Emergency community of German science

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The Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft ( NDW ) is the predecessor organization of the German Research Foundation (DFG).


The community was founded on October 30, 1920 at the suggestion of the five German science academies, namely with the participation of the chemist and Nobel Prize winner Fritz Haber and the former Prussian Minister of Education, Friedrich Schmidt-Ott , who became its first president. During the founding period, because of the increase in the costs of science and inflation, it was about the "remedy [..] of the extreme emergency of science". Those members who had a steady income gave up part of their salary in order to enable researchers who did not have sufficient income - especially private lecturers - to do research.

Other well-known scientists from the Prussian Academy of Sciences who were committed to the emergency community were Adolf von Harnack , Max Planck and Hermann Diels . The emergency community was intended as a general representation of German science in order to “direct the funds to be made available into those channels and to the places where they could achieve the greatest benefit in the interests of the community as a whole”.

Compared to this developing self-governing organization of science, which also included the technical sciences that were not yet represented in the academies and, unlike these, was not mainly organized regionally, the academies, as organizers of research, fell on the defensive. The emergency community developed from a provisional arrangement into a permanent institution. In 1929 the name was changed to German Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Research , or Research Foundation for short. Politically, she was always loyal to the state leadership. In 1934 she was the National Socialist government into line .

After the Second World War, the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft was re-established in 1949. On August 2, 1951, the Notgemeinschaft and the German Research Council merged to form the German Research Foundation (DFG).


The society was headed by a four to five-member executive committee. The next most important body was the main committee with eleven members. Technical committees were groups of specialized reviewers from a wider field. Members of the technical committees , e.g. B. of the Expert Committee Ancient and Oriental Philologies , were appointed by the Presidium in agreement with the Main Committee.

Organizations with a similar name

It should not be confused with two organizations in exile: the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft, Kunst und Literatur Abroad , which Magnus Hirschfeld , Mynona and Anselm Ruest founded in Paris in 1934, as well as the Notgemeinschaft Deutscher Wissenschaft im Abroad , founded in Zurich in April 1933 by the exiled neuropathologist Philipp Schwartz (1894–1977) and provided around 2,000 scientists who were unpopular with the Nazis with new jobs abroad, including 300 academics in Turkey alone . The latter organization moved to London in 1935, where it worked closely with the Academic Assistance Council .


  • Ulrich Marsch: Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft. Founding and early history 1920–1925 , series: Münchner Studien zur neueer und neue Geschichte, Vol. 10 , Lang Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-631-47477-6
  • Peter Nözoldt: Strategies of the German Science Academies . In: Wolfram Fischer et al. (Ed.): The Prussian Academy of Sciences 1914–1945 (= Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. Research reports. Vol. 8). Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-05-003327-4 , pp. 237-277.
  • Sören Flachowsky: From the emergency community to the Reich Research Council. Science policy in the context of autarky, armament and war (= studies on the history of the German Research Foundation. Vol. 3). Steiner, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-515-09025-4 (also: Berlin, Humboldt-Univ., Diss., 2005).
  • Kurt Zierold : Research Funding in Three Epochs. History, way of working, commentary. Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden 1968.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Nözoldt: strategies of German science academies. 2000, p. 238ff.
  2. Peter Nözoldt: strategies of German science academies. 2000, p. 244.
  3. Eckart Mensching: . Nugae philology-history IV About U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, W. Kranz, W. Jaeger and others. Univ.-Bibliothek der Techn. Univ., Dept. Publ. 1991, ISBN 3-7983-1393-8
  4. Otto Winkelmann: "Refuse for reasons of age". The pathologist Philipp Schwartz (1894–1977) and the Frankfurt Medical Faculty ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 133 kB). In: Hessisches Ärzteblatt. 12, 2005, ISSN  0171-9661 , pp. 862-863.
  5. Werner Röder, Herbert A. Strauss (Ed.): Biographisches Handbuch der Deutschensprachigen Emigration nach 1933. = International biographical dictionary of Central European emigrés 1933–1945. Volume 2: Hannah Caplan (Ed.): The arts, sciences, and literature. Part 2: L - Z. Saur, Munich et al. 1983, ISBN 3-598-10089-2 , p. 1304.