXXVII (Georg-August University that may be happy and blessed inaugurated in Göttingen September 17, 1737)
1/6 thaler Georg II on the inauguration; Inscription: VNIVERSITAS GEORGIA AVGVSTA QVOD FELIX FAVSTVMQVE SIT INAVGVRATA GOETTINGAE D • XVII • SEPTEMB: MDCCXXXVII (Georg August University that may be happy and blessed inaugurated in Göttingen September 17, 1737)

The first lecture at the not yet inaugurated new university took place on October 14, 1734 in an old grain shed. It was held by the now-forgotten physicist Samuel Christian Hollmann . At the same time, the prestigious grammar school in the Pauline monastery was exaugurated and the monastery together with the Pauline Church became the structural founding cell of Georgia Augusta, which was soon expanded to include a college building. The college building was extended to Paulinerstraße in 1786 by the builder Georg-Heinrich Borheck. The Paulinerkirche initially had the function of a university church , today this is the St. Nikolai Church, also located in the old town, where Protestant and Catholic services take place.

In the first semester , 147 students registered in Göttingen. The first curator of Göttingen University was the minister and secret councilor Gerlach Adolph von Münchhausen (1688–1770), cousin of the lying baron . Münchhausen had been in charge of the planning and implementation of the university's founding since 1732. His concept was aimed at attracting as financially wealthy students as possible, especially from the families of the nobility and the so-called pretty families of Hanover. In this respect, the university was equipped with a representative residential and lodging house ( Michaelishaus ), a university riding stable and a fencing hall, there were courses in the carving of venison and even a ballroom was planned, so that the special needs of this target group, also in the training of manners , were taken into account and planned from the outset: The riding house was completed in 1734 as the first building of the university, the library only moved into its rooms in 1736. The portal gable of the riding house with coat of arms and inscription from 1735 is now on the new campus, after the riding stables in the Weender Street had to give way to a Hertie department store in the 1970s .

The university was founded with a philosophical, a theological, a law and a medical faculty, so that all the classical faculties were represented in Göttingen from the start. The development phase lasted until about 1770. During this phase there were problems and tensions with the established citizens of Göttingen, who initially opposed the establishment of the university in their city.

The solemn inauguration under their namesake, King Georg August, took place on September 17, 1737. Since the King had reserved the position of Rector for himself, the local university director was henceforth the Vice-Rector .

From the inauguration to the French occupation

Göttingen students in country team uniforms (from left to right): a Westphalian, a Hanoverian, a Brunswick, a Holsteiner (1773)
The old Göttingen university and library building, called Kollegiengebäude , around 1815
King George II in the Paulinerkirche (1748)

The new university attracted many students from other universities, especially from the Friedrichs University in Halle . That is why Halle citizens spread the rumor that life in Göttingen was very expensive. This was countered by a Göttingen advertising pamphlet in 1739. It provides information about the cost of living for a Göttingen student at that time.

Students and society

Around 1745, the number of students grew and stabilized at around 600. In line with the plan, the Georgia-Augusta quickly acquired the reputation of being good and expensive, mainly from the proposed higher-ranking families. The Ilfeld monastery school , which was closely related to the organization, was considered to be the cadre forge for the university . The standard period of study in the 18th century was called triennium and lasted six semesters. Students who moved from the universities of Helmstedt , Jena and Halle to Göttingen in particular , quickly brought student customs and thus student associations such as Masonic orders , student orders and compatriots to the young university. But also by a so-called. Lakaienorden the servant of the students is in the tradition, mostly in university court records but also in pedigree leaves the question. As early as June 1747, Münchhausen had the first reason to forbid the wearing of colored ribbons .

Until about the middle of the second half of the 18th century, exaggerated terms of honor developed among students. In 1766 there was one death in Göttingen due to a duel, the only one in the 18th century. The result was that student fencing in Germany was fundamentally reformed from Göttingen by turning away from the dangerous impact metering and switching to the Göttingen hammer metering . This was accompanied by the change to a light saber ( Göttinger Hieber ), which was later replaced by the student basketball bat .

From 1769 to 1772 Adolph Freiherr Knigge , who later became the author of On Dealing with People (also simply called "the Knigge"), studied law and camera studies in Göttingen .

In 1772 Johann Heinrich Voss enrolled in Göttingen, who would later make a name for himself with his influential translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as other ancient classics, but also of Shakespeare's works. Voss was also the founder of the Göttingen Hainbund .

The later Prussian reformer Karl Freiherr vom und zum Stein studied law, history and cameralistics in Göttingen from 1773 to 1777, but as a noble student did not need to take an exam.

It was a great event for Göttingen when, on July 10, 1786, three princes, all sons of the British king and Hanoverian elector Georg III. , enrolled at the university. This was about:

They moved into what was later called the Prinzenhaus on Mühlenpfortenstrasse, which was later renamed Prinzenstrasse. For the training of the princes, it was ensured that the Göttingen riding stable was the best in Europe. Although not a subject of its own, ars equitandi was so popular that over 60 of the most famous future equestrians in Europe wanted to study with Johann Heinrich Ayer in Göttingen.

In 1788 Wilhelm von Humboldt matriculated in Göttingen for the subject of law. Here, through the interweaving of the university and academy, he was to get his first impressions of the importance of the interaction between teaching and research, a concept that he implemented when the Berlin University was founded in 1810 and that was to shape the development of universities worldwide. On April 25, 1789, his brother Alexander von Humboldt also enrolled in Göttingen. In addition to the physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg , the anatomist and zoologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach , who valued the research trip as an important source of knowledge for anthropology and biology and gathered an interdisciplinary group of ambitious young scientists around him , was particularly pioneering for Alexander . Alexander von Humboldt, however, wanted to make the acquaintance of Georg Forster , who, as a natural scientist with experience of circumnavigation, apparently embodied the type he himself was striving for.

In the summer semester of 1790, Caspar Detlev von Schulte signed up to study experimental physics , then heard Georg Christoph Lichtenberg . The later Hanoverian State and Finance Minister dealt in Göttingen in particular with feudal law.

The tensions between university and city, between citizens and student body, flared up again and again. So it happened on July 26, 1790 after previous serious dispute with the journeyman carpenter in the city to pull the students to Kerst Linger The desolate field , a large open area in the east of the city located Göttingen Forest . The students extorted the goodwill of the city and university with their economic strength and the authorities brokered an agreement in this dispute.

