History and development of the subject
The Faculty of Law of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen has been looking back on more than 270 years of history since its opening in September 1737. Its special meaning in the Kingdom of Hanover and far beyond was mainly due to the Hanover privy councillor Gerlach Adolph Freiherr von Münchhausen, who started founding the university in Göttingen in 1734.
The success of the Faculty of Law is particularly due to the plans of Münchhausens on law and legal studies.
The principle of unity and freedom of research and teaching as an expression of Enlightenment was put into practice in Göttingen more than 70 years before the Berlin University was founded. In particular, the priority of the theology faculty, which was tantamount to censure, was broken. At the same time, the - politically important - freedom of state-law opinion was warranted. This libertas protected against third-party interference corresponding to the internal principle of tolerance that found its normative form in § 38 of the university bylaws from 1737 under the headline of "Concordia Collegarum". These circumstances are why jurists nearly consistently made up more than half of the students at the Georg-August-Universität in the first century and the university was a "jurist university" in this respect until 1837.
The special importance of the Faculty of Law shows in the close link between current research and teaching. The "German state law" and the civil law characterised by Roman-law, as well as church law, were part of training. The importance of the Faculty of Law of Göttingen as high art of "jus publicum" was founded by Johann Stephan Pütter, whose students included, among others, Freiherr vom und zum Stein and Karl August Fürst von Hardenberg, as well as Klemens Fürst von Metternich and Wilhelm von Humboldt. After Pütter's death in 1807, Gustav Hugo and Karl Friedrich Eichhorn, pioneers of the so-called "Historic law school" led to an upturn of jurisprudence.
With Rudolph von Jhering, who taught in Göttingen from 1872 to 1892, Karl Ludwig von Bar and Gottlieb Planck, a phase of stagnation was followed by another upturn. Development of new disciplines or support of new legal developments by the faculty may be made clear using the following examples: Codification of trade law, initially lectured in 1777 as "Action, exchange and sea law", is essentially based on the work of Heinrich Thöl, who essentially contributed to development of the ADHGB from 1861, the predecessor of the HGB from 1897.
The lectures on Prussian general land law in 1794 were held in Göttingen starting in summer 1796. Additionally, the lectures mirror the political happenings in particular in the "jus publicum". For example, lectures on the principal decree of imperial deputation from 1803 were held in the winter semester of 1804/1805, and on "state law of the German Federal States" in the summer semester of 1816.
In the area of social legislation, the social insurance law has been the object of lectures since 1890; private insurance law has been lectured on since 1894. After World War One, Paul Oertmann held the first lecture on "Labour law" in Germany at the Faculty of Law of the Georg-August-Universität starting in winter semester 1918.
Commencement of the NS dictatorship marked a turn away from proven principles at the faculty of law. Learned persons of Jewish origin like Julius von Gierke, Richard Honig and Gerhard Leibholz were removed from service or returned on their own request. No considerable contribution to the resistance against the NS regime originated at the Göttingen faculty of law.
After the end of World War Two, the faculty of law took up its work again on 17 September 1945. More than one quarter of the students (1317) were enrolled in the "Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät" - as the union with economic sciences was called from 1912/13 to 1961. Within a very short time, the faculty of law was able to continue its heyday. As early as in winter semester 1945/46 and summer semester 1946, professors like Paul Bockelmann, Julius von Gierke, Wilhelm Grewe, Herbert Kraus, Ludwig Raiser, Eberhard Schmidt, Rudolf Smend and Hans Welzel Lectures held lectures. The special importance of the faculty of law, however, also becomes clear in founding of the institute for general state sciences and political sciences by Gerhard Leibholz, the institute for Roman and common law in 1958 on suggestion of Franz Wieacker, the institute for employment law in 1959 by Wolfgang Siebert and the Institute for agricultural law in 1961, the only research site of this type in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Göttingen tradition of a combination of research and practice was given new life as early as 1945 after the faculty was re-opened. Many members of the faculty of law actively contributed to various legislation, symposia and other committees of the Federation and the states or are not only professors but also judges or defence attorneys. Since the faculty of law of the Georg-August-Universität had already contributed to the department of legal sciences of the university of Osnabrück in 1980 (founding dean professor H.-L. Schreiber), was organised and performed from Göttingen on request of the state government of Saxony-Anhalt and with support of the Lower Saxony state government to the academic department of law at the university Halle from 1991. The organisation of academic teaching was entrusted to Professor Rauschning. Professor H.-L. Schreiber was responsible for reconstruction of the faculty of law at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle as founding dean until September 1992.
