Displacement and the post-war reconstruction of education: Displaced persons at the UNRRA University of Munich, 1945-1948

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Abstract

In the first years after the Second World War, Munich was home to a unique institution, the UNRRA University. Created by and for Europe's displaced persons, the university was defined as a new kind of educational institution, dedicated to the cause of reviving humanism and promoting internationalism. By virtue of their experiences of occupation, persecution and dislocation, the university argued, displaced persons were uniquely qualified to spearhead the post-war reconstruction of education and culture. This article traces the social and intellectual history of the UNRRA University. It examines the university's ideas on nationalism and internationalism, the reconstruction of higher education and the role of the intellectual in the post-war world. It argues that while much of the literature on displaced persons has focused on national communities, wartime and post-war displacement also gave rise to new transnational solidarities and imaginaries among the displaced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-195
Number of pages29
JournalContemporary European History
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History

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