WASHINGTON D.C. - As part of a larger project of indicting Germany for not coming to terms with its Nazi past, the German film The Nasty Girl offers a filmic image of a German professor from the 1980s which is reminiscent of printed images of the German professor around the turn of the century.
Herr professor Juckenack is stereotypic tenured professor in the 1930's University of Berlin. Where heads of academic departments exercised dictatorial power over other members of the faculty as well as over students. This Berlin professor struts with Third Reich mannerisms across the passage of time from the 1930's to the present. He is a racial anti-Semite and a conservative bureaucrat. he is a pillar of State authority for whom a shameful Nazi past is something one invokes governmental authority to conceal.
The film brings to the screen an articulate depiction of German higher education in post-war Berlin that is remarkably revealing of Nazi higher education in The Friedrich Wilhelms Universitat [University of Berlin]. That infamous academy of book-burners ironically lost more than 50 percent of its imaculate buildings. Having served as a nazified showplace from 1931-1945, the Berlin University's students, faculty, and professoriate was particularly heavily implicated in Nazi war crimes.
For example, one Nazi higher education graduate student, Karl Leonard Falk, the American with dual U.S.German citizenship, and a 1932 Stanford University graduate, studied for a racial science Nazi economics doctorate in that Friedrich Wilhelms Universitat between 1933-1936 under a convenient stipend provided by the Third Reich for services he rendered to Hitler's Reichsministry for Propaganda.(A)
These images pushes us to re-examine the historical record to determine how the process of denazifying and reforming German higher education after the end of the Second World War reshaped understandings of Germany's Nazi past that are with us today.
For example, it is astonishing to see the ways in which the Germans under occupation, along with their American occupiers, employed images of the German past at the Stunde Null to rehabilitate German higher education.
The film addresses Sonya, a young Bavarian heroine's attempt to uncover her home town's history under National Socialism. She becomes frustrated when the town's elders refuse. Of these the Prussian University of Berlin professor Juckenack turns out to be the most vociferous.
The verbal and intellectual conflict between professor and
student is a central tension in the film and serves as a commentary on
the state of the Nazi and Post-Nazi academy in West Germany at the historical moment just prior to reunification between Est and West.
Herr professor Juckenack denies Sonya access to archives, threatens to destroy her if she reveals his own Nazi past, and actually brings her to court for defamation of character when she does so. The professor is fears not for punishment for his Nazi proclivities in the past, but his fear is only for loss of his own status in post-Nazi society, if the truth were to be told.
When threatened with legal action by the adroit professor, Sonya seeks the assistance of another elderly man, one with detailed knowledge of the professor's Nazi past.
The film argues that the elderly witness had been victimized by the American occupation forces at the end of the Second World War. While the Americans absolved the real Nazis, like Herr professor Juckenack, they interned this hapless elderly soul for his Communist sympathies.
The film leads one to believe that Juckenack, an ardent young Nazi nicknamed "Brown Heinrich", is the kind of person the Americans admired and promoted to rebuild German higher education after the war.
Yet, the University of Berlin Nazi professor was not a genuine heroic figure for the Americans occupying Germany at the end of the Second World War. The General Orders of education officers in occupied Germany were to to reform German education.
The first task which the American occupation forces faced in reconstructing German education was denazification. The American Joint Chiefs of Staff Directive (JCS) 1067 provided guidance for reconstructing German education.
They were to close all Nazi educational institutions, "...a coordinated system of control will be established designed completely to eliminate Nazi and militaristic doctrines and to encourage the development of democratic ideas provided the American military governors...not only to eliminate Nazi texts, curriculum, and personnel, but also to inculcate democratic values in the defeated German population".
There was a more immediate priority, however, to conduct a purge of Nazi personnel still in positions of power in schools, colleges, and city government.
