Heidelberg UniversityMemorial Ceremony and Minute’s Silence

Press Release No. 11/2022
28 January 2022

Heidelberg University appeals for a pause on Monday for commemoration

With a memorial ceremony and a minute’s silence on Monday (31 January 2022), Heidelberg University wishes to remember the events that – on Monday exactly a week ago – left the academic community and all those related to it profoundly shocked and shaken. Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Ruperto Carola: “We call upon all members and associates of our university to pause for a moment at 12.24pm, along with all citizens and our friends and partners all over the world, who have already expressed their sympathy, solidarity and condolences in so many different ways.” It will take time, places and encounters to work through this inconceivable deed, he said, adding, “The memorial ceremony and the minute’s silence will mark the beginning of that process.” The event in the University Church can be followed by live stream starting at 12 midday. It can also be watched on television.

University preacher Prof. Dr Helmut Schwier will conduct the memorial ceremony. Attending at Heidelberg’s Peter’s Church – the University Church – as representatives of the State of Baden-Württemberg will be Thomas Strobl, deputy state premier and interior minister, as well as, among others, science minister Theresia Bauer. Besides the interior minister and the rector, speakers will include Prof. Dr Eckart Würzner, lord mayor of Heidelberg, and Peter Abelmann, chair of the student representative body. A message will come from Stephan Burger, Roman Catholic archbishop of Freiburg, and Prof. Dr Jochen Cornelius-Bundschuh, bishop of the Protestant Church in Baden, as well as members of the university’s Jewish and Muslim communities. The speakers, together with students and first-aid staff, will commemorate the victims of the events of 24 January with candles and flowers, particularly remembering the 23-year-old student who lost her life. The whole ceremony will be framed by music from members of the Collegium Musicum, the university orchestra and the university choir.

Those wishing to follow the memorial ceremony can do so in different ways. From 11am to 2pm all lectures and classes at Heidelberg University will be suspended so that teachers and students can follow the memorial ceremony together online or on TV. Live-streaming will be accessible, inter alia, via the university portal heiONLINE. Since there are no more seats available in the university church, the Friedenskirche (peace church) has also extended an invitation to follow the transmission there. It has room for 350 people.

Information for newsrooms:

Media representatives can follow the transmission of the memorial ceremony in the main auditorium of the New University. That will start at 12 midday (not at 12.15). Afterwards, Interior Minister Strobl, Science Minister Bauer, Rector Eitel and Lord Mayor Würzner will be available for short interviews. Alexander Schwarz, the state government’s commissioner for victims, will also be there. Those desirous of attending this media event, taking place under Covid conditions − 2G+ and mandatory FFP2 – must submit a binding request to register, giving their name, to presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de by 9am on Monday. Further information about the technical facilities on site and access to visual and film material can be obtained from the press office at the above email address.

Heidelberg University asks your understanding: it is not possible to attend the memorial ceremony in the University Church itself.