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Authors: Hentschel, Klaus
Title: Bernhard Bavink (1879 - 1947) : der Weg eines Naturphilosophen vom deutschnationalen Sympathisanten der NS-Bewegung bis zum unbequemen Non-Konformisten
Issue Date: 1993 Zeitschriftenartikel Sudhoffs Archiv 77 (1993), S. 1-32
Abstract: Selected stages in the life and oeuvre of the natural philosopher Bemhard Bavink (1879-1947) are discussed in historical context with particular emphasis on scientiftc issues. Based on materials from the Berlin Document Center, and from his estate located in BielefeId, and supplemented by his unpublished autobiography written between 1941 and 1945 as well as by several of Bavink's papers;appearing in the journal Unsere Welt edited by him from 1920 on, and by certain passages in Bavink's books, this paper presents evidence of his courageous fight during the National Socialist (NS) regime in Germany for what he considered the untainted ,ethos of science' independent of nationality or religion. TItis is the more astonishing since before 1933, Bavink shared right-wing (Deutschnationale) politicaI opinions such as antisemitism with many of his colleagues (Fritz Ringer's Mandarins), and he only gradually realized that the new system, initially welcomed as the end of the unloved Weimar Republic, was much worse than expected. Special emphasis is given to the efforts of NS institutions to gain control over the maverick Bavink and to the reasons why they did not fully succeed in this. Extracts of letters by Planck, Joos, Finkelnburg and others demonstrate that Bavink had a vital role in the efforts of german physicists to resist the intrusion and spread of explicit anti-Semitism and NS racist ideology into their domain. It is illustrated here that it was quite possible to voice and to publish nonconformist opinions, contrary to the widespread view of lhis perlod as a time of drastic ,realignment' (Gleichschaltung) of all branches of public life to the doctrines of the German National Socialist Party (NSDAP). Because of his political ,unreliability' Bavink was prevented from getting a well-deserved chair for natural philosophy in Münster in 1941-43 and had to relinquish editorship of Unsere Welt in 1940, but neither he nor his family suffered any more drastic consequences.
Appears in Collections:15 Fakultätsübergreifend / Sonstige Einrichtung

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