Professors at Humboldt University in Berlin, 1946–1990

Breitsprecher, Ulrike

One theory in historical research characterizes the lecturers of the universities and academies in the GDR as politically loyal to the Communist regime and, therefore, scientifically less professional than their counterparts in the West. While for the first two decades of the existence of the GDR sharp conflicts between the old professionals and the new academic generation are described in many details, research on the history of East-German universities during the 1970s and 1980s is still lacking. Up to the present, only a few faculties have been examined and biographical approaches dominate so far. For that reason, it is impossible to state assured knowledge about university lecturers in the GDR. The dissertation project by Ulrike Breitsprecher concentrates on one university, the Humboldt University of Berlin, since an exceptional corpus of data is available and will allow for investigation of the social composition and the cultural background of professors over the two to three decades before the Berlin Wall came down. The main hypothesis is that since the 1970s a new type of socialist lecturer had developed and started to dominate the East-German system of higher education. The project is supervised by Matthias Middell and will continue in 2011.