The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Confl

Postby admin » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:21 am

Part 1 of 2

5. A Respectful Hearing for Nazi Germany's Apologists: The University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs Roundtables, 1933-1941

American academia's most prestigious national and international affairs symposium, the University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs roundtables, held each summer beginning in 1927, contributed to the Hitler regime's efforts to present Germany as a state with legitimate grievances and reasonable objectives. The Institute of Public Affairs often invited scholars and diplomats who rationalized or defended Nazi Germany's foreign and domestic policies to join its roundtables. On some occasions, avowed Nazis either chaired the roundtable or delivered one of the principal addresses.

The Institute of Public Affairs provided a major platform to scholars, polemicists, and German diplomats who advanced the revisionist argument on the origins of the World War, which denied that Germany was primarily responsible for starting it. Revisionist writings and conference presentations caused many Americans to view Germany more sympathetically. Professor Sidney Fay, who held a joint appointment at Harvard University and Radcliffe College, arguably the most influential of the revisionists, asserted in April 1933 that Hitler's "national revolution" was "Germany's answer" to the unfair conditions the victorious Allies had imposed on it at Versailles. [1]

The Influence of the Revisionist Argument on the Origins of the World War on Americans' Response to Nazism

The revisionist historians of the origins of the World War convinced many Americans that either the Allies themselves were primarily to blame for starting the conflict, or that all belligerents were equally to blame. Revisionist arguments appealed to much of the American public as they became increasingly isolationist during the 1920s and resentful of their nation's allies for failing to repay wartime loans. The United States had refused to ratify the Versailles Treaty and would not join its wartime allies in the League of Nations. [2] Many Americans during the interwar period, convinced by revisionist historians that vindictive Allies had imposed unnecessarily harsh conditions and reparations at Versailles on a Germany no more guilty of initiating hostilities than they were, sympathized with Hitler's determination to restore Germany's military strength and lost territories. They credited Hitler with restoring confidence and honor to a prostrated and seemingly unfairly stigmatized nation. By repeatedly disparaging Allied wartime propaganda about German military abuse of civilians, the revisionist scholars, and those who popularized their arguments in the mass media, convinced many Americans that reports of Nazi persecution of Jews were greatly exaggerated or even false.

The pioneering revisionist historians were Sidney Bradshaw Fay and the more strident Harry Elmer Barnes, both of whom were professors at Smith College during the 1920s. In 1929, Fay became the first professor to hold a joint appointment at Harvard and Radcliffe, and he taught there until 1946. Barnes left Smith in 1930 to become an editorial writer with the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain. During 1920 and 1921, Fay published three articles in the prestigious American Historical Review arguing that Germany had not intended to go to war and had made concerted attempts to avoid doing so. Fay's two-volume study The Origins of the World War, published in 1928, asserted that all the belligerents shared responsibility for the war's outbreak and called for revision of the Versailles Treaty, which had blamed Germany and her allies. The Origins of the World War was the most influential scholarly work on the subject in the United States for several decades after its publication.

Harry Elmer Barnes, whom Professor Harold U. Faulkner of the Smith College History Department in 1935 called "the best-known man who has ever been on the Smith faculty," in his book The Genesis of the World War (1926) assigned most of the blame for causing the war to the Entente, identifying France a nd Russia as the "leading precipitators." 3 Barnes's campus presentations received passionate backing from students. In 1926 he delivered a speech to the Harvard Debating Union, arguing the affirmative on "Resolved, that this house favors the revision of the Versailles Treaty in respect to the war guilt of the Central Powers." The Harvard Crimson reported that Barnes "swept [the audience] off [its] feet," presenting "an unanswerable case." He asserted that France, determined to regain Alsace-Lorraine from Germany, and Russia, intent on seizing the Bosporus from Turkey, had together formulated plans "for a sweeping continental war." The Harvard students found Barnes so convincing that there was substantial support for a motion to not even hold a vote. In the end, eighty-one members of the audience voted in favor of Barnes's position, with only twenty-five opposed and twenty-nine not voting. [4]

Although critical of Nazism, Sidney Fay argued that protests against the Nazi regime were counterproductive. He also minimized the support for Nazism among the German people. In April 1933, Fay told the Harvard Crimson that what was happening in Nazi Germany was "really none of any other country's business." He pontificated that "[p]rotest meetings such as have been held in this country and in England ... merely add fuel to the fire." [5] In January 1935, Fay told an audience at Vassar College shortly after the population of the Saar in a plebiscite voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Germany that the outcome was "a great aid in the cause of peace." He still found 20 percent of Hitler's accomplishments to be "good." [6] Speaking at a mass rally at Radcliffe after the horrifying Kristallnacht pogroms of November 9-10, 1938, Fay declared that protests against the Nazi atrocities "would do no practical good." [7]

During May 1940, as the invading Wehrmacht pushed British troops toward the English Channel and drove into France, Sidney Fay sent an article on "The German Character" to Lester Markel, Sunday editor of the New York Times, for consideration for publication; the article revealed that his basic assumptions about Germany remained largely unchanged. Germany had already just conquered Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Fay's major argument in the article was that the majority of Germans were not enthusiastic about the Nazis' domestic or foreign programs. He offered a rationale for much of what they did support. Fay mentioned that only 5 percent of Germans belonged to the Nazi party, and that there were many "terrorized opponents" of Hitler who did not dare speak out. Fay conceded that the vast majority of Germans had backed Hitler's early effort to "decreas[e] the influence of the Jews in Germany," calling the policies he imposed in April 1933 "relatively moderate." These included the I percent quota on Jewish university admissions and expulsions of Jews from professions such as law, medicine, and university teaching. But Fay claimed that he doubted whether even 30 percent of Germans approved of the Kristallnacht pogroms. Protestant and Catholic churches were thronged, "but not by Nazis and Nazi supporters." This suggested that Germany's vast churchgoing population was not in sympathy with the regime. [8]

Fay argued that a significant proportion of Germans turned against Hitler's foreign policy after the Munich crisis of September 1938. He asserted that the majority of Germans had up until then supported Hitler's "successful efforts to get rid of the 'shackles' of the Versailles 'Diktat.'" But Fay claimed that the German "masses" reacted "with revulsion" when they realized how close Hitler had brought them to war over the Sudetenland.

The German people's "doubts as to [Hitler's] wisdom" increased after Germany subjugated the rest of Czechoslovakia in early 1939, signed a nonaggression pact with Stalin later that year, and went to war with Britain and France in the spring of 1940. Fay conceded that the German people almost unanimously supported Hitler "in his determination to break British sea-power," but he ascribed this to their memory of the suffering Britain had inflicted on them by blockading German ports from "1914 to 1920," and to the Allies' "failure to live up to the promises in the Fourteen Points," Even so, Fay claimed that millions of Germans, living on rationed food in May 1940, were still "questioning in their hearts" whether they should support the invasion of France. The great majority of Germans might well turn against the Hitler regime should the Wehrmacht experience "two or three major reverses." Fay concluded by insisting that it was important for Germany to remain a strong nation. It was imperative that any peace settlement "receive her on equal terms into a new concert of Europe." [9]

Lester Markel rejected Fay's article for the New York Times because it seemed "almost in the nature of a defense of the Germans." Markel commented that Fay had failed to address key aspects of the German character and mind, including Germany's militarist tradition and antisemitism. He also sharply criticized as misleading Fay's emphasis on the small percentage of Germans belonging to the Nazi party. Markel was convinced that a large portion of Germany's population was Nazified and noted that the German population appeared united behind Hitler's spring offensive. [10]

Fay conceded to Markel on June 6, 1940, that "under present circumstances," with British and French forces in a desperate rearguard battle against the Wehrmacht, "people would think the article pro-German." But he told Markel that did not worry him. After' all, people had considered his Origins of the World War "very pro-German" when it was published, but "scholars and many laymen" now rated it "the best book on the subject." [11]

Another of the prominent revisionist historians of the origins of the World War, Charles C. Tansill, professor of American history at American University in Washington, D.C., from 1918 until 1937, and then at Fordham (1939-44) and Georgetown (1944-58), became an outspoken defender of Nazi Germany during the 1930s. Tansill, who received Ph.D. degrees from both Catholic University and Johns Hopkins University, regularly presented papers in diplomatic history at the American Historical Association conventions. The u.s. Senate Foreign Relations committee selected Tansill in 1925 to prepare the Senate's official report on responsibility for the World War. In 1931, Johns Hopkins invited Tansill to deliver the prestigious Albert Shaw lectures in American diplomacy, and during the 1934-35 academic year he served as acting dean of American University's Graduate School. In 1938, Tansill published a major revisionist book, America Goes to War, in which he argued that prominent American officials, most notably Secretary of State Robert Lansing and White House advisors Colonel Edward House and Joseph Tumulty, had drawn the United States into the war because they placed British interests a bove American interests. [12]

