University education in Nazi Germany

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This article discusses universities in Nazi Germany. In May 1933 books from university libraries which were deemed culturally destructive, mainly due to anti-National Socialist or Jewish themes or authors, were burned by the Deutsche Studentenschaft (German Students' Association) in town squares, e.g. in Berlin, and the curricula were subsequently modified. Martin Heidegger became the rector (and later head) of Freiburg University, where he delivered a number of National Socialist speeches and for example promulgated the Führerprinzip at the University on August 21, 1933.

Well-known expelled professors[edit]

Austrian universities[edit]

The University of Vienna participated in National Socialism. Eduard Pernkopf (rector 1943-1945) compiled a "Topographical Anatomy of the Human Species". Hans Sedlmayr, a declared National Socialist, led an art institute throughout the war.

Germanized universities[edit]

The first Reichsuniversität started to work in Prague, November 4, 1939.

The University of Poznań was closed by the German Occupation in 1939, and reopened 1941 as "Reichsuniversität Posen", a "Grenzlanduniversität" aligned with the German occupation forces' ideology. Its faculty included SS-Hauptsturmführer Reinhard Wittram and SS-Untersturmführer Ernst Petersen, who was a professor of the Department of Prehistory for one year, and anatomist Hermann Voss. It ceased operations in 1944.

The University of Strasbourg was transferred to Clermont-Ferrand in 1939 and Reichsuniversität Straßburg existed 1941–1944. As Dean of the Medical School, August Hirt constituted, National Socialist politics, anatomical institutions, and anatomists.[1]


  1. ^ Hildebrandt S. (2009). "Review Anatomy in the Third Reich: An Outline, Part 1" (PDF).


  • Hentschel, Klaus (ed. 1996) Physics and National Socialism. An Anthology of Primary Sources, Basel: Birkhäuser 1996. ISBN 978-3-0348-0202-4
  • Teresa Wróblewska: Die Reichsuniversitäten Posen, Prag und Strassburg als Modelle nationalsozialistischer Hochschulen in den von Deutschland besetzten Gebieten, Marszalek, Toruń 2000. ISBN 83-7174-674-1

“Louis Hamilton, a British academic and Canada specialist in Germany”, in William Keel (ed.), Yearbook of German-American Studies, 2008.