Student enrollment numbers in the Federal Republic continued to rise dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s, but faculty numbers increased only slightly (see statistics). In Frankfurt am Main, students not only endured unfavorable conditions at the university, they also suffered from a lack of affordable student housing: of the city’s more than 31,000 students, only about 2,800 could be accommodated in dormitories. At the end of November 1988, students at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University decided to strike, and on November 30, 1988, they organized a general assembly that drew more than 6,000 participants to the university’s assembly hall. A large demonstration with more than 10,000 participants followed on December 1, 1988. Students demanded better conditions at the university and the allocation of affordable living spaces to ease the housing shortage. The protestor’s sign reads: “Housing shortage in Frankfurt: In my fifth semester and still looking for a place to live.”

Frankfurt Students Protest Exorbitant Rents (December 1988)

  • Abisag Tüllmann


Source: Frankfurt students demonstrate against exhorbitant rents in the city and for more co-determination at the university, December 1988. Photo: Abisag Tüllmann.
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© bpk/ Abisag Tüllmann