Outline of the history of Polytechnic until 1945 | Gdańsk University of Technology

Outline of the history of Polytechnic until 1945

Andrzej Januszajtis Ph.D., Eng.


Gmach PG - historyczny

Beginnings

Since 1891, the then Prussian authorities considered the possibility of establishing a higher education institution in Gdansk. The proposal to establish a university encountered the resistance of the Königsberg scholars who were afraid of competition for their "Albertina". In 1897, the influential publisher of the liberal "Danziger Zeitung", Heinrich Rickert, suggested opening a technical university in Gdansk.

The idea received support of the City Council, which bought the land along St. Michel’s road (today Traugutta Street) in advance. Deliberations, discussions and expert opinions took over a year. Competitors appeared, including Wrocław, Poznań, Elbląg, Szczecin, Królewiec, Toruń and Bydgoszcz. In the end, Emperor Wilhelm II favored Gdansk. On March 16, 1899, Prussian deputies approved the decision and allocated 6 million marks for the project. In March 1900, the main designer, Albert Carsten, arrived in Gdansk.

Construction under his supervision began in August of the same year. Within 4 years, buildings with a total cubic capacity of over 200,000 m³ were erected on 6.4 ha of land. The ceremonial inauguration took place on October 6, 1904.


Carsten

Buildings

The Main Building with a capacity of 122 thousand m³ was and still is the largest of the erected buildings. It has about 210 rooms without basements and the attic space. On 4 floors there were 17 lecture rooms for 27 to 140 places, 24 drawing rooms for 12 to 45 tables, 36 offices for professors and assistant professors, 11 rooms for assistants, 11 rooms for collections and teaching aids. There were also social rooms, sanitary facilities, etc. and even storage space for bicycles. In the middle part, apart from the main stairs, there was a library, two high lobbies, the Senate hall, the Rectorate and the Aula. Extremely rich decor abounded in gilding and Art Nouveau ornaments.

The windows of the representative rooms had colorful stained glass decorations at the bottom. The most elegant rooms were the Senate Hall, decorated with oak paneling in the Old Gdansk style, and the Aula, which was entered through the portal with the figures of Art and Technology. On the right, there were richly carved stalls for professors and a lectern on the podium. The hall was surrounded by inlaid paneling; the balustrade of the empora was also richly decorated. Brown, green and gold dominated in the color scheme. The vaults of the upper hall in front of the Aula were supported by columns of reddish sandstone coming from the Mainland.

The pillars of the lower hall had tombac bands at the bottom, and the arms of cities hung on top of them. Forged balustrades were distinguished by the nobility of their forms. Unfortunately, all these decorations were destroyed in the fire of the building in 1945. Mostly, the exterior decor has been preserved, the symbolism of which refers to the purpose of the building. The medallion of Wilhelm II used to hang above the main entrance (unfortunately the medallion no longer exists today), and above the windows of the high ground floor the likenesses of scholars and pioneers of technology were mounted: K. Schinkel (architect), G. Hagen (co-discoverer of flow laws), A. Borsig (producer of early locomotives) and F. Schichau (ship builder). The oval window above the entrance was decorated with Art Nouveau stained glass.

The beautiful bronze goblets that used to adorn the external stairs have not survived either. They were used on ceremonial occasions as lanterns. The slender clock turret crowning the roof, with a gilded allegorical figure on top, holding a torch and depicting Knowledge was also destroyed. Generally speaking, the Main Building can be considered an outstanding achievement of eclectic architecture. A similar style and well-thought-out concept characterize the preserved buildings of Chemistry, Electrotechnics and the Machine Hall with a characteristic water tower.

The facilities of the Hall were intended to serve not only teaching purposes, but also to supply the whole university with water, heat and electricity. In order to make it easier for architecture students to master the then fashionable vegetal ornamentation, a special pavilion was constructed in which ornamental plants were grown. We should also mention the equipment here - furniture and apparatus, which are characterized by high quality and aesthetic values. The importance attached to modernity is evidenced by the fact that some of the instruments were imported from the world exhibition in St. Louis. The expansion of the university was begun even before the First World War. In 1909 a modest building of the Material Strength Laboratory was established and in 1912 the Hydromechanics Institute was erected and the Machine Hall expanded.


