The Institute's Spring 2000 program presented a wide range of activities that brought scholars and honored guests from Europe and North America to Washington. The highlights included:

Freya von Moltke's recollections of the resistance to the Nazi regime - as embodied in her husband Helmuth James Graf von Moltke and the Kreisauer Circle - formed the centerpiece of a workshop on "Witnessing the Third Reich." "We are not victims," von Moltke said at the event, "we were working for a better Germany."

Jane Kramer of The New Yorker, the keynote speaker of a conference on Berlin and Washington, offered her observations on and critical insights into the political, architectural, and social history of these two capital cities.
The new Friends Lecture was delivered by Hans Mommsen. Titled "The Dissolution of the Third Reich," Mommsen presented a careful analysis of the last years of World War II. He argued that the end of the war witnessed the growing ideological and social mobilization of Germany through the Nazi Party, which resulted in the war's prolongation. Doris L. Bergen provided a commentary. The full texts of Mommsen's and Bergen's presentations are featured in this issue of the Bulletin.

We are pleased to note that the conversation with von Moltke, Kramer's keynote speech, and Mommsen's lecture each attracted an unprecedented audience of over 150 people.

This issue also features Jay Winter's talk on "The Generation of Memory: Reflections on the 'Memory Boom' in Contemporary Historical Studies" - the final lecture of the Spring Lecture Series - and Peter Drewek's workshop presentation on the "Limits of Educational Internationalism: Foreign Students at German Universities between 1890 and 1930." Roger Chickering commented on the latter.

"GHI Research" showcases our visiting scholars. Supported by such sponsoring organizations as the German-American Academic Council (GAAC) and the German Research Foundation (DFG), they play an increasingly important role in the intellectual life of the GHI. All three scholars are engaged in comparative research: Waltraud Schelkle, an economics professor at the Free University of Berlin, and Christine von Oertzen, a historian from the Technical University of Berlin, are collaborating with American partners funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Schelkle is studying the European Union's evolution into a social federation that safeguards welfare traditions of the member states yet meets the common challenges of market integration; von Oertzen is researching the exodus of German-speaking women scientists and the refugee aid program of the American Association of University Women during World War II. Johannes Dillinger is comparing grassroots democracy in Germany and America in the early modern period.

In addition, the Institute is expanding its programs and awards for younger German and American scholars. The first two Fritz Stern Dissertation Prizes will be awarded at the annual Friends' symposium in November, when the prizewinners introduce their work. Funding for the awards has been made possible through a generous grant from the German Marshall Fund of the United States as well as through individual donations.

Next spring the GHI will organize the first Young Scholars Forum, to be held at the Institute. The forum will assemble American doctoral candidates and recent Ph.D.s working in the fields of German, German-American, or comparative history.

These new programs complement existing ones, such as the dissertation and habilitation grants, the collaborative postdoc program, the Summer Seminar in Paleography and Archival Studies, and the Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar in German History, all of which strengthen our effort to support the next generation of scholars.

Finally, the Institute is proud to announce that it has recently expanded its cooperation with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS). As of August, most of the AICGS library, nearly 6,000 volumes in total, is now housed at the GHI Library, where it will remain a separate collection. We are very grateful to Jackson Janes, AICGS executive director, for the enrichment of the GHI Library, especially in the areas of postwar German and European history. The AICGS Collection promises to be of great value to our regular readers, to visiting researchers, and to the scholars and students working at the AICGS.

Christof Mauch 

Jürgen Heideking (1947-2000)

On Friday, March 10, Jürgen Heideking, a professor of modern history and director of the Anglo-American Institute at the University of Cologne (1992-2000), a member of the GHI's Academic Advisory Council (1992-2000), and a former senior research fellow at the GHI, died tragically in a car accident close to his home in Brühl, Germany. He was not quite 53 years old. He is mourned - and celebrated - by students, colleagues, and the academy as a central figure in the European study of American history.

Jürgen Heideking, one of the first research fellows at the GHI, served as deputy to its founding director, Hartmut Lehmann. He established the GHI's scholarship programs, planned and organized numerous conferences and workshops, and was instrumental in building up the GHI Library. During his tenure in Washington, D.C., he used his widespread academic contacts in Europe and North America to create a network of scholars that would remain supportive for years to come.

Jürgen Heideking studied at the University of Tübingen (1968-74) and at the Sorbonne (1970-1). He earned his Ph.D. in 1978, and his Dr. phil. habil. in 1987 - both from Tübingen. A student of Gerhard Schulz, Heideking's work spanned centuries: He started out as a classicist - his first book focused on antiquity (Chronologie des Perikleischen Zeitalters, with Erich Bayer, 1975) - but then turned his attention to the twentieth century (Areopag der Diplomaten: Die Pariser Botschafterkonferenz der alliierten Hauptmächte und die Probleme der europäischen Politik 1920-1931, 1977). He later broadened his scope even further by choosing an American topic of the early modern period for his Habilitation. He traveled to the University of Wisconsin at Madison to mine their holdings in constitutional history. His years in Madison, when he was a Feodor Lynen Fellow of the Humboldt Foundation (1983-4), had a strong impact on him. He often felt drawn back to Madison and returned almost annually "to celebrate salacious parties," as he joked, with the many friends he and his family had made there over the years.

Back in Tübingen, Jürgen Heideking finished his magisterial work on the origins of the U.S. Constitution. Its title, inspired by a quotation from George Washington ("The Constitution is now before the Judgement Seat"; Die Verfassung vor dem Richterstuhl: Vorgeschichte und Ratifizierung der amerikanischen Verfassung 1787-1791, 1988), is somewhat misleading. His analysis was not limited to the Constitution but embraced a wide range of topics on American political culture of the "early national period." For example, by focusing on public festivities and celebrations he discovered that rituals, myths, and symbols are essential to an understanding of political beliefs and social values. His study also demonstrated that the public discourse during the "critical period" of the young nation transformed American society from the republicanism of the founding fathers to a new form of "modern democracy," one characterized by pluralism, that did not exist in Europe. (See the forthcoming collection he edited with James A. Henretta on Republicanism and Liberalism in America and the German States, 1750-1850, 2001).

Jürgen Heideking's scholarly findings strengthened his belief in the "American experiment." He was confident that American society, despite its endemic problems - social inequality and voter apathy - brought progress both to citizens and new immigrants. At a lecture in Jerusalem last year he spoke of a "Pattern of American Modernity" that he believed to be characteristic of America's unique path in history. Fascinated by the many "American cultures," Heideking was convinced - as he told his students and friends on many occasions - that the U.S. political and constitutional discourse over the last 200 years as well as the high degree of self-reflection and self-criticism in the society were the true stabilizing elements of American democracy. An author of more than twenty major articles in the fields of international relations and history, and a keen observer of contemporary international events, he also had faith in America's role as a global player.

During his tenure at the GHI, Jürgen Heideking conducted groundbreaking research on the German resistance to Hitler and U.S. intelligence during World War II. He co-authored three books on this topic, including American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History (1996). In addition, he co-organized several major international conferences, including one on the German Basic Law, one on political and economic issues in the interwar period (published in 1991 as Genoa, Rapallo, and European Reconstruction in 1922), and two on German influences in education - one held at Madison and one at Tübingen. (The first was published in 1995 as German Influences on Education in the United States to 1917; the second, in 1997, as a special issue of Paedagogica Historica.) At the GHI, Heideking had worked to expand scholarship opportunities for younger German and American scholars and co-edited the GHI's first scholarship guide (German-American Scholarship Guide for Historians and Social Scientists/Deutsch-Amerikanischer Stipendienführer für Historiker und Sozialwissenschaftler, 1989).

In 1990 Jürgen Heideking became both the first "Professor of North American History" at the University of Tübingen (and in the state of Baden-Württemberg) and the acting director of that university's Institute for Contemporary History. Upon his return to Germany he told his students that the two-and-a-half years at the GHI had been a very special time for him and his family, but that he longed to get back into the classroom. He loved class discussions and was an extremely sympathetic mentor as well as a constructive critic. His enthusiastic manner attracted scores of graduate and undergraduate students. Sometimes he would take students on excursions in order to "convey a sense of the immediacy of history." In the fall of 1999 he organized a workshop at the GHI for his "team" - one of his favorite words - of doctoral and postdoctoral students; and shortly before his untimely death, he had taken a class to the Roosevelt Study Center at Middelburg in The Netherlands. He also designed and developed collaborative book projects with his students. Already in 1981, when very few German professors taught courses on the Holocaust, he edited a remarkable collection of essays that students had written under his guidance (Holocaust: Nationalsozialistische Judenpolitik und Judenvernichtung 1933-1945, 1981); another collection of student essays - on the Civil Rights movement in the United States - is underway.

In 1992 Jürgen Heideking accepted an offer to succeed Erich Angermann as director of the prestigious Anglo-American Institute and as chair of British and American history at Cologne. With funding from major research foundations, he initiated several research projects in the field of U.S. environmental history (for example, "The German Experience with the Land in the Midwest"), on decolonization in Asia and Africa, in comparative history (see his Zwei Wege in die Moderne: Aspekte der deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg, with Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase, 1998), and on ceremonies in U.S. history (see his Ceremonies and Spectacles: America and the Staging of Collective Identities, with Geneviève Fabre, 2000).

Jürgen Heideking also wrote books on American history that appealed to a broader public. In total he authored and edited over twenty books. He loved to write and believed that the best way to explain the past was through narrative accounts. Heideking's solid research and his illuminating analyses were written with the kind of clarity and elegance that appealed to scholars and laymen alike. His 500-page overview of U.S. history has become a standard "textbook" (Geschichte der USA, 1996), and his introduction to the study of U.S. history has been praised by both students and scholars (Einführung in die amerikanische Geschichte, with Vera Nünning, 1998). His book on the American presidents from Washington to Clinton became a bestseller in Germany and has been translated into several languages, including Russian (Die amerikanischen Präsidenten: 41 historische Porträts von George Washington bis Bill Clinton, 2d ed., 1997).

Within a few years, Jürgen Heideking rose to become one of the leading European experts on American history. In addition to his constant stream of widely respected publications, he established a new book series on U.S. culture and history ("Mosaic: Studien und Texte zur amerikanischen Kultur und Geschichte"), he edited a series on U.S. documentary films ("Studien zum amerikanischen Doku-mentarfilm"), and he gave numerous radio and TV interviews on U.S. politics and culture, particularly for Deutsche Welle. He was elected to the GHI's Academic Advisory Council and became a member of its scholarship committee. He joined, among others, the advisory board of the German Association of American Studies (DGfA), the board of the Intelligence History Study Group (as a founding member), and was elected to serve on committees of the German-American Academic Council (GAAC/DAAK), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Humboldt Foundation.
In 1997 Jürgen Heideking became the first - and so far the only - recipient of the prestigious Schurman Award of the University of Heidelberg for his Die Verfassung vor dem Richterstuhl - "the best book on U.S. history written by a German." The book will soon be published in English by Madison House.

Jürgen Heideking was an optimist. He had faith in the progress of civilization, diplomacy, and liberty. His greatest concern was for the academic prospects of the younger generation; whenever and wherever he could, he helped create new positions for doctoral and postdoctoral scholars. His work towered over that of many others, but he was entirely free of conceit. He had a touch of modesty and lightness in his voice, and a smile for his students and colleagues. Heideking is survived by his wife, Anne, and two children, Martin and Claudia.

He will be very dearly missed.

Christof Mauch

< back to Bulletin 27

  • The Dissolution of the Third Reich: Crisis Management and Collapse, 1943-1945

    Hans Mommsen

    The unconditional surrender of the German Reich on May 8-9, 1945, not only signaled the country's total military defeat but also the complete collapse of its political system. This internal breakdown was already underway at the time of the Allied invasion of France in June 1944. The disintegration proceeded even more rapidly after the Red Army broke through the middle sector of the eastern front. The dissolution of the government's unity accelerated after the Battle of Stalingrad and was fueled by the increasing ambition of the party agencies to usurp additional administrative prerogatives.

    Against this background the question of why the regime was able to fight as long as it did - the Allies had already occupied four-fifths of Reich territory before the capitulation was signed - arises. The Nazi leadership did not undertake any serious steps to enter negotiations either with the West or with Stalin. After Hitler's suicide, Josef Goebbels initiated an abortive attempt to negotiate with Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov over separate armistice conditions.1 Heinrich Himmler's half-hearted efforts to contact the Western Allies through representatives of the "World Jewry" and his diplomatic feelers through Folke Graf Bernadotte, vice president of the Swedish Red Cross, failed utterly.2

    As long as Hitler was alive, the regime was incapable of stopping an already lost war. In earlier phases of the war Hitler had blocked any settlement with defeated countries that would have prejudiced future peace negotiations. Even under the pressure of the Allied pro-European propaganda, Hitler avoided any regulation of the impending territorial and political issues with regard to Germany's Western neighbors. To the minister of the Reich Chancellery, Hans-Heinrich Lammers, Hitler remarked that any discussion of a National Socialist concept for reordering postwar Europe was "unimportant for the war effort," and he prohibited any conceptual work for the future.3 After his decision to wage a war of racial annihilation against the Soviet Union, the notion of peace became meaningless to him. At this point, Hitler seriously started to think in terms of perpetual warfare in the East.4

    Moreover, Hitler hesitated making strategic decisions with regard to the execution of the war. When Goebbels urged him to stop fighting on two fronts, either through an arrangement with the jüdische Mache (Jewish "mafia") in Moscow or the capitalistic Börsenjudentum (stock-trading Jewry) in Washington, Hitler stated that negotiation was out of the question as long as the Wehrmacht achieved any military successes.5 The strategically problematic occupation of Hungary in 1944, which implied a serious weakening of German defenses in the middle sector of the front, and Hitler's hopeless attempt to turn the tide through the Ardennes offensive in December 1944 were rooted in deliberations of this kind.6

    Obviously, Hitler's strategic decisions corresponded to the same pattern in domestic politics. In pursuing short-term mobilization the regime avoided sketching out alternative strategies in case of unanticipated setbacks. In the long run, it paid for this shortsightedness with increasing inefficiency and a lack of coordination of diverging policies. The chronic inclination to ignore available raw material and manpower resources originated in the overestimation of the impact of sheer willpower and the built-in competition of rival agencies. Thus, the political system gradually lost its internal controls, which in turn accelerated its disintegration.

    During the period between July 1943 - when Mussolini was dismissed by the Fascist Grand Council - and July 1944 the ruling elite in the Nazi regime began to realize that the neverending series of military failures had brought on a critical situation. The defeat and surrender of the Sixth Army at Stalingrad, which ultimately destroyed the myth of the German army's invincibility, appeared as an especially acute warning sign that was not be overlooked. Less than three weeks after that catastrophe Goebbels in his famous speech at the Berlin Sport Palace on February 18, 1943, announced the necessity of initiating a "total war." The minister for propaganda demanded exploitation of still insufficiently used manpower resources, the reduction of consumer goods production, and the streamlining of government.7

    Despite attempts to regenerate the Reich Defense Council and, after these failed, to install a Three Men's Committee to enforce long overdue rationalization measures, the lack of coordination within the Reich government persisted throughout the critical year of 1943. The replacement of Wilhelm Frick by Heinrich Himmler as Reich interior minister did not reduce the growing administrative chaos and infighting between party and state agencies that absorbed most of the energies of the subaltern leaders. Himmler was not interested in the agenda of the Interior Ministry; he neglected to devise efficient measures in its general administration and transferred some of its responsibilities to the SS.8

    Not until the crisis of July 1944 did Goebbels's efforts to create a more effective central government gain Hitler's reluctant approval. The German dictator timidly avoided any fundamental reform of the leadership structure and was an obstacle to the implementation of the necessary and overdue mobilization of the country's economic and manpower resources. Thus, Hitler rejected almost all of Goebbels's and Martin Bormann's reform initiatives because he feared that measures of this kind might run into opposition among lower-level leaders or affect his personal prestige. Goebbels's incessant pressure on Hitler to dismiss Joachim von Ribbentrop, the minister of foreign affairs who was held responsible for the Reich's diplomatic isolation, as well as attempts by Bormann and Himmler to get Hitler to withdraw his designation of Hermann Göring as his successor proved futile. Actually, Hitler had to be carefully shielded from the influence of external advisers in order to preserve at least a certain degree of continuity with regard to governmental decisions.

    In this constellation of indecision, the crucial impetus to continue the German war effort came from Albert Speer, the minister of armaments and war production who had taken over almost all of the prerogatives of the Four Year Plan. This left Göring's nominal status untouched.9 Relying on Hitler's unqualified support, Speer subjected the Heereswaffenamt, the armaments office of the army, to his immediate direction and thereby took control of most aspects of German armaments production. Due to his personal access to Hitler, Speer became one of the most influential satraps in the regime. He used the same unorthodox methods as the party chieftains and did not hesitate to circumvent ordinary administrative channels and legal procedures. Like other Nazi leaders he believed in the principle of Menschenführung (personalized leadership) and preferred to rely on the personal loyalty of individuals rather than on established institutions. This strategy proved to be remarkably successful in the short run and enabled him to multiply the armaments output (although much of it was the result of his predecessor's skillfully manipulated production statistics).10

    Confronted with the crisis on the eastern front, Speer sent a detailed memorandum to Hitler that advocated an immediate increase in armaments production. Blaming the Three Men's Committee for its obvious shortcomings and inefficiency, Speer pleaded for the installation of responsible leadership entrusted to personalities who were not involved in the continuous infighting between party and state and who would not lose their nerve, even in critical situations. These demands were tantamount to nominating a plenipotentiary for domestic political affairs (similar to the economic dictator proposed in late Weimar).11

    Before this initiative, the rumor that Speer might be named Hitler's successor increased the envy of party chieftains. Bormann, the chief of the party chancellery, and Goebbels were especially alarmed at the prospect that Speer might outflank them and gain decisive influence with Hitler, who himself tended to neglect day-to-day politics and whose energies were almost completely absorbed by the military operations in the East. By this time Hitler had taken over command of the military himself.

    Speer's memorandum countered Goebbels's repeated proposal to establish an internal dictatorship and to restore the unity of the Reich government. Goebbels did not hesitate to enter into an alliance with Speer because earlier efforts to win over Göring had failed. Goebbels supported Speer's demands in a widely read article in Das Reich.12 In a second memorandum Speer repeated his arguments for a more efficient leadership and proposed entrusting Goebbels with this task, convinced that the propaganda minister would have the energy to push through this program and to neutralize the objections of antagonists.

    Goebbels knew very well that the biggest obstacle to implementing the plan was Hitler's notorious mistrust and fear of tarnishing his personal prestige. In the aforementioned article Goebbels argued that Speer's proposal had found overwhelming approval among the German public. There was some truth in this, but the arguments served mostly to overcome Hitler's apprehension.13 Moreover, a week later he presented Hitler with a comparable memorandum of about fifty pages in which he reiterated the arguments of his speech of February 1943 demanding replacement of the Three Men's Committee by an independent commissioner.14

    The timing of Goebbels's initiative was perfect and strengthened his hand at a leadership meeting convened by Hitler on July 22 to discuss the Speer memorandum. At the meeting Goebbels presented himself as uniquely qualified and was endorsed by Bormann, Walther Funk, Wilhelm Keitel, Lammers, and Speer. Keenly aware of Hitler's typical hesitancy, he requested a unanimous vote for his nomination. Nobody dared contradict him.15 Hitler yielded to the pressure and named Goebbels Reich plenipotentiary for the total war effort on July 25, 1944, only five days after the abortive assassination attempt.
    As Goebbels had anticipated in a remark in his diary, however, the new position did not comprise "the domestic leadership."16 For example, the plenipotentiary did not have the power to issue orders directly to the NSDAP and the Wehrmacht; these organizations were exempt from his general authority to deliver directives to administrative bodies. Furthermore, the minister for propaganda grossly overestimated his ability to interfere in almost all vested interests with regard to the intended mobilization of additional manpower, the closing of shops, and the retooling of consumer industries. This was partly the consequence of his specific perception of politics that stressed the role of propagandistic indoctrination while ignoring the impact of bureaucratic factors. Goebbels saw his role more as setting things in motion and as acting as a catalyst. He preferred the local and regional party apparatus to the civil administration and the military institutions, believing in the superiority of the principle of Menschenführung versus public administration. Actually, the mixed committees that consisted of representatives of the party, the regional administration, and the German Labor Front (DAF) - founded to speed up military mobilization - turned out to be rather inefficient and only increased the amount of red tape.17

    Thus, the implementation of Goebbels's announced total mobilization fell far behind expected results. However, he chose to emphasize the propagandistic effect of the whole enterprise and was well aware that the immediate output of his mobilization campaign would take a few months before any increase of new conscripts and available laborers could be realized. But he was convinced that the campaign was indispensable if the pronouncement of total war was not to lose its credibility. He saw the main effect of the campaign as an "incredible improvement in the public mood" and renewed motivation that was engendering "fresh hope."18 Thus, Goebbels was spurred primarily by propagandistic deliberations to advocate the exploitation of all available human and material resources for the war effort, including obligatory labor for women. The practical consequences for the mobilization of the labor force were therefore secondary. The main consideration was to demonstrate by means of sweeping action that the Volksgemeinschaft (people's community) possessed a "massed will to action."19

    Goebbels wanted to fight the notion of possible German defeat through the cultivation of a fanatical will to hold on; he was less concerned with marshalling still available resources, which might have been viewed as the means for attaining these ends. Goebbels, Bormann, and Robert Ley (Reich organization leader of the NSDAP) responded to the crisis, albeit in an uncoordinated fashion, with an all-encompassing ideological mobilization. Crucial in this respect was their common conviction that only the party was able to achieve a turnabout in German and world history by implementing the revolutionary program that had been but partially fulfilled during the regime's early years.
    In the effort to paint itself as the true bearer of the mobilization "of the [nation's] remaining strength" the NSDAP revived the propaganda methods it used during the so-called Kampfzeit (time of struggle), that is, the period leading up to Hitler's appointment as Reich chancellor. The experiences of the Kampfzeit were repeatedly referred to in order to demonstrate that through heroic exertion the imminent crisis could be overcome, and for this the party was indispensable. The provisional defeat of the movement on November 9, 1923, was taken as proof that only the party would be able to reverse serious setbacks. A Party Chancellery directive dated September 1943 declared: "The National Socialist movement has mastered every situation! It has never let itself be led astray through occasional setbacks and severe difficulties." According to instructions for party speakers published by the Reich Propaganda Office, "The struggle that we as the German people and nation have to carry on today is fundamentally the same struggle against the same enemy that the movement had to carry on at home in the years of the Kampfzeit."20 By unremitting references to the party's past the fiction was created that if the party took things in hand, victory would be possible in the end.

    Meanwhile, Bormann had started an internal offensive to increase the unity and fighting strength of the movement after the mass party had become numerically bloated but politically sterile and to mold it into a political combat instrument. In this regard he could rely on the support of Ley who, besides being the head of the Labor Front, still held the influential position of the Reich organization leader of the NSDAP. Both recognized the party's obligation to support the war effort and its primary task of improving public morale. To achieve this and restore the badly shaken public reputation of the party and its affiliated organizations, Bormann tried to energize the rank and file by continuously arranging obligatory membership assemblies, propaganda marches, and public demonstrations.

    Bormann also tried to improve the party's image by introducing special office hours, so-called Sprechabende, when visitors could report their grievances to local functionaries.21 In addition, beginning in the summer of 1943 Bormann arranged a wave of public rallies to underscore the party's claim to political leadership.22 The officially voluntary character of the requested activity was accompanied by radical disciplinary measures against those who did not comply. These steps held the functionaries in line, but they did not significantly improve the party's negative image.

    More effective were Bormann's efforts to polish the party's image by stepping up its involvement in the welfare sector. The party took up the care of those Volksgenossen who lost their homes in the Allied air offensive or who had to flee combat zones.23 In conjunction with this, Bormann ordered the National Socialist Welfare organization (NSV) to expressly act in the name of the NSDAP.24 Likewise, the party usurped the competences of private and public relief organizations. This tactical move helped to repair the party's image to a certain extent because an increasing percentage of the German population had to rely on the support of the NSV and the party apparatus due to war damages, air attacks, and migration from war zones in the East.
    In addition to ongoing efforts to reorganize the party and regain a positive public image, Bormann increasingly put pressure on the public administration and tended to usurp additional functions on the local and regional levels. This process of "partification" - the term was coined by Dietrich Orlow 25 - was fueled by the role of the Gauleiter in their function as Reich defense commissioners and culminated in a growing percentage of them also becoming chiefs of civil administration.26 Thus, the role of the party apparatus on the local and regional levels surpassed its wildest dreams of the "seizure of power" period. The NSDAP became increasingly engaged as an auxiliary of the Security Police (SD) and the Gestapo; it also was made responsible for the construction of defenses and fortifications, as well as the sheltering of evacuees.27
    This development coincided with the perception that only the party could secure the "final victory," which resulted in the conviction that only by eliminating non-Nazi elements could this aim be achieved. The division of labor between the party and the bourgeois elite that had been accomplished during the 1933-4 era had to be revised. Hence, the idea to complete the Nazi revolution - arrested in 1933 - was revived and led to the idea that the crisis could be resolved by establishing unrestricted party rule in all relevant political realms.
    In the Nazi leaders' view the military and political crises resulted from the fact that the movement's energy had been sapped by the interference of conservative bureaucrats, who lacked either dynamism or willpower and too often reached half-hearted compromises. Only the party and its spirit could achieve an overall mobilization of the nation's strength and its resources, which had hitherto been prevented by the sharing of political authority with the bourgeois elites. Therein lay the real source of the current setbacks: The precondition for realizing the "unity of will" consisted not only of the elimination of Jews and other racial aliens but also of the cleansing of clandestine opponents or dissidents in order to achieve racial and political homogeneity.
    This voluntary attitude, rooted in the Nietzschean cult of the will, and the rejection of mature historical structures had been symptomatic of the movement's early stages, in which the current bleak reality could be overcome only through envisioning future victory. Under the pressure of imminent defeat, it again came to the fore.28 A major milestone on the road to this apocalyptic thinking was the previously mentioned Goebbels's total-war speech, in which he pointed out that the anticipated final victory could be attained by stressing fanatical willpower to hold on to the last man and not so much by marshalling the available material resources. The all-embracing ideological mobilization of the party that Bormann pushed for fit precisely into this picture.

    The party's retreat into the memories of the Kampfzeit coincided with Hitler's personal conviction that the final victory was the predestined outcome of Germany's internal and external fight against the Jewish archenemy. In his mind the unity of will was a pledge to achieve ultimate success. In his last radio speech of January 30, 1945, he argued that the internal unity of the German people, the realization of which he attributed to himself and the Nazi movement, was a unique world historical achievement that had proved its invincibility.29 Goebbels encouraged him to cling to this anachronistic view and reminded him of the time in December 1932 when Gregor Strasser, who opposed Hitler's "all-or-nothing strategy," predicted the breakdown of the party. Goebbels had argued against compromising the "purity of the National Socialist idea" by entering into a right-wing coalition, a decision that later turned out to be the right one for the party.30 At the same time, he reminded Hitler that November 1918 and November 1923 proved that victory would follow on the heels of defeat if they remained steadfast until the bitter end. Goebbels resorted again to the cult of will in his analogy between the dictator and Friedrich II ("the Great") regarding the latter's endurance in the Seven Years' War (1754-63). In his last official proclamation, dated February 24, 1945, the anniversary of the foundation of the NSDAP, Hitler evoked again "our unshakable will" to survive.31 According to this vision, the Allies would necessarily fail, being incapable of fighting a protracted war on German soil against the desperate but determined resistance of the people. The Germans, he believed, would defend every village, every house, and every barn to the last man. At that point, the Western powers would have to acknowledge the futility of continuing an increasingly costly battle between an entire people and an army of paid soldiers.32

    At this late date there arose the notion that if immediate defeat could not be averted, the fight to the last man would at least secure "the victory of the National Socialist idea" in the future. This final fight could serve as leverage for the renewal of Germany's struggle against its oppressors. Symptomatic for this were Goebbels's attempts, as late as March 1945, to build up the "Werewolf" partisan organization - not so much for military action as to guarantee the survival of Nazi ideology.33 There also existed a series of training camps where Hitler Youth were systematically indoctrinated to fight on behalf of future generations for the "National Socialist idea" - even under Allied occupation.34
    Additional evidence of partification can be found in Bormann's drive to introduce "National Socialist leadership officers" into the armed forces, thereby copying the Russian model of placing political officers (the much-maligned commissars) in the Red Army. Selected and trained by the party, these political officers were attached to every military unit in order to ensure that commanders were toeing the party line, as well as to intensify the ideological indoctrination of the troops themselves.35 It is possible that Bormann expected that future demobilization would allow professional officers to be replaced with party officers, thereby achieving the partification of the armed forces that had failed in 1934.

    Another aspect of the Party Chancellery's ideological mobilization was the creation of the Deutscher Volkssturm (German ethnic militia) in October 1944. This not only was an attempt to mobilize the remaining human resources in the face of heavy casualties but also to put into practice the total mobilization of the German people that party propaganda had promised. Bormann pressured the Supreme Command of the Army (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) to allow party functionaries to lead the new militia and restrict Himmler's competency as chief of the reserve army to operations and providing equipment.36

    However, the party did not have the militarily trained staff that was urgently needed, and local party chiefs were incompetent. In the view of Bormann and Goebbels, who strongly favored the militia project, its military value was of secondary importance anyway. To them, the Volkssturm was to be used in the total fanaticization of the entire population. Goebbels declared that the "unified deployment of the entire people, united in the idea of National Socialism," would be the realization of the Volksgemeinschaft.37 On the occasion of the swearing in of the Volkssturm he repeated the final-fight discourse and argued: "We know that an idea lives on, even if all its bearers have fallen. The enemy that does not have more than it can deploy will eventually capitulate before the massed strength of a fanatically fighting people."38

    These and other, similar propagandistic proclamations signified the blurring of the distinction between the present situation and a heroic future of self-sacrifice, reminiscent of Wagnerian death rhetoric and accompanied by increasing self-historicization. Hence, propaganda now sought recourse in German national history. It was no accident that Himmler issued the founding declaration of the Volkssturm on October 18, the anniversary of the Battle of Nations (1813) at Leipzig, and that he referred expressly to the Prussian Landsturm (militia) that had allegedly carried the day against Napoleon as a "revolutionary people's movement."39

    Total mobilization and heroic historicization came together in the UFA film Kolberg, directed by Veit Harlan. This production had been sponsored and heavily subsided by Goebbels, who considered it to be the propaganda equivalent of at least four military divisions.40 The premiere took place in the fortress of La Rochelle on January 30, 1945, and it was shown at the Tauentzin Palace and other Berlin cinemas in the following weeks. The film portrayed the allegedly heroic defense of the city of Kolberg against the superior forces of Napoleon and advanced the fiction that this struggle inspired the German uprising of 1813. 41

    The extent to which the party's mobilization campaign took hold among the rank-and-file and in the general populace is difficult to assess. In any case, it did manage to prolong the war. Bormann's aim to form a task force specifically to organize the defense "to the last man" in the cities and villages under attack failed because of opposition by troop commanders. Interestingly, the extreme pressure brought to bear on the civilian population made active resistance to the regime extremely dangerous. This partly explains why public resistance to the continued fighting was extremely rare, even until the very end.

    The almost total partification of the country had destroyed the last institutional bases for either resistance or dissent. After the failed attempt on Hitler's life in July 1944, the military leadership lost its institutional autonomy as well. The army was now led by fanatical generals who backed the hold-on propaganda and supported the operation of roving field courts and ordinary military courts, which handed down over 30,000 death sentences in the final months of the war.42

    At the same time, the nearly omnipotent Gauleiter and Reich defense commissioners unleashed a wave of terror that was primarily directed against the civil population and the numerous forced laborers. In each Gau summary courts were formed by the ordinary judiciary and sentenced thousands to death; they did not hesitate to punish relatives (Sippenhaft) in cases where the defendants escaped. Simultaneously, the Labor Education Camps, which had been established by the local and regional Gestapo in order to discipline foreign and German workers, turned into virtual death camps and were used for mass killings until the war's final days.43 More research is needed to learn how many Germans, Soviet POWs, forced laborers, and other foreigners fell victim to the death brigades of the SS, the Gestapo, and the Security Police, and in many cases to self-created summary judges. The figure will possibly total several hundred thousand.44

    Because the political system had dissolved to the point of paralysis it was impossible to entertain initiatives to the hold-on strategy, even under such hopeless conditions. Identification of the external and the internal enemy in the minds of the leading elite implied the necessity to eliminate any inimical element or potential dissident. The escalation of terror therefore was inseparable from the survival myth and the hold-on propaganda. The fictitious world to which the responsible party leaders had become accustomed was derived from re-emerging memories of the Kampfzeit, which were bathed in a heroic glow and reflected a tendency toward self-historicization. It prevented the majority of Gauleiter, as long as they were influenced by the Führer myth, from taking any realistic action to stop the process of self-destruction.45

    Aside from the completely blind party activists and their fellow travelers, no one was left who could stop the delusional Nazi elite. Germany's leaders were running amok, having lost touch with reality, and finding solace in the fictitious world of the early years of the Nazi movement. At the same time, the voluntary origins of National Socialism came to the fore, which resulted in an escalation of crime and terror and accelerated the dissolution of administration and government. The process of self-destruction that had accompanied the expansionist policy of the regime was a necessary corollary to military defeat. Following Hitler's suicide on April 30 the whole Nazi edifice collapsed overnight, and the myth of the survival of National Socialism was finally debunked. 

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  • Notes

    Hans Mommsen is a professor emeritus of modern history at the University of Bochum. He currently lives near Munich.

    1 Ralph Georg Reuth, Goebbels: Eine Biographie (Munich, 1990), 608-9; cf. H. R. Trevor-Roper, Hitlers letzte Tage (Frankfurt am Main, 1968), 197; Georgi K. Schukow, Erinnerungen und Gedanken (Stuttgart, 1969), 604-5.

    2 Felix Kersten, Totenkopf und Treue: Heinrich Himmler ohne Uniform (Hamburg, 1952), 343; Folke Bernadotte, Das Ende: Meine Verhandlungen in Deutschland im Frühjahr 1945 und ihre politischen Folgen (Zurich, 1945), 66-7; see Klaus-Dietmar Henke, Die amerikanische Besetzung Deutschlands (Munich, 1995), 886ff.

    3 Lammers to Rosenberg, Aug. 10, 1944, cited in Hans Werner Neulen, ed., Europa und das 3. Reich: Einigungsbestrebungen im deutschen Machtbereich 1939-1945 (Munich, 1987), 163-4. Goebbels changed his position and eventually announced a program for a "socialist reordering of the continent" (see Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, Elke Fröhlich, ed. (Munich, 1995), pt. 2, vol. 15: 467).

    4 Cf. Andreas Hillgruber, Hitlers Strategie, Politik und Kriegsführung 1940-41 (Frankfurt am Main, 1965), 562ff.; Rolf-Dieter Müller, Hitlers Ostkrieg und die deutsche Siedlungspolitik (Frankfurt am Main, 1991), 23-4.

    5 Memorandum Goebbels to Hitler, July 25, 1944, BA Berlin, NL 118/100; cf. Reuth, Goebbels, 567, and Goebbels diaries, entries of Sept. 10, 20, 23, 1944; Tagebücher, pt. 2, vol. 9: 464, 542, 655.

    6 See Hitler's speech to the division commanders from Dec. 28, 1944; Helmut Heiber, ed., Hitlers Lagebesprechungen: Die Protokollfragmente seiner militärischen Konferenzen (Stuttgart, 1962), 738ff.

    7 Helmut Heiber, ed., Goebbels Reden 1932-1945 (Düsseldorf, 1991), no. 17: 172ff.; cf. Günter Moltmann, "Goebbels Rede zum Totalen Krieg am 18. Februar 1943," Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 12 (1964): 13ff.

    8 See Dieter Rebentisch, Führerstaat und Verwaltung im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Stuttgart, 1989), 499 ff.

    9 See Alfred Kube, Pour le Mérite und Hakenkreuz: Hermann Göring im Dritten Reich (Munich, 1986), 340-1.

    10 See Richard J. Overy, War and Economy in the Third Reich (Oxford, 1994), 356-7; Gregor Jansen, Das Ministerium Speer: Deutschlands Rüstung im Krieg (Berlin, 1968), 175-6.

    11 Memorandum by Speer, July 12, 1944, reprinted in Willy A. Boelcke, ed., Deutschlands Rüstung im Zweiten Weltkrieg: Hitlers Konferenzen mit Albert Speer, (Frankfurt am Main, 1969), no. 2; cf. Albert Speer, Erinnerungen (Frankfurt am Main, 1969), 405.

    12 "Führen wir einen totalen Krieg?" Das Reich, July 7, 1944; see Peter Longerich, "Joseph Goebbels und der totale Krieg," Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 35 (1987): 298.

    13 See Heinz Boberach, ed., Meldungen aus dem Reich 1938-1945, vol. 17 (Herrsching, 1984), 6636ff.

    14 Reprinted in Longerich, "Joseph Goebbels," 305-14.

    15 Chefbesprechung on July 22, 1944; BA Berlin R 43II/664a, p. 87.

    16 See Goebbels Tagebücher, ser. 2, vol. 11, Feb. 27, 1943.

    17 See Horst Matzerath, Nationalsozialismus und kommunale Selbstverwaltung (Stuttgart, 1970), 240-1; cf. letter from State Secretary Stuckart to Bormann, Dec. 19., 1944, BA Berlin R 18/1263, fol. 19.

    18 Longerich, "Joseph Goebbels," 313; in the chief meeting on July 22 he had ascertained: "Die Reform des öffentlichen Lebens werde zum Teil nur optischen Charakter haben können, doch dürfe die Bedeutung solcher Maßnahmen nicht unterschätzt werden." (See the document quoted in note 15, fol. 86.)

    19 See Aufklärungs- und Rednermaterial der Reichspropagandaleitung der NSDAP, Lieferung 9 (Sept. 1943), 2, 4.

    20 See ibid. and Anordnung 55/43, Sept. 29, 1943, Verfügungen, Anordnungen, Bekanntgaben, ed. Partei-Kanzlei der NSDAP, 7 vols. (Munich, 1942-5), here vol. 4 (1943): 9.

    21 Verfügungen, Anordnungen, Bekanntgaben, ed. Partei-Kanzlei der NSDAP, here vol. 4 (1943): 24ff., and 5 (1944): A5/43; cf. Akten der Partei-Kanzlei T. II, no. 06561ff.

    22 Meldungen zur Versammlungswelle der NSDAP, Nov. 8, 1943, in BA Potsdam NS6/ 408, fol. 397 and 404.

    23 Cf. Martin Rüther, Cologne, May 31, 1942: "Der 1000-Bomber-Angriff," Kölner Schriften zur Geschichte und Kultur 18 (1992): 66-7.

    24 See Herwart Vorländer, Die NSV: Darstellung und Dokumentation einer nationalsozialistischen Organisation (Boppard, 1988), 514, 173-4.

    25 Dietrich Orlow, The History of the Nazi Party, vol. 2: 1933-1945 (Pittsburgh, 1973), 345ff.

    26 Cf. Karl Teppe, "Der Reichsverteidigungskommissar: Organisation und Praxis in Westfalen," in Rebentisch and Teppe, Verwaltung contra Menschenführung, 279, 299ff.

    27 Cf. Peter Hüttenberger, Die Gauleiter: Studie zum Wandel des Machtgefüges in der NSDAP (Stuttgart, 1969), 189: RMdI to Himmler, Sept. 9, 1944, concerning preparations for the defense of the Reich, in Herbert Michaelis and Ernst Schraepler, ed., Ursachen und Folgen: Vom deutschen Zusammenbruch 1918 und 1945 bis zur staatlichen Neuordnung Deutschlands in der Gegenwart, vol. 12 (Berlin, 1967), 555-6.

    28 See Peter J. Stern, The Fuehrer and the People (London, 1975).

    29 Printed in Ursachen und Folgen, 12:480ff.

    30 See Goebbels Tagebücher, pt. 2, 15:232-3, and 7:177-8; Udo Kissenkoetter, Gregor Strasser und die NSDAP (Stuttgart, 1978), 202-3.

    31 Printed in Ursachen und Folgen, 22:484ff.

    32 See Anlage zum Rundschreiben 255/1944, Sept. 21, 1944; Anordnungen der Parteikanzlei etc., 1944, fiche 80180634f.

    33 Goebbels Tagebücher, pt. 2, 15:393-4, 457, 498; cf. Charles Whiting, Werewolf: The Story of the Nazi Resistance, 1944-1945 (London, 1972), 145-6; and Arno Rose, Werewolf 1944-1945 (Stuttgart, 1980), 70ff.

    34 Cf. Goebbels Tagebücher, pt. 2, 15:673.

    35 See Volker Berghahn, "NSDAP und 'Geistige Führung' der Wehrmacht 1939-1945," Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 17 (1969): 7-71; Arne W. G. Zoepf, Wehrmacht zwischen Tradition und Ideologie: Der NS-Führungsoffizier im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Frankfurt am Main, 1988).

    36 See Franz W. Seidler, Deutscher Volkssturm: Das letzte Aufgebot 1944/1945 (Munich, 1989), 383ff.

    37 Goebbels on the Gauleiter meeting, Aug. 8, 1944; see Wolfgang Bleyer, "Pläne der faschistischen Führung zum totalen Krieg," Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 17 (1969): 132-3.

    38 Zeitschriftendienst/Deutscher Wochendienst, ed., Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, 154th ed., Oct. 20, 1944, Berlin, ZD no. 285.

    39 See Seidler, Deutscher Volkssturm, 383.

    40 S. Veit Harlan, Im Schatten meiner Filme: Selbstbiographie (Gütersloh, 1966).

    41 See "Kolberg - Ein Film: Ein Beispiel," Völkischer Beobachter, Jan. 31, 1945; cf. Francois Courtage and Pierre Cadars, Geschichte des Films im Dritten Reich (Munich, 1975), 217ff.

    42 Cf. Manfred Messerschmitt and Fritz Wüllner, Die Wehrmachtsjustiz im Dienste des Nationalsozialismus: Zerstörung einer Legende (Baden-Baden, 1987); Jürgen Thomas, "Die Wehrmachtsjustiz im Zweiten Weltkrieg," in Norbert Haase and Gerhard Paul, eds., Die anderen Soldaten (Frankfurt am Main, 1995), 43.

    43 Gabriele Lotfi, KZ der Gestapo: Arbeitserziehungslager im Dritten Reich (Stuttgart, 2000), 294ff.

    44 Cf. Henke, Die amerikanische Besetzung Deutschlands, 846.

    45 See the last Gauleiter meeting in the Reich Chancellery, Feb. 25, 1945, where they promised "to stand and fall with the final victory" (Rudolf Jordan, Erlebt und erlitten: Der Weg eines Gauleiters von München nach Moskau [Freiburg im Breisgau, 1971], 252ff.), and Karl Wahl, ". . . es ist das deutsche Herz," (Augsburg, 1954), 356.

  • Death Throes and Killing Frenzies: A Response to Hans Mommsen's "The Dissolution of the Third Reich: Crisis Management and Collapse, 1943-1945"

    Doris L. Bergen

    Hans Mommsen's rich and complex paper draws our attention to an important but often neglected topic: the last year and a half of World War II. Discussion of the final phase of the war tends to be precluded by assumptions about inevitability after Stalingrad or obscured by melodramatic, Wagnerian images of the "twilight of the gods." Neither approach explains much. Mommsen's careful, structural analysis is a welcome alternative.

    Mommsen's paper on the dissolution and collapse of the Third Reich makes another crucial contribution. It demonstrates the multiple links between domestic and military developments, or what might be called internal and external factors. Examining events of these two kinds together is key to grasping the dynamics of Nazism and World War II. Conversely, the widespread tendency to separate the Holocaust from the war works against understanding either of those interrelated phenomena. Mommsen offers an effective counter to all such isolating trends; indeed, his work has always considered the domestic and military fronts, the Holocaust and the war as integrated parts of a broader whole.

    According to Mommsen, from late 1943 to May 1945, the Nazi-German government and state underwent an accelerating process of internal dissolution. It was a dialectical process, Mommsen maintains: as the Nazi state and government lost control, the Nazi Party and its most radical members assumed new tasks. Mommsen borrows Dietrich Orlow's term - "partification" - to describe the growth of party power and its implications.1

    In the last year of the war, Mommsen tells us, the Nazi Party returned to the revolutionary ambitions of its Kampfzeit (time of struggle). According to Mommsen, after 1933, realization of those goals had been postponed for tactical, opportunistic reasons. But a decade later, the breakdown of the state opened a space for revival of notions such as purity of the will, total mobilization, and mass terror against the German population. According to Mommsen, the Nazi elite returned to its origins and its predominantly visionary concept of politics. For the Nazi Party, Mommsen indicates, that reversion to youthful radicalism was no aberration. Instead the final phase of the war reveals a terrible continuity within Nazism. Mommsen argues that, in its eclipse, the Nazi regime exposed its very nature in a rather condensed form, thereby disclosing its "true character."

    It is not completely clear whether Mommsen intends primarily to account for the totality of the fall of Nazi Germany or to explain how Hitler's regime survived as long as it did despite military disasters. On the one hand, Mommsen suggests that processes of internal disintegration hastened military defeat and made the final collapse more devastating than it might have been. For example, Mommsen's conclusion refers to the complete atrophy of the political system and the total paralysis of German society, which was not able to resist the suicidal course of the Nazi leadership. The result, Mommsen indicates, was an accelerating process of self-destruction that made the system incapable of ending a war that was already lost.

    On the other hand, Mommsen contends that the persistence of Nazism against the odds was in fact bolstered by the "hold-on" propaganda and the fanaticism of party elites. The Nazi Party boosted its prestige quite effectively, Mommsen suggests, by usurping "the competences of private and public relief organizations." At the same time, the party presented itself as the "true bearer of the mobilization 'of the remaining strength'" of the German people. Most significant, the leadership's emphasis on "purity of will" increased the terror against anyone considered dissident or half-hearted. As a result, Mommsen points out that almost nobody dared to raise objections to the hold-on propaganda, even after it became clear that there was no chance of victory.

    Both of Mommsen's arguments - on the totality of defeat and on its timing - are important and convincing. In my view, however, it is the second of the two that raises the more urgent issues. Scholars of the Nazi period and World War II need to explain how Hitler's regime lasted as long as it did; even more, we need to ask what made people not only tolerate it but fight and kill for it until the bitter end. Reflecting on the last year of the war from that perspective elicits a different set of images from those Mommsen invokes, images that nonetheless can also be understood to reveal the true character of the Nazi regime.