Professor Tansill publicly proclaimed his support for the Hitler regime during the summer and fall of 1936 on a visit to Nazi Germany sponsored by the Carl Schurz Society of Berlin, which promoted friendship between the United States and the Third Reich. In September, Tansill was one of fourteen American "honor guests" who participated in the  Nazi party's Congress at Nuremberg, an event that U.S. ambassador to Germany William E. Dodd each year refused to attend. On the eve of the Nuremberg Congress, Tansill wrote to Ernest Griffith, who had succeeded him as dean of American University's Graduate School, that the  Nazi party rally "should be a great demonstration in honor of Hitler whom I regard as one of the great leaders in German history." Tansill looked forward to meeting Hitler, along with the other "outstanding men of the party." He told Griffith that the Fuehrer "has given a new outlook to the German youth, one of optimism and hope." Tansill also noted how "deeply impressed" he was "with the efficient manner in which everything [in Germany] is conducted." He commented that the German people were "well-fed and well-clothed." [13]

Ambassador Dodd expressed disgust about the 1936 Nuremberg Nazi party Congress and Professor Tansill's participation in it. Dodd would not listen to Nazi leaders make "violent speeches" attacking democratic nations. He noted that Hitler had gone "so far as to call all democracies 'anarchies.''' [14] Dodd told nationally prominent historian Howard K. Beale of the University of North Carolina that when "[t]hat Tansill man" had visited Germany the previous August and September, he did not see him. He had learned that Tansill at Nuremberg had taken "an almost worshipful view toward the Fuehrer." Dodd commented that "a propagandist is not a good professor." [15]

In September 1936, while in Berlin, Tansill was asked by the Nazi government to broadcast to the United States over shortwave radio his impressions of the Third Reich. Tansill told Dean Griffith that he considered the invitation "a distinct honor," one he knew Griffith would appreciate. In Tansill's address, "The New Germany," broadcast on September 20,1936, he enthusiastically praised Hitler's accomplishments and denounced the American press for its critical stance toward Nazi Germany. Tansill proclaimed that Hitler was "the one man who has inspired the spirit of the people." Under the Fuehrer, Germany was "emerging rapidly from the dark cloud that followed Versailles" and was making "significant advance." [16]

After listening to the broadcast in Washington, D.C., with Tansill's family, Dean Ernest Griffith wrote Tansill a letter of congratulations. He declared that it had been a "pleasure" to hear his address on "The New Germany" and praised "its clarity and vigor." [17]

After his return to the United States, Tansil! continued to effusively praise the Third Reich. In an address before the Presbyterian Ministers Association in Washington, D.C., in November 1936, Tansill proclaimed that under Hitler Germany was "emerging from the shadow of defeatism and despair into the sunlight of prestige and power." Hitler had restored to Germany not only law and order but also the self-respect that the Versailles Treaty had "completely shattered." He claimed that, in the Third Reich, there were "no breadlines (and] no slums." Tansill declared that Nazi Germany constituted the "strongest bulwark in Europe against ... Communism." He insisted that Germany had no interest in developing military supremacy in Europe. Germany's military buildup was "a kind of peace insurance" for all of Europe, because it would prevent other countries from starting a war. [18] That same month, Tansill denounced the U.S. ambassador to Germany, William E. Dodd, for holding what he called a "completely unsympathetic attitude" toward the  Nazi government. [19]

When American University Chancellor Joseph M. M. Gray dismissed Tansill from the faculty in 1937, he denied press speculation that he had done so because of Tansill's public support for Nazi Germany. Chancellor Gray, of course, after a trip to Germany in 1936, had also highly praised the Third Reich in the press. When Fordham University wrote expressing interest in hiring Tansill, Chancellor Gray described him as "a sound scholar and a brilliant teacher" who deserved a university faculty position. He explained that he had discharged Tansill only because he had become overly concerned with "maintaining his popularity" with students. As a result, Tansill had become "indiscriminate in awarding high grades." [20] Professor Howard K. Beale confirmed to Ambassador Dodd that Tansill's pro-Nazi speeches had not been the cause of his dismissal. Beale explained that Tansill had been "let out for several reasons of personal conduct, one of which was refusal to make any efforts to pay a considerable amount of debts owed to other members of the faculty from whom Mrs. Tansill had borrowed money." [21]

The University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs Roundtables, 1933-1941: Helping Germany Make Its Case

The University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs, from 1933 until U.S. intervention in World War II in 1941, provided a major platform and an aura of academic legitimacy for Nazi Germany's supporters and for the propagation of antisemitism. The university established the Institute of Public Affairs in 1927 to answer "sundry charges that the South is backward and provincial." Every year in July the Institute sponsored several days of roundtable conferences on selected topics in national and international affairs. Each roundtable was composed of academics, diplomats, politicians, or other authorities on the subject under consideration, whom the Institute invited to present papers and to participate in discussion. Dr. Charles Gilmore Maphis, dean of the University of Virginia Summer School, was the Institute's director from 1927 until his death in May 1938. The Institute's initial Board of Advisors included four university presidents: Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia; Harry Woodburn Chase, then of the University of North Carolina; Glenn Frank of the University of Wisconsin; and A. A. Murphree of the University of Florida. [22] Many of the roundtables received national and foreign press coverage.

The Institute's approach was to present "both sides of questions" at conferences, and it gave German Nazis and their American sympathizers considerable opportunity to propagandize for the Third Reich. [23] To secure these speakers, the University of Virginia administration worked closely with Nazi Germany's embassy in Washington, D.C., and with the Carl Schurz Foundation, an organization devoted to promoting friendly relations between the United States and Germany. [24] Institute Director Charles G. Maphis and other University of Virginia administrators accorded great respect to the Nazi spokespersons, some of whom the U.S. government later arrested as seditionists, as unregistered German agents, or for disseminating Nazi propaganda.

Papers by American academic apologists for Hitler at conferences devoted to Nazi Germany in 1934 and 1935 received prominent coverage in the press. Professor Francis W. Coker of the Yale University Political Science Department, chairman of the Institute roundtable on "Dictatorship and Democracy," held July 3-7, 1934, implied that the  Nazi position had not received a proper hearing because representatives of the Hitler regime feared that if they accepted his invitation to speak, U.S. representative Samuel Dickstein's committee investigating subversive activities would charge them with disseminating Nazi propaganda. [25] Nonetheless, two of the principal papers were presented by Americans who sympathized with Nazi Germany: Karl F. Geiser, professor of political science at Oberlin College, and W. W. Cumberland of New York. More than 200 Institute members and guests, a particularly large audience for a roundtable, gathered for the first morning's session to hear their addresses.

In his paper, "The German Nazi State," Professor Geiser portrayed Hitler as Germany's savior, "a Siegfried slaying the dragon of communism." Drawing on the more polemical revisionist writings on the World War, Geiser strongly condemned the Allied wartime blockade of German ports, which he claimed had caused 750,000 to 900,000 Germans to starve to death, and what he called unreasonably harsh peace terms. Geiser charged that the Western democracies drew up the Treaty of Versailles in a "mental frame of madness." They forced on Germany "the harshest treaty ever imposed upon a people in modern times." It consigned Germany to "perpetual economic slavery" and impoverished her. [26]

Geiser declared that as a political scientist he admired how Hitler had ended the chaos of Weimar democracy "with its 32 parties," uniting Germans "into one party, for the first time in a thousand years," an achievement impossible without massive popular support. Geiser declared that Germany's "years in bondage" had only strengthened her "discipline and organizing powers," which he hoped would "give her the final victory over the forces of injustice." The New York Times reported that the audience applauded Geiser's address. [27]

Delighted with his reception at the University of Virginia, Geiser left immediately after his presentation for Nazi Germany, where he spent the rest of the summer. That fall, he wrote to Institute Director Charles Maphis that he "was charmed ... by the courtesy of your Southern hospitality."  [28]

W. W. Cumberland, who followed Geiser, feared that Nazi Germany, in building up her ground and air forces, was preparing for war, but he found many similarities between her economic programs and those of President Roosevelt. He declared, " Nazi Germany is a counterpart of the United States under the New Deal." [29]

Another member of the roundtable, Dr. Beniamino de Ritis of New York, special correspondent for the Corriere delta Sera of Milan, described Italy's Fascist regime "in glowing terms," according to the New York Times. Mussolini had rescued a nation "on the verge of bolshevism and bankruptcy." For the first time in centuries, a long-divided nation fixated only on vanished ancient glory could look to the future. Mussolini's genius was to create in Italy a new form of state, conceived of "not as an aggregate of groups and individuals" but as "a spiritual entity," in which the individual is "subordinated to society." [30]

During the evening session, Harry Elmer Barnes, then an editor with the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain, presented his revisionist interpretation of the origins of the World War, absolving Germany of "unique blame" for the conflict. Barnes accused the Allies of deceiving the United States in order to draw it into the war, and with having "exacted by fraud vast sums from Germany" in reparations after the Armistice.