100 years of of the "Juristisches Seminar"* Göttingen — Thoughts and reflections
by Prof. Dr. Uwe Diederichsen
(literal quotation of the ceremonial lecture)
Special publication from GEORGIA AUGUSTA November 1994 Messages from the University of Göttingen
(* “Law Seminar”. It should be noted that, in German, the word "Seminar" is used to describe the overarching administration for a faculty's libraries and other central institutes. It should not be confused with the conventional English meaning of the word "seminar", i.e. a class in which a topic is discussed by a teacher and a small group of students.)
One hundred years of the "Juristisches Seminar" at Georg-August University Göttingen. A hundred years ago, on 26 April 1894, the "Juristisches Seminar" opened its gates for the first time, as the saying goes. This is somewhat surprising and begs the question: not until 1894? Therefore making it no older than my father, who was born in the same year, and thus no older than two actual generations? Even the Seminar's very first assistants are still very familiar figures to me: such as Richard Honig, who was the Seminar's first assistant in the '20s before becoming an associate professor here. Although he had to emigrate in 1933, he maintained close ties with Göttingen, and we continued to visit him for many years at the residential home on Charlottenburger Straße. Or my teacher Karl Larenz, under whom I completed my PhD in Kiel as well as my habilitation in Munich. It was probably Karl Larenz who first told me about the "Juristisches Seminar" at Göttingen, while reminiscing about his youth. It didn't really impress me that much, simply because Seminars were something completely normal to me at the time, just as they probably are to you today, and it was impossible to imagine life as a student or assistant without them. This, too, begs the question: the "Juristisches Seminar" was not established in Göttingen until just 100 years ago?
This "not until" actually has another meaning, too, because law Seminars were established in Königsberg in 1840, in Halle in 1853, in Greifswald in 1856, in Bonn in 1872 and in Berlin in 1875 – thus, Göttingen didn't establish its own law Seminar until more than 50 years after the very first one, and not until twenty years after what was the king of Germany's law Seminars at the time. So, to avoid beating about the bush: our faculty, with its "Juristisches Seminar", was the latecomer of the German Reich.
Finally, this "not until", which has now been justified three times, has a separate aspect that relates purely to Göttingen itself. When we say that we didn't receive the "Juristisches Seminar" until 1894, this should be considered within the sense that we could have had it much earlier. But first, the ministry still had to overcome the resistance of the "Göttingen Seven". The Law Faculty at the time consisted of exactly seven full professors, a group which included still-famous names such as Karl Ludwig von Bar, Rudolph von Jhering and Ferdinand Regelsberger. The majority of these men were against establishing a law Seminar in Göttingen.
In the form of its rescript from 11 January 1888, the Prussian Ministry for Educational and Medicinal Affairs had already voiced its desire six years previously "to consider establishing a law Seminar in Göttingen". Admittedly, however, a law Seminar did not mean the same as it does today. Instead, it concerned the installation of premises for performing work experience, exegesis, debate exercises and colloquia. The Göttingen jurists now saw the decree of the Ministry as a type of criticism of their employer and of the teaching methods at Göttingen, which, as "mos Gottingensis" (the Göttingen way), the jurists were quite rightly very proud of, as they were considered to be highly advanced in comparison to those of other law faculties.
