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Statement by the University of Freiburg Senate against racism and anti-Semitism

The University of Freiburg Senate passed a resolution against racism and anti-Semitism at its meeting on 21 February 2024.

Freiburg, Feb 22, 2024

The University of Freiburg Senate strongly condemns anti-democratic endeavours and the contempt for humanity associated with them and endorses the statement by the Executive Board of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) of 23 January 2014 “Science needs liberal democracy and the rule of law.”

The Senate condemns all forms of racism and anti-Semitism in all areas of the University and does not tolerate any discrimination against members of the University on the basis of their nationality, ethnic origin or assumptions about it. It expressly stands by those members of the University who are threatened by current social or political developments, in particular the recently publicised plans for expulsion. International cooperation is a cornerstone of scientific knowledge, and good science needs diversity. The constituted student body of the University of Freiburg expressly welcomes the Senate resolution.

It is already an important task of the university to promote this diversity, despite all discriminatory and disadvantageous structures. Those who enrich our academic system with diversity - sometimes under difficult conditions - must not be exposed to threats or fears in the pursuit of their profession or studies. The Senate also opposes the instrumentalisation of research findings for anti-democratic purposes.

The Senate is also aware of the University of Freiburg's historical responsibility in this regard. Martin Heidegger, Rector of the University from 1933 to 1934, formulated his will to be brought into line with the National Socialist regime in his programmatic inaugural speech on 27 May 1933. The University was organised according to the “Führerprinzip,” and ethnically or politically unpopular people were excluded from the University. In contrast, the mission statement of the University of Freiburg is orientated towards openness to diversity and equal opportunities. What we do, who we are - and everything we want to become - should be measured against these values. We want to follow up these words with actions to protect and defend these values. This includes raising awareness of everyday racism and other forms of discrimination, facilitating dialogue and involving people (groups) who experience discrimination.

mission statement of the University of Freiburg

More information about the University of Freiburg Senate

Statement by the University of Freiburg about strengtehning diversity, democracy and the rule of law