The Betrayal of the Humanities: The University during the Third Reich

Bernard M Levinson (Editor), Robert P. Ericksen (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


How did the academy react to the rise, dominance, and ultimate fall of Germany's Third Reich? Did German professors of the humanities have to tell themselves lies about their regime's activities or its victims to sleep at night? Did they endorse the regime? Or did they look the other way, whether out of deliberate denial or out of fear for their own personal safety? The Betrayal of the Humanities: The University during the Third Reich is a collection of groundbreaking essays that shed light on this previously overlooked piece of history.

The Betrayal of the Humanities accepts the regrettable news that academics and intellectuals in Nazi Germany betrayed the humanities, and explores what went wrong, what occurred at the universities, and what happened to the major disciplines of the humanities under National Socialism.

The Betrayal of the Humanities details not only how individual scholars, particular departments, and even entire universities collaborated with the Nazi regime but also examines the legacy of this era on higher education in Germany. In particular, it looks at the peculiar position of many German scholars in the post-war world having to defend their own work, or the work of their mentors, while simultaneously not appearing to accept Nazism.

Contributions by Alan E. Steinweis, Suzanne L. Marchand, Christopher J. Probst, Bernard M. Levinson, Anders Gerdmar, Thomas Schneider, Johannes Renger, Bettina Arnold, Oren Gross, Michael Cherlin, Emmanuel Faye, Robert P. Ericksen, Aniko Szabo, Franklin Hugh Adler and Alvin H. Rosenfeld.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationBloomington, Indiana
PublisherIndiana University Press
Number of pages636
ISBN (Electronic)9780253060808
ISBN (Print) 9780253060792, 9780253060785
StatePublished - Sep 6 2022

Publication series

NameStudies in Antisemitism
PublisherIndiana University Press

Bibliographical note

Bernard M. Levinson and Robert P. Ericksen (eds.) The Betrayal of the Humanities: The University during the Third Reich. Edited by Bernard M. Levinson and Robert P. Ericksen. Studies in Antisemitism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2022. vi + 630 pages. ISBN: 9780253060785


  • Disciplinary history
  • history of the university
  • Antisemitism
  • Holocaust
  • Humanities
  • Racism
  • Enlightenment
  • Fascism
  • Orientalism
  • Jewish Studies
  • National Socialism
  • Nazi Germany
  • Ancient History


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