Barnes argued at the symposium that democracy had become outmoded as a form of government, making Nazi authoritarianism appear more legitimate. In his view, democracy assumed a "real intellectual equality of men" and an electorate that "carefully scrutinize[d] candidates and platforms." It was designed for a "simple and unchanging rural society" whose political problems were "few and elementary." Yet Barnes claimed that modern psychological research proved that most men were unqualified either to vote or to hold office. The population did not share an approximate mental equality. In fact, "a clear majority range[d] from stupidity (dull normals) to imbecility." Barnes concluded that science and the record of American politics over the previous century had "blown sky-high" the "whole body of assumptions upon which the old democracy rested." What was necessary was a weighted suffrage. Intelligence tests administered to the entire population would allow the government to accord greater voting power to a more intelligent citizen than to one determined to be less intelligent. The government should also require that candidates for political office possess a certain level of "scientific and professional training." [31]

The next year's Institute conference on "American-German Relations" was highlighted by the roundtable chair's dismissal of Nazi oppression of Jews as insignificant; a blatantly antisemitic address by one of the principal speakers, Professor Frederick K. Krueger of Wittenberg College; and defenses of the Nazi government by several other participants. Roundtable chairman Friedrich Auhagen of Columbia University's Seth Low College began the conference by vigorously defending the Third Reich, and he continued to do so at each session. He claimed that Germany could "no longer afford democracy." When roundtable member Dr. Morris Lazaron, a reform rabbi from Baltimore, asked why Auhagen had "so lightly dismissed ... the religious question in Germany," meaning persecution of Jews, Professor Auhagen replied that "the religious problem" in the Third Reich was not really any different than in any other country. [32]

In a later session, Auhagen announced that the Germans wanted order, which could only be brought about by inflicting suffering on "some" people. Fellow panelist Dr. H. F. Simon of Northwestern University agreed, declaring that "one can not have change without suffering," and that restoring unity to Germany was a worthy goal. [33] Addressing Rabbi Lazaron, who had criticized the Hitler regime, Dr. Simon asked, "Can Dr. Lazaron ... understand what the German people have gone through since 1914? .. Hitler is an expression of the proudness of Germany which can not bow to the conditions imposed upon her." [34]

The University of Virginia administration invited Professor Frederick K. Krueger to deliver a major address at the conference fully aware that he had publicly made inflammatory pro- Nazi and antisemitic statements. The New York Times reported in early December 1934 that Krueger, who was then lecturing at the National Socialist Academy for Political Sciences in Berlin, had declared: "Some day America will be forced to deal with the problem presented by the Jew." The Times noted that the National Socialist Academy for Political Sciences was a "party institution devoted to the inculcation of Nazi theories." Krueger labeled the boycott of German goods "a crime against America," claiming that it harmed U.S. foreign trade. He denounced the American press for misrepresenting what had transpired in Nazi Germany. Krueger declared that American newspapers gave "no sign of an effort to understand the new German soul or to play fair." In his opening lecture at the ational Socialist Academy Krueger had offered Germans advice on how to conduct efficient propaganda in the United States. He explained that "only thoroughgoing National Socialists should be sent to America." [35]

Professor Frederick K. Krueger's address combined vigorous praise of  Nazi government policies with a vicious antisemitic diatribe designed to discredit its American critics. Krueger began by declaring that Americans and Germans were "basically of the same racial stock [and] culture." He dismissed the view that liberal democracy was always the most desirable form of government. Krueger claimed that the United States itself had conferred dictatorial powers on its president when confronted with emergencies, "as for instance during the Civil War and the World War." Germany, facing economic crisis and threatened by Communism, had not acted any differently in according Chancellor Hitler such powers. Besides, every nation had the right to choose its own form of government. Americans were also wrong to criticize "so-called German militarism." All Germany wanted was equality in armaments with the nations that surrounded it. The Allies, after all, had violated their pledge at Versailles to reduce their own armaments. [36]

Professor Krueger invoked hoary antisemitic stereotypes to explain why much of American public opinion had turned against the Hitler regime. He claimed that "[t]he American Jews are financially very powerful." They largely controlled the metropolitan press and wielded great power in the movie industry and in radio. Jewish influence over "the organs of public opinion" allowed them to sow hostility to the Nazi government among non-Jewish Americans. Krueger insisted that Nazi Germany's "racial policy" was "its own affair," and that Americans had no right to protest against it. American Jews should "think of the country of their adoption first" and stop "sowing the seed of discord in the United States for the benefit of international Judaism." [37]

Professor H. F. Simon of Northwestern in his address declared that the harsh provisions of the Treaty of Versailles justified what he called "[t]he German Revolution of 1933," which he claimed Americans had very much misjudged. Simon asserted that no nation "would stand the dishonoring and impossible burdens" the "despotic" Allies had imposed on Germany. The Treaty's war guilt provision blaming Germany for starting the war was unfair. Germany was not permitted to rearm, despite being surrounded by "highly armed neighbors." The vindictive Treaty of Versailles had caused the German people to "close ranks" and take refuge "under the strong hands of a trusted and beloved leader," Adolf Hitler. Britain, France, and the United States, "rich in space," smugly preached the status quo, failing to comprehend overpopulated Germany's need to expand. [38]

Still another participant in the roundtable, Ernst Schmidt, in charge of tourist information and promotion for the German Railroads Company in New York, marveled over Nazi Germany's dynamism and modernity. He urged American travelers to see the Third Reich's "sparkling great cities with their stirring business, spotless cleanliness, and efficient administration." Nor should Americans neglect to visit the suburbs and smaller cities, where they could "wonder at the modern architecture and city planning" and "visit the roaring workshops of industry." Any visitor to the Third Reich would have to acknowledge "the rightful eminence of the German people as the most progressive and modern in Europe." [39]

Schmidt portrayed Nazi Germany's "new generation" as far more appealing than their decadent Western counterparts. The young women of the Third Reich combined "good looks" with "genuine culture" and provided "a distinct relief from flappers." The conversation of Germany's young men, who were "full of ideas," contrasted sharply with American youths' "college chatter." [40]

Dr. Henry G. Hodges, associate professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, criticized American press coverage of Nazi Germany as prejudiced and sensationalistic, ridiculing "hair-trigger editorials whose predictions ... are belied a week later." He condemned the Jewish-led boycott of German products and services as motivated by a desire for revenge and therefore "contrary to ... Christian principle." Hodges believed that most Americans considered the Versailles Treaty unjust to Germany. Americans "overwhelmingly" supported Germany's right to rearm. There was also "general sentiment" in the United States that Adolf Hitler had "done as much (and perhaps more) as any of the other European nations to prevent war." Hodges noted that Americans who had traveled to the Third Reich were "more tolerant of her actions, and favorable to her conditions," than those who had not, implying that an "on-the-spot view" would change a person's opinions of Nazi Germany. He quoted one American traveler as commenting that Germany was "courageously facing the problems that we are side-stepping." [41]
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Re: The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Confl

Postby admin » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:21 am

Part 2 of 2

Even Virginius Dabney, chief editorial writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who had spent six months in Germany and Austria in 1934 and considered himself anti-Nazi, found much to admire in the Third Reich. He claimed that many Americans who had not visited Nazi Germany held a distorted view of it, apparently because of sensational stories about violence in the American press. Many Americans, for example, believed in March 1933 that "dissident natives were being beaten up on almost every street corner in the Third Reich," and that "murder and mayhem were rife." Yet Dabney claimed that when he visited the Reich the previous year "perfect order prevailed everywhere in public." He reported that 75 percent of the "educated and cultured Germans" had opposed the Hitler regime. Dabney was also convinced that the vast majority of Germans did not want war. [42]

