Rejection of Israel-Jakob Schur PhD Dissertation at the University of Helsinki in 1937- The goal of the paper is to present antisemitism as the underlying reason for the rejection of Israel-Jakob Schur’s PhD dissertation at the University of Helsinki in 1937. The paper analyzes the different stages of the process and the ideological background and motives underpinning the rejection.
Schur’s antagonists were right-wing professors, some of whom sympathized with National Socialism and maintained contacts with eminent German antisemitic ideologues. The paper analyzes the rhetoric of the written statements, which contain ideas of Christian antisemitism as well as other anti-Jewish stances. Moreover, the paper demonstrates that Schur was regarded as an “alien element” in the Finnish academe, and the topic of his research – circumcision – was considered non-national from the perspective of Finnish science.