In describing the American occupation of Germany, historians have described some measure of success in the American program of "re-education"and "reorientation," particularly in the sense that this program pertained to the process of democratizing Germany. These historians point out that the Americans wanted defeated Germany to rebuild its own educational structure, with a minimum of American guidance. By giving the Germans substantial control over their own educational system early on in the occupation, the American Military Government gave Germany practical experience in the process of democratic self-determination. "(7)
The fundamental role in educational reconstruction in German higher education was to examine particular opinions and attitudes about
educational practices under the Nazi regime. Institutional histories
of the American Government of Occupation have addressed the role of historical consciousness in educational reconstruction. James Tent has pointed out that several of the Army civil affairs officers charged with reconstructing German education were university professors or administrators who had themselves written on Nazi education.(8)
Nazi higher education reform and the reform of elementary and secondary education are generally treated as two distinct areas by most historians. General Lucius Clay later wrote in his memoirs, '...the reconstruction of German education meant that the Germans had to overcome both physical and spiritual devastation. Many German school buildings had been destroyed, others badly damaged, and still others were occupied either by troops or by displaced persons. Teaching staffs contained many ardent Nazis; in one city more than 60 percent of the teaching staff had belonged to the party. Textbooks were so impregnated with Nazi ideology that even mathematics problems were expressed in military terms and logistics. German youth learned to add and subtract guns and bullets rather than apples and oranges. (10)
The priority for Nazi higher education reconstruction was for restoring the orderly functioning of German society. All of the German universities had been closed in May of 1945 with the capitulation of the Third Reich. The reconstruction of German higher education began with the reopening of the universities in the French and British sectors.
The Americans reopened the medical faculty at Heidelberg University. On August 15, 1945, the newly appointed rector, Dr. Karl Jaspers, gave the keynote address. He began his speech with an interpretation of the recent German past. "The German universities would reopen because secretly, the core of the university of Berlin remained in tact. There were teachers and students whose minds preserved their freedom. Something had been salvaged, in spite of dismissals on the largest scale, in spite of interference in
teaching and research, in spite of the destruction of our ancient constitution and self-government . . . The fact that the spirit of science could not actually be destroyed makes it possible today for the university to start anew, though on a limited scale only.".(11)
Post-war German education would thus draw on a professionalism, grounded
in the "spirit of science," which Jaspers claimed had not been
corrupted by the Nazi years.
At the risk of historical anachronism, one must ask if Jaspers was correct in this estimate. It is extremely significant that the rehabilitation of German higher education in the American zone began with the reopening of medical facilities. Recent historical scholarship has shown us that the "Final Solution" was itself the product of a biomedical vision of society, a vision which flourished in the Nazi universities. The Nazi state was a biocracy in which racialized images of inferior and superior human beings enabled eugenics and ultimately genocide.(12)
Beginning with the medical faculties, one could not end there. Narrow
specialization, and not racialized science, was the reason for the nazification of education according to Jaspers. The best defense would be a liberal education for all who attended the university. This was a vision which the American university officers shared with German academicians. There was no indictment of German science by the Americans in the occupation government.
A common understanding among occupiers and occupied of the history of German education allowed for their reconstruction according to a model perceived as "ancient," but having in actuality first received legal codification at the founding of the University of Berlin in 1810. Wilhelm von Humbolt's model of higher education, steeped in Enlightenment precepts, placed the university at the disposal of the Prussian state.
As counterbalance to state control, Humbolt stressed the conception of the university as the site of "free scientific inquiry." In the view of those who would reconstruct the universities under American occupation, it was not until the Nazi years that the balance between state control and academic freedom became untenable. In 1945 they sought to return to the pre-1933 university, and thereby elided the entire issue of Nazi racism which we now understand lay at the very foundations of the Nazi academy.(13)
History, as Wissenschaft, was one among the sciences to which
Jaspers referred. The integrity of historical science, as perceived by
the German historical profession, rested upon the perseverance of German
historicism as an objective method of inquiry despite the "politicization" of history under the Third Reich. Amidst those historians who had maintained the historicist tradition during the Third Reich and thereby "preserved their freedom" during the Nazi years, the historian Gerhard Ritter was perhaps the most vocal in the immediate post-war period. As early as December 24, 1945, Ritter published an article in Die Gegenwart, a fortnightly German review operating under French occupation in Freiburg, in which he explained how he was able to "publish such independent views on historical-political questions" even under National Socialism.