Yet after listing what he found abhorrent about the Hitler regime, Dabney found it "not so difficult to understand why the Nazis became disgusted with democracy." He credited Hitler with significant achievements. To be sure, the suppression of civil liberties, the torture and murder of some political dissenters, the killings during the Night of the Long Knives, and the regimentation of education were "revolting." But Dabney asserted that before Hitler assumed power, Germany had been "going from bad to worse," with more than thirty political parties making for a very unstable situation. Hitler had "promised to put the unemployed to work, to pull the country out of the depression, and to throw off the bondage of Versailles." Dabney declared that Hitler's record was one of "remarkable success." In about two and a half years, he had "made good on some of his most important pledges." [43]

Above all, Dabney urged, Americans must not work themselves "into an anti-German state of mind such as took possession of us from 1914 to 1918." During the World War, Americans had rushed, on the basis of very flimsy evidence, to raise their voices in a "hymn of hate" against Germany. Dabney hoped that Hitler had become "a man of peace" but worried about the intentions of other party chieftains. Still, he told the audience that he remained "tremendously fond of the German people." He described them as "kindly, lovable, and humane." They had much in common with Americans. Perhaps all would work out for the best. [44]

Several days after the conference ended, Institute Director Charles Maphis expressed pleasure that although the roundtable had focused on "a very delicate" subject, attendees' reaction afterward was very positive, and he had received "no severe adverse criticisms." [45] About two years later, in April 1937, Maphis's secretary wrote to University of Virginia president John Lloyd Newcomb that the papers from the July 1935 "American-German Relations" roundtable "have been in constant demand ever since." [46]

Because the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson, reports in March 1936 that its administration had accepted the invitation from the Nazified University of Heidelberg to send a delegate to its 550th anniversary celebration were particularly shocking. The New York Times contrasted the inscription on Jefferson's tomb at Monticello, overlooking the campus -- "Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia" -- with the Nazis' suppression of civil liberties and academic freedom. The Richmond Times-Dispatch urged the University of Virginia to refuse the invitation "in such unmistakable terms that the whole world will listen." [47]

Shortly afterward, University of Virginia president John Lloyd Newcomb declared that the newspaper reports were inaccurate, and that he had in fact declined Heidelberg's invitation "promptly, firmly, and politely." He gave no reason for doing so. Newcomb tempered his denial of the acceptance, however, by adding that, although he personally disliked dictatorships, he did not consider it proper for him "to criticize the German nation for the way it managed its affairs." [48]

Both the University of Virginia student newspaper, College Topics, and the Charlottesville Daily Progress remained critical of President ewcomb for failing to speak out more strongly against Nazi Germany. College Topics stated that whereas university heads around the world had condemned Heidelberg's invitation as an effort to "stifle educational freedom," President Newcomb, "declaring little, [only] denied acceptance." The Daily Progress, although pleased that Virginia had declined the invitation, noted that "[o]ther universities have ... been more outspoken" and had made known their reasons for refusing to send delegates. [49]

That summer, the Institute, by inviting a member of the Hitler Youth to present a paper at its roundtable on "The Emergency and the Long-Run in Education," implied that products of Nazi schooling had insights and suggestions that could be of benefit to American educators. Gerold von Minden was a German exchange student, born in 1914, who had received a B.A. degree from Dickinson College and an M.A. from American University. Von Minden began his address by describing what it was like to grow up in a vanquished nation that experienced foreign military occupation, hyperinflation, and cataclysmic depression. He and his cohort of German youth soon realized that "the Treaty of Versailles and its corollaries" were the cause of their misfortune. They longed for "political unity and spiritual security." [50]

Fortunately, von Minden related, the Nazi movement emerged to rescue a "disintegrating nation." Germany celebrated its own "Fourth of July" with the advent of the National Socialist government. The Hitler Youth taught von Minden "for the first time what 'Nation' and 'national unity' really meant." [51]

The Nazi educational system ended "the sadness of existence" for von Minden and other German youth and provided "meaning." Schooling under the Nazis was much superior to what the Weimar Republic had offered. During the Weimar period, German schools gave too much emphasis to intellectual training, providing students with too much "superfluous" knowledge. Under Hitler, schools balanced intellect with feeling. They gave much more attention to the study of German, history, geography, and [racial] biology to instill an understanding of Germanic community. A year's compulsory service in a labor camp further contributed to forging a community spirit "so lacking before the National Socialist government came to power." The Hitler Youth movement served as a critical part of Germany's educational system, providing the "action and discipline" that youth craved. [52]

As in 1934, this roundtable included a pro-Mussolini address, this time focusing on Italian Fascist educational policy. John Adams portrayed the Italian Fascist party as moderate, its function "no different from that of an American political party." The Fascist regime had injected no dangerous bias into the Italian classroom. It had introduced Catholic religious teaching and the crucifix to promote national unity, because more than 9 5 percent of its population was Catholic. [53]

Institute Director Maphis invited several supporters of collective security to speak at the July 1937 conference on a roundtable on international cooperation for world peace, but he also wrote to Dr. Wilbur K. Thomas of the Carl Schurz Foundation, asking him to recommend someone who could discuss "the subject of peace from the viewpoint of the German nation." Maphis was able to secure Dr. Helgo W. Culemann, a former professor at Amherst College, who spoke as a representative of the German embassy in Washington, D.C. In March, Culemann had vigorously defended Hitler's policies as "the salvation of the German nation" in a debate with French journalist Count de Roussy de Sales before the Town Hall of Washington, D.C. [54]

Anti-Nazi speakers on the roundtable included Helen Kirkpatrick, Geneva correspondent of the New York Herald Tribune, and Sir Herbert Brown Ames, formerly financial director of the League of Nations secretariat. Both expressed alarm about Germany's rearmament. Kirkpatrick declared that Britain and France had adhered too closely to the disarmament clause of the Versailles Treaty. Reducing armaments had only encouraged Germany to further increase its armed forces. Nevertheless, Kirkpatrick found it unlikely that Germany planned to march on Prague and doubted that there would ever again be a large-scale European war similar to that of 1914-18. [55]

Sir Herbert Brown Ames asserted that Germany would soon have the largest army in Europe, which constituted the greatest threat to peace on that continent. He agreed, however, with Czechoslovakia's president, Dr. Edward Bend, that peace in Europe would be preserved. Germany was not economically prepared for a long war. The British would certainly come to the aid of Czechoslovakia were Germany to invade her. The destructive power of modern ground and air weapons, as demonstrated in Spain and Ethiopia, would deter any European nation, including Germany, from launching a major war. No nation wanted its civilian population slaughtered on a massive scale in aerial bombardment of its cities. [56]

Helgo W. Culemann's address provided historical justification for Hitler's foreign policy and condemned what he called the "badly disguised imperialistic desires of other European nations." In an interview prior to his presentation, Culemann declared that those who criticized Germany's outlook rarely investigated the reasons for it. They overlooked the Versailles Treaty, which Culemann claimed was intended "to destroy Germany," or at least to permanently reduce her to a second-rate power. Germany, located "in the heart of Europe," had a right to build up an army large enough to protect it against surrounding well-armed neighbors. Defending Germany's system of government, Culemann asserted that "[d]emocracies in many lands have failed for the time being to meet human needs." [57]

University of Virginia professor R. K. Gooch, who became acting director of the Institute of Public Affairs following the death of Charles G. Maphis in May 1938, consulted with the German embassy in Washington to ensure that the Nazi government's position was properly presented at the July 1938 conference on "International Good Will Through Economic Stability." Maphis had hoped to secure as a speaker the strongly pro-Nazi Dr. Friedrich Auhagen, who had chaired the Institute's 1935 roundtable on American-German Relations. In February 1936, Auhagen had received national press attention for delivering a speech in Cleveland endorsing Hitler's "suppress[ing] Jews." Auhagen had justified the removal of Jews from the legal and medical professions, claiming that they had "secured a stronghold" in them and "clos(ed] the doors to thousands of Germans." As it turned out, Auhagen was unable to participate in the 1938 Institute conference, apparently because he was in Germany_ at the time of the conference. [58]

