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29 March 2001

Exhibition: Famous Alumni of the University of Heidelberg

Exhibition at the University Library presents famous former Heidelberg students — Illustrious names ranging from Hannah Arendt and Hilde Domin to Helmut Kohl and Golo Mann

A small exhibition at the Library of Heidelberg University underlines the fact that there are quite a number of former students of the University who later achieved fame and renown. Glass cases positioned in front of the main lending area (Plöck 107) assemble information and material on numerous prominent personages. The list of famous names ranges from Hannah Arendt and Hilde Domin to Helmut Kohl and Golo Mann. All of them spent at least part of their student years at the Heidelberg alma mater.

Helmut Kohl, for example, did his doctorate in Heidelberg in 1958, the title of his thesis being "The Political Development of the Palatinate and the Revival of the Political Parties after 1945". A copy of this dissertation is on show at the exhibition. Poetess Hilde Domin, who studied law at Heidelberg in the 1920s, returned to Germany from exile in 1954 and made her home in Heidelberg.

Heidelberg was also the springboard for a number of important scientists. In 1869/1870 Moscow-born Sofia Kovalevskaya was enrolled here, the first woman to become professor of mathematics (Stockholm, 1898). Medical professor Adolf Kussmaul (b. 1822), who studied in Heidelberg and later gained his Habilitation here, is not only remembered by doctors for the so-called "Kussmaul respiration" called after him but also by the inhabitants of Heidelberg for the street and the tram stop that bear his name.

On the occasion of the exhibition the Library has also put together a selected reading list, containing literature on student life in Heidelberg, works by the persons featured in the exhibition and secondary literature on them. The select bibliography is available in print form from the Library's information centres or online via the Library's Internet pages ( The exhibition can be viewed during the normal library opening hours (Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Achim Bonte
Heidelberg University Library
phone: 06221/542380, fax: 542623

Dr. Maria Effinger
phone: 06221/543561

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 01.04.2001


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