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The fundamental idea of this book is to show – based on the example of Oswald Menghin, Minister of Education of the National Socialist Austrian “Anschluss”-government, and the networks surrounding him – how science and politics were interwoven in Austria in the first half of the 20th century and how the ideas and networks created in that milieu outlasted the alleged caesurae of this period and found continuation in post-war South America. As Menghin traversed an astonishing number of political upheavals and changes – time after time in exalted positions –, his biography may be considered as paradigmatic for the Age of Extremes.
The following aspects form the core interest of this book: (1) Menghin’s position in the political and scientific field, as well as the interconnection between these spheres. (2) The transnational entanglement between the two central areas of Menghin’s geographic spheres of action. (3) Continuities and changes both in Menghin’s biography and in a broader political and scientific context in Austria and Argentina. (4) Menghin’s scope of action and the extent of his responsibility for crucial and often dire developments in all these facets.
Robert Obermair, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
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