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Friedrich Katz

Essays zu Leben und Wirken eines transnationalen Historikers - Essays on the Life and Work of a Transnational Historian

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Edited By Martina Kaller, David Mayer and Berthold Molden

Die in diesem Band versammelten Essays sind dem Historiker und Lateinamerikanisten Friedrich Katz (1927-2010) gewidmet. Sie fußen auf einem Symposium, das im Herbst 2011 zu seinen Ehren in Wien abgehalten wurde, und vereinen unterschiedliche Perspektiven auf sein Leben und Werk. Friedrich Katz war einer der großen Sozialhistoriker zur lateinamerikanischen Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Seine Arbeiten zur Mexikanischen Revolution zählen zu den grundlegenden Werken über dieses Thema. Er verstand es, in quellenkritischer Tiefe die Besonderheiten Mexikos in die Weltgeschichte einzuschreiben. Andererseits verschlug eben diese Weltgeschichte ihn selbst als Kind von Wien über Berlin, Paris und New York nach Mexiko, nach 1945 wieder nach Wien und Ostberlin und schließlich nach Chicago.
The essays collected in this volume are dedicated to the historian and Latin Americanist Friedrich Katz (1927-2010). They are based on a symposium held in his honour in Vienna in the autumn of 2011 and bring together varying perspectives of his life and work. As one of the great social historians of our time, Friedrich Katz had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sources relevant to Latin America’s twentieth century history. His studies of the Mexican Revolution rank foremost among contributions to the field. More than anyone before he succeeded in relating the specifics of Mexico’s history to the broader processes of global history. That same global history impacted repeatedly on Katz’ own life: he was forced to leave Vienna as a child and moved with his family to Mexico, via Berlin, Paris and New York; he returned to Vienna after 1945 only to leave again for East Berlin before finally settling in Chicago.

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Friedrich Katz at the University of Vienna. From Excellence to Non-Existence Martina Kaller

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What were the roles played by Vienna and its university in the life of Friedrich Katz?1 As is well known, Katz was born in Vienna in 1927 and spent the first three years of his life here. Another biographical fact familiar to many is Katz’ return with his family to Vienna in the late 1940s and his subsequent graduation from the University of Vienna. The fact that he left Vienna again in 1956 did not mean that the ties that linked him to the city and even – if to an understandably lesser degree – to the University were cut for ever. On the contrary, Katz kept returning to Vienna in the decades that followed. He and his family left many traces here, which it will be the task of future research to document in detail. In what follows I will be attempting to give an overview of the role Vienna University played in Friedrich Katz’ life. In the University Archives three files deal with Friedrich Katz: 1. his enrolment form (the “Nationale”) for the years 1949–1954;2 2. the documentation of his doctoral viva voce;3 and 3. the master data sheet4 that tells us he was visiting professor at the Department of History in the summer term of 1981. In addition to this there are the minutes of a search committee (with two calls), whose task was to fill the “Chair of Non-European History, with particular attention to Latin America”, the only professorship at an Austrian university for...

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