Sala wykładowa

Organisation

According to the first statute of October 1, 1904, the university was called the Royal University of Technology in Gdansk (Königliche Technische Hochschule zu Danzig) and was directly subordinate to the so-called ‘Upper President’ of West Prussia. An organizational scheme similar to that at the Aachen Polytechnic was adopted, with the exception of the Mining Faculty, instead of which the Shipbuilding Faculty was introduced. In total, there were 6 faculties: I Architecture, II Civil Engineering, III Machine Construction and Electrical Engineering, IV Construction of Ships and Ship Machinery, V Chemistry and VI General Sciences. The university had full academic rights.

The first four faculties provided for a four-year study period. The condition of admission was a 9-class secondary school matriculation certificate. This condition did not apply to free listeners who, however, did not have the right to take examinations or obtain diplomas. After 4 semesters, regular students were required to take an intermediate exam, and after the next two years, a diploma exam.

Graduates obtained the title of qualified engineer in 10 specialisations. After completing an independent work project with an element of novelty, the doctor's degree could be obtained, which opened the possibility of habilitation as a private docent in all German universities.


Hans von Mangoldt

Employees

In the academic year 1904/1905, Gdansk University of Technology had 28 full-time professors, 1 honorary professor, 12 associate professors, 4 lecturers and 40 assistant positions. By 1914, the total number of professors increased to 31, there were 26 associate professors (including 11 private associate professors), there were still 4 lecturers and 51 posts for assistants.

The first rector was Hans von Mangoldt, a distinguished mathematician, whose books still enjoy a well-deserved fame. Among other distinguished professors of the period we should name Albert Carsten, who has already been mentioned, the famous builder of bridges Reinhold Krohn, a prominent architect Friedrich Ostendorff, architectural historian Adalbert Matthaei, reconstructor of the Malbork Castle Konrad Steinbrecht, chemist Otto Ruff, physicist Max Wien, ship machines constructor Hermann Föttinger and many others.

The full list of classes included 260 subjects (counting separately lectures, classes, laboratories, etc.). There were also lectures for outside guests.


Czytelnia

Students

In principle, the buildings of the University of Technology were calculated for 600 students with the possibility of increasing this number to 1000. In 1904, 189 people enrolled for the studies. There were 57 free listeners and 353 guests, which gives a total of 599 people for whom classes were conducted. By 1914, the number of regular students increased to 675.

The number of free listeners fluctuated between 49 and 102, and guests between 76 and 731. The Faculty of Civil Engineering usually had the greatest number of students, the least numerous one was the Faculty of General Sciences. Already in 1905/1906, 16 diploma exams were registered, in 1914 this number increased to 77. The first doctorate was registered in 1906; the number of promotions in the years 1906-1914 did not exceed 7 per year. In total, by 1914, 640 diplomas and 62 doctorates were registered.

Since the beginning of the university's existence, great importance was attached to nationality. Foreigners could study only with the consent of the ministry and could not exceed 10% of the total number of students. Poles from the territories that were then part of the German Reich, i.e. from Wielkopolska, Silesia and Pomerania, were not treated as foreigners, while Germans from the Russian and Austrian partition were considered as such. At that time, Polish students were few, because they chose one of the renowned universities in the depths of Germany.

However, already in the first semester, 2 Poles from Congress Poland and Poznanskie Region enrolled in the studies. By 1914, the number of students admitting to be Polish nationals did not exceed 10-12, although in fact there could have been many more. In 1913 a secret Polish Association of Gdansk Academics was founded, aiming for national activity and striving for Poland's independence. The new union established close cooperation with the then Gdansk Polonia.


Sala fizyki 1904r.

The First World War period

After the outbreak of the war, the number of students actually dropped as a result of mobilization and ranged from 116 in 1914/1915 to 170 in 1918/1919 - in 1917 there were only 71 students. A part of the staff was also mobilized. 158 employees and students died in the war. Some rooms were changed into hospital wards. Nevertheless, the university did not stop working. In the years 1914-1918, 99 people received their diplomas, and 25 received the Ph.D. title.

The influence of the war could most clearly be seen in the academic year 1917/1918, when the number of diplomas decreased to 3 and doctorates to 1. In the same war year 1917, the university's statute was changed. The notion of full-time professors disappeared, and ordinary and associate professors were introduced instead. Besides, everything remained the same.


Polski dom akademicki 1935 r.

