The origins of Ugaritic studies in Germany and their relations with Nazism

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Abstract

This article analyses the relationship between the origins of Ugaritic studies and the rise of Nazism in Germany. In order to do this, we study those scholars related to Ugaritic studies and their links with the Nazi regime: victims (Albrecht Goetze, Franz Rosenthal), opponents (Kurt Galling) and collaborators ( Johannes Hempel, Anton Jirku). From a strictly academic point of view, the impact of Nazism on Ugaritic studies in Germany was very negative. Goetze went into exile and developed his academic career in the United States, starting there an important school of Ugaritic studies, with Marvin H. Pope and Jonas C. Greenfield as disciples. Moreover, Hempel and Jirku, due to their collaboration with the Nazi regime, were after the War removed from their universities, thus preventing them from creating their own schools on this field. It was not them but other scholars (Otto Eissfeldt, Johannes Friedrich, Albrecht Alt, Otto Rössler and Rolf Rendtorff) who developed Ugaritic studies in Germany.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-257
JournalRivista degli Studi Orientali
Volume87
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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