Concerning misquotation, Evans writes that there is no evidence "to back Pinto-Duschinsky's assertion that by moving currency between different countries —surely normal practice for an international businessman — Toepfer was aiding the Nazi regime."
This is not what I wrote nor does it capture the point made in Standpoint. Under Hitler, Toepfer used his and his brother's access to international sources of money partly for personal enrichment and partly for the benefit of the Nazi regime. It was their sources of money outside the Reich which were needed to make payments to grantees and prizewinners outside Germany. The problems of gaining permission to export money from the Reich for these purposes feature prominently in the archives relating to his foundations (including a letter in the archives of Oxford's Taylorian Institute written by Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht).
If it is accepted that Evans and others have been unduly protective of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, the reasons and implications of this need to be discussed. Concerning Evans himself, there are several possible explanations of his stance. In my experience, scholars genuinely underestimate the effects of personal connections and interests on their interpretations. Evans finds it hard to accept that he may be affected today by the fact that he benefited from a Toepfer scholarship some 40 years ago. He had won another scholarship as well; he did not need Toepfer's largesse. All the same, he implies in his account in THE that he feels he has some explaining to do about his years in Hamburg as a graduate student, especially in light of his discoveries at the time concerning the dubious character of the Toepfer outfit and his failure to bring them to Oxford's attention. Another reason for his defence of the official Toepfer history also appears to be his gallant reluctance to cross swords in public with the aged historian Hans Mommsen, despite the fact that Evans is known to be a critic of basic aspects of Mommsen's interpretation of the Holocaust.
It needs hardly be said that persons, companies and institutions did not all act in the same way in Nazi Germany. Toepfer's record was not that of the convicted war criminal Friedrich Flick, whose grandson and heir endowed the Flick Professorship in European Thought at Oxford in the 1990s. Oxford eventually returned his money, though its Ethics Committee defended that donation just as the Committee to Review Donations (the successor to the Ethics Committee) has recently backed the university's association with the Toepfer Foundation. Evans is justified in pointing out that (as far as we know) Toepfer, unlike Flick, did not directly employ slave labourers. Nevertheless, Toepfer's record was appalling. The derivation of some of the endowment used for the benefit of Oxford and Cambridge graduates is dirty. The course of action I requested was different from that regarding the Flick endowment. The appropriate way ahead regarding Toepfer's money was a "Truth and Reconciliation" process including an apology. This was rejected amid divisions of opinion among Toepfer's children and family. Toepfer's daughter-in-law, who seemed to favour my request, died some months later.
A reason why some in Oxford were determined to defend Toepfer's "Hanseatic Scholarships" was the need to protect valuable grants from foundations such as the Volkswagen Foundation. As Pogge von Strandmann pointed out in the Oxford Magazine, they too would be at risk if the university decided it could not continue its (admittedly informal) links with the Toepfer Foundation. The broader issues for other German foundations whose funds derived from Holocaust-related profits prompted the recent meeting at the German Historical Institute in London at which the head of the Volkswagen Foundation was a speaker and which senior officials of several other foundations (including the Toepfer Foundation) also attended.
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