"The present is full of the future and loaded with the past" Under the motto of this fitting Leibniz quotation, the 11th International Leibniz Congress was held in Hannover, hosted by the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Society, the Leibniz University of Hannover, and the Landesbibliothek of Lower Saxony. The Leibniz Society intends to progressively re-examine the history of its omnibus edition of Leibniz’s writings and letters, including the days of Nazi rule. In the section dedicated to this topic, MGH President Martina Hartmann held a lecture on the scholars – particularly the female scholars – who worked on the Leibniz edition during the Third Reich.
Drawing from her research for a book on the MGH scholars Ottokar and Hildegund Menzel that she published in April 2023, Martina Hartmann used the examples of Liselotte Richter and Hildegund Rogner (later Menzel) to highlight the difficult conditions facing women in the fields of science and scholarship during the Nazi dictatorship, most notably during the war years, and addressed the problems in the Leibniz edition at that time. Hartmann emphasised that a closer investigation of the staffing and financial conditions, work contracts, and scholars’ political connections would be of key importance for further progress in reappraising the history of large editorial enterprises such as the MGH and the Leibniz Edition.
Click here to read the PDF of Martina Hartmann's lecture: "Mitarbeiter der Leibniz-Ausgabe im Dritten Reich: Liselotte Richter (1906-1968), Ottokar (1912-1945) und Hildegund Menzel (1910-1945)", published in: Vorträge des XI. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses 2, edited by Wenchao Li, Charlotte Wahl, Sven Erdner, Bianca Carina Schwarze and Yue Dan (2023) pp. 102-114.