A Search for Genius in Weimar Germany: The Abraham Lincoln Stiftung and American Philanthropy

Malcolm Richardson

Buried in the annual report of the Rockefeller Foundation for 1930 lies a cryptic reference to a German educational bursary with an unlikely name: the Abraham Lincoln Stiftung (ALS). The organization's odd name - combining the German word for foundation with the name of an American president - was intended to symbolize the possibility that a democratic educational system might provide both social mobility and humane leadership. The creation of this German foundation with American money remains one of the best-kept secrets in the history of Rockefeller philanthropy. The Lincoln Stiftung began its short, tumultuous life in 1927 in the afterglow of Locarno and died a violent death seven years later, another victim in the wreckage created by Hitler's seizure of power.

During its short existence the ALS recruited many of the Weimar Republic's ablest intellectuals to help it identify exceptionally gifted younger scholars, artists, and writers. Among those who took part as "talent scouts" were Marianne Weber, the widow of Max Weber; Paul Tillich; Herman Hesse; Walter Gropius; Käthe Kollwitz; visionary educators Kurt Hahn and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy; publishers Heinrich Simon and Eugen Diederichs; Prussian educational reformer Carl Heinrich Becker; and such statesmen as Willy Hellpach, Anton Erkelenz, and Wilhelm Sollmann - the latter three were prominent figures in the politics of the Weimar coalition and firm supporters of the Republic.

The Lincoln Stiftung had great ambitions but few resources. Although only a handful of the names of its sixty or so grant recipients would be recognized today, a longer list of 133 candidates whom the directors of the ALS apparently intended to recommend or consider for aid suggests that, had it continued its activities for a few years longer, the Lincoln Stiftung would have become internationally famous. Just before 1933 the directors of the Lincoln Stiftung listed Hannah Arendt, Waldemar Gurian, Klaus Mehnert, and even Albert Schweitzer as possible fellowship recipients. However, within a few months the ALS's directors and many of its advisers and fellows were fleeing Germany.

This essay attempts to provide a factual summary of the Lincoln Stiftung's origins and development and as full a listing of its advisers and fellows as the surviving documentary record permits. Because many of the organization's records apparently have been lost, a number of interesting questions about the ALS's operations and its choices of fellowship recipients must remain unanswered. At the same time, the Lincoln Stiftung's ambitious goals also invite speculation about the extent to which external philanthropists and liberal internationalists could have worked to strengthen the ill-fated Weimar Republic and whether the kinds of educational reform envisaged by its directors could have effected fundamental changes at German universities. Finally, the ALS's insistence on finding unrecognized genius or unfulfilled talent, and the involvement of many of its founders with the opposition to Hitler, demands an effort to examine the subsequent careers of its fellows. Although I can only begin to sketch a collective portrait of its fellows and leadership in the 1930s, even a preliminary assessment must at least consider some important issues about the younger generation's relationship to the events of 1933. Although I cannot fully answer the questions I intend to raise, I believe the case of the Lincoln Stiftung offers an opportunity for further research into the relationships among the youth movement, the educational system, and the fall of the Weimar Republic.


From the outset the Lincoln Stiftung was an unusual example of German-American collaboration. When the ALS was formed in 1927 by a group of liberal German educators, both its German and American sponsors thought the enterprise was better left unpublicized, and accordingly made no public announcement. In the following year, when the trustees of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial voted to give money to the new German organization, they took care to keep their gift a well-guarded secret. The minutes of the memorial, a foundation created by John D. Rockefeller to commemorate his wife, record this decision: "The funds will be submitted to the Lincoln Stiftung through . . . [an] intermediary in order that the donor shall remain anonymous."1 Shrouded in secrecy at birth, the Lincoln Stiftung has remained virtually unknown until today.2

That a gift from an American foundation, and especially one destined for the support of scholars and teachers in the humanities, could potentially be so controversial, and thus require such caution, seems difficult to believe in retrospect. To understand this discretion it is necessary to recall the fevered political climate of Weimar Germany. Although the Republic had weathered serious crises, and the Locarno pact and a brief prosperity created the illusion of stability, bitterness toward the Allied nations remained while political hatreds, religious differences, and class distinctions poisoned Weimar politics. The universities, rooted in Imperial Germany, remained conservative and suspicious of, if not hostile to, the Republic. As an experiment with American methods of philanthropy, the Lincoln Stiftung was implicitly critical of the German universities and educational bureaucracy.

The idea of a private foundation pursuing its own ends independent of government direction was not a familiar one to most Europeans in the 1920s, but Germany boasted thousands of charitable institutions and trusts devoted to the welfare of orphans, students, and the sick. Moreover, Germany's Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (Kaiser Wilhelm Society) had pioneered the use of private funds to create advanced scientific institutes whose research work was conducted independently of the state-supported universities. Germany's network of private foundations and research institutes suffered a severe blow in the early 1920s with the onset of runaway inflation. Suddenly, institutions with millions of marks in assets watched as the purchasing power of their endowments disappeared. In response, German scientists and scholars created new institutions such as the Notgemeinschaft für deutschen Wissenschaft, or Emergency Committee for German Science, or the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (Student Foundation of the German People) and sought help from both government budgets and private donations. Although prominent industrialists provided some support, the uneven economic recovery made private funding difficult, and these new institutions - like the universities they served - relied heavily on state support. It should hardly come as a surprise, then, that the creation of the Lincoln Stiftung was the result not so much of German as American initiative. Even more precisely, the Lincoln Stiftung experiment originated in a three-sided collaboration among the American donors, three German educators, and a remarkable English man of letters, Geoffrey Winthrop Young, whose life was to become intertwined with that of the ALS. In the interval between its creation in a period of optimism and its destruction in one of depression and despair, the Lincoln Stiftung managed to suggest ways in which a democratic educational system could be constructed from the aristocratic and conservative one bequeathed to the Weimar Republic by the old empire.

Critical of their country's class distinctions and limited access to higher education, the German organizers of the Lincoln Stiftung - principally Carl Heinrich Becker, Hans Simons, and Reinhold Schairer - sought to promote the careers of a more democratic corps of teachers. As a consequence of this stance, the advisory board of the Lincoln Stiftung included a disproportionately large number of youth movement leaders, pacifists, feminists, adult education specialists, and educational experimenters.

The Lincoln Stiftung developed a national network of consultants, or nominators, who sought to find outstanding if unconventional minds and gifted individuals of both sexes who were not well served by the German academic system. Also included in this search were youths whose service during wartime or whose background at ordinary popular schools precluded admission to the German universities. More than a few of the Lincoln Stiftung's fellows held leadership roles in various youth groups - trade union or socialist in the northern industrial cities, Catholic in the Rhineland and southern Germany - and a number participated actively in various movements for international reconciliation. Perhaps not surprisingly, several of the Lincoln Stiftung's directors and advisers later distinguished themselves in the resistance to Hitler, while many more, including the directors Hans Simons and Reinhold Schairer, fled Germany after 1933. Of the 101 intellectual leaders listed as advisers or consultants in the ALS's first report to the memorial, over a quarter emigrated and several others - most notably Theodor Haubach and Adolf Reichwein, who were executed for their part in plots against Hitler - participated actively in the German resistance. The Lincoln Stiftung's advisers and fellows were, by and large, educators; Becker and his associates sought to create a generation of teachers committed not to any one party or political creed but to democratic values generally. That such an aim should require outside funds was an admission that the German backers might find politically embarrassing, and they readily agreed to the oddest part of the Lincoln Stiftung plan: its anonymity. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that Becker and the other German directors saw in the ALS a way to circumvent the conservative educational bureaucracy and the no less conservative universities.

The Rockefeller Philanthropies and Postwar Internationalism

On the American side the creation of the Lincoln Stiftung can be traced to a desire on the part of the Rockefeller philanthropists to aid the cause of international reconciliation. In the years immediately following World War I each Rockefeller philanthropy - and there were several until most were merged into the Rockefeller Foundation in 1928 - searched for ways to promote international understanding.3 The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, a fund devoted primarily to the social sciences, proved especially active in fostering international exchanges and fellowships in its own field of reference.4 In the mid-1920s the memorial, in its attempt to improve international understanding, sought to examine the process by which educational systems reproduced prejudices and nationalist sentiment. To this end it commissioned a series of studies. Directed by the political scientist Charles Merriam of the University of Chicago, these studies of civic education in France, Germany, Italy, and Russia suggested that national education systems continued to foster dangerous animosities among the former belligerents of World War I.5

By promoting international exchanges and by funding European educators who were active on behalf of internationalist causes, the memorial's president, Arthur Woods, and its executive director, Beardsley Ruml, hoped to use the social sciences to counteract parochialism and narrow-minded patriotism. This American faith in the efficacy of the social sciences ran into some practical difficulties, however. Merriam's survey of civic education had noted that European school curricula reflected a very traditional kind of education with only limited attention to the newer social sciences. At the sametime the humanities disciplines, especially history and languages, formed the crucial components in the elementary and secondary curricula and in shaping a view of the outside world. The series of studies undertaken by Merriam and his associates coincided with the Rockefeller office's interest in taking a wider look at the humanities in Europe, and after some deliberation, the memorial's leaders decided to seek a European consultant who could advise them on the best ways to strengthen European humanists working to improve international relations. The memorial wanted a consultant who was both in sympathy with their aims for educational reform and one who knew European institutions.

