Advanced Search Filters

In addition to or instead of a keyword search, use one or more of the following filters when you search.

Skip to main content
Bookmark this Item

Petition of Hermann Budzislawski

Universitätsarchiv Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

The Holocaust devastated the Jewish population of Germany.1 Very few survivors chose to return after 1945. However, a few well-known Jewish academics and intellectuals came back to their former homes. Once in Germany, they began applying for reparations to recover the personal and professional losses they suffered under the Nazi regime. Often they were forced to negotiate with the same authorities who had been responsible for their displacement or deportation during the Nazi period.

The featured source documents Hermann Budzislawski's successful application to have his doctoral degree restored to him by the University of Tübingen. After his degree was stripped for political reasons, Budzislawski—a German Jewish journalist with communist sympathies—immigrated to Switzerland and then to the United States. Budzislawski was among approximately 2,000 Germans who lost their doctorates as a result of a 1935 law, which also denied émigrés their citizenship.2 Like many reforms pursued in German universities in the Nazi period, the initial push for the law came from the pro-Nazi student council, which argued that anyone without German citizenship was not worthy of a German doctorate. By removing their academic qualifications, the Nazi regime purged many scholars from the global academic community, reaching well beyond the borders of Nazi Germany. 

Following the war, Budzislawski began to fear anticommunist sentiment in the United States and began to prepare for his return to Germany. In 1947, he applied from New York for the restoration of his doctorate. In 1948, he immigrated to East Germany and took up a professorship in journalism at Leipzig University. "Fifteen years of murder lie between us and Germany," Budzislawski wrote in an essay reflecting on his return home.3 As Budzislawski's grandson relates, his grandfather "had a very difficult relationship" with postwar Germany, where antisemitism persisted in both the East and West.4

See the USHMM Holocaust Encyclopedia for general statistics on Jewish populations in Europe before 1933 and after 1945.

For on the 1935 race laws in Nazi Germany, see the USHMM Holocaust Encyclopedia.

Hermann Budzislawski, "Heimkehr," in Ost und West: Beiträge zur kulturellen und politischen Fragen der Zeit, vol. 10 (Oct. 1948): 25–45, 43.

Robin Ostow and Thomas Eckert, "Being Jewish in the Other Germany: An Interview with Thomas Eckert," New German Critique, no. 38 (1986): 73–87, 74; on Jewish Communists in East Germany, see Karin Hartewig, Zurückgekehrt: die Geschichte der jüdischen Kommunisten in der DDR (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2000).

Close Window Expand Source Viewer

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: .


State Secretariat                                                                                                          Tübingen
for the French-Occupied Territory                                                                               47 Nauklerstrasse
of Württemberg and Hohenzollern                                                                              September 17, 1947


Regional Directorate for Culture, TH No. 1002
Education, and Art


of Württemberg-Hohenzollern
The Minister of Education and Culture


To the
Academic Rectorate

Re.: Withdrawal of doctoral degree for political reasons during the Third Reich

In connection with the resolution approved by the assembled minister-presidents [of German states] in Munich concerning the return of emigrants, the following case has been submitted to me:

Dr. Hermann Budzislawski was the holder of a doctoral degree in political science awarded by the University of Tübingen. He emigrated in March 1933 and was then the editor of the Neue Weltbühne in Prague and Paris. Therefore he was stripped of, among other things, the title of doctor of political science, University of Tübingen. I ask, by way of reparations, that the academic degree of a doctor of political science, or the academic degree held by Dr. Hermann Budzislawski until 1933, be restored to him.=

In this connection, I point out that measures of that kind, which were taken under the Third Reich, must be revoked across the board. I expect a decision by the Senate of the University that will rectify other similar cases.



Dr. Sauer 

Archival Information for This Item

Source (Credit)
Universitätsarchiv Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Accession Number UAT 117/288 Nr. 1
Date Created
September 27, 1947
Author / Creator
Dr. Sauer
Reference Location
Tübingen, Germany
Document Type Letter
How to Cite Museum Materials

Thank You for Supporting Our Work

We would like to thank The Alexander Grass Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for Experiencing History. View the list of all donors and contributors.


Learn more about sources for your classroom