In the winter semester of 1803/1804, Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, who later became King Ludwig I , visited the University of Göttingen before traveling on to Rome in 1804. Ludwig I was later to send his son, later King Maximilian II, to study (1829–1830) here.

As early as 1806 there was renewed student unrest in Göttingen, which culminated in a renewed departure of the students on January 6th, this time to Hannoversch Münden , but was less successful for the students than the first, so that they were unsuccessful on January 12th returned to Göttingen.

Politics, university structure and buildings

Botanical garden around 1800
Sculpture Lichtenberg in front of the historical building of the university

The Theatrum Anatomicum was built in 1738, the botanical garden was laid out in 1739 and the first observatory was opened in 1751 . Also in 1751, King George II founded today's Academy of Sciences in Göttingen , which is today the second oldest institution of its kind in Germany. Since 1753 it has published the publication Göttingische Gelehre Werbung , the oldest scientific journal in German that is still published today.

An outstanding event for the young university was the visit of King George II in Göttingen on August 1st, 1748. The festive event as an elevator in the Paulinerkirche is handed down through a contemporary engraving and the report of the Chancellor Johann Lorenz von Mosheim . Such visits, also by members of the ruling family, were outstanding highlights for students and the university, such as the visits of the Duke of York in 1765, of Prince Ferdinand of Braunschweig in 1768 and of the Duke of Gloucester in 1769. These visits were with student comitates in Nörten or Turn connected; The members of the Welfenhaus were received by mounted honor guards under the leadership of the Hanoverians and the Braunschweiger Landsmannschaft at the gates of the university city, led in (“caught up”) and then out of the city again.

Professors and scientific highlights

The classical scholar and library director Christian Gottlob Heyne (1763-1812) founded the collection of casts of ancient sculptures in 1767 , which has developed into one of the largest collections of its kind in the world and can be viewed online in the Virtual Museum of Antiquities since 2004.

In 1770 Georg Christoph Lichtenberg became professor of physics , mathematics and astronomy , who brought knowledge in electricity theory that is still valid today . As a universal scholar , he left behind not only scientific, but also philosophical and satirical treatises (these, inter alia, in his Sudel books ). He was the first German professor for experimental physics . His lecture in this subject is basically held until today (partly with historical equipment). The Lichtenberg lecture hall at the University of Göttingen honors the scientist with a bronze relief by Konrad Jochheim .

In addition to Lichtenberg, other scholars, some of whom were world-famous, worked in Göttingen in the 18th century. One of the most influential was the doctor, natural scientist and poet Albrecht von Haller (in Göttingen from 1736 to 1753), who contributed to the fact that important scientists could be won over to Göttingen. Under Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben , veterinary training was started for the first time at a German university in Göttingen in 1771 . The theologian and orientalist Johann David Michaelis (1746–1791), the geographer Anton Friedrich Büsching and the historian and publicist August Ludwig von Schlözer (1769–1809) should also be mentioned. The first generation of professors appointed by Münchhausen included the lawyers Georg Heinrich Ayrer (1737–1774), Johann Stephan Pütter (1746–1807) and Gottfried Achenwall (1748–1772), the philosopher Johann Matthias Gesner (1734–1761) Theologian Christian Wilhelm Franz Walch (1754–1784), the historian Johann Christoph Gatterer (1759–1799), the mathematician Abraham Gotthelf Kästner (1756–1800) and the economist Johann Beckmann (1739–1811).

The saying is attributed to Schlözer: Extra Gottingam non est vita, si est vita non est ita! (“Outside of Göttingen there is no life, and if there is, then there is none!”) This sentence can still be found today at the entrance to the Göttingen Ratskeller. His daughter Dorothea , a recognized child prodigy of her time, received her doctorate on her 50th university anniversary in 1787 as the first woman in Germany to obtain a Dr. phil.

The years of study of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1765–70), who longed to study in Göttingen, but was sent by his father to the old university in Leipzig , also fell during this period of extraordinary bloom at Göttingen University .

“With these attitudes, I always had Göttingen in mind. My whole trust rested in men like Heyne, Michaelis and so many others; my dearest wish was to sit at their feet and listen to their teachings. But my father remained immobile. "

- Goethe: Poetry and Truth . Part two, book six.

For this reason Goethe stayed in Göttingen several times later.

The Göttingen Accouchierhaus , the first university maternity hospital in the German-speaking area

In 1751, on the initiative of Albrecht von Haller, the first university maternity hospital in the German-speaking area was set up in Göttingen . At first the clinic was housed in a dilapidated hospital for the poor. At the end of the 18th century a comparatively modern and generously equipped new building was moved into. This building, erected between 1785 and 1790 as the “Royal Maternity Hospital”, was also called the Accouchierhaus . Today the university's musicological seminar is located there.

The orientalist Johann David Michaelis initiated the first scientific expedition to Arabia. The Arab trip (1761–1767) was financed by the Danish royal family. Among the participants were three former Michaelis students, of whom only the cartographer Carsten Niebuhr made it back to Europe alive.

At the beginning of the 1770s the romantic Göttingen Hainbund came together, which, as a poetic youth movement, gave the name of the city an additional sound. As a result, the emancipation of women also germinated in the close environment of the university . The Göttingen university nurses prepared the environment for female participation in state-sponsored academic education and access to the scientific community.

Around 1780 the physician and anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach founded the Ethnological Collection , which today belongs to the Institute for Ethnology. One of the focal points of the collection are exhibits that were brought back from one of James Cook's expeditions . However, Blumenbach is primarily considered to be an essential founder of zoology and anthropology as scientific disciplines. He was mainly active in the field of comparative anatomy . His "Handbook of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology" (Göttingen 1804, 3rd edition. 1824) was translated into almost all languages ​​of Europe.

With the appointment of Johann Dominik Fiorillo from 1799 in Göttingen, art history became an academic subject at German universities.

At the September meeting of the Göttingen Society of Sciences in 1802, Georg Friedrich Grotefend , at that time still a student of philology and theology and at the same time a collaborator at the Göttingen grammar school, was able to present an approach to deciphering the Persian cuneiform script that is considered the breakthrough in the development of this writing system. The deciphering of the cuneiform script laid the foundation for research into the ancient history of the Middle East .

Between 1815 and 1820 several members of the Bökendorfer Romantikerkreis studied , u. a. August von Haxthausen , Georg Friedrich Benecke , August von Arnswaldt and Heinrich Straube , in Göttingen.

