The University during the Third Reich
"This collection of valuable studies shows how the German universitiesalready home to many conservative-nationalist and anti-democratic faculty as well as nazified students before 1933welcomed the onset of the Nazi dictatorship and pursued a course of "self-coordination" in purging Jews and political opponents. Within the humanities, a core of Nazi activists in major disciplines such as theology, law, archeology, and history certainly exercised an inordinate influence over hiring, funding, and curriculum, but numerous opportunists and fellow travelers even in smaller departments adopted Nazi racial rhetoric and sought to demonstrate their "relevance" and "usefulness" to the Nazi cause. In the post-war period a few of the most egregious academic Nazis served as useful scapegoats, but the vast majority of faculty viewed themselves as the double victims of Hitler's dictatorship and war on the one hand and the Allies' unfair denazification on the other. But at least, in a second act of self-coordination, they sanitized their vitas, forgot their past complicities, and began to act like the non-Nazi, apolitical scholars they now claimed to have been all along."Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill "This is a sobering study of how quickly and completely German universities and the humanities were corrupted by Nazi ideology and policies during the National Socialist era. Led by some of the most prominent scholars in their fields, entire scholarly disciplines conformed to Nazi rule, leading to the broader perversion of humanistic values, standards and ethics throughout Germany. Thoughtful and profound, the essays in this volume explore this history as a warning for our own times."Victoria J. Barnett, Director (retired), Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust, U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum "As I read this rich collection, I found myself learning at nearly every turn, even from many of the footnotes. These are serious, well-researched and well-written studies; their authors draw upon both primary sources (not infrequently unpublished archival items) and secondary sources in the original languages to construct their arguments. Taken together, this is a compelling collection of serious essays from which readers, whether specialists or non-specialists, will learn much. The essays complement each other and even build on each other."Saul M. Olyan, Samuel Ungerleider Jr. Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University "With Jewish students under assault on campuses across the United States, The Betrayal of the Humanities demonstrates the role academicians can play in "validating" antisemitism and producing research to underpin genocidal worldviews."The Times of Israel "The Betrayal of the Humanities is a testimony to what can go wrong if humanistic education is separated from ethics, from moral imperatives, and from the face of one's neighbor. We would do well to heed its warning."Kathleen Gallagher Elkins, Review of Biblical Literature
Bernard M. Levinson serves as Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and of Law at the University of Minnesota, where he holds the Berman Family Chair in Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible. He is the author of four books, including Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation and Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel, and six edited volumes. Robert P. Ericksen is the Kurt Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies Emeritus at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. He has written or edited six books, including Theologians under Hitler, Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany, and (edited with Susannah Heschel) Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust.
List of Contributors List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Preface I. Nazi Germany and the Historical Humanities 1. The History of the Humanities in the Third Reich, by Alan E. Steinweis 2. The "Orient" and "Us", by Suzanne L. Marchand 3. Luther Scholars, Jews, and Judaism during the Third Reich, by Christopher J. Probst 4. Gerhard von Rad's Struggle against the Nazification of the Old Testament, by Bernard M. Levinson 5. Jewish Studies in the Service of Nazi Ideology, by Anders Gerdmar 6. Hermann Grapow, Egyptology, and National Socialist Initiatives for the Humanities, by Thomas Schneider 7. German Assyriology, by Johannes Renger 8. National Socialist Archaeology as a Faustian Bargain, by Bettina Arnold II. Law, Music, and Philosophy in the Third Reich 9. Hitler's Willing Law Professors, by Oren Gross 10. The Music of Arnold Schoenberg, by Michael Cherlin 11. Political Philosophy, by Emmanuel Faye III. Nazi Germany and Beyond 12. The Nazification and Denazification of the University of Gttingen, by Robert P. Ericksen 13. The University of Gttingen and Its Postwar Response to Persecuted Colleagues, by Aniko Szabo 14. Italian Fascism, by Franklin Hugh Adler 15. Is There an Anti-Jewish Bias in Today's University?, by Alvin H. Rosenfeld Index of Scholars and Related Academic Figures Examined Index of Paramilitary and Military Roles Held Index of Universities and Academic Institutions Examined Index of Authors Subject Index