“Few realize that the University of Istanbul had the highest concentration of refugee professors in a single institution anywhere in the world.”
According to Norman Bentwich some 1200 scholars and scientists were dismissed from German institutions in 1933-1934, some 650 of whom emigrated. Considering that 190 of those emigrated to Turkey this is a mighty significant percentage. Few remained in Turkey and are buried there. Most came to the US and catapulted America's science, humanities, and mathematics, to new heights. Some went to what is now the State of Israel and the older invitees returned to Germany so that they could recoup their pension rights. In the process the returnees helped de-Nazify Germany's post-war universities. Some were elected to Rektorship positions.
The original plan was conceived by Albert Malche (1876-1956), a Swiss professor of pedagogy who in 1932 had been invited to Turkey by the newly (1923) established republic’s administrtion to prepare a report on the Turkish educational reform. His Rapport sur l’université d’Istanbul was submitted on May 29, 1932. Malche’s plan was quickly implemented, by highest echelons of Turkey’s governing elite; President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), Prime Minister smet nönü (1884–1973), and Minister of Education Resit Galip (1893–1934).
In Central Europe, a displaced University of Frankfurt pathologist, Dr. Philipp Schwarz (1894-1977), organized the Notgemeinschaft Zur Emigration deutscher Wissenschaftler (Emergency Assistance Organization for German Scientists.) in Basel, Switzerland, for the express purpose of identifying the leading names among the displaced intellectuals in each of the disciplines Turkey needed for its development. The invitation extended by Turkey to the persecuted Jewish scholars saved the lives of more than 190 prominent émigrés. The Turks considered this not as an immigration, but an invitation for scientific, medical, and technical specialists.
Until recently historical documentation of this subject was nonexistent. This is especially so in the English language literature. The first, fairly comprehensive account of this migration was published in German by Widmann, in 1973 and translated into Turkish in 19886 but never into English. In 1980 one of the émigré professors economist Fritz Neumark (1900–1991), published his memoirs which were translated into Turkish in 19827 – again not into English. A rather thoroughly documented exhibition in Berlin’s Vereins Aktives Museum of archival materials dealing with this migration resulted in a well illustrated catalogue titled Haymatloz, which too, was never translated into English.
Norman Bentwich (1883-1971) was first to discuss this episode albeit briefly yet signifcantly as early as in1936.9 Referring to the Notgemeinschaft deutscher Wissenschaftler im Ausland set up in Basel during 1933 to find safe havens for Germany’s displaced intellectuals he wrote:
"The most remarkable success was with the Turkish authorities. It persuaded them to engage for the reconstructed University of Istanbul no less than 56 German scholars, including technical assistants. They were engaged mostly for five-year periods, but it is hoped that the appointments will become permanent. In the Faculty of Medicine 10 professors, in the Faculty of Science 8, in the Faculty of Law 7, in the Faculty of Philosophy 2 were appointe; and 13 younger men were appointed as lecturers. The scholars, is [sic] developing research institutes, which may give an opening for the engagement of of further scholars from Germany or from those who left Germany.
Futhermore in his “little book ...written at the suggestion of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning” back in 1953. Though much of both books are quoted and cited on other issues by historians of science and most of those concerned with the Holocaust, this particular part of history has gone unnoticed. Exactly thirty years later the next to discuss it in English and to provide biographical details on fifty-four members of this Diaspora was Stanford J. Shaw. Almost a decade after that Frank Tachau contributed an important chapter discussing these émigrés and their multi-faceted impact on Turkish science, medicine, law, and education.
He also provided statistics on the émigrés’ distribution by age, field of specialization, etc. The Andics, a husband and wife team of emigre economist Fritz Neumark’s students provide an excellent English language discussion of this migration in a German finance journal. Mark A. Epstein provides a good discussion of this episode/epoch. Significantly he start his chapter: “With one notable exception, only specialists on Turkey appear to have given much thought to the fact that about 10 percent of the twelve thousand or so academics who lost their jobs after the Nazis came to power went to Turkey – a surprisingly high percentage given the other possible destinations.”
In 2001 Walter Laqueur with Judith Tydor Baumel co-edited The Holocaust Encyclopedia. In the chapter titled “Turkey” by Barry Rubin three paragraphs address this episode in general terms ignoring individuals. In his Generation Exodus Laqueur dedicated four paragraphs to this refuge. Recently, a list of all the émigré scientists who went to Turkey was published in Germany.
Hildegard Müller provided a thorough discussion of the librarians, archivists, and document conservators’contingent among the émigrés. Lale Burk published several papers on fellow chemist Fitz Arndt (1885–1969). Recently both Emily Apter and Kader Konuk respectively wrote about Leo Spitzer and Erich Auerbach who “ played a leading role in building up the Faculty for Western Languages and Literutures at stanbul Üniversitesi and had a seminal influence on the formation of German philology, shaping the canons of both sciplines. Azade Seyhan provided an incisive analysis of the émigrés’ experience.
Gürol Irzik and Güven Güzeldere published an interview with the widow of philosopher Hans Reichenbach. Harry G. Day valuated contributions by biochemist Felix Haurowitz (1896–1987) to the development of chemistry at Indiana University. This essay includes some material on the time Haurowitz spent in Turkey. Ute Deichmann mentioned chemist Fritz Arndt and biochemist Felix Haurowitz as having emigrated to Turkey and Laura Fermi provided limited commentary on twelve of the émigrés.
In his web-based autobiography, Arthur von Hippel (1898– 2003), the father of nanotechnology, dedicated a chapter to his own tragicomic experiences in Turkey, including some anecdotes involving two colleagues—ophthalmologist Joseph Igersheimer (1879–1965) and dentist Alfred Kantorowicz (1880–1962).
Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell provide a good discussion of applied mathematician Hilda Geiringer (1893–1973). Thus far there is only one book in English that is fully dedicated to the subject at hand. After the book was published the author presented some new evidence—notably, a letter from Einstein to Turkish Prime Minister İsmet İnönü (1884–1973) and nönü’s response to Einstein which subsequently surfaced in Turkey but had not been part of the Einstein archives collection.
