German universities and their policy during the era of National Socialism: Deliberative politicization of knowledge, anti-intellectualism, and abolishment of autonomy dr. Taja Kramberger
Summary: This article describes the socio-historical context and conceptual orientation of the National Socialist (NS) university reforms that were implemented during the Third Reich. The author exposes the principal NS university modifications that resulted in the creation of an NS “political university” and the abolishment of university autonomy. The NS university revolution negated the once autonomous university institution through centralized university leadership and administrative services, while integrating the university disciplines into the destiny of the nation (by promoting applicative sciences and bringing them into the military-industrial complex). Consequently, this centralized leadership exerted almost total control over formal academic matters as well as the curriculum. However, this transformation would not have been possible without the collaboration of the majority of the university personnel. After the academic purge in 1933 which was released by the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums) that resulted in the removal of Jews and left-leaning intellectuals from university posts, the Law Concerning the Reorganization of University (Gesetz über die Neuordnung der Universität) was enacted, making universities a branch of the Nazi political system, supervised by the NSDAP. Understanding the Third Reich university policy in not utterly disconnected of our capability to recognize the recidivistic elements of the autocratic academic policy brought to light in the neoliberal deregulation of universities.