A letter from Woods to Ruml in the summer of 1925 gives perhaps the most explicit account of what the memorial hoped to achieve in its early exploration of Europe:

The plan that has gradually formed itself is for a survey of the field in Europe, to find out in general what is the state of the Humane Studies, and in particular who are the very great men in these subjects, under what conditions they are working, what, if anything, need be done to help them produce their best work, whether of aid of some kind at home, or the possibility of international intercourse. Then to find out about the students: are the best men going into these studies; if not, why; where are the most brilliant, are they studying with the masters they should, do they need to go to other countries for work.6

Woods himself had carried on a one-man inquiry: At Oxford, at Cambridge, and in London, he spoke with the leading British intellectuals of the day who were active in the League of Nations and other international causesGilbert Murray, Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, Ernest Barker, George Macaulay Trevelyan, and the Fabians Graham Wallas and Beatrice Webb. "They have all been keen about it, some extremely enthusiastic," Woods reported with satisfaction.7

It was in the course of these conversations that Woods hit upon the memorial's consultant for the intended survey of the humanities in Europe: the British poet and educator Geoffrey Winthrop Young. "No one had anything except good to say of him," Woods wrote Ruml, and after talking with Young, Woods too became convinced that the poet was the right man for the job.8 Young himself echoed the enthusiasm of Woods, Trevelyan, and the others in his letter of acceptance. Of Woods's proposed survey Young replied that "its idealism appealed to every moral fibre."9

In many respects, Young was an ideal choice. He was well versed in several European languages. His career as a teacher had culminated in an appointment as one of His Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, a prestigious appointment that took him throughout England and gave him a wealth of experience with different educational practices. A renowned mountain climber, Young remained an active figure even after the loss of a leg in World War I and amazed his contemporaries by continuing to climb with only one leg. "His successful ascent of the Matterhorn a few years ago, in the face of what might seem an insuperable disability, ranks as one of the greatest feats of mountaineering," The Times of London noted.10 Young, in fact, climbed peak after difficult peak for eighteen years after the amputation. At his death one mountaineering journal proclaimed him the best amateur climber of his day, and his companion on one numbing eighteen-hour climb described Young's endurance that day as "the greatest physical feat he had ever witnessed."11

Too old for active duty, Young had volunteered for dangerous assignments throughout the war - first as a correspondent, then as the field director of British ambulance units in Belgium and in Italy where an Austrian shell forced surgeons to sever his leg. His gallantry and personality could not fail to appeal to Woods and the American philanthropists; in addition to his undeniable courage, and quite apart from his linguistic qualifications, Young's idealism and his faith in voluntarism struck a resonant chord in the offices of an American foundation that had given millions for Belgian relief. Finally, Young appealed to the Americans for another reason: Although he never abandoned his belief that the Germans bore the major share of the responsibility for the war, four years of bloodshed and his own personal trauma had burned away the nationalist ardor of 1914 and transformed Young into a pacifist. "We have chosen war and must follow it to its undiscriminating end," he wrote during the war in one passage reminiscent of Woodrow Wilson. "Let us see to it that it is for the last time."12

Although Young's initial assignment included all of Europe, he soon narrowed his focus to Germany. "For reasons too many to set down, Germany must always remain, intellectually, of principal importance to Europe," Young began a lengthy report to the memorial.13 He suggested that it make an intensive study of German needs and then use the experience gained there before expanding its grant-making in the humanities to other countries. In the meantime, Young plunged into his work with relish. Following his own advice, he traveled throughout Germany, visiting the country's principal intellectual centers and universities.

The Young Report, 1926

Young emerged from his travels through Germany with a remarkable, even prophetic report on the cultural and intellectual life of Weimar Germany and its educational system. Beneath the day-to-day surface of events, Young detected deeper illiberal currents running through the youth movement, in the universities themselves, and especially among the student groups. In his portrayal of the intolerance of many German intellectuals and the growing alliance of extremist student and youth groups, Young painted a damning but sometimes penetrating sketch of German education.

He had set out merely to survey the country's humanities faculties, but in the course of his investigations on behalf of the American foundation Young discovered an emerging reaction to the Republic's educational reforms and a growing sense of intense political partisanship. In particular, Young was alarmed by the failure of the German universities to foster a sense of political tolerance that he knew must underlie any democratic society. Yet, far from being a source of support for the new Republic, Young found to his dismay that the German universities were instead "the breeding grounds of active wrong-headedness, of dogmatic intolerance."14

Young also was appalled by the extent to which politics played a role in university appointments and in student life. In the view of this former inspector of English schools, "party views are not only encouraged to trespass where they do not belong, but they may - to our thinking - be improperly reinforced by the whole weight which an authoritative reputation or an official position can lend."15 Young reported that he had been given reliable information about cases in which students received scholarships and other prizes as a result of pressures placed on the educational administration by political figures. Even worse, Young cited cases where the students had tried to influence faculty appointments. He also intimated that academic freedom was not entirely guarded by the ranks of the professors either, citing the case of a professor at Jena whose polemics against President Paul von Hindenburg had led the nationalists to demand he be fired. To Young it was apparent in reading the German press and the academic journals that the "tradition of the professorial war-letter is not, spiritually, dead" and that Weimar professors were just as prone to resort to ad hominem attacks on opponents as their nineteenth-century predecessors had been. "Forbearance with a dependent, a pupil, even a weaker opponent, does not count for wisdom or as a virtue," Young ruefully noted.16

Young's indictment of the German professors repeated the three-hundred-year-old conflict between British empiricism and German idealism. But it also reflected a considered view of teaching and a familiarity with German methods at their best and their worst. Some twenty years before his mission to Germany on behalf of Rockefeller philanthropy Young had studied educational theory at the University of Jena, and the defects of the German penchant for abstraction had been painfully etched in his memory by one German theorist. In an unpublished chapter intended for his memoirs, Young recalled how at Jena he had gone eagerly to listen to the lectures of a "great pedagogic theorist." The renowned expert proceeded to "give a course of lectures on how to teach art without illustration from a single sample drawing or even a blackboard sketch," a performance Young termed a "masterpiece of sincere verbiage."17

In addition to the dogmatism to which this abstract theorizing easily lent itself, Young came to see in the course of his inquiry for the memorial a second, and no less serious, flaw in the organization of the universities. Access to the German university was severely restricted by a series of competitive examinations and by the fact that secondary education was not free. Because both students and professors were thus likely to come almost exclusively from the privileged and wealthy classes, the dangers of an education that did not encourage researchers to seek practical experience were increased. Nothing in their university education was likely to challenge the prejudices of the students, and accordingly German students in the Weimar period developed an increasingly militant dislike of the Weimar establishment led by moderate trade unionists and middle-class democrats. If Young deplored a surprising hostility to new ideas and a dogmatic tendency among the professors, he denounced the baleful influence of the student fraternities, the dueling corps, and the even more overtly political associations. "Their selected representatives," he explained to Woods and Ruml, "not only take part in many forms of university government, but advise on such matters as the choices for state scholarships, etc."18

Far from siding with the underprivileged, the students were, in the majority, even more reactionary than their professors. Although Young tended to dismiss student rhetoric as only an "immature distortion" of the nationalist and conservative views of their elders, he was forced to report at the same time that the students, taken as a group, were even more dangerously intolerant than the nationalist professors. The more politically active among the students, Young noted, were partisan extremists who did not hesitate to use intimidation and even violence on occasion against political opponents. "But, it is of more serious moment for us that there should be evidence that the corporate students [that is, members of the dueling corps and other elite fraternities] in their turn, and with naturally greater crudity [than the professors of the same ideological bent], seek to establish little short of a 'terrorism' over their contemporaries of a different political persuasion."19

In late 1926 the prejudice among the student corps was anti-republican, and ironically, in a country noted for its respect for the established authorities, "we have the curious position that an outspoken Republican, that is, a state supporter, may be blackballed . . . for any Games Club patronised by the substantial middle class."20 Despite a discernible revolt against the older generation, the student radicals had come to inherit the worst features of the older authoritarianism, exaggerating it until it acquired a menacing new form. Throughout the student associations, the dueling fraternities, and the social clubs, too, Young detected an illiberal inheritance that boded ill for the health of a democratic political life. In German schools, Young concluded, "the spirit of toleration, of compromise, and of the personal respect owed to those who may think differently from us on honest grounds, is not a popular or inborn instinct."21 In his talks with various German intellectuals and educational leaders, Young was particularly struck by the number who had participated in the youth movement. "At the present day practically all the men who count, as forces or what we may call 'live wires,' in the country have in their time belonged to the movement in its earlier phase."22 At some point in the course of his tramps through Germany, Young met the remarkable Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, an unorthodox and visionary educator fired with the conviction that formal schooling all too often left the spiritual dimension of the personality undeveloped. In his search for alternatives to what he regarded as the stifling conformity and one-dimensional education of the day, Rosenstock-Huessy developed close ties with the student movement in Silesia. At the time Silesia, a disputed territory whose southern districts were divided between Germany and Poland after a postwar plebiscite, attracted attention from the student movement as a jumping off point for rambles through Central Europe to German-speaking communities across the border - popular destinations for nationalist German groups unhappy with the boundaries imposed by the Versailles treaty - and as a site for camps and treks in the German countryside.

It was undoubtedly through Rosenstock-Huessy that Young first made connection with the most dynamic of the German youth leaders, Hans Dehmel, and came to see the potential of the reconstructed youth movement. In Silesia, Dehmel and Rosenstock-Huessy created a hostel and center for adult education, the Boberhaus, that became a model for similar educational ventures throughout Germany and Central Europe. Young himself spent time at the Boberhaus and described it in a log of his travels:

The experience of the life and conversations here proved most enlightening. It is an experiment to convert Lower Silesia into a cultural unit for eastern Germany. Trade union workmen, peasants, and students are associated for three weeks in common activities and resultant discussions. One of the many objects is to set University education in a more sympathetic light and to secure its better appreciation. Another is to keep the population on the soil and to cultivate them while they cultivate it. It is conducted by Prof. Rosenstock of Breslau, a practical economist, and one of our Lincoln helpers, and by Hans Dehmel, perhaps the most important of the leaders of young Germany, whom the Lincoln Stiftung is enabling this year to complete his education and so secure a firmer footing for his wide activities.23

When Dehmel received one of the first Lincoln Stiftung fellowships he had been working uninterruptedly for eight years to reunify the German youth movement. Along with Ernst Buske he had re-created the Deutsche Freischar, the largest and most successful of the Free German or independent youth movement organizations in the Weimar years. From his Silesian base Dehmel sought to involve students, farmers, and workers in experimental "working camps" that provided useful day labor coupled with evening classes and social activities. Not only did these camps provide an outlet for the unemployed or the restless, but Dehmel and his youth movement colleagues sought to overcome the barriers of class, religion, and ideology that were increasingly dividing German youth into warring camps in the 1920s. This nonpartisan and democratic tone brought Dehmel and Rosenstock-Huessy to the attention of political and educational leaders in Berlin. For his part, Young saw in the Silesian work camps and the youth movement an ideal marriage of theory and practice, of idealism and action. "The new movement adopts a far more practical and praiseworthy principle [than the prewar youth movement, the Wandervögel]," Young wrote. "It seeks to teach a judicial attitude of mind towards even political questions, and a habit of handling them detachedly and impersonally upon their own merits. . . . It preaches respect for an opponent . . . presumably, likewise inspired by honorable and patriotic motives."24 Although far from perfect, this wing of the youth movement seemed to Young much more likely to create a spirit of democratic citizenship than the universities or the public schools. That assessment in itself might be taken as one of the most damning, if unspoken, parts of Young's indictment of the German educational system.

The ALS and Weimar Educational Theory

Given his criticism of Germany's restrictive school system and his own career in Britain, it is not surprising to find that Young was intensely interested in Weimar Germany's educational reformers. German pedagogical debates were especially intense in 1920s, a product of the ideological and political upheaval of the time and the work of Weimar Republic leaders such as Becker to broaden access to education. In fact, many of the now unfamiliar names on the list of ALS advisers turn out to be German educators, no small number of whom, like Rosenstock-Huessy, might be called part of Weimar Germany's "counter-culture." These educators were radically at odds with German educational hierarchies and the university's seemingly single-minded pursuit of specialization and rationality.