In summation, three significant German works were never translated into English; there are ten mentions in biographical notes, three paragraphs in but one encyclopedia, and two chapters in books on expanded issues. Other than the book by this author there are five works providing coverage for small subset of the emigres.
Above is the sum total of the English language literature addressing this important migratory episode turned epoch in the development of Turkey’s higher education and in the history of western science/knowledge. There are significant published anthologies, monographs, etc, where one would expect to find information about this subject. Unfortunately there is only a thundering silence.
In 1964 the Princeton University Press published Political Modernization in Japan and Turkey . The book represented work commissioned by the Social Science Research Council under a grant from the Ford Foundation. In a thirty-  page highly documented chapter discussing “Education in Turkey,” including higher education from the days of the Ottomans through the 1950s, Frederick W. Frey, a Princeton PhD, Rhodes Scholar and the author of Turkish Political Elite, as well as a professor at MIT and “member of the senior staff of its Center for International Studies,” never mentions anything about the role played by the German émigré professors in the evolution of Turkish higher education. Nor is this major infusion of the best western knowledge into Turkish society mentioned anywhere else in this 500-page volume. (*SB)
Moreover, “[i]n May 1991, an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars convened at the Wissenschaftskollegg (Research collegiums) in Berlin to discuss the impact of forced emigration of German-speaking scholars and scientists after the Nazi takeover in 1933”. The result of that conference is the cited and referenced book. In its foreword, Donald Fleming critically reflects on the established historical paradigm, e.g., “ Germany had been intellectually punished for yielding to the Nazis and America and Britain intellectually rewarded for their political and civic virtues.” Significantly, the book’s (10-page, double-column, small-print) index has only one entry for Turkey . Page 10 mentions Turkey along with Palestine and Latin America in reference to studies documenting problems encountered by émigré academics.
H.A. Strauss provides a compendium of “Archival Resources” and organizations that were set up worldwide to aid Jews persecuted by the Third Reich. While the book specifically addresses The Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, founded in 1933 in New York City , Nowhere does it mention the Notgemeinschaft deutscher Wissenschaftler im Ausland nor the work of Philipp Schwarz. “ Turkey ” does not appear in its 21-page detailed index.
The 1948 book by S. Duggan and B. Drury The Rescue of Science and Learning: the Story of the Emergency Committeee In Aid of Displaced Scholars38 is significant but only in terms of what it ommitted. The Notgemeinschaft is mentioned once on pg 185 and only in connection with a Dr. Walter Kotschnick who "had served in 1935 as representative of our committee and of the Notgemeinschaft deutscher Wissenschaftler im Ausland, in cooperqting with the Academic Assistance Council in Europe.” Turkey and its program of extending invitations appears nowhere. Philipp Schwarz is never mentioned. The only acknowledgment of a displaced scholar in Turkey appears on page 49 regarding Hans Rosenberg to wit "He became Director of the Observatory in Istanbul, and died in that city."
Another early book Lifeline To A Promised Land39 by Ira A. Hirschmann America’s ultimate insider in Turkey during the latter half of WWII and a few years thereafter, makes only a passing reference in a personal patient/client context to one of the emigre physicians Albert Eckstein.
According to historian Walter Laqueur “since the 1960s a number of comprehensive [Holocaust] histories have been published in the English language.” The 1990 four-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, “presents the history of the Holocaust topically, with approximately 1,000 entries of diverse size and scope. The encyclopedia has emerged as a central reference work for students of the subject.”
Searching all the relevant key-words and names in its Index and then browsing through the pages nothing was found on this rather signifcant migration of intellectuals. Also according to Laqueur, “in The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry [Leni Yahil] has tried to integrate the scholarship of the 1970s and 1980s into a one-volume history of the Holocaust.” The book’s 800 small print pages do mention Turkey in several contexts but this life saving migration and of Europe’s eminent intellectuals is not mentioned. The online Holocaust Encyclopedia produced and maintained by the United States Holocaust Museum in a section titled “ESCAPE TO NEUTRAL COUNTRIES” makes no mention of Turkey as a destination for Jewish intellectuals. Turkey is discussed only in the unrelated “ VOYAGE OF THE STRUMA” section (**SB). The same holds in the Museum’s printed Historical Atlas of the Hoocaust. Moreover The World Must Know: The Hisory of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum makes no mention of this migration.
Given Walter Laqueur’s reputation as a historian of note, his statement “[d]espite the legion of books that have appeared about Nazi Germany, no single comprehensive history of the German Jews during the war has been written,” is worth noting. However he follows that assertion with: “Marion A. Kaplan’s Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (1998) is the most serious contribution to date of German Jews under Nazi regime.
Saul Friedlander, in Nazi Germany: and the Jews: The Years of Persecution (1997), has woven tigether the history of the persecution thorugh 1939 and its effect on the Jews in a masterful fashion. Read together these two books approach a comprehensive picture of the situation of German Jewry until the oputbreak of the war.”
Unfortunately neither book provides any mention, much less discussion, of the German intellectuals’ by-invition migration to Turkey. Sadly for the sake of history the same is true among “the legion of books that have appeared about Nazi Germany.” One of these was penned by the most acclaimed Holocaust (Shoah) historian, Yehuda Bauer. His A History of the Holocaust dedicates two pages to Turkey. Oddly the discussion involves only the “Genocide of the Armenians” (***SB) otherwise the book deals strictly with the Shoah. Although many pages are dedicated to rescue efforts nowhere is this resquing migration mentioned and Bauer’s Rethinking of the Holocaust follows the same pattern.
Lucy S. Dawidowicz’s highly documented 450 page book The War Against The Jews: 1933- 1945 is silent on this subject. In the literary arena, Emily Apter, “’Invention’ of Comparative Literature, Istanbul, 1933” focused on the works of emigres Leo Spitzer and Erich Auerbach. She laments:
"There are few traces of of the Istanbul chapter of literary history in the annals of comparative literature; there are scant references to the intellectual collaborations among emigre colleagues and Turkish teaching assistants at the University of Istanbul in the 1930s, and there are really no full accounts of what happened to European philological pedagogy when it was transpanted to Turkey."