The university in the Kingdom of Westphalia

After the French occupation of Hanover in 1803 ( Convention of Artlenburg ) and Germany as a whole by Napoleon's troops in 1806, Göttingen came to the Kingdom of Westphalia as the capital of the Leine department from 1807 to 1813 and was accordingly ruled and supervised from the nearby royal seat of Kassel .

Students and society

Colors of Göttingen student hats 1827

The French reforms in the field of state organization and the legal system meant that in 1809 the students were no longer subject to special academic jurisdiction, but to the regular gendarmerie (police). This and the associated harshness in the exercise of sovereign power, which the students were not used to, led to the gendarme affair in 1809 . On August 17th, members of the Corps Hannovera riding out quietly were arrested and physically abused by gendarmes on the grounds that they had not cleared the way, which led to protests from the student body and the citizens of the city. It became clear that corps continued to exist as student associations despite the ban, whereupon their members were evicted . For the students, the tough course at Göttingen University was essentially associated with the person of Vice-Rector Gustav von Hugo , who, as a lawyer, was one of the founders of the Historical School of Law in Germany, and with his superior in the government of the Kingdom of Westphalia, Justus Christoph Leist .

Many of the law students in particular turned to Heidelberg University . The student body declared the university in disrepute , the life of the union died out more or less completely, and the number of students in Göttingen halved in the winter semester 1809/10. Instead of the 615 students in the summer semester, only 473 students returned for the winter semester, 170 of whom were newly enrolled. It was not until the winter semester of 1810/11 that the situation was relaxed under the new Vice Rector Tychsen .

But as early as 1811 the (actually forbidden) wearing of colorful hats among students became a problem again. The Vice Rector David Julius Pott asked for a postponement and the ban on wearing colored hats was not renewed by the Prefect in Kassel, contrary to the first intention. In the period that followed, however, the government in Kassel was actually continuously investigating whether there would be any illegal student associations. These sometimes disguised themselves as so-called Clubbs . In individual cases there have been bans on individual country teams at the university.

In the Wars of Liberation , the number of students in Göttingen fell by about half. Many of the Göttingen students who were conscripted for military service died between 1813 and 1815.


Research and teaching in Göttingen were not affected by the French period , but in the course of the restorative tendencies in Germany and Hanover, some of the appointments that had taken place in the meantime, such as that of the French philosopher Charles de Villers, were canceled by dismissal.

Politics and universities

Göttingen was still relatively little affected by the measures taken by the Westphalian government. The old Guelph University of Helmstedt , which was founded in the 16th century as the state university of the Guelph Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel , fared worse . It had been the only Guelph university for about a century and a half. However, when only 76 students attended the courses in the winter semester 1809/10, it was closed without further ado. This made Göttingen the only university in the Guelph territories.

The relatively small University of Rinteln in the Weserbergland with an average of 120 students was also closed in 1809 in favor of Georgia-Augusta.

From the Congress of Vienna to the annexation of Hanover by Prussia in 1866

Students and society

Student move - University anniversary 1837
Bar Göttingen students 1816
"True picture of the Dr. Rauschenplat - A phenomenon that is equally remarkable in terms of history and nature. ”Anonymous copper engraving from 1831

The end of the war, with the war participants returning to their study places, brought the universities in Germany and thus also the Hanoverian Göttingen in 1815 the new idea of ​​the fraternity , the idea of ​​which was initiated in Jena with strong Göttingen influences, but the first basic law of the Original fraternity based on the constitution of the Göttingen Corps Vandalia, which in turn was based on corresponding models from Heidelberg. However, the idea of ​​the general fraternity did not catch on very strongly with the Göttingen students and was particularly reserved by the Göttingen Senior Citizens' Convention . In this respect, the fraternities in Göttingen remained until 1848, when the Hannovera fraternity was the first to be founded, in contrast to the corps, insignificant exceptional phenomena and the old German costume was only found sporadically in the cityscape.

In 1818, after a dispute between a craftsman and a student and a corresponding escalation, the Hanoverian hussars were deployed against the students and, as a result, the students moved out again , this time to Witzenhausen . Since this exodus or strike by the students had no effect, the student body subsequently declared the university again to be disreputable, with the result that the number of students fell from 1,158 to 858 in the winter semester. As a result of the official investigations triggered by this, as well as the university laws contained in the Karlovy Vary resolutions of September 20, 1819 , the persecution pressure on the student associations that continued to exist underground or as front organizations increased in severity and continued unabated until the mid-1820s. Another move to Witzenhausen in 1823 was again without the desired success for the students, especially since the threat of subsequent non-acceptance in the civil service had an effect against the background that in Prussia the government warned that the academic professions were overcrowded.

In the years 1822/23, the future Duke Wilhelm von Braunschweig studied in the company of an adjutant in Göttingen before he entered the Prussian military service and in 1830 came to the throne as the successor to his brother who had been driven out by the people.

The poet Heinrich Heine described the city, its inhabitants and the university in his Harz journey . Full of sarcasm and irony, he remarked: "Göttingen is a beautiful city, especially when you look at it with your back."

The number of students in Göttingen, which has traditionally also been very popular with students from the Baltic Sea Governments , fell not least because Tsar Nicholas I, after his succession to the throne in 1825, gave the Balts such as B. made studying in Germany difficult or impossible for the Kurlanders due to draconian regulations.

Another serious riot broke out on New Year's Eve 1828/29. The university authorities had made attacks against excessive beer consumption, and the students had gathered in the market square and sang Gaudeamus igitur . Afterwards, they had pedeled through the city, extinguished street lights and smashed numerous windows of university employees. The fights resulted in numerous injuries. In retrospect, however, the incident could not be further clarified and therefore had no consequences.

From 1829 to 1830 the future Bavarian King Maximilian II , son of King Ludwig I , studied in Göttingen, where he especially attended lectures in history and constitutional law . He was a student of the scholars Friedrich Dahlmann and Arnold Heeren .

It then became turbulent in January 1831 following the July Revolution in Paris (1830) through the revolution of the citizens and students in Göttingen in 1831, also known as the "Göttingen Revolution". Under the leadership of the private lecturer Johann Ernst Arminius von Rauschenplatt , a revolutionary council was formed and on January 8, 1831 the magistrate of the city of Göttingen was dissolved. The king demanded a free constitution for the Kingdom of Hanover and the overthrow of the government, the Münster cabinet. The students illegally smoked tobacco pipes in the street . On January 15, General von dem Bussche put an end to this revolution too with the marching-in (marching band advance) of 8,000 soldiers from the Hanoverian army from Nörten-Hardenberg . One of the few consequences was the subsequent replacement of Count Ernst von Munster as Minister for Hanoverian Affairs in London combined with the simultaneous appointment of the Duke of Cambridge as Viceroy in Hanover.

