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Names through changing times

From the “Notgemeinschaft” to the “German Research Foundation”

Letterhead on the communication by the Notgemeinschaft to the Reich Ministry of the Interior dated 18.5.1933 concerning the self-dissolution of the Executive Committee
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Letterhead on the communication by the Notgemeinschaft to the Reich Ministry of the Interior dated 18.5.1933 concerning the self-dissolution of the Executive Committee

© Bundesarchiv Berlin-Lichterfelde: R 73/14168, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The Deutsche Gemeinschaft zur Erhaltung und Förderung der Forschung – Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft – E.V. (The German Foundation for the Preservation and Promotion of Research – Emergency Foundation of German Science (registered association)) was established in 1920. The institution, abbreviated to “Notgemeinschaft”, changed its name for the first time in 1929 in the course of reform efforts. It was now to be known as “Deutsche Gemeinschaft zur Erhaltung und Förderung der Forschung (Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft)" (German Foundation for the Preservation and Promotion of Research (Emergency Foundation of German Science)). Inaugural President Friedrich Schmidt-Ott informed all divisions of the Notgemeinschaft of this name change in a letter dated 19 December 1929.

The letter concerning the first change to the name of the “Notgemeinschaft”
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The letter concerning the first change to the name of the “Notgemeinschaft”

© Bundesarchiv Berlin-Lichterfelde: R 73/37, Blatt 5, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

This new name did not prevail, however, and the name “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (German Research Foundation) crept into usage quite early on. The rules of procedure dated 9 September 1929, for example, already referred the document as the “Rules of Procedure of the German Research Foundation (Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft)”. However, until his removal in 1934 President Schmidt-Ott continued to prefer the use the old designation “Notgemeinschaft”. Letterheads carried the name “Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft”, although with the secondary title of “German Research Foundation”.

Starting with the presidency of Johannes Stark from 1934, the name “German Research Foundation” came into increasingly common usage. President Rudolf Mentzel (1936 - 1945) had this name registered in the association register as part of the amendment of the statutes in 1938.

Extract from the association register extract dated 27 April 1938
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Extract from the association register extract dated 27 April 1938

© Bundesarchiv Berlin-Lichterfelde: R 73/14168, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft