History of Education and Science, Migration History

PD Dr. Kirsten Heinsohn

The project aims at making a contribution concerning two historical complexes: On the one hand, the research focuses on the self-description and self-image of a female Jewish scholar in the field of tension between life in Germany, forced emigration, and professional success in the country of exile. The second topic constitutes the connection between the experiences and the resulting interpretation of the times. Eva Reichmann devoted her entire academic work after emigration directly to the contemporaneous interpretation of the times. She directly addressed the challenge of contemporary history based on contemporary witnesses. In her work as head of the research department of the Wiener Library, she was responsible for the collection and archiving of eyewitness accounts as well as the evaluation of the Nuremberg trial files. Thus, her academic work could not possibly fail to miss contemporary history at all – it was rather a part of it. As a sociologist, historian and Jew, she problematized in her contributions, too, her own being bound in the respective present and developed from that a legitimation for the emerging discipline of contemporary history. With her life and work, Eva Reichmann stands for the beginning of contemporary history research after 1945, in the development of which she participated as a contemporary witness in a twofold way: as a scholar and as a victim of persecution.

PD Dr. Kirsten Heinsohn
E-mail: heinsohn@zeitgeschichte-hamburg.de