As one of its first fellows the Abraham Lincoln Stiftung chose a Catholic priest, Ludwig Baum, who sought to imitate the English public boarding schools. Baum, like many of the ALS fellows, had served at the front during World War I and had been active in the youth movement. Following three years of active duty Baum studied for the priesthood in Bonn and threw himself into social work in the Catholic workers' movement. When the ALS discovered him in 1927, he had just opened his boarding school at Hellerau, near Dresden. There, according to the ALS's biographical file, Baum attempted "to put into practice a synthesis of fundamental Christian doctrine and tradition with the finest ideals of the German youth movement."25 In his own words, Baum aimed to "free the education of our Catholic youth from its limitations" and instill a "deeper understanding and sympathy for other nations."26Young himself added a note on the biographical sketch forwarded to New York, declaring Baum "a remarkable man" who possessed the "personal simplicity and gaiety of St. Francis."27

Unique though his personality may have been, Baum's selection as one of its earliest fellows illustrated the Lincoln Stiftung's commitment to educational innovation and the connection between educational reform and the youth movement. Another educator and school founder, Fritz Klatt, served first as a consultant or "talent scout" before the ALS's directors decided that his own impecunious work merited financial subsidy. Klatt, a prominent figure in the youth movement and an educational theorist, burned with an almost mystical faith in the necessity for individual self-development or Bildung. Before the war Klatt had tramped with the Wandervögel and studied art history. He fought at the front line and was severely wounded; always introspective, his war experiences intensified his search for personal meaning. After the war his loyalty to the youth movement's ideals and his dissatisfaction with the existing educational system took a practical turn.

By that time Klatt had formed very definite ideas about education. Highly individualistic himself - one suspects he fit badly into the prewar Prussian schools with their insistence on a rigidly structured curriculum and severe discipline - Klatt reasoned that because every person was unique, his or her training should vary accordingly. In 1921 Klatt founded his own adult education school and hostel in a sleepy Pomeranian town near the Baltic to put his ideas into practice. Klatt himself gave lectures on art, poetry, and philosophy to "young men of very varied professions and from all classes of society."28

Klatt's experiment brought him some attention and notoriety. "The ALS took up his case on grounds that they saw in him a rare type of educational leader," the ALS's file on Klatt confides, "one whose reactions from present social conditions have not merely resulted in negative criticism, but have led him to concrete and constructive action, contributing to new forms of corporate living."29 Some idea of his success came from the Nazis themselves: In 1933 they closed the school.

Perhaps the most remarkable, and undoubtedly the most influential, of the German educators whom Young came to know was Kurt Hahn, whose path in life would soon come to parallel Young's. Before turning to education Hahn had pursued a successful political and administrative career. Hahn rose to the top of the German civil service in the years before the war, and during wartime he served in the German Foreign Office as an interpreter of British public opinion. As Germany neared the end of the disastrous war Hahn threw in his lot with Prince Max of Baden, who became the head of the provisional government. As an aide to Prince Max in this transitional regime, Hahn played an important role behind the scenes, meeting secretly with Allied diplomats to negotiate an end to the war.

The crisis of 1918­19 seems to have slaked Hahn's thirst for public office. Following the disastrous interregnum in which the Allied powers largely rebuffed overtures from Prince Max's weak government, Hahn withdrew from the public realm. The failures of Imperial Germany and the painful transition to the Weimar Republic convinced Hahn that postwar Germany required leadership of a new sort, and beginning his second career as an educator he set out self-consciously to train both intellect and character. In the salmon and ochre colored buildings of the former monastery of Salem am Bodensee, Hahn launched his educational experiment with Prince Max's children as his first charges. Although he would later be celebrated for his contributions to German democracy, in 1919 Hahn struck many observers as distinctly aristocratic in his approach to educational problems. Arnold Brecht, who had worked closely with Hahn during the war years and who knew him well during this period, later recalled that Hahn's educational ideas were elitist. According to Brecht, the courtly Hahn sought to educate leaders first and foremost.30 Although Hahn supported the Weimar Republic, he clearly viewed it as an imperfect regime but one preferable to the alternatives. Hahn therefore was the embodiment of the Vernunftrepublikaner, the less than whole-hearted democrats who supported the new regime with their heads but not their hearts.

Hahn's ideas, however, found a perfect resonance with Young. He had been struggling for years to put into words and practice his own dissatisfaction with the English boarding school and its emphasis on the playing field. Young, to be sure, did not object to athleticism as such: Although a thoughtful educator and a reflective man of letters, he freely admitted his love for rough games and outdoor activities. But what Young found missing in his own experience and in the German schools he visited as well was an educational practice that balanced intellectual rigor with vigorous physical activity - which personal experience had taught Young that boys needed - in a setting that provided an educational purpose to all the events outside the classroom. Hahn did not see the excursions he organized for his charges as a momentary diversion from schooling but as part of a carefully constructed curriculum of experiences destined to shape character and emphasize creativity and leadership. For Young, Hahn achieved a near-perfect harmonization of two very different educational goals, high German academic standards with the English public school's emphasis on character development.

Young's embrace of Hahn's methods and their common understanding that the virtues of aristocratic ideals of self development must not be lost in a democratic age helped shape the Englishman's vision of what the Lincoln Stiftung should, and might, achieve. Disdainful of vocational and mass education, Young shared Hahn's conviction that a handful of educational reformers and idealists could create exactly the sort of leaders modern Germany needed - and that traditional channels seemed designed to exclude or stunt. In the composition of its advisory board and its selection of its first fellows, the ALS sided with the experimentalists and the visionaries.

Organization of the Lincoln Stiftung

In retrospect it is Young's perceptive criticism of the defects of German educational organization and his commentary on the distemper of the times that first seize attention, but for Young the business at hand was the more positive task of finding a way in which American philanthropy might aid these forward-looking German educators. And the latter were not yet in retreat: In particular, Young had been heartened by the liberal outlook of the Prussian minister of education, Carl Heinrich Becker, and by the experimental attitude of Reinhold Schairer, the director of Germany's student aid society, the Studienstiftung. Exactly how the idea of creating an entirely new, private German foundation emerged from Young's conversations with these leaders is not clear, but when Young submitted his report to Woods and Ruml in late October 1926, the heart of his study was a recommendation that the memorial support an imaginative scheme designed to introduce a measure of voluntaryism into a system that was still authoritarian and inherently rigid.

In contrast to the centralized state ministries and their formal procedures, Young proposed to use the American funds for an experiment with a more dispersed or decentralized search for talented individuals conducted by a purely private foundation. He challenged the German administrators to contrast their system with "a scheme which based its search for personalities upon personal and individual information."31 The new organization would depend on the type of individual voluntary service characteristic of many British and American charities and would rely on the "free collaboration" of unpaid consultants, individuals who "could be trusted on their own merits to understand its objects . . . and enter into its spirit."32 The ALS would operate outside state institutions and guard its independence from university or educational bureaucracies.

Some evidence of Young's success in launching the ALS is provided by the list of prominent Germans who agreed to serve either as nominators or as members of the board of trustees. This latter group, which Young persisted in calling the "presidential committee," was chaired by Education Minister Becker. A distinguished Orientalist, Becker directed the largest educational system in Weimar Germany with a firm hand - and, a rarity among Weimar professors, with a genuinely liberal outlook. A colleague in one of these beleaguered coalition governments said of him that "even if everything Becker did had been wrong . . . still Prussia had not had a better minister of culture for over a century."33Becker merited this praise for the way in which he ran the Prussian state educational system with a determination to expand educational opportunities at all levels. His democratic inclinations led him to revise the admissions procedures of the Prussian universities, prying them open to candidates who did not have the classical education previously required. Becker also used his power of appointment to promote professors more sympathetic to the Weimar Republic than the majority who, as Young had put it in his report to the memorial, were "reactionary, both in their politics and their views of contemporary life."34

In addition to Becker, the remaining members of the board included a carefully balanced list of political and cultural figures. The treasurer, Albert Dufour-Feronce, was a German diplomat who had only recently been elected by the League of Nations to serve as one of its permanent undersecretaries. The remaining members were unlikely bedfellows: Heinrich Simon, a liberal publisher who directed the influential Frankfurter Zeitung; a much more conservative publisher, Eugen Diederichs of Jena; the philanthropist and industrialist Robert Bosch of Stuttgart (who would later play a key role in the German resistance, providing funds to Carl Goerdeler); another industrialist, Carl Duisberg of I.G. Farben; and Georg Kerschensteiner of Munich, one of Germany's leading educational philosophers.

Young and the German organizers - principally Becker, Simons, and Schairer - never intended to hand any real duties to this board, except perhaps those of fund-raising. Its primary function seems to have been entirely symbolic as a guarantee of the plan's representative quality and its broadly nonpartisan character. A second purpose, to judge by the assurances Young relayed to Woods and the Rockefeller trustees in New York, may have been to defend the Lincoln Stiftung from possible charges of undue American influence in German cultural affairs. Schairer credited Young with insisting "that the first condition was the formation of a purely German presidential committee who should administer the scheme not as the trustees of a foreign enterprise, but as the guardians of a national undertaking."35 Young himself wrote, in a supplementary report on the Lincoln Stiftung's first year of operation, that this group of prominent Germans had been created less to function as a board of trustees with real executive powers than as "a protective screen . . . whose names should secure the fund from press criticism or political pressure." The committee, Young reported with satisfaction in 1930, had met only twice and gave every sign that it would "remain protectively and usefully inactive, except when questions of finance or fundamental problems of extension and the like arise."36 Finally, to guarantee that the committee should not play too active a role, the organization's bylaws stipulated that no member of the presidential committee could take part in the deliberations of the fellowship committee or make recommendations on the Lincoln Stiftung's decisions to support individual candidates.

No less remarkable than the notables who served as honorary trustees were the Vertrauensleute or consultants whom Becker, Schairer, and Simons convinced to serve (without pay) as advisers or "talent scouts" for the new organization. In his report to the memorial, Young had spoken of the need to recruit the "live wires" among Weimar intellectuals, and his claim that the Lincoln Stiftung had done so clearly was no idle boast. A document accompanying Young's memorandum to the memorial describing the formation of the ALS in 1927 listed the names of 101 prominent Germans, of whom the majority were active defenders of the Weimar Republic and leading figures in the country's intellectual life (see Appendix 1). Nearly a quarter of these advisers were civil service administrators, many of them serving as Becker's colleagues in the educational and cultural ministries of Prussia, Saxony, and other German states.

In addition to this group of more-or-less "official" representatives of the German educational establishment, there were no less than ten members of the Reichstag and the chief judge of the supreme court, Walter Simons, whose son Hans was, as noted, one of the ALS's directors. Among the political figures were Willy Hellpach, the presidential candidate of the Democrats in 1925; and Anton Erkelenz, Carl Severing, and Wilhelm Sollmann, the latter two prominent members of the Social Democratic Party. Among the political figures serving as advisers the Lincoln Stiftung included the feminists Gertrud Bäumer, Alice Salomon, and Helene Weber. Whereas the Lincoln Stiftung's list of advisers was weighted left of center, it also displayed a conscious effort to include the full spectrum of political opinion in Weimar Germany. Thus, in addition to the prominent leftist and pacifist intellectuals, the ALS's network of advisers included numerous members of the Catholic Center Party (Zentrum). The ALS also succeeded in recruiting leading figures from the Right, including such prominent conservative spokesmen as the legal scholar Carl Schmitt and Nationalist Party spokesman Otto Hoetzsch.

