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The Göttingen Academy of Sciences and its Relationship with National Socialism

Founded in 2014, the research committee seeks to explore the history of the Göttingen Academy from the beginning of the 20th century to the early years of the Federal Republic, focussing on the continuities and discontinuities of its self-perception and institutional and scientific practice. Particular emphasis is given to the Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945, not least to the fate of the members who were excluded from the Academy as a result of anti-Semitic and political persecution.

The main objective of the committee’s activities is to produce a monograph, composed by Dr. Désirée Schauz, a renowned junior scholar who has been hired for this purpose.  Conceptualizing the Academy both as an institution and as an association of individual scholars who were part of national and international networks, the study will address five key issues: 1) the consequences of Germany’s international isolation after 1918 for the self-perception of the Academy and changes in this context after 1945, 2) the Academy’s reactions to the rise of new scientific institutions such as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Society, 3) its stance with regard to external expectations as well as competing novel institutions during the Nazi period and after, 4) political discourses in the Academy, 5) the impact local specifics in Göttingen had on the Academy’s self-perception and activities.

In sum, the committee aims at gaining an in-depth view of how the Göttingen Academy fared under Nazi rule, as this has not been studied in detail so far. Moreover, in view of the Academy’s function as both an institution and an association of scholars, the committee wants to provide research on scientific institutions outside of the universities in general with novel ideas.

Members of the research committee

Vorsitzender: Prof. Dirk Schumann, Universität Göttingen, Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Geschichte
Prof. Ute Daniel, TU Braunschweig, Historisches Seminar, Abt. für alte, mittelalterliche und neuere Geschichte
Prof. Frank Rexroth, Universität Göttingen, Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Geschichte
Prof. Norbert Schappacher, Université de Strasbourg, IRMA Institut de Recherche Mathématique
Prof. Wolfgang Schieder, Professor für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte an der Universität Köln
Prof. Eva Schumann, Universität Göttingen, Juristische Fakultät, Abt. für Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte
Prof. Stefan Tangermann, Agrarökonom, Universität Göttingen