In the years 1842/45, the Göttingen student body was also hit by the turmoil of the reformist progress , which, inspired by the idea of ​​general equality and currents from the July Revolution and the Hambach Festival, sought to abolish academic privileges.

The Göttingen student body took part in delegations at the Wartburg Festival (1848) and on the Student Day of the same year in Eisenach , on which an attempt was made to formulate demands of the student body on the Frankfurt National Assembly .

With the revolutionary year of 1848, the progress movement in Göttingen also died out. Instead , from the mid-1850s onwards, the movement of the savages took the place of the Progress. One focus was the Schiller Festival in 1859. The wild movement included students who organized against the student associations and from which the free student body later emerged. In July 1863, a first general committee of the student body was founded as a forerunner of today's general student committee . From then on, this new movement gained force at the expense of the general representation claim of the student associations.

The connection of Göttingen to the Hannöversche Südbahn in 1854/55 made the journey easier. At the same time, the expansion of the railway network intensified competition with other universities for the next generation of students. Even then, more North German students went to South Germany than South Germans went north.

In 1856 John Pierpoint Morgan, better known as JP Morgan , began his studies in Göttingen. Morgan later worked as an entrepreneur in the USA and was considered the most influential banker of his time with his bank JP Morgan .

On October 18, 1863, the student battle on the Weender broke out in Göttingen . The 50th anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig should be celebrated with a procession. A dispute broke out over the order of the elevator and the placement of the bands on the train, which ended in a street battle. Some connections were then dissolved by 1864, but all of them continued to exist in secret.

From 1863 to 1866, Robert Koch completed his medical studies in Göttingen, which he completed here with a doctorate and state examination. Today Koch is considered to be the founder of modern bacteriology and, in part, of tropical medicine . His research and that of his students later helped to alleviate the consequences of the worst epidemics that threatened human and animal life. In 1905 he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine . After the German war came Wilhelm II. (Württemberg) to the University of Göttingen.

Professors and scientific highlights

In the college with Jacob Grimm , Göttingen May 28, 1830

In the troubled times (1830) the brothers Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm received a call to Göttingen, Jacob as a librarian and professor, Wilhelm only as a librarian, later also as a professor. Here they dealt with old literature and, on the basis of their research results, gave lectures on German antiquity as well as on linguistics and literary studies. In doing so, they laid the foundation for the newly emerging science of German studies .

The chemist Friedrich Wöhler succeeded Friedrich Stromeyer in 1836 . Wöhler is considered a pioneer of organic chemistry because of his synthesis of urea from ammonium cyanate in 1828. This urea synthesis opened up the field of biochemistry , since for the first time a substance that was previously only known from living organisms , namely urea, from "inanimate" matter could be produced artificially, namely from ammonium cyanate. This in-vitro synthesis refuted the theory of vitalism that a transcendent life force ( vis vitalis ) is essential for the production of organic substances.

At that time, Carl Friedrich Gauß , one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, was a professor at the university and also worked as the head of the observatory.

Politics, university structure and buildings

Auditorium at Wilhelmsplatz around 1837

Since the Duchy of Nassau did not have its own university , Duke Wilhelm von Nassau-Weilburg signed a state treaty with the Kingdom of Hanover on October 28, 1817 . The Royal Hannoversche Georg-August-Universität zu Göttingen became the Nassau State University until the annexation of both countries by Prussia in 1866. In 1837 Wilhelm IV gave Georgia Augusta's 100th birthday the auditorium on Wilhelmsplatz, which was built between 1835 and 1837 . This was built by the master builder Otto Prael under the influence of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, following the example of the Roman basilica . The decorative figures on the facade were made by the sculptor Ernst von Bandel . To thank the king for his support, the people of Göttingen erected a statue in front of the auditorium on Wilhelmsplatz, which to this day is the only monument to a British king on German soil.

In 1837, however, the university suffered a serious setback with the dismissal of seven of its professors, the Göttingen Seven , including the Brothers Grimm and the physicist Wilhelm Weber , as they protested against the repeal of the Hanoverian constitution, the liberal constitution of 1833 . As a result, the absolutist constitution of 1819 came into force again. Since the vacant chairs could not be filled with qualified personnel, because the colleagues of the outcasts in Germany showed solidarity and did not accept an offer, an attempt was made to recall the Göttingen Seven. However, only the physicist Weber and the orientalist Heinrich Georg August Ewald returned to Georgia-Augusta.

Ultimately, it was these constitutional questions since 1837 that sparked unrest in Göttingen and at his university in the revolutionary year of 1848. These were smoothed out in March by the government of Hanover responding to the demands of the time. Two of the professors of the Göttingen Seven accepted a renewed call to Göttingen. The students were granted freedom of speech . The revolution in Göttingen thus proceeded on a comparatively calm course. In the summer, however, the battle in Bovenden took place on July 30, 1848 , after revolutionary forces, followed by day trippers and sensational summer visitors, met at a popular event in Rauschenwasser. The local farmers had misunderstood the radical expropriation demands contained therein during the speeches held and understood that the expropriation should begin immediately. They immediately attacked the gathering with all available weapons including flails and dung forks. A student was shot in the stomach and died as a result the next day. Panic broke out and the vigilantes from Göttingen were called in, who managed to restore order with warning shots.

In 1866 the neo-Gothic auditorium at Weender Tor was completed just outside the ramparts , which today also houses the painting collection of the traditional art collection of the University of Göttingen . This construction measure created space for the subsequent expansion of the university library in the area of ​​the Pauline Church. However, the Paulinerkirche and the auditorium on Wilhelmsplatz continued to be used for lectures until the multi-purpose building opened in the 1970s.

In the German War of 1866, in the run-up to the Battle of Langensalza, after the departure of all Hanoverian troops in the city, there were unrest and looting by local anti-social groups. The city magistrate asked the vice rector of the university for assistance and suggested arming the students. As a result, three groups of students were armed in the local barracks to restore public order. However, there were no further arguments. Two days later, in time for the Prussian troops approaching from Hamburg, the students laid down their arms.

The Georgia-Augusta in the German Empire

In the winter semester of 1866/67, Georgia-Augusta became a Prussian university.

Students and society

The year 1881 brought the students of the University of Göttingen a restrictive change in the police hour and thus triggered the Göttingen beer riot on May 15 , which led to 300 arrests and numerous subsequent convictions, including imprisonment.

