Top German Scientific University Removes Antisemitic Prussian Industrialist From Its Name
One of Germany’s leading universities for the applied sciences announced a change of name on Friday, citing the antisemitism of the man in whose honor it was named as the reason.
In a statement, the Beuth University of Technology confirmed that as of Oct. 1, 2021, it will be known as the Berlin University of Technology.
The university is Germany’s second-largest specializing in science and technology, with more than 12,000 students enrolled in over 70 different academic programs.
The university was originally named in honor of Christian Peter Wilhelm Friedrich Beuth, a wealthy industrialist and political reformer in Prussia during the first half of the 19th century.
Beuth was a member of the Deutsche Tischgesellschaft, an antisemitic organization founded in Berlin in 1811. He publicly expressed his opposition to Jewish civic and political emancipation.
The university said that the decision to excise Beuth’s name was the fruit of three years of internal debate.
“We are a cosmopolitan university with students from 132 countries,” said its president, Werner Ullmann, following the a vote in favor of the name change by the university’s Academic Council. “Lived tolerance and diversity in studies, teaching and research and among the students are part of everyday life at our university.”
Emphasized Ullman: “Racism and antisemitism have no place here.”
The university said it had considered 385 options to replace Beuth in its name, before settling upon a “classic and timeless name that has a clear reference to the city and the technical orientation of the university.”