CB – Education

Katholische Theologie im Nationalsozialismus [Catholic Theology under National Socialism]. Ed. Dominik Burkard and Wolfgang Weiß. Würzburg: Echter. 25 cm. [07-1-181]

Vol. 1. Institutionen und Strukturen [Institutions and Structures]. 2007. 694 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-429-02851-0: EUR 39

Whereas the attitude and role of the Catholic Church in Germany under National Socialism has been debated in both popular and scholarly forums, Catholic theology of this period as an academic discipline has received little attention compared to works about Protestant theology and theologians of the time. Among the several books published on the latter are Kurt Meier’s Die theologischen Fakultäten im Dritten Reich [Theological Departments in the Third Reich] (Berlin, 1996), and Theologische Fakultäten im Nationalsozialismus [Theological Departments under National Socialism] edited by Leonore Siegele-Wenschkewitz und Carsten Nicolaisen (Göttingen, 1993). Professors of church history Dominik Burkard and Wolfgang Weiß have filled this lacuna by compiling a collection of essays that systematically examine the departments of German institutions of higher learning (and Austrian after the 1938 Anschluss) teaching Catholic theology between 1933 and 1945. The first volume includes 23 essays about some of these, divided into five groups according to type of institution (from public universities to Catholic seminaries); a second forthcoming volume will treat the rest. The editors focus primarily on “structures,” i.e., the framework of ecclesiastical, state, and institutional agreements and regulations governing Catholic theological education institutions after 1933. Particular attention is given to faculty hiring and retention practices, including the role NS affiliations played in appointments and promotions. The case of theologian Hans Barion, a Nazi sympathizer, illustrates the power struggle between the Third Reich (which endorsed his appointment to a chair at the University of Munich) and the Catholic Church (which opposed it), leading to the closing of the Catholic-theological department of the University in 1939.

Especially useful are the introductory chapters, which delineate the relationship between the German state and the Church. The controversial Reichskonkordat of July 20, 1933, an agreement between the Third Reich and the Vatican, which was seen as an endorsement of the Nazi regime, assured the Church its rights in Germany but was countered by the newly created Reich’s Department for Church Affairs in 1935, which sought to weaken the influence of the Church. The articles of this volume revise the image of the Catholic-theological faculties as a united front of opposition against the Third Reich. Rather, one finds a range of political viewpoints, from resistance to support for the regime. Overall, this work offers informative and reliable scholarship, although some important topics are not considered. All contributors to the volume were given a set of questions to be addressed, and while this approach ensures a degree of consistency, it makes for dull reading. Still, the work can serve as a valuable reference resource. [frh/akb]

Rassenhygiene als Erziehungsideologie des Dritten Reichs: Bio-bibliographisches Handbuch [Racial Hygiene as Educational Ideology during the Third Reich: A Bio-bibliographical Handbook]. Hans-Christian Harten and Uwe Neirich, Matthias Schwerendt. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2006. xiv, 546 p. 25 cm. (Edition Bildung und Wissenschaft, 10). ISBN 978-3-05-004094-3: EUR 69.80 [07-1-182]

This bibliographical handbook is a publication by the Center for Contemporary History of Education and Scholarship at the University of Hannover. The Center has a reputation for very high quality, which is reflected in the work under review. This very detailed handbook of the concept of racial hygiene (as opposed to so-called racial anthropology) that prevailed during the Third Reich focuses on who was associated with the formulation and promulgation of this doctrine and who sought to give it scientific respectability. The handbook is divided into three parts:

A bibliographical general section that situates the National-Socialist concept of “racial hygiene” in a historical and institutional perspective and lists 2,052 reference works published between 1933 and 1945, by 982 authors.

A biographical second section that begins with the important theorists and their students, followed by an institutional-historical treatment of education officials, party activists, Racial Office and SS Security members, and other “experts in racial-hygienic education and health-system training.”

A bio-bibliographical dictionary of selected authors of pertinent writings on race hygiene and racial ideology from the years 1933-1945, indexes of archives used and of newspapers consulted, and an index of names.

Some facets of this topic–the legal aspects, the dissemination of this doctrine in the school system, and the continued existence of the doctrine after 1945– are not covered, but overall, this is a very comprehensive handbook that will be useful to scholars in many disciplines. [frh/ldl]

Rektoren, Dekane, Prorektoren, Kanzler, Vizekanzler, kaufmännische Direktoren des Klinikums der Universität Heidelberg 1386-2006 [Rectors, Deans, Subrectors, Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, and Business Directors of the Heidelberg University Clinic, 1386-2006]. Hermann Weisert, Dagmar Drüll, and Eva Kritzer for the Rektor der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität. Heidelberg: Kurpfälzischer Verlag, 2007. xlvii, 143 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-924566-29-6: EUR 19.80 [07-1-192]