    Consider the summer of 1944, when German killers and accomplices from all over Europe murdered thousands of Roma/Gypsies in Auschwitz in a single night. That slaughter helped clear space in the killing center for several hundred thousand Jews from Hungary, most of whom were also murdered. The last year of the war witnessed the total destruction of the city of Warsaw; it saw death marches that left thousands upon thousands dead by the roads; the brutal and often fatal exploitation of millions of slave laborers from all over Europe; and the shooting of thousands of German soldiers accused of desertion, self-mutilation, or defeatism. All of these and many other events remind us that the final phase of the war was characterized by stupendous, unprecedented carnage.

    Why did some Germans and accomplices around Europe continue to kill for the Nazi regime - and on such a staggering scale - even after its impending defeat had become practically impossible to ignore? In the face of this question, Hans Mommsen's theme of partification, although important, seems to me to be only one of an interconnected set of explanations. In the rest of my response, I would like to suggest five additional factors that shaped the final year of the war: cowardice, confusion, quest for agency, sense of guilt, and opportunism. In order to complement and augment Mommsen's "top-down" analysis, I have chosen illustrations from my own research that draw primarily on the approach commonly known as "history from below."

    Viewed from the ground up, events in 1944-5 are at least partly explained by simple cowardice. Under the pressures of war, fear and the drive for self-preservation produced an acceleration of brutality against innocent people. As Gerhard L. Weinberg has pointed out, each year of a war tends to be worse than the year that preceded it.2 The passage of time adds further material deprivation, new wounded, and more killing to the accumulated misery of the people involved. One might expect such worsening agony to lead those who propagate war to abandon their efforts. Instead, in the Nazi case, we see the opposite - an escalation of viciousness on many fronts.

    For example, John C. Fout has observed that during the last year of the war in Hamburg, the number of police raids on men suspected of homosexual activity increased markedly.3 I have found a similar pattern in my work on the Volksdeutsche, ethnic Germans in eastern Europe, and their role in World War II. German authorities responsible for identifying ethnic Germans seem to have redoubled their efforts even as the Red Army overtook their clientele.4 Similarly, Daniel J. Goldhagen presents the death marches of Jews and others in the last months of the war as evidence of heightened terror in the face of German defeat. He attributes the deadliness of those forced treks to the fanatical "eliminationist antisemitism" of "ordinary Germans."5

    Gerhard Weinberg offers a more psychologically simple explanation that revolves around the perpetrators' efforts to protect themselves - a trait far from uniquely German. For German and ethnic German guards in 1944 and 1945, the columns of feeble, starving prisoners they drove from place to place were their ticket away from the front. Guards did not have to be hardcore antisemites or even Nazis to realize that they were much safer moving with their charges into territories still in German hands rather than facing the alternative: a trip in the opposite direction where the enemies - partisans, Red Army or American soldiers - were armed and on the offensive. What can appear to be fanatical adherence to radical principles might, at least in some cases, be nothing more than a calculated bid to outlive the war.

    An incident from my research on Nazi policy toward ethnic Germans illustrates how cowardice and self-protective urges could produce results that looked like undying commitment to the cause. Files of the SS Race and Settlement Office's Wiesbaden branch reveal the difficulties that one inspector faced carrying out his duties in early 1945. Charged with traveling across southwestern Germany to assess the claims to Germanness of people from Ukraine, Poland, and other parts of Europe, he saw his schedule disrupted by air raids, damaged railroad tracks, and failure of those in question to appear for their appointments. Undaunted, he continued to submit detailed reports. One such account from January 1945 praised the "cleanliness and diligence" of a young female candidate for "Germanization" from the Banat, and welcomed a family from Poland with three sons eager to join the SS as soon as their ethnic German status was approved. In the same report, the inspector evaluated the racial potential of several fetuses and stipulated whether the pregnant women who carried them were to abort or bring their pregnancies to term. He based those decisions on assessments of both the father and mother in question, including details about their appearance, health, political reliability, and usefulness to the war effort.6 Colleagues in Prague, Berlin, Lodz, and elsewhere continued similar work for as long as possible, evacuating their offices and moving their files as necessary.7

    Were the Wiesbaden inspector and his counterparts single-minded proponents of Nazism, totally devoted to realizing the goals spelled out in Hitler's Mein Kampf? It is possible but highly unlikely. Much more probable is that they all hoped to prove to their superiors just how urgent their work was for the German cause - and just how much they were needed - not at the front fighting the Americans or the Soviets, but at home. By the last twelve months of the war there may have been more cowards than fanatics among the Nazis.

    A second and essential explanation for the nature of the last year of the war is confusion. Poorly understood by historians and by definition difficult to analyze, confusion nevertheless played an enormous role in the final phase of the war. Hans Mommsen begins the challenging task of assessing the role of confusion, which he describes in terms of chaos and Nazi in-fighting. But like German-speakers in general, Mommsen uses the word "chaos" much more freely than native speakers of English tend to do. At some level the processes of disintegration he describes were still decipherable to the contemporaries who observed them - and can be comprehended by the scholars who analyze them. The same cannot be said for the profound uncertainty that faced many Europeans in the last year of the war. Unable to determine where their best interests lay, or if they even had such a thing any more, many people responded with desperate combinations of frenetic action and paralyzing inertia.

    ÊAgain ethnic Germans provide telling examples. In 1944-5, Volksdeutsche across eastern Europe faced increasing threats to German rule and by extension to their own positions. Their investment in the Nazi system, rapidly narrowing options, and utter disorientation meant that even those who sensed the impossibility of German victory were unable to deal with the implications of defeat in a rational way. In his memoirs, Charles Kotkowsky, a Polish Jew, illustrates the confused and self-defeating behavior of some ethnic Germans in the final phases of the war. Kotkowsky lived through 1944 as a slave laborer in a glassworks near Warsaw. The factory, presumably stolen from its former owners, was directed by a Pole of German origin; his son and three other ethnic Germans provided abusive supervision of their Polish Jewish and gentile work force.

    By the summer of 1944, everyone in the factory anticipated a Soviet offensive at the Vistula River. The Volksdeutsche, Kotkowsky recounts, feared for their lives. But they stayed put. With the exception of one particularly brutal boss named Herford, they tried to gain the confidence of the Jews, in the hope of winning some protection against the Polish gentiles around them. They chose only Jewish watchmen to guard the fence at night and to sound the alarm in case of trouble. Members of the Jewish underground acquired some of those positions and from them performed acts of sabotage. Blinded by their own racial assumptions, the Volksdeutsche attributed such attacks to "Polish bandits" and responded by strengthening the Jewish guard contingent. The ethnic Germans, Kotkowsky recalls, "ran around in a frenzy." In particular, "Herford showed his cowardly behavior by barricading his room and putting up a machine-gun on his first floor window-sill." Such confusion allowed Jewish slave workers to get guns and training in handling them, and to use those skills in the Warsaw Uprising.8

    As Kotkowsky's account demonstrates, the Volksdeutsche in Poland formed part of the Nazi machinery of destruction. As such, they had a stake in its continuation as well as cause to refuse to admit its imminent demise. At the same time, Nazi policies toward the ethnic Germans as well as the behavior of many people in that category had created a situation where their neighbors would not tolerate their presence. In short, the all-or-nothing mentality of the German Nazis had produced an environment in which ethnic Germans had few if any options for promoting their self-interest. If they fled to secure territories before they were ordered to do so, they risked punishment as deserters and defeatists. If they stayed put too long, they faced the wrath of the ethnic majorities around them.

    In that hopelessly confused situation, some Volksdeutsche tried to undo their designations as Germans and to blend back into the populations around them. Others remained in place as long as possible and hoped for a reversal of German fortunes, or at least something to improve their own lot. At least some continued the practices of theft, exploitation, and violence against target populations for which their mentors from the Reich had trained them well. Not necessarily believers in the Endsieg (final victory), they nevertheless found the realities of defeat too unfathomable - and too awful - to contemplate. The fruits of confusion could be deadly for people on all sides.

    A third and closely related factor in shaping behavior toward the end of the war was the attempt to muster some degree of agency in the midst of uncertainty. Often ideology had little bearing on choices that turned out to have enormous implications for the people who made them. Considering the end of the war in this light throws into sharp relief the juxtaposition of the everyday and the world-historical in the lives of "ordinary people."

    Ethnic Germans throughout eastern Europe tried in various ways to manipulate the Nazi system to their own ends. The confusion of the last stage of the war increased all such efforts. At times Volksdeutsche could take advantage of the Nazi regime's fear that the homefront would collapse and effect a new "stab in the back." Ethnic German men could assert some control through their involvement in or potential for armed service; their female counterparts wielded more limited power through their reproductive capabilities. With such methods, ethnic Germans could sometimes exert influence on their world, in the short term at least and usually in negative ways. That is, they could contribute to the destruction and polarization that characterized Nazi racial policy. But they could not create lasting security for themselves nor stave off the devastating effects of the war on their communities.

    Here a case from the files of the Gestapo in Lodz serves to illustrate. In June 1943, SS race and settlement officials arrested a twenty-year old ethnic German woman for having illegal sexual relations with a Pole. The woman had recently given birth to the man's child, although she claimed to have had intercourse with him only once, and under duress. She had told no one but him about her pregnancy, and continued to work in the fields until the last day. She had known that sex between Germans and Poles was forbidden, she said, but assumed that because the man was willing to apply for Germanization, there would be no problem.9

    German judges had a different opinion. They sentenced the woman to three weeks in prison but allowed her to postpone the sentence because she was nursing the child, who, according to racial experts, was a member of the German Volk. One month later, Gestapo in Hohensalza (Inowroclaw) ordered that the woman be turned over to them to serve her sentence as soon as her child was weaned. In late 1943, the public health nurse reported that the woman was still nursing the child and could not serve her term. By May 1944, the woman still had not done her time. One can only speculate that like everyone else, she watched the course of the war very carefully - and she nursed her baby as long as she possibly could. German authorities finally imprisoned the woman sometime in November 1944, then released her with a warning before the end of the month.10 Perhaps the prison term later stood her in good stead as an ethnic German in postwar Poland.

    That stubbornly nursing woman could hardly have foreseen the repercussions of her actions. Like so many other people, she simply seized whatever means she could to exercise some control over her life. Under normal conditions, individuals acting on their informed self-interest produce a kind of "spontaneous order." With the complete breakdown of all institutions in a context of total unpredictability, however, individual quests for agency can add to the general confusion.

    A fourth motivation for certain patterns of behavior during the last year of the war is related to issues of conscience. In his insightful analysis of May 8, 1945, Bernd Weisbrod describes a widespread "sense of guilt" among Germans at the end of the war. As the first U.S. troops advanced into the area around Aachen, they heard many inhabitants said things to the effect that the Germans deserved punishment because of "wrongs" done to Jews and "in the East." Weisbrod suggests there existed a kind of shared bad conscience that complicated the experience of war's end - and shaped the ways Germans subsequently remembered it.11

    If Weisbrod is right, that collective bad conscience may have had the paradoxical effect of adding to support for the regime in its final stages. Some Germans no doubt believed Goebbels and others who threatened them with the terrible revenge of the United States and the Soviet Union. But perhaps a sense of guilt also functioned in a more perverse ways to inspire certain kinds of conscience-numbing actions. If one has a sinking feeling one is engaged in something deeply wrong, it can be easier to persist than to cease. To stop means to face oneself, one's past, and one's loved ones, not to mention the witnesses to one's misdeeds. In some circumstances, the most obvious way to avoid admitting one's crimes is to continue committing them.

    It can seem counterintuitive to discuss issues of conscience and Nazi crimes in the same breath. Some scholars have even suggested that Nazism constituted an inversion of normal morality, a kind of transformation of wrong into right. But the evidence points in a different direction. One need only consider Heinrich Himmler's well-known injunction to SS leaders in 1943 to take pride in their ability to remain "decent," not to steal a single watch, even as they slaughtered thousands of people.12 The uneasy conscience evident in Himmler's convoluted reasoning finds echoes in other wartime records. For example, German Catholic military chaplains responded to the needs of the troops in their care by offering general absolution.13 By 1944, the practice had become so frequent that the Catholic military bishop, himself an enthusiastic supporter of the war effort, cautioned chaplains against its overuse.14

    The sense of guilt Weisbrod describes might also help account for a phenomenon Daniel J. Goldhagen calls "excess cruelty." What he means by that phrase is the kind of torture so painfully evident in Nazi sources, torture that would be unnecessary and even counterproductive in some cold, industrial form of killing. Why so much viciousness toward victims slated in any case for destruction? Goldhagen's answer is simple: that excess brutality, he tells his readers, proves the intensity of German antisemitism. Germans tortured, humiliated, and degraded Jews before they killed them, he concludes, because Germans hated Jews and enjoyed making them suffer.15

    Reflecting on the last year of the war suggests another, more subtle interpretation of "excess cruelty." For killers, atrocities can provide a kind of rationalization of their own. It might be hard to shoot pointblank a man of one's own age, a father of small children, like oneself, someone who eats the same food, lives in the same kind of house, speaks the same language. But if he has been forced to urinate on his own child, if he has been reduced to pleading desperately for his life, if his testicles have been cut off and put in a bucket with those of his friends and family, perhaps he seems like something less than a fellow human being. Once one has participated in such frenzies of torture and degradation, one has a stake in continuing the process. To stop would be to confront crimes already committed; to continue is to find more and more evidence of the contemptibility of the enemy, to silence any stirrings of one's own conscience in orgies of violence. If hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, then rationalization, denial, and even "excess brutality" are terrible tributes that genocidal perpetrators pay to that universal morality that gave Immanuel Kant such cause to marvel.16

    The final factor I would like to add to Mommsen's analysis is something we might call, for lack of a better word, opportunism. Not surprisingly, opportunism existed at every level in the Nazi system throughout the years of National Socialist rule. In the final stages of the war, however, fear, despair, and the drive for self-preservation transformed opportunism from the kind of arrogant search for material advantage typical of the days of German conquest to frantic efforts to stave off disaster in whatever ways possible.

    On a small scale, there were individual deserters and Volksdeutsche who quietly undid their designations as "German" when it suited them to do so. In November 1944, for example, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (Ethnic German Liaison Office), the main SS office in charge of resettlement in the East, reported numerous deserters from the Waffen-SS in Hungary, many of whom had sold their uniforms and were going about in civilian clothes. Most, it seems, had joined the Waffen-SS as a result of the rather loose definition of "ethnic German" (volksdeutsch).17 Other ethnic Germans deserted too, like the twenty-year old Posener Edmund Nabelski, who ran away from a work transport after punching the accompanying policeman in the face,18 or Ludwig Kasberzk, who quit his tank division in September 1944.19 Still others tried to melt back into the populations around them. In his memoirs the Baltic German Hans Eberhard von Cube describes the fate of a fellow ethnic German, a master carpenter named Schmidt. In 1944 Schmidt feld Warsaw for the Wartheland, Polish lands between Lodz and Poznan that had been incorporated into the German Reich in 1939. There he tried to pass himself off as a Pole but eventually failed.20 At least some Volksdeutsche attached themselves to partisan groups, like the two women and two men "of German background" arrested in June 1944 in the Polish village of Sulmice.21

    Opportunism also took form on a larger scale, such as when SD and Wehrmacht units supplied arms to Polish partisans to fight the Soviets and the Polish Communists. Suddenly in the last year of the war Germans discovered they could recruit new allies - as long as they showed a degree of ideological flexibility, for example, in using Poles to fight against the Red Army. According to Curt von Gottberg, acting general commissar of Belorussia, at the end of January and the beginning of February 1945, "three sizeable Polish detachments [Banden] came over to our side and initially also fought well." Eyewitnesses say the units probably came from the Polish Home Army.22

    One can hardly claim to see here a return to pre-1933 ideals. Fighting Communists, yes, but with the help of Polish nationalists? Using ammunition made by Hungarian Jewish women? Hoping for aid from the Japanese? The war may have provided enhanced spheres of activity, but it also forced new compromises on the Nazi faithful. In the final stages of the war, opportunism and desperation overshadowed any reversion to pre-1933 ideals.

    In general there must have been little in 1944-5 that would have been recognizable to loyal Nazis in 1933, let alone 1923. Certainly Hitler and others had announced early on their intentions of expelling Jews from Germany, destroying the Polish state, and purging people deemed handicapped, but without the power that controlling the state, bureaucracy, and military brought, they could hardly have imagined what realizing those goals would mean.23 And without war and the massive brutalization and destruction it unleashed, they could never have engaged in killing frenzies nor experienced death throes on such a scale. War, as Mommsen admits, multiplied the devastating capabilities of particular ideas, including the Nazi ideals of the Kampfzeit. Here the phrase coined by Robert Gellately is instructive in ways far beyond its significance for understanding 1939: "war revolutionizes the revolution."24 Gellately uses that concept to describe how the coming of war in 1939 changed National Socialism within Germany. The transformative force of war is even more obvious when one considers 1945 and the Nazi empire as a whole.

    In 1944-5 the Nazi movement showed its true face, but both its appearance and its essence differed from 1923 and even 1933. Murderous potential had hardened into deeds of annihilation. Contempt for human life had developed from a rhetorical mainstay to the central policy of a massive system of domination. Years of unbridled power had made the impossible and inconceivable into reality.25 Meanwhile the dynamics of the war and the all-too human responses of cowardice, confusion, struggle for control, guilt, and opportunism sparked wildly destructive behaviors. No doubt the vocabulary of the so-called Kampfzeit provided a useful rallying cry in the last year of the war and offered a concrete point of reference in a time of massive uncertainty. But 1944 was not 1923, and no slogans from the old days of struggle, no matter how passionately invoked, could conceal the realities of bloodshed and ruin. 

    < back to Bulletin 27

  • Notes

    Doris L. Bergen is a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.

    1 Dietrich Orlow, The History of the Nazi Party, 2 vols. (Pittsburgh, 1969).

    2 See Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (New York, 1994).

    3 John C. Fout, "The Fate of Gays in the Wehrmacht in World War II," paper delivered at the German Studies Association annual meeting, Chicago, Sept. 21-24, 1995.

    4 See Doris L. Bergen, "The 'Volksdeutschen' of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the Holocaust: Constructed Ethnicity, Real Genocide," in Keith Bullivant, Geoffrey Giles, and Walter Pape, eds., Germany and Eastern Europe: Cultural Identities and Cultural Differences; Yearbook of European Studies 13 (Amsterdam, 1999): 70-93.

    5 Daniel J. Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York, 1996).

    6 See SS-Oberscharführer Reinhold Ratzeburg, "Dienstreisebericht 2/45," Wiesbaden, Jan. 28, 1945, in Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden 483/7360, pp. 1-2.

    7 See, e.g., the records of the Deutsche Umsiedlungs- Treuhand GmbH, Berlin, involving 1944 and 1945, in Bundesarchiv (hereafter BA) Potsdam 17.02, e.g.: files 118-19, 494-5. On relocation due to war damages, see BA Potsdam 17.02/444.

    8 "Remnants: Memoirs of a Survivor," the Charles Kotkowsky papers, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives (hereafter USHMMA), RG 10.045, pp. 88-9. For the whole account, see fiches 1-5, pp. 57-94.

    9 Case of Helene Huff, geb. 1923, in Choinek, Gemd. Rataje, Kr. Waldrode, Volksdeutsche, Beruf Haustochter, signed Walter End, SS-Oscha, Kutno, June 24, 1943, Archiwum Panstwowe w Lodzi (hereafter AP Lodz) 201/29, p. 4; related materials in same file.

    10 Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei, Grenzpolizeikommissariat Kutno, to Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei Litzmannstadt, Kutno, Dec. 1, 1944, AP Lodz 201/29, p. 23.

    11 Bernd Weisbrod, "Der 8. Mai in der deutschen Erinnerung," WerkstattGeschichte 13 (1996): 72-81.

    12 Himmler's speech to SS leaders in Posen on Oct. 4, 1943, is excerpted in Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham, eds., Nazism: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts, 1919-1945 (New York, 1988), 2:919.

    13 See, e.g., Chaplain Wirtz, 2d Infantry Division (motorized), "Tätigkeitsbericht über den Einsatz im Westen vom 10. Mai bis 9. Juli 1940," Stettin, Aug. 1, 1940: Captured German Documents, National Archives microfilm, series T-315 (Records of German Field Commands: Armies)/roll 87/frames 637-8.

    14 Franz Justus Rarkowski, "Generalabsolution," Verordnungsblätter des katholischen Feldbischofs der Wehrmacht, no. 6 (Aug. 12, 1944): 30, in Archiv des Katholischen Militärbischofsamts, Bonn.

    15 On "excess cruelty," see Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners, 17; for a summary of his interpretation of the phenomenon in practice, see 452-3.

    16 Thanks to Arthur Kuflik of the University of Vermont for insight on rationalization and denial as "tributes that vice pays to virtue."

    17 "Geheimer Monatsbericht für Oktober 1944 des SS-Hauptamtes Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle," in Anton Scherer, ed., Unbekannte SS-Geheimberichte über die Evakuierung der Südostdeutschen im Oktober und November 1944 sowie über die politische Lage in Rumänien, Ungarn, der Slowakei, im Serbischen Banat und im "unabhängigen Staat Kroatien" (Graz, 1990), 42.

    18 "Fernspruch des Kommandeurs der Ordnungspolizei Posen vom 10.5.1944," in "Kreislaufgespräch Nr. 44/44," Gendarmerieposten Dolzig, Kreis Schrimm, Reg. Bez. Posen, Dolzig, May 10, 1944, signed Walter, Oberst d. Gendarmerie, USHMMA, RG 15.012M (Records of the Gendarmerie Kreis Schrimm), reel 2, file 29 (Collection of written messages, received by telephone, to police posts re: operational tasks and special actions, 1941-4), p. 226.

    19 "Fernspruch des Kommandeurs der Ordnungspolizei," in "Kreislaufgespräch Nr. 129/44," Gendarmerieposten Dolzig, Kreis Schrimm, Reg. Bez. Posen, Dolzig, Sept. 21, 1944, signed Walter, Oberst d. Gendarmerie, USHMMA, RG15 .012M, reel 2, file 29, p. 310.

    20 Hans Eberhard von Cube, Überleben war alles: Aufzeichnungen eines baltischen Umsiedlers von 1939 bis 1946 (Lüneburg, 1986), 38 and 61.

    21 "Fernschreiben Ia Tgb. Nr. 572/44 g," Lublin, June 7, 1944, to the Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer Ost - Führungsstab Ia, Krakau, signed the SSuPF Lublin, I.A. Wehrheim, USHMMA, RG 15.027M (Records of the SS und Polizeiführer im Distrikt Lublin), reel 2, file 13 (Partisans, June 1944 to July 1944), pp. 30 and reverse.

    22 See Tadeusz Piotrowski, Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces, and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918-1947 (Jefferson, N.C., 1998), 88.

    23 Ian Kershaw provides a thoughtful assessment of the difference between the Nazi movement pre- and post-1933 in Hitler, 1889-1936: Hubris (New York, 1998).

    24 Gellately, opening remarks at symposium on "Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany," sponsored by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Madrid, Dec. 1998.

    25 On Hitler's transformation of the impossible into the possible, see Götz Aly, "Final Solution": Nazi Population Policy and the Murder of the European Jews, trans. Belinda Cooper and Allison Brown (London, 1999), 257; published in German as "Endlösung": Völkerverschiebung und der Mord an den europäischen Juden (Frankfurt am Main, 1995).

  • Limits of Educational Internationalism: Foreign Students at German Universities Between 1890 and 1930

    Peter Drewek

    Even prior to World War I, the academic elite in Germany felt that the international reputation of German universities and their academic degrees were being threatened by the growing number of foreign students in Germany. As a result, after 1918 the eligibility standards for the admission of foreigners to university studies were raised to such a degree that, during the 1920s, the number of foreign students in Germany actually decreased despite the rapidly growing international demand. During this time the flow of international student migration was increasingly directed toward France and the United States.
    In this paper I argue that the loss of international attractiveness of the German university was not simply a political result of World War I but that the German academic elite also contributed actively to this situation through restrictive admissions policies for foreign students. Universities in Germany were central to the social reproduction of the academic elite, and the devaluation of the German universities was believed to be the result primarily of the devaluation of "cultural capital" (Pierre Bourdieu) in the form of university certification. The principle of social exclusivity within the German university system also was present in acceptance policies for foreign students, the price being increased isolation on the market of international demand for academic training.
    During the academic year 1835-6 foreign students in Germany were still a relatively small group, numbering around 475.1 Of the approximately 260 non-German students at Prussian universities, only six came from countries outside of Europe.2 This changed in the second half of the century, most significantly due to the influx of American students. The number of students rose dramatically in the two decades preceding World War I, mostly as a result of ethnic discrimination and political persecution in Eastern Europe. During the period of inflation especially after the war, these numbers rose once again. Pre-World War I figures show some 7,000 to 8,000 registered foreign students; after 1918, there were over 15,000.

    This radical increase after the turn of the century presented a challenge for German universities in several respects. The international demand for university education, which was growing at an uncontrollable rate, had to be reconciled with the complex structure of the German educational system and its strict eligibility requirements for university-level studies. The university administration enacted a series of measures that - beyond even the political effects of World War I - were specifically responsible for Germany losing its place as the most important destination of international student migration. By setting high admissions standards, the administration hoped to avoid the devaluation of the quality of German university studies if underqualified foreign students were admitted. Apart from the German language requirement, these standards were based entirely on the unique structure of the German system of education. The problem of determining international equivalents to German requirements, combined with the duration and difficulty of the admission process in Germany, caused German universities to lose their appeal for international students. Bureaucratic restrictions made it impossible to establish an alternative admissions policy based on individual talent and ability.

    I examine these developments in three parts here. The first part deals with the increase in the number of international students at German universities since the early nineteenth century. The second focuses on the increasingly restrictive standardization of eligibility requirements for foreign students wanting to study at German universities. Finally, the third deals with international alternatives to the German model.

    Frequencies and Distributions3

    It is possible to trace the number of foreigners enrolled at universities in Germany as far back as the 1830s, enabling the researcher to reconstruct these developments over a long period of time. An analysis of the absolute figures shows that the highest rates of growth - aside from those of the inflationary period - were achieved in the last decade of the nineteenth century. (See Figure 1.) 

    The largest increase in the number of foreign students was registered by the technical colleges, which around 1900 accepted about half of all foreign students and one-third in 1914. Another 1,000 foreign students enrolled at other institutions of higher learning after the turn of the century.4 A total of 7,500 foreign students attended German universities immediately prior to 1914. During the inflationary period there was a short-term increase to 15,000; in 1925 the total dropped back to the level of the pre-World War I era, between 7,000 and 8,000. From this point on - and not beginning after 1933 - this downward slide continued. By the summer semester of 1932, only 6,500 foreign students came to to study in Germany. This decrease in the absolute figures seems minimal in relation to the percentage of foreign students among the total number of students in Germany. This percentage remained constant at between 4 percent and 6 percent in the period from 1830 to 1880. Between 1890 and 1914 it doubled to approximately 10 percent. Nearly the same level was reached again in 1925. Only seven years later, however, by the summer semester of 1932, the percentage had fallen back to the pre-1880 average of a mere 5 percent. (See Figure 2.)

    These fluctuations can be explained primarily by the enormous expansion of the German university system after the late nineteenth century. In the two decades preceding 1914 the total number of students doubled from 40,000 in 1895-6 to around 80,000 in 1914. Between the mid-1920s and the early 1930s the total rose from 90,000 to about 130,000.5 Therefore, the decline in the percentage of foreign students from 10 percent before 1914 to 5 percent around 1930 was the result of the growth of the university system. On the one hand, this growth was the result of certain demographic changes; on the other, it reflected the availability of university-level education to a broader proportion of society. Around the turn of the century only 10 in 1,000 19- to 23-year-olds were students. By 1920 the proportion had risen to 16.5 in 1,000, and in 1931 - after a temporary decline - the number had risen to 21.3 in 1,000.6
    If foreign students in the years preceding World War I are classified according to nationality, it becomes clear that the largest groups - aside from those coming from neighboring Austria-Hungary and Switzerland - were from the United States and Russia. (See Figure 3.)

    In 1835-6 only one percent of all foreign students enrolled at German universities were American (four students).7 By the mid-1890s the percentage of Americans among foreign students had risen to 20 percent (ca. 400 students). This figure fell to a mere 5 percent (ca. 200 students) by 1910.8 The fluctuation in the number of American students was primarily the result of external circumstances. Carl Diehl attributes the decrease after 1870 to the fact that "most of the pioneers of the American university had been educated by then" and that "by that year several graduate schools had begun to compete with the German universities."9 Financial conditions should not be underestimated as a factor in the renewed increase in the number of American students in the mid-1890s. In 1889 "it was estimated that a year of study in Germany was cheaper by a third than a year at Hopkins, Harvard, or Cornell, and this estimate included the cost of travel."10

    Beginning in the mid-1890s the frequency of Russian students studying in Germany surpassed that of the Americans. In the decade between 1895-6 and 1905-6 the number of Russians rose from 466 to 1,140, an increase of 250 percent. By the summer semester of 1914 this number had again doubled, to 2,206.11 Russian students made up nearly half of all foreign students at German universities in the summer semester of 1914, or 4.2 percent of the total number of students. (The foreign student total amounted to 7.9 percent of all students.) Russian students were mostly concentrated in medical and technical subjects. Of the approximately 2,000 Russian students enrolled for the academic year of 1911-12, more than half were studying medicine at larger German universities. (Russians accounted for 90 percent to 97 percent of all foreign students at the medical faculties in Breslau, Halle, Königsberg, and Leipzig; 80 percent in Heidelberg; 67 percent in Munich; and around 60 percent in Berlin, Freiburg, and Straßburg.) At the beginning of the century approximately 2,000 foreign students were enrolled at technical universities. Of this total, over 900 were Russian (46 percent). In 1914, 600 of a total of 2,400 foreign students were Russian (24 percent). In addition, during the inflationary period following World War I, the largest group of newly registered students were from Eastern European countries. This total fell from 2,200 to 250 in following years.12 The reasons for this drop off can be found, on the one hand, "in the impoverishment of the entire East due to war and inflation;" on the other hand, it was the result "above all . . . [of] the increased possibilities to pursue a university education - which had previously been attainable in Germany - at one of the recently established universities of the newly independent fringe states."13

    An examination of the development of the worldwide total of foreign students shows an increase from approximately 20,000 to 70,000 between 1903-4 and 1931. Although these figures seem rather modest in comparison to those of the post-World War II era, the decisive changes in the international distribution of foreign students occurred before 1933. Most important, universities in France and the United States became more desirable destinations for students, whereas Germany's popularity fell. (See Figure 4.)

    At the beginning of the twentieth century (1903-4) well over half of the 20,000 students studying abroad were found in German-speaking countries. Ten years later, just before the outbreak of World War I, the distribution was similar, with one-fourth of the 30,000 international students in Germany and another fourth in Switzerland and Austria. By 1931, however, Germany had lost its position as the leading destination for international students. One-fourth of all international students now went to France to study, and 15 percent were being drawn to the United States. Primarily students from the "most important countries of origin" (i.e., the United States, China, and Russia) had been lost by German universities. The estimated 10,000 Chinese students studying abroad had passed over Germany "almost without a trace."14

    Breaking down the total of international students according to region of origin demonstrates that the stream of European students - in contrast to the prewar period - was now directed toward France. At 2,500, the number of European students in the United States already was half that of European students studying in Germany.15 Of the 23,000 to 25,000 students from Slavic countries, some one-third went to study in France, compared to only one-sixth who studied in Germany.16

    The most important destination for Asian students was the United States, due to the scholarship program set up in the context of reparations payments for the Boxer Rebellion. In 1931 approximately 4,300 - almost half of all Asian international students - studied in the United States, around 2,000 studied in France and England, respectively, and only 400 studied in Germany.17
    Based on absolute figures alone, the most decisive increase in the number of international students in Germany appears to have occurred in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The levels reached after the turn of the century were maintained - with minor fluctuations - through the 1920s. The drastic reduction in the number of foreigners studying in Germany after 1925 (from 10 percent to 5 percent) was the result of the national expansion of the university system. If the number of foreign students in Germany is viewed in comparison to the global total of international students, German universities seem to have begun losing their importance by 1914. It is in this context that I will examine the criteria under which the eligibility of foreign students for university studies in Germany was determined.Standardization of Prerequisites for University Study
    In order to address this issue properly, the particularities of the German educational system must be identified. Since the early nineteenth century, the upper secondary schools (Gymnasien) were directly associated with the universities through the Reifeprüfung (or Abitur), which was both the graduation examination of the Gymnasium and the main eligibility requirement for enrollment at a German university. Therefore, preparation for university studies began with the lower classes of the Gymnasium. These basic structural elements of the German educational system - upper secondary schools that are simultaneously a college-preparatory stage of the state-regulated public school system, ending with a final examination (the Reifeprüfung) at the secondary level that also serves as the eligibility requirement for enrolling in a university - were unique to Germany and had no equivalents in the educational systems of the countries from which foreign applicants came. In light of this fact, it is not surprising that the question of the equivalence of foreign forms of certification to the German Abitur remained largely "undefined and veritably without rule" until 1918.18 In Prussia, for example, there were regulations for the evaluation and acceptance of credit for foreign studies "especially in the field of medicine." But the decision as to whether non-Prussians were eligible to earn a doctoral degree from a faculty of philosophy based on their foreign educational qualifications was - in Göttingen, for instance - "left to the faculty."19

    Differences in the structure of schools among the individual German states first gave rise to the question of the legitimacy and significance of the Reifeprüfung as the prerequisite for university enrollment. The mutual recognition of the Reifezeugnisse (qualifying certificates) of the Gymnasium by the states of the (future) German Empire was first achieved in the years 1868 and 1874.20
    In Prussia "foreigners" without a Reifezeugnis could "enroll and register at any faculty" as long as their school education was "for the most part" equivalent to that of the middle certification level of the German Gymnasium.21 However, the "regulations of the individual universities" could also be enforced.22 In Berlin and Göttingen "the American and English B.A. or M.A. degrees" were considered to be equivalent to the Reifeprüfung.23 In 1914 the eligibility of foreigners in Prussia no longer was oriented around a middle certification level but upgraded to the Reifezeugnis-level of the nine-year Gymnasium.24

    According to discussions held within the framework of German university conferences, the arbitrary and politically motivated decisions regarding eligibility and acceptance were at first directed against the growing number of Russian applicants. This was later augmented by concern about the declining international reputation of German universities, particularly due to an influx of insufficiently qualified American applicants.

    After the 1890s growing numbers of "Russians, mostly of Polish-Galician-Jewish origin" flowed into German universities. Restricted "for the most part to medical or technical studies in their own country by the Russian civil servant laws," they had been "forced to leave the country by the numerus clausus and the pogroms."25 Their presence led to demonstrations "against the preferential treatment of foreigners" as well as to "strikes and boycotts" by German students at the technical universities.26 In a discussion of "methods of preventing excessive enrollment of troublesome foreigners" at the university conference of 1906, the Prussian representative argued that the intended measure requiring from foreign students a voucher for their means of subsistence would not amount to sufficient criteria for enrollment. "Especially" Russians should be allowed to enroll only "when they have a recommendation from a reliable German source."27 Accordingly, by 1908 such regulations were in effect at the universities in Breslau, Halle, and Königsberg.28

    The issue of a numerus clausus for Russian students was discussed at the university conference of September 1913. The Foreign Ministry pointed out that such a regulation would be in violation of Article 1 of the German-Russian Trade Agreement of 1904, which stipulated that citizens of each country would have equal status in the other. In order to avoid a violation, a numerus clausus of 900, "not to be exceeded by any nation" was created for all universities combined: "Because only Russia is in excess of the numerus clausus, the implementation of the rule will be restricted to Russian students and will take the following form: The individual universities will be instructed to allow no further enrollment as long as the numbers of Russian students are in excess of the quota of 900."29 Although discussions over the large numbers of Russian students were primarily politically motivated, in the case of American students, concern over the international reputation of German universities played a central role.

    In his 1908 commemorative paper Das amerikanische Institut (The American Institute), Hugo Münsterberg, that institute's future director, referred to "advising all German universities with regard to the previous education, course of study, and the evaluation of transfer credits of American students" as one of the institute's most important goals.30

    That German interests are involved is a result of the fact that American students have repeatedly come to Germany and, after a few semesters, completed a German doctoral degree without having the same previous education that would be required for a doctorate in America. In this manner, the German doctorate has been highly discredited in America, and the destructive effects of this misuse can already be seen there. At the same time, the best students continuously shy away from coming to Germany for their doctoral examinations because they have found that they are not given sufficient credit toward their degree for their previous work at American universities.

    The result is "that the exceptionally high reputation previously enjoyed by German universities in America is steadily declining."31

    In his confidential report of 1911, Das Studium der Amerikaner an deutschen Hochschulen (The Study of Americans at German Universities), Münsterberg strengthened his criticism of the Americans' "stereotypical treatment" by the German system: "The younger generation of scholars that is today slowly moving into the [American] faculties are already among those who have been discouraged from studying in Germany. Perhaps they studied entirely in their homeland, perhaps they spent a few years in Paris or in Oxford, but it has already become dogma for them that the German doctoral degree is worthless, that academia in Germany has been lamed by pettiness and pedantry, and that the great academic stimulation stems from England and France, and most of all, from America."32 The appendix to this report featured a list of 533 colleges and universities, of which only 25 institutes "offered courses after the bachelor's degree that could be applied toward a doctorate at a German university." By contrast, over 322 institutes "awarded a bachelor's degree that was estimated to be about two years below the German leaving exams (Abiturientenexamen)."33

    Münsterberg's system of classifying American universities was preceded by similar attempts made by German universities and the Prussian university administration shortly after the turn of the century. In 1903 the Prussian administration offered its assistance to the university conference in "developing a consistent rule for determining . . . which foreign schools are to be accepted as offering the same qualifications as the German nine-year Gymnasium, in the cases of foreigners or Germans educated outside of Germany."34 In the spring of 1905, following the example of the Bureau de Renseignements Scientifiques at the Sorbonne,35 the Prussian Ministry of Culture established the Auskunftsstelle für Immatrikulationsangelegenheiten von Ausländern. This agency had been preceded in the fall of 1904 by the Amtliche Akademische Auskunftsstelle an der Universität Berlin, which "served as an 'information center' for both German and foreign students regarding academic institutions in Germany and abroad." The Ministry of Culture had set up the Auskunftsstelle für höheres Unterrichtswesen as early as 1899, which after 1900 was directed by Prof. Dr. Ewald Horn and was changed, in 1906, to the Auskunftsstelle für Lehrbücher des höheren Unterrichtswesens.36

    At the beginning of the twentieth century the "completely inconsistent and unchecked admission of annually increasing numbers of foreign students to the universities and technical institutes in the German Empire" served as the "impetus" toward efforts to "develop consistent guidelines for the admission of foreigners and surveying the eligibility requirements for foreign students in all the German states."37

    With an ordinance from April 25, 1918, even before the wave of foreign applicants during the inflationary period, the Prussian Ministry of Science, Art, and National Education nullified all previous eligibility requirements and centralized the authority to decide on all admissions applications.38 In 1922 this authority was transferred to the newly formed Zentralstelle für das Studium der Ausländer in Preußen.39 The director of the agency, Karl Remme, first published his study Das Studium der Ausländer und die Bewertung der aus-ländischen Zeugnisse (Foreign Students' Studies and the Evaluation of Foreign Certificates) in 1929; a revised version appeared in 1932. The "fruit of thirteen years of research,"40 this study included a list of nations from Abyssinia to the United States in alphabetical order, with information concerning "the structure of the educational systems of each country and the evaluation of their certificates." In-depth case studies were included for some of the fifty-four countries listed.

    The original goal of the study had been to compile of a sort of "registry of foreign certificates," including an "evaluation of every foreign institute whose graduates came to German universities." This "proved to be impossible, especially as a result of the drastic school reforms that took place following the war in many foreign countries."41 In 1924 the Prussian Ministry of Science, Art, and National Education "distanced itself from delivery of a catalogue of acceptable foreign certificates . . . . This sort of register cannot be compiled at the present time. Particularly the countries of Eastern Europe, which send the greatest number of students to German universities, have no orderly school and university systems," making a general evaluation of transcripts seem impossible.42

    Remme's study was attached to the 1929 circular for the decentralization of the decision on foreign enrollment applications "for confidential official use"43 and was adopted by the other states of the German Empire.44 In the evaluation of foreign educational institutions Remme used the German school system as a standard. In six points, he summarized their structural principles as the "minimum requirements for the acceptance of the certificate of foreign higher schooling":

    • The lessons must be academically preparatory for university studies and must be taught by instructors who themselves have had university-level academic training.   
    • The course of study must be completed and of an appropriate length.   
    • The course of study must be of a broad, humanistic nature, with a basis in central subjects being of utmost importance.   
    • The school must employ examinations and removal as methods of filtering its future graduates; the quality of the pupils is as important as that of the teachers.   
    • The schools must have sufficient funds available for the salaries of teachers and for educational material.   
    • The administration must be capable of and responsible for the realization of the ground rules stated in points 1 through 5.
    • Examination of the educational systems of other countries shows that only very few countries were able to live up to these high standards.


    Austria, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Switzerland are the only countries whose higher schools are of a type to be considered equivalent to those in Germany. Even in these countries, however, a complete nine-year course of study like the German system is not to be found.45

    The certificates of foreign applicants were divided into four hierarchical groups. For this purpose, all types of certification were considered, not only graduation certificates. Although in each case the institutions were evaluated individually, this evaluation ignored their unique characteristics, subordinating them to a universalized German pattern. This resulted in a hierarchy of institutions that were artificially integrated into the German system. Each institution's certification was then classified according to the German standards and assigned to one of four groups.

    Group I included certificates "from humanistic school programs", which were considered equivalent to the German Reifeprüfung. Also assigned to this group were certificates that qualified the holder for university level studies "in the respective country, only after the fulfillment of further conditions" (preparatory courses, etc.), as well as - in exceptional cases - certificates that were at a "significantly lower level than German Reifezeugnisse." In such cases at least one year of study in the country of origin, prior to enrollment in Germany, was required.

    Into Group II fell such certificates requiring further preparation, as in Group I, in cases where the applicant had not completed the preparatory coursework required for German universities. In such cases, the student was allowed to enroll for two years on a probationary basis; the work done in this time would generally not be applied toward a degree.

    Students in Group III were allowed restricted enrollment (as "auditors"; "limited to the faculty of philosophy"). This group included applicants from foreign vocational schools or with a middle- (average) level certificate. No credit was given for previous coursework. Before students were allowed to enroll with regular student status in Germany they would have to pass an entrance examination. Students assigned to Group II also had the opportunity to take such an examination instead of going through the probationary period.
    Students assigned to Group IV had certificates that were considered to be equivalent to the German middle-level certificates. They were allowed only restricted enrollment and were required to pass the German Reifeprüfung before they could enroll as regular students. As in the case of applicants from Groups II and III, a short cut by way of the entrance examination was possible only in exceptional cases.46

    The form and duration of foreign study had already changed drastically by the time this system of evaluation came into effect. "Lengthy foreign study, as had often been the case with Russian and American students in the prewar period," was replaced by "brief studies, over a few semesters."47 This had the effect that the position of German universities on the international market deteriorated. Most countries - "France, England, Spain, the United States, and South American countries"48 - had university systems with a concrete curriculum and examinations for which there was no parallel in Germany. This meant that it was hardly possible to integrate studies in Germany into the education of foreign students "without significantly increasing the length of their studies." In these countries, "credit was not automatically awarded for German coursework and examinations, due to the extreme differences to their own requirements." Foreign students were often required to complete a first degree in their home country in order to be eligible to study at a German university, where it was possible that they would only be accepted on a "guest" or "audit basis."49 Especially in light of the relatively unstructured curriculum and the low number of required credits, the German system seemed hardly compatible internationally. By contrast, the organizational similarities of the systems in the other countries must have contributed to the development and stability of international student migration among them.

    In spite of the growing international demand and the decreasing numbers of foreign students in Germany, the German university administrations responded with increasingly restrictive regulations for the eligibility of foreign applicants.

    Foreigners Studying in Germany and International Alternatives

    In his report Die Studenten im internationalen Kulturleben (Students in International Cultural Life) from 1927, Reinhold Schairer, a lawyer and head of the German Student Organization, interpreted patterns of student migration as the effect of the discrepancies in the development of university systems in different countries. He distinguished between four groups of countries. The first group consisted of "the major cultural countries with fully developed university facilities, such as Germany, England, France, and the United States." The second group included "smaller countries whose systems were developed to a similar degree, such as Belgium, Spain, and Switzerland." These countries seemed to be dependent on foreign study, due to deficits in certain areas of specialization in their own systems or in regard to the great diversity of the universities of the countries of the first group. The last two groups were composed of "areas whose systems of higher education had not yet been fully developed or were at the very beginning of their development, such as China, Korea, or Russia."50 Schairer estimated that the circa 40,000 international students worldwide in 1927 were distributed among these four groups as follows: 10 percent of international students were from countries with highly developed university systems (first group); 20 percent were from countries whose university systems were fairly developed but not sufficiently differentiated (second group); and 70 percent were from countries of the third and fourth groups. According to Schairer's calculations, there were potentially 28,000 foreign students from countries with relatively undeveloped university systems.51

    Expectations that German universities could recruit a large segment of this group were made obsolete by the admissions policies of the universities and the Prussian university administration. In 1925 the Department of Philosophy at the University of Berlin distributed a commemorative text on the subject of the Immat-rikulationsprüfungen (Ergänzungsprüfungen) (supplementary entrance examinations), which had been introduced in the winter semester of 1922-3. With an emphasis on the higher standards set for foreign applicants after the war,52 it was noted that "all" foreigners who registered to take the entrance examinations would "previously have been accepted for full enrollment and doctoral examinations."53 After the centralization of the application and admissions process following the war, "half of the applicants had been rejected due to insufficient educational background." In order to qualify for the Ergänzungsprüfung students had to have an educational background that was equivalent or nearly equivalent in at least a few subjects to the German Reifeprüfung. A desire to study in Germany or even such certification as made an applicant eligible for university study in his or her own country was not enough. In contrast to the relatively open and unregulated eligibility and admissions practices of the prewar period, the examination served "not as a relief, but as an obstacle" to the admission process.54 The survey of the supplementary entrance examinations from the time between the 1922-3 winter semester and that of 1931-2, which was attached to the text, shows that under the new system over half of the foreign applicants were eliminated. Of almost 1,800 applicants, only 1,210 were admitted to take the examination. A mere 840 of these passed.55

    With the consequence that "half of the applicants were rejected due to insufficient educational background," the introduction of the entrance examinations after the war led to "difficulties in diplomatic relations with representatives of the applicants' countries of origin."56 Whereas the faculty in Berlin wanted to avoid politicizing the question of whether the school education of other countries was the equivalent to the German Reifeprüfung at an international level, the problem of eligibility became the heated subject of domestic political discussions only a few years later.

