1938: The University of Vienna during Nazism

Prepared by the nationalistic, antisemitic and dictatorial Austrofascism, it does not take long for the University of Vienna to become a thoroughly national-socialist institution in 1938. Over 2700 mostly Jewish members of university (Students, researchers and organisational employees) are quickly expelled and displaced in 1938, with the help of many university members and lists prepared by the Deans’ offices. Over 40 % of students leave the University in 1938. Enrolment of Jewish students is forbidden and existing enrolments are annulled. Final exams can not be taken anymore, and the doctorates of many Jews are withdrawn. Many of the displaced have to leave not only the university, but Austria. Among them are Marianne Beth and Charlotte Bühler. Some are murdered – like Elise Richter who dies in the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1943.

Displacement, persecution and murder create a lack of personnel that enables careers at the university for ideologically conforming people. Many “Arian” women profit from Nazism, too. To prevent a lack of academics, women are actively recruited as students. Through this and the conscription of many male students, there are slightly more than 50 % female students at the University of Vienna for the first time.