Paul Scheffer, editor-in-chief of the Berliner Tageblatt for four years until January 1937, and its Washington correspondent after that, initially accepted the Institute's invitation to join the roundtable. Scheffer was considered the best-known German journalist abroad. He had largely adhered to the Nazi party line, but Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels had forced his demotion from editor to foreign correspondent because he had shown "occasional independence." Nevertheless, when Scheffer learned that Dr. Ernst Meyer was also to be on the roundtable, he notified the Institute that he would not participate. Meyer, a first secretary at the German embassy in Washington, had resigned from the German Foreign Service in May 1937, and in February 1938 he delivered an address in New York City in which he criticized Hitler. The German embassy responded by declaring that Meyer was a Jew, which he denied. [59]

After Scheffer pulled out of the roundtable, Acting Director Gooch contacted Hans Thomsen, counselor at the German embassy in Washington, asking him to recommend a substitute speaker. Gooch told the Nazi diplomat: "I hope you will agree that it would be unfortunate for the presentation of the German situation to be made only from Dr. Meyer's point of view." [60]

The Institute in 1938 also invited one of America's most notorious antisemites, William J. Cameron, who had edited Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent, to present a paper on "The Interdependence of Farm and Industry" at its economic stability roundtable. Cameron had contributed significantly to the Dearborn Independent's vitriolic attacks on Jews during the 1920s. Part of the British Israelite movement that believed the Anglo-Saxons were the real descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, Cameron claimed that contemporary Jews were the remnants of a racially distinct and inferior group despised by God. Remaining a top aide to Ford after the Dearborn Independent ceased pu blication in 1927, he cofounded the antisemitic Anglo-Saxon Federation in 1930 and was elected its president. In 1935 Cameron became director of Destiny, the Anglo-Saxon Federation organ whose diatribes laid the groundwork for the virulently antisemitic Christian Identity movement. Two weeks after the Institute roundtable, Cameron delivered the keynote address at the ceremony the  Nazi government arranged for Henry Ford, at which it presented him with the highest honor it could bestow on a foreigner, the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle. [61]

Despite Cameron's long record of disseminating antisemitism, the Institute of Public Affairs leadership declared that it was honored to have him participate in its roundtable. [62] About three months after the conference, the Institute's acting director expressed to Cameron his "great personal satisfaction and the appreciation of the University and the Institute" for what he said was Cameron's "very important" contribution to the session, about which he had heard "many kind words." Gooch told Cameron that both he and university president John Lloyd Newcomb would be "most grateful" for any suggestions that "might be calculated to improve the conduct of the Institute." [63]

In July 1939, less than two months before Germany launched its invasion of Poland, which began World War II, the Institute again provided the Nazi perspective a respectful hearing. In February, the Institute's acting director, Hardy C. Dillard, invited Nazi apologist Friedrich E. Auhagen to speak at "a morning, afternoon, and night session" at its Foreign Affairs conference. Dillard told Auhagen that the Institute wanted him "to linger with us for as long as you care to remain." He added: "I would count it a pleasure to have you put-up with me." [64] A month later, Dillard asked Auhagen to speak at a weekly Institute seminar to "'enlighten' us on German policy." [65]

In May 1939, Auhagen wrote to Dillard that he was busy establishing a group called the American Fellowship Forum and preparing the first issue of its magazine Challenge, which he intended to use to influence American public opinion and foreign policy in a pro-German direction. Anti-Nazi journalist Dorothy Thompson later described the American Fellowship Forum as advocating "precisely the policy advocated by Co!. [Charles] Lindbergh and the ... America First Movement." [66]

Auhagen's evening address dominated press coverage of the July 1939 Institute conference. Several speakers opposed to appeasing Nazi Germany participated, along with Manfred Zapp, New York representative of the Transocean News Service of Berlin, a front for Goebbels's Ministry of Propaganda; Dr. Nika Tucci, a publicist for the Mussolini regime, and William Castle, a former undersecretary of state in the Hoover administration and an isolationist who in 1940 became a leader of the America First Committee. Castle, a Harvard graduate, was a Harvard overseer from 1935 to 1941. U.S. Communist party chairman Earl Browder, another roundtable participant, some six weeks before the Molotov-von Ribbentrop Pact, took strong issue with Auhagen's suggestion that if the Western democracies refused to befriend Germany, she might "get together" with the Soviet Union. Browder answered heatedly that there was as much possibility of that happening as of his being elected president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [67]

Auhagen in his address said that four years ago he had hoped that the United States and Nazi Germany, which he called "the two most progressive-minded nations," would form a friendship, but that unfortunately had not happened. There was no conflict whatsoever between the national interests of Germany and the United States. The strained relations between the two countries resulted only from the United States being a "have" nation and Germany being a "have-not" one. Paradoxically, the United States had "thrown in her lot with her strongest competitor, the British Empire." She championed the interests of Britain, the prime proponent of the status quo, instead of her own. There was no danger that Germany would impose a Nazi political system on the United States, even though the United States had been instrumental in the overthrow of Germany's imperial regime. [68]

William Castle denounced President Roosevelt and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes for ignoring "the decencies and amenities of international politics" and "going out of their way to insult Reichsfuehrer Hitler." By doing so they had endangered the security of the United States. Castle declared that Roosevelt and Ickes should look to the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain as their model, a leader who "sticks strictly to his own business" and "does not fling insults a bout." Castle stated that the British "know that one of their best bulwarks of peace is courtesy." [69]

Samuel K. C. Kopper, a Princeton graduate and assistant leader of the 1939 Foreign Affairs roundtable, promoted appeasement of Nazi Germany in an address shaped by revisionist scholarship on the World War. He warned that the Western democracies, having severely abused Germany at Versailles, were preparing aggressive action against her. The French were planning to "march to Berlin ... and complete the work of destruction which they left uncompleted in 1918." The British might join them afterward in "out- Versailles[ing] Versailles."

There was at that time a danger of a European war largely because the West had failed to resolve Germany's grievances by peaceful negotiation. Germany was forced to relinquish Eupen-Malmedy, Memel, and much of Upper Silesia. The French invasion of the Ruhr in 1923 "added insult to injury." In the West, "violently prejudiced" journalists and radio commentators were "whipping up popular anger" against Germany. Kopper urged the Western democracies to use "reason rather than prejudice and hate" to preserve peace with Germany. "When critics were berating Chamberlain's peace policy last fall," Kopper asked, "were they not being a little Olympian in their attitude?" After all, were Britain and Germany to go to war, 30,000 Londoners would die each day in air raids. [70]

Manfred Zapp delivered a vitriolic antisemitic address in which he proclaimed his ardent support for Nazi Germany. He began by condemning the "one-sided" American press coverage of Germany, which falsely reported that in the Third Reich "the individual has no freedom." Germans actually had "just as much freedom as ... in other countries, if not more." Unlike in the West, where the rich could "buy more liberties than [were] granted to the poor," each individual in Germany had an equal amount. The Germans had forged a national community, a true "people's state," unlike parliamentary democracies, which were actually ruled by "demagogue politicians." Under the Weimar Republic, Germans were divided by class antagonisms and feared for their safety. Night clubs featuring "nudism and sex" proliferated, undermining the country's moral fabric. [71]

Zapp declared that during the Weimar period a corrosive "Jewish influence ... became more and more predominant in business and politics." By "preaching freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of the individual" the Jews "sow[ed] discontent among the German people," fomenting divisions that resulted in twenty-eight different political parties bickering in the Reichstag. Exploiting the chaos they had fomented, the Jews seized control of the nation. [72]

According to Zapp, the Nazi movement arose to liberate Germany from this Jewish-induced decay. It sprang from "German sentiment," grew "on German soil," and was "made for Germans and Germany only." Hitler had restored labor harmony and full employment. Under  Nazism, prosperity had returned to Germany, and slums had disappeared. [73]

The conference also heard presentations from several speakers strongly critical of Nazism and Fascism. F. Wilhelm Sollman, former German Reichstag deputy and member of its Committee on Foreign Affairs from 1920 to 1933, declared that a reading of Mein Kampf revealed that Hitler aimed to subjugate Eastern and Southeastern Europe. He asserted that Hitler's "drive to the East" did not originate with him but was a continuation of Kaiser Wilhelm II's "power policy." Scholars, politicians, and diplomats had devoted excessive attention to the Versailles Treaty's "injustices" and forgotten that Imperial Germany had imposed severely harsh terms on Romania and Russia in the treaties of Bucharest and Brest-Litovsk during the World War. Historian Oscar Jaszi, former minister of national minorities in the Hungarian government, recommended fomenting "internal revolution," "tyrannicide" (assassination of Hitler), and the forging of an armed coalition as means of halting Nazi Germany's expansion. [74]

