Indology in Berlin

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Dec 11 13:52:36 UTC 2006

Many thanks to Haru Isaacson for transmitting the message of Dr.s Strauch and

We had begun to discuss the situation on our intl. Pan-Asian list
(Indo-Eurasian-Research, more than 700 members from 30 disciplines).


and have been preparing an international write-in to the Berlin authorities.

* Please see my next message for details.*

It is essential that as many of us as possible participate in this effort, so
that at least some sections of Berlin Indology at Freie Univertsitaet and
Humboldt Universitaet be saved.

M. Witzel

Quoting Harunaga Isaacson <Harunaga.Isaacson at UNI-HAMBURG.DE>:

> Dr. Ingo Strauch (Freie Universitaet Berlin) has requested the INDOLOGY
> committee to post to the list a message which was sent a few days ago to the
> Indo-Eurasian Research Yahoo group by Dr. Caren Dreyer. It is about a matter
> which will surely be of concern to all Indologists.
> ===
> This is to inform [the List], that not only at Cambridge but also at
> Berlin there will be no in-depth Sanskrit Studies any more in the near
> future.
> Since 1821 Sanskrit has been taught at a Berlin university by such well
> known scholars as Bopp, Weber, Pischel, Lüders et al.
> Now as a result of structural policy of the two major Berlin
> universities on the one hand and the over all BA/MA reforms on the other
> there will be no more students after 2008 of Sanskrit in a BA-course. As
> a consequence traditional Indology will cease to exist at Berlin.
> There is no consolation in the fact, that the teaching of Indian
> Art-History will survive for the time being as a subject under the roof
> of General Art-History and Modern Indian History will still be taught at
> Humboldt-University. Sanskrit and the other historical Indian Languages
> and the bulk of literature and informations transmitted through them
> will remain closed to all students of that fields.
> To indologists these measures are obviously short sighted and ridiculous
> in the light of the importance of Sanskrit and its derivates for the
> development and spread of all cultures in India, Central- and
> South-East-Asia.
> It is deplorable that the many years fight of a scholar of great
> international reputation as Harry Falk for the survival of his field at
> one of the two Berlin universities seems to have been in vain.
> For further information please contact:
> Caren Dreyer:mail at
> or
> Ingo Strauch: strauchi at
> ===
> --
> Prof. Dr. Harunaga Isaacson
> Universität Hamburg
> Asien-Afrika-Institut
> Abteilung für Kultur und Geschichte Indiens und Tibets
> Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1 (Hauptgebäude)
> D-20146
> Hamburg
> Germany
> tel. +49 (0)40 42838-3382

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