“Beginning in 1933, the AAC [Academic Assistance Council] set up a card system for all those who arrived seeking aid. Each émigré had to fill out a questionnaire stating name, age, area of expertise, religion, reason for dismissal, former income, language skills, preferred country and additional family members. A curriculum vitae and references were also required. This information became the basis of the List of Displaced German Scholars. Published by the AAC in 1936, the List was compiled by comparing various lists with the names of dismissed scientists and scholars and broken down according to discipline. All in all, it contained 1,624 scholars... This publication still serves as the basis for any research on exiled scholars today.”
-Birgit Bergmann, Transcending Tradition: Jewish Mathematicians in German Speaking Academic Culture
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION OF AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENT OF 20TH-CENTURY JEWISH INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY.
“Two months after Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor, the German government issued the Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums—the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. With some exceptions, none of which lasted for long, the 7 April 1933 law ordered that those in government positions who had at least one Jewish grandparent or were political opponents of the Nazi Party be immediately dismissed. Thousands of people lost their jobs as teachers, judges, police officers, and academics at the country’s top universities.
“Over the next several years, hundreds of German scientists and other intellectuals would flee to the UK, the US, and dozens of other countries to protect their livelihoods and their lives. The Nazi regime pushed out leading researchers such as Albert Einstein, Hans Krebs, and even national hero Fritz Haber, who had helped develop chemical weapons during World War I. The extraordinary intellectual exodus would have tremendous implications for not only Germany but also the countries that took in the refugees” (Andrew Grant, “The Scientific Exodus from Nazi Germany”, Physics Today, 26 Sept 2018).
“In the fall of 1936, with the financial assistance of the [Rockefeller] Foundation, there was published in London a book of 125 pages entitled ‘List of Displaced German Scholars.’ This book is probably unique in academic history. It contains the names of 1,639 men who, in 1932, were German citizens holding positions as teachers and research workers in institutions throughout Germany. Some, although dismissed from their posts, are still resident in their native land. The majority of them are exiles in other countries. The list includes Nobel prize winners and other men of international repute and distinction. Over sixty academic disciplines are represented in the specialities of those listed, among which might be mentioned such varied subjects as anthropology, architecture, bacteriology, biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, forensic medicine, history, hygiene, law, mathematics, medicine, neurology, pathology, philology, philosophy, physics, physiology, sociology, surgery, and zoology” (Raymond B. Fosdick, Scholars in Exile”, The Rockefeller Foundation Review).
“The names in the physics section read like a who’s who of early 20th-century physics: Hans Bethe, Felix Bloch, Max Born, Albert Einstein, James Franck, Otto Frisch, Fritz London, Lise Meitner, Erwin Schrödinger, Otto Stern, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, Victor Weisskopf, Eugene Wigner. Three of the displaced scientists—Einstein, Franck, and Schrödinger—were already physics Nobel laureates; five more would eventually receive the prize. A 2016 study found that the 15% of physicists who were dismissed from German universities accounted for 64% of all German physics citations.
“Thanks to such efforts, the vast majority of physicists on the list survived past World War II... In general, displaced German academics fared far better than other displaced citizens in Germany and occupied countries. ‘Would that shiploads of scholars, of artists, or ordinary men, women, and children might have sought and found the sanctuary that these men and women were helped to find,’ Nathan Kravetz wrote in a foreword to a 1993 reprinting of the displaced scholar list” (Grant).
Marked “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL” on the title page, the List was disseminated discreetly to protect the scholars who were still in Germany.
Other notable names on the list include: Erich Auerbach, Ernst Fraenkel, Martin Buber, Otto Nathan, Paul Tillich, Erwin Finlay-Freundlich, Ludwig Hopf, Hans Krebs, Edmund Landeau, Theodor Reik, Hans Reissner, Arnold Schoenberg, Leo Strauss, Hermann Weyl, and many others.
London: Printed by Speedee Press Services, Ltd., 1936. Quarto (approx. 7.5x9.75 in.), original stiff green wrappers; custom box. Chips to spine ends, front hinge tender (but holding); text fine. SCARCE.
Price: $5,000 .