521R. Harrod to A. D. Lindsay, [1] 7 February 1936 [a]

Harrod feels that a stand should be taken about the position of the German government about Heidelberg University, on the ground that there are 600 years of history at stakes. Although he first thought that the University of Oxford should not participate in the celebrations, Harrod now thinks that the University should conform to the Government foreign policy and seek contacts with the "real Germans that must be there despite appearances". He thus suggests that a representative of Oxford University should attend and pronounce a speech--"in the grand mannery and with supreme self-confidence"--in which the achievements of Heidelberg are first magnified, and then the nature of a University is stressed with authority. Harrod also suggests the rhetoric devices to formulate it. [2] Answered by letter 522 R.

  1. 1. Lindsay was approached as vice-chancellor of Oxford University.

    2. The letter is occasioned by the coming celebrations for the 550th anniversary of Heidelberg University. It would seem that it was harshly debated whether or not a representative of Oxford should attend the celebrations, as a protest for the Nazi University policy. One of the first objective the Nazis realized after winning the elections in 1933 was the "cleansing" of the German universities of Jewish students and teachers. By 1935 most Jewish teachers were dismissed (including Jacob Marschak, who moved to Oxford), and in 1936 were substituted by Nazi staff. For details on the case of Heidelberg see A. Carmon, "The Impact of the Nazi Racial Decrees on the University of Heidelberg", Yad Vashem Studies XI, 1976, pp. 131-63. On Marschak see H. Hagemann, "Jacob Marschak (1898-1977)", in R. Blomert, H. U. Esslinger and N. Giovannini, Heidelberg Sozial- und Staatswissenschaften. Das Institut für Sozial- and Staatswissenschaften zwischen 1918 und 1958, Marburg: Metropolis, 1977, pp. 238-40.

    The Hebdomadal Council deferred twice (on 3 and 10 February 1936) the decision as to whether or not to appoint a representative; then it was decided that Oxford should send an address but not a representative. Finally, Heidelberg University resolved the matter itself by withdrawing the invitation on 29 February (see Hebdomadal Council Papers, vol. 163, 17 January-24 March 1936, pp. xxx, xxxvii, xlv, and lxi: OUP HC1/1/163).

    1. a. From Christ Church # , ALS (presumably a draft copy), six pages, in HPBL Add. 71185/146-148.


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