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The Weimar CenturyGerman Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War$
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Udi Greenberg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159331

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159331.001.0001

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The Search for “Responsible Elites”

The Search for “Responsible Elites”

Carl J. Friedrich and the Reform of Higher Education

(p.25) Chapter I The Search for “Responsible Elites”
The Weimar Century

Udi Greenberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the theories of Carl J. Friedrich. When U.S. forces arrived in Germany in 1945, part of their mission was to reshape German culture by implementing democratic curricula, research projects, and international student-exchange programs in German higher education institutions that had been thoroughly Nazified. However, the educational revolution brought by the U.S. occupation was not merely an American response to war. Rather, the massive reorganization of German higher education also resurrected intellectual programs, educational institutions, and international networks from the 1920s. The best embodiment of this continuation was the Calvinist political theorist Carl J. Friedrich. As a young intellectual in Heidelberg, Friedrich developed a highly idiosyncratic and pro-democratic theory of religion and politics. As part of his attempt to mobilize German Protestants in support of the Weimar Republic, he argued that democracy emerged from German Protestant Christianity, and specifically German Calvinism. Germany therefore had to join a democratic alliance with other Protestant republics, especially the United States.

Keywords:   Carl J. Friedrich, German universities, Germany, Calvinists, political theorists, German Protestants, German Calvinism

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