    In a November 1930 Grundsätzliche Stellungnahme zur Immatri-kulation von Ausländern mit minderer Vorbildung (General Statement on the Enrollment of Foreigners with Lesser Educational Backgrounds), the Prussian Ministry of Science, Art, and National Education took a stand against the "unconditional or insufficiently demanding admission" of foreigners in general, "or also of Germans from outside of Germany."57 The minister explained that it is "clear . . . that a talented foreigner . . . in spite of an educational background that is inferior to that gained at a higher German school, could often be successful at a German university." However, the same could also be said "for some talented pupils in the last year or two of the German Gymnasium." If the standards of the Abitur were to be compromised by the evaluation of the eligibility of foreigners, the universities would have to "defend themselves against claims that a nine-year Gymnasium education as preparation for university studies goes too far." The universities would only be able to argue "that the educational background gained in German higher schools" was still beneath "the level demanded by the universities," to which opponents would then have no more "conclusive argument" than that "Chinese, Turks, Argentinians, Egyptians, and Romanians, with inferior educational backgrounds, . . . are in any case more suited for university studies than the Germans." Therefore, "for the sake of order," the differences in educational background among foreign students and Germans had to be evened out. The ministry recommended the "entrance examination" as a method of "facilitating" (!) the "transition" into the German system.58

    A comparison of these comments to a statement from "university circles," published in the Vossische Zeitung in 1901, illustrates the postwar injection of ideology into the initially pragmatic debate over the question of foreign student eligibility. The author of the 1901 statement pointed out that the type of educational background required for university studies had "completely different implications for foreigners than for Germans." In the case of German students - "aspiring to all leading positions" - the standards of the "Reife" should not be relaxed in any way. In the case of foreign students, however, these interests became obsolete. It was not necessary "to guarantee that they are getting full benefit of the lectures. The high admissions standards regarding educational background would only function as a protective measure" in order to reserve limited laboratory space for German students. However, in the liberal arts and the humanities, this argument could not be upheld: "I was not aware that foreign students could steal the words of the professor before they could reach the ears of the natives!" The author also considered the "issue of space" to be such a "petty detail that it cannot be discussed seriously."59

    Schairer's arguments in 1930 were much more farsighted than those made by the ministry in that same year. According to Schairer, the "strict principles" for the admission of foreigners appeared to be "involuntary in practice . . . in favor of visitors to universities of other countries. A more liberal and above all simpler and faster processing of applications . . . without lowering the standards of final examination requirements is strongly recommended by many friends of German universities in this country and abroad."60 With respect to the "strict admission standards," Schairer pointed out that, on the one hand, particularly foreign applicants from countries with underdeveloped school systems failed to qualify under the high standards. On the other hand, it was precisely these applicants who were "likely to be called to positions of great responsibility in their own country some day - life does not always follow school records." The chance would be missed, "in these formative years of development" (it was the absence of fully developed school and university systems in these countries that made enrollment for study in Germany difficult if not impossible), to win "men and women who would later have a great influence on the fate of their country and the school systems there . . . for a thorough education at a German university."61

    In light of the fact that other countries, motivated by reasons of foreign and cultural policy, had since the turn of the century begun to make their universities more open to foreign students, Schairer's considerations came too late.

    France and England had already "recognized the great influence which American students in Germany [in the nineteenth century] had on the intellectual development of their own country." In England, "the previously unknown degree of Doctor of Philosophy was introduced at Oxford, Cambridge, and Londonâ for the benefit of foreigners, especially Americans. The purpose of the Doctorat de l'Université in France is the same. The numbers of Americans in attendance at European universities delivered the numerical proof for the impact of these measures."62

    As early as 1897, "purely academic doctoral and other university degrees" that were "primarily directed at foreign students" were introduced in France.63 Through differentiation between the new academic degrees and the normal official degrees, it was possible to offer foreign students academic qualifications that were internationally prestigious without resulting in a rivalry with French graduates.

    With the usual inscription at the state universities a strictly regimented course of study was initiated, the successful completion of which was rewarded by an official state degree. This state degree was also "a license for the practice of medicine, law, or to teach at state higher schools." Aside from the fact that foreigners were required to have the same certificates (or officially accepted equivalents) as French students, they were "only seldom or not at all" able to fulfill the demands of these courses of study.64 The "new university degrees," which were decidedly different from the official state degrees, "carried with them no official license, only a title, as is customary in Germany."65 In this way, "the rights and interests of our own students remain intact," without losing the foreign "customers."66 In addition to the inscription, the French regulation from 1897 called for an "Immatrikulation, which would give students not intending to complete a [state] degree the eligibility to study."67 The requirements of these new university degrees were considered to be "not at all minimal, but of a nature that could easily be fulfilled by foreigners."68

    After World War I, European countries began courting American students in particular. The Americans, however, mostly recruited Chinese students. At the beginning of the twentieth century the American government had returned $12 million worth of indemnity payments for the Boxer Rebellion to the Chinese government, under the condition that this money be used to finance 400 scholarships annually for selected Chinese students to study in the United States. Since that time, the scholarship recipients had brought "an even larger number of free students with them."69 In 1931 over 4,200 Asians were studying in the United States - almost half of all Asian students studying abroad.

    An American report from the 1920s - a follow-up study in modern terminology - documented the success of this strategy. Statistics compiling data from 400 colleges for the academic year 1923-4 show 6,988 students, arranged according to subject of study and nationality. Of the 1,467 Chinese students in the United States, approximately one-third studied liberal arts and another third focused on either engineering or commerce.70 After returning to their own country, 282 of 882 total former students surveyed were working in educational professions; among these were 156 Philippinos and 57 Chinese. Of the 76 former students pursuing careers in business, 39 were Chinese.71

    The Soviet Union also was active in recruiting foreign students. "The Russian strategy conformed to Western methods to such a degree that, according to American reports, Karachan, the Russian ambassador to China, recently collected the outstanding payments to Russia in the context of the Boxer reparations and donated the entire sum to Chinese students. This money was intended to enable them to travel to Moscow to study at the Sunyatsen University, newly established under the direction of Radek, at which 600 Chinese students were presently enrolled (in partial imitation of the American Boxer payment gesture)."72 Schairer further explained that "a large number of them . . . were recipients of scholarships from the governor of Canton." Their numbers were to be further increased because "a great number of the sons of the leaders of the Chinese liberation movement were presently studying in Moscow." Similar institutions could be found at other locations in the Soviet Union. In this context, a "strong propaganda" was developed "against Chinese students visiting American universities, and especially for the rejection of American scholarships, on the grounds that attendance at a Russian university was much more important and valuable."73

    Aside from this emerging politicization of the recruitment of foreign students, the increasingly self-centered admissions policy for foreign students at German universities after the turn of the century made recruiting difficult among the growing numbers of foreign students. During the nineteenth century eligibility regulations had been relatively open and undefined, focused on foreign equivalents to German certificates and favoring an individual evaluation of the educational background of foreign applicants. After 1900 these were replaced by standards based on comparisons to the unique structural principles of the German system of higher schools. As a result, these structures were artificially "universalized." The German model, in which the function of German higher schools lay specifically in the preparation and qualification of pupils for university study, was used as the standard for evaluation of the educational systems of other countries.

    According to a cross-referenced chart for the summer semester of 1931, in which 5,730 university students from 29 European countries (excluding the Soviet Union) were divided into 34 areas of study, only 7 of the 986 charted fields show more than 100 students from the same country studying in the same subject.74 In over 99 percent of the cases there are less than 50 - and often less than 20 - foreign students per nationality per subject. With the exception of the medical subjects, which were in high demand, the distribution is random. These results were echoed in the distribution of 1,537 students from 33 non-European countries.75 The admissions policy of German universities, with its strict adherence to the structure of the German school system, cannot be legitimized on the basis of this empirical distribution. It would have been more logical to place more emphasis on the aptitude of foreign students in a specific discipline as a criterion for admission and to pay less attention to the structural equivalency of the institutions from which applicants were coming. This type of individualized admissions policy, with more importance given to the evaluation of applications by academicians, would have increased the objectivity of the process. In light of the alternatives, it seems in fact "questionable . . . whether the decision as to where and to what extent material differences [in the educational background of foreign applicants as opposed to Germans] were to be taken into consideration or compensated for" was traditionally "to a large degree reserved for the administrative bureaucracy, whereas the authority of the universities in this matter was significantly restricted."76


    The considerable growth in the number of foreign students at German universities during the prewar period was obviously not solely based on the good reputation of German universities. Especially Eastern European students came to Germany to escape political persecution and ethnic discrimination. Regardless of their scientific qualifications, they were soon subjected to discrimination as "troublesome foreigners." Following political discrimination, in the 1920s a bureaucratic systematization of admissions policies based on the standards of the German system was undertaken. In the international context, these unique standards were hardly compatible.

    The origins of the subsequent marginalization of German universities on the international market of academic study can also be traced to the expansion of German universities in the Weimar Republic. In the course of the Weimar-era school and university reforms, the Germany university system was successively opened up to new social groups, including women. At the end of the 1920s the German academic elite complained of the "overfilling" of universities. The restrictive admissions policies for foreigners can be directly related to this issue. The governmental centralization of the admissions process provided an important indicator that, with regard to foreigners, politics were oriented on the interests of a German elite. Instead of entrusting the faculties and professors with the admissions of foreign students, these decisions were made at a central government level. Rather than focusing on individual scientific aptitude, the criteria for the evaluation of foreign certificates were oriented strictly on their equivalency to the structural organization of the German educational system, and therefore on the logic of social selection and exclusion. 

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  • Notes

    Peter Drewek is a professor of educational history at the University of Mannheim. Drewek's paper was presented at a workshop titled "Limits of Educational Internationalism: Foreign Students at German Universities, 1890-1930," held at the GHI on October 14, 1999. Please see issue no. 29 (Fall 1999), page 63, of the Bulletin for more information.

    1 Johannes Conrad, Das Universitätsstudium in Deutschland während der letzten 50 Jahre: Statistische Untersuchungen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung Preußens (Jena, 1884), 31.

    2 H.G. Brzoska, ed., Central-Bibliothek für Literatur, Statistik und Geschichte der Pädagogik und des Schulunterrichts im In- und Auslande, (June 1839): 76.

    3 For the statistical sources of this section, see Bernhard vom Brocke and Peter Krüger, eds., Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus: Die Protokolle der Hochschulkonferenzen der deutschen Bundesstaaten und Österreichs 1898 bis 1918 (Berlin, 1994), 432-4; Conrad, Das Universitätsstudium in Deutschland, 30-6; Reinhold Schairer, "Ausländische Studenten an deutschen Hochschulen," in Michael Doeberl, ed., Das akademische Deutschland, vol. 3: Die deutschen Hochschulen in ihren Beziehungen zur Gegenwartskultur (Berlin, 1930), 527-8; Herbert Scurla, Umfang und Richtung der zwischenstaatlichen Studentenwanderung (Berlin, 1933), 1-16; Karl Remme, Das Studium der Ausländer und die Bewertung der ausländischen Zeugnisse (Berlin, 1929), 18-21; Hartmut Tietze (in cooperation with Hans-Georg Herrlitz, Volker Müller-Benedict, and Axel Nath), "Das Hochschulstudium in Preußen und Deutschland 1820-1944," Datenhandbuch zur deutschen Bildungsgeschichte, vol. 1: Hochschulen (Göttingen, 1987), 41-64, esp. 44-7.

    4 Brocke and Krüger, eds., Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 434.

    5 Tietze, Das Hochschulstudium in Preußen und Deutschland, 29-30.

    6 Ibid., 73.

    7 Conrad, Das Universitätsstudium in Deutschland, 33.

    8 Brocke and Krüger, eds., Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 433.

    9 Carl Diehl, American and German Scholarship, 1770-1870 (New Haven, Conn., 1978), 170; see also Scurla, Umfang und Richtung, 40.

    10 Laurence Ross Veysey, The Emergence of the American University (Chicago, 1965), 130.

    11 Brocke and Krüger, eds., Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 433.

    12 Author's calculations based on Remme's Das Studium der Ausländer und die Bewertung der ausländischen Zeugnisse, 2d ed. (Berlin, 1932), 10.

    13 Remme, Das Studium der Ausländer, 11.

    14 Reinhold Schairer, Die Studenten im internationalen Kulturleben: Beiträge zur Frage des Studiums in fremdem Lande (Münster, 1927), 10.

    15 Author's own calculation based on Scurla, Umfang und Richtung, 125-6.

    16 Ibid., 124.

    17 Ibid., 125-6.

    18 Joachim Hoffmann, "Äquivalenzen und 'Nostrifikationen' - zwei Kapitel akademischen Autausches," Zeitschrift für Kulturaustausch 31 (1981): 219-28.

    19 Quoted in ibid., 221-2.

    20 See Bundes-Gesetzblatt des Norddeutschen Bundes 1868, Nr. 1-35. Berlin; Centralblatt für die gesammte Unterrichts-Verwaltung in Preußen (Berlin, 1874)

    21 Quoted in Otto Schröder, ed., Aufnahme und Studium an den Universitäten Deutschlands (Halle, 1908), 12.

    22 Ibid.

    23 Quoted in ibid., 47; see also 53.

    24 Schröder, ed., Aufnahme und Studium, 15.

    25 Brocke and Krüger, eds., Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 97n7; see Victor Karady, Gewalterfahrung und Utopie: Juden in der europäischen Moderne (Frankfurt am Main, 1999); Georg von Rauch, "Rußland vom Krimkrieg bis zur Oktoberrevolution (1856-1917)," in Theodor Schieder, ed., Handbuch der Europäischen Geschichte, vol. 6 (Stuttgart, 1968), 309-52.

    26 Brocke and Krüger, eds., Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 95n5.

    27 Quoted in ibid., 125-6.

    28 See Schröder, ed., Aufnahme und Studium, 51, 57, 61.

    29 Quoted in Brocke and Krüger, Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 253.

    30 Quoted in ibid., 233-4.

    31 Quoted in ibid., 235.

    32 Hugo Münsterberg, Das Studium der Amerikaner an deutschen Hochschulen (Berlin, 1911), 8.

    33 Author's calculations based on ibid., appendix.

    34 Quoted in Brocke and Krüger, Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 63.

    35 Hoffmann, "Äquivalenzen und Nostrifikationen," 222.

    36 See Brocke and Krüger, Hochschulpolitik im Föderalismus, 98n8.

    37 Hoffmann, "Äquivalenzen und Nostrifikationen," 222.

    38 See Remme, Das Studium der Ausländer, 283.

    39 Ibid., 45, 285.

    40 Ibid., foreword.

    41 Ibid., 44-5.

    42 Ibid., 288.

    43 Ibid., 295.

    44 See ibid., 294ff.

    45 Ibid., 45ff.

    46 Ibid., 49-50.

    47 Ibid., 291.

    48 Ibid.

    49 Ibid., 292.

    50 Schairer, Die Studenten im internationalen Kulturleben, 51.

    51 Ibid.

    52 See Remme, Das Studium der Ausländer, 309.

    53 Ibid., 311.

    54 Ibid., 310.

    55 Ibid., 312-13.

    56 Ibid., 310.

    57 Quoted in ibid., 299.

    58 Ibid., 299-300.

    59 "Zulassung ausländischer Studenten," Vossische Zeitung, May 31, 1901.

    60 Schairer, "Ausländische Studenten an deutschen Hochschulen," in Doeberl et al., eds., Das akademische Deutschland, 531.

    61 Ibid., 532.

    62 Scurla, Umfang und Richtung, 134-5.

    63 "Die Ausländerfrage an den Universitäten und Technischen Hochschulen," Deutsche Literaturzeitung XXVII, (1906): 7, 390.

    64 Ibid.

    65 Ibid., 390-1.

    66 M. Lavisse, "Rapport présenté au conseil supérieur de l'instruction publique sur le projet de décret portant règlement pour les Conseils des Universités," in Revue de l'enseignement XXXI (1896): 326-33, quoted in Die Ausländerfrage, 391.

    67 Ibid., 393.

    68 Ibid., 391.

    69 Schairer, Die Studenten im internationalen Kulturleben, 27.

    70 W. Reginald Wheeler, Henry H. King, and Alexander B. Davidson, eds., The Foreign Student in America (New York, 1925), 310-11.

    71 Ibid., 320.

    72 Schairer, Die Studenten im internationalen Kulturleben, 31.

    73 Ibid.

    74 See Remme, Das Studium der Ausländer, 18-19.

    75 See ibid., 20-1.

    76 Hoffmann, "Äquivalenzen und Nostrifikationen," 220.

Limits of Educational Internationalism: Foreign Students at German Universities Between 1890 and 1930. A Comment on Peter Drewek

Roger Chickering

I confess that my thinking about the problem of academic "equivalencies" has been limited largely to my experience on admissions committees at several contemporary American universities. As a historian of modern Germany, I had not given the matter much thought. Peter Drewek's excellent essay has thus taught me a great deal, and it has persuaded me of the importance of this problem in shaping academic policy in Imperial and Weimar Germany. Drewek has imaginatively exploited the sources, particularly the protocols of the national university conferences (Hochschulkonferenzen), to lay out a convincing case. Growing bureaucratic regulation of admissions standards, he tells us, had a crucial impact on enrollments of foreign students at Germany's universities. As these regulations became more restrictive, they undercut Germany's status as the Mecca for ambitious young scholars throughout the world. Drewek has shown persuasively that this process set in shortly after the turn of the twentieth century and that it became more comprehensive and constraining in the later 1920s, long before the National Socialists arrived to power. The flow of foreign students into German universities was increasingly limited in what he has called "the filter of bureaucratic rules."

My ignorance in these matters, from which Peter Drewek has now provided some relief, limits my qualifications to comment critically on his essay. I would thus prefer to pose a couple of questions, in the hope of provoking discussion of several broader issues - in areas where I feel intellectually more comfortable. I wish to address above all the question of what lies hidden or obscured in the numbers with which Drewek has supplied us.

Does bureaucratic regulation provide a sufficient explanation for the fluctuations in the enrollment of foreign students at German universities? At the very least, this explanation begs the question of who studied where and why. The "disaggregation" of some of the data might well reveal that issues of academic discipline, faculty strength, and even the presence of individual scholars in a university's faculty figured significantly in the decisions of foreign students to visit Germany for their higher education. To cite some anecdotal evidence from a case with which I am familiar, the flow of foreign students to the university in Leipzig after 1890 was fed by students of history, particularly those from parts of northern and eastern Europe that had not been consolidated into nation-states. They were attracted to Leipzig above all by Karl Lamprecht, whose vision of "cultural history" appealed to them precisely because it assigned to "nations" an importance and dignity that were independent of statehood.

Second, how does one define "foreign?" This question is related to the first. How many of the students from eastern Europe, including those whose citizenship was Russian, spoke German as their first language? Given the ethnic categories that increasingly governed discussions of citizenship after 1890, this question is more than incidental to interpreting the statistics of foreign enrollments.

The whole story strikes me as intensely political. Several additional questions that I would like to see explored at more length pertain to this dimension of the paper. Where, for instance, is World War I? The graphs of student enrollment elide the war altogether, as they chart the period from 1915 to 1920 as a smooth line. They hide the fact that the war resulted in the departure of practically all foreign students from German soil - perhaps, one might think, with long-range consequences on enrollment fluctuations. The fact that several of the major bureaucratic decisions that animate this story took place during the war also strikes me as worth pondering.

One need not be a devotee of Foucault to appreciate the significance of these and the other bureaucratic decisions. They had to do with questions of categorizing, naming, and labeling people; and these questions, as Foucault has argued, were inseparable from issues of power. The central issue was to define those who were "qualified" for study at German universities. Drewek's essay provides rich details about the elaborate schemes that were devised to fix the degrees of qualification, including one from the pen of Reinhold Schairer, who appears to have indebted himself to Herbert Spencer in defining the "differentiation" of school systems around the globe as the index of qualification.
On one front, then, Drewek's is the story of bureaucratic arrogation, particularly by the Prussian Ministry of Culture, of the critical power to define "qualification." The success of the bureaucrats after 1906 came at the expense of the university faculties, which, prior to this juncture, had retained considerable autonomy and flexibility in judging the applications of those who wanted to study in Germany. At the same time, however, the success of the bureaucrats carried important ramifications for German foreign policy. It seemed to undercut the premises and the more flexible understanding of "qualification" that had underpinned what subsequently became known as "cultural foreign policy" (auswärtige Kulturpolitik). The propositions that training foreigners at German universities served the interests of German power, that it translated into good will, cultural sympathy, and ultimately into political influence abroad, seemed to justify the compromises that faculties had regularly undertaken.

What then of the broader political context in which these enrollment figures fluctuated? I think Drewek's essay itself hints at some answers to this question. He writes at one point (in the German version of his paper) of "political caprice joined [verschränkt] with administrative chicanery [Raffinesse]." I wonder how capricious the bureaucratic actions really were, for I suspect that they reflected the more-or-less conscious choices and decisions of people in important positions, foremost by officials in various ministries of culture (above all in Prussia). The question might be posed whether the retirement of Friedrich Althoff from the Prussian Ministry of Culture in 1907 did not put questions of university admissions into the hands of men of much less imagination or receptivity to the importance of having foreign students on German soil.

Another dimension of the same problem has again to do with labeling. The tag "unqualified" correlated with a whole series of other labels, like "uncultured," "inferior," and "dangerous," through which many German leaders were increasingly making sense of domestic and foreign policy. The deployment of social Darwinism in the construction of these categories of qualification was, in other words, hardly inadvertent or coincidental. The rigidification of these categories in the course of their bureaucratization might well have reflected a more general intensification of political anxieties in these leading circles. Foreign students at German universities thus posed a metaphor for broader concerns, and it was no coincidence that the growing salience of revolutionary Russians and eastern European Jews stood at the center of the debates over equivalencies. The very language of these debates suggested as much. High, uniform standards of admissions were to serve as "methods of preventing excessive enrollment of troublesome foreigners" (the German is more suggestive: "Schutzmittel gegen übermäßigen Zudrang unbequemer Ausländer"). This topos echoed in variations all over the terrain of German politics after the turn of the twentieth century.


Roger Chickering is a professor of history in the Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University.

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  • The Generation of Memory: Reflections on the "Memory Boom" in Contemporary Historical Studies

    Jay Winter

    "Whoever says memory, says Shoah." This is the cryptic remark of one of the fathers of the "memory boom" among historians, Pierre Nora, French political scientist, publisher at the prestigious house of Gallimard, and the agent provocateur and inspiration behind one of the most influential ventures in cultural history over the last twenty years, Les lieux de mémoire. In a series of stately tomes published between 1984 and 1992, Nora solicited and reshaped essays by leading French scholars that, taken together, constitute an inventory of knowledge and conjecture about memory in the French historical context - memory as frozen in statues, in objects, in street names, in ceremonies, in political parties, in legends, in myths, even in historical works. The success of this venture has been astonishing. The collection has sold over half a million copies in France alone. All of the essays have been translated into English, first in a three-volume edition published by Columbia University Press under the slightly odd title of Realms of Memory; all the other chapters will appear next year in a four-volume edition published by the University of Chicago Press. An exploration of German sites of memory is under way; the same is true in Italy and Portugal;1 and everywhere in the Anglo-Saxon world, historians young and old have found in the subject of memory, defined in a host of ways, the central organizing concept of historical study, a position once occupied by the notions of race, class, and gender. These themes have certainly not vanished, but they have been reconfigured and in certain respects overshadowed by the historical study of "memory," however defined.

    Clearly something important has happened in our discipline, something we need to attend to as more than a passing fashion. What are the origins of the memory boom? What are its implications? Is Nora right in claiming that it is one of the cultural repercussions of the Holocaust? In this essay I hope to show that the subject of the Holocaust has indeed inspired a range of reflections on the notion of memory, trauma, and history. But there are other, distinctive sources of the contemporary obsession with memory that arise out of a multiplicity of social, cultural, medical, and economic trends and developments of an eclectic but intersecting nature. My argument here is that each of these incitements to reflect on memory has its own inner logic and constituency but that the effect of their intersection is multiplicative rather than additive. In other words, the memory boom has taken off because the impulses behind it add up to a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

    Memory and Commemoration

    One clear impulse to much reflection on memory has been public commemoration. Here marking or remembering the Holocaust is a critical problem, one mixed together in very troubling ways with other kinds of commemoration. I shall later address the question as to whether any symbolic notation can accommodate the range of issues imbedded in the Holocaust. But on a more empirical, descriptive level, it is apparent that remembering the Holocaust has formed a significant part of a broader pattern of the commemoration of victims of twentieth-century war. The Holocaust, which took place between 1941 and 1945, has never escaped from that contextual location.

    Another concentric circle of remembrance surrounds both the Holocaust and World War II. It is the commemorative moment that preceded it, addressing some of the complex issues of victimhood and bereavement during and after World War I. Taken together, these intersecting commemorations litter the calendar. On the Israeli calendar, Yom Hashoah comes one week before Remembrance Day, a solemn recollection of Israeli soldiers who died in war from the period prior to the foundation of the state of Israel until today. Yom Hazicharon is followed immediately and with a wrenching change of pace and mood by Israeli Independence Day. The link between sacrifice and redemption is clear; more on that theme in a moment. For observant Jews, Tisha Be'av is still the time on the Jewish calendar to recall the Third Catastrophe, the "Dritte Churbn," of the Nazi genocide, following the two prior disasters of the destruction of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem in 586BC and 70AD. On this day, redemption is linked not to the creation of the State of Israel but to the record of catastrophe over two millennia, a record recalled with sadness and longing for the day when the Messiah will arrive. "Even though he tarries," the affirmation of faith movingly accepts, "nonetheless I still believe." Redemption here has a direct, scriptural meaning.

    How redemptive is the notation of the other moments we recall on stated days of the year marking wars? There is D-Day, VE Day, VJ Day, and the two older standbys, Memorial Day on May 29, the anniversary of Appomattox, and Armistice Day on November 11. In parts of Britain and Northern Ireland, the First of July, the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, is marked collectively, as is dawn on April 25, the day Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli; today that day is Australian independence day. Most are framed within a narrative of liberty being purchased through the shedding of blood. Here, as in Israeli Independence Day, the measure is the nation-state and its hard-won expression of a nation's collective life, so recently endangered by the threat of extermination.

    And now we have January 27, the day Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army. Here too commemoration cannot escape its political framework. State-sponsored commemoration is a politically sanctioned and politically funded rite of remembering in public, adjusted to a publicly or politically approved narrative. Remembering the Holocaust at this level is an extension of earlier twentieth-century commemorative forms. It locates the narrative of war crimes and victimhood within the framework of national catastrophe and rebirth.

    The case of the new Holocaust memorial to be built near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin shows the implications of this commemorative setting. The monument, a stone's throw from the renovated Reichstag and from Hitler's bunker, is unavoidably part of the story of Germany reborn. Some believe the monument is an essential and properly placed part of the story; others, and I am one of them, opposed the location of a commemorative monument to victims of the Holocaust within such a narrative. Placing the monument in the heart of the national capital, geographically and metaphorically, also draws attention away from many original and sensitive commemorative forms in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany. Focusing on the national level of notation in my view wrongly configures the problem of how to remember the victims of the Holocaust. The alternative to a national monument is not nothing; indeed, the array of local, small-scale commemorative forms are entirely consistent with the federal, regionalized, richly complex nature of German cultural history, and helps show the multiplicity of meanings of remembrance, and indeed of history, lost in grand national narratives like that of Daniel J. Goldhagen.

    What is true of Germany is true of all other parts of Europe where memorials have been built. The national level of notation in no way occludes local memorials. In Oradour-sur-Glâne, or in Drancy, or on the walls of the Jewish orphanage on the ële St-Louis, monuments and inscriptions help locate the Holocaust within the particular, local context of the scars left by total war in the twentieth century. None of these sites can "re-present" the Holocaust; nothing can do so in any conventional way. All they can accomplish - and it is a lot - is to suggest what is absent in European life because of the genocide and to leave the question of its "meaning" open. Daniel Liebeskind's design for the Jewish wing of the Berlin Historical Museum in Kreuzberg goes a long way toward describing this void.2

    But absence is not meaning. My own view is that it is unwise to try to encapsulate the Holocaust within any particular system of meaning. To paraphrase Primo Levi, a set of events about which one cannot pose the question of "why?" is also an event about which it is impossible in any straightforward sense to pose the questions of historical context or meaning within twentieth-century history.

    This extended international conversation as to the appropriate character and content of Holocaust commemoration is bound to go on, and I do not expect to persuade everyone reading this essay of my point of view. But for our present purposes, what is most significant about this protracted debate is the way it has made us reflect on what kind of memories are elicited by other commemorative projects. In whose interest are they framed? Most projects of commemoration have been created far from the center of political power. Second- and third-order elites have done the original work of remembrance, but frequently their work, originating within civil society, has been taken over by groups in power who feel they have the right and the need to tell us through commemoration how to remember the past. And the framework they tend to adopt is redemptive: Hope springs from tragedy; life moves on.

    Whatever you think of these issues, it is clear that the political debate over Holocaust commemoration describes one very salient element in the memory boom of the last thirty years. Nora had a point. But the national political focus of this story is somewhat misleading. The state is not the sole nor even the primary source of the recent upsurge of interest in memory, whether or not related to the Holocaust. Once again, we have to address processes that arise from many different sources, some at the seat of power, some not.

    State agents, as much as those dedicated to a state in the making, have an evident interest in legitimating narratives; very often that is what they mean by "collective memory" - stories that polish the cultural credentials of their claim to power. To be sure, all nationalist movements present versions of their own history and construct political myths that organize stories about the past to galvanize action in the present. There is little new in the recent forms of this kind of memory work. Consider Serbian inventions of a supposedly distinctive ethnic history, remote from or opposed to that of the Muslims and Roman Catholics, Bosnians, Kosovans, and Croats, with whom they lived (and intermarried) for generations; this is just one among many similar political conjuring tricks.

    But memory work has focused on other collectives, too. In some places over the past thirty years, globalization and European integration have, to a degree, diminished the stridency of some national narratives. German and French nationalism - and their attendant rhetorical forms - are remote from those of the past. In other cases, nationalism is a direct response to the perceived dangers of globalization. The World Wide web, many French observers sadly note, is yet another défi américain, threatening the extinction of the Francophone world. Nationalist rhetoric has certainly not vanished, but it increasingly shares the stage with other languages of collective identity. The much-heralded end of territoriality has not yet arrived, but state-bounded narratives increasingly compete with others of a regional or ethnic kind. On both sides of the Atlantic, in the developed "north" and the developing "south," many ethnic groups and disenfranchised minorities have demanded their own right to speak, to act, and to achieve liberation or self-determination. And those struggles almost always entail the construction of their own stories, their own usable past. Collective memory is a term that should never be collapsed into a set of stories formed by or about the state.

    Identity Politics

    Here is a second source of the robust character of what I have called the "generation of memory." The creation and dissemination of narratives about the past arise out of and express identity politics.3 One clear example is the placement of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum is, in this sacred space, both a statement of universal truths and an expression of Jewish-American pride. Borrowing the notation of one literary scholar in an entirely different context, it expresses a measureless story in a grammar living on the hyphen, the hyphen of ethnic politics.4

    The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is a spectacular success in many ways, drawing a huge and varied population of visitors. Its structure and organization constitute a great achievement, bringing to millions of people of all ages searing images of a crime without parallel. Handing out identity cards of Holocaust victims to visitors inscribes us from the outset in a family of bereavement, which among other things, is a Jewish family. Ethnic pride and ethnic sadness are there in equal parts.

    But the framework cannot escape its location. The redemptive elements in the story surround it on the Mall. They tell us of the wider struggle for tolerance, for freedom of religion, for freedom from persecution; they locate the Holocaust within the American narrative, itself configured as universal.5 Here we have arrived at the right-hand side of the hyphen "Jewish-American." The museum is the bridge between the two.

    There have been many other instances of commemoration as an expression of the tragic history of persecuted minorities. The AIDS Quilt is one such artifact of remembrance;6 monuments to the struggle for African-American freedom raise the same point. Recent attempts to configure the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during the World War II express the same set of issues, both unique and universal. Again the hyphen of identity is strengthened by commemoration.7

    In Latin America and elsewhere, testimonial literature rescues histories trampled on by military dictatorships. The stories of cruelty and oppression once retold constitute acts of defiance; through the narrator, the voices of the dead and the mutilated can still be heard. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa has been a focus for the release of imprisoned memory. At times, the boundaries between truth and fiction become blurred in such storytelling. As Doris Sommer has put it, the line between informing and performing is porous.8 But even when the storyteller goes beyond what can be verified through other sources, the voice of the witness still stands for a generalized sense of injustice and injury. Here is identity politics as a set of narratives, a "counterhistory that challenges the false generalizations in exclusionary 'History,'" penned by those trapped in a Eurocentric and imperialist sense of what constitutes the past.9

    Developments in information technology also help explain why the memory boom has taken off over the last generation. Since the 1960s and 1970s, audiovisual and now computer-based data banks can preserve and protect the "voice" of the victims. Their stories can be captured, and through listening to them or viewing them, we can come into contact with their lives and their tragedies.

    The act of attending to such voices is what witnessing is all about. Its religious overtones are hard to miss. There is a kind of laying on of hands in such encounters. The person who suffered knows about a mystery - the mystery of evil and the miracle of survival - and we who listen may thereby enter the mystery and share the miracle. This is a difficult area to investigate, for in it there is a kind of appropriation of suffering that raises many difficult moral questions. Dominick LaCapra refers to such forms of witnessing in the language of psychoanalysis.10 But I doubt that "transference" can really be a framework for those telling and those attending to such narratives.

    Over the same decades that archives of Holocaust victims and other survivors of oppression and injustice were constructed, the notion of the "witness" received another kind of validation. From the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961 to the French trials of Klaus Barbie, Paul Touvier, and Maurice Papon, witnesses came forward, men such as Leon Welizcker-Wells who made it his purpose in life to tell the story of what had happened to him as a member of a Sonderkommando (special unit). Literary memoirs became acts of witnessing; the success of Primo Levi's writing is a case-in-point.

    Timing is critical. In the 1940s and 1950s such witnesses were there, but their voices were marginal to public discourse on World War II. Heroic narratives of the Resistance were more useful in the revival of the political culture of countries humiliated by occupation and collaboration.11 But by the 1960s and 1970s that narrative work had done its job; the transition to postwar political stability was complete. There was now room for the victims of the camps to come forward. And come forward they did.

    Some of their messages reinforced identity politics, in particular the ongoing struggle against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. But in other ways, the birth of the witness was the recovery of voices that had been there all along. It was the disclosure of narratives that did not fit the heroic model of the Resistance. Witnessing was another kind, perhaps an even harder kind, of resistance.

    Identity politics attended the recovery of witnesses after the Soviet empire collapsed in 1989. A whole swath of eastern Europe suddenly was stripped of its politically dominant narratives. Berlin was now unified in contemplation of a single past. From Potsdam to Moscow, vast arrays of documents suddenly surfaced, helping to fuel a new and vigorous recovery of the experience of several generations of men and women whose voices had been stilled. In the 1990s these witnesses could be heard. Alongside them were Chinese voices, less attesting to identity politics than to the brutal repression of the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square. Simply recording all these stories will take decades. But in the course of doing so, scholars are helping to build new political and ethnic identities in a number of volatile regions.

    Affluence and Commemoration

    I have tried to emphasize the multifaceted and eclectic nature of the memory boom. There have been political, technological, and philosophical impulses toward privileging the subject of memory in many discursive fields. Subsequently, I address what a demographer would call "cohort analysis" - the tracing of generations and the stories they tell over time. There is a medical dimension to this story to which I also shall turn, albeit briefly. These are the most important aspects of the efflorescence of interest in memory I wish to describe. The weaving together of these varied themes is a classic problem in overdetermination.

    But there is yet another dimension to this story to which we must attend. It is more about audiences than about origins, and although not of fundamental significance, it still is part of the story of why so many people are talking about memory today. In the West, one important precondition of the memory boom has been affluence. In a nutshell, overall economic growth and the expansion of the service sector since World War II have helped shift to the right the demand curve for cultural commodities. In the history of this rising demand, higher education has played a central role. Since the 1960s there has been a rapid expansion in the population of university-trained people whose education provided them with access to and a desire for cultural activities of varying kinds. In Britain, for instance, the number of university students expanded very rapidly after the Robbins report of 1963, granting the right to free higher education to all who could pass entrance requirements. In 1962 there were 216,000 full-time university students: 118,000 in universities; 55,000 in teacher training; and 43,000 in technical colleges. By 1990 the numbers had risen to 650,000 full-time students: 340,000 in university and 310,000 in colleges of further education. To be sure, during the Thatcher years, changes in university funding upgraded many polytechnics into universities in one fell swoop. But however tertiary sector education was defined, there were at least three times as many people studying in institutions of higher education in 1990 as had been three decades before.

    The same upward trend in the size of the tertiary sector of education may be detected across Europe and in the United States after 1960. Part of the increase is demographic: The baby boom generation was coming of age. But part was policy driven. Again, comparative statistics here are treacherous: It is clear that the comparisons are flawed because they entail juxtaposing very different systems of higher education, some committed to mass entry with little individual instruction, some more geared to small-group teaching and individual instruction. Nevertheless, the international trend is unmistakable. There were eight times the number of students in higher education in Germany in 1990 compared to 1960; in France, the increase over the same period was a factor of six; in Belgium Denmark, Italy, and the United States, a factor of five. Taken together, the fifteen member states of the European Union had 12 million students in higher education in 1990; there were about 13.5 million such students in the United States. And the numbers have grown throughout the last decade of the twentieth century.

    One other point needs to be addressed: The growth came before the student revolt of 1968 and cannot be related to it. In France, student numbers grew more rapidly in 1966-7 than in 1969-70; German growth was about the same before and after the "troubles." These are secular changes, with fundamental effects not only on the skill composition of the labor force but also on the stock of cultural capital circulating in society as a whole.12

    In Europe the link between educational attainment and income levels is not as direct as it is in the United States, but it is true that affluence funded university growth, whereas university graduates fueled economic growth. By the 1990s many indicators of well-being in Europe and North America stressed the long-term trend of growing affluence, consistent as it was (and is) with massive inequalities and recurrent instability. The inescapable conclusion is that economic trends were both a cause and an outcome of the fact that by the 1990s there was a larger population of university-educated people than ever before. Their demand for cultural products of many different kinds was evident. What might be described as the industry of culture was in an ideal position for massive growth. The market was there; the target population for cultural products was there; and after two decades of retrenchment, state support for "heritage" or la patrimoine was - with more or less generosity - available.13

    The British economic historian, Alan Milward, currently teaching in Florence, has pointed to the material echoes of these two cultural bywords, "heritage" and "patrimony." The memory boom, he rightly notes, has happened in part because both the public and the state have the disposable income to pay for it. This is how Milward put it in a recent review of books on memory and history in Europe in the Times Literary Supplement:

    The media are the hypermarket outlet for the consumption of memory. Stern moral and methodological rejection of earlier historical fashions does not alter the reality that this latest fashion, like the earlier ones, is driven by the all-too-positivist forces of the growth of wealth and incomes. The history of memory represents that stage of consumption in which the latest product, ego-history, is the image of the self not only marketed but also consumed by the self.14

    There are differences among European countries here, and I look forward to learning more about the German story, which may not fit Milward's sardonic interpretation. But in the British and French cases, which I know better, there is a symmetry between economic trends and cultural trends that we ignore at our peril.

    Dwelling on memory is a matter of both disposable income and leisure time. Milward has a telling point: Affluence has helped turn identity into a commodity, to be consumed by everyone during their (increasingly ample) leisure time. A "common" identity is one sharing a set of narratives about the past. Many of these take the form of bricks and mortar - fixed cultural capital. Exploiting their attractiveness, as in Britain's stately National Trust homes and gardens, the patrimony or heritage trades became a profitable industry, with market niches and target consumers. The marketing of memory has paid off in a huge consumer boom in images of the past - in films, books, articles, and more recently on the internet and television. There is an entire industry devoted to blockbuster exhibitions in museums, whose visitors seem to respond more and more to spectacular shows. History sells, especially well as biography and as autobiography, or in Milward's (and Nora's) phrase, ego-history.15

    The British satirical writer Julian Barnes produced a marvelous reductio ad absurdum of this phenomenon in his futuristic spoof England, England, published in 1998.16 Why should tourists have to travel to consume the icons of British history? Surely it makes more sense to bring or to imitate the lot on the Isle of Wight? But whatever its potential for humor, the history business has never been more profitable. It would be important, though, to have more precise information on the choices cultural consumers make. My hunch is that over the last two decades, the growth rate in attendance at the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum, and Madame Tussaud's in London, for instance, has been greater than the increase in attendance at sporting events or rock concerts. This is conjecture, but one worth pursuing in a more rigorous manner.

    Affluence has had another by now commonplace byproduct. One vector of the memory boom may also be the exteriorization, or expression in public space, of the interior discourse of psychoanalysis. Just as Woody Allen has popularized therapy as an addictive way of life, so the nearly universal spread of therapy cultures have made memory a light consumer durable good for those - yet again - with the cash to afford it.

    History and Family History: Vectors of Transmission

    So far I have tried to sketch some of the political and economic preconditions for the contemporary memory boom. But there is another level of significance in this story, one that is more demographic than political, more about families than about nations.

    In our profession, we should be grateful that history sells; one reason that it is such a popular and moneymaking trade is because it locates family stories in bigger, more universal narratives. One way to understand the huge growth and financial viability of museums and fiction set in the wars of the twentieth century is to see them as places where family stories are situated in a wider, at times universal context. Some grandparents knew the Blitz; now they can bring their grandchildren to the "Blitz Experience" of the Imperial War Museum in London. Such imaginings of war are attractive because they rest on the contemporary link between generations, particularly between the old and the young, between grandparents and grandchildren, at times over the heads of the troublesome generation of parents in the middle. In the 1960s and 1970s this link pointed back to World War I; later on, to World War II.

    Many best-selling novels set during the two world wars take family stories as their form. Examples abound: such as Jean Rouaud's Champs d'honneur winner of the Prix Goncourt in 1991, 17 or Sebastian Japrisot's moving Un long dimanche de fiançaille,18 or Pat Barker's fictional trilogy on the Great War,19 or Sebastian Faulks's powerful Birdsong.20 Barker has written a sequel whose central figure is a 100-year-old veteran and grandfather of the narrator.21 Faulks has placed within a later novel about World War II a story of the transmission of traumatic memory between father and daughter.22

    There are traces here of the history of several cohorts, moving through time, in this fictional landscape. Today's grandparents were children after the 1914-18 war, and their stories - family stories - are now imbedded in history, fiction, exhibitions, museums, and pilgrimage, in all the stuff of ritual that deepen the memory boom. The linkage between the young and the old - now extended substantially with the life span - is so central to the concept of memory that its significance may have simply passed us by.

    Let me describe a personal experience that illustrates this point. I have been privileged to work as one of the creators of an international museum of World War I, located at Péronne, in the Department of the Somme, an hour north of Paris. Péronne was the German headquarters during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. This museum was the product of a specific and fleeting generational moment in the 1980s, when history became family history and therefore could include scripts not yet inscribed by the French in their national narrative of the war. Because of family memories, and traumatic memories at that, we were able to find a way to justify a major French investment in a story very few Frenchmen had acknowledged as fundamentally important to them and to their sense of the past. Verdun, that other great disaster of 1916, had occluded the Somme in France, despite the fact that the French lost 200,000 men in the battle.

    The man who saw this opportunity was Max Lejeune, president of the Conseil Général and a defense minister at the time of Suez Crisis. He was a characteristic Fourth Republic politician, a man skilled in the byways of Parisian infighting, but whose power rested on a personal fiefdom and following in his own Department of the Somme. Tourism mattered to him, but so did the memory of his father, an ancien combattant of the Battle of the Somme who had returned from the war a troubled man. The childhood Lejeune recalled was not a happy one; the war had broken his father, and a lifetime later, in the 1980s, his son Max Lejeune wanted to find a way to put those memories to rest.

    For Lejeune, the idea of a museum originated in family history, his family history. But his insight was in seeing that such a museum was a means of turning national narratives into family narratives, redolent to a very wide public of several nationalities. In this way, this venture could bring French children at the end of the twentieth century into contact with the world of his childhood in the 1920s and 1930s, shadowed as it was by World War I. It could also describe the disintegration of Europe in 1914-18 in a way that highlighted the urgent tasks of European integration eighty years later. It could combine nostalgia, ever-present in family narratives, with a civics lesson in the future of the new Europe.

    With the support of a notable of the eminence and power of Lejeune, it was possible to secure the financial investment necessary for the creation of a museum. Ultimately, the project cost 100 mil-lion francs. Lejeune also bought the argument, and inserted it in the budget where it has remained to this day, that a museum without a research center would atrophy over time. Placing historical debate permanently within the museum, and funding postgraduate studies for people anywhere in the world working on that war, are steps that have invigorated the enterprise and ensured its survival. Without family history (and French cash), none of this would have been possible.

    This positive story should not obscure other, more difficult ways in which memories of war continue to linger even now, more than half a century after 1945. The memory boom has enabled some people to hide one set of memories behind another. In France and elsewhere, some narratives of World War I help people evade both personal and national stories about World War II. This is by no means true everywhere; in Russia, for example, World War I simply vanished as a subject of public discourse, eclipsed by the revolutions of 1917 and the civil war that followed it. But where collaboration raised uncomfortable questions in France in the aftermath of World War II, many people were happy to sing along with the French troubadour Georges Brassens, "Qu'est-ce que c'est la guerre que je préfère, c'est la guerre de '14-18."

    Family Memory, Traumatic Memory, and War

    Here the diversion of the narrative from one war to another was deliberate. Other people were not so fortunate. When we encounter family stories about war in this century, we frequently confront another kind of storytelling, one we have come to call traumatic memory. The recognition of the significance of this kind of memory is one of the salient features of the contemporary memory boom. I take this term to signify an underground river of recollection, first discussed in the aftermath of World War I, but a subject of increasing attention in the 1980s and 1990s, when posttraumatic stress disorder became the umbrella term for those (as it were) stuck in the past. The memory boom of the late twentieth century arrived in part because of our belated but real acceptance that among us, within our families, there are men and women overwhelmed by traumatic recollection.

