Press Portal

Statement on the end of the occupation of the Institute of Social Sciences at the HU on May 23, 2024

Today the Institute for Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität was evacuated by the police from 6.30 p.m. Previously, there was a discussion with around 50 pro-Palestinian occupiers in the building, which had been occupied since the previous day. Members of the Executive Board, employees of the Institute of Social Sciences, the Academic Senate and students took part in the discussion. The presidium had given the occupiers a clear deadline the day before to end the occupation.

“By tolerating the occupation in the Institute of Social Sciences until Thursday evening, we pushed the limits in several respects. It was a serious attempt to have a dialogue. This dialogue had to be broken off,” said Prof. Julia von Blumenthal, President of the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin.

From 6.30 p.m. onwards, the majority of the protesting students left the institute building voluntarily, accompanied by university members. The evacuation was then carried out by the police. The building is expected to remain closed until the middle of next week.

"We have consciously made an offer for discussion. As part of a democratic society and place of education, we stand for respectful dialogue, even on controversial topics. At the same time, the Humboldt-Universität does not tolerate hatred or agitation in its rooms. I condemn all symbols that calling out hatred and violence, especially those that target individual groups or individuals. “The university must remain a safe place for everyone,” said von Blumenthal.

We are following developments in the Middle East with great concern. We see the great suffering on all sides: the suffering of the people who are still hostages and directly exposed to the terror of Hamas, the suffering of the people in Gaza who are starving and cannot find protection from the war; the suffering of the people who have lost relatives to Hamas' terror, the suffering of the people who have lost relatives and friends to the war. Our condolences go out to everyone affected by terror and violence in the Middle East.