The largest single group - composed of some forty-five or more names - were academics, generally of a much more liberal disposition than the professoriate at large. Beyond the ranks of the parliamentarians, civil servants, and other representatives of "official" Germany, Young recruited an array of artists and literary figures who he hoped would counterbalance the ALS's inherent bias toward academic figures. Foremost among these independent intellectual figures was Thomas Mann, although it must be added that there is no evidence that the great novelist ever played an active role in the selection of candidates or even that he nominated one. The Lincoln Stiftung's artists included Käthe Kollwitz and sculptor Georg Kolbe, the dramatist Kurt Tucholsky, film director Paul Wegener, and, from the Weimar theater, Leopold Jessner. There also were a number of writers and editors on the board, including Karl Vossler, Ludwig von Ficker, travel writer Leo Matthias, and, from the Stefan George circle, Ludwig Klages. A writer more staunchly to the left, Walter Hammer, later played an active role in the resistance.

The ALS also boasted a small but distinguished number of scientists. The Nobel Prize winner Fritz Haber agreed to serve as a consultant, as did naturalist Friedrich Dessauer. Two liberal Protestant theologians, Paul Tillich and Richard Kroner, took an interest in the ALS's nominations, and the list of nominators also included the church historian Georg Schreiber, a prominent Catholic lay leader who served as the Zentrum party's spokesman on educational questions affecting the universities.

By no means were all of these advisory board members active participants, and it is clear that Young and the German directors sought to keep the more politically involved members at arm's length from the selection process. Some time after the initial report of the ALS's formation was sent to the Rockefeller Foundation in 1927, the directors found it necessary to add new nominators. Unfortunately, there is no list comparable to the one compiled in 1927, so that the only indication of the newly expanded circle of nominators for the Lincoln Stiftung's later phase comes from a list of candidates compiled in 1930. This document names some 133 Kandidaten or nominees who were under serious consideration and also indicates which advisers made the nominations. This imperfect list, containing the names of so many new advisers not on the earlier lists, suggests that any complete roster of Vertrauensleute in 1930 would bear only a slight resemblance to the original list of 1927. The list of 1930 reveals some surprising additions to the ranks of the "talent scouts," including such luminaries as Hermann Hesse, Marianne Weber, and Albert Einstein.

Thus, although there is no record that Thomas Mann ever took an active interest in the ALS's search for new talent, Hermann Hesse sent in the names of actress and writer Emmy Ball-Hennings and her daughter Annemarie Ball. Max Weber's widow, Marianne Weber, was an even more active participant, and she proved to have an excellent eye for talent. Whereas it is probable that she suggested even more names, the list of candidates included four of her nominees, and of these two received financial aid. The philosopher Raymond Klibansky, one of her choices, later emigrated to Great Britain, where he was associated with the Warburg Institute. Another fellow active in her Heidelberg circle, Eduard Baumgarten, translated Dewey's works into German and survived the Hitler years to play an active role in the reconstruction of the German universities.

The First Class of Fellows of the Lincoln Stiftung

The first fellows selected by the newly created German foundation came from a number of fields, but, perhaps not surprisingly given Young's canvas of German educational leaders and the spirit of the Locarno years, the majority of the fellows were distinguished by their involvement in international reconciliation, educational reform, or the German youth movement (see Appendix 2). The educators Klatt and Baum, youth movement leader Dehmel, and scholars Baumgarten and Klibansky have already been mentioned. Others in this first class of selectees included Elisabeth Rotten, who had worked with English prisoners of war during World War I; Maria Sevenich, a leader of Catholic women's groups in the Rhineland and a future member of the Bundestag; international law specialist Heinrich Rogge; psychologists Karl Duncker and August Vetter; philosophers Heinrich Hellmund and Albert Dietrich; an art historian, Herman Goern; the marine geologist Albert Schwarz, who tragically would die young; the naturalist and veterinary medicine specialist Bernhard Grzimek, who would go on to play a leading role in international wildlife preservation efforts; political scientist Theodor Eschenburg; social scientist Alfred Sohn-Rethel; the writer Hans Queling; and youth movement leaders Fritz Skurnia, Hermann Lange, August Rathmann, and Rudolf Schubert.

When the Lincoln Stiftung issued its first report in 1930 it summarized the careers and work of this group of individuals. Consequently, this first cohort of twenty-two is the best-documented set of Lincoln Stiftung fellows. Of these twenty-two selections, it is striking to note that at least twelve had participated in the youth movement, usually in some leadership role. Of the men, at least nine had served on the front lines during the war, and one, Klatt, had been seriously wounded. A number - Klatt, Baum, Vetter, Rathmann, and Skurnia - were especially concerned with problems of education for workers and other adults who fell outside the formal educational system. Despite the range of interests covered by this first class of fellows, the ALS directors heard complaints from their consultants that these selections did not range far enough and that, for such an experimental operation, there were too many academics destined for university careers. Young added a personal note suggesting that the Lincoln Stiftung also needed a permanent secretary, the beginnings of an administrative office, to keep in touch with the network of consultants and the expanding group of fellows whose careers the ALS should track. Just as it was developing its own administrative machinery, however, the Lincoln Stiftung's distant patron was completely transforming its own.

Reorganization of the Rockefeller Philanthropies

In 1928 the various Rockefeller philanthropies were reorganized, and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial's programs in the social sciences and the humanities were incorporated into those of the Rockefeller Foundation - a change that would seriously affect the Lincoln Stiftung. The newly consolidated foundation emphasized advanced scholarly research along disciplinary lines ranging from the physical sciences to the humanities. The difficulties in fitting the older programs of the memorial into the revised programs of the foundation were especially evident in the case of the Lincoln Stiftung.37

Having inherited Young and the Lincoln Stiftung from the memorial, the officials of the Rockefeller Foundation hardly knew what to make of their bequest. Edward Capps, an American classicist who was charged with developing a program in the humanities, saw no place for the ALS in the foundation's future work. When Young set out the memorial's previous interests in the humanities in the form of a seven-page memorandum, Capps responded coolly. "The guiding principle of the Foundation as at present organized is the advancement of knowledge through research," he told Young. "This statement of purpose, therefore, would automatically exclude such an activity as you have established in the Lincoln Stiftung, in which your objective was the 'discovery of the original or humane mind' in Germany."38

To further the administrative confusion the foundation's president, George E. Vincent, retired in 1929 and was replaced by a scientist-mathematician, Max Mason, who showed much less sympathy for the humanities and the rather freewheeling ways of his European consultant. Whereas Vincent had delighted in trips to the foundation's office in Paris and in long conversations with Young, Mason had little patience for the seemingly endless discussions that the humanities entailed. Foundation officials in Paris recommended that the Lincoln Stiftung be turned over entirely to its German directors with a notice that they would have to find alternative sources of funds, perhaps after a final Rockefeller grant.

But just as the Rockefeller Foundation was preparing to withdraw its support, the Lincoln Stiftung was began to attract wider attention from German officials. In December 1929 Young had journeyed to Berlin to meet Becker and other members of the ALS's board of directors in the education minister's offices. There, on the evening of December 14, the directors summoned several of their star pupils for a conference with Becker and other Prussian officials. Young made an opening statement on the origins of the educational foundation, and then several of the ALS fellows spoke on the effects of the Weimar Republic's various educational reforms.

In his diary Young noted that this conference had also interested the German Ministry of the Interior as well as the educational hierarchy. Young recorded the participation of Carl Severing, the Reich minister of the interior and the chief minister of Prussia, as follows: "A dramatic incident was the entry of Minister Severing three hours late at the end of a cabinet meeting which had lasted two days, during which time he had saved parliamentary government in Germany, and incidentally avoided being appointed himself dictator by Hindenburg. He was naturally fatigued, but took part in our discussions for the remainder of a long evening."39 Severing had indeed been involved in protracted cabinet meetings concerning the ruling coalition's increasingly weak hold on the country, and the presence of one of the principal political figures of the day at a time when political infighting was intense was an indication of success.

In a second and fuller account sent to the Rockefeller Foundation, Young wrote that Severing's brief remarks included a promise to contribute 20,000 marks to the ALS's budget for 1930. In explaining the interest of so pressed and busy a politician in the Lincoln Stiftung, Young was perhaps not unrealistic: "It seems clear that he saw in the ALS a new opportunity for discovering and influencing opinion in many social sectors not usually reached, a kind of vertical register . . . composed of very able men drawn from many classes, which could be consulted with profit as one might read the markings on a thermometer outside the window."40

The decision of the German government to back the Lincoln Stiftung represented a major accomplishment for Young, Schairer, and Simons. No doubt it was in large measure due to some unseen prompting from Becker, whose collaboration with Severing and the embattled moderates in the Prussian cabinet was close during these months. And, to be sure, Severing had cause for worry about German youth; with the depression deepening and unemployment mounting, extremist groups were gaining ground daily. In the end, the Lincoln Stiftung's success, like Severing's in the cabinet, was short-lived; the moment of their success coincided with the beginnings of the Weimar Republic's death throes.