He noted that Nazi party functionaries who supervised university education from 1931-1938 in the Third Reich had been too poorly-educated to understand the subtleties of the lessons on contemporary politics which Ritter had drawn in discussing earlier periods in European history. More importantly, the guild of professors and administrators who continued to run the universities in the Nazi years had also protected him - as a senior member of the profession - from persecution by Nazi cadres. Ritter argued that for younger professors, resisting Nazification had not been possible.
The younger men, those who constituted "the succession" in
the learned world, found it much harder to ignore the demands of the [Nazi] Party for active participation in its ranks. . . without membership in the [Nazi] Party or, at least, in the SA, a young teacher had hardly any chance of appointment. I know of few exceptions to this rule.(14)
For Ritter, there was a key generational aspect to the task of reconstructing
German education in the post-war period. Because the younger generation
had abandoned the scientific tradition of historicism by becoming Nazified,
it was up to the older generation of scholars who had persevered to reorient
Americans owed a great debt to the German historicist tradition. There
was a sense in which the Americans were repaying an intellectual debt to
the German universities by working for their rapid reconstruction, a debt
which was at once intellectual and personal.
Eminent Harvard historian Sidney B. Fay, having himself studied at a university in Wilhelmine Germany, wrote in early 1946 of "our responsibility for German universities." As occupiers, the Americans had the responsibility to restore the German university system as one of the institutions "which have survived the Nazi shipwreck."
Pointing to the debt which the American academy owed to German universities, Fay lamented the destruction of the physical
plant of the universities and pointed to the most difficult task of recreating the faculties.
He too feared the Nazifaction of the younger generation and noted that "the number of men left who are genuine scholars and who managed to keep their hands clean of Nazi pollution is a small fraction of what will be needed to run the universities."
He saw the task of reconstructing German scholarship, in much the same way as Ritter, as a task for the older generation of scholars. Among others, Fay mentioned Friedrich Meinecke, Max Plank, and Karl Jaspers as exemplars of the "unpolluted" few who, though advanced in age, would rebuild the German academy in the name of true science. Given the Nazi discourse on race "pollution," this use of terminology by Sydney Fay is at best insensitive and at worse betrays a total ignorance of the role of racism in the German academy.(15)
The Americans were also using the Germans to make a good science/Nazi science dichotomy which helped smooth-over the highly politicized nature of American Cold War science, now financed by the American government for military research primarily on atomic weapons.
Clearly, the Cold War conflict with Soviet Russia made the German Ordinarius a far more palatable image than he had been under the de-Prussianization regime. Now we had Russia to deal with, and America needed German technology. With American war heroes like General Patton hoping for a march on Moscow, the readily available image of the Prussian defenders of Western Civilization against the Slavs of the East was perhaps too much to resist.(16)
Sidney Fay was in a unique position to understand the situation of the
German universities in the post-war period, and he was also in a position
to resuscitate the Prussian professor as moral exemplar for a new Germany.
His son-in-law, profesor, Edward Hartshorne, had studied under Meinecke in
the mid-1930s and was at this time an Army civil affairs captain working
to reopen the German universities in the American zone as quickly as possible.
Hartshorne's view of the recent history of German universities was very
similar to that of his father-in-law (and not surprisingly to that of his
mentor Meinecke). He too saw the task of reconstruction as an exercise
In 1937 he had written that under National Socialism
"...the German university has lost in essentials the signs of a free institution. The privileges which had helped preserve it from the interference of the State Power have melted away.
Its semiautonomous administration and the traditional independence have collapsed before the impact of a powerful new ethic which demands undivided loyalty to the demands of the social community. "
Hartshorne went on to trace the freedom of inquiry which marked the
German universities to Martin Luther's "freedom of a Christian man."
