The National Socialist Era
© DFG / Fotograf Querbach Download Image (jpg) | Enlarge Image
The memorial in the grounds of the DFG’s Head Office, which was dedicated in September 2006 and which reminds us of science’s involvement in the crimes perpetrated by the National Socialists, is intended to serve as both a reminder and an admonition.
© DFG / Fotograf Querbach
As a self-governing organisation for science and research in Germany, the DFG has spent time thoroughly coming to terms with its role during the National Socialist era. An independent Research Unit under the guidance of Professor Rüdiger vom Bruch and Professor Ulrich Herbert spent seven years studying this issue. Their conclusion is that, to a large extent, the DFG and the majority of researchers it supported also placed themselves completely at the Nazis’ service after 1933. The final volume of the Research Unit’s series of publications was released in October 2010.
The exhibition entitled “Wissenschaft – Planung – Vertreibung: Der Generalplan Ost der Nationalsozialisten” [“Research – Planning – Expulsion: The National Socialists’ General Plan for the East”] comes to terms with another dark chapter in the DFG’s history. It illustrates the close ties between academic research, rational planning and research funding and the National Socialists’ policies of conquest and extermination. The exhibition was displayed at various locations and will also be mounted in Poland from 2011 onwards.
The memorial in the grounds of the DFG’s Head Office, which was dedicated in September 2006 and which reminds us of the DFG’s involvement in the crimes perpetrated by the National Socialists, is intended to serve as both a reminder and an admonition.
The Research Unit on the History of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1920-1970
In spring 2000, the President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Professor Dr. Ludwig Winnacker, convened a working group to explore ways and opportunities to examine the DFG’s history. After this initial discussion, the President asked Professors vom Bruch (Berlin) and Herbert (Freiburg) to assume charge of the DFG history research project. This initiative gave rise to a research association whose work was based on the following three guiding principles: the research should focus on the period of Nazi rule; the group’s main focus should be the research projects funded specifically by the DFG; the project should focus less on the history of individual disciplines. Instead, it should be more of an analysis of interdisciplinary developments.
The Dedication of the Memorial at the DFG Head Office on 27 September 2006
Fritz Stern and Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker in front of the memorial
© DFG /Fotograf Querbach