Bad times for the Hohenzollerns.
On April 5th, a decision will be made on renaming the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.
The day before yesterday the results of the Senate session of January 25 were announced at a press conference.
For the rector of the university, the physicist Johannes Wessels, Wilhelm II, the last German emperor, is someone who did “much evil” – with the exception of the endowment of the university named after him in 1902. The chairman of the Senate, who Constitutional lawyer Hinnerk Wißmann, conjures up the colonial past and mentions genocides recognized by the Bundestag.
He reports that there was an overwhelming majority in the closed Senate session.
This is to be respected;
the point in time, which has been preparing for two years, essentially for a elaboration by Eckhard Kluth,
The university wants to get rid of its name, which is perceived as a burden.
In itself that should be enough.
Nevertheless, the presumed will of the emperor is also used as an argument.
Wilhelm only hesitantly supported the naming, Wißmann would like to see importance attached to the naming in the precision style of his subject, as well as the Prussian Minister of Education.
On the day of the naming, the Kaiser, returning from a maneuver, was in Bielefeld in East Westphalia to inaugurate a monument to his grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I.
The emperor, who unexpectedly showed himself to be clairvoyant, rejected a request from the university to allow a new rector's chain with his portrait.
For Wißmann, naming a university is not a souvenir;
Plain considerations of expediency
In the future, the university will only trade as the University of Münster.
Wißmann recalls that in 1780, during the time of the prince bishops, a university had already been opened in Münster, and showed himself to be a supporter of the universal idea of the university, which unlike a street does not need a name.
Rector Wessels refers to the University of Bielefeld, which also does not have a personal name.
There has probably never been so much Bielefeld in Münster.
In the state capital Düsseldorf, however, there is a Heinrich Heine University;
Opponents of this naming argued in part similar to Wißmann.
It is suggested that naming it after the statesman Franz von Fürstenberg, who was instrumental in the first foundation, is at least being discussed;
Kluth reports that he too did not want the university to be named after him.
A local journalist asks what will become of the acronym WWU and the popular sports club WWU Baskets.
Wißmann promises that there will be no "Jacobin zeal" and no steles with the new name, old materials will of course be used up.
Wessels hopes that the students will use their imagination when attempting to resolve the abbreviation WWU and emphasizes the importance of marketing.
"That's the most important point." The university is already appearing abroad as the "University of Münster";
nowadays it has to be English.
WWU would not work because of the double "double-u" and "u" again.
Given an "evil" namesake involved in genocide, staid considerations of expediency come as a surprise.
EMU is not entirely impossible in English-speaking countries;
Wissmann's argument that the name university is self-explanatory and needs no addition is not unsympathetic.
The largest university in the federal state is leading the way and has called itself the University of Cologne since it was founded in 1919 in a neo-medieval sound.
If you think through the arguments that are worth considering, the largest universal university in Westphalia will also have to adapt this name: "University of Münster".
In Munster, there must be so much time.