Since the Georgia Augusta first opened back in 1734, university teaching had been based on a highly pragmatic form of academic life. For instance, a document from 1748 about the jurist Johann Jacob Schmauß contained the following: "He possesses the rare ability to arrange his lectures in such a way that a young person does not need any additional teaching if he wishes to enter the sphere of affairs (today, we would say "the working world") from an academic environment...". The same study guide contained the following comment about "Practica" (work experience): "To make it easier for the student to make the step into the working world, a 'collegium privatissimum' is read by almost all 'professoribus', to four to six students, for six hours a week. Two hours are put aside for catechising, which gives the student an ideal opportunity to fill in the gaps in his system. Two hours are reserved for litigation and for working on the briefs that actually come up during litigation, whereby the lecturer briefly describes the methods of litigation, asks questions about them, and subsequently presents a client who is seeking good advice on whether to initiate new legal proceedings or continue existing ones. If the students intend to continue with this, the lecturer will leave it to them to prepare the necessary brief, and when they are finished, he will correct these outside of the lesson, note any errors in the margin, and return them to the concipients along with his oral explanations. The final two hours are reserved for oral reports based on the files. Here, a competent court is represented, and after the reporting party has presented his relation to the facts, the others will vote and form a conclusum, on the basis of which the judgement must be formulated rationibus dubitandi et decidendi". It states the following about the "Practicum" of the famous constitutional lawyer Johann Stephan Pütter: "One thereby learns how to speak and write as a judicial scholar, a legal advisor, an advocate, a solicitor, a judge or a minister, and one learns how to write sensible reports and to judge and vote on real-life cases ... This benefits our profession, and the student can quite rightly hope to enjoy a glittering career after graduating: auream praxin".
A hundred years later, during the 1854/55 winter semester, Rudolph von Jhering, who was still in Gießen at the time, introduced the exercises into the jurisprudential teaching activities, i.e. practical exercises with written assignments, in order to prepare the prospective judges, lawyers and officials for their eventual work in practice: thus, this represented a teaching method which continues to characterise our educational activities – and especially the activities within the "Juristisches Seminar" – to this day, and which offered a didactic solution to the large number of law students, a number that had always been higher than in other faculties. Even back in the 18th century, the proportion of law students stood at 60 percent.
When Jhering transferred to the Georgia Augusta via Vienna in 1872, he brought the new teaching model with him, accompanied by his "Civilrechtsfällen ohne Entscheidungen" (Civil law cases without decisions) and his "Jurisprudenz des täglichen Lebens" (Jurisprudence of everyday life), which had five and eight editions respectively during his lifetime alone. Jhering emphasises how his dogmatics also experienced direct support from the connection of scientific research and academic teaching that was typical of the university's teaching activities during the previous century. And, of course, he also remembers how, in his famous "Vertrauliche Briefe über die heutige Jurisprudenz" (Confidential letters about current jurisprudence), which was then published under the title "Scherz und Ernst in der Jurisprudenz" (Humour and seriousness in jurisprudence) with five editions in his lifetime alone, he made fun of the pure conceptual thinking of his university colleagues and thereby introduced humour into legal argumentation.
It is therefore not surprising that those at Göttingen did not like being criticised about a lack of modernity in academic teaching. A completely different question is, of course, whether it would not have been possible to recognise how helpful a Seminar could be in the efforts to offer a more effective law education, if a Seminar really was understood to just mean work rooms with a specialist law library.
This incites one to consider where, how and by what means the law students in the previous century actually learned the knowledge that was necessary for their course and exams.
When the university was founded, the actual university building – the so-called "Kollegienhaus" – was built on the foundations of the old Pauline monastery, directly beside the Paulinerkirche church on the Leinekanal. It contained four lecture halls, one for each faculty, as well as the library, rooms for the administration, and a detention room. After the assembly hall had been built at Wilhelmsplatz to mark the centenary in 1837, more and more of the old Kollegienhaus was taken over by the library. Until the "Juristisches Seminar" was established, this library remained the only workplace accessible to every student. The auditorium building was then built in 1865, and thirteen years later, in 1878, the main library building was erected where the old Kollegienhaus once stood, which had to be demolished for this purpose. It was, of course, not possible for all of the professors' lectures to take place in the Kollegienhaus. Only public lectures (i.e. ones that were accessible to everyone, free of charge) were held there; the more important, regular lessons were held privately for an appropriate – and, incidentally, an often waived or deferred – fee, in a lecture room in the professors' homes or at inns that they hired. The famous constitutional law teacher Pütter, who has already been mentioned, had a hall for 200 students built inside his home. These "home" lectures only came to an end once there were sufficient lecture halls in the newly constructed auditorium building, in 1865.
