Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Baltic University in exile
Not content with life passing them by, Balts residing in refugee camps in Germany established a University at Hamburg in the British Zone of Occupation in March 1946. Funding came from UNRRA, the Lutheran World Federation and other groups. In early 1947 it was moved to a former Luftwaffe school in Pinneberg. The term University was not allowed so it was renamed the Displaced Person's Study Centre, although commonly referred to as the University.
The University didn't last long as many of its staff and students immigrated to other countries. A total of 76 students graduated in its short existence, 53 of them Latvian, 16 Lithuanian and 7 Estonians. Many others went on to complete studies in their new adopted homes.
The University had 170 professors on the teaching staff and 1,200 students in eight faculties and 13 subdivisions.
My grandfather enrolled, continuing his Engineering studies that was interrupted by war. He enrolled in March 25th 1946, student number 393. He studied 35 subjects, with most Professors coming from Kaunas University. He finished his Engineering degree at Adelaide University.