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How Hitler Damaged World Class Universities Fabian Waldinger (University of Warwick)

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Presentation on theme: "How Hitler Damaged World Class Universities Fabian Waldinger (University of Warwick)"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Hitler Damaged World Class Universities Fabian Waldinger (University of Warwick)

2 German Universities were the Best in the World

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4  When Hitler’s Nazi Party assumed power in 1933 they immediately dismissed all Jewish and what they called “politically unreliable” professors from the German universities.. What Happened?

5  When Hitler’s Nazi Party assumed power in 1933 they immediately dismissed all Jewish and what they called “politically unreliable” professors from the German universities. What Happened? § 3: Civil servants who are not of Aryan descent are to be placed in retirement...(this) does not apply to officials who had already been in the service since the 1st of August, 1914, or who had fought in the World War … § 4: Civil servants who, based on their previous political activities, cannot guarantee that they have always unreservedly supported the national state, can be dismissed from service.

6 Some of the Best Professors Were Dismissed Albert Einstein (Physics) Professor at the University of Berlin. Developed relativity theory. Nobel Prize in Dismissed Migrated to the United States (IAS Princeton).

7 Some of the Best Professors Were Dismissed Fritz Haber (Chemistry) Professor at the University of Berlin. Developed Haber-Bosch process to produce ammonia. -> used as key input in fertilizer which caused massive increases in agricultural productivity Nobel Prize in Dismissed Migrated to Switzerland.

8 Some of the Best Professors Were Dismissed John von Neumann (Mathematics) Privatdozent at the University of Berlin. Major contributions in: – Mathematics – Physics – Computer science – Economics (game theory) Dismissed Migrated to the United States (IAS Princeton).

9 Dismissal Shock: Physics

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13 Effect of Losing 10% of Faculty

14 Effect of Losing Top Quality Scientists Regression Results

15  German universities never recovered from this massive loss of human capital.  Main channel: hiring quality fell. After losing stars German universities did not manage to hire good researchers.  They lost 9,576 publications in top journals between 1933 and These publications received almost 200,000 citations. Quantifying the Loss to German Unis


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