    Public perceptions of memory in the twentieth century have become inextricably tied up with this notion of trauma, understood as a serious and enduring shock so severe that it induces a kind of numbing or blockage of feeling. Let me try to introduce this notion and then locate its effect on the recent memory boom by turning to a celebrated text by Walter Benjamin about storytelling. My point here is that the notion of traumatic memory is by and large a product of World War I. This text was written in 1933. In it, Benjamin observes:

        Experience has fallen in value. And it looks as if it is continuing to fall into bottomlessness. Every glance at a newspaper demonstrates that it has reached a new low; that our picture, not only of the external world, overnight has undergone changes which were never thought possible. With the First World War a process began to become apparent which has not halted since then. Was it not noticeable at the end of the war that men returned from the battlefield grown silent - not richer but poorer in communicable experience? What ten years later was poured out in the flood of war books was anything but experience that goes from mouth to mouth. And there was nothing remarkable about that. For never has experience been contradicted more thoroughly, than strategic experience by tactical warfare, economic experience by inflation, bodily experience by mechanical warfare, moral experience by those in power. A generation that had gone to school on a horse-drawn streetcar now stood under the open sky, in a countryside in which nothing remained unchanged but the clouds, and beneath these clouds, in a field of force of destructive torrents and explosions, was the tiny, fragile human body.23

    There are many other indications that after the shock of World War I many men and women had grown "not richer but poorer in communicable experience." Their memories were not on the surface but went underground. Alongside the public commemorations, or rather in their shadow, men and women lived out lives that were overwhelmed by memory. In English, the term shell shock, invented in 1915 and quickly incorporated into colloquial language, stands for the point of entry into this world of traumatic memory.

    The imagery of the shell-shocked soldier became generalized after World War II.24 In 1939-45 the new notation for psychological casualty was combat fatigue, an unavoidable wearing out of one of the components of the military machine. Holocaust victims had a very different story to tell, but the earlier vocabulary of trauma was there to be seized. And seized again. This was true in commemorative art as much as in medical care. It is no accident, in my view, that the notation of Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial is that of Sir Edwin Lutyens's monument to the missing of the Battle of the Somme at Thiepval. World War I created categories that have framed some of the language we use to describe the traumatic memories of victims of World War II, the Vietnam War, and other conflicts.

    This also is the case in the field of psychiatry, where the notion of posttraumatic stress disorder - previously termed shell shock or combat fatigue - was accepted as a recognized medical diagnostic classification only in 1980, seven years after the end of the Vietnam War. Once legitimated medically, it validated entitlements - to pensions, to medical care, to public sympathy. It also "naturalized" the status of Vietnam veterans. The mental scars of these vets, once legitimated, could be treated alongside other victims of urban violence, of sexual or family trauma.25 In all these cases, violence seemed to leave an imprint on what is now referred to as traumatic memory.

    Enormous progress has been made in this area over the last thirty years in the field of neuroscience. The biochemistry of traumatic memory is now a field of active research, and various pathways have been identified that help us distinguish between memory as recall and memory as re-enactment. There is now a biochemistry of traumatic memories, memories that are first buried and then involuntarily released when triggered by certain external stimuli. The world of neurology has had its own memory boom, which in turn has helped establish the scientific character and credentials of the notion of "trauma."26

    The cultural notation of shell shock entered our conversations and our lives long before the doctors and the bureaucrats finally made up their minds to accept it. It is there in the war poets of World War I; it is there in Benjamin's reflections; it was there, in families, in villages, in the world of everyday life. In this broad discursive field, much of which is still uncharted, traumatic memory was subversive. It was a time bomb that once detonated could wreck lives and families. Its evident and troubling existence undermined more comforting or officially sanctioned memories, heroic narratives about war, about the reintegration of soldiers into peacetime society, about the very notions of "victory" and "defeat."27

    Fiction and fictionalized memoirs have been important vectors for the dissemination of notions of traumatic memory. This has been true since World War I, and the appearance in print of the poems of Wilfred Owen, who did not survive the war, and Ivor Gurney, who did but who spent the rest of his life in a lunatic asylum. Some veterans may have retreated into silence, but there were many storytellers among them, and among their contemporaries, who to this day continue to teach us much about what "trauma" means. Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway of 1925 is one poignant example; the figure of Septimus Smith was drawn from the direct experience of her brother-in-law's suffering.

    The no-man's land of traumatic memory Woolf explored has been entered many times since then. Storytellers have been our essential guides to this uncanny landscape. I cite only two recent examples of such storytelling, though more could be adduced to make the point.

    The first of the narratives of traumatic memory I want to draw to your attention is an Israeli novel, Ayen 'erekh-ahavah' by the Israeli writer David Grossman. The title in English is See Under love. It is the story of generational ties as the key to the transmission of traumatic memory. These ties are never simple, and the storytelling that comes out of them is - as Benjamin suggested - bound to be indirect. Momik, the eight-year-old central figure of the first part of the novel lives in a working-class quarter of Jerusalem in the 1950s. His parents cannot talk about the past but whisper about the "Nazi beasts." This leads Momik to conclude that indeed an animal is stalking the land. He tries to trap it in his cellar, but that failure is the prelude to getting his hands on the Nazi beast in another way: through storytelling.

    The storyteller is his grandfather, a survivor of the concentration camps. He comes back from the dead. No one knows he has survived because he has gone insane. One day he remembers his name and then returns to the family. An ambulance is the scene of the rebirth of the older generation. And through this old, deranged man Momik finds out what the Nazi beast was.

    So do we all. The same structure of storytelling appears in a quite different book, more a meditation than a novel. Its author is an Armenian-American poet, David Balakian. Its title is The Black Dog of Fate. It is remarkably similar to Grossman's tale, though (inevitably) with different literary and historical echoes. Balakian's story is a straightforward Bildungsroman, the tale of a young American boy turning into a poet. Like Grossman's Momik, Balakian learns nothing about the disaster of the Armenian genocide that had decimated his family and impelled the survivors across the world to the east coast of the United States. His parents refuse to speak of the Turkish "beast." The only way the boy learns what happened is through his grandmother, a victim of the deportation of Armenians in 1915 who gives him some inkling of what went on at moments of extreme strain and anxiety. It is then, when the veils are lifted, that Balakian hears of the catastrophe and can begin to make some sense of it.

    The issue here is less the content of these stories than their structure. They grow directly out of family narratives but reconfigure them in such a way as to highlight and circumvent the traumatic silence - Benjamin's impoverishment - of the parental generation. That silence is broken, not without difficulty, and not in a linear way, but broken it is.

    The "Cultural Turn" in Historical Studies

    Let me summarize my argument so far: My first point is that both national political imperatives and the growth of identity politics have contributed powerfully to the memory boom. Affluence and public funding have fueled it. Part of its appeal is the way the focus on memory enabled people to build a bridge between family history and history tout court. Museums, exhibitions, television, and computer-based projects have all expressed the public's thirst for the artifacts of memory. The passage of generations has played a part in this cultural phenomenon too. The survivors of World War I have faded from the scene, but their children, now elderly, have brought to young people over the last two decades stories about families and about what happened to them in wartime. These stories become interwoven with narratives about World War II, many of which were linked to the Holocaust. An earlier notation about traumatic memory was stretched to fit this new and unprecedented disaster. Encoding these narratives of both world wars, and of the Holocaust too, are works of imaginative literature that will endure long after the last survivors of the wars of the twentieth century have passed away.

    The memory boom of the late twentieth century is a reflection of this matrix of suffering, political activity, claims for entitlement, scientific research, philosophical reflection, and art. In conclusion, it may be useful to add a word or two about the intersection of these broad trends with a number of narrower movements within the historical profession itself. The first may be described under the heading of a "cultural turn" in historical studies. When I was an undergraduate forty years ago at Columbia University, cultural history was a form of Geistesgeschichte, a noble tradition in which German intellectual history was of central importance. Just emerging in the mid-1960s was an exciting mixture of disciplines to challenge the prevailing consensus; it came in many forms but probably is best summarized as social-scientific history. Over the next two decades historical demography and other forms of sociologically or anthropologically inspired historical study proliferated. Alongside them was a politically committed variation of Marxist thinking that created labor history. The now essential historical journal Past & Present was initially subtitled "A Journal of Scientific History." The subtitle was quickly discarded; the journal thrived. These strands of historiographical innovation produced work of outstanding and enduring quality. But as broad programs of historical interpretation, both of these schools failed to deliver the goods they had promised. There was no new paradigm like that of the Annales school of the 1920s and 1930s, promising total history. Instead, the positivist assumptions of social scientific history and the heroic narratives of the making of the working class, wherever it happened to be, began to fade by the 1970s and 1980s.

    Even in Paris, where the phrase "nous les Annales" still echoed magisterially, the hold of the old ways of thinking began to loosen. Part of the challenge came from postmodernists fed up with the grand narratives of industrialization or other forms of linear progress, or unprepared to go on charting the history of militancy, or the transformation of a "class in itself" to a "class for itself." The inspiration behind Les lieux de mémoire was political. After the collapse of the twin stars in the Parisian firmament, Gaullism and communism, many scholars of contemporary history, including Nora, sought a reorientation of their outlook through a reflection on what being French entails. And that meant seeking out the multiple sites of what he termed French "memory."

    In North America part of the cultural turn reflected the way the neighbors began to colonize history. We should note in particular the increasing significance within historical study of literary scholarship, offering fundamental contributions to the cultural history of World War I, at least in the Anglo-Saxon world. Feminist scholars have brought to this subject and to many others powerful new perspectives. No one today writes about the cultural history of imperialism without some meditation on the work of Edward Said and some reflection on that protean concept, Orientalism. And one need not agree with everything Steven Greenblatt has had to say in order to appreciate the excitement of his ideas and those of his colleagues at Berkeley who edit the journal Representations. There were as many panels on subjects in cultural history at the Modern Languages Association meeting in San Francisco in 1999 as there were at the American Historical Association meeting in Chicago the following year.

    Where once French or French-inspired historians had sought out clues toward the features of the unchanging mental furniture of a society, loosely defined as mentalités, by the late 1980s many were looking at language and representations. Roger Chartier has helped bury the outmoded distinction in cultural history between "superstructure" and "substructure" by insisting that "the representations of the social world themselves are the constituents of social reality."28 Gareth Stedman Jones echoed the same point in his influential study published in 1983, Languages of Class.29 Perhaps the most daring of these scholars is Alain Corbin, who was carved out his own particular niche in this field with a series of studies of tastes, moods, and modes of comportment in the nineteenth and twentieth century.30 Even before this cluster of studies of representations, Antoine Prost produced a series of sophisticated studies of the political grammar of French veterans, workers, and townsmen.31 Prost took the "linguistic turn" before it existed. German scholars, following first Reinhart Koselleck in the study of Begriffsgeschichte, or historical semantics,32 or following the work of Jan Assmann and Aleida Assmann, have created an entire literature in the field of cultural memory.33

    Globalization is evident in the spread of these approaches to the study of memory. Saul Friedlander and his students in Israel, Germany, and the United States helped launch the successful journal History & Memory in 1987. Oral historians in many countries have added their voices and have helped ensure that the study of memory is informed by a sensitivity to issues of gender.34 In much of this broad field of work, Foucault and Lacan have been the inspiration;35 other scholars have found much in the reflections of Lyotard or Kristeva about the ruins of symbolic language in the aftermath of the Holocaust.36 Postmodernist interventions have returned time and again to memory,37 but as we have seen, those engaged in them have not been alone.

    Within the field of critical theory the subject of memory is both central and highly contested. To Kerwin Klein the memory boom is a betrayal of the radical credentials of critical theory, for it "marries hip new linguistic practices with some of the oldest senses of memory as a union of divine presence and material object." In some hands, Klein argues, the evocation of memory becomes a kind of "cultural religiosity," a "re-enchantment" of our sense of the past.38

    By the 1990s these innovative approaches clearly occupied an influential, although certainly not hegemonic, position in the discipline. Some style the sum of these contributions as the linguistic turn, simply meaning the general acceptance that there are no historical "facts" separate from the language in which they are expressed in time and place. Others call it the "cultural turn," meaning the concentration on signifying practices in the past as a major focus of current historical research.

    Whatever it is called, and whatever its origins, the tide has indeed turned, and cultural history is now all around us. It has benefited from the influx of refugees from Marxist or marxisant history, who watched their historical paradigm disintegrate well before the Berlin Wall was breached. At times cultural history has taken an entirely idealistic turn, in the sense of suggesting that representations constitute the only reality. This is an extreme position, but it does exist. However configured, the cultural turn in historical study describes an agenda of real popularity and potential. Students are voting with their feet here: economic, demographic, and labor history have not kept their audiences; to a degree, cultural history has drawn them away.

    There is a time lag in the way institutions respond to these intellectual trends. But by the 1990s it became apparent that the subject of cultural history was growing in popularity among students and scholars in such a way as to require appointments, grants, promotions, and so on. Reinforcing the trend is the way in which publishers respond positively to projects in cultural history and less positively to other specialisms. Their reaction is part of the story I have tried to illustrate: Cultural history sells, and not only in the academic market. Given the contraction of university jobs in history in Britain and a steady state elsewhere in Europe, and given chronic instability and over supply on the American job market, the future of many younger scholars in the academy has been bleak indeed. One way forward for them-and not only for them-is into the expanding field of public history. And in this field, the subject of memory is de rigueur. The story of the Historie de la grande guerre is only one among many.

    All this is entirely invigorating and is an antidote to some of the conservative features of our discipline. Obstacles still remain: We must not underestimate the extent to which many historians consider "popularity" to be synonymous with "superficiality" and believe that any idea that is expressed clearly must be deeply flawed. Others find the subject of cultural history vague and the notion of memory perilously ill defined - and at times they are right.

    One of the challenges of the next decade or so is to try to draw together some of these disparate strands of interest and enthusiasm through a more rigorous and tightly argued set of propositions about what exactly memory is and what it has been in the past. The only fixed point at this moment is the near ubiquity of the term. No one should delude himself into thinking we all use it the same way. But just as we use words like love and hate without ever knowing their full or shared significance, so are we bound to go on using the term "memory," the historical signature of our own generation. 

    < back to Bulletin 27

  • Notes

    Jay Winter teaches history at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

    1 I am grateful to Peter Burke for drawing my attention to these ventures, and for general comments on this essay. Thanks are due as well to Diana Sorensen, Anton Kaes, Volker Berghahn, and Sidra Ezrahi for their critical comments.

    2 Daniel Liebeskind, Erweiterung des Berlin Museums mit Abteilung Jüdisches Museum (Berlin, 1992).

    3 See Allen Megill, "History, Memory, Identity," History of the Human Sciences 11, no. 3 (1998): 37-62; Jeffrey K. Olick and Joyce Robbins, "Social Memory Studies: From 'Collective Memory' to the Historical Sociology of Mnemonic Practices," American Review of Sociology 24 (1998): 105-40.

    4 Gustavo Perez Firmat, Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban-American Way (Austin, Tex., 1994).

    5 Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston, 1999).

    6 See Marita Sturken, Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering (Berkeley, Calif., 1997).

    7 Dolores Hayden, "The Japanese-American Monument in Los Angeles," in Jay Winter and Emmanuel Sivan, eds., War and Remembrance in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, 1999), 142-60.

    8 Doris Sommer, Proceed with Caution, when Engaged by Minority Writing in the Americas (Cambridge, Mass., 1999), 115.

    9 The citation is to the words of Werner Sollors, taken from the introduction to Genevieve Fabre and Robert O'Meally, eds., History and Memory in African-American Culture (New York, 1994), 7-8.

    10 Dominick LaCapra, History and Memory After Auschwitz (Ithaca, N.Y., 1998), 8.

    11 Pieter Lagrou, The Legacy of Nazi Occupation: Patriotic Memory and National Recovery in Western Europe, 1945-1965 (Cambridge, 1999).

    12 OECD, Educational Statistics Yearbook, vol. 1: International Tables (Paris, 1974), table 7, 20; Eurostat Yearbook 98-99: A Statistical Eye on Europe, 1987-1997 (Brussels, 1999), table 12, 123.

    13 On "patrimoine," see Pierre Nora, ed., Science et conscience du patrimoine: Entretiens du patrimoine, Theatre national de Chaillot, Paris, 28, 29 et 30 novembre 1994 (Paris, 1997).

    14 Alan S. Milward, "Bad Memories," Times Literary Supplement, Apr. 14, 2000, 8.

    15 Pierre Nora, ed., Essais d'ego-histoire (Paris, 1987).

    16 Julian Barnes, England, England (London, 1998).

    17 Jean Rouaud, Champs d'honneur (Paris, 1990).

    18 Sébastien Japrisot, Un long dimanche de fiançailles: Roman (Paris, 1991).

    19 Pat Barker, Regeneration (New York, 1991); The Eye in the Door (New York, 1993); and The Ghost Road (New York, 1995).

    20 Sebastian Faulks, Birdsong (London, 1993).

    21 Pat Barker, Another World (London, 1998).

    22 Sebastian Faulks, Charlotte Gray (London, 1998).

    23 Walter Benjamin, Illuminations, 1st American ed. (New York, 1968), 83-4.

    24 LaCapra, History and Memory After Auschwitz, 8.

    25 Laurence J. Kirmayer, "Landscapes of Memory: Trauma, Narrative, and Dissociation," in Paul Antze and Michael Lambek, eds., Tense Past: Cultural Essays in Trauma and Memory (London, 1996), 173-98.

    26 See Allen Young, The Harmony of Illusions (Princeton, N.J., 1995), and Steve Southwick's work, cited in Winter and Sivan, eds., War and Remembrance, 15n. On this exciting field, see Daniel Schachter, ed., Memory Distortion: How Minds, Brains, and Societies Reconstruct the Past (Cambridge, Mass., 1995).

    27 Sturken, Tangled Memories.

    28 Roger Chartier, "Intellectual History or Sociocultural History? The French Trajectories," in Dominick LaCapra and Steven L. Kaplan, eds., Modern European Intellectual History: Reappraisals and New Perspectives (Ithaca, N.Y., 1982), 30.

    29 Gareth Stedman Jones, Languages of Class: Studies in English Working-Class History, 1832-1982 (Cambridge, 1983).

    30 For an aperitif, the reader might dip into these tantalizing studies by Corbin: Le village des cannibales (Paris, 1990); Le monde retrouvé de Louis-François Pinagot: Sur les traces d'un inconnu, 1798-1876 (Paris, 1998).

    31 I am preparing a translation of essays.

    32 For Koselleck's work, see among others, Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and Reinhart Koselleck, eds., Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland, 8 vols. (Stuttgart, 1972-1997); Reinhart Koselleck and Klaus Schreiner, Bürgerschaft: Rezeption und Innovation der Begrifflichkeit vom Hohen Mittelalter bis ins 19. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart, 1994); Hartmut Lehmann and Melvin Richter, eds., The Meaning of Historical Terms and Concepts: New Studies on Begriffsgeschichte (Washington, D.C., 1996).

    33 For Assmann's work, see among others, Das kulturelle Gedächtnis: Schrift, Erinnerung und politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen (Munich, 1992). See also, from a different perspective, the work of Aleida Assmann, Erinnerungsräume: Formen und Wandel des kulturellen Gedächtnisses (Munich, 1999).

    34 See the interesting collection by Christiane Cämmerer, Walter Delabar, and Marion Schulz, eds., Die totale Erinnerung: Sicherung und Zerstörung kulturhistorischer Vergangenheit und Gegenwart in den modernen Industriegesellschaften, special issue of Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik, Reihe A, 45 (Bern, 1997), esp. the article by Marianne Vogel, "Cherchez la femme, strategische Überlegungen zur Integration von Schriftstellerinnen ins kulturelle Gedächtnis."

    35 On this and other points, see Lynn Hunt's introductory essay to her edition of essays in the field, The New Cultural History (Berkeley, Calif., 1989).

    36 A good place to start on Lyotard's ideas is La condition postmoderne: Rapport sur le savoir (Paris, 1979). For Kristeva, see Soleil noir: Dépression et mélancolie (Paris, 1987).

    37 The literature on this subject is vast. Two interesting recent points of entry are: (pro) Centre d' étude de l'Europe médiane, (Post)modernisme en Europe centrale: La crise des idéologies, sous la direction de Maria Delaperrière (Paris, 1999); and (con) Ernest Gellner, Postmodernism, Reason, and Religion (London, 1992).

    38 Kerwin Lee Klein, "On the Emergence of Memory in Historical Discourse," Representations 69 (Winter 2000): 130, 136. 

  • Comparing Communities: Local Representation and Territorial States in Early Modern Europe and New England

    Johannes Dillinger

    Communalism: Basic Facts and Questions

    Cette vieille constitution de la paroisse se retrouve chez toutes les nations qui ont été féodales et dans tous les pays où ces nations ont porté les débris de leurs lois. . . . Je me souviens que, quand je recherchais . . . dans les archives d'une intendance, ce que c'etait qu'une paroisse de l'ancien régime, j'étais surpris de retrouver, dans cette communauté si pauvre et si asservie, plusieurs des traits qui m'avaient frappé jadis dans les communes rurales d'Amérique, et que j'avais jugés alors à tort devoir être une singularité particulière au nouveau monde.1

    Tocqueville's observation was at least partly correct. Recent studies found striking similarities between the communities of America and prerevolutionary Western and Central Europe. I am currently conducting research in the United States for a five-year project sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The project concerns itself with communities and communal representation in early modern Europe and New England. The focus of the study will be on small rural communities. Urban systems and their specific social and administrative patterns will provide a contrasting matrix for further discussion.

    Townspeople and peasants in early modern Europe no longer can be regarded as passive subjects without political ideas or aims. Neither is it sufficient to concentrate on short-lived upheavals and spectacular clashes between peasants and authorities. For the majority of the population - the inhabitants of villages and small towns without privileges concerning education, religious authority, economical or political power - the common men actively participated in the building of the early modern state.

    Peasants and townspeople formed communities. Communities, settlements with more-or-less clearly defined boundaries and a set of legal obligations and privileges, were the basic unit of the political and cultural life of the common man. Forms of self-government existed in a large part of these communities, such as town meetings, committees with administrative functions and even courts staffed by the inhabitants. In order to describe towns that had such rights and institutions that provided them with a certain degree of autonomy, Peter Blickle introduced the term communalism.2 He defined communalism as a regional form of voluntary local organization of everyday life based on periodic meetings of residents and their rights to define local norms and to appoint nonprofessional representatives to put these norms into practice.3 The definition of communalism in legal and organizational terms must not obscure the fact that it describes a way of life, a worldview, and a cultural form interacting with political practice.4 Blickle has repeatedly questioned the distinction between villages and cities.5 As long as communalism is described in administrative and legal terms only, this distinction may indeed be of little concern. But if communalism is considered a cultural pattern encompassing a specific set of values, at least a rough distinction must be made between communities that had institutions of higher education, administrations run by professionals, and economic structures that focused on crafts and commerce rather than on agriculture, and other communities that lacked these characteristics. This differentiation allows for shifting boundaries and developments within individual communities. Although on the most abstract level the territorial state was antithetical to the community, it would be wrong to regard these organizational forms as rigidly separate entities that were necessarily opposed to each other. The source materials present conflict and cooperation in a complex system of interrelations that in some instances makes it difficult to tell both systems apart.6

    Rural communities expressed and organized their interests in various ways. The most important platform for communal decision making was the town meeting.7 Concerning the communities' dealings with the territorial states, in addition to lawsuits, public protests, and the everyday practice of bargaining and compromise in local politics, forms of representation emerged. On the level of the Old Reich, there was a small and steadily decreasing number of peasant communities that were exempt from the jurisdictions of the principalities, forming states of their own, so to speak: These Reichsdörfer (imperial villages) were small, largely agrarian communities that had been granted the privilege of being summoned to the imperial diet. In 1803 only five were left. The Reichsdörfer should not be confused with the short-lived peasant republics of Dithmarschen - the Bremen and Oldenburg areas - all of which had been dissolved by neighboring principalities by the late sixteenth century.8 Because of their long existence and their considerable influence, the Landschaften seem to have been more important: In southern German states such as the margraviate of Baden, the duchy of Württemberg, and the Habsburg territories in the Tyrol and the Vorlande to name but the largest, rural communities formed regional corporations, so-called Landschaften. These Landschaften were collective political representations of villages and small towns within aristocratic states. They were entitled to send representatives to the Landtage - the regional estates of the respective principality. In various small territories these organizations of the peasantry were the only counterpart the prince had to face. Similar forms of collective representation of peasant communities were known in parts of northern Germany and the ecclesiastical territory of the archbishop of Trier. Thus, these representative organizations - Landschaften and Landtage - became the most important fora in which political issues could be sorted out between the communities and the state authorities. The collective bargaining concerning taxation, administration, policing, and often legislation provided ample opportunity for the communities to articulate their grievances (Gravamina) and to confront the territorial authorities with their demands. As a rule, the deputies of the Landschaften were elected by the villagers and townspeople themselves. Before the French Revolution imperative mandates were the norm in all representative systems. As a rule, the deputies were not free to make their own decisions. In addition, every resolution of the Landtage had to be ratified by the communities represented.9 Bosl characterized these practices as a "Vorform des Parlamentarismus" (protoparliamentarianism) including "Untertanenrepräsentation" (representation of subjects).10

    Similar forms of communal representation existed in Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and, of course, Switzerland. In Britain the enfranchised boroughs had been empowered by royal privilege to return members to the House of Commons, irrespective of communal structures. In many cases the enfranchisement of a town seems to have been just a means to create seats in Parliament for the clientele of the gentry loyal to the king. The English concept of "virtual representation" reduced the moment of consent and procuration between the "representatives" and those supposed to be "represented" to a minimum. However, it of course helped to preserve the idea of representation as an indispensable element of the political system.11

    Virginia Dejohn Anderson wrote that "no single trait defined the New England settlers . . . more clearly than their self-conscious commitment to communalism."12 Her statement sums up one of the most important results of the historiography of early America. The entire political system of Puritan New England was based on communities. This is exactly what distinguished the colonies most prominently from the motherland.13 Timothy H. Breen addressed this element of early American politics as "localism."14 Zuckerman even considered "a broadly diffused desire for consensual communalism as the operative premise of group life" the New England town's most significant contribution to American culture.15 Breen suggested that the settlers of the 1630s went to America because Stuart centralization had threatened the traditional institutional forms of communities in the motherland. Charles I's attempts to interfere with the traditional franchise and representation of incorporated boroughs such as Boston, Ipswich, and Norwich during the 1620s and 1630s had been witnessed by many of the settlers, most of whom came from these parts of England.16 It might well be that these experiences led them to attribute such overwhelming importance to the rights of the townships and to local elections undisturbed by outside influences. According to Breen, the settlers attempted to preserve or rather recreate community life in the colonies as they had known it in the motherland prior to the king's ill-fated absolutist endeavor. In trying to do so they created a political and social system based on the most powerful communities of the early modern period. This is the primary and probably decisive reason why the American system eventually developed into something quite unlike the English one.17

    Until the Dominion period (1686-9) all officeholders in New England were elected directly or indirectly by the communities. This holds true for all local officials, the deputies, that is, the representatives of the townships at the General Court, the militia leaders, the magistrates, and the governor himself. The antagonism between the upper chamber of the magistrates and the lower house of the deputies that informed the first decades of the New England colonies was a result of the clash between two corporations elected by the people.18 Even though the magistrates accumulated considerable power as administrators and judges they remained dependent on the consent of the organized freemen.19 It is typical for New England that the revolutionaries who overthrew the Dominion regime in 1689 and reinstalled the political system of the 1640s called themselves simply "the Representatives of the several Towns and Villages of the Massachusetts." They stated that they had "fully and deliberately examined the Minds and Instructions of the several Towns" and formed a new government according "to the Directions by our several Towns."20 They referred neither to any abstract tradition nor to any legal principle, nor to the Charter of 1629, nor to the colony itself as the source of their power and the justification of their rebellion. The revolutionaries presented themselves exclusively as executioners of the communities' mandates.

    The communities were de facto in charge of the franchise itself. During the first years of the colony, officially only members of the Congregationalist church in full communion were allowed to become freemen entitled to vote. But according to Congregationalist principles the parishioners themselves decided who was to be admitted as a church member. In 1647 the General Court confirmed the power of the community: Everyone could take part in communal elections who was declared fit to do so by his fellow residents, even if he was no freeman.21 The various censuses introduced in compliance with English tradition did not effectively narrow the franchise: In fact, practically everyone who owned a farm, that is, the large majority of the population, was able to qualify for the census.22 In this context, it is well worth remembering that Bosl coined the term Hausväterdemokratie for the Landschaften of Germany, whereas Brown depicted prerevolutionary New England as a "middle-class democracy."23 Both terms are certainly overenthusiastic, but still, the similarities suggested by the results of research are striking.

    In brief, it may be said that in the political system of New England a most extreme form of communalism had taken shape. With regard to the emergence of a democratic territorial state in eighteenth-century America, representation and participation prior to that date are of special interest.24 One might ask whether the strength of the communalist tradition in the respective countries set the pace for the development of a democratic society. This of course would imply a re-evaluation of the revolutions. After studying communalist systems in America and France, respectively, Robert Brown and Wolfgang Schmale both concluded that the revolutions failed to bring about significantly more freedom or to improve chances for participation.25

    The Structure of the Comparative Approach

    To fully understand the conditions and consequences of communalism and representation it is necessary to compare the European systems with New England. This comparison has been recognized as a desideratum by American and European historians alike.26 If representation is regarded not from the perspective of the centralized power and its administrative agencies but from the viewpoint of represented townships, the form of the representative institution itself (the two-chamber system of England and New England or the three-curia model of France and Germany) is of secondary importance.27 A comparison has to deal with this important variant; but it is not a difference that renders the comparison meaningless.

    Comparative historiography has made considerable progress in recent years. As a result, it now provides a variety of models for a comprehensive study of prerevolutionary forms of popular political participation. The aims of historical comparison fall into five broad categories. Every comparative study concentrates on at least one of them. The notorious question of comparability as well as the construction and use of the background matrix or tertium compara-tionis (that is, the third issue of comparison) are not a problem of general comparative theory but rather a function of the aims of comparison.28

    First, of course, all comparisons focus on their specific objects. This means that comparisons may give individual historical phenomena a clearer profile and shed light on aspects that so far have been overlooked or misrepresented.29 Defining the objects of comparisons is a methodological challenge in itself. The comparative approach probably more than any other metamethod is apt to tempt the researcher into isolating objects from their social and historic contexts. A mistake of that kind, of course, would reduce comparative historiography ad absurdum.30 Analyzing the interrelation of the contexts and the objects of comparison or, in the terms of Marc Bloch, between "milieu" and "phénomène," is an essential part of comparative historiography.31 To complicate matters even further, it must be taken into account that one phenomenon could be part of another one's milieu. In this context, it is obvious that studies of cultural transfers and comparative studies presuppose each other.32 Second, a comparative approach can be used to analyze systems. Comparing individual elements of a system to each other with respect to the functions they serve within the system provides a key to a better understanding of the system itself.33 Patterns of development and causality are the third category of comparative historiography. Chris Lorenz stressed that the genuinely historical answer to the question of causation is Komparatistik: Only elements that feature in the development of one phenomenon and in a similar fashion in the developments of similar phenomena can be regarded as the cause of the phenomenon.34 Earlier on, Gerhard Haupt and Jürgen Kocka explicitly suggested replacing models of gradational evolution with comparisons.35 Otto Hintze's work on the origins of political representation - a topic closely related to my own project - is an example of this kind of comparative historiography. Hintze's arguments seem questionable because he failed to use the comparative approach consistently: He focused on just one chain of causation that was illustrated with but not founded on comparisons.36 Fourth, comparisons aim at either, the construction or the destruction of theories and paradigms, including typologies. Émil Durkheim's somewhat misleading equation of comparisons in the humanities and experiments in the natural sciences is valid only in this context: Comparisons as well as experiments are means for hypothesis testing.37 Synthesis is the fifth possible aim of comparative historiography.38 The synthesizing comparison aims at establishing individualities of a higher order: Historical phenomena from various contexts that share at least one distinctive quality, such as belonging to the same large-scale structure or process, are grouped together as a new unit. This new unit provides a hermeneutic model similar to the Weberian ideal-type.39 Comparing its elements with each other would produce an exhaustive analytical synthesis of its aggregative forms and conditions. Leopold von Ranke's essay on the great European powers paved the way for this kind of historical comparison, and the works of Alexander Gerschenkron on the industrialization of Europe and Barrington Moore on the origins of dictatorship and democracy in the United States, Europe, and Asia are probably the best examples.40

    In order to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of early modern communal representation it seems best to emphasize the synthesizing aspect of the comparison. This provides me with the opportunity to focus not so much on the variety of political systems but on communalism and representation as large-scale phenomena that took various shapes in the respective political systems. This approach not only adds more details and regional variants to the history of state building. Because it provides structured and critically evaluated information only a synthesizing comparison can answer the question of what influence communalism had on state building in general and if it has sufficient hermeneutic value to be regarded as a master narrative of the early modern period.

    The comparison describes communal representation in its various forms and contexts as a segment of the political reality from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The question discussed by Edward Freeman, Herbert Baxter Adams, and others at the end of the nineteenth century - whether the New England township is to be regarded as a survivor or a revival of Germanic traditions going back to the early Middle Ages or even to antiquity - will not be dealt with here.41 Rather, my project focuses on the effectiveness of communal representation between the Reformation and the age of revolution. In order to do so, it will address mutual influences and cultural transfer between Europe and New England during that period. Therefore, institutional "ancestors" that both systems allegedly had in common are of secondary importance.

    Main Issues of Communal Representation

    The comparison will be informed by three issues that address basic conditions of communalism and representation. 1. Popular Christianity and the Invention of the Community

    As soon as the demands of the Reformation had been popularized by sermons and pamphlets, community theology became a vital issue. The demand of the German revolutionaries of 1525 to base ecclesiastical administration on individual communities resembled Puritan practice in New England. But it is not sufficient to describe communities as actively participating in the reform movements or to give a redefinition of state power by communal theology as the only interrelation between communalism, theology, and lay piety. Popular Christianity helped to construct the idea of the community as a political unit. It created political awareness in and for the community.42 The starting points and prerequisites of this popular communal theology were, among others, Huldrych Zwingli's political teachings and Heinrich Bullinger's covenant doctrine. Interpreted by English Puritans of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries such as William Tyndale, John Preston, and Richard Baxter, they influenced the concepts of the social covenant and the covenant of grace that prevailed among the New England Congregationalists. Church, state, and society were regarded as a voluntarily formed union based on a covenant between God and the faithful. At the same time local communities could be regarded as covenants formed between God and the settlers and among the settlers themselves. Congregationalism fused the parish, church-going, and the community as the basis for the entire ecclesiastical organization. It thereby considerably strengthened the position of the communities in the sociopolitical sphere.43 The formation of a new town, that is, a new local covenant, could take the form of a contract or a sworn confederacy.44

    The oath was part and parcel of the religious foundation of communities and corporations. As a rule, peasant organizations in early modern Germany were sworn confederacies. This holds true especially for the rebel groups of peasant revolts. In everyday life, after town meetings had decided on important local issues, the villagers formed a Verbündnis - a sworn confederacy that obliged everyone to respect the town meeting's decision.45 The state authorities, however, denounced such confederacies of subjects as coniuratio (confederacy or conspiracy). The refusal to swear oaths of fealty to the prince was a most profound act of resistance. The oath as mutual obligation before God as well as to God added a religious quality to confederacies. Confederacies had an egalitarian character as opposed to the "vertical" oaths of fealty or oaths of office in traditional feudalistic systems. Claiming God as the foundation and the guarantor of their existences, confederacies indirectly challenged the absolutist doctrine of divine right.46 Confederacy and covenant undermined the emerging hierarchies of absolutist-style administrations in the same way the corporations of medieval cities had challenged feudalism.47 It is noteworthy in this context that Jean Bodin depicted confederacies and corporations founded on oaths as atavistic relics that could not claim to be legally binding without the king's consent. Bodin suggested allowing only oaths of loyalty sworn by officeholders to the sovereign, thus trying to limit access to God as the source of political legitimacy.48

    The political system of New England was founded on oaths: Apart from local covenants, settlers bound themselves to the colony by the so-called oath of fealty. To exercise political rights they had to swear the oath of freemanship. By 1648 the Massachusetts code of law included an elaborate system of oaths for all officials and magistrates, which informed the corporate character of Massachusetts. Swearing the respective oaths, the settlers formed mutual bonds between themselves and their elected government or bound the officials to the good of the colony and the orders of the General Court. Until 1671 the king was not mentioned.49 According to a law enacted as early as 1641 only the General Court, that is to say the elected representatives of the townships and the magistrates, was entitled to demand obligatory oaths.50

    The religious foundation of communities was twofold: The community theology of the Reformation and the oath. Both questioned aristocracy and state hierarchy, thereby providing a firm basis for communal representation. 2. Intermediators Between the Community and the Territorial State

    In order to understand the relationship between the community and the territorial state one must focus on the persons that monitored contacts between these systems. Being spokesmen and agents of the townships, they dealt with the institutions of the state on the communities' behalf. In order to be successful these persons had to reconcile the interests of the respective community and the territorial authority, finding their position within both systems. To that extent, these intermediators did more than just represent a township. Borrowing a neutral anthropological designation these persons could be called "brokers"; the term representative should be used only in a strictly technical sense.

    The loyalty of these brokers to their clients was seen as a central point for the functioning of the political system. J.G.A. Pocock even described accusations of corruption against these brokers as an integral part of Western political culture.51 It is striking that the General Court did not prescribe an oath of office for the deputies, although it had formulated obligatory oaths for the officeholders of the colony and the towns, and even the freemen themselves. The impression that the deputies were responsible to the central organization of the colony thus was avoided. In fact, the legislator sidestepped stating whether a deputy's loyalty belonged to the township he represented or to the colony within which he represented the town.

    So far, scholars have taken an institutional approach when dealing with representation in early modern Europe. They have focused on the function that the representative institution had for the state rather than on its significance for those it represented. Hardly any attention has been paid to the members of regional parliaments as a distinctive group, let alone to the representatives of towns.52 As a rule, the deputies of the rural communities at the Landtage were local officeholders. These local offices, such as Dorfvogt (village constable), Ammann (sheriff), and Schultheiß (bailiff), often had the character of an "institutionalized compromise" between the territorial state and the village: Their authority and competencies were the result of protracted, often permanent negotiation between both agencies, so that it was sometimes impossible to decide whether these offices were part of the communal or the state organization. The officeholders served territory and town alike: They were - at least in practice - responsible to both. In that respect, they were brokers par excellence even before they were sent to the Landtag as the communities' deputies. The education, private means, and personal power of these deputies were as diverse as the backgrounds they came from: The officeholders in the agrarian small towns of the Habsburg territory of Oberhohenberg could hardly be distinguished from their fellow villagers, whereas an Ammann from Vorarlberg might have legal training, extensive administrative experience, and considerable interregional influence.53

    Extensive research into the general assemblies of New England has provided a comparison that facilitates the critical transfer of explanatory models. Recruitment patterns of leaders and the relationship between the electorate and its representatives were at the core of the old debate between Progressives and Neo-Whigs.54 Prosopographical research for the eighteenth century suggests that the leaders of the Massachusetts colony held strong positions in their hometowns as the basis of their power. Most members of the political elite were affluent, but personal wealth and education were less meaningful than the reputation of the families they came from. More important was the trust of their fellow townsmen they had earned while serving in minor local offices.55 This supports Jack P. Greene's interpretation of the New England elite as a meritocracy.56 More recent research has demonstrated that absentee landowners figured prominently among New England magistrates and deputies.57 The relative stability of the colony's political elites in spite of annual elections was explained in various ways. P.M.G. Harris's intriguing study suggested a cyclical system that allowed members of the lower strata of society to obtain leading positions in regular intervals dictated by population growth. This approach of course ignores the question why elites remained stable between intervals.58 Some historians assume that the common man of New England was led by "deference": Out of an unthinking respect for his "betters" he readily granted them leading positions.59 This explanation is hardly satisfactory; it has been criticized as tautological.60 Even if deference was an important element of the political ideas of the majority, it remains to be explained in what ways deference was secured: by birth, by property, or by achievement? The American debate about deference has largely ignored the concept of Ehre (honor) that has occupied German historians and is now recognized as a central element of early modern European peasant culture. In any case, however, the problem of the Ehre of officeholders has been neglected.61

    Puritan New England has been called a theocracy. It certainly had its own doctrine of divine right spread by election-day preachers and advocated by such notables as John Cotton, Nathaniel Ward, and John Winthrop: The ruler's office was of divine nature. He was able to govern because God's predestination and grace had enabled him to do so. In a manner reminiscent of Bodin's absolutist ideology, New England magistrates presented themselves as God's vice regents on earth.62 Even less willing than Luther to acknowledge the German Peasants' War as lawful resistance, preachers in New England condemned it as an exemplary attack on God's order and anathematized Thomas Müntzer.63 In an election sermon of 1676 William Hubbard explained that God created men as either "Heads," born leaders, or "Brethren . . . whose wisdome it is to obey rather then dispute the Commands of their Superiours."64 Political disputes between settlers were not frequent occurrences in colonial New England, and virtually none of them were violent. If this doctrine ever attracted a response from the New Englanders, it is likely that it took the form of deference for political leaders. This might make it easier to accept deference as a historical category, even if the principle of deference itself is not sufficient to explain the working of the colony's political system. But the New England divine-right theory had another important aspect. According to this political theology, the election by the people was a merely formal, administrative act by which the ruler's divine quality was publicly acknowledged and confirmed. Basically, the election was not part of the theocratic concept. But only the small governing elite of magistrates claimed divine calling. At least according to Winthrop, a divine election was not necessary to be made a representative, to be able to acknowledge, to understand, and to work for the aims and needs of the majority.65 There was a fundamental difference between being elected magistrate, responsible for the state of the whole, and being elected deputy: The deputies were "but the representative body of the people, . . . the Democraticall parte of our Gouerment."66 Winthrop suggested that God punished New England because it had trusted the deputies, that is, persons without divine calling.67 The character of the deputies' office was exclusively secular, maybe the most unequivocally secular part of Puritan political culture.68 The oath or covenant on which the community was based did not endow the representative with sacral qualities. All their authority was based on election by the people. If it was Thomas Hobbes's merit to have founded a political theory on a secular basis, it was the merit of the system of communal representation to have founded political practice on a secular basis. 3. Preconditions and Purposes of Representation: Political Ideas of the Common Man

    The oath and community theology, recruitment and the role of the brokers necessarily presuppose another, in fact the most important, question: What were the communities' political aims? How did they define their role in the emerging territorial states, and what did they expect from these states?69 It is not possible to understand the historical significance of communalism without addressing these problems, even if one admits that these aims and the influence that forms of communal representation had on state-building might be two quite different issues. The answers to these questions aid in describing the civic awareness, that is, the political thought of the common man. When the political identity of the majority is looked at within the framework of a comparative study of rural communities, a locale is provided within which political values and mentalities could take shape. Thus, explanatory models that are designed to encompass the whole of the society and are therefore probably too far-reaching to be meaningful can be avoided. At the same time, it becomes possible to outline the political worldview of a significant portion of the population.70 Of course, it is to be expected that popular political thought was informed by denominational traditions, local and regional economics as well as social differences within the communities, and therefore was far from homogeneous.71 Nevertheless, to reduce the political awareness of the common man to denominational belief and social status would once more render the majority of the population incapable of thinking in political terms.

    Various large-scale patterns of political values of peasant communities have been discussed in recent years. Kenneth Lockridge regarded autonomy, or rather self-sufficient "splendid isolation," as the aim and the very core of community politics: "This was what many New Englanders meant by 'freedom': the right to secede into their own little worlds."72 Breen provocatively depicted not the political independence of the villages but rather the emergence of a territorial state - in spite of the prevailing localism - as the issue that needs explaining.73 Wolfgang Kaschuba ascribed the same objective to German villages: The common sense of communalism was first and foremost conservatism, the preservation of the village's status quo.74

    Communalist villages claimed that they sought the "common good" or Gemeinnutz - the welfare of the community as a whole. At first glance, common good hardly seems to be more than an empty vessel that might be used by any lobby to pursue its respective aims. In fact, the authorities of the aristocratic territorial German states usurped that phrase to justify centralization and the ever-increasing power of their administrative apparatus.75 Nevertheless, common good was, on the one hand, a basic category in the political thought of rural communities. Various elements could be depicted as referring to the common good: the use of the Allmende (pasture and woodlands collectively owned and used by a village), infrastructure, such as bridges and highways, the availability of interchangeable currency - a major issue in an early modern German economy infested with counterfeiting. On the other hand, and probably more important, the meaning of common good was a negative one: It implied the communities' intolerance toward individuals who seemed to place their own ends before those of the community.76 In addition, authorities were accused of neglecting the common good. The rebellious peasants of Württemberg proclaimed in 1514 that next to the greater honor of God the common good should be the purpose of politics.77 Under the pressure of villages and towns, Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand even granted a new Landesordnung (constitution) for Tyrol in 1526 that gave as its main objective the "gemainen vnd vnserer Lanndschafft frumen vnd nutzen" (the common welfare and the common advantage as well as the welfare and the advantage of all the villages in this country).78

    In a manner very similar to that of the rebellious German peasants Winthrop described in his famous speech aboard the Arrabella: "The Common good of the Creature, Man," next to the glory of God, is the aim of the settlers' endeavor.79 The oaths that the freemen of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven had to swear obligated them to promote the public good.80 Reflecting on the controversy concerning the need for written secular laws in a society that accepted the Bible as its guideline and "visible saints" as its leaders, the "Laws and Liberties" of Massachusetts defined in 1648 that all "humane law that tendeth to common good . . . is mediately a law of God."81 This meant that the common good was seen not only as the yardstick with which to measure laws, sentences, and political rule but also was the key to understanding the will of God.

    Two potential misunderstandings of this concept must be ruled out. Early modern peasant societies in America and Europe accepted the common good as a value. First, this of course does not mean that individuals were not interested in personal material gain.82 Second, the preoccupation with the common good did not portend an interest in equality. Münch and Walker described order as a central category not only for peasant communities and small towns but also for the whole of the early modern estates system.83 The order of early modern political thinking remained compatible with the ordo of the Middle Ages. Müntzer, the Diggers, and other radical minorities were the exceptions that strengthened the rule. The social stratification of society was regarded as God given. In source materials from New England there is abundant evidence for this idea of societal order as a harmony of inequality. This notion helps us understand why a basic feature of New England settlement went largely undisputed, namely, that the system of land allotment distributed land unequally in favor of affluent settlers. Although it made it easy for almost everyone to acquire a certain amount of land, it cemented social differences.84 New England's doctrine of divine right was a part of this set of ideas.

