The Rudolf Wöhrl lecture hall at the University of Erlangen has reverted to its original name

Following criticism, the Erlangen university lecture hall was renamed after the founder of the fashion house chain Rudolf Wöhrl. “For the time being, the lecture hall will be known as the lecture hall at stliche Stadtmauerstraße 11, as it was previously,” said a spokeswoman for Erlangen-Friedrich-Alexander Nuremberg’s University.

The lettering on the outside facade was removed on Wednesday morning after unknown persons “pasted over it and defaced it,” according to a university spokeswoman. It was scheduled to be removed from the lecture hall this weekend because scaffolding would need to be erected, and the lecture hall would be occupied all week.

The naming of the lecture hall after Wöhrl had sparked controversy in Middle Franconia. Previously, a confidential report from the Nuremberg City Archives was published in the South german newspaper, claiming that Wöhrl was a member of the NSDAP and the SS. The Erlangen Left Party, among others, had called for the lecture hall to be renamed. “We propose someone who stood up to the Nazi euthanasia program,” the party said.

Rudolf Wöhrl, an entrepreneur, donated EUR 250,000 to the university hospital in 2009 for research projects. The medical faculty renamed the large lecture hall in the city centre “Rudolf-Wöhrl-Hörsaal” as a thank you, the university explained at the time. “Nobody from our family was alive at the time, so we only know everything from hearsay and the more than sparse documents from the state archives,” Rudolf Wöhrl’s son, Hans Rudolf Wöhrl, said at the start of the week.

On Saturday, the university issued the following statement: “For ten years, a naming agreement was reached with the donor’s family. This time period has long passed, as the lecture hall was named after Rudolf Wöhrl in 2009.” The name was kept for the time being because no new donor or sponsor had expressed an interest. As a result, the family and the founder agreed that the lecture hall could be renamed at any time after the agreement expired.” A renaming will occur shortly.” The university most recently set January 1st, 2024, as the deadline.

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