Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

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Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
founding October 18, 1914
place Frankfurt am Main
state Hesse
country Germany
President Birgitta Wolff
Students 43.630 (SS 2020)
Employee 5,126.53 ( FTE , December 2018)
including professors 580 (FTE, December 2018)
Annual budget € 644.6 million (2018)
Networks DFH , German U15

The Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main is a full university and was the fourth largest university in Germany in terms of the number of students in the 2017/18 winter semester with over 48,000  students . More than 560 professors teach and research at it  ; 16  departments offer 170  courses on 5 campuses.

The university was opened under the name of the Royal University of Frankfurt am Main on October 18, 1914 as the first German foundation university of modern times. When it opened in 1914, numerous previous institutions were amalgamated, which gave me university status, granting me the right to award doctorates. After the First World War and the loss of the foundation's assets, the city of Frankfurt am Main took over the sponsorship. The royal attribute was deleted from the name. On June 16, 1932, the Prussian State Ministry granted her the privilege of naming herself after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe . In 1967 it became a state university in Hessen, and in 2008 it became a public foundation again. Since then she has been using a simplified logo and prefers the name Goethe University Frankfurt am Main .

The university is part of the Rhein-Main-Neckar IT cluster . The Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Technical University Darmstadt together form the Rhine-Main Universities (RMU).


IG-Farben-Haus ("Poelzig-Bau"), built from 1928 to 1930 based on plans by Hans Poelzig , houses a. a. cultural and humanities institutions

The university is spread over four large university campuses across the Frankfurt metropolitan area:

  • The Westend campus is the main location. These include the IG Farben building and numerous new buildings, including the House of Finance and the central lecture hall building. In addition to the central administration, most of the departments, with the exception of medicine and natural sciences, have been located here since 2001
  • The Riedberg campus, with university buildings built from around 1970, houses the departments of physics, biochemistry, chemistry and pharmacy, biosciences and geosciences (the latter for the most part), the science garden and a lecture hall center with the natural science library.
  • The Bockenheim campus is the former center of the university, which still houses various parts of the linguistic and cultural studies, the computer science and mathematics department, the central building of the university library and some parts of the administration in buildings from the 1950s to 1970s.
  • On the Niederrad campus, with buildings and facilities that have grown historically since the 19th century, as well as modern complexes, is the Frankfurt University Hospital with its medical department .

In addition, the university sports grounds ("Sportcampus Ginnheim") on Ginnheimer Landstrasse in the Bockenheim district belong to the university, and there is also the Institute for Apiculture in Oberursel .

The redevelopment of the university, which has been intensified since the mid-1990s, has de facto a three-campus university as its goal for the future. For this purpose, the units currently still located in the Bockenheim district are to move, but not the sports grounds.

The public botanical garden at the end of Siesmayerstrasse, which was formerly connected to the Biology Campus (1956–2011), has been transferred to the City of Frankfurt and the responsibility of the Palmengarten . Parts of the previous Bockenheim campus, including the historic Jügelhaus , have been taken over by the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research , while other parts have been left to local urban development. The formerly numerous other scattered university buildings in the Bockenheim district have been abandoned and partially demolished, and partially used for other purposes.


Early Higher Education Approaches (14th to 19th Century)

The first plans for a university in Frankfurt am Main were made at the end of the 14th century, when the city council tried at times to relocate the university from Paris to Frankfurt am Main. After the destruction of Heidelberg on May 22nd, 1693 by French troops, the professors of the University of Heidelberg moved to Frankfurt am Main and established themselves there in 1694 under the rector Johann Ludwig Fabricius as a university in exile. However, this did not remain permanently in Frankfurt am Main, but was relocated to Weinheim in 1698 , where the temporary residence of the Palatinate Elector Johann Wilhelm was.

The first serious attempt of founding a university undertook Grand Duke Karl Theodor von Dalberg 1812. He planned for his Grand Duchy of Frankfurt an academy on the French model and founded to several high schools in Frankfurt, Aschaffenburg and Wetzlar: The Lyceum Carolinum in Frankfurt should the philosophical faculty of the Grand Ducal University form and prepare the students for the subsequent subject study at a specialized faculty through a general education course. The law school in Wetzlar , located at the seat of the former Reich Chamber of Commerce , was intended for legal training . A central location with theological, legal and philosophical faculties was the Charles University of Aschaffenburg , to which the remaining core of the University of Mainz , which was closed in 1798, had emigrated. A medical-surgical special school was to be established at the Senckenberg Foundation in Frankfurt, founded in 1763, and to cooperate with it.