Professors and scientific highlights

Chemical laboratory, Göttingen, around 1890

With Rudolf von Jhering a leading German lawyers coined the reputation of Göttingen at this time.

Due to the active and not undisputed appointment policy of the self-confident and headstrong ministerial official in the Prussian Ministry of Education, Friedrich Althoff , a globally recognized cluster for mathematics , chemistry and physics was created in Göttingen at the turn of the century due to a well-planned university policy , whose effects lasted until the 1920s and also as Göttingen Nobel Prize miracle is glorified. One of Althoff's decisive appointments was the mathematician Felix Klein , who himself was an excellent science organizer and worked closely with Althoff in developing mathematics and natural sciences in Göttingen. During this time, for example, the chemists Walther Nernst and Richard Zsigmondy were appointed ; today the Museum of Göttingen Chemistry commemorates this time. Hilbert's list of 23 mathematical problems was published by him in Paris in 1900 and influenced mathematics in the 20th century. The physicist Ludwig Prandtl , who was called to Göttingen in 1904, founded fluid mechanics and the Göttingen Aerodynamic Research Institute (AVA).

Constantin Carathéodory studied in Göttingen and did her doctorate on the subject of discontinuous solutions in the calculus of variations . In Göttingen the century talent Carathéodory was recognized and even the day before the viva joined Felix Klein at him with the proposal zoom to get in Göttingen habilitation . He obtained his doctorate on October 1, 1904. His doctoral supervisor was Hermann Minkowski . Carathéodory's contributions to the calculus of variations , function theory , geometric optics , thermodynamics and theoretical physics influenced many well-known mathematicians. From the correspondence with Albert Einstein it emerges that Carathéodory was able to give him important mathematical explanations for his foundation of the theory of relativity . The new field concept that Carathéodory introduced into the calculus of variations was to have great consequences. Carathéodory derived an inequality from this, which 20 years later caused a sensation in the mathematical world under other names as Bellman's equation or inequality and became the basis for the principle of dynamic optimization , and since then has radiated far beyond mathematics. Carathéodory provided fundamental results in many areas of mathematics, especially in the theory of partial differential equations , function theory (Carathéodory's metric) and the theory of measure and integration. He also discovered several mathematical theorems, including the maximum principle . Carathéodory's theorem on measurability is still the subject of numerous mathematical investigations.

Prince Street Library building

Politics, university structure and buildings

From 1878 to 1882 the large extension of the university library was built on Prinzenstrasse , which had become necessary with the new tasks added by the library to the Prussian librarianship network, such as interlibrary loan . The contemporary style of this building set itself apart in its historicizing architecture from the previous classicist buildings.

In 1887 the 150th university jubilee took place as a university jubilee celebration . The Kaiser Wilhelm I had transferred his sovereign position as the highest rector of the university to the regent of the Duchy of Braunschweig, Prince Albrecht of Prussia , who was present with the high-ranking representatives of the province of Hanover .

The Georgia Augusta in and between the world wars

Students and society

In the euphoric mood at the outbreak of the First World War , the university decided to maintain the matriculation of the students participating in the war. The number of students thus did not decline as the students took to the field. In fact, about 3/4 of the Georgia-Augusta students were combatants; 726 of them as well as 22 university employees lost their lives in this way.

On November 8, 1918, a workers 'and soldiers' council was formed in Göttingen in the evening . On November 9th, a red flag waved on the town hall with two holes in the shape of a missing crescent and a star . The student body provided the Workers 'and Soldiers' Council with an advisory committee on academic matters after the left in the student body failed to assert itself against the conservative majority.

Emergency money from the Göttingen Chamber of Commerce in the 1920s with a motif of a student student

In the subsequent troubled times of the Weimar Republic , the Reich government demanded student battalions as temporary volunteers of the Reichswehr from almost all universities that were deployed throughout the country to maintain public order .

On July 22, 1920, the German University Ring (DHR) was founded in Göttingen as a cross -association collection movement of “nationally” and “ völkisch ”-minded students. In the first half of the 1920s he gained great influence in the local general student committees (AStA) and in their umbrella association, the German Student Union (DSt). For example, he won 16 out of 20 seats in the Göttingen AStA elections in May 1921. The more nationally liberal corps left the DHR in the summer semester of 1922. The DHR was significantly involved in numerous anti-republican and anti-Semitic actions at German universities during the 1920s and is considered a pioneer of the National Socialist ideology in the student body. With the emergence of the NS student union founded in 1926 , the DHR lost its importance.

1934 announce Göttingen riots the DC circuit of the student body also at the university.

The synchronization was completed by the university's 200th anniversary in 1937. All students were organized into comradeships by the NSDStB . During the Second World War , the number of students increased from around 1700 to 4884 in the last trimester of the war before the surrender in 1945. The increase in the number of students during the war is due to the fact that the increasing number of disabled combatants in particular was given the opportunity to study, for example as a doctor to be returned to use.

Professors and scientific highlights

From 1920 until his death in 1930 Friedrich Ludwig , one of the founders of historical musicology , worked as a professor in Göttingen. He was rector of the university in 1929/30.

Max Born was professor for theoretical physics in Göttingen from 1921 to 1933. Friedrich Hund was Max Born's assistant from 1922 to 1927, made significant contributions to physics, was a professor in Rostock, Leipzig, Jena, Frankfurt / Main and, from 1957, worked in Göttingen for another 40 years. In 1924 Werner Heisenberg became Max Born's assistant in Göttingen and worked with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen . In the following years he founded quantum mechanics with Max Born, Friedrich Hund and Pascual Jordan in Göttingen .

In 1927 Robert Oppenheimer , who would later be called the father of the atomic bomb , did his doctorate in Göttingen “with distinction” with Max Born on the subject of quantum physics. During these years there was an exchange of ideas between the most important atomic scientists of the time ( see also: Born-Oppenheimer approximation ). Oppenheimer later went back to the USA.

From 1931 to 1933 Edward Teller ( father of the hydrogen bomb ) worked as a research assistant in the working group around the Nobel Prize winner James Franck . Both left Göttingen after the seizure of power of the Nazis and later came to the United States.

In 1935, Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain (next to Frank Whittle, the father of the jet engine ), who had just received his doctorate from the director of the 1st Physics Institute Robert Wichard Pohl , tested his first turbine jet engine demonstration model in the institute yard. Pohl, who recognized the potential of the idea, recommended von Ohain to Ernst Heinkel , where the further development of this approach set a milestone in aviation history on August 27, 1939 with the world's first flight of a jet-powered aircraft ( He 178 ).

