Fritz and Gertraud Steppat donation

Fritz Steppat (born June 24, 1923 in Chemnitz, died August 7, 2006 in Berlin) is one of the pioneers of contemporary, interdisciplinary and practice-oriented Oriental studies in the Federal Republic of Germany. 

After completing an apprenticeship as a typesetter and studying Arabic in Berlin (1940–1941), he was conscripted into the service. After World War II, he first worked as a freelance journalist (for the Europa-Archiv, among others), then as foreign editor of the Münchner Neue Zeitung (1948–1949) and the Münchner Merkur (1949–1951). In 1952 he began doctoral studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, which he completed in 1954 with a dissertation on "Nationalismus und Islam bei Mustafa Kamil" (Nationalism and Islam in Mustafa Kamil). From 1955 to 1959 he built up the Cairo Goethe Institute as its founding director. From 1959 to 1963, he was a research assistant at the Institute of Religious Studies at Freie Universität, and then, from 1963 to 1968, he became director of the Orient-Institut Beirut of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft. As a full professor of Islamic Studies at Freie Universität (1969–1988), he was instrumental in creating the conditions for the establishment of an interdisciplinary focus on the Modern Middle East at Freie Universität in 1980 with funding from the Volkswagenwerk Foundation. After the reunification of Germany, from 1992 to 1993, he took over the provisional direction of the then Research Center Modern Oriental Studies, now the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient.

A cross-section of Steppat's wide-ranging scholarly work spanning more than fifty years was published in 2001 under the title 'Islam als Partner: Aufsätze 1944–1996'.

In 1998, the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient received Prof. Dr. Fritz Steppat's private research library as part of the "Fritz and Gertraud Steppat Donation". The collection comprises approx. 10,000 monographs / periodical volumes and is accessible via the online catalog.

In addition, various file material is stored in archive boxes as the so-called "Handnachlass Steppat" and is sorted according to the following areas:

  • Hn 1, 1–24 correspondence sorted alphabetically
  • Hn 2, 1–14 Essays & manuscripts of students & colleagues
  • Hn 3, 1–4 Own publications
  • Hn 4, 1–8 Journalistic works
  • Hn 5, 1–10 Essays, manuscripts, reviews
  • Hn 6, 1–6 Courses at FU Berlin
  • Hn 7, 1–16 Expert opinions, projects, congresses
  • Hn 8, 1–3 Orient Institute / DMG
  • Hn 9, 1–127 Newspaper articles, gray literature, manuscripts on the various country groups
  • Hn 10, 1–6 Documents on the death of Fritz Steppat, newspaper articles and lectures, diary and photos of stay in America 1951–52, calendars and postcards with Orient motifs, vocabulary booklet on Arabic poetry, diaries from Cairo and Beirut written by Mrs. Gertraud Steppat (report on Suez crisis 1956), Schregle / Arabic-German dictionary as well as dictionary of the classical Arabic language (various supplies)