Kurt Hagen (1916–2000) was born in Riga on 24 January 1916 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family. He left Latvia with his mother Vera Hagen during the World War II. He spent most of his life in Austria and Germany. Kurt Hagen passed away in Hamburg at the age of 84.

Kurt’s father, Kārlis, was born in 1875 in Marzas homestead, Aizpute parish. K. Hagen’s mother, Antonija Vera Hagen, was born in Liepāja in the family of Viljams Lemke in 1879 and was a homemaker. Both of Kurt’s parents were from Kurzeme and initially lived in Liepāja. Later his father was trading in Riga and Kurt spent his childhood in Kalnciema iela, Pārdaugava. K. Hagen was not the only son in the family – he had an older brother, Rūdolfs, who was born in January 1912 in Riga.

In 1925, the family moved to an apartment in the centre – Dzirnavu iela. K. Hagen began his schooling at Riga German Elementary School No. 11, completed five grades there, and the 6th – the last grade of the elementary school – he finished at Riga German Elementary School No. 13, in the class of Mr. Blumenthal. In June 1930, he was admitted to the boys’ science class 1a at Riga City German Gymnasium. In elementary school, Kurt did the best in natural sciences.

K. Hagen also enrolled in the gymnasium, studying in the natural science class of Mr. Mittelštedts. At the gymnasium, Kurt was interested in sports – he had joined the tennis sector of the Riga 1st Cycling Society and also learned English language.

Yet in the 1930s, the Hagen's family life unravelled. Already in 1932, the elder brother Rūdolfs left the apartment on the Dzirnavu iela. He married Staņislava Gintilis, a Lithuanian, and moved to an apartment on the Mūrnieku iela, later – to the Stabu iela and other addresses. In 1935, Kurt’s parents divorced, and at the end of January he moved with his mother to an apartment on the Antonijas iela, where they stayed only for a few months, and later both settled in an apartment on the Valdemāra iela.

K. Hagen’s contacts with Germany are thought to have begun during the gymnasium in the summer of 1932 he received a passport for international travel.

According to letters written by K. Hagen, he continued his education abroad. From May 1936 to August 1937 he studied in Berlin, then from September 1937 to 1938 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and obtained a diploma in acting. After graduating from the academy, he established a successful career as an actor and journalist. He worked at the Vienna Burgtheater and the Vienna Chamber Theatre.

Since Hagen had no children himself, he decided to bequeath the funds to Latvian students to promote their study opportunities in Germany. He wrote in his letters that he considered Latvia to be his homeland.

On 25 March 1999, Kurt Hagen in his will bequeathed all the assets he had acquired in his life to the UL in order to support gifted students’ exchange programmes to attend universities in Germany.

On 6 October 2008, the "Kurt Hagen – Stiftung bei der Universitaet Riga/Lettland Fonds" was registered in the Register of Associations and Foundations of Latvia.

In April 2010, the University of Latvia transferred the supervision of funds to the UL Foundation (EUR 2.4 million).

More about life of K. Hagen: www.hagens.lv.


The bequest of Kurt Hagen will enable annual exchange of students with the universities of Germany. The scholarship for one semester’s studies amounts to EUR 7 000.

In the 2014/2015 academic year, Kurt Hagen scholarship was received by master’s programme student at the UL Faculty of History and Philosophy Kintija Auziņa;

In the 2015/2016 academic year, Kurt Hagen scholarship was received by student of the UL Faculty of Biology Elīna Didrihsone, student of the UL Faculty of History and Philosophy Olga Senkāne and the UL Faculty of Chemistry Toms Rēķis.

Scholarship recipients of the 2016/2017 academic year: Jānis Dzirkalis (UL Faculty of Biology), Madara Meļņika (UL Faculty of Law) and Laila Moreina (UL Faculty of Law).

We greatly appreciate the generous support to education and development!