Press release 35: Ukrainian forced labourers at the Materials Testing Institute of the Technical University of Stuttgart around 1944.  Copyright: UASt 17/684

Date: May 2, 2018, No. 35

„Excellent analysis“: Book on NS injustice available at bookstores

Documentation of persecution in the NS era at the Technical University of Stuttgart
[Picture: UASt 17/684]

The documentation on injustice at the Technical University of Stuttgart, today’s University of Stuttgart, in the NS era, which is now available at bookstores, has been positively received. The digital review service for libraries and science “Information resources for libraries (IFB)“ discussed the book: the historian Frank-Rutger Hausmann was full of empathy in praising the research work as an “excellent analysis meeting the highest formal as well as content demands“.

The unjust measures and discriminations many members of the Technical University of Stuttgart were forced to suffer in the NS era between 1933 and 1945 at the university were the subject matter of a research project. Norbert Becker, Head of the Stuttgart University Archive, and Katja Nagel, former research assistant at the University Archive and in the meantime in the “Haus der Geschichte” Baden-Württemberg, researched for three years on behalf of the Rector’s Office at the University of Stuttgart. They associated individual tales of woe with the institutional incidents at the University. 

The authors identified 442 people who for racist or political reasons were forced to retire prematurely, dismissed, forcefully exmatriculated as students or who were subjected to forced labour in the large technical institute during the Second World War. The Technical University also withdrew the academic titles from persons who were undesirable to the NS regime. Honorary senators and honorary citizens were deleted from lists of honour, foreigners consigned to the sidelines.

Documentation acknowledges the victims in short biographies

The research work that has been published as the book “Persecution and Disfranchisement at the Technical University of Stuttgart during the NS era” comprehensively and systematically tells the story of those persecuted, asks about the perpetrators and the consequences of the injustices and acknowledged all known victims in short biographies.   

As the first German university the University of Stuttgart is dedicating to all those persecuted – professors, assistants, students, forced labourers and also the employees of the university administration – a cross-group joint documentation. The injustices suffered are crucially depicted from the perspective of the victims based on their own statements. This has been possible now through Internet research because the authors were able to identify the relatives of those persecuted, dispersed around the world, (in one case even one living survivor of the persecution) and evaluate their family archive and memories. The files on the redress of wrongs procedures with the individual testimonies of those concerned have also only been available for research for a few years.   

Bleak period of time comprehensively addressed 

The findings obtained for Stuttgart therefore reach beyond a regional study: the persecution, the structures of its university and personal backgrounds as well as the effects on the further course of the victims’ lives the authors recognised here initially also apply to the other German universities. Reviewer Mr Hausmann summarised the documentation with the following words: “It is not possible to write the history of this bleak period of time in a more comprehensive, accurate, empathetic and insistent way!“

The results of the research project in the form of a book:

Verfolgung und Entrechtung an der Technischen Hochschule Stuttgart während der NS-Zeit (Persecution and Disenfranchisement at the Technical University of Stuttgart during the NS era) by Norbert Becker and Katja Nagel on behalf of the Rectorate of the University of Stuttgart. - Stuttgart: Belser (in Komm.), 2017. - 520 pages: Ill.; 25 cm.- Biographies page 153 - 465. - ISBN 978-3-7630-2805-4: 35,00 Euros

If you are interested, we will gladly send you a review copy via kreienbrink@wais-und-partner.de.

Extracts can be found at http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/archiv/ veroeffentlichungen/, the mentioned review of “Information resources for libraries (IFB)“ (in German) at http://www.informationsmittel-fuer-bibliotheken.de/showfile.php?id=8969.

Book "Verfolgung und Entrechtung an der Technischen Hochschule Stuttgart während der NS-Zeit" (c)
Book "Verfolgung und Entrechtung an der Technischen Hochschule Stuttgart während der NS-Zeit"

Norbert Becker, University of Stuttgart, University Archive, phone: 0711 685-83533, email

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