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The perils of professionalism: lawyers, teachers, and engineers in Nazi Germany

The perils of professionalism
Gefahren des Professionalismus: Anwälte, Lehrer und Ingenieure im Dritten Reich
[journal article]

Jarausch, Konrad H.

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Abstract "The contradiction between the professions' progressive self-representation and their self-seeking opportunism was especially disastrous in their collaboration with National Socialism. As a result of the overcrowding and unemployment in the late Weimar Republic, many well educated Germans lent a willing ear to the radical propaganda of NS-affiliates which clamored for the exclusion of Jews, Leftists and women. While young, male, Aryan university graduates profited from the Nazi seizure of power, their hopes for a re-professionalization were quickly dashed by the loss of autonomy and ideological indoctrination in favor of race, war and empire. Many professionals therefore experienced the Third Reich as a severe de-professionalization by decreasing their number, weakening their training, abolishing their organizational freedom and involving them in atrocities. On the basis of the German example, the article therefore tries to warn against the consequences of ignoring the ethical foundations of liberal professionalism." (author's abstract)
Keywords Third Reich; teacher; physician; engineer; lawyer; collaboration; Nazism; professionalization; academic; historical analysis; bringing into line; Weltanschauung; university teacher; SA (Third Reich); ideology; National Socialist German Workers' Party; Prussia; Jew; ethics; conflict; membership
Classification Social History, Historical Social Research; University Education; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method empirical; quantitative empirical; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 157-183
Journal Historical Social Research, Supplement (2012) 24
Issue topic Contemporary history as transatlantic project: the German problem 1960-2010
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works