The University's Professor Karin Friedrich has been presented with an award in recognition of her contribution to research of the history and culture of Prussia.
Professor Friedrich, Chair in Early Modern History, is the recipient of the West Prussian Culture Prize 2023.
She has widely published on the history of Prussia and the Baltic regions of Poland, including the cities of Gdańsk, Elbląg and Toruń along the Vistula river, whose merchant communities had strong trade links to Scottish ports such as Aberdeen.
This region was under the Polish crown from 1454 to 1772 when Frederick II of Prussia annexed it and called it ‘West Prussia’.
She was awarded the prize by the Westpreussische Gesellschaft (West Prussian Society), as part of a conference on Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670), the Moravian theologian and senior of the Bohemian Brethren community whose ecumenical movement had a great impact on Polish Prussia.
Comenius’s pedagogical writings also exerted significant influence on the intellectual culture of Scottish universities, including Aberdeen, mainly through his close contacts to the Scottish reformed theologian, John Dury (1596-1680).
The conference and prize giving was attended by a large audience, half German, half Polish, some of whom are descendants of the German minority population that did not leave Poland after 1945.
Among those who have received this prize in the past is also Wernher von Braun, the pioneer of rocket and aerospace technology, presented with the award due to his family origins in West Prussia.