Traugott Fuchs, philologist, painter, poet, teacher, musician, a lesser known, though highly remarkable member of the group of German scholars who fled from Germany after the Nazis came to power, arrived in Turkey in1934 at the age of 28, as Leo Spitzer’s promising young assistant in Romanistic studies and remained here until his death in 1997. Apart from being the first person to initiate Germanistic studies at Istanbul University — an appointment proposed and arranged by Erich Auerbach — he also taught for many years at Robert College and its successor Boğaziçi University, until his voluntary retirement at the age of 77, but kept in touch with his students and colleagues who continued to benefit from his learning and intellectual brilliance till the end.
Although he chose to stay in Turkey even after most of his colleagues returned home or left for America, he corresponded with them and their families throughout his life. Indeed, his collection of letters (now in the custody of Boğaziçi University), testify to his unwavering attachment to the group of émigrés with whom he had shared the same fate. He was, as it were, a pivotal figure around which a network became established, through correspondence and exchange of ideas — a network that streches from Spitzer, Ritter and Auerbach to Adorno, Hesse, and Benjamin, persons who did not necessarily share the same convictions, but who were all involved in trying to find answers to the perplexing questions of a world torn apart and threatened by strife, whilst adapting to alien cultural and religious environments.
"A Life History"