With the end of the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt in 1813, the institutions founded by Dalberg and closely associated with his name quickly disappeared. The Senate of the Free City of Frankfurt was not interested in the continuation and closed the Lyceum Carolinum again in 1814 and the medical school in 1815.

The grounds of the Senckenberg Foundation at Eschenheimer Tor , founded in 1763, were the first scientific campus of the Free City of Frankfurt

Nevertheless, during the time of the Free City of Frankfurt between 1815 and 1866, new scientific societies and institutions emerged, all of which were based on foundations and initiatives of committed citizens. In 1817 Frankfurt citizens, including Christian Ernst Neeff , doctor and anatomist at the Senckenberg Foundation and professor of pathology at Dalberg's medical special school, founded the Senckenberg Natural Research Society to promote natural research and to set up a public natural history cabinet . It took over the mineralogical, palaeontological and botanical collections of the Senckenberg Foundation as the basis of the Senckenberg Nature Museum . The Physikalische Verein followed in 1824 as the founding of eleven Frankfurt citizens under the leadership of Neeff and Johann Valentin Albert .

The new scientific societies, which were followed by the Geography and Statistics Association in 1836 , the Medical Association in 1845 and the Microscopic Association in 1855 , settled on the grounds of the Senckenberg Foundation at Eschenheimer Tor , which in this way became Frankfurt's first scientific campus . They bring their book holdings together in a joint collection, the Senckenberg Library , which with around 90,000 volumes was already one of the largest natural science and medical libraries in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century.

Foundation of the foundation university in 1914

Main building of the university ( Jügelhaus ), June 1958
Bockenheim campus: Observatory of the Physical Society , May 2004

The founding of the university is largely due to the commitment of Frankfurt's Lord Mayor Franz Adickes . It was Adickes' wish to promote cultural and educational institutions in addition to the settlement of industrial companies in Frankfurt. To this end, he supported all initiatives that had to lead specifically to a university. He found a companion in Wilhelm Merton , the founder of the metal company , who was also convinced that there was an inseparable connection between trade and industry, but also between social welfare and science. Merton founded the Institute for the Common Good in 1890 with his own and third-party funds and in 1901 the Academy for Social and Commercial Sciences .

The academy formed the nucleus of the first economics and social science faculty in Germany at the University Foundation. The medical faculty is also largely based on private foundations: Hannah Luise von Rothschild founded a dental clinic, the so-called Carolinum , in 1890 . In 1901 Johanna Stern, the widow of the banker Theodor Stern , donated half a million marks to the Medical Institute to promote physiological research . Franziska Speyer , the widow of the banker Georg Speyer , financed the establishment of an institute for research into infectious diseases , the direction of which was transferred in 1906 to the scientist, doctor and later Nobel Prize winner Paul Ehrlich . Adickes pushed ahead with the establishment of an academy for practical medicine , which was to take up the existing foundations as well as other medical institutes and clinics, and collected other foundations and legacies, including those of the philanthropist Charles Hallgarten , the banker Otto Braunfels and the heirs of the bookseller Carl Christian Jügel . With his legacy of two million gold marks and Franziska Speyer's legacy of millions , the start-up capital for the foundation university had finally grown to more than 14 million gold marks and met all the requirements for Frankfurt to become the best-equipped university in Prussia alongside Berlin . The city of Frankfurt provided land in the Westend and the municipal clinic in Sachsenhausen.

Other donors included the Physikalische Verein , which brought in eight natural science institutes that Dr. Senckenbergische Stiftung with the Institute for Anatomy and the Botanical Institute, which dates back to 1763, the Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft , whose library, together with the city ​​library with around 350,000 volumes at that time and the Rothschild library with around 70,000 volumes, provided the university with literature, and the Neurological Institute of Ludwig Edinger .

The foundation contract was notarized on September 28, 1912. Otto Linnemann had designed the jewelry sheet attached to the contract . It shows Athena as the goddess of science on a pedestal with the Frankfurt city arms and in front of a window in which the Leonhard Church and the Rententurm can be seen on the left and the cathedral tower on the right . The Leonhardskirche, built in 1219, was the first foundation of Frankfurt citizens, the construction of the cathedral tower was financed by the city and the citizens in the 15th century and its reconstruction after the fire of 1867 was made possible mainly through generous donations from the citizens and the emperor.

Resistance against the establishment of the university formed from various directions. In the Prussian House of Representatives, members of the Conservatives, Free Conservatives and National Liberals denied the need for another university in Germany and voiced concerns about a “free” city university founded on the initiative of citizens. In the spring of 1911, at the request of the University of Marburg, the conference of the rectors of all Prussian universities sent a petition to the Prussian minister of education to refuse the establishment of the Frankfurt University. There is no need for another university, the new foundation will cause serious damage to the neighboring universities of Gießen and Marburg, and the financing of the project is not secured. In the Frankfurt city council on June 19, 1911 , Max Quarck spoke out on behalf of the SPD parliamentary group against the establishment of another royal Prussian doctor factory . The form of the German university is outdated and only benefits the ruling class.

