About the Department's History

Author: Prof. Dr. Nicole C. Karafyllis

Note: As the Technische Universität Braunschweig is engaged in critically reflecting on its role during the Nazi times, I decided to gather some facts we got to know about the philosophers employed at that time, and to make it transparent to the academic public, particularly to the present student generation. There is still more research to be done. I hope that other philosophy departments in Germany will follow.

However, the history of this department is much longer than the years 1933-1945 - and the fruitful outcomes should not be disguised. For example, it is worth emphasizing that the philosophy department at TU Braunschweig was, in 1965, one of the first in Germany to employ a female Chair: Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Ströker (see below). With her name ends this historical online journey of the department in the 1970s, as most of the information on her younger followers as professors is available on the internet in both German and English.

In 2015, two major publications on the Department's history were published, also commemorating its 90th anniversary of its existence. 

  • Nicole C. Karafyllis: Willy Moog (1888-1935): Ein Philosophenleben. Freiburg: Karl Alber (722 pp., publ. 22. Jan. 2015). A biography of Moog's turbulent life and and work, incl. list of his publications and lectures. This is the first book analyzing the reasons and causes for his suicide in 1935, thereby giving insights on the Nazi repressions.
  • Uwe Lammers: Sieben Leben. Wissenschaftlerbiographien an der kulturwissenschaftlichen Abteilung der Technischen Hochschule Braunschweig im Nationalsozialismus. Published 23. Jan. 2015, URL http://www.digibib.tu-bs.de/?docid=00058531 der Digitalen Bibliothek Braunschweig. Incl. biography chapters on the Braunschweig philosophers Karl Gronau and Willy Moog.

More works relevant for the university philosophy's history, particularly at the long forgotten "Institutes of Technology" (in German: Technische Hochschulen) follow in 2016:

  • Nicole C. Karafyllis: "Ein Braunschweiger kehrt zurück: Der Philosophieprofessor Willy Moog (1888-1935)", in: Braunschweig. Wiss. Gesellschaft (BWG) (Hg.): Jahrbuch 2015. Braunschweig: Cramer 2016 (im Druck) sowie
  • Nicole C. Karafyllis: Die Philosophen Herman Schmalenbach (1885-1950) und Willy Moog (1888-1935) und ihr Wirken an den Technischen Hochschulen in Hannover und Braunschweig. Mit einem Seitenblick auf Schmalenbachs Leibniz (1921). Hannover: Wehrhahn 2016 (im Druck). Hefte der Leibniz-Stiftungsprofessur.

The history of the department

In 1968 the Faculty of Humanities and Educational Sciences was founded, and the Technische Hochschule Braunschweig was renamed to: Technische Universität Braunschweig .