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Professor Eberhard Lämmert Is Honorary Member of Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Former President of Freie Universität Honored at Einstein Day on November 26 for Extraordinary Lifetime Achievements

№ 364/2010 from Nov 26, 2010

Professor Eberhard Lämmert, a former president of Freie Universität Berlin, has been named an honorary member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, as announced during the Einstein Day on November 26, 2010, held at the Nikolaisaal in Potsdam. With this honor, the Academy paid tribute to the extraordinary academic lifetime achievements of this literary scholar.

“Eberhard Lämmert is one of the eminent German scholars of the older generation of literary scholars in general and in particular of scholars of German literature, who rendered great service to the new founding of German literary studies after the Second World War,” was given as the reason. Furthermore, his pioneering dissertation is one of the most significant works of German post-World War II literary studies. Through the exchange initiated by him between linguistics and literary studies, a new concept of literature developed. Eberhard Lammert’s second major research area, writing modern histories of literature, was important for the development of the various philologies. Lämmert and Karl Otto Conrady together drew attention to the necessity for a history of the humanities.

For decades, Eberhard Lammert was an outstanding representative of the German humanities at national and international levels, as elucidated in the explanatory statement. Furthermore, he promoted the cultural life of Berlin and played an effective role in academia in the region. After 1990 he was committed to integrating East German academics and their research and supported the establishment of humanities centers in Berlin, Potsdam, and Leipzig.

The current president of Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Peter-André Alt, described Lämmert as an “outstanding literary scholar and eminent scholar in the old European tradition.” Alt emphasized that an important part of Lämmert’s lifetime achievements was his extraordinary commitment as president of Freie Universität Berlin.

Professor Eberhard Lämmert, born in 1924 in Bonn, studied geology and mineralogy in Bonn as well as German literature, history, and geography in Munich and Bonn. Lämmert completed his doctorate and habilitation in Bonn. He was a professor of German philology and literary studies in Berlin und Heidelberg from 1961 to 1977, and at Freie Universität from 1977 until he became a professor emeritus in 1992. He was one of those responsible for adding comparative literature as a new field of study at Freie Universität. From 1976 to 1983 Eberhard Lämmert was president of Freie Universität. Among other things, he initiated the series of university lectures for a broader public that is still in place today as the Open Lecture Hall series. 

Lämmert has held visiting professorships in Aarhus (Denmark), Cambridge (Great Britain), St. Louis and Princeton (USA), and São Paulo (Brazil). From 1996 to 1999 he was the founding director of the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin, and from 1998 to 2004 director of the Research Center for European Enlightenment in Potsdam. He is a past president of the German Schiller Society and was a member of the Board of Trustees of both the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Einstein Forum in Potsdam.

The Einstein Day has been held annually for the past five years in Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg, as an expression of the significance of Brandenburg for the work of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

For further information, please contact:

  • Gisela Lerch, Office of Information and Communication, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 20370-657, Email:
  • Office of News and Public Affairs, Freie Universität Berlin
    Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-73180, Email:

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