Nora Levin’s highly documented and rather thick book (768 pages) that went into several printings has extensive discussions on rescue efforts. “The Struggle to Leave Europe” chapter begins: “With the exception of the panic exodus of 1933, Jewish emigration from Germany up to the end of 1937 had been fairly well orgainzed.” Yet its 23-page double-columned Index which has many entries for rescue efforts does not mention Turkey, Istanbul, the Notgemeinschaft Zur Emigration deutscher Wissenschaftler, nor its founder Philipp Schwarz.
All of the above omissions are also true in the case of Saul Friedlander encyclopedic work. However in this case there are some other signifcant omissions. The names of Philosopher Hans Reicenbach, Turkologist Andreas Tietze, Sinologist/sociologist Wolfram Eberhard, and the renowned theatrical producer and opera director Carl Eber all of whom helped to make UCLA (Friedla nder is a professor of History at UCLA) the great institution that it is are never mentioned.
So, by 2005, there was still ample justification for saying, “Although the emigration of German scholars and writers to other European countries and particularly to the United States has been fairly extensively studied, the long-term sojourn of many noted academics, artists, and politicians in Turkey has received scant critical attention.”
What was the intellectual caliber of those Turkey saved for posterity?
The word “philosophy” denotes a fairly well defined and established discipline. However it also applies to a paradigm in any other body of knowledge such as is the case of “philosophy of science,” “philosophy of economics,” and even the “philosophy of art.” Thus a change of an established paradigm in any field of knowledge is tantamount to a change in the philosophic approach within and across that field. It is well known that paradigm shifts in any discipline are not established easily. Philosophers of science Sir K. Popper claims that it takes a revolution. Nobelist Max Planck (1858 - 1947) is quoted as saying: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
Arguably individuals offering new paradigms or paradigm shifts can be thought of as philosophic innovators or reformers in that field. According to Albert Einstein: "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
Given the well documented “natural drift” toward academization or narrowing of disciplines and professions and away from the “swamps of relevance” and given the difficulty of such innovation being appreciated by the respective establishments it is mind boggling to note the number of innovators, – breadth expanders – cross disciplinary bridge builders – and applied scientists there were among those invited during the 1930s by the Turkish government to help create its higher education infrastructure.
Among individuals that can be easily so qualified are:
- Philosopher/mathematician Hans Reichenbach (1891–1952.)
Reichenbach was perhaps the most diversified generalist among the emigres. He was a philosopher, mathematician, physicist, probabilist, logician and more. He synthesized/integrated much knowledge from each of these fileds. He became a leading philosopher of science, a founder of the Berlin Circle, and a proponent of logical positivism (also known as neopositivism, or logical empiricism).
- Mathematician/philospher/ applied scientist Richard von Mises (1883-1953)
Individually and as a team, Richard von Mises made monumental paradigm shifts or philosophical contributions to applied mathematics, elasticity and plasticity of materials, statistics, and probability.
- Mathematicians/applied scientists William Prager (1903 – 1980, and Hilda Geiringer (1893 – 1973)
William Prager made major paradigm shifts or philosophical contributions to applied mathematics, elasticity and plasticity of materials, statistics, and probability among other fields of applied science. He founded Brown University’s (the first in the US) center on applied mathematics. This wa a major development in preparation for and during America’s involvement in WWII.
Hilda Geiringer made major paradigm shifts to applied mathematics, elasticity and plasticity of materials, statistics, and probability among other fields of applied science.
- Astronomer E. Finlay Freundlich(1885–1964)
In Albert Einstein’s own words that “was the first among fellowscientists who has taken pains to put the [relativity] theory to the test.” Freundlich brought astronomy into the orbit of the Theory of Relativity.
- Physicist Arthur Von Hippel(1898–2003)
Arthur Von Hippel is widely recognized as the father of nanoscience and the nanotechnology which reshaping the way we live in the 21st century.
- Archeologists Benno Landsberger(1890 - 1968) and Hans Güterbock(1908 - 2000)
Benno Landsberger laid the foundations for the study of modern Assyriology. He succeeded in freeing Assyriology from its dependence on the Arabic and Hebrew languages. Landsberger characterized Mesopotamian culture on the basis of language, laws, literature, and economic and social culture rather than depending on the Bible. His genius found expression not only in his linguistic works but also in his penetrating and original analyses of critical questions of Mesopotamian history and chronology. Although Landsberger passed away in 1968, decades before the emergence of the World Wide Web, his name pulls up dozens of references appearing in several languages in this relatively new medium.
Güterbock was an archaeologist, philologist, and historian. Current scholars find his greatest influence in the philological area. An archaeologist of the old school, who was equally well versed in reading the inscriptions and tablets that archaeologists uncovered, he was his own epigrapher. This threefold combination was put to the task of “resurrecting the Hittites,” as he himself described his career in the retrospective essay in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. In addition to studying the Hittite cuneifom texts, he made seminal contributions to the decipherment of the Indo-European dialect related to Hittite, known today as the Luwian language.
- Zoologist Kurt Kosswig(1903-1982)
Kurt Kosswig’s scientific achievements were broad and deep. While researching the various cancer indicators found in a given species of fish, he created a taxonomic approach to zoology and encouraged its use and expanded applications. A geneticist and zoologist, his most important scientific contributions were in mechanisms of sex determination, carcinogenesis, regressive and constructive evolution, the genetics of domestic animals, faunal history, zoogeography, and Systematics. Kosswig’s ideas and concepts as well as the results of his research were of crucial importance to Biological Systematics.
- Economist Wilhelm Röpke(1899 –1966)
The paradigm shift to economic philosophy which Wilhelm Röpke offered in the early thirties was the theoretical foundation for the worldwide “Thatcher Revolutions” in the 1980s. Privatizations of major industries are still ongoing in many developed and developing countries.. Röpke was a genuine Renaissance man.
- Economic sociologist Alexander Rüstow (1885 – 1963)
Alexander Rüstow is considered t be the father of the "social market economy" that shaped Germany after World War II. A book he authored while in Turkey “Taking Bearings on the Present remains today one of the most powerful statements of historical soiology in the classical liberal tradition.”
- Architects Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky( 1897 – 2000), and Bruno Taut (1880-1938)
Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky was first to incorporate time and motion efficiency ideas into kitchen design blueprints. She integrated the science of management concept —the time studies of Frederick W. Taylor and the motions studies by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth (Cheaper by the Dozen, 1948) into large multi-dwelling complexes that had been built in Austria and Germany in the 1920s for workingclass families.