Displacement and emigration

Mathematical Institute on Bunsenstrasse

By the global economic crisis is already affected departments of the University and the Kaiser Wilhelm Society suffered in 1933 after the seizure of power of the Nazis by the professional civil service law decreed dismissal of scientists racist or political reasons a considerable loss of scientific substance. More than a fifth of the university's teaching staff (20.6%) were expelled by the National Socialists with this purge . Most affected were mathematics, which lost the highly respected professors Richard Courant , Hermann Weyl and Edmund Landau as well as the lecturer Emmy Noether , and the natural sciences (among others , the famous physicists Max Born and James Franck left ). At the end of the 1920s the new mathematical institute of the university was built with funds from the Rockefeller Foundation , but shortly afterwards the foundation under its chairman Max Mason had to support the move of the "Göttingen Mathematics" to New York, where a "Courant Institute " Founded. In this way, Göttingen mathematics was "internationalized". Furthermore, 72 people were stripped of their doctorate for racist or political reasons, including the Nobel Prize winners Ludwig Quidde and Max Born.

A year later, at a banquet , the Reich Education Minister Bernhard Rust asked the mathematician David Hilbert , who was seated next to him , whether the Mathematical Institute in Göttingen had suffered from the removal of the Jewish, democratic and socialist mathematicians. Hilbert is said to have replied in his East Prussian dialect: “Jelitten? Dat did not suffer, Minister. There's more to it than that. "

Some scientists formerly working in Göttingen ( Enrico Fermi , Edward Teller , James Franck ) worked as an alternative to the uranium project from 1942 under the scientific direction of Robert Oppenheimer, who did his doctorate in Göttingen, in Los Alamos (USA) on the Manhattan project for the development of the first atomic bomb later made some significant contributions to the development of the nuclear weapons potential of the United States.

Since 1945 - University in Lower Saxony

Students and society

After the war, the university slowly recovered. In the winter semester 1945/46, Georgia-Augusta resumed studying under the control of the British military government . At that time 4,296 students were enrolled, 78 percent male. Of these male students, 98.5 percent were combatants, just under a third of them were officers. Among them was the future Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker , who completed his law degree in Göttingen and graduated with both state exams. The war veteran Horst Ehmke , who later became head of the chancellery and federal minister in various departments, studied law and economics in Göttingen from 1946 to 1949 before continuing his studies in the USA.

Rudolf Schulten (1923–1996)

In 1953 Rudolf Schulten , the developer of the pebble bed reactor nuclear power plant, received his doctorate under Werner Heisenberg.

The first AStA was elected in December 1945, the former Wehrmacht officer and resistance fighter Axel von dem Bussche became the first chairman . In July 1946, freely elected student representatives met again for the first time in Göttingen for the first student day in the British occupation zone. The Association of German Student Associations later emerged from these regular meetings .

The student fraternities were reluctantly re-approved by the British military government . The management of the university also tried to influence the resumption of student traditions and forbade student fencing . From 1951 onwards, the Göttingen scale trial brought some clarification with a number of follow-up proceedings under administrative law, with which it was determined, with nationwide binding force, that such restrictions are not compatible with the law of the Federal Republic. As early as 1949, the Great Senate of the University of Tübingen decided that there will be no more space in the student communities for […] wearing colors in public. The West German Rectors' Conference in Tübingen in 1949 initially adopted this view. The reintroduction of the color thus met with incomprehension among the official bodies at many universities in Germany and in large parts of the student body. The first attempts in the 1950s to appear in public on a large scale led to protest rallies organized by the SDS . In Göttingen, the Corps Bremensia and Hannovera were revoked on July 28, 1953 by the rector of the University Hermann Heimpel for two semesters because of “wearing paint in public”. This measure was overturned by the Hanover Administrative Court on July 8, 1954 following an action brought by these corps . In the reasons for the decision, the court noted: Neither the state nor the university have the authority to place individual students or student associations under an exceptional right with regard to basic constitutional rights. However, wearing colors neither violates the rights of others nor violates the moral law or the constitutional order. Similar judgments were passed at other university locations and in the Rectors' Conference until 1952 the legal opinion prevailed that Couleur could not be banned. Until the end of the 1950s, the Göttingen connections, which were combined in the Intercorporative Convent (ICC), provided the majority of the representatives in the student parliament and thus also the AStA.

Demonstration in Göttingen in 1988

Since the politically turbulent times from the end of the 1960s, there have been solid “left” majorities in the AStA in Göttingen for a long time. As a mass university, the university acquired the reputation of a stronghold of the autonomous anti-fascist left in the German autumn of 1977 at the latest with the internationally sensational obituary of the Göttingen Mescalero for the federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback .

In the last few years, however, radical left groups have lost considerable influence. They currently only hold 6 out of 49 seats in the student parliament.

Very influential politicians later studied in Göttingen.

  • The future Minister of Defense and SPD parliamentary group leader in the German Bundestag, Peter Struck , who was born in Göttingen, began studying law in Göttingen in 1962 after graduating from high school, which he then continued in Hamburg.
  • The later Prime Minister of Lower Saxony and later German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) completed his law studies in Göttingen from 1966 to 1971, during which he was also active in university politics.
  • The later Federal Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger ( FDP ) began studying law in Göttingen after graduating from high school in 1970.
  • The later Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin ( The Greens ) studied social sciences after high school graduation in 1973 and the following civil service in Göttingen. During this period he was a member of the Communist League and had a seat in the AStA. For a time he was president of the student parliament.
  • The later SPD Prime Minister of Lower Saxony and later Federal Environment Minister as well as later SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel studied German, politics and sociology for teaching in Göttingen from 1981 to 1987 (first state examination).
  • Ursula von der Leyen ( CDU ), née Albrecht, the former Federal Minister of Family Affairs, former Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs, former Federal Minister of Defense, incumbent President of the European Commission , began studying economics in Göttingen in 1977 as the daughter of the then Minister President of Lower Saxony before moving to Münster changed.
  • Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil completed his law degree from 1978 to 1983 (first state examination) at the University of Göttingen.
Faculty of Chemistry in 2007

In 1976 the later Federal Minister of Justice Edzard Schmidt-Jortzig (FDP) completed his habilitation at the Faculty of Law in Göttingen. He had worked as an assistant at the Institute for International Law since 1970 . Another notable alumnus is Dieter Bohlen , who has sold 160 million records and is one of the most successful German music producers today . Bohlen graduated in 1978 with a degree in business administration in Göttingen.


