Leipzig, Karl Marx University of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leipzig, Karl Marx University of


the oldest and largest university of the German Democratic Republic.

The university was founded in 1409, when German professors and students forced to leave the University of Prague as a result of the Hussite Wars organized a university corporation in Leipzig. The university had faculties of arts, jurisprudence, medicine, and theology. From its founding, it was one of the most popular of German universities. During the Reformation period, exponents of early humanism (R. Crocus and P. Mosellanus) succeeded, for the first time in university education, in overcoming medieval scholasticism. Ulrich von Hutten and Thomas Müntzer studied at the university of Leipzig. In 1661, G. F. von Leibniz began studying and later taught at the university. C. Thomasius first began teaching in German in 1687. In the 18th century an anatomy theater and chairs of chemistry and experimental physics were established. F. G. Klopstock, G. E. Lessing, J. W. von Goethe, Jean Paul, Novalis, Fr. Schlegel, J. G. Fichte, A. N. Radishchev, R. Wagner, F. Nietzsche, F. Mehring, and K. Liebknecht studied at the university. In the 19th century, numerous institutes, laboratories, and a complex of scientific research institutions were created under the university’s aegis; those who taught there included the physiologists C. Ludwig (in whose laboratory I. P. Pavlov worked) and P. Flechsig, the psychologist W. Wundt, and the chemists H. Kolbe and W. Ostwald.

With the accession to power of the fascists in 1933, the University of Leipzig lost its importance as a leading scientific and scholarly center of Germany. It was reopened in 1946 and the name of Karl Marx was conferred upon the university in 1953. It includes (1973) faculties of social science, natural science, and medicine; nine sections and divisions, including Marxism-Leninism, scientific socialism, political economy, history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biological sciences, and theology; and more than 150 scientific research institutions. The University of Leipzig is one of the largest centers for the study of Asia and Africa. The University Library (founded in 1543) has more than 3 million volumes (1973). In 1972 there were more than 13,000 students studying at the university, including 1,000 foreigners from more than 60 countries; there were 2,200 instructors working at the university, of whom 180 were professors.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.