The famous Georg-August University was the workplace of the Grimm brothers. They founded Gottingen's excellent reputation as a town of scholarship, which is shaped by more than 1000 years of town history.
The Brothers Grimm in Göttingen
In 1829, Jacob Grimm accepted an offer as Professor at the University of Göttingen, however on the condition that also Wilhelm would be employed. After agreeing that Wilhelm should receive a position in the University Library, the brothers leave Kassel and, together with William's wife Dorothea and their first child, obtain an apartment in Göttingen's splendid boulevard street of that time, the current Goethe Allee. Jacob Grimm is appointed as the managing librarian of the Göttingen University Library. He is furthermore Professor of Philosophy and a member of the Senate of the University. In 1831 Wilhelm likewise receives an appointment as an extraordinary professor, which in 1835 becomes an appointment as a regular professor.
Founder of the modern study of German Language and Literature
Apart from their teaching positions and their work in the library, in Göttingen both brothers finish a large number of important publications and justify the study of German language and literature as modern language and literature scholarship. In 1837, Jacob publishes two additional volumes of the "German Grammar". In 1834, he is also able to complete "Reinhart (Reineke) Fuchs", begun in 1811. In 1835 a work on "German Mythology" follows. The third edition of the Children's and Household Tales was created by Wilhelm nearly alone in 1837.
The brothers' role in the Göttingen Seven
Because of a letter of protest against a violation of the constitution by the King of Hannover, King Ernst August I, in 1837 the Grimm brothers, along with five other professors (the Göttingen Seven: Wilhelm Eduard Albrecht, Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann, Heinrich Georg August Ewald, Georg Gottfried Gervinus, Wilhelm Eduard Weber) – were discharged from their posts and Jacob Grimm even expelled from the state. He found safe haven with his brother Ludwig Emil in Kassel, in October 1838 Wilhelm Grimm also moved back to Kassel with his family.
Traces of the Brothers Grimm in Göttingen
Guided town tour: In the footsteps of the Brothers Grimm – their time at the Georgia Augusta
The work and biographical milestones of the famous brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are the focus of this round tour. We will visit their living quarters and places of activity during their time as librarians and professors at Göttingen University. Furthermore, their role as participants in the protest of the "Göttingen Seven" in 1837 and the resulting consequences are illuminated more closely.
Guided town tour: The Göttingen Seven – protest with consequences
In 1837 Göttingen's name entered German history. With a remonstrative letter, seven professors of the Georg-August University opposed the suspension of the Constitution by King Ernst August of Hannover. The response of the king was extraordinarily hard. The seven professors were dismissed from their offices, three of them were even expelled from the state. The bold step of the Göttingen seven was observed in all of Germany and was a sign that the liberal movement was alive again in broad parts of Germany. The theme recalls the life and activities of these seven scholars.
Commemorative plaque for Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Goetheallee 6
From 1829 to 1837, the Grimm brothers lived in one of the houses which belonged to the High Commercial Commissioner Friedrich Grätzel. In the ground floor was the lecture room in which the Grimm brothers held their lectures. The commemorative plaque was attached to this building in 1874 and renewed in 1994 on the replacement structure. Commemorative plaques also reminding of the Göttingen Seven are found at the university auditorium, Wilhelmsplatz) and the "G7" monument from Günter Grass (university campus, Plaza of the Göttingen Seven)
Jubilee events and travel offerings
- You will find information on the jubilee events in Event Calendar of The Topic Year Grimm2013.
- 10th Göttingen Fairy Tale Week 2013: 200 Years Children's and Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Information at Göttinger Märchenland e. V.: www.maerchenlandgoe.de
Also worth knowing about the Brothers Grimm in Göttingen
Workplace "German Dictionary", Papendiek 14
Revised edition of the letters D to F by the Göttingen Academy of Humanities, more information at www.uni-goettingen.de
Workplace "Encyclopaedia of the fairy tale", Friedländer Weg 2
Issuing of the pocket dictionary for historical and comparative narrative research by the Göttingen Academy of Humanities, more information at wwwuser.gwdg.de/~enzmaer/