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About Kurt Baschwitz (1886-1968)

Kurt Baschwitz fled to Amsterdam immediately after Hitler had come to power, early 1933. He was nominated 'private lecturer' on the press in 1935, then still at the History Section of the Faculty for Literature and Philosophy. From 1936/ 1937 onward, he created a press nucleus at the newly founded International Institute of Social History. In 1940, the German occupier imposed his dismissal as a Jew. Upon Liberation, he was reinstated. In 1945 as a 'private lecturer' , in 1946 as an ordinary lecturer, in 1948 as professor. He retired in phases between 1957 and 1959.

Kurt Baschwitz, 1966


In 2017 dr. Jaap van Ginneken published his book: ‘Kurt Baschwitz – A Pioneer of Communication Studies and Social Psychology’ (AUP), followed in 2018 by the abbreviated Dutch version 'Kurt Baschwitz - Peetvader van journalistiek en communicatie' (AMB).

A year after publishing the book, an English (open access) pdf version of the biography has been made available.

ASCoR is very pleased that dr. van Ginneken is inspired to share notes and documents that were used in preparation of writing the biography here on this page, as they might also be useful for later researchers.


Here you can find the contents and introduction of the book:

Jaap van Ginneken_A Pioneer of Communication Studies and Social Psychology_chapter1


The following three documents are copies of Baschwitz’s Amsterdam civil status documents (courtesy Stadsarchief Amsterdam and colleague John Kleinen):

Baschwitz Civil Status, sheet 1 Baschwitz Civil Status, sheet 2 Baschwitz Civil Status, sheet 3


In the following three documents you can find notes on genealogy, chronology and a list of Baschwitz’ occupations and residences over the years:

Jaap van Ginneken- notes on genealogy Jaap van Ginneken- notes on chronology Jaap van Ginneken- key years, residences, occupations


There are also notes on the details of (the last editions of) two of his major books. The following documents are notes on the two editions of his book Der Massenwahn ('Mass Delusions') of 1923 and 1932:

Der Massenwahn- Abstracts 1932 Der Massenwahn- detailed contents 1923 Der Massenwahn- Sources Der Massenwahn- Events Der Massenwahn- Notions Der Massenwahn- Index Der Massenwahn- Summary Der Massenwahn- notes on WWI propaganda


Another one of his most interesting works was Du und die Masse (1938,1951), translated into Dutch as ‘Denkend mens en menigte’ (1945, 1951):

Jaap van Ginneken- notes on Du und die Masse