Journalist Louis Fischer "bitterly attacked" Fascist foreign policy in an address that precipitated an angry rejoinder from ika Tucci. The Fascist propagandist accused Fischer of spreading Communist theory across the United States. Fischer denied the charge, citing his criticism of the Soviet government for suppressing civil liberties. [75]

Dr. Edmund A. Walsh, regent of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, who had publicly supported Franco's insurgents in the just-concluded Spanish Civil War, "expressed alarm at the rising tide of anti-Semitism" in the United States. He called for uncompromising opposition to Nazi racial theories. [76]

Even with French forces on the verge of surrender to the Wehrmacht, the 1940 Institute conference, held this time in June, gave isolationists and appeasers of Nazi Germany a significant platform. The conference's theme was "The United States and a World at War." It began only four days after President Roosevelt delivered a strong denunciation of isolationism in his commencement address to the University of Virginia's graduating class. Without mentioning Germany, Roosevelt declared that "the whole of our sympathies" were with the nations fighting "the gods of force and hate." He pledged U.S. material assistance to Britain. [77] The speech became a major subject of controversy at the conference.

At the June 17 session, British writer John Wheeler-Bennett praised President Roosevelt's commencement address as an inspiration for a desperate Britain to "hold on" as it fought for its life. But the New York Times reported that none of the American speakers praised Roosevelt's "Charlottesville pledge," and two of them "roundly denounced" it. Lawrence Dennis, a Harvard graduate and former U.S. foreign service officer whom Dorothy Thompson identified as one of Friedrich Auhagen's "leading braintrusters," declared that because of "Germany's imminent triumph over the Allies," President Roosevelt himself had become" America's No. I isolationist." His interventionist sympathies had placed the United States in the unenviable position of standing alone against "the four great totalitarian powers." By declaring for the Allies, Roosevelt had disregarded George Washington's warning not to intervene in Europe's quarrels. With Germany on the verge of defeating the Allies, the United States had lost any prospect that the victor would display goodwill toward her. Dr. Brooks Emeny condemned not only Roosevelt's commencement address but his entire attitude toward European affairs. He claimed that intervention in the European war was not in the national interest. [78]

The next day, Harry Elmer Barnes delivered an address that not only opposed U.S. intervention in the war to stop the Nazi onslaught but expressed lack of confidence that the democratic form of government could persist. He declared that American involvement in the war would result in economic depression and massive loss of life, which would precipitate the sort of crisis in the United States that had brought Hitler to power in Germany. Barnes told the Institute audience that "nose-counting democracy" was breaking down, unable to handle the complex problems resulting from modern industrialization and a communications revolution. He proclaimed that "[t]otalitarianism now menaces representative government and democracy in the same way the Tudors and Bourbons challenged feudalism in the early modern times," implying that an ascendant fascism was likely to prevail over an obsolete American form of government. Frank Kingdon, president of the University of Newark, took issue with Barnes, arguing that the "dynamism of democracy is far more powerful than any totalitarianism can ever be." [79]

During the fall of 1940, the federal government initiated raids that implicated such prominent participants in Institute of Public Affairs roundtables as Friedrich Auhagen and Manfred Zapp as operatives working under German government direction to spread Nazi propaganda in the United States. In November the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, chaired by Martin Dies, published a 500-page white paper that demonstrated links between Auhagen and Zapp and German embassy and consular officials. It specifically named Hans Thomsen, charge d'affaires at the German embassy in Washington, as assisting in disseminating propaganda. The Dies Committee described Transocean News Service as a " Nazi propaganda podium" whose employees had to be approved by the German consulate in New York. The New York Post disclosed that in 1938 the German Ministry of Propaganda had dispatched Manfred Zapp, "a highly trusted Goebbels functionary," to New York City to establish Transocean. From a suite of offices on Madison Avenue, Zapp "tirelessly canvass[ed]" the German-language press, persuading editors to run news reports written from the Nazi perspective. Dorothy Thompson reported that Zapp had served as the conduit for funds sent from Germany to Canadian fascist Adrian Arcand to publish his French-language newspaper. [80]

As the press disclosed what the raids had uncovered, it also reported an outcry precipitated by a Colorado State College of Education invitation to both German and British embassy officials to address the 1940 summer session on "War Aims and Peace Plans." The College had invited Hans Thomsen to speak for Germany. Thomsen had to decline but urged the College to invite Manfred Zapp, head of Transocean News Service, in his place. When some members of the board of trustees complained about a Nazi addressing the summer session, and when other citizens protested to the trustees, the College cancelled both the German and British speeches. [81]

Both Zapp and Friedrich Auhagen were arrested as German propagandists. In September 1940, federal agents apprehended Auhagen on the Pacific Coast just as he was preparing to sail for Japan and brought him to Washington, D.C., to be examined by the Dies Committee. In early 1941, federal agents seized him in La Salle, Illinois, on a fugitive warrant from Washington, D.C. Auhagen was indicted in March for failing to register with the State Department as a paid publicity agent of Germany. He was charged with having "lectured, conducted meetings, exhibited movies, and wr(itten] magazine articles to promote Nazi interests." [82]

That same month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Manfred Zapp and his assistant Guenther Tonn, and a special federal grand jury indicted them and Transocean News Service on charges of violating the Foreign Alien and Registration Act of 1938. When Zapp established a subsidiary of Transocean in the United States in October 1938 he had failed to register as an agent of a foreign government, and he did not do so until January 1939. In registering, he failed to state that "part of his business ... was to transmit and disseminate in the United States and numerous countries throughout the world, political propaganda in the interest of the German government and the Nazi party." The indictment also identified Transocean as an arm of the German government. The U.S. government released Zapp and Tonn in a trade for two American journalists held by the Hitler government, and they returned to Germany. When in April 1945, a few weeks before V-E Day, the New York Times reported that U.S. Third Army troops had seized Zapp in Germany, it identified him as "the chief Nazi propaganda agent in the United States from 1938 to 1941." [83]

At Auhagen's trial in July 1941, Assistant Attorney-General George McNulty confronted him with his own diary, seized by federal agents when he was arrested in San Francisco, in which he wrote about long conferences with officials of the German Ministry of Propaganda. The U.S. government contended that Auhagen had traveled to Nazi Germany for that purpose every year since Hitler came to power. The New York Times reported that Auhagen's American Fellowship Forum had been linked with the German Library of Information and the German Railroads Information Office as instruments of Nazi propaganda. [84]

A jury in a District of Columbia court found Auhagen guilty on all three counts of the indictment charging him with being a German propagandist. He was sentenced to a term of eight months to two years in the penitentiary and fined $1,000. Auhagen was the first person sentenced for violating the Foreign Alien and Registration Act. In 1947 Auhagen was deported to Germany with a group of other Nazi sympathizers. The U.S. Department of Justice called the deportees a "cargo of human dynamite," too dangerous to be allowed to reside in the United States. [85]

By the time the Institute of Public Affairs held its final conference in June 1941, there was considerably more support among the speakers for American military intervention. Participants included veteran anti-Nazi journalist Edgar Ansel Mowrer and Quincy Howe, who argued that America's joining the war against Nazi Germany was both inevitable and desirable. Institute Director Hardy C. Dillard even lauded Mowrer's address -- which branded as defeatist the isolationists' call for the United States to concentrate on defending the Western Hemisphere -- as "one of the outstanding addresses of the entire series." U.S. representative John M. Vorys of Ohio, however, did speak in favor of isolationism. He declared that the Germans were "more ready for peace" than assumed. [86]

From 1933 until U.S. entry into World War II, the University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs conferences on Europe, war and peace, and U.S.-German relations received Nazis and their sympathizers as distinguished guests whose views were entitled to a respectful hearing. Revisionist scholarship on the origins of the World War became highly influential in the United States during the 1920s and caused many Americans, inside and outside of academia, to sympathize with Germany as a country that the victorious nations had severely wronged at the Versailles Peace Conference. The Versailles Treaty was commonly perceived as having been imposed on Germany by vindictive powers that shared equally with her the responsibility for the war's outbreak. It was therefore unfair to deprive Germany of significant amounts of territory, hobble her armed forces, and force her to pay heavy reparations. Many Americans, although uncomfortable with certain Nazi policies, nonetheless became convinced that Hitler's objective was merely to restore Germany's equal stature among the European nations, which they believed to be a commendable goal. They became convinced that his foreign policy was designed only to regain for Germany territory unfairly stripped from her at Versailles, and to ensure that she could defend herself from invasion.

