Although Adolf Hitler was the undisputed leader of the Nazi Party, there were constant rivalries and conflicts within the regime's leadership.1 Disagreements among officials and various administrative offices often affected Nazi higher education policy. Alfred Rosenberg was the upper-level party official who played the most active role in reforming higher education. Rosenberg gained control over the Reich Surveillance Office in 1934, and he often clashed with the Ministry of Education in his attempts to expand his influence into universities.
The featured source documents a portion of Rosenberg's most ambitious plan—the creation of a research institute known as the Advanced School of the Nazi Party. This decree from Hitler, issued in January 1940, declared the school the "central site for National Socialist research, teaching and education." The attached budget describes which academic subjects were of the greatest importance for the training academy, focusing on antisemitism, Germanic studies, folklore, ancient history, and the natural sciences. Rosenberg's original plan called for the establishment of ten research institutions across Germany, but due to funding shortages during the war, only the Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question officially opened.2
Establishing the institute enabled Rosenberg to reform the German university system in the interests of Nazi ideology. By establishing independent institutions,3 Rosenberg and other ambitious politicians could generate loyalty among scholars and exercise some control over their research and teaching. Such research institutes produced some of the most poorly grounded scholarship of the period, often conducted to suit the specific interests of the leaders overseeing the institutions.4