Gerhard Hirschfeld, born in Plettenberg, Germany, in 1946. Ph.D. from Universität Düsseldorf. Professor of History at Universität Stuttgart and Director of the Bibliothek für Zeitgeschichte, Stuttgart.
Fellow (1 September 1996 – 30 June 1997)
My work at NIAS took a slightly different course than I had previously anticipated. After finishing two major articles (on the Leiden University under Nazi occupation, and on the Netherlands during the First World War) I then wrote a couple of other articles and essays (on the former Secretaris-Generaal Hans-Max Hirschfeld and on the view taken by the Dutch public of the occupation and the Second World War) which originally I had intended to write at a later stage.
Despite this additional workload, I also managed to complete two important chapters of my study on German academic refugees in Britain after 1933. Notably some of the articles have gained considerably from my stay at NIAS where I was able to re-think and re-address some of the issues and underlying ideas. I also profited from the library facilities which gave me (via the inter-library loan system) access to some books and articles which I had difficulties in obtaining before. Exchanging views with colleagues at neighbouring universities and research institutes (RIOD, DIA) and discussing some of my research topics with Dutch students proved to be an additional asset.
By giving a number (ten) of public lectures and papers to seminars and conferences (in the Netherlands and abroad) I participated in some of the on-going intellectual discourses in the field of contemporary history. All in all, NIAS 1996/97 has created and provided an intellectual environment for me from which I have drawn considerable benefit, and, in addition, has offered me a memorable experience of academic freedom and realisation for which I am grateful.