This was the American equivalent of Jaspers's formulation of an ancient
constitution of the German university which occupiers and occupied should
work to restore. For Hartshorne and Fay, the National Socialist period
had been a deviation from German tradition in higher education, a tradition
which was basically sound. Here one finds that the pronouncements of the
Germans and the Americans correspond quite closely.(17)
Yet the impulse for Americans to restore the German universities to
their pre-Nazi glory was not unalloyed. Other Americans were not so sanguine
as Hartshorne and Fay about the benefits to be reaped in returning Germany
to its traditional system of university education through the good offices
of an aging professoriate. Indeed, some Military Government officers and
influential American observers of Germany in the immediate post-war years
reacted very negatively to what they referred to as the Prussian influence
on German education. The Prussian model of education, which in their view
continued to dominate both the schools and the universities in Germany,
At the opening of the theological faculty of Wuerzburg University on
October 19, 1945, 1LT Russell H. McIntosh warned the assembled faculty
of the dangers of those antidemocratic values which German education had
It would be up to the educators of a new Germany to choose the democratic way of life and inculcate this into their students. Education in the new Germany would have to proceed from an entirely new basis, since it never had the marks of "a free institution" as Hartshorne had indicated.
German educational tradition, antidemocratic and tied over the past century to the interests of the Prussian Junker class, was no basis on which to build the new Germany.(18)
This hard line toward German educational reconstruction corresponded
quite well with the approach of the first chief of the military government's Education and Religious Affairs Branch, the organization charged with the reconstruction of education in the American Zone.
Dr. Thomas Alexander, a student of Weimar education, took a harsh view of traditional German education. According to the man who succeeded him as General Clay's cultural affairs advisor, he had a "troublesome" view of the Germans, for he thought that the educational structure that existed "had been responsible in no small part for the fact that the Germans had been the aggressor in two world wars."(19)
Even during Alexander's tenure, restorative tendencies predominated
in higher education reconstruction. Despite the critical view of Prussian
hegemony in education, which was also voiced by Germans in the Rhineland
and numerous German exile historians living in the United States, the former celebrants of Prussia-Germany provided the greatest sense of legitimacy to the cause of German educational reconstruction. Bent by age, living on the verge of starvation, and with their self-confidence shaken by the Nazi experience, the older generation of German academicians still retained moral authority.(20)
The Americans of the military government were personally involved in
this process of lending legitimacy to the scholarship and academic leadership of this older generation. It was Edward Y. Hartshore who found a publisher for The German Catastrophe in 1946.
In this work Friedrich Meinecke set the tone for the approach to National Socialism in Germany under American occupation. In this work, Meinecke portrayed the appointment of Hitler
as chancellor as one of the tragic accidents (Zufälle) of history.
Though he was willing to attempt some insight into the roots of National
Socialism, the Nazi state itself lay outside the stream of German history.
As Robert Pois observed in his study of Meinecke's involvement in twentieth
Century politics, The German Catastrophe demonstrated Meinecke's
"tendency to view the Nazi period as a nihilistic aberration and thus
relatively opaque to historical investigation." The Americans were
not about to force on the Germans any other interpretation.(21)
As an American state department official observed, the American occupation forces were, by the Fall of 1946, ceding the intellectual high ground to the German "gerontocracy."(22)
It was with the assent of the Americans that the older generation of German scholars reassumed positions of leadership in the German universities after the war. In the 1960s, scholars would discover that an understanding of National Socialism as "a ship wreck" or a "catastrophe" did not allow for coming to terms with the broader implications of recent German history.
Yet it was apparent to critics of reconstruction policy after the war that the elitism of German universities had contributed to the rise of National Socialism. These critics were quick to point out that
in an academic-political sense this included the provision that the "freedom of science" guaranteed the same complete authority to senior tenured faculty as heads of institutes at German universities in the post-war period as they had exercised in the nineteenth century.
Yet there were few alternatives, as few exiles wanted to return to a Germany which had once persecuted them. Furthermore, a visiting professorship in Germany of the late 1940s was very unappealing to most non-German academicians in the United States.
Few American academicians responded to invitations to come to Germany and help reconstruct German education, despite the fact that Germany was quickly becoming the ideological front line in the Cold War.(23)
This mixture of shortages of professors and destruction of the physical
plant of the university was particularly acute in Berlin, capital of the
defeated nation and for many the symbol of Prussian militarism.
