Humboldt University of Berlin
University, Berlin, Germany
Alternative titles: Friedrich-Wilhelm University, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universitat, HU, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin, German Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, named after the University of Berlin, formerly (1810–1949) Friedrich Wilhelm University, a coeducational state-supported institution of higher education in Berlin. The university was founded in 1809–10 by the linguist, philosopher and education reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt, then Minister of Education. Under Humboldt’s guidance the university, originally named after Frederick William III of Prussia, developed into one of the largest in Germany. The university enrolled over 1,750 students by 1840 and became a leader in teaching and research.. The University of Berlin gained world fame for its modern curriculum, its impartial and non-interference spirit of intellectual inquiry, and its distinguished scientific research institutes, which pioneered many of the basic techniques of laboratory experimentation. The leading professors of the university in the 19th century included the philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, JG. Fichte, and Arthur Schopenhauer; Historians Leopold von Ranke, Theodor Mommsen and B.G. lime; scientists Hermann von Helmholtz and Rudolf Virchow; theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher; and the folklorists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.
The university declined in the 1930s when its faculty and curriculum were nazified and many of its academic figures fled abroad. Under the control of the German Democratic Republic after World War II, it was renamed Humboldt-Universitt after its founder and given a Marxist-Leninist orientation throughout much of its course.