    Nevertheless, early modern American and European peasants accepted the common good as a social ideal and in addition to that as a guiding principle of politics: They accepted the common good as a genuinely political idea. On the very eve of the American revolution the Enlightenment's idea of the state protecting individualism was still alien to the New England public: The privileging of the common good over private interest or factionalism was still taken for granted.85 The dominant role of the common good as a concept was one of the reasons why the protection of private property, which figured so prominently as a raison d'tre of the state in the eighteenth century, played but a minor role in the earlier discussion on both sides of the Atlantic.86

    Closely related to the common good, in fact part and parcel of the community's welfare, was peace. In German Dorfordnungen (town laws), it is one of the main tasks of the inhabitants to keep the peace within the village. They had not only to avoid conflicts, but they often had a legal obligation to intervene as peacemakers when quarrels arose and to report any disturbance of the peace.87 Blickle even regarded communal peace as the basis of and driving force behind the process that led to the delegitimization of feuds at the end of the Middle Ages.88 Town courts staffed by peasants sanctioned breaches of peace and petty crime. Even though most peasant communities in early modern Germany did not officially participate in the administration of criminal justice, recent research has proved that they had a keen interest in punishing delinquents. They actively participated in criminal procedures as pressure groups, collectively brought charges, and even usurped legal functions of the territorial authorities.89 In a very similar way the communities of New England, too, were integrated in the system of peacekeeping and law enforcement.90 The principle of the covenant of course prescribed strict maintenance of peace.91 To guarantee "Tranquility, Quietess (or Peace)" not with respect to outside forces but within the colony and the individual villages was characterized as one of the main duties of New England "rulers."92

    The preamble of Massachusetts's earliest code of law, the "Body of Liberties" of 1641, presents the political ideology of New England Puritanism in a nutshell. The text is worth quoting:

    The free fruition of such liberties Immunities and priveledges as humanitie, Civilitie, and Christianitie call for as due to every man in his place and proportion without impeachment and Infringement hath ever been and ever will be the tranquilitie and Stabilitie of Churches and Commonwealths. And the deniall or deprivall thereof, the disturbance if not the ruine of both. We hould it thererfore our dutie and safetie whilst we are about the further establishing of this Government to collect and expresse all such freedomes as . . . we foresee may concerne us, and our posteritie after us, And to ratify them with our sollemne consent.93

    The concept of order and inequality ("liberties . . . as due to every man in his place and proportion") was clearly in effect. Rights and liberties were defined according to denominational standards. But the law itself and all the civil rights of the settlers were subordinate to the main issue of harmony and peace ("tranquilitie and Stabilitie"). The "Body of Liberties" - as in the case of all laws that were to follow it - was enacted by the consent of the communities' representatives. One might even say the consensus and the ratification clause were the necessary consequences of the concept of peace: A commonwealth guaranteeing harmony could only be based on unanimous acceptance. Drafts of the "Body of Liberties" had been submitted to the townships for their suggestions and their criticism. It might therefore at least be regarded as compatible with the majority's political objectives.94

    Peace implied unity. Even if they were not threatened from the outside, communities in America and in Europe regarded unity as a value in itself. In German and American source materials the communal obligation to stand together and act "as one man" occurs time and again. In his "Arrabella" speech Winthrop urged his fellow settlers to "be knitt together in this worke [that is, the building of the colony] as one man."95 When they decided on more important business, town meetings in the electorate of Trier formally proclaimed their willingness "beyeinander zu stehen, ein Mann zu sein, auch leib und gut beieinander zu lassen" (to stand together, to be one man, and to win or lose life and livelihood together).96 The term Einung (oneing) was used for the gatherings of rebellious peasants as well as for the bylaws of villages the inhabitants had agreed on.97 Hobbes's description of the Leviathan as a created god, a "person" formed by the consent of persons as well as the terms legal person or Rechtsperson might rather be derived from this communal tradition than directly from the theological metaphor of the church as the mystical body of Christ, even if that was the common source of both.98 In New England and in Germany town meetings seem to have regarded unanimous decisions as the rule or even as necessary.99 During the first gathering of the New Haven settlers in 1639 every item of the constitution read to the assembly was agreed on in a series of unanimous votes. Only one person, whose name the official record discreetly omits, voiced a dissenting opinion concerning a specific issue. He did so after he had voted in favor of the proposal "because he would nott hinder whatt they agreed upon" and was quickly silenced.100 The election sermon preached in Boston in 1671 described it as a prime duty of the rulers to "care to quiet Complaints and Contentions, and to heal dissatisfactions that arose among" the settlers.101 When the victory of the revolution was officially proclaimed in 1689 the representatives of the towns assembled in Boston stressed the fact that all political decisions had been made unanimously.102

    By emphasizing the values of peace and unity the community protected itself; its ability to act and its very existence depended on it. The hostility toward factionalism made it difficult to form supralocal interest groups that transcended the boundaries of the individual town; the political system was shaped by communal representation, not by the representation of regional pressure groups such as guilds or merchants' associations. Within the community, unity and peace marked the willingness of individuals to obey to its rules and accept standards of conduct that were based on reciprocity. The covenant and the confederacy illustrate this point. Both created obligations of individuals toward each other and thereby created communities. In contrast to Lockean concepts of contract, they did not mention individual rights.103 Strict social control was one of the basic features of early modern community life. Regional studies suggest that the concept of unity and peace could become ideologically contorted to the point of being dysfunctional. Tensions within the community were not resolved but smoldered quietly for years, providing among other things a breeding ground for accusations of witchcraft.104 Zuckerman explains that, as a result of this striving for unity, no election campaigns took place in New England and that the source materials seldom yield details concerning village political factionalism, the exact outcome of elections, or unsuccessful candidates. Open division and the clash of differing opinions was to be avoided or at least not be remembered for too long. When the decision had been made, village unity was restored. Even the secret ballot that was common in seventeenth-century New England might be regarded not only as a means to protect voters from the pressure of powerful candidates but also as a way to avoid obvious factionalism, that is, the clash of articulate supporters of different candidates during the election meeting. Indirectly, the central ideas of unity and peace discouraged opposition and strengthened the positions of representatives.105

    Villagers consciously and eagerly contrived unity: It was by no means - as Tönnies's romantic construction would have it, Gemeinschaft (traditional community)106 - an unproblematic result of living in small-scale communities. Of course, factionalism, pluralism, individualism, and self-interest existed within village communities, but they were rejected and sanctioned because they contradicted the political ideal of unity.107

    Given the importance of the religious foundation of the community, the strict obligation of the representative to his constituency and the decisive roles peace, unity, and the common good played in political thought, it comes as no surprise that communities on both sides of the Atlantic addressed charity and neighborly love as the ruling principle of politics.108 The idea of mutual obligation prevailed over that of divine election. The pattern of neighborly love facilitated the organization of community-state relations by means of representation based on elections. However, the utter lack of respect for pluralism and individualism in the political thought of the common man makes it impossible to regard early modern communal systems as democratic. Even though elections, representation, and participation had become integral parts of the political structure, it would still be anachronistic and misleading to call this structure "democracy."109 There could be no democracy without democratic thought. 

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  • Notes

    1 Alexis de Tocqueville, L'ancien régime et la révolution (Paris, 1856); Alexis de Tocqueville, Oeuvres complètes, ed. Jacob Peter Mayer, 2 vols. (Paris, 1952), bk. 2, chap. 3: 119. My translation: "This old community constitution can be found among all the nations that have been organized on a feudal basis, and in all the countries where these nations have carried the remnants of their laws. . . . I remember that when I was doing research on the nature of the old-regime community . . . in the archives of an intendancy I was surprised to find in such a poor and bound village several amazing traits which had previously attracted my attention in the rural communities of America. I had erroneously considered these traits a unique feature of the New World."

    2 The term Kommunalismus was used first by Adolf Gasser in 1939. In an attempt to defend what he regarded as genuinely Swiss political culture against the increasing power of National Socialism, Gasser described communalism as a political tradition based on democratically ordered communities providing an alternative to nondemocratic centralized systems. See Adolf Gasser, Geschichte der Volksfreiheit und der Demokratie (Aarau, 1939), and, more important, Adolf Gasser, Gemeindefreiheit als Rettung Europas, 2d ed. (Basel, 1947), reprinted in Adolf Gasser and Franz-Ludwig Knemeyer, eds., Gemeindefreiheit - kommunale Selbstverwaltung (Munich, 1983), 15-30, 149-162. See also Robert Scribner, "Communalism: Universal Category or Ideological Construct?" Historic Journal 37 (1994): 199-207.

    3 Peter Blickle, Kommunalismus: Skizzen einer gesellschaftlichen Organisationsform, 2 vols. (Munich, 2000), 2:374. See also Peter Blickle, "Kommunalismus: Begriffsbildung in heuristischer Absicht," in Peter Blickle, ed., Landgemeinde und Stadtgemeinde in Mitteleuropa: Ein struktureller Vergleich (Munich, 1991), 5-38.

    4 Wolfgang Kaschuba, "Kommunalismus als sozialer 'common sense,'" in Blickle, ed., Landgemeinde und Stadtgemeinde, 78-86.

    5 Cf. Blickle, "Kommunalismus: Begriffsbildung," passim; Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:40-69.

    6 Volker Press, "Kommunalismus oder Territorialismus," in Heiner Timmermann, ed., Bildung des frühmodernen Staates (Saarbrücken, 1989), 119-21, 126.

    7 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:23, 41-51. For concrete examples from the Mosel area, see Marlene Nikolay-Panter, Enstehung und Entwicklung der Landgemeinde im Trierer Raum, Rheinisches Archiv, vol. 97 (Bonn, 1976), 69-77.

    8 See Georg Schmidt, "Die Freien und die Reichsstädte im Schmalkaldischen Bund," in Volker Press and Dieter Stievermann, eds., Martin Luther: Probleme seiner Zeit (Stuttgart, 1986), 177-218. Catherine Kegel-Schorer, "Bauern als Republikaner: Die Freien auf der Leutkircher Heide," in Peter Blickle, ed., Politische Kultur in Oberschwaben (Tübingen, 1993), 97-117.

    9 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:137-42; Peter Blickle, Landschaften im Alten Reich (Munich, 1973). See also Karl Bosl, "Repräsentierte und Repräsentierende: Vorformen und Traditionen des Parlamentarismus an der gesellschaftlichen Basis der deutschen Territorialstaaten vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert," in Karl Bosl and Karl Möckl, eds., Der moderne Parlamentarismus und seine Grundlagen in der ständischen Repräsentation (Berlin, 1977), 99-120. On the Reich level, Emperor Maximilian I fought in vain against the imperative mandate. See Heinz Rausch, "Repräsentation: Wort, Begriff, Kategorie, Prozess, Theorie," in idem, 74.

    10 Bosl, "Repräsentierte und Repräsentierende," 99, 109.

    11 Jennifer Loach, "The House of Commons, 1528-1603," in Robert Smith and John Moore, eds., The House of Commons (London, 1996), 70-82. Jack Richon Pole, Political Representation in England and the Origins of the American Republic (London, 1966), 3-5. Blickle, Kommunalismus, 2:108-21.

    12 Virgina Dejohn Anderson, New England's Generation: The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, Mass., 1991), 89.

    13 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 2:108-21, 263-4.

    14 Timothy H. Breen, "Persistent Localism: English Social Change and the Shaping of New England Institutions," in Timothy H. Breen, ed., Puritans and Adventurers: Change and Persistence in Early America (New York, 1980), 3-24. Breen here distanced himself from Jackson Turner Main. Main used the term localist - the opposite of "cosmopolitan" or "urban" - to mean "rural" with overtones of "backward." The leadership of the agrarian hinterland of eighteenth-century America is defined as "localist": It failed to participate in interregional trade and lacked higher education. In contrast, the "cosmopolitans," the proto-bourgeois merchant elite of the coastal towns, are considered the driving force behind modernization. See Jackson Turner Main, Political Parties Before the Constitution (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1973), 32-3.

    15 Michael Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms: New England Towns in the Eighteenth Century, 2d ed. (Westport, Conn., 1983), 4.

    16 Winthrop drafted an act concerning the taxation of towns in which he stressed the privileges of the communities just months before he left Britain. This draft might have been a response to the king's attempts to interfere with the tax system; see John Winthrop, "Draft of Assessment Bill," in Samuel Eliot Morison et al., eds., The Winthrop Papers, 6 vols. (Boston, 1929), 1:418-19.

    17 Breen, "Persistent Localism," 5-13. For a short survey of the intellectual history of representation in the Anglo-Saxon context, see also Pole, Political Representation in England, 3-38.

    18 Kenneth Lockridge and Alan Kreider, "The Evolution of Massachusetts Town Government, 1640 to 1740," William and Mary Quarterly 3, no. 23 (1966): 549-74. Pole, Political Representation in England, 33-75.

    19 See, e.g., the controversy concerning discretionary justice and appeals in the 1630s or the relative ease with which the freemen voted Winthrop out of office, in Samuel Eliot Morison, Builders of the Bay Colony (Boston, 1930; reprint, Boston, 1981), 228-30; see also Edgar McManus, Law and Liberty in Early New England: Criminal Justice and Due Process, 1620-1692 (Amherst, Mass., 1993), 79-81.

    20 "At the Convention of the Representatives . . ." (Boston, 1689), reprinted in John Cushing, ed., The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, 1641-1691, 3 vols. (Wilmington, Del., 1976), 3:643.

    21 "Laws and Liberties," reprinted in Cushing, ed., Laws and Liberties, 1:42.

    22 Robert Brown, Middle-Class Democracy and the Revolution in Massachusetts, 1691-1780, 2d ed. (New York, 1968), 21-60. See also Katherine Brown, "Freemanship in Puritan Massachusetts," American Historical Review 59 (1953): 865-83. Katherine Brown, "Puritan Democracy: A Case Study," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 50 (1963): 377-96. Brown, Middle-Class Democracy, 21-41.

    23 Bosl, "Repräsentierte und Repräsentierende," 109; Brown, Middle-Class Democracy.

    24 This does not spell an identification of representation and democracy. On the contrary, both systems will be even more clearly distinguished from each other. See also Rausch, "Repräsentation," 69-98.

    25 Brown, Middle-Class Democracy, 365-400. Wolfgang Schmale, "Zur politischen Vorstellungswelt der französischen Bauern am Vorabend der Revolution," in Winfried Schulze, ed., Aufklärung, Politisierung und Revolution: Bochumer Früh-neuzeitstudien (Pfaffenweiler, 1991), 107-45.

    26 Cf. Timothy H. Breen, "Introduction," in Breen, ed., Puritans and Adventurers, xiii-xv. Kenneth Lockridge, Settlement and Unsettlement in Early America (Cambridge, Mass., 1981), 23. Blickle, Kommunalismus, 36.

    27 Neithard Bulst, "Rulers, Representative Institutions, and Their Members as Power Elites: Rivals or Partners?" in Wolfgang Reinhard, ed., Power Elites and State Building (Oxford, 1996), 44-7.

    28 Welskopp opposed this view. Cf. Thomas Welskopp, "Stolpersteine auf dem Königsweg: Methodenkritische Anmerkungen zum internationalen Vergleich in der Gesellschaftsgeschichte," Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 35 (1995): 339-67.

    29 Heinz-Gerhard Haupt and Jürgen Kocka, "Historischer Vergleich: Methoden, Aufgaben, Probleme: Eine Einleitung," in Heinz-Gerhard Haupt and Jürgen Kocka, eds., Geschichte und Vergleich: Ansätze und Ergebnisse international vergleichender Geschichtsschreibung (Frankfurt am Main, 1996), 15-16. In addition, Triebel stressed selectivity as a main quality of comparative historiography. See Armin Triebel, Die Pragmatik des Gesellschaftsvergleichs (Leipzig, 1997), 18-21.

    30 Haupt and Kocka, eds., Geschichte und Vergleich, 21-5. For older approaches, see the overview by Hans-Jürgen Puhle, "Theorien in der Praxis des vergleichenden Historikers," in Jürgen Kocka and Thomas Nipperdey, eds., Theorie und Erzählung in der Geschichte (Munich, 1979), 119-36.

    31 To this day, Bloch's short essay is one of the most important contributions to the theory of comparative historiography. See Marc Bloch, "Pour une histoire comparée des sociétés européennes," Revue de synthèse historique 46 (1928): 15-50, reprinted in Marc Bloch, Mélanges historiques, 2 vols. (Paris, 1963), 1:16-40.

    32 Michel Espagne, "Sur les limites du comparatisme en histoire culturelle," Génèses 17 (1994): 112-21. Haupt and Kocka, eds., Geschichte und Vergleich, 10, clearly distinguish comparisons from the study of interrelations. Cf. the criticism of Werner Daum, "Fallobst oder Steinschlag: Einleitende Überlegungen zum historischen Vergleich," in Helga Schnabel-Schüle, ed., Vergleichende Perspektiven - Perspektiven des Vergleichs: Studien zur europäischen Geschichte von der Spätantike bis ins 20. Jahr-hundert (Mainz, 1998), 1-21, esp. 10-11. For a new theory of cultural transfers and a case study, see Wolfgang Schmale, Historische Komparatistik und Kulturtransfer (Bochum, 1998).

    33 Antoon van den Braembussche, "Historical Explanation and Comparative Method: Towards a Theory of the History of Society," History and Theory 28 (1989): 1-24, esp. 21-4. I tried to put into practice the systemic approach suggested by Van den Braembussche's critical theory: Johannes Dillinger, "Böse Leute": Hexenverfolgungen in Schwäbisch-Österreich und Kurtrier im Vergleich, Trierer Hexenprozesse, vol. 5 (Trier, 1999).

    34 Chris Lorenz, Konstruktion der Vergangenheit: Eine Einführung in die Geschichtstheorie, Beiträge zur Geschichtskultur, vol. 13 (Cologne, 1997), 231-77.

    35 Haupt and Kocka, eds., Geschichte und Vergleich, 17-19.

    36 Otto Hintze, "Weltgeschichtliche Bedingungen der Repräsentativverfassung," Historische Zeitschrift 143 (1931): 1-47, reprinted in Gerhard Oestreich, ed., Otto Hintze: Staat und Verfassung, 3d ed. (Göttingen, 1970), 140-85. Cf. Schieder's criticism in Theodor Schieder, "Möglichkeiten und Grenzen vergleichender Methoden in der Geschichtswissenschaft," in Theodor Schieder, ed., Geschichte als Wissenschaft (Munich, 1965), 201-2.

    37 Émil Durkheim, Die Regeln der soziologischen Methode (Frankfurt am Main, 1995), esp. 205-17 (French ed., Paris, 1895). The Enlightenment assumed the existence of a stable set of humane behavior patterns similar to the laws of nature. This notion suggested "rules of history" and the possibility of analogous and generalizing comparisons as a means to overcome lacking source materials. Cf. Schieder, "Möglichkeiten und Grenzen," 198-201; Haupt and Kocka, eds., Geschichte und Vergleich, 14; Triebel, Die Pragmatik des Gesellschaftsvergleichs, 20-1.

    38 Schieder, "Möglichkeiten und Grenzen," 202-4; Haupt and Kocka, eds., Geschichte und Vergleich, 19-20. Schieder regarded Hintze's work as an example of synthesizing comparison. This is open to doubt because Hintze was not concerned with synthesis but rather with causation.

    39 Max Weber, "Die 'Objektivität' sozialwissenschaftlicher und sozialpolitischer Erkenntnis," in Johannes Winckelmann, ed., Max Weber: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre (Tübingen, 1973), 190-213.

    40 Leopold von Ranke, "Über die Epochen der neueren Geschichte," in Theodor Schieder and Helmut Berding, eds., Leopold von Ranke: Aus Werk und Nachlass, 2 vols. (Munich, 1971), lecture 18: 349-83. Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, Mass., 1962). Barrington Moore, Soziale Ursprünge von Diktatur und Demokratie (Frankfurt am Main, 1969).

    41 John Fairfield Sly, Town Government in Massachusetts (1620-1930) (Cambridge, Mass., 1930), 53-68.

    42 Press, "Kommunalismus oder Territorialismus," 127.

    43 J. Wayne Baker, Heinrich Bullinger and the Covenant: The Other Reformed Tradition (Athens, Ohio, 1980), 1-54, 166-74. For the influence of Calvin, see Everett Emerson, "Calvin and Covenant Theology," Church History 25 (1956): 136-44. For covenant theology, see Avihu Zakai, Theocracy in Massachusetts: Reformation and Separation in Early Puritan New England (Lewiston, N.Y., 1994), and the "classic" Perry Miller, The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, Mass., 1939; reprint, New York, 1983), 365-462.

    44 John Frederick Martin, Profits in the Wilderness: Entrepreneurship and the Founding of New England Towns in the Seventeenth Century (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1991), 139-42. See also the listing and categorization of founding documents provided in Daniel J. Elazar, "Covenant and Constitutionalism: The Great Frontier and the Matrix of Federal Democracy," in Daniel J. Elazar, The Covenant Tradition in Politics, 4 vols. (New Brunswick, N.J., 1995-1998), 3:22-3, 32, which is based on material found in Donald Lutz, ed., Documents of Political Foundation Written by Colonial Americans (Philadelphia, 1986). See also Anderson, New England's Generation, 93-5, 128.

    45 Peter Blickle, Die Revolution von 1525 (Munich, 1977), 147-50, 226-42. Founded on communal obligation and confirmed by oath, such Verbündnisse commanded the collective power of the community. They could employ their own lawyers and dealt routinely with the officials of the princes. The Verbündnis of the "confoederirte Underthanen" of the village of Wehrheim, for example, self-confidently presented the archbishop of Trier and the count of Nassau-Dillenburg at the end of the seventeenth century with their Resolutionen (official decisions), which quoted the Bible and Roman law in a scholarly fashion; Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden, 369/453, verbal quotation fol. 57v. For the political significance of the Verbündnis with concrete examples, see Walter Rummel, Bauern, Herren und Hexen (Göttingen, 1991), 26-37.

    46 Paolo Prodi, Das Sakrament der Herrschaft, Schriften des Italienisch-Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Trient, vol. 11 (Berlin, 1997), 208-9, 217-21. André Holenstein, "Seelenheil und Untertanenpflicht: Zur gesellschaftlichen Funktion und theoretischen Begründung des Eides in der ständischen Gesellschaft," in Peter Blickle, ed., Der Fluch und der Eid: Die metaphysische Begründung gesellschaftlichen Zusammenlebens und politischer Ordnung in der ständischen Gesellschaft, Zeitschrift für historische Forschung, Beiheft 15 (Berlin, 1993), 18-20, 33-40, 59-63.

    47 Elazar, "Covenant and Constitutionalism," 23.

    48 Jean Bodin, Sechs Bücher über den Staat (Paris, 1576), ed. Peter Mayer-Tasch and Bernd Wimmer, 2 vols. (Munich, 1981), bk. 1, chap. 8; bk. 3, chap. 7, in 1:223-4, 521-2, 540-6. See Prodi, Das Sakrament der Herrschaft, 208-9.

    49 "Laws and Liberties," in Cushing, ed., Laws and Liberties, 1:62-5.

    50 "Body of Liberties, Art. 3," in ibid., 3:690.

    51 J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton, N.J., 1975): 407, 507-21.

    52 Rausch, "Repräsentation," 87. See the excellent survey by Bulst, "Rulers, Representative Institutions," passim. See, e.g., the pioneering study by Franz Quar-thal, Landstände und landständisches Steuerwesen in Schwäbisch-Österreich (Stuttgart, 1980).

    53 Bosl, "Repräsentierte und Repräsentierende," 110-20. Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:139-42.

    54 John Kirby, "Early American Politics - The Search for Ideology," Journal of Politics 32 (1970): 808-38.

    55 Edward Cook, The Fathers of the Towns: Leadership and Community Structure in Eighteenth-Century New England (Baltimore, 1976), esp. 42-50, 98-118, 159-63, 185-6.

    56 Jack P. Greene, "Society, Ideology, and Politics," in Richard Jellison, ed., Society, Freedom, and Conscience: The American Revolution in Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York (New York, 1976), 14-76.

    57 Martin, Profits in the Wilderness, 37-45.

    58 P. M. G. Harris, "The Social Origins of American Leader: The Demographic Foundations," Perspectives in American History 3 (1969): 159-344.

    59 See the short survey by Michael Zuckerman, "Tocqueville, Turner, and Turds: Four Stories of Manners in Early America," Journal of American History 85 (1998): 13-42, esp. 13-16. Pocock described deference patterns as an integral part of republicanism. See Pocock, Machiavellian Moment, 485-86, 515-17, 531-8.

    60 Zuckerman's recent polemic against the deference paradigm is not always convincing. His speculations about "the very nature of the American character" and its supposedly radical egalitarian principles are hardly less self-referential than the "deference" concept. Zuckerman's examples of a complete lack of deference in eighteenth-century America demonstrate how difficult it is to use anecdotal evidence in this field of study. Zuckerman, Tocqueville, passim. Cf. also the commentary by Robert Gross, "The Impudent Historian: Challenging Deference in Early America," Journal of American History 85 (1998): 92-7.

    61 Friedrich Zunkel, "Ehre, Reputation," in Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and Reinhart Koselleck, eds., Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland, 8 vols. (Stuttgart, 1972-1993), 2:1-63. Ludgera Vogt and Arnold Zingerle, eds., Ehre - Archaische Momente in der Moderne (Frankfurt am Main, 1994), 71-2.

    62 Timothy H. Breen, The Character of the Good Ruler (New Haven, Conn., 1970), 36, 43, 48.

    63 John Norton, The Heart of N-England rent at the Blasphemies of the present Generation (Cambridge, 1659), 40-3. In England, Gerrard Winstanley failed to attract Puritan support. It is interesting to note that Norton did not even mention the Diggers in his sermon: The German peasant revolutionaries of the sixteenth century probably had become the stock-in-trade example of ungodly ochlocracy.

    64 William Hubbard, The Happiness of a People: In the Wisdome of their Rulers directing and in the obedience of their Brethren attending unto what Israel ought do (Boston, 1676), 7.

    65 Breen, Character of the Good Ruler, 59-60. See also Lee Schweninger, John Winthrop (Boston, 1990), 108-13.

    66 John Winthrop, "Defense of the Negative Vote" (1643), in Forber, ed., Winthrop Papers, 4:382-3, italics added.

    67 John Winthrop, "Letter to the Elders of the Massachusetts Churches," in Forber, ed., Winthrop Papers, 4:359-61, 359. In 1634 Winthrop had opposed the establishment of a legislative body that was to represent the towns. See Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma, 2d ed. (New York, 1999), 99-101.

    68 Miller noticed the contradiction between election and divine calling but did not venture to interpret it. Joshua Miller, The Rise and Fall of Democracy in Early America, 1630-1789: The Legacy for Contemporary Politics (University Park, Pa., 1991), 28.

    69 The short catalog of political ideas of eighteenth-century French peasants suggested by Schmale listed the relationship between community and territory as a point of interest, but did not consider it a key issue. Schmale's catalogue is too heterogeneous; it includes not only various layers of political skills, knowledge, and objectives but also patterns of individual behavior, such as "selbstsicher . . . irrational . . . lethargisch." Schmale, Vorstellungswelt, 142-5.

    70 Cf. Münch's skepticism concerning models of political mentalities designed for the early modern period that witnessed the dissolution of estates but not the formation of classes. Paul Münch, "Grundwerte der frühneuzeitlichen Stände-gesellschaft? Aufriß einer vernachlässigten Thematik," in Winfried Schulze and Helmut Gabel, eds., Ständische Gesellschaft und soziale Mobilität (Munich, 1988), 60-1, 64-6.

    71 Schmale, Vorstellungswelt, 42-5.

    72 Lockridge, Settlement and Unsettlement, 43. See also Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1988), esp. 50-2.

    73 Breen, "Introduction," xvii.

    74 Kaschuba, Kommunalismus als sozialer 'common sense,'" 85-90.

    75 See the illuminating conference report by André Holenstein, Beat Kümin, and Andreas Würgler, "Diskussionsbericht," in Peter Blickle, ed., Landgemeinde und Stadtgemeinde in Mitteleuropa: Ein struktureller Vergleich (Munich, 1991): 489-505, esp. 503-4. See also Peter Hibst, Utilitas publica - Gemeiner Nutz - Gemeinwohl: Untersuchungen zur Idee eines politischen Leitbegriffs von der Antike bis zum späten Mittelalter (Frankfurt am Main, 1991).

    76 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:88-106; André Holenstein, "Bauern zwischen Bauernkrieg und Dreissigjährigem Krieg," in Lother Gall et al., eds., Enzyklopädie deutscher Geschichte (Munich, 1996): 38:15-21, 25-6, 117.

    77 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:88.

    78 Quoted according to ibid., 1:101.

    79 John Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity," in Mitchell, ed., Winthrop Papers, 2:282-95, 283.

    80 "Laws and Liberties," in Cushing, ed., Laws and Liberties, 1:62. "Oath of a Freeman," in Charles J. Hoadly, ed., Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, from 1638 to 1649 (Hartford, Conn., 1857), 62-3. "Free Mans Charge," in J. Hammond Trumbull and Charles J. Hoadly, eds., The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 15 vols. (Hartford, Conn., 1850-1890), 1:19.

    81 "Laws and Liberties," in Cushing, ed., Laws and Liberties, 1:5-6.

    82 Martin, Profits in the Wilderness, 28-37, 245-53.

    83 Münch, "Grundwerte der frühneuzeitlichen Ständegesellschaft?" 66-71. Mack Walker, German Home Towns: Community, State, and General Estate, 1648-1871, 2d ed. (Ithaca, N.Y., 1998), 133-7. For Blickle, order did not play a major role in the communalist system of norms. See the short allusion in Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:93.

    84 Anderson, New England's Generation, 89-91. See also Martin, Profits in the Wilderness, 9-45, 149-67.

    85 Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms, 70-1.

    86 See, e.g., Jonathan Mitchel, Nehmiah on the Wall (Cambridge, 1671), 4. Discussing the duties of rulers (i.e., the members of the Boston General Court), Mitchel stated that property issues were of hardly any avail for politics. At most, rulers were supposed to care for the subsistence of their "subjects." See also Jack Richon Pole, The Gift of Government: Political Responsiblitiy from the English Restoration to American Independence (Athens, Ga., 1983), 16-17. For Europe, see Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:106-10; 2:197-222. Blickle accepted Renate Blickle's suggestion that the Hausnotdurft (i.e., subsistence of every peasant household) is to be regarded as an objective of the town. It seems questionable whether the interest of the individual households and that of the community can be equated. See Renate Blickle, "Hausnotdurft," in Günther Birtsch, ed., Grund- und Freiheitsrechte von der ständischen zur spätbürgerlichen Gesellschaft (Göttingen, 1987), 42-64.

    87 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:110-15; 2:186-7. See also Bernhard Schildt, "Der Friedensgedanke im frühneuzeitlichen Dorfrecht," Zeitschrift der Savigny Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germanistische Abteilung 197 (1990): 188-235.

    88 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 2:175-94.

    89 Helga Schnabel-Schüle, Überwachen und Strafen im Territorialstaat: Bedingungen und Auswirkungen des Systems strafrechtlicher Sanktionen im frühneuzeitlichen Württemberg (Cologne, 1997): 203-4, 329-32; Holenstein, "Seelenheil und Untertanenpflicht," 11-13; Holenstein, "Bauern zwischen Bauernkrieg," 20-1.

    90 McManus, Law and Liberty in Early New England, 38-71.

    91 Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms, 54-5.

    92 Mitchel, Nehmiah on the Wall, 2.

    93 "Body of Liberties," in Cushing, ed., Laws and Liberties, 3:690. For very similar wording in the preamble of Connecticut's first law code, see Trumbull, Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 509.

    94 Morison, Builders of the Bay Colony, 228-30. See also Johannes Dillinger, "Die Gemeinde, die Kolonie, der Sünder: Grundlagen des Strafrechts im kolonialen Neuengland," in Helga Schnabel-Schüle, ed., Rahmenbedingungen der Strafjustiz in der Frühen Neuzeit im internationalen Vergleich (forthcoming).

    95 Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity," 294.

    96 Johann Jakob Scotti, ed., Sammlung der Gesetze und Verordnungen welche in dem vormaligen Churfürstenthum Trier über Gegenstände der Landeshoheit, Verfassung, Verwaltung und Rechtspflege ergangen sind, 3 vols. (Düsseldorf, 1832), 1:555, no. 152.

    97 E.g., Günther Franz, ed., Quellen zur Geschichte des Bauernkrieges, 2 vols. (Munich, 1963), 2:16, 228, 232, 367

    98 For Hobbes and communalism, see Manfred Walther, "Kommunalismus und Vertragstheorie," in Peter Blickle and Elisabeth Müller-Luckner, eds., Theorien kommunaler Ordnung in Europa (Munich, 1996), 137-42.

    99 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:43, 93-5.

    100 Hoadly, Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, 11-18.

    101 Mitchel, Nehmiah on the Wall, 5.

    102 "At the Convention of the Representatives," in Cushing, ed., Laws and Liberties, 3:643.

    103 Miller, Rise and Fall of Democracy, 35.

    104 Blickle, Kommunalismus, 1:111-12. For witchcraft accusations and conflicts within village communities, see Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (Cambridge, 1974), 179-216. Rainer Walz, Hexenglaube und magische Kommunikation im Dorf der frühen Neuzeit (Paderborn, 1993). Dillinger, Böse Leute.

    105 Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms, 166-86.

    106 For Tönnies's concept of Gemeinschaft versus Gesellschaft and its consequences, see Sibylle Tönnies, "Gemeinschaft oder Gesellschaft - ein Werturteil?" in Lars Clausen and Franz Pappi, eds., Ankunft bei Tönnies (Kiel, 1981), 172-81.

    107 Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms, 118-19.

    108 Holenstein, "Bauern zwischen Bauernkrieg," 42. Edmund S. Morgan, Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea, 2d ed. (Ithaca, N.Y., 1965), 11-14.

    109 Rausch, "Repräsentation," 73. The Browns argued that democracy defined as "government elected by and satisfactory to the majority of the people" had de facto arrived in New England with the earliest settlers, see Brown, Middle-Class Democracy, 404-8. See also Brown, "Puritan Democracy," 377-96, definition 396. Miller's distinction between democracy and liberalism reduces democracy to direct democracy and thereby turns a blind eye to the central importance of representative institutions in Puritan New England. See Miller, Rise and Fall of Democracy, 10-14. 

  • Networks of an Academic World Community: The Exodus of German-Speaking Women Scientists and the Refugee Aid Program of the American Association of University Women

    Christine von Oertzen

    On the same day that the second American atomic bomb destroyed Nagasaki, Japan, an article appeared in the Washington Post titled "Nazi Boomerang."1 Its author claimed that Germany's women scientists had had the last word after being persecuted with particular severity by the Nazi regime. According to the article, it was Lise Meitner's discovery of atomic fission that permitted development of the atomic bomb, which was now finally bringing the fascist Axis powers to their knees.

    The article cited Meitner, an Austrian Jew, as an example of how women had successfully fought for the freedom of the sciences and the survival of women scientists in Europe. When the Nazis removed Meitner from her position at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin in 1938, she fled to Copenhagen, eventually finding her way to the Academy of Sciences in Stockholm with the help of the Swedish Association of University Women. Meitner made her groundbreaking calculations in Swedish exile, supported by a grant from the Swedish university women.

    Today, we know that Meitner had nothing to do with the invention of the atomic bomb.2 What interests me is not why this Washington Post correspondent sought to justify the dropping of Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by referring to the crimes of the Third Reich against women. Rather, I would like to know how women mobilized on behalf of this claim. The article is noteworthy because it directs our attention to an international network of women that has received little notice and even less systematic examination in the scholarship on education and emigration during the Third Reich.3

    Meitner was only one among many women who found support that saved her life and enabled her to continue her career as a scientist. The International Federation of University Women (IFUW) went to great lengths to facilitate the flight of women academics out of the territories dominated by the Nazi regime, and to help them establish a new existence elsewhere.

    In this essay, I examine the long-neglected topic of organized academic refugee aid to women. I explore its origins, introduce its main actors, show who sought - and who could obtain - help. This international network analysis is part of my project on the history of gender, education, and international relations in the West from the late nineteenth century to the present. Here, I investigate how and to what extent university women in Germany, the United States, and other Western countries succeeded in creating an efficient female equivalent to the male concept of a homo academicus - on the personal, institutional, national, and international levels. In order to "normalize" professional and academic careers for women, academic women's organizations, such as the American Association of University Women (AAUW) founded in 1881, the British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) founded in 1907, and their German counterpart, the German Federation of Women Academics (Deutscher Akademikerinnenbund or DAB) founded in 1926, explicitly dedicated themselves to nonpartisan aims. These organizations and their international umbrella organization - the IFUW - provide the institutional framework of my comparative study of the policies and culture(s) of professionalization.

    The emigration of scholars from Nazi Europe has often been described as a story of remarkable successes. Despite many personal tragedies it seems evident that - compared to other social groups - a considerable number of scientists not only managed to flee but also re-established their careers thanks to the "efforts of the international community of scientists."4 Scholars agree that the generous support of the Academic Assistance Council founded in 1933 in London (in 1936 it was renamed the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning or SPSL), the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German/Foreign Scholars in New York, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaftler im Ausland (Emergency Aid Group of German Scientists Abroad) allowed the "biggest intellectual exodus" in modern history to flourish in the countries of refuge.5 Female scientists and professionals appear only on the margins of these accounts, even though we know that at least 50 percent of all female German lecturers (Privatdozenten) were dismissed and persecuted.6

    Because women - with rare exceptions - did not profit from the efforts of the best-known representatives of the "international community of sciences," it is often assumed that they either found their way without help or, more likely, that they did not succeed in continuing their careers once abroad. The refugee aid of the international network of women academics, however, permits us to evaluate the notion of a "female academic world citizenship" in times of extreme hardship. Specifically, my analysis of women's international networks allows an analysis of the personal and institutional bonds to which professional women had access.

    My starting point is the extensive correspondence of the International Relations Office of the AAUW. Between 1933 and 1945 about 140 mostly German-speaking women academics turned to this committee for help with emigration, support in their search for new jobs in the United States, and funding of their interrupted research. The correspondence is an impressive compilation of evidence on how persecuted scholars responded to the burden of being stripped of their rights, what support they hoped for, and the extent to which American women were willing and able to mobilize on their behalf.

    This essay is organized in two parts. First, I briefly sketch the history of the network operating in this international community of women academics, illustrating its international scope, political objectives, organizational networks, and personal connections. Second, I explore what happened when European women academics turned to the AAUW for help, including their motivations and their successes and failures.

    Education, Gender, and the Politics of World Peace: The History of the International Community of Academic Women

    The idea of an international society of female academic citizens goes back to World War I. The United States' entry into the war in April 1917 triggered a wave of anti-German sentiment in that country. The Association of Collegiate Alumnae, as the AAUW was known from its founding in 1891 until 1919, was not unaffected by these sentiments. The need to dissociate from all things German was manifested throughout American society. This was especially true when it came to schools and educational policy, where long-admired German educational ideals and models were suddenly abandoned. At the same time, the organization grew more aware of its European connections, and particularly to its wartime allies.7 In this context, education became a central factor in the policies of the Anglo-American alliance, evolving after the German capitulation into a project for securing the peace. American and British university women played an important role in this development: As visible representatives of a civil educational ideology, they were not merely tolerated in the arena of international peace politics but genuinely courted as well as given political and financial support.

    In 1919, the same year that the League of Nations was established, the first eight national societies of women academics - in Canada, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States - formed the IFUW. The new federation enjoyed a close relationship with the Institute for International Education (IIE) in New York, also created in 1919 with funds provided by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    Throughout its existence, the IFUW was financially dependent on the AAUW. In 1919 the AAUW boasted 12,000 members and always had more money than any other national organization. During the first years the IFUW would even have been inconceivable without the American women and the IIE, which provided office space, office supplies, and a paid office manager. The International Relations Committee of the AAUW took on the lion's share of the organization's developmental burdens. Thanks to another generous donation from the Carnegie Endowment and successful fundraising, particularly because the founding of the IFUW brought the AAUW a great many new members, the IFUW was soon on sound financial footing.8 Poorer European societies received official support, for example, the French and Spanish governments paid the travel costs of their delegates because high political value was placed on the federation in the realm of international relations.9

    At their inaugural meeting in London the IFUW's founders agreed on concrete educational policy objectives: It would work internationally to achieve the opening up of all colleges and universities to women, it would claim equal pay for equal work, and it would assert the right of married women to have a professional career. In addition, the IFUW would work to make it possible for women scientists around the world to fully actualize their capabilities. Above all, however, the IFUW would promote the uniformity of educational systems and the international exchange of women students, teachers, and researchers, a goal that would be achieved by means of fellowships, the building of clubhouses, and an emphasis on international hospitality. "Standards" and "Hospitality" committees undertook the pursuit of these objectives.

    A generous donation from a wealthy American woman, Mrs. Whitelaw Reid, and general enthusiasm for this international project made it possible to implement the ambitious plans by the early 1920s. A palatial villa in the center of Paris (Reid Hall, run by American women) and a venerable old property in London (Crosby Hall) were dedicated with great fanfare in 1922 and 1926, respectively. They offered accommodation, good, inexpensive cuisine, stimulating conversation, and a proper clubroom to hold approximately fifty visiting academics at a time.10 By 1928 the IFUW had collected enough money to offer its members fellowships for postgraduate and advanced studies; between 1928 and 1941 thirty-five year-long fellowships were granted.11

    The political mission and the opportunities for international contacts made membership in the IFUW attractive to women academics in many countries, and the federation expanded from eight to twenty-two member countries in its first three years. The issue of whether to admit a German society, however, was a matter of considerable controversy, at least at the time the IFUW was founded. It was only after lengthy discussion that the newly appointed board agreed to set aside reservations and devote itself to "genuine internationalism," which included the possibility of integrating Germany and Austria into the network at the appropriate time.12 The Austrian women were allowed to join in 1922, and the German academic women followed in 1927. Soon thereafter, Lise Meitner, Anna Schoenbohm, Ilse Szagunn, and Agnes von Zahn-Harnack all were elected to IFUW committees.13 Connections forged in the last years of the Weimar Republic - at various council meetings and delegate assemblies also attended by German Reichstag deputies Marie-Elisabeth Lüders and Gertrud Bäumer - firmly anchored the German women academics in the international academic community, dominated though it was by the Anglo-Americans. By the end of Weimar, the German academics were so successful at overcoming reservations about their country that the delegate assembly of the IFUW convention in Edinburgh in 1932 unanimously accepted an invitation to hold the next convention meeting, in 1936, in Berlin.14

    This meeting never took place. The Nazi "seizure of power" in January 1933 was followed by the partial dissolution of the DAB. By the spring of 1933, all that remained of this once substantial academic umbrella organization of nearly 4,000 members was a group of approximately two hundred. The new chair, a "Frau Matthias," was completely unknown in the international arena. As she confidently announced to the very irritated board of the IFUW at its meeting in Budapest in 1934, she intended to "reorganize" the DAB according to the "new spirit" of the time.15

    As many members of the IFUW board reported in retrospect, this Budapest meeting was a dramatic political event they would not soon forget.16 The British member, as well as the chair of the newly established Palestinian federation, had heard in great detail from the numerous German academic women refugees, predominantly Jews, about this new spirit. After pointed questioning of the two German delegates regarding the attitude of the Third Reich toward its intellectuals, freedom of thought, and international peace, the board passed an amendment to the IFUW's bylaws that unmistakably spelled out the conditions under which they were prepared to continue the membership of the German member organization. The new bylaw stated that: "No federation shall be admitted or retained as a member of the IFUW which debars qualified university women from membership by reason of their race, religion, or political opinions."17 In 1936 the remnants of the German organization, now "synchronized" with the Reichsbund deutscher Akademikerinnen, terminated its membership in the IFUW.18 The IFUW's planned meeting in Berlin was moved to Krakau.

    Connections between many former members of DAB and the American and international federations remained in place, albeit on an informal level. The secretary of the International Relations Office of the AAUW, historian Esther Brunauer, had taken a sabbatical from Washington for the year of 1933 in order to conduct research in Berlin. Funded by the Oberlander Trust, she had planned to explore further her dissertation topic, a study on the German and Austrian peace proposals during World War I. On her arrival in Berlin, Brunauer changed her topic. As a guest of Berlin university women, she experienced the "Nazi revolution" first-hand, reporting on thought-provoking evenings at Meitner's apartment, where she was staying. Shortly after her arrival on the night of February 27, 1933 (only hours before the Reichstag went up in flames), she was at home with the famous physicist when colleagues brought the news of Gertrud Baumer's removal from the Prussian civil service; she then stayed for an all-night discussion of the grim political situation.19 Brunauer decided to travel throughout Germany, to meet as many people as possible from the old as well as from the new regime. Toward the end of her stay she even managed to get an appointment with Hitler.20 Brunauer recorded her impressions in a book entitled The Nazi State and in numerous articles for the AAUW journal. Interest in her impressions was so great that she practically drowned in invitations to lecture after returning to the United States.22 (Brunauer also was a source for the previously cited Washington Post article.)

    The center of activity for refugee aid prior to 1938 was not in the United States, but Europe, especially western Europe. The British organization was among the most active; by 1933, the English university women had made it their federation's highest goal to provide assistance to German colleagues who had been removed from offices and positions of respect.23 Together with the IFUW (and financed through a special Emergency Fund for Displaced Women Scholars), they established a service agency, which the IFUW systematically publicized as the contact address for women scholars throughout Europe. The federation's guest house served increasingly as accommodation for women academics who had lost their livelihood on the continent and could hope to find at Crosby Hall not only room and board but also modest financial support as well. The money came largely from charity bazaars and donations from the local chapters of the organization. Local chapters also adopted individual women refugees, supplying them with life's necessities and with social contacts.24

    Brunauer's experiences in Germany had a crucial impact on AAUW refugee policies, even though until 1940 she had to operate without her own budget. However, the international AAUW fellowships for 1934-5 and 1935-6 went explicitly to German scholars in exile, permitting Gertrud Kornfeld,25 a photochemist from Berlin, and Elisabeth Jastrow, an archeologist, to continue their research outside Germany. Kornfeld, who, after 1933, had kept her head above water at the University College of Nottingham with the help of the British federation, used the money to attend the University of Vienna for a year. Jastrow went to southern Italy.26 In the United States, the AAUW's International Relations Office was engaged to find teaching positions for German women scholars at American colleges and universities. In some rare cases, they succeeded in doing so, as in the case of physicist Herta Sponer, who started in her new position at Duke University in February 1936.27

    In 1941 the desperate refugee situation led the AAUW to resolve that the organization should "provide all aid possible to resist the totalitarian aggression."28 On the basis of the resolution the American branch created a War Relief Committee to promote the refugee aid program as well as manage a newly established fund. By the time the United States entered the war in December 1941, the American branch had gathered more than $30,000 in donations from its members; only a fraction of the money was used for refugee aid in the United States. During the next five years, $12,000 went to England, $5,000 to Palestine, $2,000 to Switzerland, and $1,000 each to Canada and Sweden, with smaller amounts distributed to other prominent refugee stations: France, Lisbon, and Shanghai. The committee distributed a total of $8,000 to refugees in the United States in the form of small grants and interest-free loans.29

    The Network in Action: Aid Requests and Their Rate of Success

    The refugee case files of the AAUW's International Relations Office contain a wealth of material about aid recipients and applicants. In order to characterize the sample of the 140 women academics who requested aid, I would like to present some of the results of a preliminary survey.

