Geography

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Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities

7. Postcard from Joseph Leitmann to his son, George, Dr Heike Jöns

Human geographers research the creation of scientific knowledge through transnational collaborations because of the significant economic and sociocultural impacts of new knowledge and technologies.

My interviews with US scientists have shown how Jewish academics who fled Nazi Europe as children have been pivotal for multiplying knowledge networks with German universities since 1945. Professor George Leitmann spent several months as a visiting researcher in West Germany during the 1980s. He encouraged transatlantic scientific collaborations although his Austrian-Jewish father could not emigrate with his family from Vienna to the USA in 1940 and was tragically killed by the Nazis. In his last postcard, George’s father Joseph wished him “the best in the future”. As a German-born academic, I am grateful to George Leitmann’s subsequent contributions to peace and science in Europe and the USA.

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