Taut is best known in the English-speaking world for his theoretical work, speculative writings and a handful of exhibition buildings. Taut's bestknown single building is the prismatic dome of the Glass Pavilion at the Cologne Werkbund Exhibition (1914). His sketches for "Alpine Architecture" (1917) are the work of an unabashed Utopian visionary, and he is variously classified as a Modernist and an Expressionist.
- City planner and first mayor of post war Berlin Ernst Reuter (1889–1953)
Ernst Reuter “symbolized a peerless combination of politician, university lecturer, and experienced administrator.”
- Public dentistry innovator Alfred Kantorowicz(1880 – 1962)
Alfred Kantorowicz is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in pediatric dentistry and as a founder of public health dentistry. See, A. Reisman, Public Health Dentistry Pioneer: Alfred Kantorowicz in Exile from Nazi Rule. Forthcoming in Journal of the History of Dentistry, Vol. 55, No 1, pp1-13. Spring 2007.
- Ophtalmologist Joseph Igersheimer (1879–1965)
Joseph Igersheimer was the architect of modern ophthalmology in Turkey. Earlier he was a pioneer in addressing the impact of syphilis on eyesight. He was the first to use arsphenamine in the treatment of syphilis of the eye and the first to operate on retinal detachment by closing the holes. Also see Namal, A. and Reisman, A. "JOSEPH IGERSHEIMER (1879-1965) A visionary ophthalmologist and his contributions before and after exile" (2007). Forthcoming in the Journal of Medical Biography, The Royal Society of Medicine Press
- Surgeon Rudolf Nissen(1896 – 1981)
Rudolf Nissen pioneered work in thoracic surgery, the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and hiatus hernia. He performed the first successful pneumectomy in man. The Nissen-Rossetti type of fundoplication has remained the standard procedure in Europe and the USA. He developed these procedures while still in Germany, imported them to Turkey and the US, and used them in both.
- Humanists Erich Auerbach(1892-1957), Andreas Tietze, (1914-2003)
Erich Auerbach an educator, critic, and literary historian. Auerbach's famous account of the genesis of the novel, Mimesis (1946) written in Turkey, has been since its appearance one the most widely read scholarly works on literary history and criticism. René Wellek, Auerbach's colleague at Yale University, wrote: "The work is a strikingly successful combination of philology, stylistics, history of ideas and sociology, of meticulous learning and artistic taste, of historical imagination and awareness of our own age." (from A History of Modern Criticism 1970-1950, Volume 7, 1991).
A world-renowned Turcologist and one of the founders of Turkic studies in the United States, Andreas Tietze was best known for his contributions to Turkish lexicography, his work on Turkish riddles and Turkish Karagoz (Blackeye) plays, his editions and translations of Ottoman works, and his founding and editorship of an annual, multilingual bibliography covering all aspects of Turkish and Ottoman life.
Moreover the Albert Einstein archives at Princeton and at the Hebrew Universities yield one indication of the caliber of the people involved. The fact that Einstein personally knew and maintained a personal correspondence with at least sixteen of the émigrés to Turkey speaks to the level of their intellects. Moreover, quite a few were at all times in personal correspondence with one or more of over a dozen Nobel laureates. Although none of the émigrés ever achieved Nobel laureate fame, a number of them had direct working relationships with those who did.
As documented in Reisman’s book at a minimum,
Hanz Reichenbach worked with Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, Max Planck, Max Born, and Bertrand Russell;
Felix Haurowitz with Linus Pauling;
E. Finlay Freundlich with Albert Einstein;
Max von Laue and Erwin Schroedinger;
Richard von Mises with Neils Bohr and Albert Einstein;
Benno Landsberger, and Hans Güterbock, were Enrico Fermi’s colleagues and friends at the University of Chicago;
Philipp Schwarz was instrumental in bringing James Frank and Max Born to Turkey as consultants;
Wilhelm Liepmann corresponded with Einstein;
and, of course, von Hippel was James Frank’s son-in-law and he had worked with Neils Bohr in Denmark.
According to Albert Einstein’s hand-written correspondence, one of the émigrés, E. Finlay Freundlich, was the first to show that the relativity theory was borne out by empirical observations. And, Nobelist Enrico Fermi’s wife, Laura, a prolific writer of books on the history of science, mentions, no fewer than twelve of the émigrés by name in her Illustrious Immigrants to the US book that had been published in 1968 by the prestigious University of Chicago Press. Several illustrious intellectuals returned to Germany and some went to what is now Israel.
Given the scientific eminence of some of the emigres it is interesting to note that with the exception of Laura Fermi (above) this episode is not found in histories and encyclopedias of science, or of scholarship except for some entries placed there by this author in the much maligned but often referred to Wikipedia.
Interestingly without documenting it Mark E. Epstein recognized this blind spot as far back as 1998. He offered the following explanations:
1. This part of history “fell behind what I perceive as a curtain of prejudice toward Turks and perhaps more broadly toward Muslims.
2. [A] Muslim country, Turkey was simply beyond the comfortable reach of Europeoriented scholarship. For the most part, we do see East through the historical eyes of the Europeans, hence as an infidel, threatening, morall corrupt place.
3. Turkish enlightened self-interest and a measure of generocity toward individual Jews and German-non-Jews seems to be viewed by many non-Islamicists and non- Turkologistsas curious exceptions within a larger picture
4. [T]ese motivations and actions are seen as crass and self-serving, despite the fact that the Turkish record is far more admirable than most Since Turkey remains a relatively distant place, on the other side of an historical divide between Christianity and Islam, it receives short shrift at best.”
Stanford Shaw suggested that “Turkey’s role in helping European Jews during the Holocaust has been largely ignored or deprecated in studies and conferences on the subject, if for no other reason than that of the number of individuals involved.