How intensively were the lecture rooms used? This brings us to the proverbial "Göttinger Fleiß", the Göttingen diligence. As early as 1748 it was said that a "Göttingen term" is "just as long and just as useful as a full year at other institutions". Just a few years later, it was said that "I know students who read for more than seven hours a day and don't miss a single lesson all year". The curator Gerlach Adolph Freiherr von Münchhausen wrote at the end of his life "that diligence is the norm at our university; that four fifths of the students are always hard-working; that lectures which take place at one o' clock in the afternoon are prepared for at six o' clock in the morning, attended enthusiastically, etc.". According to a comment by Gustav Hugo, it was a common notion that professors in Göttingen only die during the holidays.
The lecturers based their lectures on foreign compendia and on their own textbooks. After the lectures, the students prepared comprehensive postscripts. It also became necessary for students to buy books themselves. Around 1775, a Göttingen study guide advised the law students to acquire 60 titles!
We are now gradually becoming aware of the significant benefits that were offered by establishing Seminars. For instance, in the reading halls of the university library, it was, of course, not possible to acquire enough copies of a title to satisfy the study requirements of all interested students alongside the lessons. For most books, there wasn't even a second copy. A Seminar designed as a learning library would therefore be better equipped to meet the requirements of students. The following message from Johannes Merkel, in the chronicle of the Georg-August University for the 1893 - 1894 financial year, was therefore fairly significant: "The "Juristisches Seminar" was opened on 26 April 1894, as this was the day on which the library that was intended for the Seminar was handed over for use. This library was acquired and set up by the undersigned on behalf of the faculty during the 1894 Easter holidays, using the fund that had been reserved for the Seminar for several years. Thanks to donations, the collection was able to grow significantly right from the start ... The total book stock currently stands at 680 different volumes (with 696 inventory numbers). The book collection, which is held as a reference library, was actively visited by the students, but it would be possible to utilise it even more effectively if a larger room than the previous one-window room could be made available whilst maintaining the same favourable local conditions, i.e. inside the auditorium building, where each hour between lessons could be fully exploited. The small nature of the room also makes it impossible for exercises to take place in it, as it only holds a maximum of 12 people...".
From the very beginning, the Seminar therefore served a joint purpose as an academic working room and an educational event for students, as can be seen in this official announcement by Merkel. The smaller the premises in the nucleus of the "Juristisches Seminar", the lower the number of students, although the latter had still been high enough to make the Seminar appear too small from the very beginning. And from the start, some people were also of the opinion that it had a linguistic imperfection which – according to this opinion – very clearly expressed an institutional imperfection of university study as a whole: it was said that the word Seminar is actually derived from the Latin word "semen" and thereby once again proved the "hostility towards women" in universities. Whether or not this was true at the time, it certainly isn't today; because out of the 3,682 law students in the 1994 summer semester, 2,179 are male and 1,503 female, i.e. 59 percent men and 41 percent women. However, this notion would also have been wrong at the time that our Seminar was founded. In fact, it would even have been wrong on two counts, as it was neither entirely accurate in an etymological sense nor in a factual one.
It is true that "semen", genitive "seminis" (which, incidentally, is neuter!) is indeed the male seed at the beginning, but it immediately becomes metonymic, i.e. in a figurative sense: the foetus, and occasionally: the offspring, the child, etc. Thus, that is what our Seminar is derived from, the term "seedling": as a tree or plant nursery for the new talent that is to be academically educated. However, seedlings are not seeds, but, in a biological sense, represent the entire living being, man and woman, woman and man, even if only in embryonic form.
Although, on a linguistic level, we can now dispel the notion of having wanted to create a male economy with our seminar, the picture doesn't look quite as rosy if we consider the statistics. On the other hand, however, it doesn't look too bad, as the statistics prove that the university was actually quick to change the Zeitgeist that stood against equality within the university, a Zeitgeist which was still based on millennia-old role perceptions. At the time that our Seminar was formed, the university records show that three (foreign) women were admitted to a natural sciences and mathematics course as guest students in 1893. In addition to the general student register, a special register had existed since the 1895/96 summer semester, containing "all those women who were allowed to attend lectures at Göttingen University as guest students during the semester": one year after our seminar was founded, the figure stood at 32 women. From 1896, women were no longer required to seek ministerial permission. Admittedly, it wasn't until around 1908 that women were allowed to enrol and thereby attend all lectures (with the exceptions that still apply today). However – as stated by the curator in a letter to the provost in 1908 – "the greater or lesser disaffection of individual lecturers towards the coeducation of the sexes should not be decisive here".
