Polnische und aus Polen stammende Studenten an der Universität Dorpat 1802-1914

Csaba János Kenéz


The number of Polish students and students coming from Poland, who were matriculated at Dorpat University between 1802 and 1914, approximately could be ascertained with the aid of the student register. It amounted to a total of 2373 students, among them were 1774 Poles, and 599 came from Poland. Their share in the total number of students in Dorpat run to more than 9 per cent.
They were selected young university people, having the opportunity in Dorpat, at least till 1889, to take part in Central and West European cultural and academic life. Though many of them were obliged to German culture because of its bridge function, this did not mean that they were not at the same time Polish patriots, as usual in those times after the Partitions.
The Polish students became active in Dorpat corporations. Their Corporation – the Polonia (Konwent) - played an eminent part; it was also highly esteemed by their German fellow students. Many Polish students in Dorpat were also able to achieve outstanding Performances in their studies and therefore high recognition especially by their teachers. This follows from the memoirs of some later prominent students of the Alma Mater Dorpatiensis. All this obviously influenced the attitude of the Baltic Germans towards the Poles.
Dorpat was also the training place of future Protestant theologians from Poland who mostly were of German origin. Strangely enough, many of them have been polonizedin Dorpat, as they did not find access to German corporations. Even when they had to leave the "Polonia", finally they had no choice but to found an own students' Corporation.