Against all odds, Adickes and Merton managed to get Kaiser Wilhelm II, as King of Prussia , to approve the establishment of the " Foundation University " under the name of the Royal University of Frankfurt am Main on June 10, 1914 . The founding act was to take place on October 18, 1914 in the presence of the emperor; but this canceled his participation because of the First World War . Richard Wachsmuth became rector. In the winter semester of 1914/1915 there were 618 students (100 of them women) and 50 professors.

The expansion of the range of subjects in the 1920s

After the First World War, the foundation's assets were initially ruined, but a university contract between the city and state - Frankfurt and Prussia - eased the financial burden. At the same time, in 1872 employees of the Kaiser Wilhelm University in Strasbourg were dismissed and forced by France to leave Strasbourg . It was decided that Frankfurt should continue and preserve the tradition of the University of Strasbourg. The entire university library, which was saved shortly before the French occupation, became the property of the University of Frankfurt. The Alsace-Lorraine Aid League was also founded. The Alsace-Lorraine Institute that emerged from this was associated with the university until 1945, but then had to cease scientific operations. In the statutes, the scope of duties was limited to purely scientific goals in order to exclude any form of revanchism . In the few years between 1918 and 1932, Frankfurt University experienced a great boom. The connection between the city and the university was institutionally secured by the board of trustees and the large council, in which the city and the families of the founding family had a say. The range of subjects was expanded and prominent scientists appointed. In 1914 the Nobel Prize winner Max von Laue became the first holder of the chair for theoretical physics . In 1916 Juliuszug was won for the first Frankfurt pedagogy chair , Franz Oppenheimer in 1919 for the first sociological chair in Germany; he was followed by Karl Mannheim in 1930.

In 1919, the future Nobel Prize winner Max Born came to Frankfurt University in exchange with Max von Laue. In 1920 the physicist Friedrich Dessauer  - known for his research on radiation science - moved to Frankfurt. In 1922, the physicists Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach at the university's physical institute undertook an experiment that was important for the history of quantum mechanics and that has become known as the Stern-Gerlach experiment . Otto zur Strassen took over the chair for zoology in 1914 and was rector of the university in 1922/1923.

In 1924 Richard Wilhelm was appointed honorary professor to the newly established endowed chair for Chinese history and Chinese philosophy ; In 1927 it became a full chair.

Also in 1924, on the initiative of the Weil family, the “ Institute for Social Research ” was founded at Frankfurt University. Carl Grünberg , who was also a full professor at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, became director of the institute . His successor as director of the institute was Max Horkheimer in 1930 , who returned to Frankfurt in 1950 after exile in the United States during the Second World War and was supposed to represent the “ Frankfurt School ” with Theodor W. Adorno and others . According to the will of the predominantly Jewish donors, no theological faculty was set up, because questions of faith and denomination should not play a role in the cosmopolitan, liberal university. However, the donors attached importance to a critical-analytical treatment of all denominations, as offered by the Philosophical Faculty in its discussion forum for lecturers of different denominations. The Jewish lecturers Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber and the Protestant Paul Tillich taught at the University of Frankfurt, which has called itself "Johann Wolfgang Goethe University" since 1932 .

The students - their number had risen to more than 5,000 by 1923 - came mostly from a solid middle class. Officials and teachers, farmers, smallholders, traders and traders as well as employees were their fathers. Here, too, the proportion of Jews was very high compared to other universities and the proportion of fraternity students was remarkably low. In 1930, the bacteriologist Emmy Klieneberger was the first woman to receive his habilitation at the University of Frankfurt .

The university during National Socialism

In 1933 the university - like other universities - came under the pressure of political conformity , to which it gave in in order to prevent the threat of closure due to its reputation as a “Jewish-Marxist” university. 109 of 355 lecturers were dismissed from university for “racial” or political reasons, and 66 socialist, communist and Jewish students were also expelled from the university. The National Socialist German Student Union , with the understanding of the university administration, which had now been brought into line, massively disrupted the lectures of the few Jewish professors who remained because of the combatant paragraph . In 1933, students also took part in the book burning on the Römerberg . While German universities lost an average of 15 percent of their members in the early days of National Socialism, this proportion in Frankfurt was around a third. The Jewish university foundations such as B. the Paul Ehrlich Foundation were Aryanized and incorporated into the university. In 1935 the University Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene in Frankfurt am Main was founded, which also served as an official medical advice center and, under the direction of the medical and human geneticist Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer , was supposed to design an overall solution to the "Jewish problem" (the later camp doctor Josef Mengele worked for him for a time as assistant).

