“A Dynamic University with a Unique History”

Freie Universität Berlin Commemorates Its Founding 65 Years Ago

Nov 29, 2012

Der ehemalige Bürgermeister Berlins Ernst Reuter im Jahr 1953 beim Richtfest des Henry-Ford-Baus der Freien Universität.
The former mayor of Berlin, Ernst Reuter, in 1953, at the construction site of the Henry Ford Building. Image Credit: Universitätsarchiv Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität held a ceremony to commemorate the ceremonial act of its founding 65 years ago. The university was founded on December 4, 1948, by students and professors, supported by the American allies and Berlin politicians. Various factors led to the founding of the new university, including the persecution of students who were critical of the system at the then Universität Unter den Linden in the Soviet sector of the divided city.

The students and professors wanted to study and carry out research without being subject to political influence. The founding ceremony took place in the Titania Palast in the Steglitz district of Berlin.

At the ceremony in the Henry Ford Building, held on the anniversary of its founding, also known as Ernst Reuter Day, university president Professor Dr. Peter-André Alt described the university as a “dynamic university with a unique history.” Professor Alt went on to state that 65 is “young for a university, so we are looking forward, not back, to the future which Freie Universität intends to shape with confidence on the basis on excellent research and teaching.”

During the event, the winners of this year’s Ernst Reuter Award from Freie Universität Berlin were officially recognized. The awards are given for outstanding dissertations, and they are granted every year by the Ernst Reuter Association of Friends, Supporters, and Alumni of Freie Universität Berlin.