Professors and scientific highlights

Politics, university structure and buildings

In 1955, the case of the right-wing publisher Leonhard Schlüter ( FDP ), who had been appointed minister of education in the cabinet of the newly elected Minister- President of Lower Saxony , Heinrich Hellwege, caused a stir . The rector of the university, Emil Woermann , resigned from his office together with the entire senate of the university under protest. A few days later, the leadership of the university forced the resignation of this minister, who had also become intolerable for the federal FDP under Thomas Dehler .

In 1957, with the Göttingen Declaration , the Göttingen Eighteen appealed to Adenauer against Germany's nuclear armament.

Faculty of Physics in the northern area in Weende

The number of students in Göttingen fluctuated between 4,500 and a little over 6,000 until the end of the 1950s. It was not until the early 60s began to develop the mass university, the Ordinarienuniversität was no longer up to the old type ( Under the gowns - Muff of 1000 years ). As a result of the student unrest of the late sixties , the group university developed into a mass university with at times well over 30,000 students. The integration of the Lower Saxony University of Education , Göttingen Department in 1978 also contributed to this, so that all teaching posts can be studied at the university. To cope with this onslaught, a new campus for the humanities was planned and built north of Göttingen city center in the 1960s . A building for the student union with a central canteen, a multi-purpose building (MZG) in high-rise style ("Blue Tower") and the central lecture hall building (ZHG) with the largest lecture hall at the university ("011"), which has almost 1,000 seats, were built on the site. In the immediate vicinity, seminar buildings for the law faculty ( Juridicum ), for the theological faculty (Theologicum) as well as for the economics and social sciences (Oeconomicum) were built. The central library was opened there in 1992 and the learning and study building in 2013.

The buildings of the University Medical Center Göttingen were also rebuilt in the north of the city in the 1970s and further scientific institutes including the XLAB experimental laboratory and a residential building for visiting professors were built in the Weende district .

10 DM banknote with Göttingen motifs

When the third and last series of Deutsche Mark banknotes was issued in 1989 , nine different personalities formed the motifs on the notes. Four of these people had been professors at the University of Göttingen in their lives: Carl Friedrich Gauß (10 DM), Paul Ehrlich (200 DM), Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (both 1000 DM). In addition to the picture of Gauß, the 10 DM note showed, among other things, historical buildings of the University of Göttingen, including the observatory and the auditorium.

University Church has been the Gothic Nikolaikirche in the Nikolaiviertel of the southern old town since 1822 .

Museums, collections and gardens at a glance

As early as the 18th century, the university was famous for its collections and gardens, which made it possible to study clearly, beyond pure book knowledge. Even today, Göttingen has some of the world's unique attractions in this area, some of which are open to the public.

University historical observatory

Natural Sciences:

Art collection of the university


Human medicine:


In addition to the individual collections and facilities of the faculties and institutes of the university and the Goettingen State and University Library, the Goettingen City Museum also has university-related collections. The permanent exhibition there gives a concise overview of the history of the university, its professors and students.

Personalities and alumni

The university has had many famous teachers and scientists in its history, not all of which can be mentioned here. These and well-known personalities are summarized in a special list . There is also the category: University professor (Göttingen) .

Since 1874 the typical Göttingen memorial plaques have been in the cityscape of the homes of around 320 famous Göttingen scholars and students. They are mostly made of white marble and refer to the time the honored person lived in the house to which they are attached. A Göttingen laudation is always associated with the installation of the plaque . One of the best-known alumni of Georgia Augusta is the later Chancellor Otto von Bismarck as a student , whose centenary of enrollment was celebrated in 1932 in Göttingen. The Bismarck house , the Bismarck tower and the Bismarck stone still remind of the times of the Bismarck cult in Göttingen . Bismarck was strongly influenced in Göttingen by the "diplomatic trainer" from Heeren.

The Friends of Georgia-Augusta have been with the Universitätsbund Göttingen e. V. as a non-profit association that procures third-party funds for the university as part of its non-profit purposes. The Universitätsbund Göttingen is also one of the sponsors of the Georgia-Augusta alumni organization. Compared to the universities in the USA, this is still young and in the process of being established. The alumni network already has around 30,000 members, including a former Federal President, a former Federal Chancellor and Nobel Prize winner Herbert Kroemer .

Academic Orchestra Association Göttingen

The Academic Orchestra Association Göttingen (AOV) is the oldest orchestra at the University of Göttingen. It was founded in 1906 by professors, assistants and students from the University of Göttingen. From 1950 Hermann Fuchs was musical director of the AOV for 37 years .

The AOV became known far beyond Göttingen, above all for the re-performance of operas by Georg Friedrich Handel in collaboration with the Göttingen University Association. The annual Göttingen Handel Festival has its origins in this.

To mark the 111th anniversary of the AOV, some members of the orchestra created an exhibition.

University choir and university orchestra Göttingen

The choir

The university choir was founded in Göttingen in 1946 and was directed by the then Academic Music Director (AMD) Hermann Fuchs until December 1987. As his successor in office, AMD Ingolf Helm has led the ensemble since then.

The program consists of classic-romantic oratorios as well as a cappella repertoire. Another special feature are the regular performances of Johann Sebastian Bach's cantatas in the services of the university church . Contemporary works are also included in the program. At the end of 2009 the choir sang the world premiere of the oratorio “Verheißungen” by Ingolf Helm.

The orchestra

The Göttingen University Orchestra was founded in 1990 by the academic music director Ingolf Helm. It consists of around 40 to 50 members from all fields of study. The repertoire ranges from classical symphonies , overtures and solo concerts to Bach cantatas in the university church service to choral orchestral pieces that are developed together with the university choir.

A concert program is rehearsed within one semester and performed at the end of the semester. There are also various performances such as special concerts during Advent or official celebrations in the auditorium , in which ensembles from the orchestra also take part. Concert tours have also taken the university orchestra to other European countries.


From the summer semester of 1957, the personnel and course directories were preceded by two entries in the same print:

The Georg-August-Universität zu Göttingen
was founded by a deed of foundation on December 7th, 1736 and inaugurated
on September 17th, 1737.

Its founder was Georg II.
Elector of Hanover and King of Great Britain and Ireland.
Your first and most ardent sponsor was the Hannoversche Geheime Rat
Gerlach Adolph Freiherr von Münchhausen .

The Georg August University
maintains the tradition of the
Albertus University in Königsberg / Pr.
founded by
Duke Albrecht of Prussia in 1544 .


