Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dorothy E. Finnegan


The purpose of this historical study was to evaluate the consequences that the politically-determined conventions of academic freedom in Germany and in the United States had on the careers of four elite scientists before and after their emigration resulting from the threats of Nazism. This problem consisted of three distinct conceptual parts: (1) academic freedom, as a concept, (2) the political conventions of academic freedom within pre-World War II Germany and within pre- and World War II America, and (3) the effect that these definitions had on the careers of Albert Einstein, James Franck, Otto Meyerhof, and Otto Stern. The methodology that best suited this evaluation was the historical case study.;In Germany, I followed academic freedom's evolution beginning with Humboldt's work at the University of Berlin, continuing through to the Weimar Republic, and concluding with the National Socialists. In the United States, I traced academic freedom's development from its classically-based roots, moving through the entrance of the German model, and closing with the impact of the American Association of University Professors.;Incumbent in this discussion was the effects that German nationalism, National Socialism, the Great Depression, communism, and anti-semitism had upon the evolution of academic freedom. I concluded that the nature and development of academic freedom was formed and directed by the constructs of and the constraints upon intellectual liberty. its politically-determined conventions influenced, both positively and negatively, the careers of four particular scientists.;More in-depth study is necessary to further evaluate the relationship between various governing bodies and the academic freedom of the Jewish professoriate. Additionally, insight into the degree and manner of influence of university presidents upon the careers of faculty is also needed.



© The Author