Die Geschichte der slawischen Philologie an der Schlesischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Breslau

Helmut Wilhelm Schaller


In addition to the universities of Vienna and Berlin, the Schlesische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität at Breslau, founded in 1811, represented one of the three most significant centres for teaching and research in the field of Slavonic cultural and ethnic studies. Since the year of foundation Polish was taught at the Breslau university, and in 1841 the order was given to establish chairs of Slavonic studies at Berlin and Breslau, probably considering mainly the studying youth of Polish origin. From 1842-1848 the Czech writer and Slavonicist F. L. Čelakovský worked in Breslau until he was appointed to Prague, but not before 1860 W. Cybulski, of Polish origin, was appointed to Breslau where he taught Slavonic languages and literatures, though only for a short period of time, namely up to 1867. The first longer period of time, from 1868-1907, was marked by W. Nehring whose work at Breslau was mainly orientated at Polish studies. In this period of time falls the establishment of the seminary of Slavonic Philology at the University of Breslau in the year 1879. For only a very short period of time, from 1909-1911,the leading etymologist E. Berneker worked as Slavonicist at the University of Breslau, succeeded by P. Diels, who up to the end of World War II started a broadly designed activity in teaching and research. Persons who also should be named are R. Löwenfeld as lecturer for Slavonic languages - the futurę founder of the Schiller-Theater in Berlin-, as well as R. Abicht, E. Hanisch, O. Grünenthal and E.Koschmieder as further university teachers of Slavonic philology at the University of Breslau. The Slavonic studies at the University of Breslau had a substantial extension of significance through the East-Europe-Institute, founded in 1919, which up to the end of World War II made a broad research in the field of Slavonic studies possible, through lectures but also through publications and an excellent specialised library.