Monday, June 13, 2011

Protestation der Göttinger Sieben

Inside the Great Assembly Hall of the University shown in the previous post is a room and the above plaque commemorating the "Göttingen Seven," seven faculty members who, in 1837, signed a formal protest against the action of King Ernst August in abolishing the liberal constitution of 1833. This "Protestation" quickly got all seven professors expelled from the university (on December 14). So much for academic freedom...

One the the "Göttinger Sieben" was noted exegete and Hebrew Bible critic, Heinrich Ewald (November 16, 1803 – May 4, 1875). Ewald has been called one of the founders of the science of the Hebrew language; his Geschichte des Volkes Israel is still considered a work of rare genius.

Ewald's connection with Göttingen did not end permanently in 1837. He was invited back in 1847 and gladly returned.


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