People

Knowledge in Flight: A Conversation with Henry Kaufman on Scholar Rescue

The LBI archives are full of references to scholars who escaped the Nazi threat with the aid of foreign benefactors. The political philosopher Hannah Arendt, the sociologist Werner Cahnman, and the writers Franz Werfel, Hans Sahl, and Lion Feuchtwanger are among the hundreds saved by the American journalist Varian Fry working in Marseille. The list of over 330 scholars placed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in an effort helmed by Edward R. Murrow resembles a list of LBI archival collections. Illustrator Hugo Steiner-Prag landed at NYU, a position was found in Berkeley for historian Ernst Kantorowicz, and the art historian Hermann Gundersheimer took a position at Temple University. Today, another generation of benefactors is continuing this work through some of the same institutions.

Making the Edythe Griffinger Art Catalog – Interview with Chris Bentley, Systems Archivist

In March 2017, LBI celebrated the launch of the Edythe Griffinger Art Catalog, a new way to search LBI’s unique art and objects catalog online. LBI News spoke to two staff members who played a key role in developing this unique resource. Here is the interview with Chris.

Making the Edythe Griffinger Art Catalog – Interview with Kerry Elkins, Project Manager

In March 2017, LBI celebrated the launch of the Edythe Griffinger Art Catalog, a new way to search LBI’s unique art and objects catalog online. LBI News spoke to two staff members who played a key role in developing this unique resource. Here is the interview with Kerry.

Working To Get Memory, and the Past, Right

David N. Myers is professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he holds the Sady & Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History. He was recently named President & CEO of the Center for Jewish History in New York. As he wrote in this essay originally published in the Jewish Week, his personal connection to Germany and its past is one of deep ambivalence.

Roger Cohen on German-Jewish History in the 21st Century

Roger Cohen’s journalistic career has included stints covering Beirut in the 1980s, the Bosnian war in the 1990s, the return of the German government to Berlin in 2000, and the War in Afghanistan as the New York Times’ foreign editor after September 11, 2001. In the biweekly columns he has written for the Times since 2009, he often tackles the issues of the day with historical context and analogies. In advance of the 60th Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture, which Cohen will deliver this October, we asked him about the relevance of German-Jewish history to the Syrian refugee crisis and other pressing contemporary issues.

Film Scholar Noah Isenberg Will Always Have Casablanca

Noah Isenberg, director of screen studies at The New School and a member of the LBI’s Academic Advisory Board, is the author of a new history of the iconic film Casablanca that focuses on the role of refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe in the making of the film. LBI News spoke to Isenberg about his research.

Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellows 2016

Thanks to the generosity of Professor Gerald Westheimer, the LBI supports fellowships for scholars who are early in their careers to pursue research on the social, cultural, and academic aspects of the life of Jews in German-speaking countries between the time of Moses Mendelssohn and the Third Reich and its aftermath. The LBI is proud to introduce Verena Buser and Nick Block as the Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellows for 2016–2017.

Leo Baeck Medal for Robert M. Morgenthau

At the LBI’s Annual Award Dinner on November 17, 2016 at the Center for Jewish History, friends, family, and colleagues gathered to honor Robert M. Morgenthau with the Leo Baeck Medal for a lifetime of public service. Director Emeritus of the Museum of Jewish Heritage David Marwell offered an appreciation that began with the Morgenthau family’s German-Jewish roots and encompassed the family’s century-long tradition of public service, including Robert Morgenthau’s legendary career as a prosecutor who used the law to protect the vulnerable and hold power to account. As Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, David Marwell worked closely with the museum’s Founding Chairman, Robert Morgenthau, on a major expansion in 2003. On the occasion of the award of the Leo Baeck Medal to Morgenthau, he reflected on aspects of Morgenthau’s life, work and personality.

2017 Obermayer Award Winners

At the Berlin city parliament building in January 2017, six non-Jewish German individuals or groups were presented the Obermayer German Jewish History Award for their efforts to preserve and document German-Jewish history. The LBI congratulates the winners on this richly deserved honor.

In Memoriam: Arnold Paucker

The Leo Baeck Institute, New York|Berlin mourns the loss of historian Arnold Paucker, who led the Leo Baeck Institute London from 1959 until 2001. Paucker was editor of the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book from 1978 until 1992 and a highly respected scholar whose academic work focused on Jewish resistance to the Nazis. He died in October, 2016.