However, to the Rockefeller Foundation officials at the time, the ability of the ALS to enlist new sources of support in the midst of a severe depression constituted a strong argument for giving it additional support. By the summer of 1930 Mason was persuaded that the Lincoln Stiftung should not be cast adrift just as it showed signs of becoming self-supporting. When Mason and Thomas B. Appleget, the foundation's vice president, visited the Paris office that same summer they met with Young and Selskar M. "Mike" Gunn, the head of the foundation's European operations, and quickly came to an agreement to extend Rockefeller contributions for an additional three years. Foundation officials abandoned the memorial's insistence on anonymity and approved a plan to have Young serve the remainder of his consultancy as full-time liaison between the Lincoln Stiftung and the Rockefeller Foundation. Mason, Young, and Appleget agreed that "if the experiment is successful, more and more contributions will come from German sources."41

Following the foundation's decision in June, Gunn and Appleget traveled to Berlin in the following month to meet with the Lincoln Stiftung's leadership. Encouraged by the renewed interest, Becker and Schairer raised the possibility of increasing the stakes in this gamble. Suggesting that the Americans commit their organization to a pledge of $50,000, they optimistically estimated that they could raise half that amount from German sources. At the end of a further trial period, with these expanded revenues, the ALS would undoubtedly be in a position to demonstrate its worth.42

As it turned out, however, the Lincoln Stiftung's optimism proved premature. By the time the two Americans returned to Berlin, the Weimar coalition had lost its tenuous hold on power and they found that Severing's replacement at the ministry did not share the Social Democrat's interest in educational experiments. "The Minister," Appleget's diary explains, "announces for the first time that the subventions previously granted by the German government must now be discontinued and enlarges upon the difficult German economic situation." Gunn, who no doubt had been involved in similar negotiations before, responded that the Rockefeller Foundation "could never be the sole source of support of any enterprise" and expressed the foundation's desire to see "other contributions . . . forthcoming."43

Despite these setbacks the Rockefeller Foundation was now determined to support the ALS and to offer it one final chance to prove itself to its German backers. Gunn and Appleget agreed that, if nothing else, the Lincoln Stiftung represented an interesting experiment and might serve as a "control group" in comparison with the foundation's fellowship program. Thus, even in the absence of an agreement by the German government to live up to Severing's pledge, the two Rockefeller officials agreed to push for a renewal of the foundation's support. Interestingly, they agreed to recommend $60,000, an even larger sum than the Germans had requested. But to reinforce the point that the foundation hoped to see the Lincoln Stiftung become entirely supported by German funds, they proposed to have the foundation's grant taper off over a four-year period, each annual installment becoming progressively smaller.44

Shortly after Gunn and Appleget decided to continue with the Lincoln Stiftung project, word arrived from Germany that the government had relented. Although the subvention from Berlin was trimmed in half - to 10,000 marks - it was nonetheless a victory for the ALS and, perhaps, for Gunn, too. Schairer, who directed a national student service organization, wrote Gunn to explain that his own organization's budget had been trimmed by over 600,000 marks: "In this situation you will understand that the contribution to the Abraham Lincoln Stiftung is also shortened."45

Appleget returned to New York in the autumn of 1930 convinced of the need to give the Lincoln Stiftung a decisive boost. At a meeting with Mason and the principal officers of the foundation he argued that the earlier role played by the Rockefeller office and the prominence of the Germans who had by then become involved with the ALS dictated further support. Although Appleget conceded that the entire project was far removed from the Rockefeller Foundation's new orientation toward basic research, he thought the work of the ALS too valuable to be abandoned lightly. The support promised by the German government constituted another important argument. From a variety of sources it seemed evident that the Lincoln Stiftung had succeeded in its initial efforts and that it was conducting activities that had received enthusiastic backing from Becker and other German educators. On balance, Appleget thought that the previous grants had been too small to accomplish Young's original scheme, and the minutes of the meeting record his judgment that these previous grants of $10,000 per year were "ridiculously small for the size of the machinery and the number of good applications reported." In sum, Appleget now recommended a large appropriation of $85,000 to be spread over six years in diminishing payments. Such a plan would bestow a "decent gift" on the Rockefeller offspring and also would give the German backers ample time to weather the depression and raise funds locally.46

The extended discussion over continuing support to the ALS was finally brought to an end by the trustees in December 1930. Although the trustees allowed themselves to be persuaded that a grant was in order to achieve a "definite but still courteous withdrawal,"47 there were apparently many reservations about, and perhaps even opposition to, the plan Appleget had formulated. In the end, the foundation's trustees decided to cut the proposal virtually in half and award the ALS an additional $45,000 spread over four years in the following manner: 1931: $15,000; 1932: $15,000; 1933: $10,000; 1934: $5,000. By cutting the total and by scheduling the payments in this fashion, the foundation clearly intended to put the Germans on notice that they would have to find additional sources of funding by the end of 1932.

Writing to Gunn in Paris, Appleget summarized the sentiment at the meeting: "I think that the final action may be considered as a compromise between our feeling that the project should have further trial on a more adequate basis . . . and the feeling of the trustees that, in view of the impossibility of weighing the imponderable considerations presented, the Foundation should, as soon as it could in all justice to our German friends, leave the project."48 Although this decision fell far short of Young's and Schairer's hopes, given both the doubts of the trustees and the initial hostility of the president, it was undoubtedly the best outcome they could have obtained.

The Crisis of 1933

The issue of additional Rockefeller support for the ALS became critical in 1933. In February, less than a month after Hitler's designation as chancellor, Hans Simons met with one of the foundation's representatives in Paris, John Van Sickle, to emphasize the importance of the German agency's work. Although the Rockefeller Foundation's grant would not expire until the end of 1934, the ALS's directors could already feel the pinch of the decision made in 1930 to taper payments. The German directors were convinced, however, that they had a case to make for further support. Simons, according to Van Sickle's notes, "cited one case after another of men of exceptional promise who, through help at a critical point, have been saved from disaster or a futile existence and brought to secure positions in which they will make real contributions."49 Ironically, Simons himself had just been fired by the new regime and Van Sickle reported his pessimistic estimate that "a number of years will elapse before he can return to public life."50 Although he had just been a victim of political pressure, Simons nonetheless argued that the Lincoln Stiftung would be able, as it had in the past, to place its candidates.

This latter argument was repeated even after the Nazi purge of the civil service and the dismissals of Jewish professors in April 1933. Throughout 1933 the directors of the ALS, and especially Simons, who made no less than three visits to the Rockefeller Foundation's office to plead his case, attempted to persuade the foundation to reverse its decision. Despite Van Sickle's unambiguous declaration in February that "further support was not to be expected,"51 Simons and Young continued to hope that some additional aid could be coaxed out of the foundation. Given the inability of the Lincoln Stiftung to replace its governmental subsidies or to raise any private German funds, a decision by the Rockefeller Foundation not to renew its support would be tantamount to killing the organization.

Simons remained convinced that the ALS still had a role to play in saving careers of "exceptional promise." To Tracy B. Kittredge, another officer of the foundation who worked in Paris, he made known his distress over the earlier rejection and argued with evident conviction that the Lincoln Stiftung was the last remaining hope for saving independent intellectual life in Germany. Kittredge reported that "Dr. Simons . . . is convinced that under present circumstances the Stiftung might be able to play a role of exceptional importance if it could continue its work for a further period." Kittredge added that Simons "pointed out that the hope of intellectual life in Germany now rests definitely on men of the younger generation."52

Precisely for that reason it was all the more imperative for the Rockefeller Foundation to reconsider its stance and to give the independent German foundation additional funds to carry on its work. Simons offered an intriguing forecast of the months to come:

[T]he present regime is so solidly established that it is bound to endure for a relatively long period. He feels that the men of the older generation who have been definitely labelled as social democrats or as liberal intellectuals will play very little role in the future of German intellectual development. Many of them will go into exile, and of those who remain in Germany few will be able to exercise much influence. He feels that those who have rallied to the regime will, on the whole, have less influence than those who have held aloof.

On the other hand, Dr. S[imons] feels that the experience of the last six months shows quite definitely that there will be a very important modification in the movement itself through the influence of the stronger intellectuals among the youth who make up the party. About half of the former beneficiaries of the ALS have become party members. In so doing, Dr. S[imons] feels that they have not abandoned in the least their own intellectual independence or the possibility of contributing to the future of German culture.

S[imons] feels that in the future the forms and methods of intellectual expression will be different than in the past, but he has no reason to believe that in the long run the German intellectual tradition will not be maintained. For this reason he is convinced that if in addition to supporting for a further period of one or two years certain men now receiving grants, the Stiftung could also make a number of new grants, that it might make a very significant contribution to the future of German thought.53

Although Kittredge warned Simons that the Rockefeller Foundation would be curtailing its programs in Germany and that he could not give the ALS official any encouragement, the wording of his reply may have in fact done so. Kittredge told Simons that there was only a "very small prospect" of further support, but given the categorical reply from Van Sickle in February this answer sounded much less final.54

Consequently, Simons and Young made yet another concerted effort in November to reopen the ALS question. The various diary entries and memoranda suggest that they had a sympathetic audience in the Paris-based officers of the foundation. Both Kittredge and Van Sickle were well informed about the dismissals and Nazi persecution of intellectuals and political opponents, and the possibility of funding an organization seemingly free from state control must have appealed strongly to the foundation's representatives. Despite the repeated and often categorically negative responses, the persistence of these conversations and the sympathetic tone of Paris office memoranda suggest that the Rockefeller Foundation did, in fact, give these last-minute appeals serious consideration.55

From London Young wrote that although it had been possible to place half of the ALS fellows in once secure jobs, "because of the political changes in Germany, even the results already obtained are now endangered. . . . Positions offered to the A. L. St. for its members have been occupied by members of the governing German party."56 But in the same breath Young and Simons argued with some ingenuity that the Lincoln Stiftung offered the last remaining hope to transform the new regime in Germany. "Both Young and Simons feel that it is of the greatest importance to help men of character they are interested in to remain in Germany," Van Sickle summarized one discussion held in November 1933. "Such men will not occupy leading places," Simons and Young conceded to Van Sickle, "but they will be an important element in liberalizing the Regime once the first excesses of the revolution are over."57

Nothing better reveals this hopeful estimate of the possible "liberalizing" effects of the Lincoln Stiftung experiment than a curious report forwarded by Young to the Rockefeller Foundation. Two of the ALS fellows had rendered signal services to the Reich Labor Ministry by organizing adult education programs in the state-run labor camps. Of one of these fellowship recipients, an expert in adult education who had received ALS funds to travel abroad and study in the years prior to the Nazi takeover, it was claimed that without this stipend he would never have come to the attention of the new government bureau. That this might be an ambiguous blessing in 1933 did not deter the officials of the Lincoln Stiftung from pointing to this particular case as an outstanding example of their success in placing promising younger men into positions of leadership. "We provided a salary and put him at the disposal of the Social Ministry of the Reich [Reichsarbeitsdienst]," the officials of the ALS wrote (in Young's translation): "Owing to his efficient guidance, the working camps are now no longer confined to manual labor and training, but are becoming more and more centres of valuable adult education."58 That this Fabian strategy was pursued actively - and not in one or two cases only - is attested to by other documents. Young's report cited a second fellow, Hans Raupach, as an example of the successful penetration of the party's counsels by men of a more liberal disposition. Described as the "official adviser of a provincial headquarters" of the National Socialist party, Simons and Schairer still believed Raupach to be at heart on the side of the angels. An important youth movement leader, and Dehmel's successor as director of the Boberhaus, the Lincoln Stiftung's leaders credited this expert on agrarian problems with "supporting German youth in its struggle against the more military forms of its present organization." A third fellow had "studied the methods of conducting intelligence tests developed in the USA" but "was unable to find any work after his return." With the backing of the ALS he had helped the Saxon provincial government develop tests, based on the latest American social science methodology, for assessing likely university applicants. Because the new government proposed to restrict admissions, the work of this fellow had an immediate relevance and his tests were welcomed by the authorities in Dresden. Thanks to these techniques, the directors reported, the Saxon government "should reduce the numbers of university students by half."59

Simons seems to have devised a tactic that succeeded in placing those Lincoln Stiftung fellows who were so inclined into government bureaucracies. The memorandum summarizing his conversation with Van Sickle in November 1933 explains the technique:

Simons particularly stresses . . . that many men can be assured of secure positions of great usefulness in Germany, in public service, if - for a period of six months to a year - the salaries attached to their offices can be defrayed from non-governmental sources. As long as it is known that the displacing of such a man will not open the way for a Nazi in better standing, there will be no pressure to put him out. After he has been there for a short time it will be comparatively easy to provide for him from government funds: his position will be taken for granted. If the Nazi higher up is in favor of the man, he will be able to work him into the system.60

Or, put more simply, ALS grants bought temporary places for several fellows, including the two youth leaders who volunteered for work with the Reich Labor Service. Although hindsight makes it easier to see that the question of who was using whom was far from answered, in 1933 Simons seems to have persuaded Van Sickle that he and the Stiftung had found a way around the politicization of the civil service and one that might ultimately help liberalize the government's policies.

