The early s mark the only period, in which Loewenstein published any articles in The American Political Science Review. Loewenstein claims that, in , he had been in line for appointment as professor at the University of Munich. For a recent discussion of this key term in German history and historiography cf.
Nicholas J. Spykman to Karl Loewenstein, Sept. See Bernard R. Cited on the back cover of John G. See his involvement in the founding conference at Waldleiningen, described above, 1. This is consistent with recent studies about the history of political science in Germany who tend to argue as well for a fundamental continuity of the political studies in Germany. Beck, , passim and pp. Harvey Disputes about historiography commonly use intellectual biography to trace the history of ideas through academic disciplines.
In the process, biographical subjects are often figures who experimented in new methodologies, such as members of the Annales circle, or are those with life experiences that exemplify important characteristics of modern political culture.
German Ideologies Since 1945: Studies in the Political Thought and Culture of the Bonn Republic
For the past decade, historians have directed particular attention to the political and intellectual legacies of German-speaking Ostforscher in the twentieth century, resulting in a series of studies on specialists in history, demography, statistics, and folklore who defined the genealogy of this interdisciplinary field. These questions now further question how specialists on the east reconstructed their research field after the collapse of National Socialism and to their contribution to a persistent socio-cultural conservatism in faculties in the early Federal Republic.
One of the most challenging cases today is that of the historian Hans Rothfels, due to his significant institutional influence, his experience as a neoconservative victim of the Nazi racial laws, and the trans-Atlantic breadth of his career. Harvey his rebirth as a prominent historian at the University of Chicago, as Rothfels clothed himself anew as a transatlantic mediator of intellectual exchange. Thus an important voice of anti-Western nationalism emerged in the Federal Republic as a grandseigneur of German historical writing and an intellectual bridge from Bonn to Washington.
To what extent did Rothfels help to undermine democratically oriented scholarship and contribute to a form of historical research compatible with the political designs of the Nazis? Recent interpretations about Rothfels appear sharply divided along a conceptual fault line concerning the relationship of German conservatism to National Socialism and to the continuity of compromised scholars and their ideas from the s to the Cold War decades.
Historians have long acknowledged that nationalism exerted a powerful influence on German historians, both by limiting their critical independence and by nurturing authoritarian politics and ethno-cultural social conflict. A liberal-historicist Staatsgeschichte defined the German nation within the Kleinstaat borders of and accepted an ecumenical diversity of European powers within a Rankean system of competing states.
German Scholars in Exile: New Studies in Intellectual History
Even conservative Vernunftrepublikaner, republicans by reason, rejected expansionary Volksbodenforschung and supported limited compromise with the Western democracies in order to modify the hated Versailles Diktat. Whether intended or not, this act advanced conditions for collaboration with more radical eastern and racial policies. For Haar and fellow critics such as Lothar Machtan or Clarence Pate, a main impulse for study has been impressive archival research and the discovery of previously overlooked texts. Haar does not quite reconcile these positions, or whether one view outweighed the other.
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New research reveals that Rothfels privately greeted the rise of the NSDAP with approval and in fact voted for Adolf Hitler during the presidential race of His argument truly is as much about the nature of German fascism as about Rothfels himself. Commentators on the revisionists have suggested a danger of reducing either individual subjects or a specific research field to slogans. Heinrich August Winkler and Wolfgang Neugebauer voiced this position most clearly at the IfZ conference, against the backdrop of some wider concerns about inaccurate assertions by the main revisionists.
Harvey innovation, and thus cannot be associated with fascism or sponsorship of the Hitler regime. How does the biography of Rothfels navigate these differences? This national loyalty could both contest and support the specific government of an era. Rothfels battled democratic organs, such as the Historical Commission on the State Archives, even while he affirmed government policies of eastern revision and academic propaganda supporting it.
He could both oppose National Socialism and accept its program of revitalizing a right-wing society and achieving renewed state power. After the Holocaust, Rothfels could return dutifully to Germany, because this national service was now fused to a NATO alliance, unified by Soviet containment and the potential recovery of central-western Europe.
Resentment against domestic racism and social violence did not inhibit him from appreciating goals of the NSDAP to destroy representative democracy, cement social unity from above, and overcome the Versailles settlement. Attempts thereafter to reconcile his status with the state bureaucracy reflected a durable national loyalty and a practical survival strategy, rather than a personal affiliation with the principles of the regime.
Such issues must have influenced his view of German history after , given the persecution suffered by close relatives, his change to American citizenship, and especially the impact of the Holocaust. Harvey Can the existing research resolve differences among the varied revisionists and their opponents? Rothfels certainly poses difficulties of interpretation. His publications, written for the political present, took the form of documentary annotation, free essays, or book reviews that addressed complex ideas with often superficial content.
