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Significance of signing registers of students (interwar)

mhurwicz 10 | 20
20 Dec 2018 #1
I wasn't sure whether to put this in history or education, but since it pertains to the interwar period, I decided on history.

I read in this article about "ghetto benches":

Roman Rybarski, a professor at Warsaw University refused to sign the registers of the students who stood during lectures in protest against the assignment of separate seats for Jews.

My question is, what is the significance of not signing the registers? I am in the US, and the terminology of "registers of the students" is not familiar to me. Is it something showing that they had attended class on a particular day, or for a particular semester?
delphiandomine 86 | 17920
20 Dec 2018 #2
My question is, what is the significance of not signing the registers?

At least in Poland, attendance at lectures is mandatory, and if you don't attend them, there's a high chance that you won't be allowed to sit the final exams or be given a pass for the course. Usually there's a defined amount of lectures that you can miss, and after that, it's entirely at the discretion of the person taking the class if you'll be allowed to finish the course in question.

So, in this case, the professor refused to accept their presence at the lecture unless they sat down. In those times (heck, even today...) - professors would be kings and queens of their own world, and refusing to obey their commands would almost certainly result in trouble. I remember one old idiot at the Adam Mickewicz University who refused to sign the register if you brought your outdoor jacket to the lecture hall - and this was in 2013!

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