The ongoing discovery of evermore historical compendia where one should have expected a discussion of this part of a fascinating, significant, and multifaceted history continues to boggle the mind. So on a number of lists involving knwledgable people the author posted a query requesting explanation suggestions. Two of the responses are:
- "This piece of history is a blind spot I guess, because it will otherwise haunt the "barbaric Turk" image, which has very much been of help, and is still in use, to create, fuel and mobilize the "modernistic other." "
-" I think the reason for the blind spot is unfortunately the perception of Turkey in Europe, which recent development regarding the European Union show have not changed very much."
Arguably one could add to these explanations the fact that Holocaust scholarship has thus far been overwhelmingly about Ashkenazi (East and Central European Jews)(SB- ASHKENAZI'S ARE KHAZAR TURKS!) and Jewish writers on the subject have been overwhelmingly of Ashkenazi extraction. Turkish Jewry on the other hand has been predominatly of Sephardi (Spanish/North African) extraction.
Notwithstanding the fact that this historical episode/epoch involved intellectuals at the very pinnacle of their disciplines with many having Ashkenazi lineage the locale was Turkey and the association was made with the Sephardi community. One could also argue that many of the intellectuals did not identify themselves with Judaism at any time, some like mathematichian Richard von Mises, and radiologic physicist Friedrich Dessauer converted to Cathololicism, others had their children baptized, and although some have expressed gratitude to Turkey for having been saved from extermination others felt a sense of shame for having been saved by a developing Muslim country. The latter is evidenced in the fact that several post-war PhD students at America’s best universities came forward to this author with information that they had no idea whatsoever of their esteemed and beloved mentors having spent time in Turkish exile.
The majority of Holocaust/genocide historians are squarely behind the Armenians’ side of the dipute and are disinterested in any acts on the part of Turkey which are favorable to that country’s history. And, Turkey is not within the radar screen seen by historians of science and of technology.
All of these explanations are plausible but the list it appears is still not complete.
Perceptions of the Émigrés in Turkey Today
Memories of the émigré professors and the appreciation of their contributions to Turkey’s modernization linger on in that country and among the educated Turkish Diaspora. This topic is of particular relevance set against the current backdrop of Turkey’s tug of war; her sustained efforts to enter the European Union while struggling to remain a secular state within a democratic framework and having a mostly traditional Islamic population with hostile theocracies as neighborhs. Recently several symposia were devoted to keeping the memories alive. One conference organized by the Turkish Academy of Science (TÜBA) addressed “The Evolution of the Concept of University in Turkey (1861-1961)” (November 18, 2006). At the meeting, the evolution of the “university” concept during a 100-year time span was discussed. Much of the discussion focused on Atatürk’s university reforms, the realization of which was attributed to the émigrés from Germany. Significantly on April 7, 2006, the University of Istanbul conducted a symposium on the 1933 University Reform.
The conference opened with a welcoming speech by Dr. Mustafa Kaçar, Dean of the Çapa Medical Faculty, who reiterated that “Turkey owes a great debt to the émigrés. They did great work here, although some jealous colleagues tried to denigrate them.” He recounted a story about the émigré legal scholar Ernst E. Hirsch, which was told by Kamran İnan, a former minister of foreign affairs, in his memoirs. “When Kamran Inan was at the Political Sciences Faculty of Ankara University, he was a Hirsch student. One day Hirsch asked him whether he was interested in politics. Inan, who was a very good student, replied that he was interested in academic subjects only. Upon this Hirsch said: ‘Once we did the same thing. We were interested in academic work only. We were wrong. Lucky for us that a country like Turkey, which the plague could not contaminate, existed.’”
Reiner Möckelmann (b. 1941), Germany’s recently retired Consul General in Istanbul, organized a symposium at the Consulate conducted on November 29, 2005, that dealt with the contributions to Turkey’s legal system by the émigrés’ contingent of legal scholars.
At the seminar called “Culture as a Weapon, Academicians in Exile” in Berlin on July 19 2003, a member of the Turkish Parliament, Mr. Onur Öymen, said:
"One of the most interesting books on the immigration of the Jews from Nazi Germany to Turkey was written by Prof. Ernst Hirsch. Hirsch said that Ermachtigungsgesetz adopted on March 24,1933 enabled Nazi party to start first discrimination and oppression of the Jews. On April 1, 1933, the Nazis appealed for a boycott of Jewish merchants, lawyers, doctors etc. He believed that the German people have not reacted with enough strength to the terrorization of the Jews. Hirsh believes that the Nazi party’s boycott of Jewish firms and institutions was more shameful than the Kristallnacht of November 9,1938. Soon after the Nazi boycott Professor Hirsch, who up to that point served as a judge in a Hessen Court, was forced to resign along with other judges or civil servants of Jewish origin. Professor Hirsch tried to teach in French universities. But under the political conditions prevailing at that time in France, his friends were not able to manage a teaching post in Paris. The only option available was a possibility to teach in Amsterdam University, but only as an Assistant Professor."
Additionally Turkish media have recently published a number of articles on the larger subject of the émigré professors. One of these was carried as a first-page article by Hürriyet, a high-circulation secular, centrist, nationalist, Turkish daily, on October 29, 2006, when Turkey celebrated its 83rd anniversary as a Republic. The headline by Murat Bardakçı read: “A Request from the Great Genius to the Young Republıc.” The article described Einstein’s appeal to İsmet İnönü to accept 40 German intellectuals who are ready to come and work for one year at no pay, and went on to juxtapose Turkey’s current body politic and its preoccupations with those prevalent during the early ideological Republican years:
"Now, here is the difference between the Turkey of the time when the Republican regime was only 10 years old and the Turkish Republic now aged 83. The first one is a young state with great promise for the future from which Einstein requests jobs for his friends; the other is where the daily agenda is shaped only by discussions about parks restricted to women, and wearing of the “cübbe” by sect members, or whether shaking women’s hand is sinful or not...." (cübbe= Loose kimono like garment worn by Moslem clerics for prayer which was forbidden by law outside mosques in early years of the Republic. Nowadays worn by many in the streets.)
This article kindled renewed interest in the 1933 émigrés and their reception in Turkey. Within a week of the Bardakçı article, Melih Asık published an article in Milliyet, another mass-circulation newspaper, which juxtaposed the attention given by Turkish media to the Einstein letter with the ignorance of this episode outside of Turkey.
