Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2017

In Osteuropa 1-2/2017

"European Culture” and its “Eastern Borders”
Hans Heinrich Schaeder’s Thinking during the Third Reich

Dirk Schuster

Deutsche Fassung


Hans Heinrich Schaeder is considered an important Iranist and historian of religion. For reasons of opportunism, careerism, and anti-Semitic resentment, he used the chance afforded him after the National Socialists seized power in Germany: he combined his historical and philological knowledge with National-Socialist racial ideology. Drawing on the superiority of “Aryanism” he derived from this merger, Schaeder tried to redefine the “Eastern Borders” of “European Culture”. In his concept, Armenians and Persians became integral elements of European culture and history, while Jews and “Semites” were excluded. In academia, publishing, and politics, he put himself at the service of the National-Socialist regime. In his own view, this served the struggle against Communism and the West’s social system. After the war, a de-Nazification commission concluded that there existed no reservations concerning his employment at Göttingen University.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2017, pp. 121–130)