Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft

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Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft (abbreviation: NG; translation: Emergency Association of German Science) was founded on 30 October 1920 on the initiative of leading members of the Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (acronym: PAW; translation: Prussian Academy of Sciences.) – Fritz Haber, Max Planck, and Ernst von Harnack – and the former Preußischen Kulturminister Friedrich Schmidt-Ott. The physicist Heinrich Konen, due to his relationship with Schmidt-Ott, was involved in the founding and organization, and he became a longstanding member of its main committee. Members of the NG included all German universities, all polytechnics (Technische Hochschulen), the five scientific academies, and the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft. In 1929 the NG was renamed the Deutsche Gemeinschaft zur Erhaltung und Förderung der Forschung (German Association for the Support and Advancement of Scientific Research); also known in short as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (abbreviation: DFG).[1] Until 1934 the NG was under the supervision of the Reichsinnenministerium (acronym: RIM; translation: Reich Interior Ministry), and after that under the Reichserziehungsministerium (acronym: REM; translation: Reich Education Ministry).[2] By the end of World War II in Germany, in 1945, the NG was no longer active. In 1949, after formation of the Deutsche Bundesrepublik, it was re-founded as the NG and from 1951 as the DFG.[3][4][5]

The formation of the NG was to unify regional, disciplinary, and political factions into a single organization in order to raise funds for the needs of the totality of German sciences. As presiding secretary of the PAW, Planck briefly headed the NG until Schmidt-Ott was installed as president. The NG was successful in raising money and support from the central German government as well as money from German Industry and abroad.[4]

Presidents of the NG/DFG:[6]

Walter Gerlach was a vice-president of the NG from 1949 to 1951.[7]


  • Flachowsky, Sören Von der Notgemeinschaft zum Reichsforschungsrat. Wissenschaftspolitik im Kontext von Autarkie, Aufrüstung und Krieg (Steiner, 2008)
  • Heilbron, J. L. The Dilemmas of an Upright Man: Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science (Harvard, 2000) ISBN 0-674-00439-6
  • Hentschel, Klaus, editor and Ann M. Hentschel, editorial assistant and Translator Physics and National Socialism: An Anthology of Primary Sources (Birkhäuser, 1996)
  • Zierold, Kurt Forschungsförderung in drei Epochen. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft: Geschichte, Arbeitsweise, Kommentar (Steiner, 1968)


  1. ^ Geschäftsordnung der Deutschen Gemeinschaft zur Erhaltung und Förderung der Forschung (Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft) vom 9. September 1929, rep. in Zierold, 1968, pp. 592-595.
  2. ^ The official title of the REM was Reichsministerium für Wissenschaft, Erziehung und Volksbildung.
  3. ^ Hentschel, 1996, Appendix A; see the entry for NG.
  4. ^ a b Heilbron, 2000, pp. 90-92.
  5. ^ Hentschel, 1996, Appendix F; see the entry for Konen.
  6. ^ Hentschel and Hentschel, 1996, Appendix A; see the entry for DFG, Flachowsky, 2008, pp. 134-154.
  7. ^ Flachowsky, 2008, Appendix I; see the entry for Gerlach, p. 8.