In the 1908 summer semester, the first guest student, studying law and national economics, was Agnes Martens from Einbeck. The following winter semester and the 1910 summer semester then saw the first two fully enrolled female law students: a Russian from Warsaw and Lina Fischer from Hagen/Westphalia. Incidentally: in the area of philology, the number of women already stood at 82 in 1908. However, our ill-fated century of ideologies, with its two devastating world wars, brought setbacks. But I would like to emphasise at this point that I am grateful for the data provided by my colleague Wilhelm Ebel, whom I hold in very high regard and who was already aware of the problem 25 years ago, as demonstrated by his explanations. I am also grateful for the lecture that he held in the Centre for Humanities on 29 May 1960 to mark the official opening of the Collegium Juridicum.
Allow me to use this reference to Ebel's presentation about the history of the Faculty of Law and law studies at the Georgia Augusta as an opportunity to comment briefly on the importance of the seminar with regard to study. With its larger library, which not only contains magazines, textbooks and commentaries, the "Juristisches Seminar" first and foremost provides the young students with a solid library infrastructure for completing assignments in the law exercises and for acquiring the knowledge that they then need for their exams. But adepts will also find sufficient monographs in the seminar for enhancing their academic studies as well as for completing dissertations and doctoral theses.
The seminars, as institutes of the various disciplines, thereby correspond in an ideal way to the basic principles of the Humboldt university reform – the "epochal event of our history", as the historian Thomas Nipperdey put it. These principles were to not dissolve the university into polytechnics that only pursue the objective of providing a purely vocational education, but, rather, on the basis of Humboldt's "solitude and freedom" towards the pressures of the state and society, social heritage and professional future, to enable students to think and judge for themselves in addition to providing them with a good specialist education, and in a type of "normative attunement of life", as Helmut Schelsky called it, to use practicality and guiding principles to enable them to perform any profession in the future that is of vital importance to our society. Even today, a relatively large proportion of our students seize the educational opportunity created by the seminars in their academic work.
I think that it was right to emphasise the aspect of the institution's social and academic history during our small ceremony. Admittedly, this meant that we were not able to focus as much as we would have liked on the actual history of our "Juristisches Seminar", a history which was very arduous, but also very exciting. Little of the hardship is actually seen; it is always nice to hear about the exciting things, especially if they have been overcome. With regard to the latter, the things that are deemed to be exciting, worrying or relieving for a library may not be the same as for an individual.
In some respects, it was of course exciting when, in 1909, a library with almost 1,000 books and twelve workspaces in a small and very dark room of the auditorium building was able to acquire two additional rooms when the Philology Department moved out, thereby enabling it to install a seminar director's room and a professor room, and also to arrange the private law literature and public law literature separately within the library. This opportunity even enabled the number of workspaces to be increased by 100 percent, to 24 seated spaces.
"Exciting" is a relative term. When, before the First World War, up to 250 law students were fighting for space in the Seminar, which had merely been able to convert the aforementioned director's office into a work room as well, it was indeed exciting for an individual student if they were even able to find a seat. With the outbreak of the World War, the number of Seminar attendees dropped back down to 50. What now became exciting for the seminar was to make up the dramatic fall in seminar fees that were needed to acquire the necessary literature. In the 1920/21 winter semester, 354 law students once again found themselves with just ten tables and 38 chairs.
If we follow the affectionate chronicle of the "Juristisches Seminar" from the writings of Hildebert Kirchner, then the "actual rise of the ‘Juristisches Seminar’" began in 1923, with the instatement of professor Herbert Meyer as director of the Seminar. It moved from the first floor of the auditorium to the second one. By moving the books, it became possible to acquire a real Seminar room. The new director also succeeded in acquiring additional funds, meaning that second copies of books could be obtained in 1928 for the first time. That was really exciting: there were now five copies of Enneccerus (which today would roughly correspond to the German Civil Code textbook series by Larenz, Baur, etc.) and four copies of the German Penal Code commentary by Frank (comparable to today's Schönke/Schröder).