Under the direction of Walter Platzhoff , who, in addition to his role as rector of the university, also headed the board of directors of the historical seminar, the teaching and research work of Frankfurt historians in the years 1933–1945 was geared to the needs of National Socialist education and science policy. Lectures on “völkisch historical problems” or “inner German development from the Second to the Third Reich” were held not only as part of the history course, but also as part of the lecture series “People, State and Politics”, which is compulsory for students of all subjects. The institute of the Alsace-Lorraine in the Reich , founded in 1921, was closely connected with the seminar , chaired by the historian Paul Wentzcke, who specializes in border and foreign Germanism, since 1935 and in which a publication center for the West German Research Association was established in 1941 . One of his main tasks was the translation of French literature and press texts, which were sent to the Gauleiter in the occupied French territories and the propaganda departments of the military commanders in Paris, among others . Walter Platzhoff also acted as a high-ranking science functionary and working group leader on recent history as part of the major scientific projects of Aktion Ritterbusch .

Reconstruction and reconnecting with democratic traditions

New building of the philosophical faculty (1959)

After the Second World War, the American military government initially ordered the university to be closed. Through the efforts of the rector Georg Hohmann , elected for the year 1945/1946 , in association with Wilhelm Hollbach, who was acting mayor shortly after the end of the war, and with the support of American military representatives and the commitment of some politically unaffected scientists and representatives of the city, the university was finally opened on 1 Reopened February 1946. Hohmann's successor, law professor Walter Hallstein , who had returned from American captivity , the then Minister of Education and later Rector Franz Böhm , and Max Horkheimer, who had returned to Frankfurt from American emigration (Rector 1951–1953, then head of the Institute for Social Research ), made an effort about developing the university’s newly won academic freedom and self-determination. Together with other universities in the American zone, the focus in Frankfurt was on the establishment of the previously missing theological faculty , on generally binding lectures on ethical and moral issues and possibly also on politics. At the same time, an international opening of the university, especially to the USA, was sought; In this context, in 1949 a delegation of professors from Chicago visited colleagues and students in Frankfurt.

The AfE tower , built in 1972, was blown up on February 2, 2014

The full-time university of the 1950s and 1960s

The large-scale university building program under Ferdinand Kramer also took into account the furnishings down to the last detail, including the "Frankfurt University Chair"

In 1953, the state of Hesse, newly founded after the end of the war, took on the financial obligations of the former Prussian state, and in 1967 the Goethe University became a state university. Associated with this was the withdrawal of the city of Frankfurt from financial responsibility. A greater change also resulted from the now stronger link between teacher training and the specialist sciences, since the University of Education was integrated into the university as a department for educational sciences . At the same time, the traditional five faculties - law , medicine , philosophy , natural sciences, and economics and social sciences  - were divided into (then) 19 departments.

The fact that the organizational restructuring was not accompanied by a reform of the content and forms of teaching revived the student protests of 1968 and 1969 , which broke out across Germany. A highlight and an exemplary characterization of the protests was the symbolic renaming of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University as "Karl Marx University" by the Socialist German Student Union .

However, there have been lasting changes in the university's decision-making structures: until now, only the assembly of full professors (chair holders, professorships), in coordination with the responsible ministry, had decided and decided on the development of the university May 12, 1970 direct participation rights through the participation of all status groups.

Group university

For the 30 years or so that followed, the university functioned internally as a group university, sometimes very lively, with strong and controversial arguments between the various status groups (professors, research assistants, students, others). Most of the time, the controversies sparked between the groups of professors and students, and sometimes between the president and the student body. For example, the nationwide student strike of 1988/1989, initiated by the Free University of Berlin , spilled over to the University of Frankfurt in November 1988, where the social sciences department was initially affected. The situation was marked by "newly created forms of self-organization, such as action committees, central student councils and general assemblies". This was preceded by student protests in Frankfurt in July of the same year on the occasion of an invitation from the university management to the Bosch manager and former Nazi economic functionary Hans Lutz Merkle for a series of lectures organized by the presidential office and later discontinued, Profession as Experience .

Transition to the presidential university

With the university law reform in 2000, the then CDU - FDP state government pushed back the participation of the status groups in favor of a more centralized leadership by a collegial university management. Within the university in the departments, however, some changes were not implemented suddenly, but more gradually, which increased acceptance. Under President Rudolf Steinberg , in these and the following years, a program was also implemented to establish specializations in science and to improve the quality of studies and teaching, which was intended to enhance the position of the university in national and international comparison. Interestingly, the relationship between professors and students (student body) improved noticeably in many departments during this period.