An article by Ilhan Selçuk, December 19, 2006, also appearing in the Cumhuriyet newspaper, was titled “Is the harem going up to Çankaya?” (1) In this article Selçuk discussed the contributions made to Turkish civil law by Andreas B. Schwarz. This discussion was continued in an article published in yet another large circulation Turkish daily.
" [In 1933] about 50 scientists, close to 1000 German (Jews) in total, began taking refuge in Turkey. Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk] was in the process of having the “University Reform” implemented. In rebuttal to those who think that “all Mustafa Kemal accomplished was of native origin”, the reform was prepared by Swiss Professor Malche. Darülfünun was abolished, along with some of its teachers, and Istanbul University was founded. Refugees such as Neumark, Hirsch, Hindemith established faculties and made laws. They trained great numbers of good students. This was “a wonderful country where the Western plague of fascism had not penetrated”.
It can be rightfully stated that the émigré professors first introduced western law as a university level curriculum in Turkey, writing the necessary textbooks. Some of the German professors, like Hirsch, received Turkish citizenship as an expression of gratitude by the Turkish government. Honorary doctoral degrees were later bestowed upon several others.
The History and Mission statements as posted on the web by the original three Turkish universities document the prevailing national pride in the legacy that was left by the émigré professors. Specifically the 2004 Istanbul University Faculty of Law website proudly declares:
" Until other universities established their faculties of Law, ours was the first to train young jurists. After the University Reform of 1933 and, with the contribution of academics fleeing the Nazi regime, the principles of contemporary legal education originated and were developed at this institution. Many prominent and well-known figures, famous academics such as Prof. Andreas Schwarz, Prof. Ernst E. Hirsch, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar, many judges, politicians, lawyers, writers, and journalists feature in the annals of the faculty. The academic staff of our faculty is proud of this heritage and aims to retain and promote the tradition of high quality education."
In response to a concern that memory an increasingly popular field of study was so interdisciplinary that it was difficult for people to communicate outside of the scope of their own disciplines the “Studying Memory Across Disciplines: A Roundtable Discussion on Memory Studies” was convened on April 24th, 2007, at St Cross College, Oxford. 104 The conveners explained that:
" Literature specialists for example might consider memory in relation to autobiography or historical novels whereas historians may utilize oral history and study the ways in which collective memory of historical events is formed and manifests itself through speech, education, and monuments. Art historians consider ways in which events are memorialized whilst psychologists and psychiatrists examine the ways in which individuals cope with memory, in particular where it concerns traumatic events. Scholars of politics often consider the politics of memory and how they are represented in the public sphere, and anthropologists consider different methods of remembering both individual and collective histories in specific ethnographic communities."
Given that almost every intellectual discipline was represented in this migration and the representatives were all at the intellectual pinnacle among their peers worldwide it is mind boggling that Anglophone historians of any ilk have overlooked this historical epoch.
Without a doubt all of the émigrés had made major contributions to knowledge in their respective fields prior to being exiled. Some like Reichenbach, Auerbach, Von Mises, Rüstow, Röpke,have made major contributions to knowledge while in Turkey. Except for those who died and are buried there, all continued to be paradigm shifters after leaving Turkey.
The Turkish nation, including members of its Diaspora, have not forgotten and continue to acknowledge the émigrés impact on Turkish society. There is a plethora of literature documenting the gratitude still felt for the émigrés’ contributions. There are also a few memoirs written by the émigrés themselves and by their progeny who were old enough to remember.
Many testimonials to this legacy can be found in Turkey. Among these is one by Parliamentarian Onur Öymen:
"A number of German professors with high reputations in their own countries participated in major reform projects in Turkey besides their teaching activities. For example, Andreas Schwarz from Freiburg made an important contribution to the adoption of western laws in Turkey in 1930s."
Professor Ünal Tekinalp further recalled108 that in 1986 Ernst Hirsch, raised some concerns about the broader issues of the Atatürk Reforms especially on whether the legal and university reforms are threatened or not. Regarding this Tekinalp wrote:
" I understand that the legislation on the superior educational institutions which came into force a year ago, is a real cause of concern for him. He was particularly angry at the ruling of the Constitutional Court which described universities not as centers of science, but as establishments of education and training, putting education ahead of science in the function of universities. As he is verbalizing his anger, he said: ‘I started wondering whether the Atatürk revolution was an episode instead of an epoch.’ He must have noticed that I was looking at him with questioning eyes, so he said: ‘An episode is a term used in the theatre; it means a temporary scene. Even if it may have a role in a play, it is a momentary incident. An episode comes and goes and is followed by another one. On the other hand, epoch is a terminology of sociology and history; it is a basic concept of these sciences. The sociologist and the historian do not concern themselves with episodes. They identify the epochs; they judge and evaluate them. ‘Epoch’ has particular significance for us; that is, those concerned with sociology of law. This is because ‘epoch’ describes a period which leaves imprints; it gives direction to the future and has lasting effects.’
He goes on to add: ‘I believed that the Turkish revolution, among them legal and university reforms, constituted an epoch. Now I doubt the accuracy of this belief of mine and I feel sorrow.’ "
Turkey's Invitations to Nazi Persecuted Intellectuals Circa 1933:
A Bibiliographic Essay on History's Blind Spot
Reisman and Associates, June 12, 2007
This paper was motivated by research done for Arnold Reisman, TURKEY'S MODERNIZATION: Refugees from Nazism and Atatürk's Vision. New Academia Publishers, Washington, DC. (2006).
(1) The location in Ankara of the official President’s Residence is called Çankaya. “To go up” is used when talking about going there since it is on top of a hill in an otherwise flat Ankara, except for the
Citadel. “Çankaya” in Turkish means more than that, since it is where most reform decisions were made by Atatürk and his friends. For example, there is a phrase “the Çankaya spirit” meaning progressive thought, etc. Neumark also refers to “getting to understand the spirit of Ankara” in his memoirs (p.170). Incidentally the building was designed by Viennese architect Clemens Holzmeister, (1886-1983) who was in Turkish exile from 1938 to 1954 at which time he returned to Austria.
(*SB) or never mentioned about, that they were "rescued" by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Turkey.
(**SB) Voyage of the Struma, "Turkey is not responsible" Cengiz Özakıncı !
