German-Jewish scholars in Turkish exile: from the Winter of Despair under Nazism to the Spring of Hope in Turkish academia

Ali Onder, Filiz Kunuroglu

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This paper documents the migration experiences of German-Jewish scholars who fled from the Nazi regime and sought refuge in Turkey in 1930s. Reflecting on the historical narratives originating from the memoirs of renowned scientists, their relatives, or their Turkish colleagues –e.g., a 1986 interview with renowned economist Fritz Neumark, memoirs of Klaus Eckstein --son of famous pediatrician and public health expert Albert Eckstein-- and narratives of colleagues of influential chemist Fritz Arndt, we analyze the dynamics of forced migration processes of German-Jewish scholars, which is a highly qualified and influential immigrant group, to scrutinize the factors affecting their psychosocial adaptation processes in Turkey. The method of qualitative document analysis is used and deductive approach is adopted. Results reveal that premigration expectations, perceived cultural distance, language, intergroup relations and children-related issues were the main themes affecting the adaptation of German-Jewish scholars. Results are discussed drawing on the acculturation theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
JournalMigration Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2023


  • skilled migration
  • acculturation theory
  • emigrant scientists
  • Nazi era
  • Jewish community
  • university reform

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