The Georg-August University in Göttingen has asked former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) to resign his honorary doctorate. This was announced by the university. Schröder had previously been there for talks. Against the background of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which represents a breach of international law, the foundation university is consistently following the political directive to put all university and research cooperation as well as economic transactions with Russia on hold, as the statement says.
“For the University of Göttingen it is therefore incomprehensible that with the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, an outstanding alumnus and honorary doctor of our university, even after weeks of bitter acts of war and an ever worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine, does not clearly name the criminal war of aggression as such and his activities in Russian companies can at least rest”, it continues.
Holding on to offices in the economic apparatus of the aggressor is incompatible with the university’s mission statement. “Conversations with him, in which he also described his efforts to end the war, could not allay our concerns, even though we welcome every effort to end the illegal war of aggression as soon as possible.”
The natural science faculties awarded Schröder the title in 2005 because during his time as Prime Minister of Lower Saxony (1990-1998) he was extremely committed to promoting natural sciences at the university. In addition, as Federal Chancellor, he provided important impetus for a debate on the life sciences and thus contributed to a critical examination of biotechnology and life sciences. Schröder himself had studied law at the university.
The former chancellor is coming under increasing pressure because of his attitude towards Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin. In addition to being expelled from the SPD, Schröder faces further consequences. The call for sanctions against Schröder also grew louder. The Bundestag is also discussing limiting the equipment for former chancellors. Schroeder had in an interview with New York Times fueled outrage at his behavior. SPD leader Saskia Esken had already asked Schröder to leave the party on Monday. “He earns his money working for Russian state companies,” she stated.