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New publication by Judith Syga-Dubois on Rockefellers’ philanthropy in Germany

New publication by Judith Syga-Dubois on Rockefellers’ philanthropy in Germany

Can social science research contribute to the solution of social problems? Convinced that it could, one of the foundations of the Rockefeller family set up in 1922 a large financial support program for the social sciences in the United States and several European countries, among them Germany. This reorientation of the funding policy of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial under its young director Beardsley Ruml led to the creation of a wide transatlantic network of scientific and interpersonal relations. The analysis of the place of the Weimar Republic and later of Nazi Germany in this European and worldwide exchange system shows the existence of a cooperative effort of the American and German partners. This joint effort included the selection of the German fellows, the organization of these fellows’ sojourn in the United States, Europe and Australia, as well as the planning of the reception of foreign fellows in Germany. The study also examines the relations between Rockefellerian philanthropy and German research centers, whether the latter were supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, such as the Institut fur Auswärtige Politik at Hamburg or the Institut für Sozial- und Staatswissenschaften at Heidelberg, or rather neglected by the Foundation, such as the Institut für Sozialforschung at Frankfurt on the Main. Comparing the archival material from the Rockefeller Archive Center to the voluminous personal papers of August Wilhelm Fehling, the German administrator of the programs, allows access to the histoire croisée of these exchanges and the resulting individual and collective experiences.

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