The post - war period

Due to the defeat of Central Powers and the active operation of the entire nation, an independent Polish state was reborn. The unstable situation and the threat from the east prevented effective actions in the national interest on all fronts. In 1920, the Free City of Gdansk was established. The Polish - Gdańsk Convention signed in the same year was to ensure full rights of the Polish population. Since 1919, efforts were made to grant the Polytechnic to Polish authorities. The arguments of the Polish side were factual and convincing. Gdansk University of Technology was built largely for the money of Polish taxpayers from Pomerania, Wielkopolska and Kujawy and was to serve primarily the inhabitants of these lands, which after the war returned to Poland. The share of the city of Gdansk itself was relatively small. The Free City was not able to maintain the Polytechnic or provide full staffing and enough students. Nevertheless, the Inter-ally Division of Property Commission on July 28, 1921, granted the University of Technology to the Free City of Gdansk.

The decision was made basing on the signed on the previous day Polish - Gdansk Agreement, in which the authorities of the Free City guaranteed equal rights of Polish students, at the same time committing themselves to introducing a Polish language course and lectures on Polish economic geography and providing the necessary textbooks and teaching aids to the Poles. The official full name of the university was since then the University of Technology of the Free City of Gdansk (Technische Hochschule der Freien Stadt Danzig). However, just as before the war, in both private and official letters and documents, for example in diplomas, it was usually shortened to the form of Gdansk University of Technology (Technische Hochschule Danzig).

In 1922 the organisational system of the university was changed. The former joint faculties were separated to form three new organisational units: I General Sciences, II Civil Engineering and III Machine Engineering. The first unit was divided into the following faculties: Ia Humanities (new), Ib Mathematics and Physics and Ic Chemistry; while the second was divided into: IIa Architecture and IIb Construction Engineering; and the third one into the faculties of: IIIa Machine Engineering, IIIb Electrical Engineering and IIIc Shipbuilding (from 1929 Shipbuilding and Aeronautics).

The number of faculties increased from 6 to 8 following the separation of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering from the Faculty of Machine Engineering and the foundation of the new Faculty of Humanities. Besides, the so-called External Institute was created in 1921 to provide paid courses for students from outside the University.


Auditorium maximum

University extension

The growing number of students and expanding academic activity resulted in the need of the campus extension. The greatest investment was the erection of a construction connected with the Main Building, housing the most extensive lecture hall (with 400 seats) - the Auditorium Maximum, designed for physics, in 1929. The general author of the project was Prof. Carl Ramsauer. Based on the Zenneck Theatre at the Technical University in Munich, the auditorium was separated from the back room with a movable wall, which enabled the preparation of displays in the back room while a lecture was being conducted in the auditorium. 

The building of total cubic capacity of 23,000 m3 follows the Cubist style. According to the original project, it was intended to have a connection with the extended Chemistry Building but this idea never saw daylight. Equipped with a functional demonstration table, the new hall was one of the best lecture halls in that period in Europe. At the same time the building of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering was enlarged, the eastern aisle of the Machine Hall was elevated, and the pavilion of Hydromechanics was extended. In the attics of the Main Building which had not been used so far, new drafting rooms and an aerodynamic tunnel (over the Assembly Hall) were created. In inner courtyards covered with glass roofings room was found for railway collections and the Museum of Mechanics. The total cubic volume of all the buildings rose to 222,000 m3.

The area of the University was enlarged as well. In 1928, the Student Dormitory was erected at the present Siedlicka Street. It included i.a. a canteen (previously located in a barrack between the Main Building and the Chemistry Building), a cafe and club rooms. From 1923 the adjoining square functioned as sport training courses. In 1939 the Aeronautics Institute acquired the previous Masonic Lodge building located in the present Własna Strzecha Street.

Created in 1925 the Agricultural Department was placed in the present Rogaczewskiego Street and from 1927 Botanical and Zoological Institutes used the premises of the Teachers College at the present Sobieskiego Street. The University also rented casemates of the Grodzisko hill which were adapted to serve as student quarters and corporation seats.


Wykaz pracowników

Staff development

The staff training system resembled the present one in many aspects. After receiving a diploma a graduate was able to apply for the post of assistant and begin to work on their doctoral thesis under a professor's supervision. Apart from the degree of a PhD Engineer, from 1928 it was possible to gain a doctorate in technical sciences, and from 1933 to obtain the degree of Doctor of Philosophy as at a university (at the Faculty of General Sciences). Furthermore, after obtaining a doctorate, it was possible to qualify for an associate professor (English scientific titles only approximately reflect the functions in the organisation structures of Central European Academic Schools), thus on the basis of the thesis to be entitled to conduct lectures.

