Federal Foreign Office supports persecuted researchers

29.10.2015 - Press release

In collaboration with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and others, the Federal Foreign Office is launching a new programme called the Philipp Schwartz Initiative.

It will serve to support researchers who are threatened by war and persecution in their own countries and seek sanctuary in Germany. German universities and research institutes are to be provided with the means to host foreign researchers for up to three years and thereby enable them to continue their work.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on the matter in Berlin today (29 October):

The idea is to open doors for people in need and also to give back some of what other countries did in decades past to help German researchers. Researchers are crucial to reconstruction and their countries’ future. We want to play our part in ensuring that the affected countries do not lose the valuable knowledge of an entire generation of researchers.

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative is named after Jewish pathologist Philipp Schwartz, who himself had to flee Germany to escape the Nazis in 1933 and founded the Emergency Society of German Scholars Abroad.

The programme will be presented tomorrow (30 October) as part of the conference Persecuted Researchers – What Germany Can Do convening representatives of research and business at the dbb forum in Berlin.

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