Walter Jens (8 March 1923 – 9 June 2013) was a German philologist, literature historian, critic, university professor and writer. He was born in Hamburg, and attended the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums from 1933 to 1941, when he gained his abitur, before studying at the University of Hamburg. In the early 1940s, Jens joined the NSDAP. He denied having applied for membership actively and claims that he had become a member automatically because he was a member of the Hitler Youth and that he never received a membership card. During World War II, he earned a doctorate in Freiburg with a work about Sophocles' tragedy and habilitated at age 26 with the work Tacitus und die Freiheit (Tacitus and Freedom) at the University of Tübingen. Jens was a member of the Turnerschaft .
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