Young and Simons recognized that such a course of action posed some risks, and indeed they seem to have been worried about the careers of several of the fellows whose "high intellectual and moral standards" were already bringing them into conflict with the new regime. "We wish to support existing members of the A.L.St. who cannot continue their research or their practical work without joining the 'Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei' against their convictions, and thereby giving up the essential value of their individual contribution to the human cause."61 Ironically, for an organization that had attempted to be nonpartisan and that had constructed elaborate safeguards against political interference from Weimar political parties, the Lincoln Stiftung now found its officers, fellows, and advisers enmeshed in political considerations.

On the American side the decision on the fate of the ALS formed part of a larger policy debate within the Rockefeller Foundation about whether it should continue to have a role in Germany and, if so, what the best course of action should be. By the spring of 1933 the foundation's office in Europe was painfully aware of the extent of Nazi anti-intellectualism and xenophobia. Following the first anti-Semitic decrees by the Hitler government ousting hundreds of Jewish professors and scientists from their posts, the foundation's office in Paris found itself inundated with appeals for aid. Foundation officials also heard contradictory advice about how best to help and widely divergent assessments of the long-term impact of the new regime. The foundation's German fellowship advisers, fearing a complete withdrawal of American funds, took an optimistic stance and predicted that the disruptions caused by the dismissals of 1933 would not last long. Van Sickle and Kittredge, the program officers in Paris responsible for the social sciences, hoped that the foundation might be able to resume its normal operations. They and their counterparts in the science programs of the Foundation heard similar assessments from German educational authorities who stressed the need for continued assistance during the emergency. Consequently, they were sympathetic to arguments from the ALS that its grants made independent intellectual life possible. The private nature of the ALS strengthened its appeals to foundation officials because in 1933 it appeared to be one of the few viable organizations in Germany capable of continued operation.

This natural sympathy on the part of the Paris-based officers of the Rockefeller Foundation for the German intellectuals with whom they worked was offset, however, by the growing skepticism of the foundation's trustees and senior officials in New York that the philanthropy could continue to do business as usual in Germany. The foundation very quickly moved to create effective programs for refugee professors, and the trustees ordered the continuation of all existing German grants to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. As it became apparent that Nazi rule would not be temporary, and that its dismissal policy was not an aberration but part of the new regime's fundamental outlook, the foundation altered its operations in Germany. Beginning with its cautious case-by-case approach in the spring of 1933, the foundation's trustees reluctantly concluded that intellectual repression precluded any further activity and in 1935 they ordered a halt to the Foundation's grant-making in Germany.62

The decision on the Lincoln Stiftung, however, was made well before this crucial turning point, and indeed the Foundation's senior leadership studied the evolution of this small experiment with keen interest as a clue to the changes in the intellectual climate in Germany and as a test of the real possibility for any independent organizational life under the Nazi regime. Appleget, the foundation's vice president and the chief backer of the ALS in 1930, had become convinced that the foundation could not do business as usual in Nazi Germany. Although he might have been sympathetic to Young's and Simons's efforts to support anti-Nazi fellows, Appleget did not believe that the strategy outlined by the Lincoln Stiftung would work. "The argument advanced, namely, that the L.S. will provide a stimulation and training to the best of the young men in the Nazi movement, is not particularly appealing," he recorded in his diary.63

Appleget's judgment spelled the end of the ALS and its remarkable experiment in carving out a greater role for private institutions in the German educational system, an experiment that was unique in Rockefeller and general American philanthropy at the time. Although Simons and Young continued to appeal for support, the Rockefeller Foundation declined to provide any emergency support or to make any supplemental award. With this decision, the ALS came to an end in 1934. The following year, when Simons came to New York to join the New School's University in Exile as a refugee professor, even he was forced to concede that the foundation's decision had been correct: Simons told John Marshall, the assistant director for the humanities program, that there remained no possibility for independent intellectual life in Germany.64

Toward an Assessment of the Lincoln Stiftung

Sixty-five years later, how are we to evaluate the Abraham Lincoln Stiftung? Appleget's conclusion that the ALS could not survive and the jarring estimate in Kittredge's memorandum that half its fellows had joined the National Socialists suggest a very negative assessment by the Rockefeller Foundation's officers. Whether half the Lincoln Stiftung either sympathized with or joined the Nazis cannot be determined until the full roster of fellowship recipients can be identified, but given the high number of émigrés among both the fellows and the advisers, it seems doubtful that the majority of the ALS fellows actively sympathized with National Socialism.

Nonetheless, it is clear that some - most notably, the jurist Heinrich Rogge, the philosopher Albert Dietrich, and the journalist Giselher Wirsing - actively endorsed the new regime's nationalism. However, the majority of the Lincoln Stiftung fellows whose careers I have been able to trace clearly did not join either the National Socialists or participate in the party's organs. If we set aside (for a moment) the question of political allegiance, a close reading of the judgments expressed by foundation officials in 1930 and again in 1933­4 suggests that they did not regard the experiment as a complete failure. It would be more accurate to conclude that the Rockefeller Foundation did not know how to evaluate this unique entity and that as the American foundation ended its German operations it began to view the issue - which, despite the ALS's small size and limited scope, once engaged its presidents and professional staff on both sides of the Atlantic in a lively debate - as irrelevant to its newly defined programs.

Perhaps appropriately, the final word in this debate over the Lincoln Stiftung's merit as a fellowship scheme came in 1937, when Reinhold Schairer published an evaluation in the British Education Yearbook. Unlike the ALS's critics in the foundation, Schairer judged the experiment to be a resounding success. He praised Young's genius in seeing the need for such a private entity in Weimar Germany and his remarkable personal skills in the successful creation of the German foundation. On what basis did Schairer judge it a success? First, Schairer implicitly agreed with Young's analysis of the need for more private initiative in the German educational system, and consequently he praised, almost in passing, Young and the ALS for successfully implementing a flexible new scheme for awarding fellowships and other forms of support. In a sense, Schairer seems to have been arguing that the "principle of personal guidance and individual discretion" was missing in German scholarship programs - including, perhaps, the one he ran in Dresden - and, as a sign of success, he cites (as Young had) the ALS's insistence on pairing its candidates and fellows with individual mentors, an echo of the British tutorial system.65

Schairer also asserted that the ALS had succeeded in altering lives and careers for the better, and just as he and Simons had done in their first report to the Rockefeller Foundation in 1930, Schairer counted not only the relatively small number of stipend recipients but also the much larger list of candidates who received only advice or referrals. Most of the preliminary list of possible fellows, Schairer added, needed no funds from the Lincoln Stiftung but only assistance from existing sources. Nonetheless, by steering such talent into the right channels, the new foundation provided a service not offered by any existing agency. More verifiable evidence, of course, came from the careers launched by, or saved by, the ALS's actual grants.

Schairer found a third value in the ALS's "social potential," that is, in its insistence that intellectual distinction be married to public service and leadership activities. Although the roster of Lincoln Stiftung fellows certainly demonstrates that a number of its fellows went on to pursue distinguished academic careers, Schairer's third standard of judgment was a much harder one to establish, and his article in the Education Yearbook did not attempt to elaborate on this point. Instead, Schairer pointed to Young's prescient earlier reports and noted that, had the ALS had more time to work with the Silesian labor camps and the adult education schools, it might have offered German youth a much more powerful alternative than the nihilism of the Nazi movement. Despite Schairer's enthusiasm for Young's model, the Lincoln Stiftung found no imitators and soon faded from view. The Rockefeller Foundation and other philanthropies had no intention of launching such experiments in the midst of a global depression and in a Europe where nationalist sentiments were reaching the boiling point.

Schairer's study does suggest at least one approach for the historian: to look at the subsequent careers of the Lincoln Stiftung fellows, and possibly those of the larger group of candidates who, had more funds been available, might have been awarded stipends. Unfortunately, the documentary evidence presents some serious obstacles for historians with a statistical bent: The ALS did not publish a final report (save for Schairer's article), and the Rockefeller Foundation files contain confusing documents; of those emanating from Germany, none seem to go beyond 1933. How the ALS spent its few remaining funds in 1934 is unknown.

Even identifying the fellows of the ALS is difficult. Schairer's 1937 article, for example, speaks of "about seventy" fellows (or "members" as he and Young referred to the stipend recipients).66 A retrospective assessment by Kittredge in 1935 notes that "of approximately 70 cases . . . practically all had turned out successfully."67 A note appended to a summary of the ALS's work at the beginning of the Rockefeller files refers to "82 beneficiaries" between 1928 and 1933, but the source of this number seems to be a memorandum from Young and Simons dated November 29, 1933.68

This latter document was itself an elaboration on an earlier memorandum, containing the ALS's plea for one last grant to supplement the meager sums available from the 1930 appropriation. Writing from London in early November 1933, Young estimated that the ALS had benefited approximately fifty young Germans, but when he asked Schairer and Simons to bolster his case with a more detailed assessment they produced a report, with valuable (but incomplete) biographical details, that put the number of stipend recipients at sixty-three. At the end of 1933, Schairer and Simons reported, "Of these 63 members, 10 are still in need of the help and guidance of the A.L.ST. With 5 exceptions, all the rest have been definitely placed."69

Although it is possible that the ALS used its remaining $5,000 in 1934 to aid new recipients, it seems more likely that the German administrators spent the remaining balance from the Rockefeller Foundation's appropriation to address the needs of the ten to fifteen fellows who still required assistance. This record of placement is perhaps the standard by which Kittredge and Van Sickle judged the ALS: During the depression years from 1929 to 1933 they were painfully aware of the poor prospects for many of the Rockefeller Foundation's own fellowship recipients in the social and natural sciences. Using employment as the measure of success, the Fabian strategy of the ALS may indeed have surpassed the foundation's prestigious fellowship program.

Given the absence (in the Rockefeller archives, at least) of any final reports or records from the ALS for 1933 and 1934, the only way to compile a list of the fellows is to sort through these partial reports from 1930 and 1933 and try to reconcile the varying numbers and lists. Fortunately, the ALS forwarded detailed financial accounting for its Rockefeller funds, and these ledgers show expenditures from 1928 through the end of 1932.70 Almost in answer to a historian's prayers, the outgoing ledger shows payments to individual scholars, although vexingly these accountant's documents fail to give first names for the individuals listed as recipients! Thanks to these ledger sheets and other documents, it is possible to compile a list of all known recipients from 1928 to 1933 - and the number totals sixty-three. Unless further documents surface in Germany, I am prepared to conclude that the figure mentioned by Schairer and Simons in November 1933 is the actual total of Germans receiving financial assistance from the five-year experiment.

