Inspired by this question, which asks for a list of students who were expelled from universities in Nazi Germany, I would be interested in knowing where I might be able to find more information about doctoral theses that were passed between 1933 and 1945 - specifically, those that dealt with racial science and other matters of a politically- or socially-charged nature.

Was there a noticeable increase in dissertations that dealt with the Jewish question during this period? Was there a marked rise in papers that looked at issues like Communism, the Trade Unions, homosexuality, criminality, disability, etc? I would very much like to know (assuming this sort of research has been done) by what percentage these sorts of studies increased, and whether or not (and by what percentage) they decreased again after '45.

I am specifically looking for doctoral theses, but studies that concern general academic literature during this period may be of interest too.

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    If I were going to tackle this question, I would pick a handful of universities, look there for lists of degrees awarded, and use substring searches for a range of keywords to try to identify topics. Dec 19, 2016 at 3:48
  • Not a bad idea, @AaronBrick - I was just hoping that somebody else might have already done it :)
    – Shimon bM
    Dec 19, 2016 at 7:45

1 Answer 1


You should start with the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.

The German National Library is entrusted with the task of collecting, permanently archiving, bibliographically classifying and making available to the general public all German and German-language publications from 1913, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works, and the works of German-speaking emigrants published abroad between 1933 and 1945.

This is not a "retroactive" collection - the mission to collect all published German works actually started in 1913. Even in Nazi Germany a copy of each dissertation would have to be delivered to the Nationalbibliothek, so they should have a fairly complete set. And they have an online catalogue, so you do not have to travel to Berlin (although our fair city is always worth a visit).

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    That's an outstanding resource - thank you very much!
    – Shimon bM
    Dec 19, 2016 at 23:51

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