Various Items (english)

Under scrutiny: Helmut Zander and a Berlin History Faculty

The book Anthroposophie in Deutschland bears the characteristics of a political broadside by means of which the opponents – in this case Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy – are to be slandered. In order to accomplish this, the author employs various methods and “stratagems” such as, for example, de- contextualising quotations and thus changing their meaning, excluding facts or bringing unsubstantiated claims. Does this only concern a dissenter freely expressing his opinion? Perhaps there is more to it: If it is true that Zander qualified as a university lecturer on the basis of this treatise* then he would not stand alone when under public scrutiny—but also together with all the experts (that are needed in the course of a habilitation) and the faculty members involved, i.e. the “crème de la crème” of the research community. In this case, the question would be: Is it possible that someone who presents a dissertation which so flagrantly disregards research criteria, nevertheless successfully clears all the academic hurdles and attains a university teaching qualification?

Dr. Jutta Schwarz, Zürich


* Ed. comment: The following statement is found in the epilogue of Zander’s book, pg. 1717: “Rüdiger von Bruch, historian at Humboldt University, Berlin, undertook the risk of assuming responsibility for part of this work as fulfilment of a postdoctoral thesis.” Zander does not indicate which part.