Again, Berlin had been the scene of highly destructive combat at the end of the war. The University of Berlin, known as the Friedrich Wilhelm Universität, was located easterly from Unter den Linden and in the Soviet Zone. The war had seen the destruction of 50 percent of its buildings. Having served as a nazified showplace during the war the Berlin University's professoriate was particularly heavily implicated in the crimes of National Socialism, and many had simply fled at the approach of the Red Army.(24)
The Soviet vision of university reconstruction, as its vision of reconstruction in general, favored revolution over evolution. Where the Americans were "shocked by data that revealed the small number of working class youth in university enrollments," the Soviets expected to find this.(25)
They sought to break down the barriers to higher education by immediately establishing the Einheitsschule, or Soviet version of the single elementary and secondary school for all German youth. In addition, the Soviets gave preference to the children of workers and farmers in admissions decisions. So convinced were they that the class nature of German education had led to militarism, imperialism, and ultimately fascism that they established an entirely new system of university education called the Arbeiter and Bauern Fakultaeten (Workers and Peasants Faculties), where people could study who had not come from the privileged background necessary for education in the Gymnasium, or university preparatory program.(26)
Conflict over the role of Marxism-Leninism at the Berlin University
was based in large part in differing approaches to the relationship between
politics and academic inquiry. Where the leading intellectual lights in
West Germany stressed the "value free" nature of academic inquiry, the Germans in the Soviet zone freely admitted that the university professor was a propagandist. To Karl Jaspers, while "thought and research depend on the political situation...the political events of the day are not a topic for lectures at the university". In stark contrast to this stood the view of Juergen Kuczynski, a prominent Marxist social scientist in the Soviet Zone. According to Kuczynski, the university professor should propagandize. As he explained in an article for the journal Forum, it was much more interesting (and useful) to students if a professor explained that nineteenth century economic history was driven by class interests than simply to cite trends in international trade. This, argued Kuczynski, was also part of anti-fascist propaganda.(27)
In a much publicized case, a group of students at the Berlin University
ran afoul of the Ministry for Popular Education (Ministerium fuer Volksbildung) and were expelled from the Berlin University. Curiously enough, the students Otto Hess, Otto Stolz, and Joachim Schwartz were accused of being politicians and not scholars. Quite clearly, they were conducting the wrong type of propaganda in their publication Colloquium. Since Berlin was located deep within the Soviet Zone, the American military government had an interest, both political and ideological, in the request of these students to found a new university in the American sector of Berlin. It was with General Clay's blessing that a the Free University of Berlin opened in Berlin-Dahlem in November 1948.(28)
The situation in Berlin was in many ways exceptional, but the role of
students in the founding of the Free University is significant. When the
Germans students looked for a rector for their new university, they found
a symbolic figure in the person of Friedrich Meinecke. His very presence
would be a powerful symbol of continuities with the pre-1933 academy. With
a little coaxing from the Americans, the aging Meinecke accept the position
as the students' choice for rector.(29)
When Friedrich Meinecke spoke at the opening of the Free University
of Berlin, he referred to "the voice of youth" which had demanded
a new university and a "true locus of science and its teachings".
In this address, he described his relationship with the youth who had given
the initiative for the founding of the Free University as that of a grandfather, as he was indeed the oldest faculty member of the new university community.
He attempted to normalize the university's existence by likening the intellectual relationship of these young scholars to their immediate Nazi forbearers as that of father and son, a relationship which is often marked by rebellion.
It was only natural, argued Meinecke, that the relationship of the academic youth would be much more harmonious with their intellectual grandfathers. As the older generation had resisted the propaganda of national socialism, now their intellectual grandchildren would carry forward the struggle against the politicization of scholarship taking place at the Berlin University.(30)
Though the student participation in university government at the Free
University, from its founding onward, was progressive by the standards
of the times there were other signs of continuity in the Free University
which were more traditional. As the American education officer for Berlin
noted, "like the West German universities it was to a large extent
a restoration of the pre-Hitler institution with its elitist character,
its rather authoritarian professoriate, and its old-fashioned curricula."(31)
If this was the case for the most "progressive" of German Universities, what can be said of the rest of West Germany?