    Most of these women first came into contact with the AAUW in Washington between 1938 and 1942. Nearly all disciplines were represented, led by medicine (16), physics (8), chemistry (7), history (5), law (4), and economics (4); one also reads of applicants from the fields of biology, mathematics, art history, archeology, psychoanalysis, sociology, philology, and social work. Six women worked as librarians, nineteen as teachers, four as professors. Only eight were still students. Forty-two women gave precise details about their age: more than half of those were over 40 years old, and a considerable number (12) were over fifty. I expect this higher-than-average to be typical of the entire sample.

    Prominent names in the sample include not only Meitner, but also Vienna sociologist Marie Jahoda, historian Hedwig Hintze, social theorist Alice Salomon, former Reichstag duputy Adele Schreiber, Czech social democrat Fanny Blatny, and Helene Stöcker, the elder spokeswoman of the German Women's and Peace Movements. Most of the women, however, are academics largely unknown today. Among this larger group, the women, as their resumes indicate, enjoyed extremely successful and impressive careers in their countries of origin.

    Well over a third, or fifty-eight of the women, lived on the European continent at the time of first contact; thirteen wrote from England. Fifty-six had succeeded in emigrating to the United States. All of the inquiries from the continent expressed the wish to emigrate as quickly as possible. These women came not only from Germany but also from Austria, Czechoslowakia, Italy, and France. The overwhelming majority of the women were being persecuted for - in Nazi terminology - "racist" reasons. However, only a few described themselves as Jews; most reported their religion to be Protestant or Catholic. They also claimed to be of "non-Aryan" descent.

    In the majority of cases, namely, seventy-two, the women themselves wrote the letters to American authorities. In twenty-five cases, the connection to the Americans was made through the IFUW in London. Friends and relatives interceded in twenty-two of the cases, as did other aid organizations in ten, and colleagues in nine cases. Interestingly, most of this latter group involved physicists, with the most effective communication taking place between men already established in the United States and less well-known women arriving later. Unrivaled are the efforts of physicist Phillip Ladenburg on behalf of Hedwig Kohn, who escaped from Breslau in the summer of 1940 with the help of the AAUW and the IFUW.30

    At this stage I can only draw preliminary conclusions from the material. The reasons women applied for help provide some grounds to offer initial impressions. The motivations of the women in my sample are in stark contrast to the customary notions put forth in emigration research, which generally assumes that it was easier for women to leave because they had less to lose professionally and socially. The letters also challenge another assumption in the scholarship, namely, that German Jews decided "too late" to emigrate.31

    Requests to the AAUW show that the women accurately gauged when the time had come for them to leave the European continent; their decision to emigrate was by no means "delayed." Crucial to their decision was an assessment of their professional future.32 The women in question, for all their differences, were highly mobile and extremely flexible (most, but not all of them were unmarried). They responded with great creativity to the injustices of being dismissed from jobs, ostracized from their communities, and denied their rights. Many of them had already studied abroad and spoke several languages. Among those fired as early as 1933 were women who eked out an existence in other European countries with grants and contract work, such as photochemist Kornfeld.

    The letters reveal that, for some women, the Jewish subculture produced in part by the social ostracism opened up professional opportunities. I presume they were more attractive and lasted longer for women than for men, especially in teaching positions. Women seem to have filled positions because their male predecessors had emigrated. Two examples here must stand for many: After her dismissal from the civil service in 1933, economist and trade school professor Erna Barschak first went to London University College for a term and then to Geneva to study psychology with internationally renowned professors. She returned to Germany in 1935 when she had the opportunity to take a position as full professor at the Jewish University College in Berlin. Her position was now approximately the same as it had been before 1933 at the state school, and she had also succeeded in maintaining her international connections. For example, in 1937 she traveled again to Switzerland and took part in a conference in England. In 1938 she worked on a book on women's psychology that she hoped to publish in English. She wrote to several friends, her two sisters, and the AAUW in September 1938 predicting the erosion of the Jewish University College. Emigrating students and teachers were disappearing, and her professional future in Germany therefore seemed to be coming to an end.33

    Scientist Gertrud Schlesinger, who turned to Brunauer on the advice of Marie-Elisabeth Lüders in early 1939, had even returned to Germany in 1938 after having been dismissed from the civil service in 1933. Schlesinger fled first to France and then to the American College for Girls in Istanbul to continue her career as a teacher. However, the pay there was so poor, and the living conditions so harsh, that she accepted an offer from Leonore Goldschmidt to teach at her private Jewish school in Berlin. When this school was scheduled to close in April 1939, she wanted to emigrate to the United States.34

    The request from Italy in September 1938 from Vienna resident Auguste Jellinek is the last example to support my thesis of the high degree of work-related flexibility. Jellinek, an opera singer and scholar specializing in children's hearing and speech disorders, had been conducting research at the Otology Clinic of the University of Rome since 1933. Forced again to emigrate by Italy's anti-Semitic laws, she wrote to the AAUW in September 1938: "Because I am Jewish, I must leave Italy, where I have worked successfully at several universities. I hope to secure to an affidavit from my cousin to come to the United States, but I am coming with no money and must try to find work at a university or teacher-training facility. I cannot return to Vienna.... But I have wanted to come to America for several years, and I am glad that my opportunity has come."35

    Analysis of the correspondence of the AAUW's International Relations Office does not reveal an overall success story for the refugee aid program. On the contrary, sixty-two women turned to the AAUW for help without useful support. Because of the restrictive immigration policies of the United States, which were intensified in the face of the European refugee crisis in 1938, the American women often found that their hands were tied. In the Jellinek case, however, Brunauer successfully interceded with the American consul in Naples to accelerate the processing of Jellinek's visa. She got her an appointment at the consulate, and the next letter from Jellinek on October 13, 1938, was received from St. Louis. On her own initiative, from Italy, she had obtained a position with Max Goldstein, the director of the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis.36

    There was also a happy ending for Schlesinger, who returned to Berlin from Istanbul in 1938. She managed to get to England together with Leonore Goldschmidt - it is not clear whether or not the IFUW was involved - and worked in the refugee school that Goldschmidt had opened there.37

    Erna Barschak also made it to England with the help of the IFUW, where she found work as a housekeeper. There, she waited for her visa to enter the United States.38 It will be possible to learn more about her fate in the United States because she wrote an autobiography about her "American adventure" in 1945. To date, I have not yet gained access to it.39

    Finally, I would like to convey at least a brief impression of the AAUW's efforts to assist women whose requests came from the United States. These letters describe in painstaking detail the thousands of difficulties the new arrivals confronted in the United States. Each letter reveals severe disappointment and depression about their professional prospects, which, in many instances, stood in stark contrast to the success they had enjoyed in Europe. The successes of the AAUW, notwithstanding the considerable effort, were not spectacular: The American organization placed only five women emigrants in positions at a college or university. One reads time and again that a list of names circulated at regular intervals by the International Relations Office of the AAUW brought almost no response. Whether referrals to other, career-specific aid organizations were successful remains to be examined. The seven oldest women's colleges, the Seven Sisters, were the most reliable partners in the university community.

    The supreme commandment of all financial aid programs of the era was that the recipients must use the aid to become self-sufficient. The most suitable kinds of aid in this regard included loans for the establishment of a medical practice and grants for the completion of studies (social work), but not such things as research grants for liberal arts and humanities scholars. One last example will show the successful model for promoting women dedicated to careers outside of science. Archeologist Alice Mühsam applied for a grant in December 1940 at the age of fifty-one to continue her research into Greek portraits in the Roman Empire, which she had been forced to interrupt in 1938 in Berlin. The AAUW did not appreciate Mühsam's desire to find a part-time grant in order to extract herself gradually from the physically difficult cleaning work with which she had been making her living for two years. Instead, Esther Brunauer set up a consultation for her with curator Gisela Richter of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, who in turn recommended that she start a new career in the restoration of antiquities. Through the joint efforts of Brunauer and Richter, Mühsam was referred to the art restorer of the Brooklyn Museum, who agreed to train the archeologist for two years in his workshop. For this position, the War Relief Committee approved a subsidy of $250 a year.40


    A definitive statement about the strength of the network I am exploring - the network of the international female academic community - requires more research. In particular, I need to reconstruct the histories of other national member organizations and their umbrella organization, the IFUW. Regardless of how and whether aid was granted, the inquiries I have outlined above do provide a fascinating picture that illuminates much more than the individual stories, revealing how flexibly, resolutely, and - in more cases than one would expect - successfully women scholars went about practicing their professions.

    The role of the American women in this global network can be characterized as follows: They were from the beginning the financial backbone of the organization and, although they were not able to do nearly as much as many women hoped who turned to them for help, they helped a considerable number of women scholars escape Nazi Europe. In fewer instances, they allowed women to continue careers in the United States.

    The letters from women academics to their American counterparts had another interesting effect: They raised consciousness about the rising threat of fascism. In 1938 the AAUW became the first American "internationalist" organization to speak out against the country's neutrality. Two years later, the AAUW called for the United States to enter the war in Europe.41 An organization that had emerged to promote world peace among an international community of academic women demonstrated it could change with the times, recognizing that the need to respond with force to the threat of National Socialism transcended the lofty principles of world peace and internationalism. 

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  • Notes

    This essay was translated from the German by Sally E. Robertson, and is a slightly revised version of a lecture I delivered at the colloquium Science History as Gender History, at the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Women and Gender at the Technical University of Berlin. It is the first publication resulting from a larger research project titled "Gender, Education, and International Politics: A Comparative History of the German Federation of University Women and the American Association of University Women, 1890-1955." I am grateful to the GHI and to the German-American Academic Council for funding my stay in Washington, D.C., in 1999. I also wish to thank the American Association of University Women for giving me access to their archives and for supporting this project.

    1 "Nazi Boomerang," Washington Post, Aug. 9, 1945, reprinted in AAUW Journal 39, no. 1 (fall 1945): 38.

    2 Meitner's nickname "Jewish mother of the bomb" can be traced to a docudrama written by William P. Lawrence and published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1940. Lawrence later became a well-known science writer for the New York Times. In the Saturday Evening Post story Lawrence claimed that the idea of fission began forming in Meitner's mind when she was staring out of the train window on her way from Berlin to Stockholm. In fact, Meitner was stunned and deeply distraught when she heard about the bombing of Hiroshima: "She did not know how the Americans had managed to separate the Uranium . . . she only knew that she had been present in the beginning." (See Ruth Lewin Sime, Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics [Berkeley, Calif., 1996], 313ff.)

    3 Neither the International Federation of University Women nor any of its national member organizations is mentioned in recent accounts of refugee aid. As in the case of Meitner, for example, scholars emphasize the role powerful physicist friends played in her rescue, which is doubtless true. Nevertheless, the role of the female network - which contributed to her living expenses in Stockholm - is completely overlooked. The same is true for scholars who focus on gender and emigration. See Hiltrud Häntzschel's recent account in Claus-Dieter Krohn et al., eds., Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration 1933-1945 (Darmstadt, 1998), 101-16.

    4 Krohn et al., eds., Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration, 683.

    5 About 2,000 of the scholars who had been dismissed later emigrated. A list issued by the SPSL in 1936 named over 1,000 displaced German scholars; among them were only 78 women. Until 1945 the New York Committee of Displaced German Scholars alone placed more than 350 scientists within the United States. In total, roughly 1,300 scientists re-established themselves in the United States, many of them with the financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation. Younger scholars and women are assumed to have found their way "without any help," ibid., 686; for England, see Marion Berghahn, German-Jewish Refugees in England: The Ambiguities of Assimilation (New York, 1984), 77ff.

    6 Hiltrud Häntzschel, "Frauen jüdischer Herkunft an bayerischen Universitäten: Zum Zusammenhang von Religion, Geschlecht und 'Rasse,'" in Hiltrud Häntzschel and Hadumod Bussmann, eds., Bedrohlich gescheit: Ein Jahrhundert Frauen und Wissenschaften in Bayern (Munich, 1997), 195ff. For further exceptions to this rule, see especially the essays by Atina Grossman on "New Women in Exile: German Women Doctors and the Emigration," and Frank Mecklenburg on "The Occupation of Women Emigrés: Women Lawyers in the United States," in Sybille Quack, ed., Between Sorrow and Strength: Women Refugees of the Nazi Period (New York, 1995), 215-38 and 289-99, resp.; Sybille Quack, Zuflucht Amerika: Zur Sozialgeschichte der Emigration deutsch-jüdischer Frauen in die USA 1933-1945 (Bonn, 1995); Marion Kaplan, Between Dignity and Depair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (New York, 1998).

    7 "A World Organization of University Women," Journal of the ACA 18, nos. 5 and 6 (Mar. 1920): iv-v.

    8 Virginia Gildersleeve, "What the AAUW Has Meant to the IFUW," AAUW Journal 35, no. 1 (1941): 13-15. This trend of considerable growth continued with another peak in 1939-40: Starting with about 12,000 members in 1917, the AAUW had 16,500 members in 1922-3, 36,000 in 1930, 63,000 in 1939, and almost 70,100 in June 1941. In 1949 the membership had again doubled to 112,746. In 1976 the AAUW had 190,327 members. Figures are from Susan Levine, Degrees of Equality: The American Association of University Women and the Challenge of 20th-Century Feminism (Philadelphia, 1995), 216. The biggest European sister organizations (Germany and England) never had more than 4,000 members.

    9 "The International Federation of University Women: Council Meeting in London," AAUW Journal 15, no. 1 (Oct. 1921): 10.

    10 Whitelaw Reid's property, a sixteenth-century mansion at 4 rue de Chevreuse, was next to the Luxembourg Gardens. Reid was a close friend of Virginia Gildersleeve, dean of Barnard College and co-founder of the IFUW. During World War I Reid converted the mansion into a hospital for American officers and later handed it over to the American Red Cross. After the war she initially lent the property to the AAUW; in 1927 she turned it over to a group of women, all of whom were prominent members of the AAUW. See Marion Talbot and Lois Kimball Mathews Rosenberry, The History of the American Association of University Women, 1881-1931 (Boston, 1931), 274-5. For Crosby Hall, see J. H. Sondheimer, History of the British Federation of University Women, 1907-1957 (London, 1958), microfilmed copy in AAUW Archives, series IX, reel 149/4.

    11 Five of these were awarded to German women, who thereby led the list of recipient nations along with the English. See "The International Federation," AAUW Journal 35, no. 1 (fall 1941): 53-5.

    12 Whether the IFUW should promote understanding and friendship among women academics "of different nations" or "of all nations of the world" was a subject of vigorous discussion, with the latter, more open wording finally being agreed on. "How soon and on whose initiative the women of the countries of Central Europe might be expected to come in were questions on which every shade of opinion seemed to exist." See Report of the First Conference of the International Federation of University Women by Ada Cromstock, Journal of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 14, no. 1 (Oct. 1920): 4-11, including the first bylaws of the IFUW, 6.

    13 "Withdrawal of German Federation of University Women," AAUW Journal 30, no. 3 (spring 1936): 180.

    14 "The farewells at the end of the day were tinged with regret that this Conference experience (in Edinburgh) had come to an end, but carried a refrain of joy in the prospect of meeting in Germany in 1936." "The Edinburgh Conference," AAUW Journal 26, no. 1 (Oct. 1932): 42.

    15 "Some Highlights of the Council Meeting," AAUW Journal 29, no. 2 (1935): 121.

    16 Ibid.

    17 Amendment to the bylaws (Art. II, 1), cited in AAUW Journal 29, no. 1 (Oct. 1935): 50. In addition to the International Federation of Women Physicians, the IFUW was the only international academic organization that actually excluded German organizations that had conformed to the Nazi line.

    18 "Withdrawal of German Federation of University Women," AAUW Journal 30, no. 3 (1936): 180.

    19 Esther Caukin-Brunauer, "The Women's Movement in Germany - Some Echoes," AAUW Journal 29 (Summer 1935): 105.

    20 Esther Caukin-Brunauer, "Notes on my experiences in Germany in 1933, presented very informally to the members of the board of directors of the AAUW," April 1934, in AAUW Archives, series I, reel 1/59.

    21 Esther Brunauer, The Nazi State (Washington, D.C., 1935); See also Esther Caukin-Brunauer, The National Revolution in Germany 1933 (Washington, D.C., 1933); Brunauer, "The German Woman Marches - Back," AAUW Journal 27, no. 2 (1934): 85-7; Caukin-Brunauer, "The German Frauenfront: 'Kinder, Küche, Kirche' and the Women's Organizations," AAUW Journal 27, no. 3 (1934): 131-7.

    22 "Speaking Engagement for Dr. Brunauer," AAUW Journal 27, no. 2 (1934): 116; "Dr. Brunauer Addresses Meetings," AAUW Journal 27, no. 3 (1934): 185.

    23 Sondheimer, History of the British Federation, 33.

    24 This was the case with Nina Bleiberg, a physician from Vienna who stayed with the Manchester branch in 1939 while awaiting her visa to the United States. The branches of Edinburgh and Glasgow supported the attorney Philipine Hannak from Prague. Olga Janowitz received a grant to pursue her research on plankton at Hull College. AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 45.

    25 "Assistance to Displaced German Women," AAUW Journal 29, no. 1 (1935): 50.

    26 "The Work of AAUW Fellows, 1934/5," AAUW Journal 30, no. 2 (1936): 93.

    27 "Assistance to Displaced German Women," 50.

    28 AAUW, Twelfth National Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 5-9, 1941, Proceedings, 252. See also "Report of the National Committees at the Convention in Dallas, 1947," AAUW Journal 40-1 (Summer 1947): 245.

    29 Disembursement from Reconstruction Aid Fund in the United States, Mar. 8, 1946, in AAUW Archives, series V, reel 130/38: Fellowships, Funds, Reconstruction Aid and War Relief, 1940-1949.

    30 AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 22.

    31 Not only autobiographies but also scholars address this question, an old reproach from early left-wing Jewish emigrants. A prominent example at the inspection of autobiographical and scholarly dealings with this problem is Peter Gay, My German Question: Growing up in Nazi Berlin (New Haven, Conn., 1998). See also Kaplan, Between Dignity.

    32 Every generalization of course runs the risk of being short-sighted. In some cases, family bonds were the decisive factor not to leave. As we know from other examples, some women decided to stay with their aging parents or to go back in order to look after them. The most tragic examples here are those of Lucie Adelsberger from Berlin and Käthe Spiegel from Prague. Adelsberger, a physician internationally known for her research in immunology at the Robert Koch Institute, came to United States with a visitor's visa in 1938 and was offered a teaching position at Harvard University. Yet, she decided to go back to Germany because her mother was severely ill and needed full-time care. In 1943 Adelsberger was deported to Auschwitz. She survived the death camp and immigrated to the United States in 1945, where she worked as an immunologist at the Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. <endnote text="">Käthe Spiegel, historian and librarian, wrote in February 1940: "Last month my mother (with whom I lived) died and some days later I lost my position in the library. Now I have to find a new start." The AAUW made tremendous efforts to get Spiegel, a leading member of the czech federation, out, providing her with an affidavit, paying for travel and visa, and depositing money in Cuba; yet, when every obstacle was eliminated, the United States entered the war. Spiegel's trip, scheduled on Dec. 8, 1941, was canceled, and Spiegel disappeared. She did not survive her deportation to Poland. For Adelsberger, see AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 2, and her memoirs: Lucie Adelsberger, Auschwitz, ein Tatsachenbericht: Das Vermächtnis der Opfer für uns Juden und für alle Menschen (Berlin, 1956). The English translation appeared recently as Auschwitz: A Doctor's Story (Boston, 1995). For Spiegel, see AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 38. </endnote>

    33 Erna Barschak via Carola Blume, Mills College, to Esther Brunauer, Dec. 12, 1938, in AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 42. See also Barschak's ciriculum vitae in the same folder. For additional examples of careers in Jewish schools, see the case files of Ruth Ehrmann (fol. 9) and Rose Bluhm (fol. 42).

    34 Gertrud Schlesinger to Esther Brunauer on Jan. 1, 1939, in AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 45.

    35 Jellinek to Brunauer, Sept. 7, 1938, in AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 21.

    36 See Jellinek's grateful letter from St. Louis to Brunauer, Oct. 13, 1939, in AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 21.

    37 Gertrud Schlesinger to Brunauer, Jan. 22, 1939. Schlesinger made it to England with the help of the IFUW, where she and Leonore Goldschmidt administered a school for refugees. From there, she wanted to continue on to the United States, particularly when her professional opportunities worsened with the outbreak of the war and the future of the school appeared threatened. However, the AAUW was unable to help her. Gertrud Schlesinger to Brunauer, Apr. 30, 1940, in AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 45.

    38 Holme to Brunauer, Apr. 28, 1940, in AAUW Archives, series V, war relief cases, fol. 42.

    39 Erna Barschak, My American Adventure (New York, 1945).

    40 See File Alice Mühsam, series V, war relief cases, fol. 26. Even Mühsam, though, seems to have made it back to her professional field: Her two books, German Readings (New York, 1959) and Coin and Temple: A Study of the Architectural Representation on Ancient Jewish Coins (Leeds, 1966), indicate that she found a way to pursue research and writing in later life.

    41 In 1940 Brunauer managed to get the AAUW to speak out in favor of lifting the Neutrality Act of 1935. See Levine, Degrees of Equality, 56. 

  • Laboratory Federalism in the European Union's Social Policy

    Waltraud Schelkle

    This comparative research project on the present and future of the social federations in Germany, the United States, and the European Union (EU) emanates from the GHI's cooperative program on "Continuity, Change, and Globalization in Postwar Germany and the United States" (see Bulletin no. 24, Spring 1999). Its main goal is to find ways for the EU to become a social federation that safeguards distinct social welfare traditions in its member states while helping them to meet the common challenges from closer market integration. The analysis focuses on social assistance, including unemployment compensation, because this is where the political and economic case for the EU to become involved is most compelling. Both Germany and the United States provide foils for the present study in that they are polar extremes of federal social welfare systems. The German system is characterized by close cooperation among the different levels of government. This cooperation has become increasingly strained since unification, supposedly because Germany has become a more heterogeneous socioeconomic space. In contrast, the American system fosters fiscal competition among the federal government, states, and municipalities due to overlapping jurisdictions. The Welfare Reform Act of 1996, which implemented the so-called New Federalism, provides a rich arena in which to study an extremely decentralized system of social welfare provision.1

    It may seem counterintuitive to suggest a role for the EU in social policy. After all, there already exists a crisis of confidence in the European "social model." The usual suspects in this crisis are globalization, demographic change, and long-term unemployment. And even without such doubts on how well (continental) Europe is able to cope with these challenges, the very basis for legitimate social policy in democracies - solidarity - is even more fragile at the European level than at that of the member states. The EU administration has little experience in policy formulation and implementation. National governments are reluctant to give Brussels a say out of fear that this will lead to either upward or downward harmonization of social policies. Finally, the fiscal hands of the various EU governments are presently tied in their collective attempt to support the establishment of the Euro as a hard currency. This situation leaves little room for major social policy initiatives, whether at the national or the European level.

    Against these odds, why should the EU want a social federation at all? First, the very formation of the EU implies new risks to employment and income generation that can only be assured at the EU level. Second, and at the same time, European integration places pressure on a variety of national traditions and preferences with regard to social policy, which may lead to weaker and less diversified safety nets. In other words, the EU seems to be in need of a social federation because it is itself the source of risk and because the very process of EU integration tends to weaken the national systems that carry them.

    Where do the new risks come from? The integration of asset, labor, and commodity markets as well as a common monetary policy create a common price dynamic (inflation or deflation) and lead to further synchronization of business cycles. Insurance against such risks is the classical realm of automatic or built-in stabilizers, that is, the countercyclical behavior of public net spending built into the tax and spending system. Social assistance and unemployment insurance are prime examples of such automatic stabilizers: Net spending on these social policies rises in recessions, whereas they decrease in boom times. It is one of the characteristics of modern social welfare, ever since it was invented during the New Deal, that it provides for such macroeconomic stabilization, especially preventing recessions from turning into depressions or periods of deflation. The insurance principle establishes that such stabilization is most effectively provided at the aggregate, that is, the EU level because that is where individual national risks can be pooled and thus redistributed.

    Where do pressures for downward homogenization come from? First, there are the incentives from fiscal competition, that is, the fear of governments (and resident voters) that their state or locality may become a "welfare magnet." This need not be the result of actual migration. Historical case studies of the United States have shown that virtual migration, media reports about individual cases, may suffice to create that latent "angst" in the public mind that makes for the notorious rush to the bottom.2 Moreover, and apart from fiscal competition, the way fiscal relations are designed has an impact on public spending at lower levels of government. The Stability and Growth Pact, which sanctions excessive budget deficits, has made it imperative to cut spending for most EU governments. Social welfare is certainly one of the prime candidates because it accounts for a sizable share of the budgets of most EU governments.

    Obviously, a resume of these considerations produces a dilemma. A role for the EU in social-policy matters is generally not accepted, but such a role is warranted nevertheless. In light of this dilemma, the idea of "laboratory federalism" seems to be worth pursuing. The term was recently forwarded by one of the pioneers of the theory of fiscal federalism in postwar economics.3 The EU could engage in setting up a framework for this kind of federalism, one that enables the different levels of government to engage in horizontal and vertical learning.

    The U.S social welfare system after 1996 may have features of such a laboratory federalism, even if it was not consciously designed that way. For instance, the New Federalism is usually identified with administrative and operational devolution of responsibilities for social welfare provision. Yet, welfare finance has simultaneously become more centralized. Programs that are exclusively financed by the federal government, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Food Stamps, play a more significant role in "welfare to work" or workfare. Moreover, the federal block grants to the states have been fixed at a historical peak level, whereas states must maintain only 75 percent of their historical spending levels. For the time being, both have led to an increase in the federal government's share of welfare spending. This counters several incentives to downsize spending on social welfare that resulted from devolution. Ironically, the counter tendency may well be a product of many state governments' drive to the bottom in social welfare spending, avoiding or at least shifting costs to other constituencies.

    What are the lessons of this example for the EU? Above all, the role of the federal level in laboratory federalism is that of a promoter of horizontal and vertical learning processes in an area where there is a consensus that change is inevitable, yet hardly any consensus on what that change should be and how to implement it. More specifically, the European level should prevent the systemically destabilizing effects of social welfare reform at the national level. These effects, which would hurt the member states themselves in the long run, may result from each government competing for wealthy taxpayers by lowering income taxes while at the same time trying to deter marginally employed households by lowering benefits and restricting eligibility.

    To a large extent laboratory federalism in the United States is about centralized funding of decentralized experimentation. Given the limited fiscal means of the EU Commission, however, one has to find functional equivalents. One currently fashionable idea is benchmarking: A common framework for comparing various reforms could provide a safeguard against premature harmonization while furthering a systematic exchange and evaluation of learning experiences. Another idea would provide EU grants for rigorous evaluation of reforms. This supplemental funding of research would require comparatively small means but may have a large impact on learning processes and reform momentum, as the historical experience of the United States in the 1980s and early 1990s once again amply shows.4

    The first results of this research project will be presented at an upcoming workshop, "Learning from Diversity in Federal Systems: Social Assistance in the United States, Germany, and the European Union," to be held at the GHI on November 17-19, 2000. 

    < back to Bulletin 27

  • Notes

    1 Waltraud Schelkle, Welfare Reform in the United States - Lessons for a Social Federation of EMU, Policy Paper no. 9, Robert Bosch Foundation Research Program in Comparative Public Policy and Institutions, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (Washington, D.C., 2000).

    2 Paul E. Peterson and Mark C. Rom, Welfare Magnets: A New Case for a National Standard (Washington, D.C., 1990).

    3 Wallace E. Oates, "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature 37 (1999): 1120-49.

    4 Michael Wiseman, "Welfare Reform in the United States: A Background Paper," Housing Policy Debate 7, no. 3 (1996): 1-54. 

Before Television: Mass Media, Political Cultures, and the Public Sphere in Western Europe and the United States, 1900-1950

Conference at the GHI, September 23-26, 1999. Convener: Thomas Goebel (GHI). Participants: John Abbott (University of Illinois at Chicago), Jane Caplan (Bryn Mawr College), Heide Fehrenbach (Emory University), Karl Christian Führer (University of Oldenburg), Philipp Gassert (GHI), Mark Hampton (Wesleyan College), Christina von Hodenberg (University of Freiburg), Gianni Isola (University of Padova), Peter Jelavich (University of Texas at Austin), Michael Kazin (Georgetown University), Marcus Kreuzer (Villanova University), Cornelia R. Levine (Berkeley, California), Lawrence R. Levine (George Mason University), Robert D. Levy (University of Minnesota), Christof Mauch (GHI), Garth Montgomery (Radford University), Kiran Klaus Patel (Humboldt University of Berlin), Uta Poiger (University of Washington), Jörg Requate (University of Bielefeld), Steven J. Ross (University of Southern California), Adelheid von Saldern (University of Hannover), Axel Schildt (University of Hamburg), Dieter Schott (Technical University of Darmstadt), Renate Schumacher (German Broadcasting Archive), Vanessa R. Schwartz (American University), James Schwoch (Northwestern University), Brian Ward (University of Newcastle Upon Tyne), and Clemens Zimmermann (University of Heidelberg).

There can be no doubt that the mass media have been among the most powerful forces shaping politics, society, and culture in the twentieth century. Starting with the evolution of movies and radio in the early decades of the century and ending with the dramatic rise of the Internet in the second half of the 1990s, the mass media have played a powerful role in the evolution of Western democracies. It seems that each "invention" of a new medium was accompanied by dramatic predictions about its impact on the social fabric and on everyday life. Of course, the contemporary media scene is dominated by television. And indeed, many observers are likely to argue that the introduction of television represented a qualitative leap in the history of the mass media, that the ability to combine sound and pictures and deliver it to virtually every home has revolutionized the role of the media in cultural production, political life, and moral values. However, even a cursory look back at the first half of the twentieth century shows that earlier media "revolutions" often affected political behavior and cultural perceptions in equally powerful ways. Because so much attention has been centered on television, the GHI deemed it particularly interesting to organize a conference that focused on the evolution of mass media in the pretelevision age between 1900 and 1950.

The goal of the conference was to bring together scholars from different countries to systematically compare the effects of such innovations as radio, film, and newspapers on political systems and political cultures under a variety of national settings and political regimes. The contributions focused largely on Germany and the United States, with some analysis of conditions in Italy, France, and Great Britain. Given the time-frame of the conference, the choice of media seemed almost self-evident. Film was an invention of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century that by 1910 had evolved into maybe the most popular form of mass entertainment. The radio craze of the 1920s and 1930s included the rapid popularization of a medium that, for the first time, allowed direct media access into the home. The development of newspapers, finally, was also marked by significant popularization with the evolution of the penny press and mass journalism. Different papers analyzed how new media forms were or were not integrated into existing political routines, how they altered conceptions of public life and political behavior, whether they transformed the very definitions of the political that structured political action, and what differences the legal and political organization of new media forms made in their societal impact.

The conference began with Lawrence Levine's keynote address on President Franklin D. Roosevelt's innovative use of radio in his "fireside chats." Over the course of his presidency, FDR skillfully employed the radio to reach a mass audience and to solicit popular support for his often controversial policies. The millions of letters he received in response to his chats testify to their popularity. The talks had a powerful effect on the listeners, who often felt a personal connection over the airwaves. In a time characterized by massive unemployment and economic misery, Roosevelt's ability to relate to the audience provided encouragement to millions of Americans. He did not overuse the medium; altogether, he only gave about thirty chats. But when he did speak to a national audience, it was an event eagerly anticipated by many Americans, who regarded Roosevelt and his talks as beacons of hope during a difficult time. Like no other example from this period, FDR's fireside chats demonstrated the effectiveness of the radio in creating a national community of listeners that could become an important political asset.

The fireside chats were an example of the positive role radio could play in a democratic society, but they also illustrate the keen interest governments in all Western democracies had in all new forms of mass media. Although the number of independent radio stations in the United States had sharply decreased by the 1930s, a relative lack of government control allowed for greater diversity in radio programming. Brian Ward's paper dealt with the pivotal role of radio in the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 1940s and 1950s. Black activists used their access to radio stations, almost always owned and operated by whites, to further the cause of black emancipation all across the American South. Although overt political action was often impossible, many radio personalities found ingenious ways to foster black pride and self-consciousness, to raise awareness of racial inequalities, and to sow the seeds of an emerging Civil Rights movement. In this instance, a commercialized medium was made into an agent of cultural and political change.

No more striking contrast can be found than the role of radio in Nazi Germany. Even before the Nazis came to power in 1933, German radio had found itself under much closer government control than radio in America. Although regionally decentralized and not subject to direct state control, radio in Germany had been regarded from the outset as a medium that needed to be carefully controlled by government authorities. Private radio stations did not exist, and the various supervisory boards ensured that German radio pursued a clear educational agenda that lent itself readily to conservative causes (Renate Schumacher). In the years before 1933 one can observe a clear increase in the number of programs that dealt with nationalistic and völkisch themes. As part of the changing intellectual and cultural landscape of Germany during the Great Depression, these radio programs demonstrated the growing appeal of National Socialist ideology and helped pave the way for the Nazi takeover of power (Adelheid von Saldern).

Once in power, the Nazis, especially Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels, identified the radio as the medium central to their success in indoctrinating and manipulating the German population. The rapidly growing availability of radio sets multiplied the national radio audience, and the Nazis placed great confidence in their ability to mold public opinion with the help of an ideologically streamlined set of programs and radio personalities. In his paper, Philipp Gassert traced the career of Hans Fritzsche, one of the most well- known radio personalities of the Third Reich. It was during World War II, when he hosted Germany's most important radio news program, that Fritzsche's influence peaked. Using the many letters written to Fritzsche during this time, Gassert illustrated the relationship between the Nazi broadcaster and his audience. Although some reveal a growing disenchantment with the Nazi regime amidst the deteriorating conditions of the war, others illustrate the hold that Nazi propaganda continued to have among the German population. If the radio did not always live up to the expectations of the Nazis as an instrument of mass propaganda and manipulation, it certainly acted as a powerful force in spreading the Nazi message.

The Nazis also had a strong interest in motion pictures as a propaganda tool. That was true for urban centers, already well equipped with numerous cinemas, but even more so for rural areas often without access to theaters. Clemens Zimmermann described the media policies of the Third Reich in relation to the rural countryside. The Nazis founded a special service designed to show movies in rural areas where no cinemas existed. As a result, millions of peasants gained access to a previously largely unavailable entertainment. Many of the movies shown were the standard comedies produced throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Others reflected more closely Nazi ideology. As with most forms of Nazi propaganda, audiences proved to be far more interested in entertainment than in explicit ideological messages. Within academic circles, an intense debate developed in the 1930s concerning mass-media theories and ways to reach the audience (Garth Montgomery). Yet even under the conditions of a regime that controlled all forms of mass media, the ability to shape public beliefs and induce behavior conforming to Nazi expectations remained mixed. There existed a persistent gap between the Nazi belief in the power of mass media to manipulate audience behavior and the actual performance of Nazi-controlled movies, television, and newspapers. Given the frequent conflicts within and between Nazi organizations themselves, which sometimes spilled over into the media (Kiran Klaus Patel), the less than stellar results of Nazi media activities are even less surprising.

After the end of World War II, the democratization of German mass media was among the more pressing issues faced by the occupying powers. As demonstrated by James Schwoch, the fate of postwar German television became an object in the global telecommunications strategy of the United States. The allocation of frequencies in Europe and control over the airwaves were discussed at a number of postwar conferences that pitted American against Soviet conceptions. The Americans clearly pursued an agenda that combined concerns over denazification and democratization in West Germany with a project of global telecommunications hegemony. Within the parameters set by American policies and goals, however, West Germany would soon reclaim a large portion of autonomy in regard to media policies.

Indeed, the media sphere in West Germany soon became an example of the successful liberalization of the public sphere. Slowly, but with growing speed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, radio, television, and newspapers became increasingly independent of government control and increasingly critical of government policies. A new generation of journalists evolved that began to seriously grapple with the implications of National Socialism for Germany's identity in the postwar era (Christina von Hodenberg). The strong educational impulse of German television and radio programming allowed for the development of a number of public affairs shows that revitalized German political debates. Over time, the mass media became one of the more powerful agents forcing Germans to seriously confront their own past.

This newfound independence of West German media stood in marked contrast to conditions in postwar Italy. Here, at least with radio, government control continued to be stronger. The domestic political situation, marked by the conflicts between the Christian Democrats, in control of radio programming, and the Communists raised the stakes and made it much more difficult to carve out an independent role for radio. At least until the late 1950s radio broadcasts were characterized by a clear conservative bias toward government policies (Gianni Isola). The differences between Italy and Germany in the immediate postwar era underscore the successful liberalization of the media in Germany.

Many of the papers presented showed how ineffective media strategies often were even under conditions of total government control. Technological advancements did not necessarily equal greater success in manipulating the public. And the advent of television did not automatically revolutionize political campaigning. As shown by Marcus Kreuzer, some of the key ingredients of modern political campaigns that are often portrayed as a direct result of television - most notably the idea of politics as a strategic game, the personalization of politics, and the weakening of party organizations - antedated the introduction of television, at least in France and Germany. In these two countries, conservative parties developed a new style of political campaigning and behavior between 1890 and 1940 that incorporated all these elements. The competitive pressures of an electoral mass market were responsible for their development, not a technological determinism. Another example of this trend can be found in the practice of direct democracy in California in the decades before World War II (Thomas Goebel). This state, a trailblazer in the development of initiative and referendum elections, pioneered the evolution of political consultants, the use of scientific public opinion polls, the use of methods drawn from commercial advertising in political campaigns, and other hallmarks of modern campaign methods. In a state where parties were traditionally weak and played virtually no role in initiative campaigns, political actors developed new tools and techniques even without the benefit of a technological innovation such as television.

Other papers presented at the conference focused on various aspects of the mass media between 1900 and 1950. Steven Ross showed the significant role played by silent films produced by labor unions and other labor activists during the first two decades of the twentieth century. These movies represented an often forgotten strand of critical filmmaking that was later eclipsed by Hollywood and the rise of the studio system. Jörg Requate compared the political aspirations of large newspaper owners in Germany, the United States, and Great Britain. Although some enjoyed a modicum of success, most failed in their attempts to translate their powerful role in the mass media into real political power. John Abbott looked at the important role of the German Catholic press in rural Bavaria in the early decades of the century. In charting a difficult course between social and economic modernization and Catholic beliefs, they played a crucial role in establishing a rural public sphere.

Taken together, the contributions to the conference "Before Television" offered a broad array of perspectives on the role of the mass media in Western Europe and the United States between 1900 and 1950. They focused on a sometimes overlooked period in the history of the evolution of mass media. Dazzled by the power of television, some observers have been blind to the important media revolutions of the first half of the century. The history of the mass media is a vital part of the history of the twentieth century. As the first conference hosted by the GHI exclusively devoted to this history, the event provided a stimulating venue for scholars from various countries to bring their collective perspectives to bear on a crucial element of modern life.


Thomas Goebel 

Reviving a Historical Corpse: Rewriting the Historiography of Nineteenth-Century Religious Art

Panel at the 88th Annual Conference of the College Art Association, New York, February 23-26, 2000. Convener: Cordula A. Grewe (GHI). Participants: Alicia Craig Faxon (Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts); Brian Grosskurth (York University, Toronto); Maria E. Di Pasquale (University of Texas at Austin); Joyce C. Polistena (Pratt Institute, New York).

In 1841 the Young Hegelian art critic Friedrich Theodor Vischer condemned the making of religious art as an attempt to revive a historical corpse. He claimed that religious art, like religion itself, was outmoded and retrograde in character, and thus should be abandoned. This judgment on the anachronism of religious belief was an early expression of what became an orthodoxy equating modernity with secularization and secularization with the bourgeois project. Thus, the paradigm of secularization, or, as Max Weber called it, the "disenchantment of the world," came to dominate twentieth-century (art) historical scholarship.

Over the last two decades the publication of a number of studies by historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and theologians has challenged this concept. Scholars have called for a new awareness of the continued social and cultural significance of both organized religion and popular religiosity in the nineteenth century.

Engaging this broader revisionist project, the session on rewriting the historiography of nineteenth-century religious art addressed the consequences of such revisionism for assessments of the era's religious art. In this context, the questioning of the conventional understanding of the process of modernity as an antagonism between religion and secularism formed the overarching theme of the presented papers, whose topics ranged from the German Nazarenes and the British Pre-Raphaelites to French avant-garde painting of the fin-de-siècle. Collectively, they attempted to draw attention to the ongoing process of constructing compromises among dichotomous systems of meaning, the paradoxes in religious art, and the often unmediated clash of modernist, historicist, and antimodern elements.

In her paper "Art/History: Competing Narratives of Re-Christianization, De-Christianization, and Secularization," Cordula A. Grewe pointed to a certain resistance in art historical scholarship to take part in the broader re-evaluation of religion's role since 1800. She appealed for a more rigorous historical understanding of the period's religious art. Stressing the profound element of crisis as an important constituent element in the artists' relationship to religion and religion's role in the modern age, Grewe stressed the contemporaneity of nineteenth-century religious art. For greater insight into the struggle over religious art we have to accept the notion that not only the modernists but also the antimodernists were genuinely modern in their specific Gestalt.

An example of this modernist/anti-modernist fusion is Nazarene medievalism. Beside strong elements of anti-modernism, this escapist search for an undivided society not haunted by industrialization or corrupted by modern civilization also implied a yearning for origins and the original, the homogeneous, the whole that became the foundation for the moderns' taste for the primitive. Thus, the medieval primitivism of Nazarene art can be placed within modernist primitivism. It is one of many characteristics of Nazarene art that in a different context came to typify modern art movements per se, such as the avant-gardist secession of the Brotherhood of St. Luke from the academy or the development of anti-illusionistic, abstract pictorial strategies. Like their turn toward religion, the Nazarenes's emulation of the old masters as reflections of significant aspects of the zeitgeist. This project of emulation was genuinely modern because the Nazarene artists attempted to modernize religion through historicism, which itself represents a fundamental, constitutive phenomenon of modernity (O. G. Oexle, 1986).

In her paper on "Revising Eugène Delacroix's Religious Oeuvre: Romantic Painting and Its Reintegration with Theology," Joyce C. Polistena emphasized the need for a more nuanced conception of nineteenth-century art that addresses the hybrid, conflicted, and often contradictory nature of that modernity. She contested perceptions of Eugène Delacroix as a radical nonbeliever who, in the tradition of the Enlightenment, thought religion irrational. Providing a profound analysis of the religious sources for Delacroix's religious paintings, such as German radical systems of theology (Johann Adam Möhler) and social Catholicism (R.-F. Lamennais), Polistena traced the artist's sympathetic and sustained interest in Christianity. By demonstrating that Delacroix's emphasis on Jesus's human/divine nature was deeply rooted in certain religious movements of his time, she sought "to balance distortions concerning Delacroix's religious oeuvre as merely commissions and remote from his personal tastes or experience." Polistena's paper pointed to the lack of any essential relation between style and meaning, that is, between a specific stylistic idiom and a certain religious orientation. She exemplified this contingency by comparing Delacroix with Ary Scheffer, Theodore Chasseriau, and Hippolyte Flandrin, whose works are similar in spirit but drastically different in style.

This contingency also emerged from a juxtaposition of Delacroix with Maurice Denis, the subject of Maria E. Di Pasquale's paper on "The Crise Catholique: Avant-Garde Painting and Catholicism in Fin-de-Siècle France." Although both artists pursued a modernist trajectory, they engaged in opposing religious trends. Whereas Delacroix championed partisan theological systems that were to be crushed by the official church prior to 1850, Denis embraced Neo-Thomism, the very essence of mainstream Catholicism at his time.

As in Delacroix's case, the religious aspect of Denis's production has generally been underemphasized in favor of an analysis of his place in the development of modernism. Di Pasquale, however, showed that the very religiosity of this leading member of the Nabis played a crucial and indispensable part in his artistic formation. In contrast to most scholars who have focused on Symbolist artists' interest in unorthodox religious practices - for example, occultism, mysticism, and primitive religions - as an expression of individualism and revolution, she emphasized that the avant-garde also entailed expressions of orthodox religion that played an important role in France in the 1890s. The search for avant-gardist formulations of Catholic religiosity thereby resulted from the desire to overcome the so-called crise catholique, that is, the perceived incompatibility of faith and reason. Denis's modernism directly responded to this task, attempting to harmonize seemingly irreconcilable values. By merging religious themes with a Neo-Impressionist divisionist technique that was associated with science at that time, Denis sought to reconcile nature and the ideal and thus to create a visual "rhetoric of reconciliation." Because devout Catholicism marked Denis's whole artistic career, Di Pasqule rejected interpretations that hold an increasing religiosity on Denis's part responsible for the stylistic differences between his early, more avant-garde period before the Dreyfus affair, when he wrote the "Definition of Neo-Traditionism," and his later, more traditional idiom.

This retroactive "secularization" of modernist artists, as Alicia Craig Faxon phrased it, has not been restricted to the historiography of French art. It has also dominated the evaluation of early Pre-Raphaelitism. Thus, scholarship on Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and William Holman Hunt, three of the best-known Pre-Raphaelites, has mainly focused on either biographical or literary aspects of their work. Interpretations of Pre-Raphaelite art predominantly centered on formal composition, artistic antecedents, and avant-garde characterizations, a strategy that resulted in "Writing Religion Out: On the Secular Revision of the Pre-Raphaelites." Opposing this secular revision, Craig Faxon inquired into the religious roots of early Pre-Raphaelitism, such as the Oxford movement of the 1830s and 1840s with its influence on new Anglo-Catholic liturgy and art. Like with Delacroix, German theology and religious art movements also played a significant role in the development of these English artists, who gained intimate knowledge of German Nazarene art through Ford Madox Brown. It was Brown who had personally met two of the leading figures in Nazarism, Johann Friedrich Overbeck and Peter von Cornelius, both members of the Brotherhood of St. Luke, in Rome in 1845. Craig Faxon concluded that even though Rossetti, Millais, and Hunt later discontinued their early religious subjects because of savage contemporary criticism, which scented a Roman Catholic conspiracy in the initials P. R. B., their art cannot be understood without an account of its religiously inspired beginnings.