The Berlin publications — were conservative, traditional studies in the Rankean tradition, as was the thrust of most of his writings about Bismarck. There plasticity is perhaps most evident among supposedly neutral American historians, who quoted Rothfels in his defense or with criticism in dissertations that devoted to German interests in the East and the Auslandsdeutschtum.
Ritter, H. Srbik, K. Brandi, S. Schramm, G. Rein and the Danish historian Aage Friis. Rothfels, however, had framed perhaps his most virulent attack on Polish sovereignty at least one year earlier, in a propaganda book far more radical than the well-known anthology Deutschland und Polen, which appeared under the direction of Albert Brackmann only in It aimed at undermining the international legitimacy of the Polish national border before a British-American audience.
Woven among the thirty-two essays were dozens of impressive propaganda photographs of Germanic bearers of culture, plus a score of striking black-red maps that laid out the threat of Polish barbarism against the civilized redoubt of Eastern Prussia. Indeed, he felt comfortable enough with strident Volksgeschichte to present it before an American audience, which he would join as a fellow professor within a short decade. Is there a way to distinguish between National Socialism and a vengeful, energetic, yet undirected political conservatism?
Did Zeitgeschichte truly modernize and democratize postwar research? As universities emerged after the war with scholars compromised from the Nazi era, there was little general basis for an open assessment of war crimes as a component of German national history, and thus meager readiness for acknowledging popular responsibility for the recent past. Moeller, and Astrid Eckert show the role of Rothfels during the s in the policing of state documentation projects that emphasized the victimization of German citizens under Hitler and Stalin, as a gloss over national attention to public culpability with Nazi war policies.
His status as a respected reemigrant only helped to shield the Federal Republic from an independent confrontation with its Nazi past. Harvey Gerhard Ritter in their treatment of the resistance against Hitler. It could be resurrected for a historical heritage free of association with the Holocaust. Cornelissen basically agrees with Eckel that Rothfels considered his book, The German Opposition to Hitler, as a defense of national culture.
He thus presented Zeitgeschichte as an integral part of the early Cold War, bounded by the communist revolution of and the rise of Hitler and world war. Forthright attention to the Holocaust was a diversion from a more basic pursuit of national unification, socio-economic recovery, and security against the Soviet bloc. Hallgarten, which accused Rothfels of ideological censorship in the Vierteljahrshefte, must not be taken at face value. Rein and his Ranke-Gesellschaft, which competed with his Vierteljahrshefte.
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Rothfels greeted critical research on National Socialism or its antecedents on the grounds of formal state agents, such as SS officials. It is not so much that Rothfels sought to silence debate on the Holocaust, as much as he—and his general profession—left non-addressed questions of civil society and racism. Harvey postwar history legitimate in the eyes of Western counterparts. But while encouraging international respect, these studies immunized the German body politic from uncomfortable concerns about public support for the atrocities of National Socialism.
Reflecting a more pronounced public religiosity after his emigration, Rothfels wove tropes of Christian humanity throughout his articles on nationalism, Bismarck, and the German opposition. In part, this is a difficulty faced by German scholars with foreign sources. Excepting Peter Walther, treatments of his American career collapse into a reading of principle texts or available archival materials in Germany proper.
The current scholarship thus displaces Rothfels from the values of his foreign professional environment. It leaves unexamined both his academic success and the critical relationship between German historical practice and its western counterparts. Christoph Cornelissen, for example, emphasizes that Rothfels was an opponent of Anglo-American historiography, without however explaining how he could garner American support for projects such as the VfZ, if English and French speaking scholars were cool to his nationalist viewpoints.
There is indeed little interest in how American specialists in fact argued key European problems addressed by Rothfels. Instead, the present studies circumvent the problems, concluding that Rothfels never required the support of his American peers and lived apart from the profession in which he thrived.
Gooch and A. American motives for securing and retaining him at Brown University are ignored.
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His call to a full professorship at Chicago is laid at the sole responsibility of the University Chancellor, without explaining how an entire history department could remain silent on the replacement of its most prestigious chair in European history. But his alleged isolation is even more difficult to reconcile with claims that he completed his ideological de-radicalization in America, based on a redemptive environment that broadened his intellectual horizons.
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Rothfels made continued efforts between the wars to engage with Anglo-American historians, as a means of enhancing German national interests through academic exchange. Gurian at Notre Dame; exchanges with F. Harvey D. Rothfels in turn considered the United States at two levels. Before his emigration, he granted unusual respect for American works, even those written from a liberal point of view. For this campaign to succeed, the professional legitimacy of Germans in the eyes of foreign counterparts was necessary. After , Rothfels and his German countrymen required some coordination with similar-minded American scholars and publishing firms.
Although Rothfels had ties to all of these sites, the most central collaborator was the publishing company of Henry Regnery. The publisher of The German Opposition to Hitler was a conservative germanophile and ardent anti-communist with independent wealth and impressive connections with the University of Chicago.