Of these sixty-three individuals, it is possible to identify more than half (see Appendix 2). Young and ALS directors wrote biographical sketches of the first twenty-two grant recipients. Later reports, especially the documents from 1933 on the ALS's successes, provide additional biographical details about a few more of these talented personalities. The Rockefeller archives also hold a curious list of Kandidaten, dating from 1930, that provides tantalizing glimpses into the ALS's operation midway into its life (see Appendix 3, Part 1). This list of 133 names provides first names for some, but not all, of those fellowship recipients who came to be listed on the 1931 and 1932 financial ledgers. Finally, although not part of the Rockefeller archives, some documents held by Geoffrey Winthrop Young's son, including unpublished letters and essays presented to the elder Young, either confirm identifications suggested by biographical dictionaries and other standard reference works or provide the names of many of the fellows who are listed only by their last name in the financial ledgers at the Rockefeller archives. Even with this documentation, seven of the sixty-three fellows remain unidentified and to date I have been unable to find any biographical details on seventeen and only cursory information on three or four others. Thus, roughly one-third of the sixty-three stipend recipients must remain shadowy figures for the moment, and the absence of biographical information makes it impossible to paint a definitive historical portrait of the ALS fellows as yet.

Another consideration is whether the sixty-three fellows who received stipends should be viewed as a separate, and more select class, than those whose names are included in the list of candidates. Because the Lincoln Stiftung had so few funds, Young and the German directors stressed the services that the ALS played by simply offering advice or referrals to other sources of funds, such as the Studienstiftung. Given the eminence of many of the names on the list of candidates, it is possible that the Lincoln Stiftung viewed these men and women as gifted individuals who were equal to its stipendiaries but in less need. Seen in this light, it is arguable that the list of candidates in 1930 represents Weimar Germany's "best and brightest"the fruit of a two-year search for genius and leading personalities in all fields of human endeavor. Certainly, Young and his German collaborators never suggested that this narrow pool of applicants was anything but distinguished; other ALS documents suggest that these individuals were all likely candidates for financial aid had sufficient funds been available. Indeed, the Rockefeller Foundation's archival copy mistranslates the list as "Fellows of the Abraham Lincoln Stiftung." Because this document, the only surviving list of candidates, dates from 1930, it also raises the possibility that other documents, listing later nominations, almost certainly must have been compiled and perhaps may still exist in German archives. Any final judgment about the Lincoln Stiftung's record would have to consider the complete circle of possible choices before deciding how well the administrators fared in recognizing the leaders of the future. To give only one example, the list of candidates in 1930 contains Hannah Arendt, nominated by Lotte Israel. Candidates were ranked, apparently, by the urgency or priority of their cases, and Arendt was assigned eighty-fourth place out of these 133 individuals considered for aid. Given her subsequent international recognition, and her stature as a philosopher, one wonders on what basis her case was deferred (see Appendix 3, Part 2). Did ALS directors not see her promise as a philosopher, or did they deem her too narrowly intellectualan able German scholar but one without the "force of character" or leadership that would render her work influential beyond the university? Or, as seems likely, did they simply deem her case a lower priority because other fellowship agencies were willing and ready to assist her? And, in a minor key, when did Lotte Israel join the ranks of ALS advisers? Did her nomination carry less weight than those of the original nominators? The answers to such questions cannot be found in the ALS documents; there is no file or dossier on Arendt, or correspondence from Israel to Schairer or Simons, although surely such letters must have existed at one time.71

How much can be read into the small number of fellows and candidatestwo distinct, if overlapping, sets of individuals? And, what importance should be attached to the original list of nominators (advisers), with its blue ribbon composition? At first glance, it would appear that such a small sampling could hardly have any statistical significance. Yet, the Lincoln Stiftung experiment clearly intrigued the Rockefeller Foundation's program officers in the social sciences because it provided a possible "control group" against which the foundation's own fellowship selections in Germany might be measured. In retrospect, however, the significance of the Lincoln Stiftung experiment derives from its glimpse into the response of talented younger Germans to the crisis of the 1930s. Because the Lincoln Stiftung clearly succeeded in recruiting its advisers and trustees from a wide cross-section of Weimar Germany's intellectual elite, drawn from all points of the political and ideological spectrum, it is not unfair to conclude that the list of candidates and fellows represents the German elite's selection of the most promising younger scholars, political leaders, and educators. The Lincoln Stiftung claimed to represent more than, say, the social science fellowship program of the Rockefeller Foundation; the latter claimed to offer postgraduate fellowships only to the best younger economists, sociologists, and political scientists. It sought highly specialized experts who were the best in their fields; it judged success by academic standards, and did not seek wider leadership or demand exceptional moral character. By contrast, Young's definition of the ALS's role called for a search for "intellectual distinction . . . reinforced by a humane temperament and a force of character which could make such mental quality an effective influence."72

Given this broad and difficult standard, it is no wonder that Rockefeller Foundation officials threw up their hands in despair. Appleget actually ventured to Berlin in 1930 and met with four of the ALS fellows: Eduard Baumgarten, Richard Gothe, Hans Queling, and Heinrich Rogge. Appleget wrote to Woods, who in retirement continued to take an interest in the ALS, and offered this mixed assessment:

We have heard a great deal for and against the Stiftung. All of us are, I think, uncertain about it. Allied to that is a certain amount of uncertainty regarding Geoffrey Young. Personally, I like him and have had some interesting times with him. I cannot fail to admire his courage and a great many of his qualities. All of us, however, would be nonplussed if you asked us for a percentage grade either on the Stiftung or Young. Incidentally, you may be interested to know that of the group of fellows mentioned, I personally met and talked with four, Baumgarten, Rogge, Gothe, and Queling, and was equally puzzled about them. Human nature is a hard thing to work with.73

Appleget's discomfiture is perhaps understandable. Of the small group of fellows he met, two - Baumgarten and Gothe - had spent considerable time in the United States and undoubtedly spoke English well. Baumgarten had taught for five years at various American universities as an exchange professor and had already finished a translation of John Dewey's works into German; Gothe at one point in his career had lived in New York, where he had organized and directed a German youth group. Both were liberal in outlook and quite sympathetic to America.

By contrast, Rogge and Queling must have presented much harder cases. Even by the eccentric standards of the Lincoln Stiftung, Queling was in a class by himself. Chosen at the insistence of an adviser who thought the experiment was leaning too heavily toward academic figures, Queling was the epitome of the outsider who did not fit into the German educational system: He had left school and Germany in the mid-1920s to travel to India overland, working his way there with several comrades by playing music as a street performer. While in India he sought out Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, living briefly with the former. Queling described his adventures in a series of travel books. Queling hardly fit the Rockefeller Foundation's model of intellectual success or distinction, and Appleget must have had difficulty in evaluating a young travel writer with such an unusual curriculum vitae.74

The fourth fellow, Rogge, was, in fact, one of the least appealing of the Lincoln Stiftung fellows. He was well into middle age when the ALS chose to assist him - he was forty-four years old in 1930, when the organization forwarded its biographical sketch to the Rockefeller Foundation. He had studied law in prewar Berlin and had entered the civil service with the intention of pursuing further legal studies once he had gained practical experience. Rogge became so ill during World War I that he lost his position, and, according to the ALS's files, "continued his studies privately, but under the greatest financial difficulties." During the hard postwar years Rogge received support from the Notgemeinschaft and served as a consultant to the German Foreign Office. By the time the Lincoln Stiftung took note of him, Rogge had made his reputation with his writings on the war debt and international law.

Rogge appealed to the Lincoln Stiftung directors not only because of his late-developing talents and personal hardships but also because he wrote in a pacifist idiom about international law. "Peace by means of law is the political programme of the world peace movement," Rogge noted in one statement cited by the ALS, "and, it is the axiom of the international law policy which seeks to extend international law and to give more importance to the League of Nations as the guarantee of peace."75 Rogge proposed to put pacifism and international law on a more scientific, or scholarly, basis, and the Lincoln Stiftung agreed to aid his research - in essence, giving him a sabbatical from his occasional work for the foreign affairs ministry. The prospectus for Rogge's planned book, The Science of Peace, did not in fact differ greatly from the no less metaphysical speculations of many English or American advocates of international law.

Given this research topic, it is not difficult to see why the Lincoln Stiftung would choose to support Rogge's work. Yet what was not apparent from Rogge's abstract discussion of the role of international law were the nationalist sentiments that motivated his work with the foreign ministry and the ill will that remained from his own experiences. It appears that the legal scholar had also become a very embittered man over the course of the years from 1914 to 1930. Already noticeable in Rogge's work on the international settlement of 1919 and subsequent agreements on reparations was a lingering resentment toward the Allied powers. For example, he referred to the Versailles peace treaty like any other German nationalist as a Diktat, and when the Nazis took power in 1933 his writings became much more openly nationalistic and propagandistic. In the years between the Nazi seizure of power and the onset of war in 1939 Rogge wrote not only a theoretical treatise on international law but also several polemical defenses of German foreign policy with such revealing titles as Hitler's Peace Policy and International Law and Hitler's Search for Peace with England.76 Rogge's brand of peace, then, was rooted in a singular interpretation of international law that pivoted on his continued belief that the postwar peace settlements had been illegitimate. Not surprisingly, when Hitler disavowed the provisions of the Versailles settlement, Rogge was only too happy to lend his pen and his legal training to the Foreign Office to justify Germany's violations. Judging by a posthumously published volume on East Prussia - a territory lost to the Poles after 1945 - Rogge never reconciled himself to the territorial settlements of either 1919 or 1945.77

Rogge's willing service to the Nazi regime brings us to the crux of the matter: Any evaluation of an experimental foundation designed to produce, as Schairer maintained, humane leadership and positive social outcomes cannot be satisfied by simply noting those grant recipients who later published academic treatises and secured positions - that is, by the normal standards with which the Rockefeller Foundation judged its research grants. Although many of the ALS fellows went on to distinguished academic careers - including Baumgarten, Eschenburg, Raupach, Vetter, among others - even its organizers would have agreed that this aspect of its work was not enough to distinguish it from conventional fellowship-granting organizations.

