This research project is the result of international academic cooperation, the result of interdisciplinary academic research, inspirations, views and discussion over the last years, because individuals passed over or shared their knowledge and views of the world. Due to the fact that most people, who served as idea generators for this research project, are not originally from Germany, but nevertheless had invaluable impact on the study simply just because they are not Germans, a thank you goes out to everyone in English. We appreciate visitors of this website to take the time and skip through the following list and have a closer look at the important interdisciplinary and outstanding research work of our colleagues and inspirational sources.
Fight for human rights, raise awareness and defend democracy! Human rights cannot be taken for granted, it takes people who need to be willing to get personally involved, to get angry over injustice and become proactive. It takes people with a gleam of hope that action can change the world. And even more important: It takes people who are willing to pass over their knowledge and experiences to the next generation of human rights activists. People just like the following:
Former secondary school teachers Margret Köhler and Jutta Andert need to be mentioned here first, for shaping humanistic and left-wing political views and ideas of the world and for being role models for the implementation of women's rights.
Monika Schneider from the Hohenschönhausen Memorial, the former Stasi prison in Berlin, was put into detention there in 1983. She gave the final kick-off inspiration for this research project. Legislation does not change reality, resistance against injustice is the duty of every citizen in a liberal constitutional society. The world needs more outstanding women like Mrs Schneider. Karen Nagel is currently working on a project to address female persecution and injustice in the GDR in public and to make Mrs Schneider’s biography publicly visible for everyone.
Unfortunately, we never met Janina David, but her biography "A square of sky" has been a leading thread in life, academic thinking and political positioning. A German TV series was produced based on her Jewish childhood biography during 1939 and 1945, you can watch the full series for free on youtube. Watch it, be alarmed, never forget it and stand up for human rights in your own social environment:
Prof. Jörg Berkemann's research focuses on constitutional history, the history of state and administration during German National Socialism, as well as the situation and persecution of the Jews in Hamburg during 3rd Reich. His book series together with Ina Lorenz on this research is highly recommended: https://www.wallstein-verlag.de/9783835318113-ina-lorenz-joerg-berkemann-die-hamburger-juden-im-ns-staat-1933-bis-1938-39.html
Thanks also to Elizabeth I., an open-minded and committed role model to admire, for founding Trinity College Dublin. One of the best humanistic universities in the world. Former Trinity Professor Prof. Rosemary Byrne believes that a human rights regime can only be robust in practice, if, on the one hand, it manages to successfully exclude the non-affected free riders who are intentionally misusing the regime, while on the other hand including and backing up the ones that are supposed to enforce it, hence the judges. Imbalance between both preconditions will lead to a lack of credibility, social unrest and, in the end, to a failure of democracy. That is why a human rights regime first of all needs to be just. Is the way people with disabilities and care recipients are treated in Germany really just in those terms?
Please watch Prof. Byrne in the following videos on the ICTR-War Crimes Tribunal in Rwanda as well as on the question of credibility in international protection claims before the Irish Refugee Council. How willing the state actors in Germany really are concerning the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities is the social psychological and legal focus of the current research project.