As a result of the 1922 reform the previous assistant professors obtained the title of associate professors, or left the University. Some classes were still delegated to private assistant professors, i.e. to people not working full-time at the University. Young people constituted a significant number of professors. In that aspect it was Rudolf Plank who set the record. He conducted lectures on thermodynamics and theory of machines in the years 1913-1925 and became a professor at the age of 27! There was an important development of the staff in comparison with the previous period. While just after the war, in the academic year 1920/1921 there were 36 professors (including the honorary ones), in the academic year 1928/29, their number reached 39. Accordingly, the number of associate professors were 2 and 13, that of assistant professors were 22 and 14 (including private ones - 7 and 12), of assistants - 50 and 77. Together with foreign language instructors there were respectively 112 and 152 academic teachers. Throughout those years the number of subjects raised from 270 to 435.

Among the outstanding professors of the inter-war period Adolf Butenandt should be mentioned at the first place. In the year 1939 he was awarded the Noble Prize for his work on isolation and synthesis of human hormones. Carl Ramsauer, famous for his research on interaction between electrons and molecules and for the discovery of a phenomenon named after his name, and Walther Kossel who carried out research on X-ray crystal spectra and was the author of the theory of bonds, were the most renowned physicists. In the branch of chemistry Wilhelm Klemm is worth mentioning for his achievements as one of co-inventors of magnetochemistry. Karl Kupfmuller was an outstanding electrical engineer who ran the research work in the Siemens and Halske Company in Berlin for many years.

A physicist Georg Hass, in charge of laboratories in the USA after World War II, was one of those who achieved an international fame. Regarding the history of Gdańsk, historical papers - though not always objective - by a historian Erich Keyser and an archaeologist Wolfgang la Baume, as well as by architects Karl Gruber and Otto Kloeppel, should be mentioned. The high level of teaching could be noticed at the Faculties of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Faculty (Machine Engineering) and Shipbuilding. Among the lecturers invited from abroad there were such celebrities as Svante Arrhenius, Max von Laue and Ludwig Prandtl. The most important event in the history of the University Library was, in 1923, taking over an invaluable book collection, comprising 35,000 volumes, of the Natural History Society of Gdańsk, founded in 1743.

The collection of the Library was steadily increasing. While in the academic year 1908/1909 it counted up to 26,000 volumes, in 1920/21 - 51,000, in 1928/29 it already contained 110,000, and in 1943 nearly 150,000. Over 1500 titles of scientific magazines were currently collected. Because of the limited area for storage designed for 50-58 thousand books, the adjoining corridors were adapted for the collection. The library development planned in 1924 never took place.


Studenci w laboratorium

Students

The interwar period was marked with the considerable rise in the number of students in comparison with the previous period: in the winter semester of 1922 their number amounted to 1651, in 1929 it was 1630, and in 1933 - 1548. The Faculty of Machine Engineering was the most popular faculty while the Faculty of Humanities was the least popular one. Similarly to the previous period, there were always unenrolled students, whose number oscillated between 26 and 134, and visitors amounting from 63 to 428. As in every time and place only a part of students managed to graduate. In 1921/22 there were 77 graduation examinations while in 1938/29 their number rose up to 202.

The number of doctorates was respectively 17 to 18. The highest number of doctorates (30) were awarded in the academic year 1923/27. In total, by the end of year 1928, 1976 diplomas and 225 doctorates had been awarded. The number of specialisations rose up to 18 (without the Humanities). Cultural activities should also be mentioned here. Created in 1926, the orchestra known as Collegium Musicum, conducted by Prof. Gotthold Frotscher, was the best known music band.

A requirement for being admitted to the University was the final certificate from a gymnasium of Gdańsk, Germany, or any other equivalent school. If a long time had elapsed from leaving a school and a person had not been a student elsewhere, the candidate had to present a morality certificate. Students coming from other universities had to present an adequate confirmation of credits.

All foreign students, but Poles, had to present a passport. The studies were paid. Similarly to the previous period there were three groups of students: regular, unenrolled and visitors. The entrance fee for the two first categories was 30 guldens in 1929, and visitors paid 5 guldens per semester. Everyone paid 3 guldens per one hour weekly (in the semester scale). The lump fee amounted up to 70 guldens, and the semester fee was 150 guldens. There was an extra fee for an interim-stage examination and a graduation examination of 60 and 120 guldens respectively. Those were considerable expenses.