New foundation university from 2008

The new Westend campus - view to the south, August 2009 (from the RuW building)
The new lecture hall building on the Westend campus, November 2010
The new physics institute building on the Riedberg campus, June 2008

On February 14, 2007, the Senate decided to convert it into a foundation university under certain conditions. With this step, the university continued its founding tradition. The university management saw advantages in an expanded opportunity to bind donors and sponsors to the university, as well as in an increase in independence. In the opinion of the university management, the transformation was in the continuity of the university development plan from 2001, which already said: “In its university development plan 2001, the University of Frankfurt has set itself the goal of providing top performance on the basis of a broad range of subjects in forward-looking focuses in research and teaching and to achieve a leadership position in the educational landscape. "

The conversion took place as a foundation university under public law ; a foundation under private law had been discussed and rejected. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the land in Bockenheim, which was still owned by the state, as well as donations from private individuals formed the capital base for the conversion. The largest private individual foundation for additional financial leeway in research and teaching was made in the summer of 2007 by the Kassel family in the amount of 32 million euros.

The foundation statute was also accompanied by a change in the Hessian Higher Education Act (§§ 81 ff.), Which gave the university a high degree of autonomy for state universities. The corresponding law of the state government was passed in September 2007 with the votes of the CDU - FDP government coalition and largely incorporated the development goals aimed at by the university and the demands of the staff representatives for the protection of employees. They and student representatives in particular feared that private donors could dominate the university, that freedom of research and teaching could be curtailed and that a one-sided ideological orientation would be enforced, which would also worsen the working conditions of employees. In November 2008, the university management was the first university body in Germany to counter this with a code that regulates the acceptance of funds from private third parties in detail. The focus was and is on preserving the freedom of research and teaching.

Even after the conversion into a foundation under public law, the university remained state-owned and, in its changed legal form, is still subject to the Hessian Higher Education Act. However, it can adopt a number of its own regulations that deviate from the provisions of the Hessian Higher Education Act. According to the opinion of the time, it should win in the following central development areas:

  • Selection of students
  • Appointment of professors
  • Quality management
  • Organization and financial autonomy of the student body

In addition, there was the elimination of a large number of approval and approval reservations. Fields of autonomous design also opened up through the transfer of the employer property and, in some cases, the property owner .

On January 1, 2008, the conversion of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University into a foundation university under public law was completed. As of June 1, 2008, the university also chose the designation Goethe University Frankfurt am Main as the preferred spelling of its name . and customized the university logo. This should emphasize the Goethe brand identity more strongly. In 2009 the university received over 10 million euros in grants and donations, around 2 million euros more than in the previous year. In addition, there were third-party funds raised by the researchers and the university, amounting to 137.1 million euros at the time, which have increased since then. At the same time, the number of endowed and endowed visiting professorships rose. In 2009, the University of Frankfurt was to receive the first five of a total of 15 million euros in grants. Overall, however, the (large) incoming donations did not develop quite as strongly in the later years as initially appeared.

On Rudolf Steinberg , who was very much initiated the establishment of a foundation university and enforced, followed by eight and a half years in office in early 2009 as the new president of the University of Werner Müller-Esterl . On January 1, 2015, Birgitta Wolff took over the presidency of the University .

Development profile and cutting-edge research

As part of the excellence initiatives of the federal and state governments, the Goethe University has not yet succeeded in obtaining funding for the university as a whole with its future concept. However, on the occasion of the second funding line of the initiative, three research networks of the university - one each in the field of medicine, the natural sciences, and the humanities and social sciences - were generously funded as clusters of excellence :

As part of the third funding line ( Excellence Strategy ), from January 2019 only the Cluster of Excellence in the research network with Giessen will be funded.

The rejection of all funding applications as part of the Excellence Strategy for the period from 2019 - with the exception of the one for the Cardio-Pulmonary Institute - caused an international sensation in September 2017. In particular, the refusal to continue the Normative Orders cluster was criticized in an open letter. The future of the project was promised shortly afterwards by the Hessian state government. In what form it should be continued is still open.

In addition, the university was involved in six special research areas (SFBs) of the German Research Foundation in 2018 , two of which are transregional SFBs (associations with the University of Mainz and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, among others ). For most (currently five of the six) SFBs, professors from Goethe University also provide the respective speakers. In addition, the university currently has seven national graduate colleges and organizes eight further integrated graduate colleges within the SFBs. The acquisition of EU funds has now also received increased support from the central administration.