The history of nineteenth-century religion is thereby marked by remarkably fierce, often hostile debates. This hatred, as well as its predominantly negative reputation in twentieth-century historiography, has less aesthetic then genuinely political reasons. Hence Friedrich Theodor Vischer's devastating critique of the Nazarene enterprise was as much an expression of his distaste for medievalist historicism as it was an attack on conservative politics. His claim that religious art was a historical corpse articulated a great deal of wishful thinking, as the alliance of "throne and altar" was very much alive in 1841. Only seven years later, the German states would witness the suppression of a revolutionary upheaval that sought, among other things, to create a democratic nation-state.

Despite its fundamentally different history, the French nation faced a similar divide, as Brian Grosskurth elucidated in his paper on "Resurrecting the Dead: Death, Art Criticism, and Religious Painting at the Salon of 1819." The political situation in France after the Congress of Vienna (1815) and after the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy made the Salon of 1819 a decisive moment in the construction of a critical model that rejected religious art as a viable and vital enterprise. In charting this emergence, Grosskurth argued, one must place emphasis on politics above all else. Images of death thereby formed an especially active battleground for these issues, as death foregrounded the question of the existence or nonexistence of religious transcendence beyond social, emotional, and physical ties. In the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat, both liberals and conservatives engaged in fierce polemics concerning the politics of death. Around the deathbed, around the coffin, the close alliance of throne and altar insisted that divine judgment awaits us all and ensures a cohesive social order. At the opposite end of the political spectrum, liberals argued that the gaping skull and open grave were mere props put into play by priests and reactionaries, empty bogeymen to browbeat the citizens of France into the meek submission of frightened children.

Subscribing generally to this image of a divide between conservative religious forces and liberal, democratic, as well as socialist thinkers who grew increasingly alienated from the Christian endeavor, the papers nevertheless cautioned us against overlooking the complexities of these alliances. For example, the alleged association of the German Nazarenes with the restoration powers of their homelands cannot withstand close analysis. Only Ludwig I of Bavaria immediately embraced the movement. Prussia and the Vatican, however, never supported the movement in any major way, and Austria only endorsed the second generation of Nazarene artists, who distanced themselves from the dream of a united Germany held by the Brotherhood of St. Luke.

In sum, the revisionist agenda of the panel aimed to draw attention to what has famously been called the "simultaneity of the unsimultaneous," a phenomenon that challenges teleological notions of modernity as a sharp temporal divide between one world and another that supercedes it. The overall goal of the session was neither a radical inversion nor a simple falsification of the existing canon. Instead, it sought to expose the canon to a more nuanced and comprehensive picture of modernity, a picture that embraces the very essence of modernity: the diversification of styles, the destruction of an overall unified cultural paradigm, including aesthetics, the essential particularism of all forms of cultural expression, the multiplication of voices and thus of the multiplication of art's functions. Questioning the persistent influence of an unexamined and unquestioned tradition of secular (and politically secularized) art criticism on our understanding of nineteenth-century art, the session understood itself as a prolegomenon for a broader discussion of a field in art history that has been widely neglected.


Cordula A. Grewe 

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Berlin-Washington, 1800-2000: Capital Cities, Cultural Representation, and National Identities

Conference at the GHI, March 30-April 2, 2000. Conveners: Andreas W. Daum and Christof Mauch (both GHI). Co-Sponsor: College of Arts and Sciences, American University. Participants: Carl Abbott (Portland State University), Peter Alter (University of Duisburg), Celia Applegate (University of Rochester), Lucy Barber (University of California at Davis), Kenneth Bowling (George Washington University), Michael S. Cullen (Tagesspiegel), Belinda Davis (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick), Marion F. Deshmukh (George Mason University), Steven J. Diner (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at Newark), Walter Erhart (University of Greifswald), Cynthia R. Field (Smithsonian Institution), Barbara Franco (The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.), Stephen S. Fuller (George Mason University), Robert Garris (School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University), Martin H. Geyer (University of Munich), Howard Gillette Jr. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at Camden), Susanne Hauser (Humboldt University), Peter Jelavich (University of Texas at Austin), Douglas Klahr (Brown University), Jane Kramer (The New Yorker), Alan H. Lessoff (Texas A&M University), Jane F. Levey (Washington History), Richard Longstreth (George Mason University), Christian F. Otto (Cornell University), Uta Poiger (University of Washington), Wolfgang Ribbe (Free University of Berlin), Ralf Roth (University of Frankfurt), Dietmar Schirmer (Cornell University), Pamela Scott (Cornell University), Wolfgang Sonne (Technical University of Zurich), Nathan Stoltzfus (Florida State University), Janet Ward (University of Colorado at Boulder).

Current visitors to Berlin and Washington find two capital cities undergoing change. The center of Berlin, the world's most famous construction site for the past decade, is beginning to take on a shape that displays the new self-confidence of the "Berlin Republic," as many call the unified Germany. New government and commercial buildings, spawned by the political elite's move from Bonn and the arrival of the ambitious generation of the information age, bring new life, if not glamour to the city on the Spree. For some, the new image is a reassuring step for a nation long suffering from identity crises. A second look at the "New Berlin," however, reveals unresolved ambiguities regarding the roles of both capital and nation and points to an uneasy marriage in the city of several cultures - old and new, east and west, German and international. Many of the architectural highlights and memorials in the capital's center embody its diversity, complexity, and the city's turbulent past. Undoubtedly, the move of the German federal parliament from Bonn to Berlin at the turn of the millennium is a decisive marker in German history. At the same time, the move does not put an end to the ongoing debates outside Germany on the trajectories of the Berlin Republic nor does it cool the heated discussions within Germany about the role the capital should play in a (re)united Germany. Nothing focuses the current debate and reflects the conflicting views and aspirations more clearly than the scheduled federal takeover of some of Berlin's key cultural institutions and the struggle to build a Holocaust memorial in the heart of the city.

Visitors arriving at Washington's Dulles International Airport and taking a bus or taxi to downtown also meet old and new along the way. Whereas the superhighway to America's capital is lined with high-tech companies, the city itself - in contrast to Berlin - displays a peculiar continuity in its symbolism and its monumental architecture. Under the surface of a celebratory appearance, be it commercial or governmental, however, there is much in Washington that causes controversy. In 2000 America's capital officially celebrates its bicentennial - two hundred years of history that still prompts lively discussion and debate. Soon-to-be-issued license plates bearing the slogan "No Taxation Without Representation" exemplify one major unresolved issue - the fact that the District of Columbia's one representative in Congress has no right to vote on pending legislation.

What do both capitals, Berlin and Washington, represent? In particular, what meaning do they have for their respective nations? And how do ideas about a nation shape the political, social, and cultural profile of its capital city? How do cities actually become capitals, and what makes a city a capital? What does being a capital mean for a city?

Questions such as these have been intensively debated all over the world since the establishment of nation-states and the rise of large urban centers. The development of capitals and public discussion of their functions and meaning play a crucial role in the formation of national identities and the articulation of symbolic and cultural forces within a nation - as well as their effect on the outside world. Capital cities, in other words, reflect much more than the peculiarities of urbanization and the problems inherent in any urban settings, their infrastructure, demographic and economic composition, and the mechanisms of city administration. Capital cities have always assumed specific meanings for nations; they have encapsulated visions, revealed core problems, and raised challenges that go beyond internal urban concerns. This is true for Berlin, Germany, and for Washington, D.C.

These observations formed the basis for bringing colleagues from different disciplines together to investigate the changing meaning of both capitals during the past two hundred years. Conveners and participants were well aware that Berlin and Washington are cities that differ fundamentally in their social and historical profile and scope. Both cities hold different meanings for their respective countries, which in turn embody distinct variations on the national history. A comparison, however, can serve as a hermeneutic device to help us identify important questions and raise crucial historical issues. A comparison between Berlin and Washington, therefore, yields some amazing similarities but also sharpens the sense for the unique features of each capital and its meaning for the larger nation.

For the better part of three days, the conference examined how the capital character of Berlin and Washington had developed through political discourse, aesthetic strategies, and the power of symbols. Often, the relevant outcomes did not result primarily from conscious measures and strategies, for example, through governmental action; instead, the emergence of Berlin and Washington as capitals also relied on participatory processes. These processes were co-determined by influences from outside the institutional body of urban and national governments - be it by public opinion at home and abroad, by foreigners or minority groups.

In her keynote address Jane Kramer of The New Yorker mapped out the territory on "What Makes a Capital? Washington - Berlin." In her crisp, elegant language, Jane Kramer approached both capitals from the perspective of a visitor who uncovers, step-by-step, through interviews and immersion into the city's history and the nation's past, the inner contradictions and ongoing uncertainties about the self-assumed role of the capital. Kramer's address on the campus of American University drew a large audience and stimulated lots of questions. The successful evening was cosponsored by the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences of American University.

The following morning the first conference session concentrated on the role of "Capitals in the Nation." Ken Bowling read a comparative paper on the historical debates over the location of the American and German capitals. He detailed major arguments in the eighteenth-century decision to locate the new American capital on the Potomac River and the post-World War II controversy over situating the (West) German seat of government. In both instances, geopolitical arguments merged with legal concerns, attempts to strengthen or - depending on one's viewpoint - to limit federal authority, and intellectual concerns. The Potomac location, for example, was seen by many contemporaries as a signal for a "western" orientation of the United States and placated those Americans who harbored antiurban sentiments in the tradition of agrarian republicanism. In 1949 (Bonn) and again in 1991 (Berlin) - both decisions were preceded by months of discussion and debate - the historical associations with each city and their public standing played a key role. Unlike the revolutionary Americans, however, German decision-makers also had to heed international concerns over the historically and politically dangerous accumulation of power through the establishment of the capital in a large city. Within this context, Bowling focused on the dichotomy between settling on a Bundesdorf or a Bundeshauptstadt, a distinction that allowed him to characterize even Washington, at least in its beginnings, as an "American Bonn."

Peter Alter added a different kind of comparative perspective. He stressed that since the founding of the Bismarckian empire in 1871, Berlin had defined itself with respect to other capitals and acquired, in the process, a surprising degree of insecurity. Until the fin-de-siècle, this comparison focused on the major European capitals - Paris, London, Vienna, and St. Petersburg. Incidentally, observers from these cities tended either to dismiss the Prussian city or to regard it as an unwelcome rival. After 1900 Berlin's urban flowering transformed the city into the embodiment of what contemporaries called "modernity" and, as such, linked the city to the modern urban culture of the United States. From now on, New York and Chicago would serve as counterparts and role models - for good or for bad. Hitler and Speer sought to end Berlin's unease with itself by planning the monstrous "Germania" - a horrific vision of a world capital that was never realized only because the 1,000-year empire that had begun to set it in stone was destroyed - along with much of historical Berlin.

The session on "Planning the City" concentrated on some of the most significant individual attempts to design capital cities. Pamela Scott analyzed the urban concepts and political visions in Thomas Jefferson's and Pierre L'Enfant's plans for the federal capital. As the United States' first secretary of state, Jefferson oversaw the founding of Washington following the passage of the Residence Act of 1790. He developed a checkerboard town plan that reflected not only his republican mistrust of big cities and his skepticism of a strong central government. Jefferson's plan, as Scott argued, also relied heavily on European ideas. Jefferson appropriated details of city planning he had observed in Paris. He also was indebted to the plans of Ancient Babylon, recreated by Europeans, and interpreted them as a model of a rationally structured city that incorporated elements of nature. L'Enfant, however, dismissed Jefferson's plans. His design for the capital would be a giant symbol for the new republic, with weighty references to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. This, according to Scott, is reflected in the street naming and axes of the major avenues. In addition, the speaker pointed out that L'Enfant incorporated several French ideas, thereby paying respect to the French role in American independence. L'Enfant exceeded Jefferson's ideas as well as the official mandate by the president, George Washington, in that he drafted a much larger city than both men had foreseen. L'Enfant's concept envisioned space for many public and infrastructural functions that a modern, expanding city would require.

Wolfgang Sonne examined the political visions of planning for the twentieth century. He compared Washington's McMillan Plan of 1902 with the competition for an architectural renewal of Berlin around 1908-10. Analyzing the respective aesthetic ideas in their institutional and political context, Sonne delineated basic parallels and differences. In both cities planners realized the need to redesign parts of the urban center in order to meet social requirements and improve representative functions; they also considered similar formal ideas. In Washington, however, this drive was based on a broad political consensus, encompassing the federal government, and shared common ground with the City Beautiful movement. Although the democratic system of the United States did not allow for an authoritarian solution to city planning, it generated a uniform and monumental image of the capital, encapsulated in the redesign of the National Mall. With the addition of the Lincoln Memorial and several monumental federal buildings to this central corridor in the years following 1902, the McMillan Plan succeeded in strengthening the symbolism of the capital. In contrast, the simultaneity of opposing political forces in the German Empire and the lack of a political consensus prevented Berlin from charting a clear course in city planning. Here, several planning strategies were laid out in the 1908 competition but all of them emphasized the achievements of civic culture and the importance of municipal functions; they did not invent a national architectonic iconography.

The theme of "Politics and Architecture" was further illuminated in the following session. Susanne Hauser compared Pennsylvania Avenue and Unter den Linden as the most representative avenues in Washington and Berlin, respectively. Her main concern was to analyze the "construction of symbolic space" through which city planners and politicians tried to create a historical continuity as part of an effort to control the public interpretation of national sites. Based on this semiotic approach, Hauser recapitulated the initiatives to redesign Pennsylvania Avenue, particularly since 1961. An early plan to construct a "national plaza" at the western end of Pennsylvania Avenue facing the White House, was reduced to the current Freedom Plaza. The powerful Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, created in 1972, referenced L'Enfant's ideas in an attempt to transform the avenue into the "main street of the nation." Like Washington planners, Berlin city planners of the 1990s made selective use of historical models in their effort to "critically reconstruct" the west end of Unter den Linden, including the Paris Square and the Brandenburg Gate. With the exception of the Academy of Arts, all parties owning land around the square adapted to a fixed scheme of reconstruction that omitted elements of urban vitality in favor of implicit or explicit - as in the case of the Hotel Adlon - references to the past.

Michael S. Cullen followed up on the interplay of politics, historical traditions, and architectural language in his paper on parliament buildings in Berlin and Washington. "Vive la différence," as Cullen put it: Washington has always had only one parliament building, the Capitol, the most visible building in the city, positively received by most Americans (and foreigners) and never seriously contested as an institution or in its symbolic power. Berlin presents a completely different picture. Nearly a dozen parliaments - federal, Prussian, provincial, and municipal - have congregated at the center of the city on the Spree, often accommodated in different kinds of structures. The most prominent of these, the Reichstag, designed by Paul Wallot and completed in 1894, remained an object of heated architectural and political controversy. Once again, the German case illustrates a much more fractured and contested national history.

The last session of the first day examined the dimensions of "Time and Space" beyond the parameters of architectural history. Martin H. Geyer used the discussion of prime meridians and the establishment of a national time as a mirror for the search for national identity and international cooperation during the nineteenth century. Geyer demonstrated that the fixing of geographical standards to measure distance and the quest for precise and coordinated clocks served symbolic purposes in order to establish or defend national prestige; both processes were bound to political, economic, and legal needs. In the case of the United States, the discussion over the creation of a national observatory and the establishment of an American meridian running through Washington - an "attribute of sovereignty," as James Monroe observed - started in the early nineteenth century but dragged on for decades. Reservations about the power of federal structures decreased in the 1840s. But it was only after the Civil War that the then well-established Naval Observatory in Washington succeeded with its standardization policy, thanks to Western Union's cooperation. Whereas the United States never relied on bureaucratic state building, Germany pursued the opposite strategy and faced numerous obstacles in centralizing the measurement of time and space. Until the 1870s Berlin, the reference point for the Prussian meridian, was not yet recognized as a symbolic center of the German nation. Rather, economic reasoning - the needs of the railroad companies and others to set standards of precision not only as mathematical but also as social norms - helped establish precise clocks in Berlin. Geyer spoke of a "fetishism of precision" that also was adopted by the private sector. Toward the end of the century, and like in the United States, commercial interests undermined the association of time with state authority. Supported by the United States and Germany, but facing resistance from France, the movement to establish the Greenwich meridian as the universal standard finally succeeded. However, this achievement still left much room for subtle national interpretations. Furthermore, Geyer indicated that the different meanings of time synchronization for Berlin and Washington have their place in differing concepts of modernity. In Germany the idea of a "synchronization of the souls" and a mechanical understanding of nationhood gained momentum between 1900 and 1933.

In his talk Christof Mauch focused on the Berlin Tiergarten and the National Mall as the oldest landscaped gardens in these cities, both of them imbued with political meaning and perceived as places that represent certain national attributes through nature, sculpture, and architecture. Mauch pointed out that the Tiergarten has always maintained a delicate balance between political usage, that is, through royal banquets or the erection of monuments dedicated to Prussian heroes, and an unauthorized, spontaneous use by the local population. In fact, Berliners never entirely subscribed to the sacred meaning of this garden as a showcase for the nation; instead, they integrated the Tiergarten into their everyday life. In contrast, the Mall in Washington remained unattractive to the urban population until the mid-nineteenth century. The McMillan Plan marked the most important step in the process of turning the Mall into a unified vision for the nation. Public buildings and museums created a strict formal composition that underscored the Mall's meaning as a petrified celebration of American history. Mauch argued that its new grand design primarily created sanctity and aimed at preserving the illusion of permanence. The National Mall thereby detached itself from the vitality - and the problems and conflicts - of the surrounding urban reality.

Issues of "Politics of Memory and National Identities" remained on the agenda when the conference group reconvened on day two. In the first morning session Janet Ward spoke on the "Architecture of Holocaust Memory" in Berlin and Washington. The opening of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1993 established a permanent site for the memorialization of the Holocaust, didactically arranged and immensely successful in drawing visitors from all over the world. In contrast, it has taken Berlin decades for plans to remember the Holocaust within a specific architectural setting. Ward touched on the ongoing and highly controversial discussions of the Holocaust memorial in central Berlin, next to Paris Square. She criticized the "monstrous monumentality" of the latest designs and the surrounding spirit of boosterism and nostalgic reconstruction being pursued by city planners. Ward suggested substituting Daniel Liebeskind's new Jewish Museum for a yet-to-be-constructed Holocaust memorial. Liebeskind's architecture has already been accepted by the public, reflecting the fractured and heterogeneous nature of urban memory and emphasizing "voids" of imagination. The question of whether the - still empty - museum can and should be interpreted as a Holocaust memorial and, as such, might conflate Jewish history and Holocaust remembrance, stirred up a particularly lively discussion.

Dietmar Schirmer addressed the intricate questions of how buildings adopt meaning and become part of national narratives. He argued that the historical development leading toward nation building is marked by a dialectics of disembedding and re-embedding. According to Schirmer's model, the nation can assume a crucial role in the latter process by recreating social meaning and coherence. Architecture provides one symbolic re-embedding mode by creating commemorative structures and national mythologies, a role it has fulfilled increasingly since 1800. Schirmer emphasized that architectural forms per se cannot be assigned to specific political systems; instead, the self-definition of nation-states and their specific political histories influence the construction of homologies between architecture and national peculiarities. In the case of the United States, the monumental design of Washington, particularly in the wake of the McMillan Plan, reflects the existence of a dominating narrative of American history, marked by continuity and consensus. With the exception of the Vietnam War era, this narrative is unbroken and leaves few doubts about the democratic trajectories of the nation. Consequently, classicism could serve Washington as the appropriate and lasting architectural form, corresponding to the idea of democratic-republican order. In contrast, there have been several, and always contested narratives of German history during the past two hundred years. This contention has contributed to the plurality of architectural styles chosen to represent the nation. The strong elements of discontinuity and conflict about the ultimate interpretation of the nation's purpose made it nearly impossible after the Nazi era to return to the language of classicism in Germany, a formal repertoire that was greatly distorted by the Third Reich.

Douglas Klahr discussed a different sort of monumentality. He compared the architectural history of the grand hotels in Berlin and Washington between 1875 and the early twentieth century. Specific traditions of housing and hotel management as well as the distinct character of both cities contributed to different concepts of how to structure space in hotels and define their public functions. Washington compensated for its lack of commercial activity with the hegemonic presence of the federal government and the specific American tradition of residential hotels. Washington hotels, such as the Willard, often accommodated political organizations and offered considerable space for public life, thereby mixing private and public spaces on their ground level. Urban peculiarities, such as the low density of buildings and the generous scale of streets allowed for free-standing hotels, monumental buildings that served as landmarks for the capital's social life. Not so in Berlin. Klahr pointed to such famous examples as the Adlon and the Kaiserhof to show that Berlin's grand hotels were restricted in their architectural and public functions. They had to cope with the limits of a high building density and generally refrained from opening the ground level to the public. Social spaces tended to be grouped around elements of nature within the buildings, such as a wintergarden or a palm court. Nevertheless, Berlin hotels took on some American features after 1900; for example, they integrated street-side bars and expansive lobbies.

Like hotels, railway stations are transitory places through which people enter and leave cities. As portals to a capital, they also are designed to convey a message about that central city. In their joint paper on railway stations as "Capital Gateways," Christian F. Otto and Roberta M. Moudry referred back to the city planning ideas that left an imprint on both Berlin and Washington during the first decade of the nineteenth century. Washington's monumental Union Station was its only railway station. Its aesthetic design expressed the concepts of the City Beautiful movement and became part of the new classicist design for the area around the National Mall. Berlin had numerous railway stations, and these did not follow a common design. However, most were seen as reception halls that underscored the moment of arrival. With their tracks driving through densely built urban areas, the Berlin stations expressed an aesthetics of motion that differed from the static character of Union Station, which emphasized its façade and concealed the station's operations.

The next session investigated those functions of capitals that link them to their regional, national, and even international surroundings. Because he was unable to attend the conference in person, Carl Abbott's paper on "National Capitals in a Networked World" was read to the audience. Abbott began by revisiting known theories about the character of international cities. The concept of "world" or "global cities" has gained particular prominence in recent years; it concentrates on the control functions of capital elites, based on the availability of telecommunications. Abbott took the deficiencies of this model as the starting point to lay out a different kind of concept, that of "international cities." This concept takes the functions of cities within a region or nation and their historical endowments into consideration and can be based on a typological differentiation between production, gateway, and transactional cities.

Against this background Abbott took a fresh look at Washington and Berlin. Since the late nineteenth century, according to Abbott, both cities have developed into transactional cities. Although they originally lacked attributes of cosmopolitanism, Berlin and Washington succeeded in becoming centers of policymaking and information technology, especially Washington. Moreover, both cities developed into intellectual and cultural centers, even if ideas were imported rather than self-produced. Stephen S. Fuller strengthened this line of argumentation with his comments on the evolution of Washington's economy. In particular, he showed that the recent economic boom and the rise of communication networks, including the immense growth of Dulles International Airport, have turned Washington into a truly national and international hub.

Complementing this aspect about how capitals relate to their environment, Ralf Roth combined economic, social, and cultural perspectives to assess the role of railroads in Berlin between the late 1830s and World War I. Roth demonstrated that the fundamental functions of railroad traffic through Berlin - the transport of people as well as goods, such as coal from Silesia and industrial products from western Germany - responded to urgent social and economic needs. Railroads facilitated the migration from the East, turning Berlin into a huge human port of call. In addition, railroads were seen as a means to develop surrounding regions and turn them into an outlet for the crowded inner city districts. Railroads also helped stimulate commercial interests and paved the way for a rise in tourism to the Baltic Sea, to Scandinavia, and to southern Germany and beyond. At the same time, Roth argued, railroads became an embodiment of the perils of modernity - they provoked cultural criticism and reinforced a general uneasiness with the pace and disorder of big city life.

An examination of the national and international connectedness of capitals gives rise to the question of who rules and administers these cities. Wolfgang Ribbe, the current doyen of Berlin historians, and Alan H. Lessoff gave their respective answers - and revealed a surprising similarity between Berlin and Washington: Both cities have been deprived of essential rights of self-government during large segments of their history. Ribbe reminded the audience of Berlin's dual origin, going back to the settlements of medieval Berlin and Cölln becoming a princely residence of a sovereign only in the fifteenth century. From that point forward and even throughout the time of municipal reform and urban growth during the nineteenth century, Berliners were deprived of many aspects of self-government. Even when Berlin became the capital of the second German Empire, its self-administration remained more restricted than in other German cities. The drive to create a strong, independent, and unified city administration following the creation of Greater Berlin in 1920 was soon curtailed and then reversed by the Nazis. Following Allied four-power control and the division of the city into two ideological halves, it was only with German unification that democratization finally arrived.

Lessoff concentrated on the history of Washington between the Civil War and the end of World War II. These years mark an era of decisive demographic growth and urban transformation for the American capital. Federal activity increased dramatically and the city's infrastructure and public functions - in part due to the efforts of the protean figure of Alexander R. Sheperd - raised Washington to the level of a modern big city. Differing from the metropolitan setting of Berlin, however, this dynamic growth relied almost exclusively on state support instead of being fed by industrial and cultural competition in the region. The most significant feature of Washington, as Lessoff underscored, was the denial of representation in Congress and the abolition of local self-government. Only between 1871 and 1874, a mere three years, did the city govern itself. Congressional oversight blocked African Americans from participating in local politics and generated a patchwork system of commissions, relying on Congress's largesse, which benefited the white city elite for decades.

At the end of a long conference day, Walter Erhart reported on "National Images and Capital Topography in Travel Literature." Cities can be and are read like books: Erhart took this approach to analyze the perceptions of German travelers to Washington during the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, and those of Americans visiting Berlin during the same time. Surprisingly, both cities left parallel impressions on their respective visitors. They generated disappointment because the gap between capital ambitions and their actual realization seemed painfully obvious. The signs - in Erhart's reference to the language of semiotics - of Berlin and Washington did not live up to their intended meanings. This perception, however, led to different aesthetic judgments. Whereas visitors to Washington sought refuge in the terminology of the sublime to indicate that the American capital represented a meaning beyond mere appearance, Berlin provoked a rather ironic and satirical language. By 1900 Berlin assumed a new character. As a contemporary observer noted, "Athens on the Spree" had turned into "Chicago on the Spree," with its manifestations of modern life and hectic urban pace associated with American cities. This Americanization of Berlin's image made the German capital increasingly unreadable, and the city's significance as a national capital was obscured. In contrast, Washington began to embody qualities that reminded visitors of European cities and made it easier for them to decode its inherent symbolism: The center of the city on the Potomac lost its "American tempo" and assumed a well-structured and aesthetically appealing design as if from the drawing board.

The last day of the conference focused on the social reality of Berlin and Washington. Accordingly, the first session dealt with "Protest and the Display of Discontent." Lucy Barber showed how physical space matters when it comes to turning the capital into a stage for demonstration. Barber analyzed the various marches on Washington from 1894 to the present and the creation of "national public spaces" as a result of these various protest movements. From the late nineteenth century onward the pledge of the Founding Fathers to keep the federal government free of outside pressure and secure the capital as a place, detached from social, and political problems, proved untenable. Coxey's Army of 1894, driven by populist demands, the parade of the women's suffrage movement in 1913, the protests of World War I veterans for benefits in 1932, and the presence of the NAACP in Downtown Washington, all claimed the area around the National Mall and the Capitol Building as backdrops for their agenda. Their efforts clashed with the federal and local authorities' claim for control and triggered a lasting process of negotiation for the creation of and access to relevant urban spaces for the public. The 1963 March on Washington, culminating in Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, undoubtedly marked a high point in the establishment of tactics for attracting public attention to protest actions and singled out the Capitol and the Mall for that purpose. From now on and reinforced by the Vietnam War protests, the Mall developed into a space that is perceived as a national forum, serving the public, where issues of relevance to the entire nation are addressed - war, race relations, and AIDS.

Berlin did not create a Mall-like political space in the twentieth century. But the city gave special meaning to "the street" as a place of public protest and political unrest, viewed by the state as a serious challenge to its authority. Belinda Davis elaborated on this topic in a broad treatment of everyday street protest from the pre-1848 period to the present. Davis pointed out that no other German city showed a comparable and continuous proclivity for unrest and spontaneous street protest with the concomitant aggressive exercise of governmental power. State and municipal authorities always tended to interpret street unrest as a political threat. During World War I broad press coverage of hunger protests helped dramatize everyday politics and communicate the government's lack of authority to a national audience. Political violence during the Weimar Republic and even protests against Nazi proclamations and laws after 1933 - as exemplified by the Rosenstraße protest of women married to Jewish husbands - materialized in the streets of Berlin.

That the urban reality of both Berlin and Washington has been marked by a presence of different ethnic groups and by conflict, based on racial thinking, became finally clear in the last session of the conference. Howard Gillette Jr. underscored the centrality of race for Washington, which has influenced changing city administrations, the capital's profile, and the nation's identity. The denial of congressional representation to the District of Columbia has affected African Americans - the majority population since the 1940s - more than any other group. In the 1980s Mayor Marion Barry sought to reverse past deferential behavior on the part of blacks by asserting legitimate claims for respect and power for the African-American population.

In the conference's final presentation Robert Garris made it clear that although Berlin has been perceived as a metropolis populated by immigrants since the late nineteenth century, it has, in fact, maintained a relatively low level of immigrants. Nevertheless, this population has suffered discrimination, in particular from the definition of German nationality, based on ancestry rather than place of birth.

The chairs of each session contributed much to the pleasant and productive atmosphere at the conference. Their enthusiasm for the topics, their probing questions, and their insightful comments ensured its success. We would like to extend our thanks to Celia Applegate, Marion F. Deshmukh, Steven J. Diner, Cynthia R. Field, Barbara Franco, Peter Jelavich, Jane F. Levey, Richard Longstreth, Uta Poiger, and Nathan Stoltzfus.

The conference with its numerous visual presentations, through the use of slides and overheads, took its participants on a fascinating journey through the history and streetscapes, architecture and maps of the German and American capitals. At the same time, its vivid and congenial discussions went beyond the tale of two cities. The conference raised questions about the construction of a democratic public sphere, the visualization of power, and the degree to which a seat of government can transform the character and identity of a city and its historical consciousness.

Andreas W. Daum
Christof Mauch 

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Writing World History, 1800-2000

Conference held at the GHI, London, March 30-April 1, 2000. Conveners: Eckhardt Fuchs (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin) and Benedikt Stuchtey (GHI London). Participants: Michael Adas (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick), Jerry H. Bentley (University of Honolulu), Michael J. Bentley (University of St. Andrews), Thomas Bohn (University of Jena), Sebastian Conrad (Free University of Berlin), Arif Dirlik (Duke University), Vinay Lal (University of California at Los Angeles), Ricardo K.S. Mak (Hong Kong Baptist University), Jochen Meissner (University of Hamburg), Mauro Moretti (University of Pisa), Patrick O'Brien (University of London), Jürgen Osterhammel (University of Konstanz), Roxann Prazniack (Hampden-Sydney College), Lutz Raphael (University of Trier), Hagen Schulze (Free University of Berlin), Julia A. Thomas (University of Wisconsin at Madison), Eduardo Tortarolo (University of Turin), Peter Wende (GHI London).

The German Historical Institutes in London and Washington invited practitioners and theoreticians of world historiography to a three-day conference in order to discuss, in international comparison, the discipline's past traditions as well as present and future direction. The conference followed a meeting in Washington in October 1997, where we investigated the professionalization of the historical sciences as well as the possibilities and limits of intellectual scholarly exchange and transfer. (See the conference report in the Bulletin, issue no. 21, Fall 1997, pp. 27-30.) As was the case in Washington, the London meeting aimed to trace the development of academic history in international perspective, whereby emphasis was placed especially on non-European examples. Of course, the conference could not claim to have covered each and every tradition, and for that reason only a small yet representative selection of European and non-European historiographies were chosen: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States. The conference ended with papers on contemporary debates and research emphases in world history writing, followed by a discussion of the central question of whether and how world history can be written at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

After words of welcome by Peter Wende, the director of the GHI London, Benedikt Stuchtey presented his concept of the meeting and several general tendencies in the writing of world history, past and present. In his introduction Stuchtey pointed out the differences between the terms world history, global history, total history, and universal history. He also addressed the question of the connection between world history, on the one hand, and local, regional, and national histories, on the other. Is the historical discipline in danger of fragmenting further, or will world history help prevent this? Already in the 1980s the renowned historian William McNeill argued that world history writing - in its goals and methods - should not differentiate itself from other types of history writing. When the French Annales school recognized the arbitrariness of chronological and regional borders of traditional historiography, it unintentionally created the important fundamentals of modern world history writing. Naturally, the problem of the unevenness of what we know remains: Is it even possible to write a comprehensive world history as long as the Western world is substantially better researched than the non-Western world? What are the possibilities, and the limits, of a comparison?

The conference was divided into two chronological units, 1800 to 1945 and 1945 to the present, and two geographic units, a comparison of Europe with non-European countries. In the nineteenth centuy, universal history was understood as the history of the development of European civilization, economic primacy, and imperial expansion. Taking the example of Italy, Mauro Moretti presented the works and debates of leading Italian historians, concentrating in particular on Cesare Cant (1804-95) and his "Storia Universale" in thirty-five volumes (published between 1838 and 1846). Despite great interest in the national question and the rise of the Italian nation-state, the writing of world history, especially influenced by German works, played a not unimportant role in nineteenth-century Italy. However, Cant's concept of "history" remained conventional because he limited himself to describing the European and Christian West, and understood universal history exclusively as the history of Christendom.

In his investigation of world history writing in Czarist Russia and the Soviet Union, Thomas Bohn came to the conclusion that in his example the political function of historiography could be discerned: Russia's place in Europe, the tense relations between backward-looking and modernizing forces, society and the states, between academic works and popular syntheses, traditional and modern, interdisciplinary methods, and finally between Eurocentric models, on the one hand, and the construction of a patriotic Russian Sonderweg (special path), on the other. Russian and Soviet concepts of world history depended to a great extent on how the country defined its position between its colonial periphery and Europe, and the emancipation from the influence of German historicism and Hegelianism. Nevertheless, the official Marxist-Leninist history of the world in ten volumes (1955-65) was grounded in the classic European viewpoint, even if its motifs, such as the class struggle, were used as scaffolding.

Eckhardt Fuchs shed light on the three traditions of world history writing in Germany since the end of the eighteenth century: the universal and cosmopolitan perspective; world history starting with Europe; and history with the idea of the nation at its center. In the second half of his talk Fuchs spoke about the problems of writing a transcultural and transnational history of historiography. Beginning with recent debates on Eurocentrism and postcolonialism he enumerated the theoretical and methodological problems confronting the writing of universal history. From an epistemological point of view he appealed for a "soft" Eurocentrism as a possibility, in self-critical reflection and via transcultural comparison and transfer, for embarking on new ways of writing the history of history.

In her contribution on Japan, Julia A. Thomas tendered the thesis that world history writing in Japan above all served the purpose not of understanding the Other, that is the non-Japanese world, but rather the self-understanding and self-definition of Japan itself. From the Tokugawa Period (after 1600) to the post-World War II era Japanese world history writing was marked by anxiety and insecurity in dealing with the country's national identity; the critical engagement with the world outside Japan primarily served the function of a critical engagement of Japanese with themselves.

Ricardo K. S. Mak remarked that Chinese ideas about the world outside of China experienced a watershed during the time of the Opium Wars. The wall separating China from the outside world that existed in the first half of the nineteenth century, in spite of trade with Southeast Asia and the influence of Western science, slowly gave way after 1842 to Chinese intellectuals opening up to the West and attempting to redefine China's place in the world. Whereas the first generation of these intellectuals still believed in the possibility of a Chinese exceptionalism that was independent of the outside world, the second generation recognized the shortcomings of Chinese civilization and strove for a partial integration into world society. Furthermore, in the age of imperialism social Darwinism played a decisive role in the perception of the country and its relations to other nations.

As Vinay Lal reported in his paper, India found itself in an area of conflict between Western colonialism and the beginnings of political emancipation. This situation produced its concept of world history, such as that of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Yet, according to Lal, despite the multicultural and transnational collaboration within the scholarly community, there can be no talk of having overcome the Eurocentrism - that is, the western European and American perspective - that dominates world history writing. Few studies of world history use a genuinely comparative approach, and the current discourse on globalization still has a unified concept of the world, which does not take seriously the manifold possibilities for interpretation.

In the same session Jochen Meissner called into question the Eurocentric focus of universal history using the example of the Brazilian historian Gilberto Freyre. Meissner discussed Freyre's book Casa grande e senzala (1933), which does not attribute Brazil's miserable conditions and putative powerlessness to reach the level of development of other countries to the usual racism but rather to societal ills. When the book was published, it was widely cited by Fernand Braudel and Thomas Mann, which led to twenty-five printings. Freyre had studied with Franz Boas, among others, and had taken an interest in anthropological and transcultural issues.

Tracing the development of Japanese world history after 1945, Sebastian Conrad articulated how much Japan tried to define its position between Asia and Europe, that is, between Asian and Western history. World history was popular and was firmly anchored in school curricula. It had the function of connecting Japan's past to a universal history. Whereas in the immediate postwar period Japan tended to understand itself as part of the West within the concept of modernization, then in the 1960s to see itself again closer to the Asian world order, in the 1990s the country rediscovered and valued positively the period of national isolation (1603-1853), which is associated with pride in the nation and a vision of a peaceful, nonexpansionist society. Thus, support for isolationist politics can be viewed as a consequence of Japan's position in world history.

Lutz Raphael elucidated the theory and practice of world historiography by the Annales school. He began by discussing Henri Berr's famous "L'evolution de l'humanité" project and then by talking about Lucien Febvre's and Marc Bloch's concepts of world history. Of special importance is the role played by Fernand Braudel, whose book La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l'époque de Philippe II has become an undisputed class of historiography. Braudel's program, which breaks down into an immutable geographic period, the "long durée" of social and demographic period, and then the short duration of events, however, was never adopted by the Annales. The Sixth Section of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, the Annales school's institutional base, was of extraordinary importance.

The two great figures of German world historiography are without doubt Karl Marx and Max Weber. They functioned as key figures in Patrick O'Brien's reflections on "The Global History of Material Progress." O'Brien proposed a few parameters for the study of the universal history of economic growth and systematically investigated by means of a chronological outline the economic conditions from Adam Smith, Marx, and Weber to the World System School and Brenner. The second half of his talk compared European with Asian developments with regard to technologies, techniques, processes, and management of the means of production from 1368 to 1815.

The last panel of the conference dealt with the tasks and problems of present and future world history writing. In his paper Jerry H. Bentley focused on the connection between "World History and Grand Narrative." Bentley appealed for the drafting of a world history that divorces itself from the Eurocentric model based on the Enlightenment and strives for the integration of individual societies into a global dynamic. As support for this proposal he sketched three historical "realities" that were common to all human societies and that would create world history through their contextualization, in contrast to the existing teleologies based on supremacy and domination: population growth, constantly improving technical possibilities, and increasing transcultural relations are of decisive importance for the development of the world as a whole.

In his paper Michael Adas emphasized that from a global perspective, however, it would be very difficult to write a "grand narrative" without the exceptionalism of the American past. The experience of the former settler society, to have achieved global hegemony, is essential for a better understanding of world historical problems and especially those of the twentieth century. Important preconditions herein again would be historical comparison as well as the ascertaining of common experiences, for example, the frontier and the influence of scientific and technological change. Adas also indicated that world history has only relatively recently found acceptance, following the gradual relaxation of the domination of the specialized disciplines.

In the last contribution to the conference Arif Dirlik raised the problem of current world history writing, seeking its justification and meaning in light of the fact that world history essentially reflects "world making" and still cannot free itself from the ruling Eurocentrism. Dirlik warned against the tendency to privilege world history vis-à-vis other types of history writing, to proceed positivistically in practice, and to do nothing but gloss over the triumph of Western-imprinted globalization.

This tension between arguments for and against writing world history continued in the final discussion. To begin with, Jürgen Osterhammel summarized the five central problems: the development of criteria for problems related to world history; the question of "good" or "bad" world history; its intellectual as well as institutional premises; the questions of whether comparative history is the same as world history, and whether space and time are the units of world history. These criteria were taken up once again during the discussion of individual papers. Thus, participants debated the example of British historiography's astounding lack of world history. The importance of the history of philosophy, as well as the difference between a profession focusing on national histories and amateur historians, who also study world history, have been as thematized as the problem of Eurocentrism in current world history writing. The societal and economic relevance of world history was then underscored, which makes clear conceptual definitions necessary, for example, the differences between "culture" and "cultural." The study of the history of "civilization" also has encountered criticism ever since Edward Said's critique of "orientalism" in Western scholarship. In fact, an academic subfield has been created to deal with this issue. As Michael Geyer and Charles Bright already wrote in their essay in the American Historical Review (1995), modern world history writing has not yet freed itself from Western stereotypes. Reorienting the field would create numerous theoretical and practical questions and affirm its potential. The conveners plan to publish the results of the conference.

Eckhardt Fuchs
Benedikt Stuchtey

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Cultivated Nature: Gardens, Parks, and Playgrounds

Panel held at the Biennial Conference of the European Association of American Studies (EAAS) in Graz, Austria, April 15, 2000. Co-sponsored by the GHI. Chairs: Robert Lewis (University of Birmingham) and Bernard Mergen (George Washington University). Participants: Teresa Botelho (University of Lisbon), Pere Gallardo-Torrano (University of Lleida), Marcus Hall (Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research), Susanne Hauser (Humboldt University of Berlin), Abby Arthur Johnson (Georgetown University), Ronald Johnson (Georgetown University), Christof Mauch (GHI), Eric J. Sandeen (Odense University, Denmark; University of Wyoming).

Interest in planned and designed landscapes is relatively new. In Europe it was sparked by Renaissance discoveries of architectural landscape drawings from antiquity, in the United States by nineteenth-century nationalism and romanticism. In general, the inspiration to save, cultivate, and design nature grew out of Transcendentalist art and literature, and merged with the interest of city planners to create safe and "wholesome" spaces. The first American landscape parks provided rural scenery, formal promenades, and a relaxing naturalistic environment. But as the century progressed the public no longer found such parks sufficient for recreation. People demanded entertainment, organized activity, and, above all else, variety. The playground movement was a result of intense urban growth and crowded, unsanitary housing. Amusement parks were designed as highly specialized recreational landscapes that provided novel and technologically innovative experiences for the entire family. Social and recreational needs were often at the core of American landscape design.

Another force that brought changes to urban and rural landscapes was environmentalism. The environmental ideal shaped American ideas about the (suburban) garden as an oasis of untouched nature, it helped create national parks throughout the United States, and it led, most recently, to the transformation of former industrial sites into landscaped parks and museums.

A full-day panel at this year's EAAS conference on "Nature's Nation Reconsidered: American Concepts of Nature from Wonder to Ecological Crisis" devoted itself to the study of urban and nature parks in the United States. The papers and discussions offered insights into a rapidly expanding field of historical research and called for the reconceptualization of traditional ideas about our natural and cultural environment. In his paper on the Great Teton National Park, Eric J. Sandeen, for example, called attention to the historic, human landscape that was superimposed on the natural one. Every year over 3.5 million visitors come to admire the Teton peaks from the Snake River plateau, unaware that John D. Rockefeller assembled the land precisely so that this view would be given to the American people - a virtual, commodified wilderness promenade. In Sandeen's opinion, the Great Teton National Park is a thoroughly cultural landscape, inscribed with the values and tensions of contemporary American culture.

In their presentation on the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., Abby Arthur Johnson and Ronald Johnson interpreted "America's first national cemetery" as a "garden." They showed that this cemetery, which functioned as the burying ground for presidents, senators, congressmen, and other leading citizens of the nation, not only played an important role in shaping national burial customs and forms of memorializing but also emerged as part of a larger effort to incorporate garden concepts into the design and setting of American parks and cemeteries. In his paper on the National Mall in Washington, Christof Mauch discussed the different functions of this "public garden" over the centuries. He found that the planners of the American capital city intended to design a public space that was devoid of all facilities aimed at turning the Mall into a national playground or recreation center. Interestingly, however, and despite these intentions, the Mall became both a theme park - with its carousel, fairs, and many museums - and a popular place for athletic recreation and competitions. In a presentation entitled "Our Own Bit of Green," Teresa Betelho examined private yards and spaces. In particular, she traced the history of gardens in American suburbs, from the "private fantasy and caprice" where one could "withdraw like a monk and live like a prince"(Lewis Mumford), to the uninspiring manicured front lawns of the 1950s housing development. She argued that the new home-owning middle class invested all its creativity in the interior decoration of their mass-produced homes while passively accepting strict regulation of their front yards, imposed by developers.

Whereas nature parks, cemeteries, city parks, and suburban yards were created to avoid any suggestion of work or productivity, more and more parks in the United States are the result of a transformation of (industrial) workplaces into new types of parks and historic sites. Susanne Hauser explored the ways in which designers have attempted to bury the industrial past of former brownfields and wastelands, and created "aesthetic post-industrial landscapes" in their stead. Pere Gallardo-Torrano discussed another genre of park that combines elements of nature and technology: the theme park. She argued that sites such as Disneyland are reminiscent of cinematic universes that have produced utopian micro worlds of technological sophistication, environmental awareness, and consumer euphoria. Finally, in a paper on "American Histories and Restored Pasts," Marcus Hall reminded the audience that there are distinct differences between the American and European perceptions of nature. He claimed that in the American mind, ideal wilderness has no human history; whereas in the European mind, ideal cultural landscapes have very long human histories. While restoring nature, Europeans appear to be creating historic landscapes, whereas Americans are re-creating ahistoric landscapes - with widely differing consequences for the land.

The broad range of issues addressed in this panel, attracted a diverse audience from different countries and disciplines. The lively discussion showed that a focus on cultivated nature - parks and gardens - may serve as a prism to look at broader questions such as human interaction with the environment, human values concerning urban and natural landscapes, the effect of technology, and the social and economic role of design.

Christof Mauch 

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Witnessing the Third Reich: Diaries, Memoirs, Memories

Workshop at the GHI, June 5, 2000. Conveners and moderators: Christof Mauch (GHI), Christine von Oertzen (GHI & Technical University of Berlin). Participants: Susanne zur Nieden (Technical University of Berlin); Brewster Chamberlin (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum); Frank Stern (Georgetown University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev); and Freya von Moltke (Norwich, Vermont). Co-sponsored by the Friends of the GHI.

Scholarly investigations using diaries, journals, and letters as well as testimonials of contemporaries have produced what Jay Winter calls the "memory boom at the end of the twentieth century" (see his essay in this issue of the Bulletin). The translation into English in the 1990s of two important works by eyewitnesses on the resistance to and persecution by the Nazis - Viktor Klemperer's diaries and a collection of letters between Freya von Moltke and her husband, Helmut James Graf von Moltke - prompted the GHI to bring together scholars and a prominent contemporary eyewitness for an extended conversation. (Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer, 1st American ed. New York: Random House, 1988; Count Helmuth James von Moltke, Letters to Freya, 1939-1945. 1st American ed. New York: Knopf, 1990.) The aim of this one-day workshop was to spend an afternoon reflecting on the place of "memory" and "witnessing" in our understanding of the Third Reich. Although National Socialism and the Holocaust have been extensively studied, participants in the workshop hoped to gain new insights by examining memory and eyewitness reports.

