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Titel des Forschungsprojekts :

Hermine Speier. Eine deutsch-jüdische Archäologin im Vatikan

Universität Fribourg
Begleitende Professorin: Prof. Barbara Hallensleben









Abstract of the Research Project:

The research project “Hermine Speier. A German Jewish Archaeologist in the Vatican” examines practical aspects of the Vatican's protection of Jews in the Fascist and war periods, as well as the beginnings of female employment in the Pope’s State. This study focuses on Hermine Speier (1898-1989), who was born in Frankfurt and one of the first women ever to be properly employed in the Vatican City, which had been created in 1929. 

Speier began her career as head of the Photographic Archive of the Vatican Museums in 1934, shortly after being dismissed by the German Archaeological Institute in Rome in the wake of Hitler’s racial laws. Although she converted to Catholicism in 1939, she had to find refuge in a Benedictine nun’s convent during the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1943/44.

The aim of the dissertation project is to present Speier’s multi-faceted biography in relation to the Vatican's role of moral authority during war times. Special emphasis will be given to the question what Pope Pius XI and Pius XII, as well as the Catholic Church in Rome in general, did for Jews, the in Rome as elsewhere most heavily presecuted community.

Weitere Interessengebiete: 

  • Zeitgenössische Kunst und Architektur
  • Vatikan
  • Reisen
  • Lyrik 
Doktoratsprogramm DE CIVITATE HOMINIS - Avenue de l'Europe 20 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Tel +41 26 / 300 7410 - Fax +41 26 / 300 9783
barbara.hallensleben@unifr.ch - Swiss University