BC -- Philology; Languages and Linguistics

Verfolgung und Auswanderung deutschsprachiger Sprachforscher 1933-1945 [Persecution and Emigration of German-Speaking Linguists, 1933-1945]. Utz Maas. Osnabrück: Secolo-Verlag. 23 cm. [04-1-114]

Vol. 2. Biobibliographische Daten G-P (Q) [Bio-bibliographical Details, G-P (Q)]. 2004. 416 p. ISBN 3-929979-71-3: EUR 65

Expanding its scope from the first volume published in 1996 (see RREA 9:337), the long-awaited second volume of Maas’s handbook on the emigration and persecution of linguists during the Third Reich was published in 2004. The strength of this oneman enterprise lies not so much in the comprehensiveness of the name selection and usefulness of such bio-bibliographies, but rather in the devoted interest lavished on each linguist. This volume includes linguists from a variety of specializations, including general linguists, Anglists, Romanists, Germanists, psycholinguists, Sinologists, Slavists, philosophers of language, and others.

The list of “Displaced Scholars,” which the author mentions as guiding his selection, is incomplete, as it contains too many dubious cases. However, despite this questionable selection of names, the author has provided an accessible and well-informed reconstruction of the careers and the academic accomplishments of the scholars portrayed. This volume also includes a supplement to the first volume of A-F linguists.

Although all entries are comprehensive and subject-specific, one notes a number of questionable details in some. For example, Leo von Hibler-Lemannsport’s forced retirement in 1936 was due to the suspension of the modern languages department at his university. Hibler was still able to publish and was therefore not a victim of persecution. One also notes a number of persecuted scholars of the English language missing from this volume, including Karl Brunner, Hans Hecht, Rudolf Hittmair, and Rudolf Imelmann. The range of Romance-language scholars is more representative, but it is difficult to consider some of those included, such as Curt Sigmar Gutkind, Rosemarie Heyd, and Victor Klemperer, as true linguists. For Germanic linguistics, the three-volume Internationales Germanistenlexikon 1800-1950 [International Dictionary of Germanists 1800-1950] (see RREA 10:80), published in 2003, is the most significant bio-bibliographical reference work to supplement Maas’s publication.

The observations above are not intended to devalue Maas’s work; neither can it be said with certainty whether the reservations outlined here extend to other groups of linguists. A final opinion on this work will only be possible once the third and final volume is published. However, since historians of the field never have enough information, one can certainly profit from Maas’s handbook. [frh/bwv]

Next Section
Previous Section
Table of Contents

Comments, suggestions, or questions
Last update: July 15, 2007 [TB]
2007 Casalini libri - VAT no. IT03106600483