Indology During National Socialist Times - A German Perspective


The history of German Indology during NS times has been part of many historical narratives, mostly because it seemed obvious to trace the Nazi idea of an Aryan race back to German Indologists. But the approach had its drawbacks: the focus was on two German Indologists with NS leanings, while the history of others and especially Jewish Indologists in Germany was never studied. It has also proved quite detrimental that the discussion of these topics has often been caught in the political crossfire. All this seemed to leave not enough space for carving out a way in which German Indologists might live with their past. In this talk Jürgen Hanneder shall try to formulate such a perspective and demonstrate that if we look more closely and use more of the rich archival sources, a differentiated picture emerges.

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hanneder has studied Indology, Tibetology and Comparative Religion in various German Universities, then continued in Oxford and Marburg with his PhD, and worked as an assistant professor and in academic projects in Bonn, Halle, and Freiburg. In 2007, he succeeded to the chair of Indology in Marburg in 2007. His main fields of research lie within the Sanskrit literature of Kashmir, which is also a focus of many Indological projects in Marburg, but he is also interested in the history of Indology.

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