  • Johann Stephan Pütter , Friedrich Saalfeld, Georg Heinrich Oesterley: Johann Stephan Pütter's attempt at an academic scholarly history from the Georg Augustus University in Göttingen . Vandenhoeck, Göttingen 1765.
  • Ernst Brandes : About the current state of the University of Göttingen . Goettingen 1802.
  • Emil Franz Rössler: The founding of the University of Göttingen. Göttingen 1855. Digitizedhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3D~GB%3D2GhAAAAAIAAJ~IA%3D~MDZ%3D%0A~SZ%3D~ double sided%3D~LT%3D~PUR%3D
  • Franz Stadtmüller (Hrsg.): History of the Corps Hannovera zu Göttingen 1809-1959. Goettingen 1963.
  • Friedrich Hund : The history of the Göttingen physics. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1987. (Göttingen University Speeches)
  • Jürgen von Stackelberg (ed.): On the intellectual situation at the time when the University of Göttingen was founded in 1737. A series of lectures on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Georgia Augustana. Göttingen University Writings Series A, Volume 12. Göttingen 1988.
  • Dietrich Denecke , Helga-Maria Kühn (ed.): Göttingen. History of a university town. 3 volumes (1987: Volume 1, 2002: Volume 2, 1999: Volume 3). Göttingen 1987-2002, ISBN 3-525-36196-3 .
  • Dietrich Hoffman, Kathrin Maack-Rheinländer (eds.): “Designed for studying”: The museums, collections and gardens of the University of Göttingen. Wallstein, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-89244-452-8 .
  • Eckart Kleßmann : University nurses . Five enlightened women between Rococo, Revolution and Romanticism. The Other Library, Volume 281. Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-8218-4588-3 .
  • Detlef Busse: Commitment or withdrawal? Göttingen natural sciences in the First World War. Writings on the history of the University of Göttingen, Volume 1. Göttingen University Press 2008, ISBN 978-3-940344-20-5 . (PDF; 3.8 MB)
  • Frauke Geyken : For the good of everyone . History of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen from its founding 1737 to 2019. Steidl Verlag , Göttingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-95829-651-0 .

Web links

Commons : Georg-August-Universität Göttingen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Lecturers and Professors  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Alumni  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mission statement for Alumni Göttingen - Preamble - Motto , University of Göttingen.
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  6. Best universities in Germany 2020. Retrieved on December 11, 2019 (English).
  7. Bernd Ebeling: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Beisiegel will be the future President of the University of Göttingen. Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, press release from March 10, 2010 at the Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (, accessed on December 20, 2014.
  8. President Prof. Dr. Reinhard Jahn. Retrieved December 11, 2019 .
  9. Information on building management , University of Göttingen.
  10. Our canteens , Göttingen Student Union. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  11. Student dormitories in the city districts and statistical districts 2003 to 2012 (PDF; 15 kB), City of Göttingen. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  12. Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - amount of semester fees In:
  13. ^ Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - Public Relations: Semester Contributions - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Retrieved January 7, 2020 .
  14. ^ Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - student body contribution In:
  15. Students according to faculties or departments 1950 to 2008 (PDF; 16 kB), City of Göttingen.
  16. Göttingen Campus , official website.
  17. Overview of university-related institutions of the University of Göttingen , University of Göttingen.
  18. ^ University of Göttingen - Centers website of the University of Göttingen, accessed on July 8, 2012.
  19. Literature by and about Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in the catalog of the German National Library
  20. Georg-August University of Göttingen - Public Relations: Figures, data and facts - Georg-August University of Göttingen. Retrieved January 7, 2020 .
  21. see homepage of the Equal Opportunities Office , accessed on July 10, 2015
  22. see Female Professors Program II (2013-2017) , accessed on July 10, 2015
  23. see page of the office for good scientific practice
  24. Georg-August University of Göttingen - Public Relations: Finance Department - Georg August University of Göttingen. Retrieved January 7, 2020 .
  25. ^ Hermann Horstkotte: Continuing without elite stamp on June 18, 2012, accessed on March 18, 2015
  26. Kleßmann: Universitätsmamsellen. 2008, p. 19.
  27. Erich Bauer: Reliable news of the way of life at the University of Göttingen. An advertising leaflet from 1739 . Once and Now, Yearbook of the Society for Corps Student History Research, Volume 10 (1965), pp. 51–57
  28. Arnd Krüger : Valentin funnel's heirs. The theory-practice problem in the physical exercises at the Georg-August University (1734 - 1987). In: H.-G. Schlotter (Hrsg.): The history of the constitution and the departments of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1994, ISBN 3-525-35847-4 , pp. 284-294.
  29. Hans-Joachim Heerde: The audience of physics. Lichtenberg's listener. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-8353-0015-6 , p. 570; limited preview in Google Book search
  30. ^ NN : Schulte (Kaspar Detlev). In: Conversations Lexicon of the Present. Volume 4, FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1840, p. 946, limited preview in the Google book search
  31. Karl Theodor von Heigel:  Ludwig I, King of Bavaria . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 19, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1884, pp. 517-527.
  32. Goettingen Virtual Ancient Museum , Archaeological Institute of the University of Goettingen.
  33. Ilse Jahn, Rolf Löther, Konrad Senglaub (eds.): History of Biology. Jena 1985, p. 637.
  34. (May 13, 1848)
  35. The jet age began in Göttingen: 100th birthday of Hans von Ohain . German Aerospace Center (DLR). Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  36. Michael Grüttner , Sven Kinas: The expulsion of scientists from German universities from 1933 to 1945 . In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . 55 (2007), pp. 140, 166 ff. ( PDF )
  37. (according to Abraham Fraenkel, Lebenskreise, 1967, p. 159)
  38. ^ F. Stadtmüller: History of the Corps Hannovera zu Göttingen. Göttingen 1963, p. 316.
  39. ^ F. Stadtmüller: History of the Corps Hannovera zu Göttingen. Göttingen 1963, p. 323.
  40. Student Parliament (StuPa) of the Georg-August University of Göttingen - About us , University of Göttingen.
  41. ^ Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - Public Relations: Sunday Walks - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Retrieved January 7, 2020 .
  42. Experimental Botanical Garden. Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - Public Relations, accessed on October 9, 2018 .
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  49. Staff at the University Church , accessed on July 24, 2019.
  50. Written oratorio “Verheißung” . Göttinger Tageblatt , edition of December 17, 2009
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  52. ^ Letter from the Albertus University, Christmas 1957.

Coordinates: 51 ° 32 ′ 30.7 "  N , 9 ° 56 ′ 4.1"  E