The Impact of the Nazi Racial Decrees on the University of Heidelberg: A Case Study
Between 1933 and 1935, the Nazis cleansed universities of Jewish students and faculty. Overall, about a quarter of the faculty of Heidelberg University was dismissed and the student body decreased in size. Faculty appointments were based on racial lines and not academic achievements. However, doctoral examination committees sometimes retained Jews for the sake of the students’ welfare. Jewish students were denied the right to take examinations. The student body had displayed racial policies since the turn of the century. Non-Aryans and communists were expelled from centers of higher education and the numerus clausus was adopted. In 1933 Jewish and Marxist books were burned. Heidelberg University readily accepted the Nazi decrees regarding antisemitism.