(***SB) There is no armenian genocide, it's the biggest lie on earth!
Public health dentistry pioneer: Alfred Kantorowicz in exile from Nazi rule.
Alfred Kantorowicz survived extermination thanks to the fact that in 1933, Turkey began to reform its higher education using invitees fleeing the Nazis and for whom America was out of reach because of restrictive immigration laws and widespread anti-Semitic hiring policies at its universities. Kantorowicz introduced public health dentistry to Turkey years before it was practiced in the United States.
After the Nazis came to power the political conflict at Bonn University deepened. The Bonn synagogue website states that “on April 4th, 1933, several professors from Bonn University published a declaration titled "Pro Adolf Hitler". On May 10th, the day of the ”Book Burning” students burned Jewish and Marxist literature on the market square. More than 50 professors had to leave Bonn University. Jewish Professors or dissenters were dismissed on April 7, 1933, on the grounds of the” Gesetz. As a deputy representing the Social Democratic Party in the Town Council, Kantorowicz had always warned against the NSDAP. In the Nazi newspaper "Westdeutscher Beobachter", Alfred Kantorowicz had already come under severe attack by the National Socialists as early as 1931.
In 1933 the Nazis had taken Kantorowicz into “Protective Custody” for his political beliefs and had kept him for four months in the prison at Bonn. He was then transferred to the Gestapo, S.A., and S.S. run Boergermoor hard labor concentration camp near Papenburg. There he spent another four months after which he was transferred to the concentration camp for prominent socialists, Jews, and intellectuals in Lichtenburg. Evidence in the Rockefeller Foundation archives shows that the Foundation was unable to interfere directly in the matter of extraditing Kantorowich from the concentration camp.
According to a letter signed by fellow émigré in Turkey philosopher Hans Reichenbach (1940) who had already relocated to UCLA from Istanbul, and theoretical chemist Fritz London who was at Duke University, Kantorowicz was released because of pressure from prominent authorities in Scandinavian countries at which time he came to Turkey. (***SB)
However with due respect to Professor Reichenbach because Alfred Kantorowicz was already sought after by the Turkish government as evidenced by the fact that a contract had already been signed. There is reason to believe that it was the Turkish connection that played the more significant role in the Kantorowicz release from Lichtenburg and safe passage to Istanbul. The answer may well be fund in the newly opened Holocaust archives at Bad Arolsen, Germany. Herein lies a topic for an MA thesis.
Kantorowicz worked in Turkey from 1933 until his retirement in 1948
Reisman A. Public health dentistry pioneer: Alfred Kantorowicz in exile from Nazi rule. J Hist Dent. 2007, 55:6-16 ;
(***SB) However; It was not Scandinavian or US, who took him out of the concentration camps. It was, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Turkey.
Prof.Dr. Celal Şengör explains how; video in Turkish
* * *
Seksen iki yıl önce bu günlerde, Alman bilim dünyası da tüm Almanya gibi karışıktı. Naziler iktidara gelmiş ve korkunçluğunu herkesin iyi bildiği uygulamalarına başlamışlardı. 4 Nisan günü Bonn Üniversitesi’nden elli kadar öğretim üyesinin Hitler’e bağlılıklarını bildiren “Pro Adolf Hitler” bildirisini yazmalarıyla birlikte bilim insanlarına saldırı ivme kazandı. Bu bildiriye imza atmayanlar artık hedefti. 7 Nisan günü Yahudi ve muhaliflerden bir grup öğretim üyesi gözaltına alındıktan sonra, 8 Nisan’da Ari ırktan olmayanların devlet memuriyetinden çıkarılmaları yasası meclisten geçti.
Alfred Kantorowicz Bonn Üniversitesi’nde çalışan diş hekimliği profesörüydü. Almanya’da kendi alanında en önemli isimler arasındaydı. Koruyucu hekimliğin de önemini ilk vurgulayanlardan biri idi. Daha 1912 yılında ilkokullarda diş tedavi merkezlerinin kurulmasını önermiş ve ağız ve diş sağlığı bilgi ve alışkanlıklarının çocukluk döneminde kazanılacağını savunmuştur (bu söyledikleri ancak 30 yıl sonrasında, 1942’de diş hekimliği eğitim programlarına alınabilmiştir). Kantorowicz Yahudi ve Alman Sosyal Demokrat Partisinin aktif bir üyesiydi de aynı zamanda ve elbette Hitler’e bağlılık metnini imzalamamıştı.
Tüm bu özelliklerinden dolayı önce dört ay süreyle Bonn hapishanesinde “koruyucu gözetim” altına alındı. Sonrasında dört ay bir toplama kampında (Boergermoor) tutulduktan sonra tanınmış sosyalist ve entelektüellerin toplandığı Lichtenburg toplama kampına alındı.
Kantorowicz kendisi için her şeyin bittiğini düşünürken, Türkiye’de güzel şeyler oluyordu. Kemalist iktidar sosyal alanda önemli değişikler yapmış ve sıra bilime gelmişti. Yurtdışından çok sayıda bilim insanı Türkiye’ye getirilirken, diş hekimliği alanında da Kantorowicz seçilmişti. Türk hükümetinin girişimleri sonucunda dokuz ay tutulduğu toplama kampından çıkartılarak, ailesi, asistanları ve kütüphanesiyle beraber Türkiye’ye getirilip diş hekimliğinin başına geçirildi.
Türkiye’de çağdaş diş hekimliğinin Kantorowicz’in gelişiyle başladığı söylenebilir. Bu tarihten itibaren diş hekimliği, tıp fakültesinden kısmen ayrıldığı gibi zaman içerisinde ortodonti, pedodonti periodonti, protez ve çene cerrahisi bölümlerini kurmuştur. Hatta yarık damak ve yarık dudak gibi sorunların tedavisini de diş hekimliği içerisine almıştır. Kantorowicz on beş yıla yakın bir süre hizmet verdikten sonra Bonn Üniversitesine geri dönmüştür. Türkiye’de kaldığı dönem içerisinde bu anlattıklarımın dışında diş hekimlerine kurslar vererek eksiklerini kapatmalarına çalışmış, halka açık konferanslarla diş sağlığı konusunda bilgilendirme yapmış ve ilk diş hekimliği kitaplarını yazmıştır. Çevre ülkelerden birçok önemli kişi, (örneğin İran Şahı Pehlevi) ona tedavi olmak için Türkiye’ye gelmişti.
