Arnold Brecht Papers, 1865-1974
- Brecht, Arnold, 1884-1977
- Correspondence in German and English with Otto Braun, Heinrich Bruning, Jürgen Fehling, Theodore Heuss, and others, 1933–1970; lectures, notes, and syllabi, 1934–1938; offprints; and manuscripts of published and unpublished works, 1950–1970. Brecht was a Prussian official who was dismissed after defying Hitler in the last free speech in the German parliament. He was a professor of political science, public finance, and international law at the New School for Social Research. His principal work was Political Theory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1959). This manuscript group was photocopied by the University Libraries with Brecht's permission before the originals were sent to the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz, Germany.
- 14.67 cubic ft.
- English and English German
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Arnold Brecht Papers, 1865-1974. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this collection is unrestricted.
The originals of the Papers are in the Bundesarchiv which should be contacted for permission to publish. The contact information is: Bundesarchiv, Koblenz, Germany (Bundesarchiv, Potsdamer Strasse 1, 56075 Koblenz, Germany or http://www.bundesarchiv.de/).
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
The Arnold Brecht Papers, 1865-1974, consist of 14.67 cu. ft. of materials and are primarily copies of original documents, letters and printed materials housed at the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz, Germany ( Bundesarchiv, Potsdamer Strasse 1, 56075 Koblenz, Germany or http://www.bundesarchiv.de/ ).
The collection is divided into six series: 1) Biographical and autobiographical materials, family documents, 1865-1974; 2) Correspondence, 1905-1976; 3) Writings of Arnold Brecht, 1904-1976; 4) Course and lecture notes, notes and clippings on various lecture topics, 1935-1963; 5) Writings by others, 1939-1974; and 6) Collections of materials (primarily clippings) on topics of interest. The writings of Brecht (Series 3) have been further divided into two Sub-series: 1) Full-length (book) publications, 1906-1974; and 2) Essayistic and literary writings, 1904-1976.
- Biographical / Historical:
Arnold Brecht was born in 1884 in Lübeck, Germany. After completing his university studies in Bonn, Berlin, Göttingen and Leipzig, he received his Doctor of Law degree from Leipzig in 1906. In 1910, Brecht's career turned to civil service. From 1910 to 1933, he served under seven Reich Chancellors and more than a dozen Reich and Prussian ministers, until he was formally dismissed from his position as acting state secretary by Hitler in 1933.
Upon the invitation of Alvin Johnson, Brecht emigrated to the U.S. in 1933 to become one of the initial members of the newly formed "University in Exile", the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of the New School for Social Research in New York City. Brecht remained on the Faculty of the New School until his retirement in 1954, after which he continued to lecture as an Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Jurisprudence until 1963.
In addition to his teaching and lecturing, Brecht was also called upon to advise the United States Military (OMGUS - Office of Military Government for Germany) in the rebuilding of Germany after World War II, as well as serving as an Expert to the Secretary of the Army, and a lecturer in the Army Specialized Training Programs at City College, Harvard and Haverford Colleges.
Arnold Brecht's publications, dating from his law school years, encompass the areas of civil law, international relations, political science and theory, and political, constitutional and administrative problems of his day. His best-known work, Political Theory. The Foundations of Twentieth Century Political Thought, has been reprinted several times as well as translated into German, Portuguese and Spanish. Brecht's rich and influential life and career are detailed in his memoirs, published first in German in two volumes (Aus nächster Nähe and Mit der Kraft des Geistes) in 1966 and 1967 respectively, and later condensed and released in an English edition under the title The Political Education of Arnold Brecht in 1970. Brecht died while on a visit to Germany on September 11, 1977.
Chronology of Events : 1884January 26, born in Lübeck, Germany; father Ernst Walther Brecht, mother Marie (Weishaupt) Brecht.1902Completed his Abitur from the Gymnasium, Lübeck1902-1905Attended universities in Bonn, Berlin, Göttingen and Leipzig.1905Studied in France.1905-1909In-service training in Hannover province and Berlin.1906Awarded Dr. juris utriusque from the University of Leipzig.1910Completed state examinations. Judge in Lübeck.1910-1917Counsellor to the Reich Ministries of Justice.1911-1913Secretary of the Governmental Commission for the Reform of the Penal Code.1914-1917Judge in Berlin.1918Counsellor to the Reich Ministry of Economics.1918-1921Counsellor to the Reich Chancellry; also Secretary of the Reich Cabinet1919Appointed Privy Counsellor.1921-1927Ministerial Director of the Reich Ministry of the Interior.1927Research on Public Administration in France and England.1927-1933Ministerial Director of the Prussian State Ministry and Finance Ministry. Representative of Prussia in German Reichsrat and rapporteur for federal budget. Vice-President of Reich Debt Commission. Member of the supervisory councils of the Reich Post Office and Federal Public Works. Lecturer in public law at the Hochschule für Politik. Vice-president, Institute for Economy, Public Administration.1928-1930Member, Reich Reform Commission.1932Leading representative and counsel for the Prussian government in procedure at Leipzig Supreme Court after the Papen coup.1933Emigrated to the U.S. to join the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, NY.1933-1963Professor of Political Science, Jurisprudence and Public Finance, Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research.1937, 1940Visiting lecturer on government at Harvard University, Spring terms.1942-1945Chairman of the Special Committee on Comparative Government, Public Administration Committee, Social Science Research Council.1943-1944Lecturer, Civil Affairs Training Schools, Harvard and Yale. Supervisor of the Army Specialized Training Program, German area, City College, NY; also lecturer at ASTP, Harvard, Bard, Haverford.1944Woodward lecturer, Yale University, Spring term.1945-1950Member, Research Council, Institute of World Affairs, New School for Social Research.1946Became U.S. citizen. Third Vice President, American Political Science Association and member of its Research Committee (1946- ).1948May -- Sept., Expert to Secretary of the Army and consultant to OMGUS.1952, 1954Guest professor at University of Heidelberg, Summer semester.1953Appointed ex post to Staatssekretär by the Bonn Government.1954Became Emeritus Professor at the New School, March 15.1959First publication of Political Theory. The Foundations of Twentieth Century Political Thought. Awarded Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.1960Received the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best political science work of 1959 (Political Theory).1964Awarded honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the New School for Social Research, upon the occasion of his 80th birthday.1970Jan. 26, awarded Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz mit Stern. June 24, death of Clara Brecht.1973Sept. 25, presented the New School Graduate Faculty Founders Medal.1974Jan. 26, celebrated his 90th birthday.1977Sept. 11, died in Eutin/Schleswig-Holstein, while on a visit to Germany.
- Acquisition information:
The originals of the Brecht Papers are located in the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz, Germany (Bundesarchiv, Potsdamer Strasse 1, 56075 Koblenz, Germany or http://www.bundesarchiv.de/). This manuscript group was photocopied by the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, with Brecht's permission before the originals were sent to the Bundesarchiv.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2006 by Sandra Hunt Hawrylchak, August 30, 2006.