The Lincoln Stiftung's inner circle - Young, Schairer, and Simons - were proudest of their work with youth movement leaders and adult education schools. The conference in Berlin in 1929 in which Severing took part, pointed to the kinds of practical outcomes that Young and his German colleagues thought would be the greatest contribution of their organization. At the heart of this work were Dehmel and Gothe, two of the most dynamic figures of their generation. Dehmel, as we have seen, spent four years on the western front and following the war had devoted himself to rebuilding the youth movement. For his part, Gothe was no less active in organizing labor camps and youth organizations. Following Buske's death, Gothe seems to have assumed an increasingly larger role in the work of the Silesian and eastern German youth movements. Like Dehmel, Gothe saw military service, but he only entered the German army in its last, disintegrating days. Gothe played an active role in the soldiers' councils of 1918-19 and sided with the Independent Socialists. The Rockefeller archives contain a brief account of this period in his own words: "Because I had on several occasions stood up against military oppression, my fellow soldiers chose me in 1918 as a member of the soldiers' council. Thus, at the age of 18 I was given a responsibility far too heavy for my shoulders."78 Following the German revolution and the disarming of the soviets, Gothe left Germany for Brazil and, after three years, the United States, where he organized a student association. Gothe, in fact, was a born organizer: He pursued his studies at night while working day jobs. When he finally returned to Germany his working class background - and the fact that he had never attended either a Gymnasium or Realschuleseemed destined to exclude him from the university degree he sought. "The door to the university is very narrow," he wrote, "But for the ALS I should not have been able to hold out until it opened for me; without its help, I should not now have been already able to study for a year, with good results and profound inner satisfaction."79 Young appended a note on Gothe's biography when the ALS filed its first report with the Rockefeller Foundation in 1930: "When I first suggested the creation of the A.L.S., the words were used to me by one of the Foundation Trustees 'If one man is found of the real 'leader' type, in five years, who would not otherwise have been found or furthered, the organization will have justified itself.' Since I have gotten to know him, Gothe has often recurred to mind as this single justification, if others had been lacking."80 In addition to Gothe and Dehmel, several other ALS fellows were active in the Boberhaus movement. Hans Raupach, Vetter, and others drew upon their own earlier involvement with the youth movement in an attempt to expand educational opportunities. It is important to note that official interest in these activities began during the period when the Weimar coalition - a group of centrist and leftist political parties - governed Germany and sought to deal, albeit unsuccessfully, with the depression and mounting unemployment.

For Dehmel, Gothe, and the other youth camp leaders the coming to power of the Nazis in 1933 proved to be the great test. As the leader of the Deutsche Freischar, Dehmel felt increased pressure to merge his organization with Nazi Party youth organizations. Raupach and others took positions with provincial governments and party organizations that, it appears, quickly realized the political value of the labor camps and the adult education programs launched by various ALS fellows. After weeks of pressure Dehmel announced his decision to join the National Socialists. In a letter published by the party organ Der Angriff, Dehmel offered a public explanation for his decision. Citing his previous work with German youth movement groups, Dehmel argued, curiously, that his group had always marched alongside more nationalist groups in the eastern border zones and had attempted to show solidarity with pan-German communities in the alienated territories and foreign cities of eastern Europe. Whatever their differences in political activity or organization, the aims of the centrist groups he led had been the same as those of the nationalists, Dehmel averred.81

It was not long, however, before Dehmel was clashing with Nazi Gauleiter and other party officials. Dehmel's defenders credited him with public opposition to Nazi policies affecting the Silesian youth groups, but although letters published decades later do suggest that Dehmel disagreed with the tenor and policies of the Nazi youth movement, it would be wrong to place Dehmel and many of the Silesian youth leaders in the small camp of the opposition to Hitler. Dehmel's attempt to compromise with the new regime does not seem to have prevented his steady eclipse as the Nazi youth movement absorbed the last vestiges of the independent youth groups. When war came, Dehmel, along with a number of other fellows (Raupach, for example), took refuge from these political struggles and joined the German army.

For his part, Gothe, who had been Young's favorite example of a Lincoln Stiftung discovery, found he no longer could work freely with German youth and educational institutions. Although he, like Dehmel, at first tried to continue his labor camp work with the new Reich Labor Ministry, Gothe objected to the introduction of compulsory service and the increasingly tighter Nazi control. When Gothe, who seems to have thrown himself into opposition to the Nazis with characteristic energy, came to understand that the Nazis were quickly eliminating all independent centers of power, he chose to leave Germany with his family. In 1938 he joined the emigration to the New World. Once in New York, Appleget remembered their earlier encounter in Berlin and warmly welcomed him - in fact, the Rockefeller files suggest that the foundation vice president even helped make temporary living arrangements for Gothe and his family.

In addition to Gothe, several ALS fellows showed outright hostility toward the new regime. Rotten, who had cared for English prisoners of war during World War I, fled to England; Karl Dunker, a distinguished psychologist, became a refugee professor (but committed suicide in 1940); the lyricist and poet Paula Ludwig, one of the later appointments, also fled Germany, as did the writers Hans Henny Jahnn, Albert Daudistel, and Stefan Andres. Maria Sevenich, one of the handful of women grantees, spent time in a German concentration camp for her work with a Catholic organization.

On the whole, however, the majority of the Lincoln Stiftung's fellows seem neither to have resisted, emigrated, or actively collaborated with the National Socialists. Like most Germans, they continued to hold jobs and to work inconspicuously; Klatt, for example, moved to Vienna and worked on studies of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. (Klatt's war record - he had been severely wounded in World War I - may have spared him further harassment.) Those with academic positions - Vetter, Goern, Baumgarten, and others - continued to teach. Many of the fellows who had created educational institutions found, like Gothe, that their independence would not be tolerated.

The experience of the ALS fellows offers an interesting window into the generation that came of age during World War I and that grew to maturity during the interwar years. Many historians have sought to meld the shared generational history of wartime trauma and postwar misery into an explanation for the phenomenon of fascism between the wars. As Robert Wohl wrote, "Fascism was the great temptation of the generation of 1914."82 Moreover, in addition to fueling political extremism, the experiences of the war widened the usual generation gap, especially in Germany, where the prewar youth movement had already launched a mild revolution against the established order.

At first glance the experience of the Lincoln Stiftung would seem to confirm this generational difference. As noted, the advisory board or the talent scouts for the Lincoln Stiftung included over a hundred of the nation's most prominent cultural and intellectual figures. Although the roster of consultants or nominators was not the randomly selected group associated with social scientific polls, it was nonetheless a highly diverse and not unrepresentative sampling of German intellectual leaders, albeit one tilted toward the internationalist and pacifist side of the political spectrum. Among this group, an astonishingly high number chose to emigrate. By contrast, for those fellows whose careers I have been able to trace beyond 1933, no more than a dozen chose to leave Germany. How can this disparity be explained? For the moment, answers to these questions must remain tentative and provisional, although it may be that Simons's argument, that the younger and unknown fellows of the ALS would find it easier to retain academic and other positions and remain in Germany, is the simple answer to a complex question.

But if, as Kittredge's notes suggest, a high number of the ALS's fellows obtained positions because they chose to join the Nazi Party, then the gap between the advisers, scholars, and cultural figures of an older generation and the fellows, who by and large were members of the "generation of 1914," would be all the more striking. In either case, further research into the careers of those selected by the ALS promises to throw a powerful light onto the motives and experiences of this distinguished group of younger intellectuals.

Despite the seemingly unremarkable record of most of its fellows, the Lincoln Stiftung nonetheless played a supporting role in the German resistance to Hitler. The advisory board, in particular, contained a number of political activists, and there is evidence that a few of these individuals continued to meet with Young after the termination of the Rockefeller grant and the formal end of the fellowship program. The ALS's network of over a hundred advisers covered the entire length and breadth of Germany, and this diverse group included men and women of all political persuasions. Given this range of opinion, it is striking that over forty of the initial one hundred advisers either played a role in the opposition to Hitler or left Germany as émigrés. No less important, Young maintained close ties with Simons and Schairer, who were both dismissed from their positions by the Nazis, and with members of the ALS's "presidential" or steering committee, a group that included Robert Bosch.

Among all the ALS's German advisers, or nominators, Young developed the closest relationship with Kurt Hahn, the founder of a private school in Baden-Württemberg. Hahn immediately came into conflict with the new regime when he denounced the violent murder of a young German Communist by six Nazi storm troopers. Hahn sent a message to all of his Salem school graduates demanding that they either "break with Hitler or break with Salem," and shortly afterward his school was closed and Hahn was arrested.83

Fearful for his friend's life, Young returned to Germany with the archbishop of Canterbury to demand Hahn's release. Young, in fact, was to make many such pilgrimages to Berlin, and he later recalled one of these visits: "I had returned again now to Berlin, with Sir William Deedes, in the first days of Adolf Hitler's Chancellorship. There was still hope that an appeal to reason or compassion might be listened to; and we were the bearers of a letter of remonstrance about the internment camps and the Jewish persecution, organized by Archbishop Temple and signed by well-known names from every department of English life."84 Young and his associates, appealing to Franz von Papen, succeeded in securing Hahn's release, and soon Hahn emigrated to England where he and Young established a new boarding school, Gordonstoun, modeled after Salem.85 The success of Hahn's educational venture spawned an international movement, and in England the new school became the training ground for Young's own son and many others who, after the war, would form a network of distinguished schools based on Hahn's method.

Among Hahn's circle, and a member of the Lincoln Stiftung's steering committee, was Bosch, who introduced Young and Hahn to Karl Goerdeler, the mayor of Leipzig and the focal point of one of the major resistance groups. Although the ALS played only a minor part in Bosch's life, and none at all in Goerdeler's, it did throw Hahn into close association with Young, whose staunch advocacy perhaps saved Hahn's life, and whose continued interest in Germany proved of invaluable assistance to the circle around Goerdeler. Young, in fact, helped to organize many appeals on behalf of political prisoners in Germany, and he took justifiable pride in his efforts to save not only Hahn but the playwright Walter Hasenclever and others. The British organizations formed in the 1930s by Young and others to protest the Nazis' infringement of civil rights and academic freedom may rightly be seen as precursors to Amnesty International and other postwar human rights organizations.


Years later, in an unpublished chapter intended for his autobiography, Young reflected on the aims of the Abraham Lincoln Stiftung and the experiences of its fellows. In a passage that might serve not only as his own verdict on the ALS but also as the epitaph for all the educational efforts launched by liberal German educators, Young wrote, "We were beginning to yoke high individual intelligence with common sense, and with worldly intelligence, and we were in hopes of being able to check the rising tide of despair and of revolution in the country. But time proved too short for us, and the scope of our work was too restricted."86

The Lincoln Stiftung did not work entirely in vain, however. Of its hundred or more distinguished advisers, nearly thirty escaped Nazi Germany as exiles, and a dozen or more who remained in Germany actively opposed the new regime, with several taking part in the resistance to Hitler. Among these resisters, advisers Adolf Reichwein and Theodor Haubach, paid for their actions with their lives.

Among those who left Germany or who labored quietly in "inner exile," several lived to play an active role in the restoration of the German universities and German intellectual life in the postwar period: Theodor Eschenburg, August Rathmann, and others like them were the final legacy of the ALS. They lived to rebuild the German educational system on a sounder footing after 1945, and in so doing may be said to be the final return on the Rockefeller "investment," a legacy that no one among the American foundation's officials ever expected and one that until today few have suspected.