Fairfield University Lecture to Explore What Really Happened During Kristallnacht 78 Years Ago


Susan Cipollaro, scipollaro@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000, ext. 2726

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 18, 2016) — Much is known of the assaults and arrests, the burning of synagogues and Jewish stores, and the thousands of Jewish men in Germany and its annexed territories sent to concentration camps.  But why did the Nazis undertake this violence on the night of November 9-10, 1938? Was it all planned or, as they argued, entirely spontaneous?

On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m., author and historian Dr. Michael A. Meyer will speak at Fairfield University about what happened, how Germans reacted, whether it was planned in advance, and where this event lies on the path to the Holocaust.

Free and open to the public, the event is the 2016 Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecture in Judaic Studies, entitled, “Popular Anger or Planned Pogrom? What Really Happened During Kristallnacht 78 Years Ago?” It will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room.

The event is made possible through the generosity of the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation and is presented by Fairfield University's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies. Reservations requested. Call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066 or email bennettcenter@fairfield.edu.

Since 1967, Dr. Michael A. Meyer has been on the faculty of Hebrew-Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he is the Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History Emeritus. Professor Meyer's books have won three Jewish Book Awards.  They include The Origins of the Modern Jew: Jewish Identity and European Culture in Germany, 1749-1824Response to Modernity:  A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism; Jewish Identity in the Modern World; and a collection of essays entitled Judaism Within Modernity. Among books he has edited are Ideas of Jewish History; the four-volume German-Jewish History in Modern Times; Volume six of The Collected Writings of Leo Baeck; and Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi: An Autobiography — the German and Early American Years. He has published more than two hundred articles and longer reviews.

From 1991 until 2013, Dr. Meyer served as international president of the Leo Baeck Institute, a scholarly organization devoted to the historical study of German Jewry that has branches in Jerusalem, New York and London. He is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research and has been a fellow of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1996, Professor Meyer won the National Foundation for Jewish Culture's Scholarship Award in Historical Studies for his major influence on colleagues and students in his field. In 2008, Jewish historians from the United States, Israel, and Europe honored him with a jubilee volume entitled Mediating Modernity:  Challenges and Trends in the Jewish Encounter with the Modern World. In 2015, The Leo Baeck Institute presented him with its Moses Mendelssohn Award for lifelong dedication to teaching and publishing about German-Jewish history and culture.

Dr. Meyer was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up in Los Angeles, where he received his B.A. with highest honors from UCLA.  He earned his doctorate at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. His wife, Margaret J. Meyer, is a Reform rabbi as are his oldest son, based in Israel, and his son-in-law based in Philadelphia.

For information on other Bennett Center events, visit www.fairfield.edu/bennett.

 

Vol. 49, No. 85


Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools.  In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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Posted on November 20, 2016

Vol. 49, No. 85

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