Away with Eberhard and Karl

Student Council demands Renaming of the University and Critical Reflection of Previous Name

„Wir wöllent ouch vnd gebieten ernstlichen denen von Tüwingen, das sie kein Juden […] in der Stat […] laussen wonhafft beliben“ (We will and command earnestly those of Tübingen that they let no Jews remain residing within the city)

Letter of freedom to the University, Oct. 9th 1477, in: Charters from the history of the University of Tübingen. From the years 1476 to 1550. Published by the Academical Senate, 1877.

This sentence from Graf Eberhards letter of freedom to the university is crucial to the decision the Students' Council made on Monday.
The University of Tübingen is named after two Württembergian rulers. Founder of the university Graf (count) Eberhard the Bearded (1445-1496) was a raging Antisemite and considered as such even at the time. He linked the foundation directly to the disappropriation and eviction of all Jews from the city and, later, his realm. 
Herzog (duke) Karl Eugen (1728-1793) gained questionable fame through "renting" out his subjects as mercenaries to other states - troops he forcefully mobilized. He is considered a formative example of an absolutist monarch which is also visible in the insertion of his name into the university's name out of sheer pomposity. He also declared himself "rector perpetuus" (perpetual rector).

From our perspective neither of these persons suitable as namesake for a University in the 21st century. Eberhard's antisemitism - inhumane enough in itself - can not be viewed without regard for the Shoa, the Nazi-era or the ongoing antisemitism in our society. The absolutist monarch Karl Eugen and his disregard for human dignity can be no attachment figure for a university in a constitutional Republic.

We demand: 

  1. The university's senate has to decide instantaneously to drop both names, including the motto and logo of the university - both being Eberhard's symbols.
  2. A historical-critical debate about both namesakes finally has to begin.
  3. The university has to initiate a collective process to find a new name. This has to include the possibility to simply name it "Universität Tübingen".

Tübingen Students' Union