Better late than never.
Poland’s University of Wroclaw has decided that now is the time reinstate doctorate degrees to 262 individuals, most of whom are Jewish, whose PhDs were confiscated while the university was directed under Nazi rule.
University spokesman Jacek Przygodzki explained, “It’s a symbloic gesture,” as all, if not the vast majority of those who had their PhDs seized by the Nazis, are likely deceased.
“A university should be free of ideology,” said Przygodzski. “We want to underline that notion by condemning totalitarian regimes’ attempts to subject universities to ideology, be it Nazi, communist or whatever else.”
Wroclaw History professor Krzysztof Ruchniewicz added: “We are proud of the centuries of tradition our university has but we also have to remember there is a dark chapter to it. And someone has to remember the scientists who were the Nazi victims and bring them justice.”
The school was originally called the University of Breslau, which at the time was located in Breslau, Germany, but later became part of western Poland when maps were redrawn after World War II. Germany’s University of Cologne brought in Breslau’s students once the war ended.
The University of Cologne and University of Wroclaw made the announcement jointly, and plan on returning the degrees to their rightful recepients at a ceremony on January 22nd.