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Heimatlos, Haymatloz, Uprooted

1 November 1933

On this day, classes began at Istanbul University. The teaching staff was predominantly German now. In Hitler’s Germany, scholars had lost their jobs because they were Jewish or otherwise undesired. Turkey, on the other hand, was craving for Western scholars and tutors for its universities. Under the leadership of Kemal Atatürk, a process of modernization had started in 1922 and all Turkish eyes were on the West. A drastic reorganization of the universities was part of the process.
Hundreds of German (and later Austrian) scholars made their way to Istanbul and Ankara after 1933. They included physicians, lawyers, and economists, but also musicians such as Paul Hindemith, who established a conservatory in Ankara.

Most Germans stayed until the Second World War was over. The sad word heimatlos was assimilated into the Turkish language as haymatloz, both meaning “uprooted”.