That was why the Senate (Municipal Government) paid part of the fee for students from Gdańsk, whereas German students were supported by Berlin Society of Friends of Gdańsk Technical University. Polish students could apply for a loan granted by the Society for Cultural Aid for Poles Living Abroad or for a scholarship awarded by the Science Benefit Society in Gdańsk existing since 1921. It was also possible to get an extra, usually part-time, job.


Członkowie AZS

Polish students

A considerable number of non-German students was characteristic for the interwar period. They included Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, Yugoslavs, Estonians, Jews and others, the Poles, however, presented the majority of the total number of students, amounting to 36% in 1922 and 21 % in 1929 to 29% in 1938. From 1922 their number never dropped below 300; it was highest in the years: 1922 (595), 1927 (509) and 1930 (521). That fact imposed important problems on the University Authorities who tried to maintain a German profile of the University.

They tried to solve it by encouraging German students to enrol by means of various forms of assistance. As a result, the percentage of German students was high, from 43% in the year 1922, up to 63% in 1928. The number of students from Gdańsk was relatively low, only 28% in 1922 and 14% in 1928. From the very beginning, Polish students had their own organisations.

As early as in 1913 the Polish Gdańsk Academic Students’ Union was created, which due to the situation had to be kept in secret. After World War I, with the consent of the University, open organisations were established. Those were: the Polish Students’ Union ‘Bratnia Pomoc’ (in 1921), the Circle of Students of Ship Engineering of Gdańsk Technical University "Korab" (1924), the Circle of Polish Chemistry Students of Gdańsk Technical University (1925), the Circle of Polish Students of Architecture of Gdańsk Technical University (1925), the Circle of Polish Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Students (in 1926) and many others. Apart from the above, Polish corporations were created (German students had got 29 corporations). Moreover, there were different political and social organisation and 3 sports societies. Polish students had their own drafting rooms and a student dormitory at the present Legionów Street. Up to 1933 the relations between the Poles and the Germans were rather fine, though not without some amount of friction.


The Nazi period

The overtaking of power in the Free City of Gdańsk by the Nazis in 1933 resulted in many changes though at the beginning they were not as violent as in Germany. People of Jewish origin or those who were openly expressing their anti-Nazi attitude were gradually dismissed from the University. Elderly professors were forced to retire and the younger ones were dismissed or suspended. Prof. Carsten, one of the eminent designers of the University buildings, was one of the first professors compelled to retire. At the Chemical Faculty, Prof. A. Wohl was forced to leave in 1933, Prof. H. von Wartenberg in 1937 and Prof. K. Jellinek in 1937. At the Civil Engineering Faculty, Prof. Doeinek, very popular with the students who organised a solemn farewell for him, had to leave in 1937. The former Rector, Prof. Sommer (a mathematician) and many others had to leave as well. In the academic year 1935/36 only 38 full professors, 19 associate professors and 56 assistants were actually active.

That meant a serious decrease of number of the staff members. Nearly all the students' organisations were dissolved - and instead an obligatory National - Socialistic German Students’ Society was created. All the corporations were dissolved as well. Those changes did not concern the Poles who preserved their organisations. The statute of the University was changed. Racial theories were introduced into biology. All German students were obliged to undergo military training. In spite of those "supplementary" subjects the actual number of courses dropped in the academic year 1938/39 down to 335. During the first years efforts were made to arrive at an agreement between Polish and German student organisations. In 1934, there were attempts at organising exchange excursions to Poland and Germany.

From 1935 the relations started to deteriorate. Incidents among the students became more and more frequent. The culmination reached its extreme in February 1939. It was provoked by an anti-Polish note in one of the cafes in Wrzeszcz. A few days later (14 February) Polish students organised a mass meeting during which they proclaimed a resolution appealing to the Polish Government to take energetic measures in order to restore Polish rule over the estuary of the Vistula River. The Germans' reply came in no time. On February 24, 1939, Nazi-fighting squads forced Polish students out of the University. It is difficult to estimate how many German students took part in that wild incident. Accordingly to some reports they amounted to about 200, assisted by police forces. It did not come to the previously planned attack on the Polish Student Hostel. On 27 February the Rector E. Polhausen expelled in absence 5 members of the Board of Polish Students’ Union for the resolution made during the mass meeting.

