Die Heidelberger Universität auf dem Weg in das „Dritte Reich“
Arnold Paul Ruge, Philipp Lenard – Emil Julius Gumbel
“Fellow students – the wind of pestilence that is the Jewish Rule is blowing against you!” – These words formed the headline of a leaflet published in 1920, penned by the Heidelberg lecturer Arnold Ruge. Ruge, as well as Philipp Lenard, Heidelberg University's first winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, are exemplary of a not insignificant circle of academic “fire-starters”, who already in the early years of the Weimar Republic unleashed a storm of antisemitism. One of the victims of this persecution, which was widely received amongst Heidelberg students of the time and supported by both Lenard and Ruge, was Emil Julius Gumbel. The hounding of Gumbel, which was organised by the National Socialist German Students' League, resulted in in the withdrawal of his venia legendi. Gumbel was prominently featured on a list of thirty-four Germans who were “expatriated” on August 23, 1933. Against the backdrop of these events, the impact of which was felt far beyond Heidelberg, this work illustrates the path of the Ruperto Carola into the catastrophe which was the Third Reich.
Klaus-Peter Schroeder is professor for History of German Law at the University Heidelberg.