The Institute's directors cooperated closely with the German embassy in Washington, D.C., hardly a body interested in the furtherance of scholarly inquiry and understanding, to guarantee that the Hitler regime was properly represented at the roundtables. As a result, what many speakers presented at the conferences was not reasoned analysis but propaganda celebrating Hitler and Nazism. They obfuscated the actual conditions and developments within Germany and Hitler's real foreign policy intentions.

The Institute of Public Affairs repeatedly presented as authorities on Germany Nazi apologists from within American academia, and from the Third Reich itself, who disparaged democracy and portrayed Hitler as a savior who restored honor, security, and hope to the German people. Many were avowed antisemites. Adolf Hitler in late November 1938 bestowed upon two of the American professors whom the Institute had invited to present major addresses, Karl Geiser and Frederick K. Krueger, the merit cross of the Order of the German Eagle, first class, a very high honor. [87] Speakers routinely denied American press accounts that Jews in Germany were severely persecuted. They justified the discriminatory measures that the Nazis introduced to drive Jews from university faculties and student bodies, and from practicing law and medicine, as necessary to break what they claimed was Jewish control of German academia and the professions. Neither the Institute's directors, nor other University of Virginia administrators, appear to have challenged these participants' unapologetic antisemitism. Indeed, they praised their contributions and asked some to appear again.
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Re: The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Confl

Postby admin » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:05 pm

Part 1 of 2

6. Nazi Nests: German Departments in American Universities, 1933-1941

University German departments, often staffed by faculty members sympathetic to the Hitler regime, and the German clubs they sponsored, constituted important bases of support for Nazi Germany in the United States. When the Nazi warship Karlsruhe docked at Charlestown Navy Yard for its ten-day goodwill visit to Boston in May 1934, German clubs from colleges across New England sent delegations to greet it. German departments at the Universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota became the targets of major anti-Nazi protest when they hosted receptions for Nazi Germany's ambassador to the United States, Hans Luther, during his tour of the Midwest in October 1935. American professors of German were also prominent as foreign delegates at the anniversary celebrations held in Nazi Germany for the University of Heidelberg in 1936 and the University of Goettingen in 1937.

At Rutgers University's New Jersey College for Women (NJC), the administration's termination of the German Department's only anti-Hitler faculty member, upon the recommendation of its strongly pro-Nazi chair, precipitated the nation's most well-publicized academic freedom controversy of the 1930s. It revealed a widespread lack of concern about Nazism among Rutgers administrators and considerable sympathy for the Hitler regime within the faculty and student body.

The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent noted in May 1935 that the Nazi government considered American colleges and universities of central importance in shaping public opinion of the Third Reich in this country. Almost immediately after the Nazis assumed power in Germany, they sent propaganda agents to the United States "under the guise of students, lecturers, or exchange professors" in order "to inject the Hitler virus into the American student body." The "most reprehensible aspect" of this Nazi campus propaganda campaign was the encouragement it received from heads of German language and literature departments. [1]

New England's College German Clubs Welcome the Karlsruhe

The Studenten Verbindung Germania, the German club at Dartmouth College, was committed to promoting more friendly relations between the United States and Nazi Germany, two "great countries." It expressed concern that there were groups in the United States that "defame[d]"  Nazi Germany and wanted to make her "a social outcast," and it condemned the boycott of German goods. In February 1934, the Studenten Verbindung Germania held its first Kneipe, or beer evening, at which its guest was Nazi Germany's consul-general in Boston, Baron Kurt von Tippelskirch. [2]

Dartmouth's German Club helped transform the friendly reception the city of Boston and Harvard University provided for the Karlsruhe into a New England-wide event. Twenty-five of its members donned military regalia and traveled to Boston to pay homage to the battle cruiser flying the swastika flag as it lay at anchor there. The Karlsruhe's cadets gave them "a very warm and hearty reception." [3]

The Studenten Verbindung Germania returned the favor the next week by hosting an officer and ten cadets from the Karlsruhe at its Fahnenweihe at Dartmouth, at which it dedicated its new club flag, the "exact type" that German fraternities used. The ceremony was followed by a banquet of German dishes and dancing. Mingling with the Karlsruhe cadets were women from the German clubs of Smith, Bennington, Wellesley, Radcliffe, and Middlebury Colleges, whom the Studenten Verbindung Germania had invited. Forty members of the Dartmouth faculty also attended. Speakers at the banquet included P. C. Hessler, a leading financial sponsor of the Junior Year in Munich program, who donated the new club flag; Professor R. W. Jones, chairman of the Dartmouth German Department; and Stephen Schlossmacher, a member of the department and vice-president of the Interscholastic Federation of German Clubs. Further solidifying the bonds between Nazi Germany and Dartmouth, the North German Lloyd Line selected the Studenten Verbindung Germania band to perform on its ocean cruises that summer. [4]

The University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota German Departments Host Nazi Germany's Ambassador

In November 1935, Professor A. R. Hohlfeld, chairman of the University of Wisconsin German Department, hosted Nazi Germany's ambassador Hans Luther on a visit to the campus, sparking bitter controversy and nearly provoking a diplomatic incident. Several other members of the German Department socialized with Luther, and University of Wisconsin president Glenn Frank invited him to tea. Representatives of eleven student organizations, including the radical National Student League (NSL), the Hillel, the Newman Club, the Presbyterian Student house, and the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), issued a joint statement protesting the Nazi ambassador's visit to campus. The student groups denounced the Hitler regime for exiling "the finest of German scholars," sponsoring violent attacks on Jews and implementing antisemitic legislation, driving women into the kitchen, and diverting youth from universities into labor camps. They noted that Germany's entire educational system, "previously one of the finest in the world," was now "being used to spread the gospels of Hitler and his cohorts." Their statement declared that "the burning of books in 1933 was just a dramatic symbol of the consistent repression of all disagreement, and indeed, of almost all study." [5]

The Nazi ambassador arrived in Madison accompanied by R. L. Jaeger, German consul-general in Chicago. Both men were committed to preventing the circulation of news about Nazi atrocities in the United States. About a year and a half earlier, they had together persuaded Chicago mayor Edward J. Kelly to ban theaters in his city from showing the anti-Nazi film Hitler's Reign of Terror. The film was based largely on motion picture footage that Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr. had smuggled out of Germany, and it ended with denunciations of Hitler by Columbia professor Raymond Moley, a leading advisor to President Roosevelt, and U.S. representative Samuel Dickstein. Mayor Kelly shut the film down after a single showing, apparently because of concern that it would endanger friendly relations between the United States and Germany. [6]

Ambassador Luther's stormy eight-hour visit to Madison, Wisconsin, began with a morning press conference that he expected would be routine. When Professor Hohlfeld opened the press conference, two Jewish University of Wisconsin students, Leo Genzeloff of Hackensack, New Jersey, and Daniel Lang of ew York City, identifying themselves as reporters for the NSL's New Student, demanded to know why the Hitler regime was persecuting Jews and Catholics. Denying that the Nazis mistreated Catholics, Luther explained that because Jews were not citizens of the German nation, they did not have the rights accorded to citizens. (Germany had introduced the Nuremberg laws that September, stripping Jews of their citizenship.) He declared that it was improper for other nations to interfere in Germany's internal affairs. Luther outlined azi Germany's triple policy: "peace, good will, and cooperation." He lectured the students that their tone undermined the mutual respect on which understanding between the two nations depended. [7]

When Genzeloff and Lang continued to pepper Luther with hostile questions, he "became extremely irritable." The Nazi ambassador pounded the table with his fist and exclaimed, "I am the representative of the German government in the United States." He very quickly "lost his composure" and "abruptly terminated" the press conference. Luther said he did not wish to discuss Hitler's policies with persons who "possessed little understanding of them," and "stalk[ed] out." As he left, Lang shouted, "Down with Hitler!" Later, Luther declared that he had never been treated so disrespectfully anywhere in the United States as at the Madison press conference. There was speculation in the press that he might file an official protest with the U.S. government concerning what he considered the rude treatment to which the students had subjected him. [8]

