The XXth Century, Shanghai, 1941-1945: A Guide

Cover of The XXth Century

Dr. Klaus Mehnert introduced Russian history courses at the University of Hawaii where he taught from 1937 to 1941. In June of 1941, he accepted a position in Shanghai as editor-in-chief of a new publication to be called The XXth Century the final issue was in June of 1945.

This index was prepared by Eric Bott for University of Hawaii Professor John J. Stephan’s seminar on Klaus Mehnert.

Full-text searchable PDFs of all the articles are available from the library eVols Russia / Northeast Asia  digital collection []

Eric Bott Writes (2004): “This project developed as a result of my attending Dr. John Stephan’s final seminar on Russia in East Asia and the Pacific offered Spring 2001 at the University of Hawaii. Klaus Mehnert had introduced Russian history courses to the University of Hawaii in 1937 and became the focus of the seminar.

Born in Moscow in 1906, Mehnert’s family left Russia in 1914. He received his PhD from the University of Berlin in 1928, and returned to the Soviet Union as an author and German newspaper reporter in the early 1930s. This career ended in 1936 when Goebbels ordered German newspapers to stop printing Mehnert’s news reports. He moved to America in 1936 and lectured at UC Berkeley, then accepted a position at the University of Hawaii from 1937 to 1941.

In June of 1941 he accepted a position in Shanghai as editor-in-chief of a new publication to be called The XXth Century financed by the German Foreign Office from 1941 to 1945. Mehnert’s participation in this publication raised questions about his political persuasion. Some feel that he was too close to the Nazi propaganda effort, while on the other hand he may just have been a fervent German national trying to promote his country’s interests the best way he could under difficult circumstances. Perhaps one may get a glimpse of his ideas from the articles in The XXth Century. What his true feelings were we may never know. Nazi sympathizer, independent scholar, or totaliter aliter?

Following the end of WWII Mehnert returned to Germany where he taught, published, and advised the government on Sino-Russian matters. He was fluent in Russian, German, and English. Klaus Mehnert died in1984.”

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