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The Founding of Freie Universität Berlin: Between Makeshift and Avant-garde

The founding of Freie Universitat Berlin in 1948 was in no way a grandiose affair. Some 2,000 students started studying in mid-November in only three academic departments under the most meager of conditions. The increasing political constriction and regulation in the Soviet-occupied sectors of Berlin, especially regarding the control of the long-standing Universitat Unter din Linden, created growing unrest in the student body. Protests ensued calling for a new and free university to be built in the western part of Berlin. Freie Universität Berlin was not only a makeshift university, born of necessity with a precarious financial future, but also a political university in that it was to become a plan for the future with a commitment to academic freedom and democracy. 

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