Kantorowicz aynı zamanda spora da düşkündü, özelikle kayağa çok meraklıydı. Kendisi gibi Almanya’dan gelen başka bilim insanlarıyla uygun bir kayak yeri ararken buldukları ve sürekli gittikleri bir dağ bugün Türkiye’nin en bilinen kayak merkezi durumundadır. Evet, Uludağ’ın da bu anlamda keşfi Kantorowicz ve arkadaşlarıyla olmuştur (Bu garip gelmesin, Manyas Kuş cennetini de yine aynı dönemde Türkiye’ye gelen Cosswig keşfetmişti).
Kantorowicz’in Türkiye’ye gelmesiyle ilgili bazı noktaların vurgulanması gerekmektedir. Birincisi genç Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin bir bilim insanını toplama kampından çıkartıp getirme konusundaki kararlılığı. Düşünsenize hiç uğraşmadan Ari ırktan bir bilimciyi de getirebilirlerdi ama en iyiyi getirmeyi, Türkiye’de bilimsel bir devrim gerçekleştirmeyi akıllarına koymuşlardı. Bu cumhuriyetin devrimci karakteridir. Toplama kampından çıkartılmasını ABD veya İskandinav ülkelerinin baskılarının sağladığı iddia edilse de, ne elde yeterince kanıt vardır ne de bu derece önemli bir insanın Türkiye gelmesi için baskı yapmalarını gerektirecek bir mantıklı açıklama. Kaldı ki Türk Hükümeti sonraki yıllarda Kantorowicz’in Yahudi olmayan bir Alman vatandaşı ile evlenmesine izin vermeyen Almanya ile yine karşı karşıya gelmiş ve bizzat başbakanın iki kez araması ile gerekli izin verilmiştir.
Evet, 82 yıl önce Alman bilim dünyası baskı altındaydı ve Türkiye bu sorunun çözümüne dinamik bir katkı sağlamıştı. Bugün ise Türkiye’de bilim dünyası baskı altındadır ve artık kendine de bir çıkış yolu bulmak zorundadır.
İzge Günal, Solhaber 6/4/2015
Reisman A. Nazizmden kaçanlar ve Atatürk’ün vizyonu. İş Bankası Yay., 2011 ; ve Şen F. Ayyıldız altında sürgün. Scurla raporu, Günizi Yay., 2008.
Turkey opened its doors, to more than a thousand German Jews citizens. Close to 800 of them were academics, people of culture and the arts, and politicians. Atatürk and the Republican administration encouraged these people to come to Turkey, and these scholars played a major part in the establishment of Turkish universities.
This was a very important decision made in the name of humanity. Istanbul University took a leap forward with the input of these scholars and became a truly scientific institution. Alfred Heilbron and Curt Kosswig established the first botanic institute and national park in Istanbul. Paul Hindemith reformed musical institutions. Professor Ernst E. Hirsch helped the establishment of the Istanbul Law School and the preparation of the Turkish Commercial Code. Professor Fritz Neumark played a part in the foundation of the Faculty of Economics and the education of a new generation of economists.
* * *
Einstein says about Atatürk to a Turkish scholar
"Do you know, you have the greatest leader"
Hitler döneminde 6milyon Yahudi mi öldürülmüş? Hayır...
Almanya'da 600bin Yahudi yaşıyordu, Rusya'da ise 6milyon açlık çekiyordu....Yalanlar, yalanlar, yalanlar...link
"Why hate the West the Turks"
Neumark, jewish prof escape from Hitler's tyranny to İstanbul.
Students ask him : "Europe does not love us, why?"
Neumark : " Quite frankly, for centuries the christians hatred to Turkish people, because you do not realize, but they are, if you remove the Turks, they have no history. If the Ottoman archives opens exactly, they must rewrite the history. Turkey was market for the Europeans, know they are. Seljuk Turks make Anatolia, Ottoman Turks make the Balkans grave to the Crusaders."...link
"Kan gruplarında R grubuna Türk grubu deniliyor. Ama Yahudilerin bulunduğu grup J grubunun ikinci alt kolu. Yani J2 grubu Yani Türk ırkı ile Yahudi ırkının yakın uzak alakası yok. Ama Yahudi grubuna Türk grubundan ya da ırkından kayış var. Birinci kayış, MÖ. 3000-2800'lü yıllarda yani Sümer çöküşü ile birlikte bugünkü Filistin'e, İsrail'e geçen R1b grubu ile başladı. Amerikalı beyefendi 'Yahudilerin atası Türk' diyorsa bu yanlıştır. Yahudilerin Aşkenaz grubu Türktür. Kesindir.
Bu gruplardan iki tanesi Filistin'e kaymış İsrail'e yerleşmişlerdir."
Yrd.Doç.Dr. Osman Çataloluk
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti'ne Yahudi Soykırım Suçlaması
24 Şubat 1942 Struma Faciası'nda Mossad Sorumluluğu
Türkiye'nin suçsuzluğunu kanıtlayan İngiliz Devlet Arşivinden Gizli Belgeler
And then, they call us racist. I'm sorry, who is the racist?
Who stolen and erased on purpose, the history and culture of the Turks...
And today they blame for everything the Turks....
The Turks are the enemy, erase them !...
Everybody knows Schindler's List film, but nobody knows, about the civilian Jews in Europe, who was rescued by the Turks, besides the scholars....
Turkey and Turks are still waiting for an APOLOGİZE, for the falsified allegations...
Ve sonrada bize ırkçı diyorlar. Özür dilerim ama, kim ırkçı?
Tarihimizi, kültürümüzü kasten çalıp silenler....
Ve bugün herşey için Türkleri suçluyorlar...
Türkler düşmandır, silin onları !...
Herkes Schindler's List filmini biliyor, ama kimse Türkler tarafından kurtarılan, akademi camiası dahil kurtarılan sivil Avrupa Yahudilerini bilmiyor...
Türkiye ve Türkler, bu sahte ithamlar için hala bir özür bekliyor
History's Blind Spot....