Traugott Fuchs Archive Project
Traugott Fuchs Archive Project
Traugott Fuchs, philologist, painter, poet, teacher, musician, well known in Istanbul as a remarkable member of the group of German scholars who fled from Germany after the Nazis came to power, arrived in Turkey in1934 at the age of 28, as Leo Spitzer’s promising young assistant in Romanistic studies and remained here until his death in 1997. Apart from being the first person to initiate Germanistic studies at Istanbul University “an appointment proposed and arranged by Erich Auerbach” he also taught for many years at Robert College and Bogazici University ( the former being an American institution of higher learning which later changed into a Turkish university known as Bogazici University), until his voluntary retirement at the age of 76, but kept in touch with his students and colleagues who continued to benefit from his learning and intellectual brilliance till the end.
Although he chose to stay in Turkey even after most of his colleagues returned home or left for America, he corresponded with them and their families throughout his life. Indeed, his collection of letters (now in the custody of Bogazici University), testify to his unwavering attachment to the group of emigres with whom he had shared the same fate. He was, as it were, a pivotal figure around which a network became established through correspondence and exchange of ideas - a network that streches from Spitzer, Ritter and Auerbach to Adorno, Hesse, and Panofsky, persons who did not necessarily share the same convictions, but who were all involved in trying to find answers to the perplexing questions of a world torn apart and threatened by strife, whilst adapting to alien cultural and religious environments.
In 2006 under the guidance of Prof. Selçuk Esenbel as project director, the History Department has undertaken the project of archiving Fuchs’ collection of documents and making it accessible to the general public. Now called “Traugott Fuchs Cultural and Historical Heritage Archive,“ the collection comprises not only Traugott Fuchs’ correspondences from 1934 until his death (more than 5000 letters), but also his translations , unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes , poems, musical compositions, and an impressive corpus of drawings, sketches, and paintings of artistic as well as sociological significance.
The significant collaborators of the project are Professor Suheyla Artemel of Yeditepe and Bogazici University, and the Fuchs family heirs whose great efforts as preserving the Fuchs material, conduct academic research, organize exhibitions and workshops, over the years have made it possible to make the material available for researchers in Turkey and abroad in an archive center in Bogazici University where Fuchs spent most of his life in Turkey. The project members hope that the material will contribute to the field of the history of German emigre, “Haimatlos” diaspora intellectuals who have played a remarkable role in transnational intellectual history during and after World War II.
For further information, please contact the Traugott Fuchs Cultural and Historical Archive:
Traugott Fuchs Cultural and Historical Archive,
Fenerli Türbe Sokak 4
Rumeli Hisar 34342 Istanbul, Türkiye
(0090) 212 359 6638
lale.babaoglu (Dr. Lale Babaoglu)
Web Address: www.fuchs.boun.edu.tr