• Günter M. Ziegler, President of the FU Berlin and Brain City Ambassador at the kick-off event of  "75 Jahre FU Berlin"

    75 Years of Freie Universität Berlin

"Free thinking. Forming responsibility. Shaping change." Under this motto, the Freie Universität Berlin is celebrating its 75th birthday this year with a host of events. June is the main month of the celebrations. The ends on 29 June with a large summer party on the forecourt of the "Holzlaube" and the "Campus Run".

The anniversary celebrations kicked off with a ceremony on 1 June on the historic campus grounds in and in front of the Henry Ford Building - with celebratory speeches, food trucks, cocktails and an after-show party. The students and researchers certainly could not have celebrated so bountifully when they called for the founding of the FU Berlin on 23 June 1948. Supplies were still hard to come by so shortly after the war. The impetus for founding the university at that time was that students critical of the system at the University Unter den Linden in the Soviet sector of the then divided Berlin were persecuted. The first lectures were held in Dahlem in the summer of 1948. The students and the professors wanted to learn, teach and research independently. The founding ceremony of the FU Berlin finally followed at the beginning of December 1948, in the Titania Palace in Steglitz. "Freedom was a central value and overriding goal when the Freie Universität Berlin was founded 75 years ago," explains Günter M. Ziegler, President of FU Berlin and Brain City Ambassador.

Today, the FU Berlin has around 33,000 students, 485 professors and some 173 degree programmes. 13 percent of Bachelor's students and 29 percent of Master's students come from abroad. The FU Berlin has also been one of Germany's Universities of Excellence since 2007. A title it successfully retained in 2012. It has been part of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) since 2019 - together with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

“This school must be interested in turning out citizens of the world”, demanded former US President John F. Kennedy on 26 June 1963 during his speech on the Dahlmer Campus. To this day, the university not only carries freedom in its name, freedom is one of its guiding principles and stands for the great responsibility and mission of the university to educate these very "citizens of the world", says Günter M. Ziegler. During the anniversary year 2023, the FU Berlin therefore wants to be particularly visible in the city and consciously face a world full of crises and tensions. Günter M. Ziegler: "We will celebrate and shape the anniversary year in an interactive and informative, diverse, communicative, public and certainly surprising way - together with staff, researchers, students and teachers.”

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Freie Universität Berlin also received a new and contemporary design: The new image of the university (Link in German only), developed in a participatory process, underlines the future dynamic of the FU Berlin: Under the title "Open Spaces", it continues to modernise proven logo elements - such as the colour green. Areas and shapes are constantly rearranged on the basis of a grid system according to an algorithm. Everything remains in motion. "Our new logo symbolises the idea of free spaces that are constantly being created in the university context," says the accompanying press release. "So our logo is constantly changing - just like the times we live in." (vdo)

75 Years of Freie Universität Berlin: When a free university was founded in the western part of Berlin in 1948. (Video in German only.)


Anniversary events "75 years of Freie Universität Berlin" (selection)  

Special fundraiser: "75 years of free thinking: A reason to celebrate, a reason to donate", until 30 November 2023
The FU Berlin invites university members and friends of the university to take part in the fundraising campaign in aid of the international relief organisation "Doctors without Borders".

7 June: Campus concert, 5 to 8 p.m., forecourt of the "Holzlaube", Fabeckstraße 23-25
With Paula Hartmann and the student supporting acts Peat and Nika & D.A.R.I.O. Open-air, admission is free. 

17 June: The Long Night of the Sciences, 5 p.m. to midnight, forecourt of the "Holzlaube", Fabeckstraße 23-25
In 2023, Freie Universität once again invites you to the "The Long Night of the Sciences" on the Dahlem campus. A diverse programme with exciting experiments, lectures, science shows and guided tours from various research areas.

26 June: “Workshop Citizens of the World. Academic Freedom in a Global Perspective”, 4:15 to 7:15 p.m., Henry-Ford-Building, Garystraße 35
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the speech of the former US President John F. Kennedy at the FU Berlin, this workshop focuses on worldwide academic freedom. Open to all, but please register

29 June: Summer festival (link in German only), 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., forecourt of the "Holzlaube", Fabeckstraße 23-25
The Executive Board of Freie Universität Berlin invites all employees and students to a colourful summer party. With a large stage, live bands, food and drinks, an extensive supporting programme and plenty of surprises. Admission is free.

29 June: Campus Run (link in German only), 4 p.m., start and finish: Forecourt of the "Holzlaube", Fabeckstraße 23-25
Parallel to the summer festival, the public Campus Run starts in Dahlem. Adults and youths can run a distance of 5, 7.5 or 10 kilometres, children run 1 kilometre. The closing date for applications is 19 June 2023.

Ernst Reuter Day, 1 December, 2 to 8 p.m., Henry Ford Building, Garystraße 35
The anniversary year concludes with a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the FU-Berlin. The programme includes a keynote speech, an exhibition opening and the awarding of the Ernst Reuter Prizes to young researchers. It will also be announced what amount was raised from the special fundraising campaign "75 Years of Free Thinking: A Reason to Celebrate, a Reason to Donate" for Doctors Without Borders.

Further information

fu-berlin.de/75jahre The programme of events is continuously updated.


75 Years of Freie Universität Berlin: FU President Günter M. Ziegler on the Celebration Month of June. (Video in German only.)


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