L. Rezos str. 8, LT-5870, Neringa, Juodkrante
In 1994, the monument for Liudvikas Reza by sculptor Arunas Sakalauskas was unveiled in the yard of Juodkrante Secondary School of L. Reza.
Ludwig Gediminas Reza was born on January 9, 1776, in Karvaiciai village.
Having his father dead in 1782, the orphan Ludwig was sheltered by fisherman of nearby Nagliu village Radmacheris, and during 1882 - 1883 he was living with his distant relative, the owner of Rasyte’s Post Station Boehm.
In 1785, L. G. Reza moved from the Curonian Spit to Kaukenai (in the region of Nemunas’ delta), where the husband of his mother’s sister theologian Christian David Wittich was living.
L. G.Reza had spent six years with Ch. D.Witticha, was studying further hard, and being fifteen years old, with the help of Ch. D.Wittich in the summer of 1791 he got to Lebenicht paupers’ shelter in Koenigsberg.
In 1795, L. G.Reza, being nineteen years old, entered Theology Department of Koenigsberg University, and this department was a dominating one with the number of its students and its importance since the very establishment of the university (1544). Apart from theology, L. G.Reza had studied ancient languages, history of literature, rhetoric, attended history lectures, and was interested in philosophy and Eastern languages the most.
Maturation of his personality was influenced the most by the philosopher lecturing in the university I. Kant, orientalist J. Hasse, historian K. Mangelsdorf and Ch. Kraus. The theory of J. Hasse was not scientifically valid, but it thrilled the imagination of L. Reza and stimulated his interest in the history of the amber region, a part of which was the Curonian Spit.
During the studies, L. Reza visited seminar of Lithuanian langauge, which took place in the university from 1723, later, he had been leading it for a long itme, rasing the level of this seminar and, thus, contributing to Lithuanian linguistic preparation of future Evangelical Lutheran priests of Lithuania Minor (Prussian Lithuania).
Scientific activity of L. Reza
L. Reza completed his studies in Koenigsberg University in 1799, and, even though, he was attracted by scientist’s career, he chose this path some years later: Being fifteen years old, L. Reza occupied the position of military preacher and only from 1816 he related his activity with the university. L. Reza had been preparing for academic work all the time after the end of studies: he had studied philosophy, history, Hebrew, Chaldic, Arabic languages and in 1807 defended his scientific paper “About Interpretation of Morals of the Holy Books According to Kant”, acquiring the Doctoral Degree in Philosophy.
In 1810 L. Reza became an extraodrinary professor of Koenigsberg University and started to lecture the course on History of the Christian Church and Introduction to the Old and New Testaments. L. Reza was also granted with the Doctoral Degree in Theology for the studies on history of Lithuanian Bible, and in 1819 he was appointed to be the Dean of the Department of Theology and later became a Rector.
In 1828, L. Reza became the first professor of the Department of Theology – the lord.
Evaluation of social and scientific work of L. Reza
L. Reza was an active agent of society.
From 1810, L. Reza was participating in activity of Prussian Bible Distribution Association.
From 1811, L. Reza was an active member of the Royal German Asscociation of his town, there he was reading the papers on historical and folklore issues.
In 1819, L. Reza, who became known for his Lithuanian linguistic works, was elected to be an honoured member of the Curonian Land’s Literature and Art Association. This was an association of a liberal movement, founded by local Germans in 1816, which was cherishing the region’s culture.
In 1832 L. Reza – well-known authority in science of theology – became the member of Leipzig Historical Theological Association.
The membership of L. Reza in the contemporary elite of Koenigsberg is demonstrated by his election as an honoured member of Conshistory and Schools College of Prussian Province (Das Consistorium und Provinzial – Schul – Collegium) in 1829. This institution resolved important questions of Western Prussia church, education and culture development.
L. Reza’s sympathies towards liberal ideas are revealed in his participation in activity of one of three Masonic lodges that were functioning in Koenigsberg – The Three Crown Lodge of St. John (Maurer-Loge zu den Drey Kronen).
Scientific and social activity of L. Reza was highly evaluated at the end of his life: In 1840, he was awarded with the Prussian State Order.