Since 2009, the University carries internally the Graduate Academy Goethe Research Academy for Early Career Researchers (GRADE), which all young scientists is open and offers specific support and training for PhD students and postdocs. The prerequisite for registration with GRADE is acceptance for a doctorate in one of the departments or employment as a postdoc at Goethe University. GRADE is led by a team headed by a board.

Departments and internal organization

The university is divided into 16 departments below the central administration:

The departments are responsible, among other things, for the conception, implementation and exams of the currently around 170 courses. They are also responsible for doctorates and habilitations . They are also generally responsible for proposals for the appointment of adjunct professors , honorary and collaborative or co-opting professorships and other categories of teaching staff. Here, as well as in general for new appointments of regular professors (the university professorships ), they prepare all steps so that the Presidium can issue an appointment on this basis (or the formal appointment can take place in the case of non-professors). They can decide for themselves how to use the funds allocated to the departments to a certain extent, taking into account the teaching tasks incumbent on them. Many departments are internally divided into several institutes that can maintain a certain (limited) self-administration. The management of the institutes and dean's offices in the faculties is generally subject to the principle of rotation, with a term of office of usually one to three years.

Rectors and Presidents

Rectors (1914–1971)
President (since 1971)

Affiliated institutes and other facilities

Guest houses and Haus Bergkranz in the Kleinwalsertal

Guesthouse I, former Villa Hauck

The Villa Hauck in Ditmarstrasse was built in 1923 as a villa for an influential, widely ramified Frankfurt family in the immediate vicinity of Villa Merton, based on a design by Hermann Muthesius . This building, known internally as Guesthouse I, represents a country house-like architectural style with reminiscences of the end of historicism and has been expanded with additions for university use. The guest house II, the former Villa Cahn built by the architect Willi Cahn, is connected to the guest house I by an extensive garden. The two houses are in the Frankfurt-Bockenheim district.

There are also guest houses of the Research College Human Sciences in Bad Homburg and the Villa Giersch in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen. In Riezlern in the Kleinwalsertal ( Austria - near Oberstdorf) there is a sports and study home called Haus Bergkranz, which z. B. is used for seminars and excursions. ( )


Well-known professors

The list represents a selection of past and present professors (members of the university).

Honors and prizes

Nobel Prize Winner

Since the University of Frankfurt am Main was founded, 18 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to scientists who previously studied at the university or did research for a longer or shorter period of time. Only a few have worked at the Goethe University (probably only Max von Laue) or at a Frankfurt institute that cooperates with it (Paul Ehrlich, Hartmut Michel at the MPI for Biophysics) after receiving the Nobel Prize.

Jürgen Habermas , received the Kluge Prize for Philosophy in 2015, which is based on the Nobel Prize ; this is awarded for areas that are not covered by the Nobel Prize categories.

Leibniz Prize Winner

The Leibniz Prize , which is awarded several times annually by the DFG , has so far been awarded to the following scholars at Goethe University:

Medal of Honor

The University's Medal of Honor was awarded to:

  • Alexander and Heide Heck
  • Wulf Döser
  • Erwin Nierop

Honorary citizen

The following were honored as honorary citizens of the university:

  • Alexander Demuth
  • Klaus-Dieter Geiger, lawyer
  • Lee H. Hamilton (* 1931), American politician
  • Jochen Hückmann
  • Ferdinand Kramer (1898–1985), architect of several university buildings
  • Walter Ried (1920–2008), chemist
  • Wilhelmine Willkomm, founder
  • Christian Winter (* 1934), university professor and former vice-president of the university
  • Max Pagenstecher (1874–1957), lawyer
  • Fritz Roessler (1870–1937), industrialist
  • August Scheidel (1859–1932), industrialist, founder

Honorary senators

The following personalities have been appointed honorary senators of the university:

The university in national and international rankings

Presentation of the Zedler Medal by Alice Wiegand, 2nd chairwoman of Wikimedia Deutschland e. V., for the picture on focus stacking by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Rankings, especially for the international area, are only partially an indicator of the scientific and didactic quality and reputation, as they are calculated according to a standard scheme and disregard some training, regional and culture-specific features or focal points. However, they allow an assessment of how the respective university or subject area is perceived from outside.

The graduates enjoy a good reputation nationally and internationally. In a worldwide ranking of HR managers published by the New York Times in October 2012, the university came in 10th and is listed above all other German universities. In an internal university ranking created in Germany in 2015 based on the ratings given by HR managers in companies for satisfaction with university graduates, the Goethe University institutions for the fields of economics-business administration, economics-economics, business informatics, law and natural sciences were named in positions 3 to 9.