Prof. Peter Stone served as the main academic idea generator for this research project with his work in Political Science. Peter created something like a metaphor for us by giving us a picture for the misuse of power: Old guys in Athens scratching their backs. Please read his works and help him and the rest of the researchers in Political Science to solve the most pressing question of democratic societies in a globalized world: Who else is supposed to be responsible for caring for children and care-dependent people in society once women refuse to take on this role society expects from them? Rock on Peter, law does not work without Political Science. Please enjoy the following videos on the discrimination of votes in the US Presidential Elections as well as Peters lecture on Bertrand Russel:
Prof. Mark Bell delivered the knowledge of common pitfalls in the implementation of human rights legislation, causing the gap between legislation and real implementation of equality in daily life. It is not enough to just pass legislation, you need to implement it in daily life. And fight for a decent implementation where it is being blocked by state actors like in cases of discrimination of people with disabilities or mental illness. He trained us on the equality legislation of Northern Ireland, the most influential equality legislation worldwide. Mark works with the International Labour Organization and has produced the following video on diversity and inclusion in the workplace:
Prof. Micheál Ó Siochrú is an expert in explaining the Troubles over 5 centuries and in making the stories of Irish victims of discrimination and civil war become visible. Please visite the website of the 1641 Depositions to learn more about his work on victims and the cruelties victims had to endure during the Irish atrocities. Being a historian, he ist working on the question of how to reconcile the segregated Irish people and how to overcome hostilities in place for more than 5 centuries now. This process of reconciliation and making people become equal, paved by the Good Friday Agreement, serves as a social psychological blueprint for tackling the difficulties of European democracy as well as the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in the national states worldwide. Due to BREXIT, peace in Northern Ireland is once again seriously at risk. So is the peace in Germany. Learn more about the connection between East German, West Germany, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in this video contributed by the University of Belfast:
Listen to Micheál Ó Siochrú as he explains the problems of commemoration in an Irish society that has missed to come to terms with its own past. Just like the Germans have with Hitler and Social Nationalism. Micheál contributed the importance of culture awareness and nationalism for fighting against discrimination to this study project. Where is the room for equality for people with disabilities or mental illness if huge parts of society still believe that some people are more important than others and some are more equal than others? Thank you for this Micheál. Keep standing up.
Dr. Graeme Murdock served as major source of psychological inspiration for this project by contributing essential psychological, sociological and historic knowledge about the social patterns and psychological parallels of witch-hunt, the Wars of Religion, torture and Holocaust. We learnt that state organised witch-hunts still exist in the year 2019 once it comes to female witnesses in judicial trials over court mistakes and domestic violence committed by male perpetrators in the rural area. Unfortunatly, nothing has changed over the centuries. Learn more about the intellectual basis Prof. Murdock's work in the highly recommended History Department in Trinity College Dublin.
Prof. Mathias Burisch has always been a long-term helping hand in an uncharming overcrowded university and a very willing promoter of individual female equality. His works focus on the prevention of and resilience to depression and anxiety in the workplace. Listen to the following presentation he gave:
Ruth Cohn contributed the psychological communication skills knowledge and the humanistic models psychologists are working with today to improve communication in conflicts. Unfortunatly, she ist already deceased, but her academic legacy concerning TZI had and still has a huge impact on the academic world of communication.
Prof. Friedemann Schulz von Thun transformed her knowledge in handy models of communication we all are working with today. Being trained by Prof. Friedemann Schulz von Thun ourselves, we modeled this study around his communication theories in order to combine research and intervention at the same time. Raising psychological public awareness for diversity and human rights is as important for implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in hearts and brains as fighting for it in parliament.
Prof. Michael Krausz personally paved the way for the interdisciplinary perspective of this academic research project. Researchers need to work interdisciplinary and think outside the box to tackle the problems of a globalized world. The world becomes more and more complicated today and this complexity needs to be addressed adequately. One academic discipline alone cannot solve multidimensional problems. “Don’t get adapted to the inacceptable.”
Ambassador Hermann Nicolai contributed public international law training at the United Nations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Auswärtiges Amt) in Berlin to this research project. He advocated the state perspective in the struggle for human rights implementation and the fight against state corruption. Thank you for extending perspectives!
Dr. Thomas Flint, judge at the Federal Social Court in Kassel, contributed social law training and herewith also extended perspectives. Thank you Mr. Flint, it has been a pleasure working and discussing with you.
Prof. Christian Pfeiffer and Dirk Rossmann made the behaviour of the Catholic Church Germany public when presenting the KFN research results on the sexual abuse study in the German Catholic Church. We all learnt from them that witch-hunt still remains the most prevalent strategy of solving social conflicts within German administration units.
And last but not least: Thank you to Ralph Chauvistré, an ally in campaigning for human rights and changing the system from within. And to our students Linda Bartelt and Karen Nagel for bringing in fresh and challenging questions as well as ideas and herewith keeping us mentally flexible.
Thank you all for being sources of inspiration and helping hands!