Moving from a recent collection on Werner Jaeger (Werner Jaeger: Wissenschaft, Bildung, Politik, ed. by C. Guthrie King and R. Lo Presti, Berlin 2017), this essay focuses on the thorny debate about Jaeger’s ambiguous relationship to the Nazis. In the 1920s, Jaeger, who had succeeded Wilamo - witz in the prestigious Berlin chair of Greek philology, worked energetically in order to revamp classical studies by theorizing a new form of humanism. His ideas on this so-called “Third Humanism” were later collected in his Paideia, a multi-volume work, the first part of which was published at the end of 1933. After Hitler’s rise to power, Jaeger had probably hoped to earn a role in the new national pedagogical programme and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to attach himself to the regime’s educational policy. The most strikingly compromising evidence of this rapprochement is his Die Erziehung des politischen Menschen und die Antike («The education of the political person and antiquity»), a short essay which appeared in the Nazi propaganda magazine «Volk im Werden», directed by Ernst Krieck, in the spring of 1933. An Italian translation of Die Erziehung is appended to the present essay.
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