However, the global overall comparisons of well-known university rankings in recent years show stagnating or slightly falling placements, although increasing trends can also be observed in individual subject areas:

  1. The 2015 Shanghai Ranking ( Academic Ranking of World Universities , ARWU) has led the Goethe University in the overall ranking since 2003 in the list positions (approx.) 152 to 100, with the graphical representation falling continuously slightly in 2011–2015.
  2. The British newspaper The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked the university among the 200 best universities worldwide in its annual university ranking The Times Higher World University Rankings 2010, and Goethe University ranked 172 with 49.4 points. Since then, the university has deteriorated in this Ranking steadily from 181st place in 2011/2012 to 199th place in 2012/2013 to place group 201–250 in the ranking for 2015/16 and place group 251–300 in the 2017/18 ranking.
  3. In the QS World University Rankings , the Goethe University was listed worldwide in 2013 with 51 points in 208th place (within Germany in 14th place), for 2015 with 48 points still in 243th place worldwide, for 2017/2018 with 41 points on place 254 worldwide (within Germany still place 14). However, some subject areas (which largely correspond to subject areas at Goethe University) do significantly better: "Biological Sciences" are currently number 101 worldwide, and "Philosophy" is number 27 worldwide For the combination of “Life Sciences and Medicine”, which roughly correspond to departments 14, 15 and 16, results in 113th place worldwide and 6th place in Germany (after the universities of Heidelberg , LMU Munich , TU Munich , Freiburg and Tübingen ). Note: Detailed lists of all subjects are not available online.

Student college groups and initiatives

The management of the university supports numerous student initiatives and university groups, including: a .:

  • Amnesty International, Frankfurt University Group
  • Gruene University Group at the University of Frankfurt
  • Campus radio permanent wave
  • Goethe Faust Debating Club
  • ELSA Frankfurt a. M.
  • Enactus University of Frankfurt
  • Founders Club Frankfurt Student Entrepreneurs
  • Frankfurter Studenten-Zeitung Diskus
  • Goethe Club
  • GREEN finance consulting
  • MTP - Marketing between theory and practice, Frankfurt office
  • Nightline Frankfurt
  • ROCK YOUR LIFE! Frankfurt e. V.
  • Studying without borders Frankfurt

The word-image mark used from 1980 to 2002 was developed by Adrian Frutiger .