The attacks on the Poles were continued. Under the pressure of the General Commissar of the Polish Republic, a mixed Commission was established which expressed their attitude towards the incidents. In the report of agreement the German delegation admitted the fact of the provocation on the part of German students. After the report, from 18 March, Polish students could return to the University, be given the possibility to make up for the missed courses, and their possessions should be restored. That agreement was never carried out. Some of the students returned to the University after a semester break but it became practically impossible to continue studies. It should be emphasised that numerous German students and a considerable majority of the professors did not take part in the incidents; however, they did not have enough courage to oppose them. The earlier efforts of Prof. J. Sommer to condemn the idea of forming a students' "seat ghetto" had led to his dismissal. The same fate met Prof. F. Krischen of the Faculty of Architecture for having made fun of the uniformed party activists. All those incidents were obviously steered from the outside and constituted links of a provocation chain which were meant to prepare the outbreak of the war.


The War period

At the moment of the outbreak of World War II there were no Polish students in Gdańsk, which was annexed into Deutsches Reich. The majority of students and many members of the staff were enlisted. In 1941 the Technical University was definitely subjected to Berlin Authorities. The Rector E. Pohlhausen, who had opposed the introduction of a more severe discipline was dismissed. The former Deputy Rector, Prof. E. Martyrer, took over. The new statute (1941) included a series of specific regulations. For example, all the candidates had to present a certificate on Aryan origin (a party member had only to make an oral statement). Students who had to do military service enjoyed many privileges. Candidates from different technical secondary schools, being of “German or related blood", and also those who expressed loyalty to the National Socialist State were enrolled on the condition they had passed a school examination with a good grade. Other candidates of such schools were obliged to take a supplementary examination for a secondary school (maturity) certificate. Those who were taking part in the War had to pass examinations in German, history, geography, and also in the subject dealing with heredity and racial theory. The entrance fee increased up to 30 marks, the semester fee was 80 marks, and the fee for an hour course (per week) - 2.5 marks. The number of students decreased dramatically, and similarly the staff. In 1944 there were formally 44 full professors, 10 associate professors and four assistant professors, but only a part of them lectured regularly. In spite of the insufficient staff a new Faculty of Aeronautics was created being the fourth one in the 3rd group. However, the Agricultural Department which had been held since 1925 at the Chemical Faculty was practically dissolved. In January 1945, courses were definitely suspended. On 21 January the previous year prohibition of leaving the City was cancelled. Part of the families of the University staff left for Germany by trains. Preparation for the evacuation began.

The most valuable equipment, books and rectorate files were packed into 500 cases and loaded on board of the ship "Deutschland", which sailed to Kiel on 27 January taking also the University staff members and their family, all together 300 people. From Kiel the whole shipment was sent to Schmalkalden in Turingen, where a supplementary Technical University was expected to be organised. Those who went by "Gustloff" ship drowned. Some weeks after the shipment had been dispatched, the University was converted into a hospital for 3000 beds. All those who still stayed in the University were engaged to help. Ill and wounded people were placed in the Main Building, and those who suffered from contagious diseases were taken to the Electrical Institute. The Institute of Hydromechanics served as a morgue.

In some buildings subsidiary rooms were organised, and in the others, furniture and hospital instruments were kept.

Any escape through land routes became impossible after the Soviet Army had occupied Sławno region. The prohibition to leave the town for men from 16 to 60 years of age was still in force. Air raids began in March. On 21 March, Soviet tanks reached the Baltic Sea close to Sopot. The ring around Gdańsk was tightening. In the early morning of 26 March, the last German Rector, Prof. E. Martyrer left the University. The Town Centre was on fire so passing through New Port he reached the suburb Stogi, where a cutter was awaiting him. His report on the night passage to the Hel peninsula contains a terrifying relation of the Town on fire.

At the time of the Rector's departure the University was still untouched, except for the Laboratory of Material Strength destroyed during an air raid, as well as some small turrets which were knocked down. In the afternoon of the same day, after a violent artillery attack, the Russians took over the University area and expelled all people hidden in the cellars. Accordingly to the report of eyewitnesses, only then a fire arose in the western part of the Main Building, which destroyed 60% of it, and a part of the Chemistry Building. The Library was burned out with the part of the volumes which had not been removed, as well as all the representative rooms in the centre of the Main Building. The total destruction of the University was estimated at 16% of the cubic volume.