At the Free University, as elsewhere in West Germany, the discourse
on "apolitical" scholarship, carried out at first to differentiate the reeducated and reoriented Germans from the Nazis, now served to institutionalize a hierarchy of power in the Cold War. In this new discourse on the nature of academic inquiry, traditionally-oriented academicians justified their further preeminence in society through a mastery of "apolitical" scholarship.
Especially since the youth were co-opted at the Free University, the appeals to objectivity were all the more useful. German youth, threatened by concerns over their nazification, could redeem themselves by becoming objective scholars. In this way, the next generation of scholars aped the manners of their grandfathers. This provides at least a partial explanation
of why, as the Nasty Girl implies, German education in 1980s resembled German education in the late nineteenth century.
The price of rehabilitating German scholarship after the Nazi dictatorship was the institutionalization of academic conservatism and the return of the Prussian professor. When the Federal Republic was founded in 1949, the political party which assumed control of the new nation was the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The CDU's campaign slogan was "Keine Experimente," or no experiments. This would be the slogan of the rehabilitated German academy as well.
References & Notes
A. It is interesting to note there was no German economics scholarship produced during the Third Reich of any scholastic
value by German economists in the Nazi years. For one example that has been preserved, see: Falk, Karl Leonard . Virtschaftfliche grundsätze und probleme der amerikanischen taggespresse. doctoral dissertation, Friedrich Wilhelm Universität, Berlin(1937).
1. Michael Verhoeven, prod. The Nasty Girl
(Miramax Films, 1990).
2. Ordinarius is the title given to a senior
tenured professor in the German university. As heads of an academic departments, they exercised virtual dictatorial control over other members of the faculty as well as over students.
3. Recent scholarship has demonstrated the problematic nature of concepts of "free scientific inquiry." On the development of archival research and scientific history in the nineteenth century see Bonnie G. Smith "Gender and the Practice of Scientific History: The Seminar and Archival Research in the Nineteenth Century," unpublished paper presented to the Modern European History Seminar, Rutgers University
4. Pollock, James K., James H. Meisel, and Harry
L. Bretton, eds. Germany Under Occupation: Illustrative Materials and
Documents (Ann Arbor, Michigan: George Wahr Publishing Co., 1949. p.
82). Nazi schools included the Adolf Hitler Schulen, Napolas and Ordensburgen,
as well as Nazi organizations within other organizations.
5. James F. Tent, "Denazification of Higher
Education in U.S. Occupied Germany, 1945-1949," In Manfred Heinemann,
ed. Hochschuloffiziere und Wiederaufbau des Hochschulwesens in Westdeutschland 1945-1952. (Universität Hannover: Forschungsstelle EDV, 19900.
6. Ingo Mueller, Hitler's Justice: The Courts
of the Third Reich (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991). For
works on the failure of denazification see John H. Herz, "The Fiasco
of Denazification in Germany," Political Science Quarterly
63 (1948), pp. 569-594; William E. Griffith "Denazification in the
United States Zone of Germany," Annals of the American Academy
of Political and Social Sciences (January 1950), pp. 68-76; John D.
Montgomery, Forced to be Free: The Artificial Revolution in Germany
and Japan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957); Constantine
FitzGibbon, Denazification (London: Michael Joseph, 1969); Tom Bower,
The Pledge Betrayed: America and Britain and the Denazification of Postwar
Germany (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1982); and
Lutz Niethammer, Die Mitläuferfabrik: Die Entnazifizierung am Beispiel
Bayerns ( Berlin: Verlag J.H.W. Dietz GmbH, 1982).
7. Edward N. Peterson, The American Occupation of
Germany: Retreat to Victory (Detroit: Wayne State University Press,
1977). James F. Tent notes his substantial agreement with Peterson in his
Mission on the Rhine: Reeducation and Denazification in American-Occupied
Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).