When the first part of Klemperer's diary was published in Germany in 1995, even those who had read the literature, followed the debates, and watched the movies were gripped by what was more than a personal journal. In Klemperer's words, this was "a record of the everyday life of tyranny." It was immediately hailed as the most comprehensive account of the Jewish experience during the Third Reich. When reading Klemperer's diaries we hear, it seems, "an authentic voice." It is a voice that "speaks out in fear of persecution, repression, and terror." Born in 1881, the son of a well-known Reform rabbi, Klemperer converted to Protestantism and grew up to become a professor of Romance languages in Dresden. Recording his thoughts and feelings in his diary during the 1930s and 1940s gave him strength and sanity: "I shall go on writing," he wrote in May 1942, "that is my heroism."

The historian and literary scholar Susanne zur Nieden began the first session of the workshop by reviewing the literary and historical context of Klemperer's diaries. Zur Nieden reminded us that Klemperer lived in an era when educated people kept a record of daily life. Although the diaries were not initially addressed to an audience, Klemperer - in the course of his exclusion from German society and later persecution - became a chronicler of the daily terrors of Nazi Germany. Through his attempts to connect the personal and the social Klemperer discovered the power of language as a means of constructing social reality and of self-definition: In his writings Klemperer maintained his identity, defining himself as a "true German." Zur Nieden characterized Klemperer's hesitation about publishing his diaries in the immediate postwar period as a true stroke of luck. Accordingly, the diaries appeared, first in German then in other languages, shorn of the burdens and revisions of postwar memory. This is in no small measure part of the explanation for their widespread appeal today.

Brewster Chamberlin presented an overview of the American reception to the diaries and wondered whether the American publisher will be able to recoup the costs of the translation rights. Chamberlin did indicate that the work has gained significant attention in the United States. Unlike Germans, however, American reviewers of the diaries have registered a clear sense of ambivalence. Although reviewers have acknowledged the importance of the more than 2,000-page record in detailing life under National Socialism, Americans are less willing to embrace Klemperer as a Jewish spokesperson. Chamberlin found little sympathy for Klemperer's virulent anti-Zionism, in particular the author's equation of Zionism, communism, and National Socialism. In the same vein, he has observed a disconcertedness with Klemperer's insistence on his identity as a German, his decision not to emigrate, and his refusal to see himself as belonging to a minority community of Jews. Klemperer's American critics also have noted the diarist's narrow-mindedness, hypochondria, thoughtless willingness to endanger friends and neighbors, as well as repeated pejorative remarks about his wife. In stark contrast to their reception in Germany, the diaries appear to suggest to an American audience that there were more "Good Germans" than hitherto assumed. Different assumptions exist among readers on either side of the Atlantic concerning German society's role in the persecution of German Jews: Typically, German readers are more shocked at the extent of open discrimination and violence that Klemperer witnessed.

Frank Stern's presentation focused on the reception of the thirteen-part television series based on Victor Klemperer, which was first aired on German television in November 1999. Stern indicated that the film's director and producers - notwithstanding their claims to the contrary - took noteworthy liberties with the history as Klemperer recorded it in his diary. Stern showed how key elements of Klemperer's story became either sentimental kitsch or cheap attempts to recreate the long-lost German-Jewish symbiosis. Two examples illustrate Stern's point: In the series, Klemperer's last student - a young woman - takes her leave with a kiss. His postwar rehabilitation is at least equally melodramatic: The professor of Romantic languages returns to the university to receive a hearty round of applause from his students. Neither event, Stern makes clear, has any basis in historical fact.

The workshop's second session was devoted to Freya von Moltke and her "memories of Kreisau," as well as her reasons for making her reminiscences publicly available (Freya von Moltke, Erinnerungen an Kreisau 1930-1945. Munich: C.H. Beck Verlag, 1997). The name "von Moltke" has two immediate associations for historians: Before the 1940s it evokes the name of Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, a military hero of nineteenth-century Prussia. The second association is with that of Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, Freya's husband, who later represented the resistance of "Good Germans" to Hitler. The von Moltkes lived in Kreisau in the eastern Prussian province of Silesia, now part of Poland, in a castle from which they oversaw a thousand acres of land and forest. During the war the Kreisau estate became the meeting place of a group of anti-Nazi resisters, hence the name Kreisauer Circle. When the Nazis discovered the group, many were arrested; the Nazi state killed Helmuth James von Moltke in January 1945. His letters to Freya survived the war; she had hidden them in a beehive.

For von Moltke, writing - in this case letters, not diary entries - also was an act of heroism. Her belief and that of her husband that Hitler would bring about the defeat of Germany was seen by the Nazis as a treasonous act. In her conversation with Christof Mauch, von Moltke recalled memories of her youth in the Rheinland, her holidays in Austria, and her studies at Bonn University. Most of the conversation, however, focused on her life in Kreisau and on the resistance against Hitler. Moltke implored her listeners not to overvalue the importance of the Kreisauer Circle but rather to see it as it actually was: a series of important, if sporadic, discussions among a group of regime opponents from different political camps. At its core, "the Kreis" consisted of young, idealistic friends. Moltke's quick-wittedness, humor, and disarming self-confidence kept her audience in rapt attention. Toward the end of the evening, the audience began to ask their own questions; and after two hours of intense discussion in the GHI Lecture Hall, which was filled beyond capacity, the grande dame of the German resistance left the room to a standing ovation.

Christof Mauch
Christine von Oertzen 

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Ethnic Encounters and Identities: German, American, and African Perspectives

Conference held at the University of Leipzig, Germany, July 5-8, 2000. Sponsored by the GHI and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. Conveners: Hartmut Keil (University of Leipzig) and Vera Lind (GHI). Presenters: Britta Behmer (University of Munich), Robin Blackburn (University of Essex), Carol Blackshire-Belay (Indiana State University), Benjamin Braude (Boston College), Annette Brauerhoch (Columbia University), George M. Fredrickson (Stanford University), Maria Hoehn (Vassar College), Russell Kazal (Beaver College), Egbert Klautke (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin), Andrea Mehrlaender (Stiftung Leucorea, Wittenberg), Martin Oefele (University of Leipzig), Heike Paul (University of Leipzig), Matthias Reiss (University of the Bundeswehr, Hamburg), Jeffrey L. Sammons (Yale University), Jeffrey T. Sammons (New York University), Timothy Schroer (University of Virginia), Jon F. Sensbach (University of Florida).

Growing interest in and new research on the relationships between Germans, German-Americans, and African Americans prompted the conveners to invite to Leipzig a distinguished group of scholars from Germany and the United States. In Germany today the debate over naturalization and citizenship reflects an increased awareness not only of ethnic diversity in contemporary German society but also of the historical developments of ethnocentrism, anti-Semitism, and racism. In the United States historians have stressed the issue of race relations in their research for well over a generation. In recent years many immigrant, labor, and cultural historians have attempted to overcome the limited perspective of concentrating on one ethnic group. They have instead looked at the importance of ethnicity and racism as general factors leading toward integration as well as separation in the creation of an ethnic American identity.

In his keynote address George M. Fredrickson portrayed racism as a relatively modern construct, with Jews and blacks as the principle victims. He argued for studying the two groups comparatively. Tracing the origins of anti-Semitism back to the fourteenth century and drawing comparisons between the exclusion of Jews with the enslavement of Africans, Fredrickson showed how white supremacy slowly developed as a dominating culture. He also stressed the close connection between civic/ethnic rationalism, democracy, and the cultural achievements of society, on the one hand, and the development of hierarchical rankings and white supremacy, on the other.

Russell Kazal opened the first session with a case study of the changing identities of German Catholic immigrants in Philadelphia in the nineteenth century. His paper looked at the connection of this process to the migration of blacks into the same neighborhoods. His microhistorical approach showed how the development of an American identity greatly depended on racial prejudice. In this process, ethnic categories changed to race categories, which allowed the integration of other white immigrant groups, but drew a heavy color line and excluded blacks. This development can be traced back to the early nineteenth century and to the other side of the Atlantic: Egbert Klautke pointed out the absence of references toward race in German Amerikabücher, information books on the New World. Like Americans, many Germans excluded blacks because they did not fit into their picture of this country as the center of modernity. Focusing on the view of a different social group of German immigrants toward African Americans, Hartmut Keil portrayed the antislavery efforts of many intellectual German immigrants of 1848 in the pre-Civil War era. From their most important communication medium, the Allgemeine Zeitung, it is clear, that they drew a distinction between slavery and race questions, which led to their active support of abolitionism but reluctance to guarantee slaves civil rights.

Session Two again dealt with German immigrants and race issues but on a more individual level: Britta Behmer pointed out the contradictions in Ottilie Assing's newspaper articles against slavery, her relationship to Frederick Douglass, and her views on other social problems. Assing's abolitionist views were accompanied by harsh words for the suffrage movement and racism toward Douglass's wife. Martin Oefele analyzed the wartime diaries of two German officers serving in African-American units during the Civil War. These officers had empathy for the soldiers and tried to educate them, but they also complained about disciplinary and performance problems. Most notable is the absence of any reflection on the perspective of the black soldiers in the diaries. Andrea Mehrlaender was able to trace the view of an aristocratic female German immigrant toward race through family correspondence. For over a decade Louise von Seibold, who owned a plantation and slaves in the Mississippi Delta, completely adopted Southern stereotypes of blacks.

Session Three focused on images of blacks in nineteenth-century German popular literature. Heike Paul analyzed travel literature and showed that the discussion of general cultural contact rather than race dominated the narrative. This literature included criticism of slavery but also accepted it as part of the cultural landscape of the United States. Nineteenth-century German novels voiced a more diverse view: As Jeffrey L. Sammons pointed out, from Friedrich Gerstäcker to Karl May, these texts include utopian and Rousseauian views of blacks and antislavery remarks, as well as typical racist comments of the day.

Session Four examined modern perceptions of blacks. Benjamin Braude traced the Biblical story of the curse of Ham through its depiction over several centuries. Though the story was used early on to justify slavery, racial depictions of Ham are not to be found until the seventeenth century, and it is not until the middle of the the nineteenth century that Ham finally became black. Two papers focused on eighteenth-century German attitudes toward Africans on each side of the Atlantic. Vera Lind explored the topic of African Americans and Africans who served in the German military or worked as servants for the aristocracy. These blacks achieved a relatively high status and integration into German society, with baptism as the key "rite of passage" necessary for acceptance. But despite this acceptance, they could never escape the dependency on their sponsor's good will in this hierarchical society. Jon F. Sensbach concentrated on the attitude of early German immigrants in America toward slavery and pointed out their flexible, sometimes overlapping perception. Protests against slavery were followed by enslaving blacks, due to a shortage of German servants after the Seven Years' War. A significant influence on German immigrant attitudes toward blacks until the nineteenth century was the German-Moravian church, which attempted to Christianize blacks in North America. On a more general level, Robin Blackburn argued for a comparative study of slavery in the Americas focusing on the enslavement of indigenous people by the Spanish in South America and Africans in North America.

Session Five included papers about black athletes at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the search for identity of Afro-Germans today. Jeffrey T. Sammons stressed the important role African American participation in the Olympics played in equality and citizenship within American society. He focused on the famous myth that Hitler refused to shake Jesse Owens's hand after Owens had won his four gold medals. In fact, Hitler had simply gone home by the time Owens had won his events. The story did not put the Nazi side of the event into focus but instead served as a powerful myth of black performance and achievements. Carol Blackshire-Belay analyzed the living conditions of the 500,000 Afro-Germans in Germany and their quest for reclaiming their history and identity as black Germans. The lack of awareness among Germans of several generations of Afro-Germans has re-enforced stereotypes and racism among white Germans and confounded an already difficult struggle for identity among black Germans. The Initiative Schwarzer Deutscher, founded in 1986, is making an effort to change the situation, however.

In Session Six, Maria Hoehn showed what the factor "race" meant for the experience of the 30,000 black GIs, who served in Germany in the 1950s. From interviews she conducted with the ex-soldiers, an extremely positive image of their time in Germany emerged, dominated by experiences of liberation and more racial equality. Nonetheless, outbreaks of racial violence, in which German and American racism interacted, occurred and were regularly covered up by the U.S. military. Giving the German perspective from the other side of the Atlantic, Matthias Reiss concentrated on the complicated relationship between German prisoners of war and blacks in the segregated American South during World War II. Despite little contact between the two groups, German POWs noted the kind behavior of blacks toward them (quite contrary to Nazi propaganda), and how blacks viewed them as equals, since they were prisoners and did the work in the fields usually reserved for blacks. Germans also observed racism in American society, for example, when the U.S. Army decided not to use blacks as guards for POWs, and noted how this contradicted what the Americans taught them in their re-education program.

The last session brought up the topic of sex and race: The many relationships between German women and black American soldiers after World War II rarely received coverage by the German media, as Annette Brauerhoch pointed out. Moreover, on the rare occasion when these relationships were discussed, journalists and film makers relied on sexist and racist portrayals of these involved. Timothy Schroer analyzed the rhetoric of a conflict between German police and American military police in Bavaria involving the relationships of German women and black soldiers. He concluded that interracial sex was viewed as something dangerous and fearful for German society.

The conference ended with a roundtable discussion on the general concept of terms like "race" and "racism." It was proposed that scholars should drop the term "race" from the research agenda, because it describes something that does not exist, and tends to separate rather than include groups of people. On the concept of "race" describing something physical opposed to "ethnicity" as a cultural concept, comparisons were drawn to the distinction between "sex" and "gender", in which "sex" is equally questioned as non-existent in reality. But the participants agreed on the importance of the term "racism," because it does describe reality in many societies. The importance of the interrelation between "racism" and "nationalism" was stressed, as well as the need for further research on the topic.

All in all, the conference brought together many scholars who are engaged in new, original research on blacks and Germans. The focus was therefore on discussing research results and the emergence of fascinating new details on encounters between Germans, Americans, Africans, and African Americans, rather than the evaluation of theoretical concepts. The papers cohered nicely, which allowed participants to refer repeatedly to the presentations of others. This stimulated thought-provoking and far-reaching discussions in this fairly new field of historical and literary inquiry. Leipzig, the beautifully restored eastern German city, added to the enjoyable atmosphere of the conference.

Vera Lind 

< back to Bulletin 27

Sixth Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar in German History: Germany in the Imperial Age, 1850-1914

Seminar at the Humboldt University of Berlin, April 26-29, 2000. Conveners: Roger Chickering (Georgetown University) and Andreas W. Daum (GHI). Moderators: Celia Applegate (University of Rochester), Rüdiger vom Bruch (Humboldt University), Wolfgang Hardtwig (Humboldt University), Gangolf Hübinger (Viadrina University, Frankfurt/Oder), and Nancy Reagin (Pace University).

Five years after the first Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar took place in Washington, D.C., the chronological cycle of this successful program started anew. The 2000 seminar, hosted by the Humboldt University of Berlin, took a fresh look at one of the most debated and researched periods of German history. Like in 1995 participants dealt with the second half of the nineteenth-century and the social, political, and cultural problems accompanying the rise of the second German Empire. The seminar thereby fulfilled one of its key missions: to reflect the interests and innovations of the youngest cohort of scholars working in German history and to track the change of these interests over the course of time. Each year, the seminar is devoted to a chronologically defined epoch. This concept offers space for a wide range of methodological approaches and thematic perspectives; it helps young specialists to think beyond their thematic boundaries, to learn to defend their arguments, and to welcome the advice of colleagues pursuing different research strategies but dealing with the same period. Even more, the seminar is designed to keep the general problems of the relevant epoch in mind and to trace how generational changes affect the very definition of these problems.

Against this background, the Berlin seminar offered many important insights without claiming to be representative for the state of the art in general. As in previous years, eight doctoral students from Germany and eight from the United States were selected to present the essential arguments of their Ph.D. theses in the form of elaborated research papers; these were written in advance and distributed to all participants prior to the conference. Avoiding lengthy presentations, the meeting was based on commentaries given in each of the eight panels by a pair of students on two of their colleagues' papers, as well as ample time for discussion. As in previous years, senior scholars functioned as moderators and discussants.

Undoubtedly, the postrevolutionary years and the German Kaiserreich have long been highly contested fields among historians. They have offered both the empirical basis and the testing ground for some of the most controversial historiographical paradigms - be it modernization theory and the Sonderweg thesis, social imperialism, "organized capitalism" and "negative integration," or the legitimacy of political history and Alltagsgeschichte. During the 1970s and 1980s the debates surrounding these explanatory models - encapsulated in the exchange between Thomas Nipperdey and Hans-Ulrich Wehler - elicited heated and often polemical statements. These debates left the impression on many observers that studying the Kaiserreich imposes the necessity on scholars to join outspoken camps or stigmatize certain schools as conservative or neohistoricist on the one side and progressive or posthistoricist on the other side. Today, however, as already obvious in the previous Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar on the early nineteenth century, the noise of these debates has abated and the pressure to subscribe to or create clear-cut paradigms and models has receded. The Berlin seminar demonstrated a new sophistication among doctoral students, often (but not exclusively) stimulated by the new cultural history and discourse theory, which reflects processes of de-ideologization and a rather pragmatic use of diverse theoretical offerings. It remains to be seen whether this reborn pragmatism will lead to new debates in the future and what the new controversies will be.

Given the relative absence of dispute and certainly the lack of polemics, there were some themes common to most of the papers that characterized main avenues of the discussion. These themes can be broken down into the categories of religion, region, and nation; culture, knowledge, and popular imagination; and politics and power.

Religion as a key to identity and conflict during the late nineteenth century still figured prominently at the seminar. Interestingly, all relevant papers explored more than one confession and pursued a comparative perspective. In her treatment of the academic Kulturkampf of the years 1904-7, for example, Lisa Swartout not only focused on the anti-Catholic activities of Protestant university groups and the Catholic reaction, which ironically led to a closer alignment between state governments and Catholics; she also included the ambivalent role of Jewish students who became increasingly incorporated into the debates without escaping anti-Semitism. That religious identities are intrinsically linked to regional conditions and always contribute to the construction of the nation came out in the projects of several participants. Among them, Elizabeth Drummond shed light on the active role of women in the national conflicts between Germans and the Polish population in Poznania to demonstrate that Polish women turned to the private realm of home and family as a basis for a Polish national consciousness. Wendy Norris looked in the geographically opposed direction in her analysis of a regional setting as a testing ground for the development of national identity. She delineated how art societies and the movement of singers in Alsace contributed to an aesthetization of notions of the nation that fit the hybrid cultural situation and managed to preserve certain endemic Alsatian traditions.

Uffa Jensen added a different perspective on religion and culture. He focused on the discursive mechanisms and dynamics of the so-called Treitschke Quarrel, which was sparked by the Berlin professor's anti-Semitic statements in the 1870s. This debate reflected the turn of important parts of the civil society toward an integrationalism that excluded Jews from the German and predominantly Protestant definition of culture. By contrast, the transgressions of a religious milieu became clear from Michael Dorrmann's treatment of the entrepreneur Eduard Arnhold; Arnhold arose from a family background rooted in reform Judaism to a leading position in different bürgerliche fields of patronism, which eventually included arts, science, and non-Jewish charitable initiatives.

Questions of culture and popular imagination also found much resonance during the seminar. David Ciarlo traced the incorporation of colonialism in German society as a phenomenon of appropriation of colonial imagery through visual consumer culture exemplified by the racial and colonial language of advertising images. Martin Majewski referred to the memorialization of the 1848 revolution in the German Empire, nourished by specific regional experiences, such as the memory of the enforced end of the revolution in the Palatinate, and upheld by democratic and proletarian groups who honored the anniversaries of the revolution. Here as in other fields, the boundaries between high and popular culture remained fluid. Angela Kurtz showed potential transgressions between these two cultural realms in the case of the German movement for ethical culture; this movement evolved out of liberal-minded and reform-willing intellectual circles, tried to refrain from anti-religious polemics, and deliberately aimed at popularizing a new moral consciousness. Popular and academic appeal also merged in the veneration of antique statues that served as models of ideal bodies for the nudist movement but preserved a racialized and gendered understanding of human society, as Maren Möhring demonstrated.

Central to the definition and self-understanding of culture is the way in which knowledge is generated, canonized, and disseminated in society. The different meanings of knowledge and the struggles to define authoritative and legitimate knowledge in German society played a surprisingly large role at the seminar. This sensitivity is apparently part of a remarkable increase in interest in the history of knowledge that has emerged in the United States and Germany in recent years. This interest no longer is confined to the history of academic disciplines and scholarly ideas but now tends to encompass the diversity of knowledge and its different meanings in society. Douglas McGetchin followed the development of Indian Studies in Berlin and Leipzig as a case study that allows us to realize both the philological strands of a rising academic discipline and its appeal to nonuniversity realms, such as the theosophic and Buddhist movements that flourished around 1900. Helen Müller concentrated on one publishing house, Walter de Gruyter, to illustrate how intellectual and economic ambitions merged into a publishing strategy that aimed at creating an outlet for cultural politics at the fin-de-siècle. That scientific authority, regional traditions, governmental knowledge, and lay expertise remained in play during the Kaiserreich and needed to be constantly negotiated was demonstrated by Sabine Marx; she dealt with the peculiarities of establishing medical practices in the Trier region around 1900. Ina vom Feld added the view of a legal historian; she showed how the legal and procedural authority for the implementation of norms in service of technical security shifted from the state to private organizations, which, as in the case of steam engines, assumed the role guarantors of self-regulation in the industrial sector.

The realm of politics as the main area to define power relations attracted no less interest at the seminar than cultural topics. Elun Gabriel dealt with the role of the anarchist movement; he argued that this movement represented less a real threat to the established order during and after the time of the Socialist Laws but served as a potential for all other parties to put symbolic politics on display and situate themselves within the given order. With a similar focus on discursive strategies, Martin Kohlrausch followed the emergence of a new, nontraditional understanding of the relationship between people and sovereign by analyzing the enormous publicity accompanying the so-called Caligula Affair; the affair was triggered by pacifist writer Ludwig Quidde and his harsh criticism of Kaiser Wilhelm II in a satirical pamphlet. In the same year that Quidde's Caligula came out, in 1894, Wilhelm II appointed Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe Schillingsfürst as chancellor of the German Empire. Olav Zachau explained the political career of this non-Prussian politician and illuminated his rather indirect way of steering a political course.

What picture of the Kaiserreich emerged from the seminars? (Notably, there were no papers dealing with the years 1850-71.) What trends in thematic approaches and methods became obvious beyond general interest in the abovementioned categories? Although the sixteen papers are not necessarily representative, they undoubtedly reflect generational and historiographic trends. In general, this seminar depicted a society marked by national and religious conflicts. The category of crisis was repeatedly applied to explain both the behavior of individuals and groups as well as the cultural climate particularly of the fin-de-siècle, when certainties about gender roles, power structures, and intellectual authority eroded in Germany. Many discussants linked the diagnosis of crisis to the growing ambivalence within the German Bürgertum in general and the Bildungsbürgertum in particular. In this context, the search for a renewed identity - be it gender, moral, or national identity - became an important outlet and resulted in a growing interest in the field of aesthetics; indeed, aesthetic categories were increasingly applied during the late nineteenth century to define norms and provide ideological coherence in society. The trend toward aesthetization is one, but certainly not the only, reason why historians are becoming more interested in studying language and symbols.

Against the background of cultural processes such as these the seminar relegated the state and its power to set authority and define legitimate knowledge and order into a rather secondary position - a surprising twist if one takes into account that many debates about the character of the second German Empire have centered around the penetrating power of the state, be it in the field of politics itself or in the realm of Kulturpolitik, science, and Bildung. In general, this year's seminar placed little emphasis on those topics that bear stronger signs of governmental action and state power, be it the history of foreign policy and the welfare state, of political parties, parliaments and constitutional developments. At the same time social history in the sense of analyzing social classes - one can hardly imagine a Kaiserreich seminar in the 1970s or 1980s without papers on proletarians in the Ruhr region or artisans in Bavaria - as well as the history of emotions and everyday life also played a smaller role than in previous seminars.

Without any doubt, however, all topics discussed - from nudism to the high-level politics - stirred up seemingly never-ending enthusiasm for discussion among the participants of the seminar. Thanks to the cordial and relaxed atmosphere (certainly strengthened by the beautiful weather that invited us to sit outside in Biergärten after the end of the seminar sessions), all panels produced a wealth of insights, questions, and incentives for further research. Also, the seminar helped to established networks between colleagues from both countries across thematic boundaries. These results would not have been possible had Rüdiger vom Bruch and Wolfgang Hardtwig, representing the Institute of History at the Humboldt University of Berlin, not been so cooperative during the preparations of this seminar and its final realization. An impressive example of the willingness of the Humboldt University to support transatlantic endeavors was set by the attendance of the University president, Hans Meyer, at the welcoming reception in the University's most prestigious assembly hall facing Unter den Linden. In addition, the Förderverein of the Institute of History provided the seminar's participants with the opportunity to attend an evening panel discussion with Fritz Klein, a leading historian of the German Democratic Republic, who read from his recently published autobiography Drinnen und Draußen.

This seminar once more relied on the smooth and successful cooperation of the GHI, the Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University, the Conference Group for Central European History, and the German-American Academic Council. This cooperation will also be the basis for the seventh Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar in 2001, which will take place in Washington and deal with "Germany in the Age of Total War, 1914-1945." Please see page 211 of this issue for more information and application requirements. <endnote text=""> </endnote>

Andreas W. Daum

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Participants and Their Topics

David Ciarlo, University of Wisconsin - Madison, "Consuming Race and Collecting Colonies: Colonialism in German Mass Culture, 1885-1914."

Michael Dorrmann, Humbolt University of Berlin, "Eduard Arnhold: Unternehmer und Mäzen (1849-1925)."

Elizabeth Drummond, Georgetown University, "German Men, Polish Women: Gender and Nation in Poznania, 1886-1914."

Ina vom Feld, Max Planck Institute for Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, "Dampfkesselüberwachung zwischen Selbsteuerung und Fremdsteuerung - Studien zur Entstehung des Rechts der technischen Sicherheit am Beispiel des Regierungsbezirks Düsseldorf, 1850-1914."

Elun Gabriel, University of California at Davis, "Socialist Constructions of Anarchism in Imperial Germany."

Uffa Jensen, Technical University of Berlin, "Die Grenzen der Teilnahme: Bildung, Nation, und Religion in den Beziehungen von jüdischen und nichtjüdischen Bildungsbürgern nach 1871."

Martin Kohlrausch, European University Institute, Florence, "Der wilhelminische Herrscherdiskurs und die 'Caligula-Affäre'."

Angela Kurtz, University of Maryland at College Park, "Humanizing Modernity: The German Ethical Culture Society and the Movement for a Secular Morality, 1892-1914."

Martin Majewski, University of Munich, "Die Revolution 1848/49 im kulturellen Gedächtnis zur Zeit der Jahrhundertwende."

Sabine Marx, Carnegie-Mellon University, "The Persistence of Traditional Medicine in Trier, 1880-1914."

Douglas McGetchin, University of California at San Diego, "'Zum Mittelpunkte de Sanskrit-Studiums': The Development of Indian Studies in Berlin and Leipzig, 1821-1914."

Maren Möhring, University of Munich, "Germanische Griechen - griechische Germanen: Die Nachahmung antiker Statuen in der deutschen Nachkultur, 1893-1923."

Helen Müller, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt an der Oder, "Strukturwandel im wissenschaftlichen Verlagswesen um 1900: Das Verlagsunternehmen Walter de Gruyter im literarischen Feld der Jahrhundertwende."

Wendy Norris, University of Chicago, "Keepers of Culture: Promoting Art and Constructing Identity in Alsace, 1870-1914."

Lisa Swartout, University of California at Berkeley, "Politics Comes to the University: The Academic Kulturkampf, 1904-1907."

Olav Zachau, University of Bonn, "Chlodwig Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Schellingfürst: 'Ein Zwerg unter Riesen?'" 



The GHI, the Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University, and the Conference Group for Central European History are pleased to announce the Seventh Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar in Germany History. The conference is once again supported by the German-American Academic Council and will convene in Washington, D.C.

The seminar brings together young scholars from Germany and North America nearing the completion of their doctoral degrees. We will invite eight Ph.D. students from each side of the Atlantic to discuss their respective research projects. The discussions will be based on papers submitted in advance. The languages of this seminar will be German and English, and the GHI will pay for travel and lodging.

We are now accepting applications from doctoral students working in the era of total wars, 1914-1945, who will not have finished their degrees before June 2001. Applications should include a short (2-3 pp.) project description, a curriculum vitae, and a letter of reference from the major advisor.

The deadline for submission is December 1, 2000. For information, please contact Bärbel Thomas, email: Send applications to:

German Historical Institute
Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar
1607 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Summer Seminar in Paleography and Archival Studies, June 4-18, 2000

The participants of the Summer Seminar, sponsored by the GHI and the German Department of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, gathered at Koblenz on the Rhine to begin this year's program. As in years past we were the guests of Ursula Kiesheyer at the comfortable and pleasant Hotel Krämer. For the next five mornings the group of nine American graduate students attended an introductory course on German handwriting of past centuries. The instructor was Dr. Walter Rummel of the Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz, the main state archive of Rheinland-Pfalz. The students were shown examples of various kinds of handwriting from different centuries, with the bulk coming from the nineteenth century when German administration expanded tremendously. Afternoons that same week were spent at the Bundesarchiv I on the Karthause, where Dr. Dieter Kreikamp took the students through the paces of using finding aids, introduced the operation of the Bundesarchiv, and discussed the art and science of being a German archivist. The group rounded out the week in Koblenz with a visit to a local Straußwirtschaft where they had the possibility of tasting some of the locally produced wines.



The Summer Seminar, co-sponsored by the GHI and the German Department of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will introduce students to a variety of German handwriting styles from previous centuries, familiarize them with selected German archives and libraries, and help them in planning their upcoming dissertation research trips. The programs aim to be both practical and theoretical. In practical terms, participants will be introduced to various German handwriting styles, particularly nineteenth-century Sütterlin. They also will learn how to contact archives, use finding aids, identify important reference tools, and generally become acquainted with German research facilities. In theoretical terms, participants will be exposed to various approaches that archivists, librarians, and scholars use to locate source material in an exceedingly complex repository landscape.

Potential applicants should note that the program is exploratory in nature and should not be considered a pre-dissertation research grant; participants will have limited opportunity to do their own research. Moreover, most institutions that we visit will not have materials specifically related to the topics of most of the participants. Over the course of the trip, however, we hope that every participant will have the opportunity to speak to archivists and librarians about their individual projects. It is hoped that participants will gain an appreciation for the various kinds of archives and special collections located in Germany, either for future reference or for their general edification as future scholars of German culture, history, and society.

Applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at a North American institution of higher education. The program seeks qualified applicants interested in historical studies in a broad range of fields (art history, history, linguistics, literature, musicology, etc.). Preference will be given to those who have already chosen a dissertation topic, have already written a dissertation proposal, but have not yet embarked on actual research. Successful candidates must have a very good knowledge of written and spoken German. All official parts of the program will be conducted in German.

A completed application consists of: (1) a cover letter that outlines the need for participation; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) a dissertation proposal; and (4) a letter from the doctoral adviser.

The deadline for submission is December 31, 2000. All applicants will be notified by February 15, 2001. For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Daniel S. Mattern, e-mail: Send applications to:

German Historical Institute
Summer Seminar
1607 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Following the Pentecost holiday, the group traveled by train down the Rhine River to Cologne, where we enjoyed the hospitality of the Hotel Casa Colonia and its proprietor Doris Fassbender. Our first official visit was at the Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, where we received a stimulating introduction to the archive's holdings by Dr. Eberhard Illner. The Cologne city archive is the largest of its kind in Germany, a result of the city's age (over 2,000 years) as well as its size and importance since the Middle Ages. Dr. Illner was assisted by his colleague Dr. Manfred Huiskas. The students also were shown many examples of archival material, from the oldest Urkunden to various property registers to the Heinrich Böll collection. Finally, the group met briefly with Dr. Janis Gibbs, a professor of history at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and a former participant in this summer program in 1990. Dr. Gibbs imparted some of the wisdom she has acquired since setting out on her dissertation research over a decade ago.

The next stop was the Historisches Archiv des Erzbistums Köln, where Dr. Joachim Oepen presented an overview of the archive, its development, and the interplay of religious and secular history in Germany generally and in the Cologne region in particular. The group was given a basic sense of the kinds of documents collected by a church archive over the centuries, how they are preserved, and how integral they are to understanding culture and society in Germany. Dr. Oepen demonstrated his points with examples from the collections. We even learned the value of parchment in the Middle Ages, which speaks to the value of what was written on it, yielding the German idiom for the unbelievable: "Das geht auf keine Kuhhaut!"

The following morning was spent at the Stiftung Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv, the main business archive of the Rheinland. The director, Dr. Ulrich Soénius, gave us a succinct sketch of the development of business archives in Germany, their purpose, and what one might find there. His colleagues talked to us about personal papers and artifacts of entrepreneurs deposited in business archives.

The week's second half was spent in the eastern German state of Thuringia. Based in Gotha, at the very accommodating Waldbahnhotel, the group visited the Forschungsbibliothek in Gotha, the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv and the Herzogin-Anna-Amalie-Bibliothek in Weimar, as well as the Bibliotheca Amploniana and the Außenstelle des Bundesbeauftragten für die Stasi-Unterlagen in Erfurt. Our host during our visit to eastern Germany was the University of Erfurt, embodied by Prof. Dr. Ursula Lemkühl, Rupert Schaab, and Cornelia Hopf. Surprisingly, the local newspapers reported on our visit under the headlines "Amerikanische Doktoranden forschen in Gotha" (Gothaer Allgemeine) and "Sommerkurs für Doktoranden aus Amerika in Gotha" (TLZ: Zeitung für Gotha). The group coped with their new-found fame reasonably well.

The first morning in eastern Germany was spent at the Forschungsbibliothek, housed in the seventeenth-century Schloß Friedenstein. The palace is situated on a promontory above the sleepy residence town of Gotha. Led by Frau Hopf the group toured the library, learned about its history, and had the opportunity to see some of its rarities. Next, Herr Schaab presented an overview of the history and organization of German libraries. The participants were eager to learn about how libraries developed in the various German territorial states and about how libraries are organized in the Federal Republic in comparison to those in the United States.


The afternoon was spent at the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv in Weimar, where we heard a concise history of this unique institution from its director, Dr. Jochen Golz. We even had the chance to see one of Friedrich Nietzsche's handwritten journals, currently being transcribed for a new edition of his philosophical works. From there we strolled to the Herzogin-Anna-Amalia-Bibliothek, where we toured this amazing baroque library with the help of Herr Jürgen Weber. Here Goethe once ruled the roost. For some members of the group, the day ended with an evening at the Deutsches Nationaltheater and a performance of Schiller's Kabale und Liebe.

Participants of the 2000 Summer Seminar, Erfurt, Germany. Cruising the Rhein, Near Koblenz, Germany.

The next day was spent back in Gotha at the Forschungs-bibliothek. Frau Hopf introduced the group to codicology - the study of manuscripts as cultural artifacts for historical purposes. We learned how scholars set about assessing codexes - handwritten books and manuscripts - by looking at the externalities such as paper quality, binding (covers and closures), imprints (decoration), and water marks. Herr Schaab then talked about German paleography, the science of determining the provenance of handwritten manuscripts, that is, figuring out who wrote what, when, and where. This part of the program was particularly illuminating because we discovered that of the great number of medieval texts, only a small percentage (around 10 per-cent) have so far been dated. The group was then treated to a tour of Schloß Friedenstein, where we gained an appreciation for the important role that this small territorial state and its princes played in European politics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

In the afternoon Frau Hopf covered the special collections in the Forschungsbibliothek, particularly personal papers, letters, autographs, and other Gepflogenheiten. Following this, Herr Schaab gave an introduction to the first printed books (incunables), those printed before 1501. We learned that early printed books aimed to imitate handwritten ones, the point being to make books cheaper and quicker because contemporary demand for books simply could not be met with handwritten tomes. In addition, we also traced the emergence of printing technologies and the printed book business before and after 1500. One fascinating detail we picked up was that until around 1850 most books were sold without covers; the purchaser would take the stack of printed folios to a local bookbinder for finishing.

The day concluded with a trip on the Waldbahn to Schepfenthal on the edge of the Thuringian Woods. We visited the grounds of the Salzmann School founded by Christian Gotthilf Salzmann, an early nineteenth-century education reformer and pedagogue. In addition, we walked to the historic sports field (Turnplatz), where J. C. F. GutsMuths directed exercises on traditional gymnastics apparatus. Here, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn studied with GutsMuths in 1809; Jahn then went to Berlin to open his first gymnastics arena in Berlin's Hasenheide. GutsMuths and Jahn were important antecedents of modern German physical education and body culture (Körperkultur).

Our last day in Thuringia was spent in Erfurt, the Landes-hauptstadt. In the morning we visited the Bibliotheca Amploniana, part of the Stadt- und Regionalbibliothek Erfurt. Herr Ekkehard Döbler related the history of this collection, one of the oldest and most impressive personal libraries in existence. The library consists of 979 manuscripts of every sort once belonging to Amplonius Rating de Bercka (1365-1435), a physician and master from Rheinberg. In the afternoon we climbed the Petersberg for a brief introduction to the Außenstelle Erfurt des Bundesbeauftragten für die Stasi-Unterlagen. We learned how to apply to see if you have a Stasi file and then how you go about viewing its contents. We also were given a sense of the current status of the files, who is using the material, and what these files contribute to what we now know about this aspect of GDR history.

The Summer Seminar concluded on a warm summer evening with a geselliges Beisammensein in the garden of one of Erfurt's fine taverns. The GHI is grateful to all institutions and individuals who aided and abetted the program in 2000, especially our co-sponsor, the German Department of the University of Wisconsin. The Summer Seminar will take place again next June. For more information, see the announcement on page 211 in this issue of the Bulletin.

Daniel S. Mattern



The GHI and the Friends of the GHI are pleased to announce the first annual Young Scholars Forum. The forum will be held in Washington, DC. It will bring together American Ph.D. candidates and recent Ph.D. recipients working in the fields of German, German-American, or comparative history to present their work. Distinguished scholars from both sides of the Atlantic will also be present for discussion and debate. Papers may cover any period since medieval times. Lodging and some meals will be provided; travel assistance available upon request.

Applications should include: a curriculum vitae; a project description (2 pages, double-spaced); and one letter of recommendation. For further information, see our Web site at, or contact Dr. Vera Lind, e-mail: The deadline for submission is November 1, 2000. Send applications to:

German Historical Institute
Young Scholars Forum
1607 New Hampshire Ave, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20009 

German History Students Visit GHI

On July 7, 2000, a group of twelve history students from the University of Koblenz-Landau, led by Dr. Hans-Jürgen Wünschel, visited the GHI as part of a two-week educational tour of the United States. The purpose of the visit was to acquaint the students with the work of the Institute and its resident scholars. Monika Hein, the Institute's librarian, gave a brief introduction to the GHI Library, described our acquisition policies, and showed them our holdings. Thomas Goebel, one of the research fellows, gave a brief talk in which he outlined the Institute's history, the main areas of its work, the different programs that it conducts, and its role in the interactions between German and American scholars. The talk was followed by a question-and-answer session. The students were most interested in the ways in which the GHI cooperates with academics on both sides of the Atlantic.  

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Library Report

The Institute is pleased to announce that the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), associated with the Johns Hopkins University, has relocated most of its library to the GHI, which will deepen the cooperation between the two organizations. The AICGS will maintain a core collection of reference works and current periodicals. For us, this represents a unique opportunity to expand the number of titles available at the Library by approximately 6,000 volumes. In addition to monographs, this collection includes back issues of periodicals to which the GHI already subscribes.

The bulk of the AICGS collection consists of German and American literature on politics, economics and economic policy, monetary questions, social issues and social policy, law and legislation, and the fields of European integration, European cooperation, the European Union and the Common Market.

Because the GHI Library concentrates primarily on German history and German-American relations, this new collection with its concentration on contemporary issues represents a significant complement to our existing holdings.

The AICGS Collection is housed in a separate room at the Library. The catalog for the collection is accessible through the GHI's electronic catalog and though our Web site. 

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Recipients of the GHI's Dissertation and Habilitation Scholarships, 2001

Friederike Baer-Wallis, "Imagining How They Lived: German-Americans in the Early Republic, 1783-1820." Doctoral adviser: Gordon S. Wood, Brown University.

Inga-Verena Barth, "Amerikanische Außenpolitik und transatlantische Beziehungen von 1919-1945: Die Rolle der 'inoffiziellen Träger.'" Doctoral adviser: Detlef Junker, University of Heidelberg.

Christian S. Davis, "Colonialism, Antisemitism, and the German-Jewish Consciousness." Doctoral adviser: Omer Bartov, Brown University.

Barbara Ernst, "Geschichtsperzeption und -vermittlung der United Daughters of the Confederacy." Doctoral adviser: Jörg Nagler, University of Jena.

Oliver Gnad, "Parteien unter Kuratel. Westallierte Politik zur Restrukturierung des deutschen Parteiensystems, 1945 bis 1955." Doctoral adviser: Marie-Luise Recker, University of Frankfurt.

Anna M. Holian, "The Politics of Self-Representation Among Displaced Persons in Munich, 1945-1955." Doctoral adviser: Michael Geyer, University of Chicago.

Angela A. Kurtz, "The 'New' Morality: German Intellectuals' Search for Meaning at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (1890-1930)." Doctoral adviser: James F. Harris, University of Maryland at College Park.

Stephen A. Mook, "Hitler's Fellow Fighters: A Prosopographical Analysis of the Early Nazi Membership Cadres." Doctoral adviser: Rudolph Binion, Brandeis University.

Katrin Paehler, "Espionage, Ideology, and Personal Politics: The Making and Unmaking of a Nazi Foreign Intelligence Service." Doctoral adviser: Richard D. Breitman, American University.

Barbara Picht, "Exil und Exilerfahrung in Princeton: Hermann Broch, Albert Einstein, Erich von Kahler, Ernst Kantorowicz und Erwin Panofsky." Doctoral adviser: Hagen Schulze, Free University of Berlin.

Susanne Schlaack, "Walter Lippmann und Deutschland - Realpolitische Betrachtungen eines Amerikaners im 20. Jahrhundert." Doctoral adviser: Hans-Peter Schwarz, University of Bonn.

Alexander Vazansky, "Die Beziehungen zwischen der deutschen Bevölkerung und den in Deutschland stationierten amerikanischen Streitkräften, 1965-1975." Doctoral adviser: Detlef Junker, University of Heidelberg.

Katja Anne Wittwer, "Der propagandistische Blick auf Deutschland - Historiker und Journalisten im Dienst des Committees on Public Information in den USA während des Ersten Weltkriegs." Doctoral adviser: Mark Häberlein, University of Freiburg. 



The Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize, supported by the Friends of the GHI, is currently being adjudicated by a panel comprised of Professors Dagmar Herzog (Michigan State University), Mary Lindemann (Carnegie-Mellon University), and Peter A. Fritzsche (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). A total of nineteen nominations were received by the May 15, 2000 deadline, and the panel members have been reading a selection of dissertations over the course of the summer. The announcement of the two prizewinners is expected in September, and their projects will be presented at the annual Friends’ symposium on November 10, 2000, at the GHI. Professor Stern will attend the proceedings.

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New Publications

The GHI is pleased to announce the publication of Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front, 1914-1918, edited by Roger Chickering (Center for German and European Studies, Georgetown University) and Stig Förster (University of Bern). This collection of essays is the third in a series of books examining the United States and Germany in the age of total war from 1860 to 1945, and appears in the Institute's series with Cambridge University Press. Great War, Total War originated at a conference organized by the GHI and the University of Bern in August 1996 at Schloß München-wiler in Switzerland. The manuscript for the fourth volume is currently under review, and the fifth and final conference in the series is planned for next year in Hamburg. 

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Staff changes

Birte-Marie Blut, Intern, is a student in the North America Program at the University of Bonn. She currently is researching the counterculture in the United States in the 1960s for her M.A. thesis. During her time at the GHI - July to October - Blut will support GHI research and help prepare upcoming events.


Jan Ruth Lambertz, Editor, Cold War Project, joined the Institute in May. She was senior researcher for the Washington-based team of the Independent Commission of Experts: Switzerland-World War II (Bergier Commission) before joining the GHI. In 1998-9 she organized a series of programs on national minorities in the "New Europe" through the Center for Russian, Central, and East European Studies at Rutgers University. Her publications include several articles on the history of women's work and family violence in modern British history. Her current research interests include the state and the citizen in the early GDR.


Youyoung Lee, Intern, was at the Institute from July to August. She currently is a senior at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. In 1999-2000 she was an exchange student in Bad Bramstedt (Schleswig-Holstein), Germany.


David B. Morris, Editor, Cold War Project, left the Institute in March to accept an appointment as the German Area Specialist at the European Division of the Library of Congress. As editor of the Cold War Project, a comprehensive, two-volume history of German-American relations from 1945 to 1990, Dr. Morris managed the review, copyediting, and translation of nearly 150 articles in both English and German. He also was one of the contributing authors. At the Library of Congress, Dr. Morris is responsible for selecting and maintaining the library's collections from German-speaking Europe, the second-largest collection in the LC and the largest in the world outside the respective countries of origin.


Jennifer Rodgers, Research Associate, was at the Institute from April to August. She received a B.A. from American University in 1998 and currently is working on an M.A. at the same institution. During her undergraduate studies Rodgers was an intern at the Office of Special Investigations in the U.S. Department of Justice. After graduation she held a position with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, where she researched gold assets and the American occupation of Austria. Recently awarded a grant by the Fulbright Commission and the Austrian government, Rodgers will leave the GHI in September to pursue research into denazification in the city and province of Salzburg from 1945 to 1949. Her main areas of interest are twentieth-century political and social history, intelligence operations, and comparative history.


Richard F. Wetzell, Research Fellow, joined the Institute in July. Wetzell earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College (1984), an M.A. from Columbia University (1985), and a Ph.D. from Stanford University (1991). He has received a variety of fellowships and grants. Before joining the GHI he taught in the Department of History at the University of Maryland at College Park. His book Inventing the Criminal: A History of German Criminology, 1880-1945, an intellectual history of criminology as a scientific field, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2000. Wetzell currently is writing a legal and political history of German penal reform from the Kaiserreich through the Nazi period, to be published as Between Retributive Justice and Social Hygiene: Penal Reform in Modern Germany. His research interests include the history of law, science, and politics in modern Germany; the history of psychiatry; and the history of sexuality.

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