EnglishDeutsch

No trust for the perpetrators of genocide?

After the end of World War II, the American Rockefeller Foundation sent its staff to Germany among other destinations. Their task was to identify the projects and the particular individuals that needed support in order to consolidate democracy and peace in Germany and Europe. The US trustees’ decisions were guided by practical considerations but at the same time they were based on their assessment of their German partners’ personality and character.

The project scrutinizes those decision-making processes. What kind of information did the Rockefeller Foundation staff gather? Who did the trustees talk to and by which criteria did they rate their German partners?  How did the preceding violence influence the Germans’ credibility? In what way, in which periods of time and through which actions was it possible to earn international trust? What was the correlation between individual credibility and collective assessment? In order to answer these questions, the project discusses the interactions between German and American partners from the perspective of social network theories and tests the thesis that emotions are generated, secured and legitimized as well as eroded and obliterated within social networks.