8. James F. Tent. Mission on the Rhine. The two
most prominent examples of American military governors who were also prominent
historians of German education are Edward Yarnall Hartshorne, Jr. and Thomas
Alexander. For examples of their work see Edward Yarnall Hartshorne, Jr.
The German Universities and National Socialism (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1937), Thomas Alexander and Beryl Parker, The New
Education in the German Republic (New York: John Day Company, 1929).
9. See Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress, A History
of West Germany, Vol. I: From Shadow to Substance 1945-1963 2nd ed.
(Cambridge: Blackwell, 1993).
10. Lucius D. Clay, Decision in Germany.
reprint ed. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1970), p. 299.
11. The German word for science, Wissenshaft,
encompassing both the natural and social sciences includes the humanistic
disciplines such as literature and history. Karl Jaspers, "The Rededication
of German Scholarship," The American Scholar 15 (1946): 180-188.
James F. Tent points to the importance of this speech in starting a wave
of the German university reopenings. See Mission on the Rhine, pp.
12. For example, see Robert N. Proctor, Racial
Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
13. On the Humboltean model of the university see
Daniel Fallon, The German University: A Heroic Ideal in Conflict With
the Modern World (Boulder, CO: University of Colorado Press, 1980).
14. Gerhard Ritter, "The German Professor in the
Third Reich." Review of Politics (April 1946). It is interesting
to contrast this favorable view of the accomplishments of German historical
scholarship during the Third Reich with those of Felix Gilbert, who served
as an intelligence officer in the occupation. According to Gilbert, very
little of value was produced by German historians in the Nazi years. See
Felix Gilbert, "German Historiography during the Second World War:
A Bibliographical Survey." The American Historical Review 53
(October 1947): 50-58.
15. Sidney B. Fay, "Our Responsibility for German
Universities" Forum (January 1946): 396-402. It is of more
than passing interest that Fay would soon translate Friedrich Meinecke's
Die Deutsche Katastrophe into English. See also Fay's introduction
as translator of the English version of Friedrich Meinecke, The German
Catastrophe: Reflections and Recollections (Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1950). On the American debt to German historicism see Fritz Stern,
"German History in America", Central European History
19 (2): 131-163.
16. On the American programmatic exploitation of German
technology in the Cold War see John Gimbel, Science, Technology and
Reparations: Exploitation and Plunder in Post-war Germany (Stanford,
CA: Stanford University Press, 1990). On the role of racial ideologies
on the Eastern Front during W.W.II, see Omer Bartov Hitler's Army
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
17. Hartshorne, The German Universities and National
Socialism, p. 153.
18. 1LT Russell H. McIntosh, "Address to the
Theological Faculty of the University of Wuerzburg in the Ceremony of the
Re-opening of that Institution," Fiche no. 3-A-193 in The U.S.
Occupation of Germany, Educational Reform, 1945-1949, Gary H. Tsuchimochi,
ed. (Congressional Information Service, 1991). For an example of an exile
German historian who criticized German educational "peculiarity"
see Frederick W. Craemer, "The Reeducation of Germany: An American
Experiment," Forum (October 1945): 114-119
19. Herman B. Wells, "Higher Education Reconstruction
in Postwar Germany", In Manfred Heinemann, ed. Hochschuloffiziere
und Wiederaufbau des Hochschulwesens in Westdeutschland 1945-1952,
20. Felix Gilbert recalled a visit to Meinecke's
quarters in the fall of 1945, where it became apparent that Meinecke and
his wife relied on handouts from the Americans in order to eat. See the
concluding chapter of Felix Gilbert's A European Past: Memoirs 1995-1945
(New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1988).