See also

Web links

Commons : Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Werner Müller-Esterl: From the middle of urban society - 100 years of Goethe University. Accessed May 27, 2016.
  2. ^ President of the Goethe University
  3. Student statistics (data per semester) , accessed on July 4, 2020
  4. a b c Yearbook 2018. "Shaping Development" , accessed on September 10, 2018
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  6. Fourth law amending the Hessian Higher Education Act of September 28, 2007 . In: The Hessian Minister for Science and Art (Ed.): Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Hesse . 2007 No. 21 , p. 640 , § 100a ( online at the information system of the Hessian state parliament [PDF; 1.5 MB ]). on the establishment of the foundation university in § 100a HHG: The corporation under public law "Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main" (university) will become a legal foundation under public law with its seat in Frankfurt as the university of the state am Main (foundation university).
  7. Uni-Report 4/2008
  8. HP University
  9. ^ City of Frankfurt am Main, Botanical Garden .
  10. ^ Rudolf Jung , Frankfurt University Plans 1384–1868. In: Frankfurt historical research. Booklet 1. K. F. Koehler, Leipzig 1915.
  11. ^ Johann Friedrich Hautz: History of the University of Heidelberg . J. Schneider, Mannheim 1862, p. 228-230 ( ).
  12. ^ Otto Liermann: The Lyceum Carolinum. A contribution to the history of education in the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. Supplement to the program of the Wöhler Realgymnasium in Frankfurt am Main, Easter 1908 ( [1] )
  13. ^ History of the Senckenberg Library. Goethe University, accessed April 24, 2016 .
  14. ^ Ludwig Heilbrunn : The foundation of the University of Frankfurt a. M. Joseph Baer & Co., Frankfurt am Main 1915, p. 73 ( digitized version  - Internet Archive ).
  15. History of Frankfurt University Medicine . Goethe University, accessed on October 7, 2016 .
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  19. ^ Michael Maaser: August 1, 1914. In: Blog of the University Archives Frankfurt. Goethe University Frankfurt, July 24, 2019, accessed on August 16, 2019 .
  20. Michael Maaser and Wolfgang Schopf (2014): From "Frankfurt" to "Goethe". A brief history of the university's name. (pdf)
  21. ↑ in addition : Wolfgang Freund, The Scientific Institute of the Alsace-Lorraine in the Reich at the University of Frankfurt 1920–1945 , in Pariser Historische Studien, 81. Oldenbourg, Munich 2007 pp. 47–71 full text  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at . Avec résumé français@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.pfeil_wissenschaftsbeektiven.pdf  
  22. , accessed on September 4, 2014
  23. Frank Estelmann: Conference report “Literary Studies in Frankfurt, 1914–1945” - historical reviews of university German and Romance studies in Frankfurt am Main, in: Romance Studies , No. 2 (2015), pp. 253–258, online: http: //
  24. ^ Frankfurt 1933–1945 articles on the subject of “Jewish life and the persecution of Jews”, accessed December 4, 2014
  25. Michael Fahlbusch: Science in the Service of National Socialist Politics? The “Volkdeutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” from 1931–1945. Baden-Baden, 1999, p. 757
  26. End of immodesty , leaflet on the student strike, University of Frankfurt / Main, November 21, 1988 : “The newly created forms of self-organization such as action committees, central student councils, and general assemblies offer the opportunity to develop political content and forms of action that oppose the transparent Assert interests of the university leadership, the party-dependent groups and against the profiling neuroses of individual student politicians . The dynamism of the manifesting protest now enables a university-wide strike to be organized. An ACTIVE STRIKE in the next few days offers the chance to develop our unease and criticism of the conditions at the university and beyond, regardless of everyday student life, across all faculties. The strike will show to what extent the protest does not remain a mere ephemera in everyday university life, to what extent criticized study conditions become student criticism of the conditions. "
  27. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of July 14, 1988: “Fear of harmony between spirit and money. The dispute at the university over the lecture series continues. Students hold on to criticism. "
  28. “About the discreet charm of the old men. Profession as experience in discussion. " ( Uni-Report. Newspaper of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University , Frankfurt am Main, July 6, 1988, vol. 21, p. 8.)
  29. University Development Plan 2001. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 23, 2012 ; Retrieved April 10, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  30. Semester contributions to the written student body. (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on September 29, 2011 ; Retrieved April 10, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  31. Foundation University
  32. Use of the name. (No longer available online.) Formerly in the original ; Retrieved April 10, 2017 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  33. cf. 'Freiräume - the year one' (Ed .: Goethe University, 122 pages); P. 19.
  34. UniReport 7/08: "Prof. Werner Müller-Ester becomes new president ” (PDF; 1 MB).
  35. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 25, 2008, page 45.
  36. ^ Yale Department of Political Science: Letter of Concern and Support Regarding the Cluster of Excellence “Normative Orders” of the University of Frankfurt . November 14, 2017. Accessed December 25, 2017.
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  1. From 1942 to 1945 Merkle was chief executive of the Nazi steering association Reichsvereinigung Textilveredelung , whose main goal was "the rationalization of the cartel system in the textile industry, especially in the merger of existing cartels". ( Franz Neumann , Behemoth. Structure and Practice de National Socialism 1933–1944 , Frankfurt / Main, Fischer, 1988, p. 629: “The Reichsvereinigung Textilveredelung differs from the other Reich associations in that it is least subject to the control of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Its main goal is the rationalization of the cartel system in the textile finished goods industry, especially in the merger of existing cartels - a task successfully solved by this Reich Association. ") Cf. also the parts of the preserved files of the Reichsvereinigung Textilveredelung in the German Federal Archives: BArch R 10-IV / ...
  2. On July 13, 1988 Merkle was able to give a lecture at the Goethe University as part of the lecture series Profession as Experience only under the protection of a police hundred, since student groups had asked him to take part in the National Socialist economic organization in the announced autobiographical statements to enter into what Merkle vehemently rejected with the reference “everything is already known”. Cf. the Frankfurt pamphlet from July 1988: "The greatest good, which no power in the world can rob us of, is pure conviction that is expressed in the conscientious fulfillment of duty" . Even years later, Merkle's mentioned statement contradicts general knowledge: On his centenary, the Stuttgarter Zeitung zu Merkle simply notes that “from 1942 on he worked for the Reichsvereinigung Textilveredlung in Berlin. This organization was involved in the war economy. What exactly Merkle did there is not known. "( Stuttgarter Zeitung of January 1, 2013 )
  3. The controversial lecture series was canceled forever after the debacle surrounding Merkle's lecture and, as a result, the cancellation of the previously announced Hermann Josef Abs .
  4. Protsch, who also did not have a high school diploma and has called himself Protsch von Zieten since 1991 , was sentenced to a suspended sentence in 2009 and removed from service due to several legally relevant misconduct in service, combined with scientific misconduct and fabricated statements about his personal and scientific vita .

Coordinates: 50 ° 7 ′ 40.8 ″  N , 8 ° 40 ′ 1.2 ″  E