The review of the historiographical essay


With 20+ inches of snow outside, and no sign of it letting up, and the kids busy playing and what not, there’s not much else to do but homework. 🙂

So I buckled down and wrote out the review to the essay this afternoon. It was actually a great exercise for learning what’s going on in the field, and will definitely benefit me on this paper. The article was about what makes Nazi science Nazi, or what’s the difference between the science done in Nazi Germany versus at other times in Germany, and even in other nations.

Volker Remmert describes three issues in the current (article was written in 2004, so pretty current) trends of writing about science in Nazi Germany. The first is that of organization. Historians like to discuss how the Nazis were or were not able to congeal a general policy and practice in regards to their science and technology. Current thinking, shows Remmert, is that the Nazis were very capable. He points to the many Allied agencies that swept into Germany post-WWII and took all of their scientists, engineers, research and projects. I’m most familiar with the United States’ Project Paperclip, and taking Wernher von Braun for their rocket development.

Second is about how Nazi science and technology practices, ideology, and policies were developed well before the National Socialists came to power. Some historians will contend even before World War I.

Lastly is the issue of Entgrenzung, or dealing with the issues of ethics and morality in scientific research, and whether scientists and researches knew their work was tested in inhumane conditions or not.

That’s my three pages in a nut shell.

I also found a few primary sources for the paper. Several books popped up on worldcat.org by doing a search for “wirtschaft AND tech*” and limiting the time frame to 1920-1940. What I really need is a bunch of popular magazines and newspaper articles that talk about science and technology in Weimar Germany. Particularly with some reader comments, would be nice.

Anywho, that’s were I stand on that.

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