The personnel developments were also exciting. Under Meyer, it finally became possible to put into effect the long-pursued plan and create an assistant position. This can only be fully appreciated if one considers that the professors had no personal assistants whatsoever at the time. On the flip side, for my teacher Larenz, the position – which he was given at the end of 1928 and held until his transfer to Kiel in 1932, was important for his livelihood and that of his family due to a lack of personal wealth, from both a life and academic perspective. In 1928, it was also possible to appoint someone for the supervision of the library and the processing of the catalogue; a second seminar worker was not acquired until the autumn of 1945.
During this war and post-war period – this time, the Second World War – came what was surely the most momentous and, thus, exciting event for the operation of the Seminar. After several large German libraries had been destroyed by air strikes, the valuable book holdings of the "Juristisches Seminar", which had so far been shielded against damage, were moved to the redundant mine in Volpriehausen am Solling. But before the books could be transported back after the war, almost all of them were destroyed by fire in September 1945, following an explosion in the mine shaft which has remained unexplained to this day. The "Juristisches Seminar" lost more than 20,000 volumes. It is only possible to imagine the magnitude of this loss if we consider that common study literature was all that was left behind in Göttingen after the books had been transferred. In addition, the auditorium was seized by the English occupying forces in 1945, meaning that the seminar had to be moved to an emergency location at the Institute of Mathematics on Bunsenstraße until 1950.
A few years ago, the writer Walter Höllerer passionately took his position as "lawyer of the library" and explained how the library has an intellectual effect on society, "in the way that it organises its activities". If only it could do so actively! If only the library could organise itself while also being active! But actions are something performed by human beings, and the organisation of a library therefore also remains an issue for the library's personnel alone if the library is to become "active" or, better still, the users are to become active within it. On this note, I would like to conclude by saying a few words about the staff of our "Juristisches Seminar".
Its first two employees, whom I have mentioned, were people who had their own biographical data, too, and who also represent a significant part of the Seminar's 100-year history. We have not forgotten their names, and we still have one or two memories of them: Theodor Liefländer was the first. He was appointed in 1928 and remained loyal to the Seminar until his retirement in 1962. Kurt Wenz was the other, in 1945. Those of us old enough will remember how he organised the distribution of the Seminar cards as an almost military exercise.
In 1955, the "Juristisches Seminar" received its first specialist librarian, in the form of Ms Ursula Richter, a graduate librarian. She restructured the library from its 35 sections at the time into 65 – representing an increase of 30 sections – as well as furnishing it with new shelfmarks. This increase corresponds exactly to the number of years that Ms Richter was – quite literally – there for the library. When she retired from active library service in 1985, Ms Richter, with her excellent organisational skills, combined all of the "Juristisches Seminar's” archived data into a document that was commendable and complete in equal measure, thereby also contributing a volume to the library that she had served for so long.
Librarians usually contribute towards the book holdings of Seminars in other ways, too. Let us forget for a moment that Wilhelm Wegener and Hildebert Kirchner published academic works in their areas – Mr Kirchner, with your list of abbreviations you will remain one of the most cited authors for as long as assignments are required in Göttingen for the First State Examination in Law! Both of these men have contributed towards the current success of the "Juristisches Seminar" in very different ways. If, as a user of today's Seminar library, we hardly notice the losses of the Volpriehausen volume catastrophe, that is because, with unwavering commitment, they have rebuilt the lost library from catalogues as well as directly from antiquarian bookshops.
Incidentally, the contribution that the library staff make towards the library often constitutes actual "carrying". Books have to be carried, and not just during the relocations of the Seminar, which have been very frequent, such as in 1992, when the Criminal Law Library moved from the Theologicum to the "Verfügungsgebäude" (public access building). In 1951, when the "Juristisches Seminar" received 2,000 volumes of American standard literature from the USA as a gift initiated by the American high commissioner John McCloy, this increase in books posed a substantial challenge to the library's personnel, especially if we consider that the annual audit of the library makes it necessary to literally pick up each book and return it to its – often proper – location.