Although historical listings of individuals concerned with university administration are of limited, specialized interest, this is nevertheless an important work. It builds on Weisert’s 1968 work on rectors and deans of the University of Heidelberg but broadens the coverage to include figures in administrative positions at the university clinic. Published under the auspices of the Rectorate of the Ruprecht-Karl University of Heidelberg, this volume sheds new light on some previously obscure periods in Heidelberg University’s past. More than just a list of names, the work offers an overview of the development of the Heidelberg faculties and the statutes of the university over the centuries. Readers seeking biographical detail are encouraged to consult this work in combination with Drüll’s multi-volume Heidelberger Gelehrtenlexikon [Lexicon of Heidelberg Academics–see IFB 02-2-395]. [mk/cjm]

Deutsche Forschungs- und Kulturinstitute in Rom in der Nachkriegszeit [German Research and Cultural Institutes in the Post-War Period]. Ed. Michael Matheus. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2007. ix, 304 p. ill. 25 cm. (Bibliothek des Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Rom, 112). ISBN 978-3-484-82112-5: EUR 48 [07-1-197]

The present volume presents the proceedings of a colloquium held in 2003 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rome. Unfortunately, not all of the contributions are included here, and especially noteworthy by its absence was Chiarini’s talk on the founding and development of the Thomas Mann Center in Rome. Overall, the volume is characterized by high-level scholarship, careful organization, and an abundance of illustrations. Included are four presentations on German-Italian postwar relations and eight on individual institutions in Rome that have not been discussed elsewhere. All of the presenters, most of whom are professionally involved in the institutions they discuss, have succeeded in bringing much new source material to bear on their subjects. The selective bibliography and a name index enrich the volume. Of course, one would have liked to read more about German-Italian cooperation in the postwar period. [frh/rlk]

Ostforschung in Westdeutschland: die Erforschung des europäischen Ostens und die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1945-1975 [East European Studies in West Germany: Research on the European East and the German Research Council, 1945-1975]. Corinna R. Unger. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2007. 497 p. 25 cm. (Studien zur Geschichte der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1). ISBN 978-3-515-09026-1: EUR 56 [07-2-502]

The subject matter of Corinna Unger’s well-researched dissertation (Ostforschung in Westdeutschland nach 1945 im Kontext des Kalten Krieges, Universität Freiburg, 2005) is the development of the discipline of Eastern European studies in West Germany. The introductory chapter looks at its early history, beginning in the mid-19th century when the strengthening of the Russian Empire had stimulated political and academic engagement with the region. During the Nazi era the discipline was used in justifying the claims of German supremacy over the Slavic peoples. Later chapters discuss redefining the parameters of the discipline after 1945, the state of Ostmitteleuropaforschung [East and Central European Studies] in the Federal Republic, Russian/Soviet/Communist studies in the context of the Cold War, and the post-1991 transformation of the discipline with the emergence of a new generation of scholars. Larger context is provided by a chapter on the development of Soviet studies in the USA after the Second World War. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography and information about the archives consulted in the process of research. These include the holdings of the archives of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and those of a number of universities, as well as the federal archives and several archival institutions in the United States. [ks/as]

Bibliografie spisů J. A. Komenského vytištených do roku 1800 = Bibliography of the works of J. A. Comenius printed before 1800. Ed. Anežka Bad’urová. Praha: Knihovna Akademie Vĕd ČR, 2007. 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 80-86675-12-2: Kr. 260 [07-2-532]

In recent years, the Czech Academy of Sciences has undertaken the publication of a series of CD-ROMs that aim to provide easy access to the catalog of early foreign-language Bohemian prints (1501-1800) in its Main Library. The present CD-ROM contains early published works of Jan (John) Amos Comenius. The work consists of seven sections: (1) manuscripts, (2) sole-author printed works by Comenius, (3) publications in which he took part as collaborator, editor or translator, (4) printers, publishers and booksellers, (5) indexes of places of publication, listed under their present-day names, (6) a bibliography of secondary literature, and (7) the compiler’s introduction, which describes the goals and scope of the project.

The main body of the work consists of scanned images of catalog cards. The size and contents of individual entries vary widely. In the best-case scenario, an entry has the following parts: the exact transcription of the title page, section and chapter headings; a description of the ornaments; the alterations between the Fraktur and Latin scripts; location and provenance information; secondary literature; and (very seldom) reproductions of the title page and several other pages from the work. Regretfully, this uneven coverage is not due to a lack of sources. The compilers have not incorporated every secondary source, even those that are easily available in public databases and meta-catalogs and even in a previously published bibliography of Comenius’s works. It is especially disappointing that the holdings information of some entries is entirely out of date.

The CD-ROM is compatible with Windows XP and functions best when used with the Internet Explorer browser. The images of catalog cards are too large to appear in their entirety, which requires a lot of scrolling. In addition, there is no easy way to move from one card to the next. The quality of the jpeg files is uneven, and some graphics need to be manipulated in an image-editing program for better viewing results.

In short, this CD-ROM resource does not reflect the state of current bibliographic scholarship regarding the great Moravian’s works. Nevertheless, it is still of significant use to researchers, enabling them to work with the catalog without undertaking a trip to Prague. In the meantime, the bibliography is freely accessible on line at http://www.lib.cas.cz/kvo/bibliografie-komensky. The online version also provides a better venue for expanding and updating the bibliography of secondary sources.

This basic bibliography lays an important foundation for a future Comenius bibliography, even though it comes up short in attaining that goal. [us/as]

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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