Milena Jesenská Visiting Fellow
(January – March 2010)
The „Handwoerterbuch des Grenzund Auslandsdeutschtums“ (1933) and Academic Collaboration
I want to analyze the ideological ramifications of a publishing project during the Third Reich named “Handwörterbuch des Grenz- und Auslandsdeutschtums”. My research focuses on the role of my father, Dr. Paul H. Ruth, in this venture which started in the 30s and continued until 1944. Seen from an after-war perspective, it is obvious that the German expansion eastwards, can be seen in relation to this series of scholarly books (which was left unfinished). On the surface, the “Handwörterbuch” has ambitions of being more than mere propaganda. Articles are well researched and scholarly, and yet very much part of an ideological agenda. This throws light on the role of intellectuals in a dictatorship, then as well as today.