21. Friedrich Meinecke, Die Deutsche Katastrophe
(Wiesbaden: Eberhard Brockhaus Verlag, 1946), 82, 95. In a chapter
devoted to the rise of Massenmachiavellismus (machiavellian thinking
in mass society), Meinecke argued that this trend represented a spiritual
crisis which was endemic to "the West" as a whole. In a chapter
on the role of coincidence and general trends in history, Meinecke recalls
that when he heard that Hitler had been appointed chancellor, his response
was "That was not necessary." Hitler's appointment did not represent
the inevitable response to a general socio-political trend, but was rather
attributable to the coincidence of Hindenburg's personal weakness. Robert
A. Pois. Friedrich Meinecke and German Politics in the Twentieth Century
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 151-2.
22. Eugene N. Anderson, "Report on Trip to
Germany - Fall 1946," Fiche no. 1-A-58 in The U.S. Occupation of
23. In the very specific sense of history faculties,
this lead to what George Iggers has called the "exoneration of the
German national tradition." In a more general sense it meant the resurgence
of what Fritz Ringer labeled a conservative academic class of "German
mandarins". See Georg G. Iggers, The German Conception of History:
The National Tradition of Historical Thought from Herder to the Present,
2nd rev. ed. (Weslyean University Press, 1983; Fritz K. Ringer, The
Decline of the German Mandarins: The German Academic Community, 1890-1933
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1969). On the fate of exile historians
see Catherine T. Epstein, A Past Renewed: A Catalog of German-Speaking
Refugee Historians in the United States After 1933, 1st ed. (New York:
Cambridge University Press and The German Historical Institute, 1993).
24. Hubert Laitko, ed. Wissenschaft in Berlin:
Von Anfängen bis zum Neubeginn nach 1945 (Berlin: Dietz Verlag,
1987). On the reopening of the Humbolt University see Henny Maskolat "Die
Widereroeffnung der Berliner Universitaet im Januar 1946" In Forschung
und Wirken. Band I. Festschrift zur 150-Jahr-Feier der Humbolt Universitaet
zu Berlin 1810-1960 (Berlin: VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften,
25. Wells, 43.
26. Ulrich Thiel. "Zur Geschichte der Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Fakultäten
in der DDR (1949-1955)." Ph.D. Dissertation, Freiberg, Bergakad.,
Fak. für Gesellschaftswiss., Diss. A, 1987.
27. Karl Jaspers The Question of German Guilt
(New York: Dial Press, 1947), pp. 9-10. Jürgen Kuczynski, "Soll
ein Universitätslehrer Propaganda treiben," Forum: Zeitschrift
für das Geistige Leben an den Deutschen Hochschulen 1, no. 2 (1947):
28. Some of the most important works on the founding
of the Free University include Siegward Lönnendonker, Freie Universität
Berlin: Gründung einer politischen Universität (Berlin: Duncker
und Humbolt GmbH, 1988); Bernd Rabehl, Am Ende der Utopie: Die Politische
Geschichte der Freien Universitaet Berlin (Berlin: Argon Verlag, 1988);
Ulrich Schneider, "Berlin, der Kalte Krieg, und die Gründing
der Freien Universität 1945-1949," Jahrbuch für die Geschichte
des Mittel- und Ostdeutschlands 34 (1985): 37-101. James F. Tent, The
Free University of Berlin: A Political History (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1988). Information on the founding students of the Free
University was provided by Dr. Armin Spiller, archivist of the Free University
of Berlin, HSA FUB: Kurzdok. d. Gruendungsstudenten der FU Berlin
(prov. intern), zsgest. v. Universitaetsarchiv FUB, 1987.
29. On the relationship between Meinecke and the
Americans see Gilbert, A European Past: Memoirs 1995-1945.
30. Friedrich Meinecke, "Die Stimme des Gewissens,"
Colloquium 3:1 (1949):1, as cited in Siegward Lönnendonker,
et al., 55-56. Tilman Fichter, and Claus Rietzschel, eds., Dokumentaton
FU Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin 1948 - 1964, Hochschule im Umbruch
Teil I-III 1945-1964. (Berlin: 4. Dezember 1978).
31. Carl G. Anthon, "My Work as Higher Education
Advisor in Berlin: A Brief Memoir", In Manfred Heinemann, ed. Hochschuloffiziere
und Wiederaufbau des Hochschulwesens in Westdeutschland 1945-1952, p. 66.
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