The CAU and National Socialism

Since the seizure of power in 1933, the Nazi regime also tried to bring German universities into line as quickly as possible. From then on, there was no longer any question of free science, and the end of Germany as a leading scientific nation was only one of the consequences. In Kiel and at Kiel University, the process of assimilation took place very quickly and without major resistance. Parts of the student body and the teaching staff saw themselves as pioneers in the implementation of Nazi educational and racial policies.

The Enforced conformity resulted in deep interventions in the university constitution and civil service law - almost 60 academics had to give up research and teaching, and their academic degrees were revoked. There was no longer a neutral judiciary or appeal body.

This platform provides information on the victims as well as on the National Socialist perpetrators in the environment of Christian-Albrechts-University to Kiel.

More about this platform

Displaced scholars

At this point, the CAU commemorates the expelled academics of the CAU during the period 1933 - 1945.
Each section of the picture stands for a displaced person:

Dr. Wolf Bodenheimer
Dr. Leonore Brecher
Prof. Dr. Fritz Brüggemann
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Frh. von Buddenbrock-Hettersdorff
Prof. Dr. Walter Bülck
Porf. Dr. Wilhelm Caspari
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Colm
Professor Dr. Walter Dix
Professor Dr. Walter Elliger
Prof. Dr. Hans Engelland
Privatdozent Dr. Willy Feller
Dr. Rudolf Freund
Prof. Dr. Emil Fuchs
Privatdozentin Dr. Melitta Gerhard
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Harms
Privatdozent Dr. Rudolf Heberle
Dr. Georg Henneberg
Prof. Dr. Hans von Hentig
Prof. Dr. Albin Hentze
Dr. John Herberts
Dr. Volkmar Herntrich
Hermann Hillman
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Höber
Prof. Dr. Heinrich Hoeniger
Prof. Dr. Gerhart Husserl
Prof. Dr. Felix Jacoby
Prof. Dr. Jens Jessen
Prof. Dr. Hermann Kantorowicz
Dr. Walter Kießig
Privatdozent Dr. Otto Klemperer
Dr. Kurt Kolle
Prof. Dr. Richard Kroner
Privatdozent Dr. Berthold Lichtenberger
Dr. Aenne Liebreich
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Liepe
Prof. Dr. Martin Lintzel
Prof. Dr. Oscar Martienssen
Prof. Dr. Hermann Mulert
Privatdozent Dr. Hans Philipp Neisser
Prof. Dr. Otto Opet
Prof. Dr. Karl Rauch
Prof. Dr. Heinrich Freiherr Rausch von Traubenberg
Dr. Karl-Heinrich Rengstorf
Dr. Svend Riemer
Prof. Dr. Hans Rosenberg
Professor Dr. Kurt-Dietrich Schmidt
Professor Dr. Julius Schniewind
Prof. Dr. Walther Schücking
Prof. Dr. August Skalweit
Prof. Dr. Julius Stenzel
Prof. Dr. Georg Stertz
Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Tönnies
Dr. Christoph Weber
Prof. Dr. Werner Wedemeyer
Prof. Dr. Carl Wesle
Prof. Dr. Carl Wirtz

The National Socialist History of Kiel University
and its reappraisal

Collegiate building
© in public domain. Source: Kiel City Archive, photographer: Hermann Edlefsen 73675; 26.535

Collegiate building of the Christian-Albrechts-University (CAU) in the castle garden around 1910

Signs of remembrance

In the 1990s, Christian-Albrechts-Universität began to come to terms with its Nazi past. A decisive impulse was given by the then rector of CAU, Professor Karin Peschel. On 15. November 1993, she declared the revocation of the doctoral degrees of expelled academics from 1936 to 1945 null and void.


More about the reappraisal of the CAU

The seizure of power at the Kiel University

From 1933 at the latest, the National Socialists attempted to influence all areas of education. The education of youth "in the spirit of National Socialism" was to be achieved by changing curricula and excluding "non-Aryan" pupils from lessons on the basis of the "Law against Overcrowding in German Schools and Universities". Both youth and teachers were also registered in National Socialist organisations such as the Hitler Youth and the National Socialist Teachers' Association (NSLB).


More about the seizure of power

The Enforced conformity of Teacher Education

In the Weimar Republic, elementary school teachers were not prepared for their profession at universities, but at "pedagogical academies". Such an academy began its work in Kiel in 1926 under the director Professor Ulrich Peters (1878-1939) as a result of a reorganisation of the Prussian elementary school teaching staff. After the National Socialists came to power, it was transformed, like all "Pedagogical Academies", into a "University for Teacher Education" (HfL).


More about the enforced conformity of Teacher Education

The reappraisal of the founding faculties
and the Student Union

The Kiel Student Union under National Socialism

The non-politically oriented Kiel Student Aid was incorporated into the Student Union in 1933 and thus eliminated as an independent charitable body. Like all local student unions, the one in Kiel was finally subordinated to the directives of the head office in Berlin in 1934 as "Student Union Kiel registered association, entity of  Reichsstudentenwerks".


Student Union during the NS-era

Destruction and reconstruction
of Kiel university

Destruction of the university buildings

Kiel University was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. Most of the buildings of the Christiana Albertina were located in the city centre and were badly damaged in the bombing raids. The university library, which was hit by an incendiary bomb in 1942, was particularly badly affected. A large part of the book and journal collections fell victim to the fire. But the main buildings were also destroyed, as were a large part of the clinics and institutes.


More on the destruction of the university buildings

From the ruins - Kiel University in 1945

On 27 November 1945, teachers, students and administrators, but also representatives of the military government, the first state government and the city of Kiel came together in the "New University" here on Westring to solemnly proclaim - accompanied by the sounds of Amadeus Mozart's Jupiter Symphony - the new beginning of academic teaching and research at a site steeped in tradition. In moving and at the same time revealing words, the first rector of the CAU, still appointed by the British military government, the psychiatrist Hans Gerhard Creutzfeldt, addressed the festive assembly: (I quote:) "Like a shipwrecked man who reaches land again and feels solid ground under his feet, one feeling deeply fills each of us, and that is that of gratitude." For 28 decades, the first post-war rector continued, the Schleswig-Holstein State University had "faithfully endeavoured to work in research and teaching". Only the turmoil of the Second World War forced it to leave the destroyed sites. But now, Creutzfeldt said in November 1945, there was new hope, new life and new planning. And he promised that they would now reverently rejoin the "chain of truth seekers" that had been built up and left behind by previous generations.


More about the reconstruction

About this Plattform

The core of this platform is formed by individual biographies of researchers expelled from Kiel University. In addition, there are texts on important National Socialist actors at the CAU and references to the relevant literature. This platform therefore provides information on both the victims and the National Socialist perpetrators. There are contributions on the development of the individual faculties as well as overarching articles on educational policy and student services during the Nazi regime. In addition, Kiel publications on German science during the Nazi era are listed.


It can be seen from this page that time and again individual research projects have devoted themselves to special topics from the time. Regardless of this, there is still much to be researched about the injustice at Kiel University. This is where the internet platform comes in. On the one hand, it deals with the attacks against researchers who became disagreeable and, on the other hand, with how the university dealt with its Nazi past in the post-war period. Results from research work, contemporary witness reports, old photos and documents are bundled together. The platform thus offers an overview of the current state of research. The aim is to deal critically with this period and to encourage further academic research.