University of Marburg

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Group.png University of Marburg  
Uni Marburg Siegel.png
HeadquartersMarburg.Hesse, Germany
German university with long traditions

The Philipps University of Marburg was founded in 1527 by Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, which makes it one of Germany's oldest universities and the oldest still operating Protestant university in the world. It is now a public university of the state of Hesse, without religious affiliation. The University of Marburg has about 23,500 students and 7,500 employees and is located in Marburg, a town of 76,000 inhabitants, with university buildings dotted in or around the town centre. About 14 per cent of the students are international.[1]

Marburg is home to one of Germany's most traditional medical faculties. The German physicians' union is called Marburger Bund.


Between 1887 and 1909 the number of students doubled to 2,000. Although women were not yet admitted to study in Marburg, a special regulation enabled a female student to do a doctorate in medicine in 1905. This was the Japanese Todako Urata.[2] In the winter semester of 1908/09, 26 female students were enrolled at the university for the first time. By the outbreak of World War I, their number had risen to 206.

The First World War was a deep turning point for the University of Marburg. There are no official numbers of war volunteers from Marburg. However, the number of objectors was relatively low, especially among the students. While 2258 male students were still enrolled in the summer semester of 1914, the number decreased to 1899 in the following winter semester. And of these, only 478 had attended lectures. After three months of war, the university had already 55 fallen students. [3]

In the anniversary year of 1927, the number of students exceeded 3,000. From 1931 (4,387) the number of students experienced a significant slump - due to the low birth rate, but from 1933 also due to National Socialist regulations (restriction of women's studies, exclusion of Jewish students, compulsory services such as Reich labor service and military service before enrollment) - a significant slump.

After the National Socialists came to power in 1933, 20 university professors from Marburg were expelled for racial or political reasons.[4] That was more than a tenth of the teaching staff. [5] The well-known economist Wilhelm Röpke, who emigrated to Turkey, was one of the expelled professors. The Jewish professor for Indo-European languages, Hermann Jacobsohn, committed suicide on April 27, 1933. Many scholars signed the German professors' Vow of allegiance to Adolf Hitler, including later opponents of the National Socialist regime such as the Romanist Werner Krauss.

Marburg had a pronounced number of students, which repeatedly led to conflicts and large police presence on the occasion of the main fraternity students gathering, which took place every year on the first Sunday in July until 2014, due to opponents of the event. Marburg fraternity students were responsible for the Mechterstadt murders, the execution of 15 captured laborers in 1920.

By 1936, the Marburg student associations (Burschenschaften) had largely dissolved themselves in the course of being brought into the National Socialist German Student Union. After the war, however, most of the associations were re-established according to their old, (formally apolitical, but right-wing) principles; today they represent a rather marginal factor in university life.

After 1945 the number of students increased sharply. In order to meet the requirements, the university was expanded and expanded from 1960.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the University of Marburg, and in particular Faculty 03 “Social Sciences and Philosophy”, was a leftist stronghold. The Marxist political scientis Wolfgang Abendroth had been working here since the 1950s. After 1968, many of his “second generation” students such as Frank Deppe,Georg Fülberth, Reinhard Kühnl and Dieter Boris were appointed professors in political science and sociology. The political scientists associated with Abendroth formed the Marburg School, one of the three most influential schools of political science in West Germany, which differed from others in that it also referred to Marxist thinkers. In return, 35 veteran professors tried to defend themselves against the so-called “democratization of universities” and in April 1968 wrote the Marburg Manifesto, which ultimately did not lead to success.


Alumni on Wikispooks

Bernhard Dahm30 August 1932GermanAcademicGerman academic whose students included Alfred McCoy
Wolfgang Gerhardt31 December 1943GermanPoliticianGerman politician in the small but influential Free Democratic Party
Jürgen Habermas18 June 1929GermanPhilosopher
German philosopher and sociologist.
Ernst Kux29 November 192525 August 2017SwitzerlandSpook
Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz12 July 1940GermanDiplomat
German Permanent Representative to NATO, and Ambassador to the UK and Russia. Attended the 1995 Bilderberg meeting as State Secretary in the Foreign Office
Gerhard Prinz5 April 192929 October 1983GermanBusinesspersonAttended the 1980 Bilderberg as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler-Benz AG
Thomas Schäfer22 February 196628 March 2020GermanPolitician
COVID-19/Premature death
Hesse's Finance Minister who was unexpectedly found dead on train tracks.
Leo Strauss20 September 189918 October 1973Philosopher
"The father of neoconservatism"
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  2. Marita Metz-Becker: 100 Jahre Frauenstudium an der Philipps-Universität Marburg. In: Marita Metz-Becker, Susanne Maurer (Hrsg.): Hundert Jahre Frauenstudium in Marburg, Studentinnengenerationen. Marburg 2010, S. 19.
  3. Andrea Wettmann: Heimatfront Universität, Preußische Hochschulpolitik und die Universität Marburg im Ersten Weltkrieg. Köln 2000, S. 205–212.
  4. Hans Hugo Lauer: Die Medizin in Marburg während der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. In: „Bis endlich der langersehnte Umschwung kam ...“ Von der Verantwortung der Medizin unter dem Nationalsozoalismus. Hrsg. von der Fachschaft Medizin der Philipps-Universität Marburg. Marburg a. d. L. 1991.
  5. Hans Hugo Lauer: Die Medizin in Marburg während der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. In: „Bis endlich der langersehnte Umschwung kam ...“ Von der Verantwortung der Medizin unter dem Nationalsozoalismus. Hrsg. von der Fachschaft Medizin der Philipps-Universität Marburg. Marburg a. d. L. 1991.