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Secret Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort

General Programming

dateOctober 22, 2013 timeTuesday, 6:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
Cover of Secret Reports on Nazi Germany, edited by Raffaele Laudani with a foreword by Raymond Geuss

During the Second World War, three prominent members of the Frankfurt School--Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, and Otto Kirchheimer--worked as intelligence analysts for the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime forerunner of the CIA. Secret Reports on Nazi Germany brings together their most important intelligence reports on Nazi Germany, most of them published for the first time.

These reports provide a fresh perspective on Hitler's regime and the Second World War, and a fascinating window on Frankfurt School critical theory. They develop a detailed analysis of Nazism as a social and economic system and the role of anti-Semitism in Nazism, as well as a coherent plan for the reconstruction of postwar Germany as a democratic political system with a socialist economy. These reports played a significant role in the development of postwar Allied policy, including denazification and the preparation of the Nuremberg Trials. They also reveal how wartime intelligence analysis shaped the intellectual agendas of these three important German-Jewish scholars who fled Nazi persecution prior to the war.

Editor of the volume, Raffaele Laudani, will be in conversation with Nadia Urbinati, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies at Columbia University, Jean Cohen, Nell and Herbert M Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization in the Core Curriculum at Columbia University, and Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University.

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited and first-come, first-served.

  • Raffaele Laudani Researcher in the Department of History Culture Civilization University of Bologna
  • Nadia Urbinati Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies Columbia University
  • Jean Cohen Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Political Theory and Contemporary Civilization Columbia University
  • Ira Katznelson Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History Columbia University
  • Axel Honneth Jack C. Weinstein Professor for the Humanities Columbia University