Here, it should not be forgotten either that the "Juristisches Seminar" has long since developed from its initial small size into a large institution and into an independent administration. Almost everyone who works in the Faculty of Law is managed either fully or partially in the "Juristisches Seminar", whether this relates to the material and personnel resources of an individual department or to a correction assistant for our exercises. The structure of the administration hierarchy was also changed a long time ago: whereas Harry Ebersbach was entrusted with the full-time administration of the seminar as a professor, the position was changed to that of an academic director by his successor Eberhard von Reuter during the course of being occupied. When Mr Reuter stepped down after 18 years, in order to change to the ministerial service of the Federal State of Sachsen-Anhalt, the university administration left the remuneration budget for this post (which in comparison to other university seminars was outstanding) assigned to the "Juristisches Seminar" and did not allocate it to a different (perhaps more important) Seminar. Before Mr von Reuter left, I asked him to write a job description; the number and diversity of tasks associated with the Seminar administration would be sure to astound some people.
There is a nice attestation to the tasks performed by all participants within the "Juristisches Seminar", which is very gratifying to all our staff: while we were holding the closing discussions with the officials in charge of the university's internal audit during the previous year, they explained that, in their work at the university, they had hardly come across another institute that is organised as impressively and managed quite as satisfactorily as the "Juristisches Seminar".
I would also be able to speak at great length about the measures that we have taken to improve the conditions within the "Juristisches Seminar". But I shall forfeit this in favour of something else. I still belong to the generation that is able to show its appreciation.
Being a full-time employee in a Seminar demands reliability and hard work. And the work often goes unnoticed. One sacrifices one's own needs to enable other people to be raised and developed in an academic sense. I have recently had my 40-year service anniversary. During these 40 years, I have hardly ever – and actually never during my time at the Göttingen Seminar – suffered a serious lack of staff needed for the exercises and the department, and, above all, a lack of necessary academic literature. On the contrary, I have been grateful on many occasions for the help that was provided to me in such an altruistic way. It is therefore important to me that I take this opportunity to express my gratitude again to all employees; and it goes without saying that my colleagues feel the same as I do.
The number of employees alone prevents me from thanking each one in person and by name: the 34 secretaries of the various departments and institutes, the caretaker, the supervision staff from A, such as Ms Achenbrandt, to Z, such as Ms Zindel, the staff of the library administration in a more narrow sense, from our two graduate librarians Ms Nolte and Mr Deppe, through to Ms Balzereit, and particularly the administration itself: Ms Dietrich and Ms Nsien, whom I had to – and was able to – rely on during the arduous time when there was no head of administration, through to Dr Lemmer, who sacrificed his own life plans for the benefit of the "Juristisches Seminar" by taking charge of our administration. For this, I would like to express my special thanks to him and wish him all the best in his work – and, thus, in our "Juristisches Seminar" – during the coming years.
In reality, during the hundred years that the "Juristisches Seminar" has existed, it is not just two actual generations that have benefited from all your work, but many generations. I would also like to express my thanks at this point to the cooperation with the city's bookshops and with the book-binding company Fischbach. The resistance of the professors has long since changed into an often self-sacrificial management of the whole: I have already mentioned the professors Merkel and Meyer, but professor Niedermeyer should not be forgotten here, either – he held the office during the '40s and felt pangs of remorse about the loss of the library in Volpriehausen. I should also mention many other colleagues who deserve special thanks for helping the Seminar alongside their actual academic work. But I won't – in the knowledge that each individual only makes their own contribution towards it and that the effective operation of a Seminar is, in turn, simply a part of the academic culture that we are entitled to be proud of in the smaller area of the "Juristisches Seminar" after one hundred years.
Before I ask you to join me for our small reception on the next floor up, where the "Juristisches Seminar" has eventually ended up after a hundred years of its unstoppable ascent at the university, I would like to hand over again to the academic orchestra guild's string quartet for the final musical word: all four are jurists. I would like to thank them for providing the musical backdrop to our small event, but also for personifying what I find so appealing about the subject of jurisprudence that we all serve, namely that it gives us access and opens our eyes to the reality and beauty of life.
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History and development of the subject