Although the University of Wisconsin administration and the German Department made every effort to provide the warmest possible reception for Ambassador Luther, tension persisted throughout the rest of his visit. After leaving the press conference, Luther proceeded to luncheon at the University of Wisconsin German House, where university president Glenn Frank, a prominent isolationist, dined with him. Expecting that Luther would be having supper at Professor Hohlfeld's house, anti-Nazi students and members of the community formed a picket line there at 5:00 P.M. and demonstrated for about 45 minutes. However, at the time Luther was having tea with President Frank at his mansion. The pickets, carrying banners and placards denouncing the Hitler regime for persecuting and murdering political opponents and Jews, attracted a large crowd of onlookers, including children who shouted "Heil Hitler!" at them. [9]

President Frank, like Nicholas Murray Butler, was undoubtedly drawn to Hans Luther because he considered him a gentleman, a man of high social rank. Professor Hohlfeld had introduced Luther at the press conference with the honorific "His Excellency." John D. Hicks, who had attended Northwestern University with Frank and was a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin when Frank was its president in the 1930s, remarked that Frank and his wife had tried to impose in Madison "the high proprieties of New York society." They had hired a butler and a chauffeur and, according to Hicks, "entertained too lavishly," requiring white tie or black tie at many of the social functions they hosted. [10]

Ambassador Luther ended his Madison visit with dinner at the German House, where he was joined by Professor Hohlfeld and German consul-general Jaeger. That night Luther entrained for the Twin Cities, where he was scheduled to make several public addresses and to visit the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. [11]

The next day, several representatives of University of Wisconsin Christian groups who had signed the statement of protest against Luther's visit distanced themselves from the demonstration at Professor Hohlfeld's house. The Reverend Ezra Young, leader of the university's Congregationalist organization, said that he strongly disapproved of the demonstration and had advised against it. He bore no malice toward Ambassador Luther, whose visit to campus he considered social rather than political. Jane Mond, president of the University of Wisconsin YWCA, stated that her organization's name had been included on the statement protesting Luther's visit by mistake. She asserted that the YWCA did not object to the Nazi ambassador's visit. It believed that "every courtesy and respect should be shown him" as a guest. The Reverend "Shorty" Collins, Baptist leader at the university, also declared that he opposed the picketing. [12]

The Daily Cardinal was so angry about the picketing that it declared that the University of Wisconsin owed Luther a "most sincere apology." The editorial board denounced the student "hecklers" at the press conference for subjecting the Nazi ambassador, who "deserved all the hospitality and respect accorded any guest," to a "humiliating experience." Students at the press conference should have shown Luther "the respect that his position warrants." Questioning should have been "polite" and in "good taste." The Daily Cardinal declared that being Jewish did not give the "hecklers" the right to express their "prejudices" at the press conference. [13]

The editors proceeded to explain why they had neglected to provide any coverage of the picketing of Professor Hohlfeld's house in the Daily Cardinal. They explained that Ambassador Luther was a guest at the University of Wisconsin, and "anything that would mar his visit should have been avoided." The Daily Cardinal had refused to publish "anything that would in any way stir up the student body to such an extent that any demonstration would take place." [14]


Upon arriving in the Twin Cities, Ambassador Luther discovered, as the Minneapolis Journal put it, that "he had jumped from the frying pan into the fire." He received a friendly reception at the University of Minnesota and from some business and German-American groups, but he met with a storm of protest elsewhere. In Minneapolis, seventy Jewish organizations denounced Luther's appearance before the Minneapolis Civic and Commerce Association. They issued a statement saying that "[o]ur self-respect as Jews and as citizens compels us to assert we consider Mr. Hans Luther's presence in the community as an affront to all freedom-loving citizens, who must refrain from joining in any reception or public hearing given him." The editor of the St. Paul German Catholic newspaper The Wanderer issued an open letter saying that Luther was not welcome. The Reverend Henry Scherer, pastor of the Catholic church at nearby New Ulm, Minnesota, also denounced the Civic and Commerce Association for greeting Luther, declaring that "it would be an insult for me or my congregation to be seen at a reception or banquet for Dr. Luther." Branding  Nazis as criminal, Rabbi David Aaronson stated that he would "no more care to be seen in the company of a spokesman of Hitler than I would be in the company of the kidnaper of the Lindbergh baby." [15]

A press conference arranged for Twin Cities newsmen to interview Luther turned "fiery" when they pressed him to discuss the persecution of Jews and other minorities in Nazi Germany. L. H. Frisch, publisher of the Jewish World, asked the Nazi ambassador about the recent Nuremberg Laws that deprived Germany's Jews of their citizenship. Luther refused to respond to it or to any other specific question. "Plainly annoyed" by the reporters' persistence, Luther's voice at times "rose to ear-shriek proportions." He declared, as he had at the Madison press conference, that the United States had no right to interfere in Germany's internal affairs. [16]

Having been escorted by a police squadron into Minneapolis's Radisson Hotel across a picket line protesting his appearance, Luther spoke about the German economy before an overflow audience that "roundly applauded" him. He also delivered two addresses in St. Paul in German to audiences totaling 800 persons. The Nazi ambassador declared that Germany desired peace and that its rearmament was only for self-defense against neighbors who had refused to disarm. Under Hitler, class distinctions among Germans were disappearing. [17]

Alarmed by the vigor of the protest against Luther's appearances at the University of Wisconsin and in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota administration and the German Department that hosted him took steps to ensure that he would not be challenged when he visited the campus. It was decided that he would not deliver any address at the university, but only attend a tea sponsored by the German Department. Expecting Luther to speak, anti-Nazi students had prepared and distributed across campus typewritten questions that they hoped people would raise. But their plans to engage the Nazi ambassador in a dialogue about Hitler's policies were frustrated when the German Department admitted to the tea only those whom it had personally invited. When about fifty students appeared at the tea without invitations, Anna Blitz, the University of Minnesota Dean of Women, required them to leave. Campus police forcibly ejected one student who insisted on his right to remain. [18]

Dean Blitz justified her refusal to permit the fifty students to attend the tea by explaining that "this element obviously just wanted to make itself obnoxious." She declared that Ambassador Luther was the university's guest, and it was out of respect for him that she prevented the students from attending the tea. Dean Blitz commented that the student who did not obey her order to leave "was not properly dressed for a tea." [19]

German Departments and German Clubs: Promoting Friendship with the Third Reich

Campus German clubs, consisting largely of students majoring in German, like their sponsoring German departments, entertained Nazi diplomats and sometimes brought them together with university presidents and other administrators. Hitler's consul-general in Boston, Baron Kurt von Tippelskirch, was a frequent guest at German club social functions at New England colleges. He mingled with President Ada Comstock at the Radcliffe German Club Christmas party in 1933, and with the wife of Smith president William Allan Neilson and Smith faculty at a reception and dinner sponsored by that college's German Club in 1935. Von Tippelskirch was the chief speaker at the Harvard German Club's Abschiedsfeier in May 1936. His successor as Germany's consul-general in Boston, Dr. Herbert Scholtz, attended the Harvard German Club's dinner-dance in May 1939, to which members of the German clubs at Radcliffe, Wellesley, Dartmouth, and Colby Colleges were also invited. [20]

In December 1934, both the Yale University and Vassar College German clubs invited Dr. Richard Sallet, attache at the German embassy in Washington, to speak on campus about Hitler's Germany. The Nazi diplomat spoke informally on December 11 to Yale's Germanic Club, which was composed of faculty members and graduate students, on "The New Foundations of the German Commonwealth." Professor Adolph Bennett Benson, chair of Yale's Department of Germanic Languages and sponsor of the Germanic Club, announced that only members of the club would be admitted to Sallet's talk, which was closed to the press. The Yale chapter of the National Student League charged that Sallet's visit was for the purpose of disseminating Nazi propaganda to members of the Yale community. [21] This was certainly Saller's intention when he spoke several days later at Vassar. He extolled Nazi Germany as a "folk community." The Nazis had abolished all social ranks to create a true "people's fellowship." What solidified it was its exclusivity: a person who had not been born into it could never join it. A person's social or class background mattered not at all, only his or her ancestry. Sallet explained to the assembled German majors and other Vassarites in attendance that because Nazi Germany defined itself in this way it could not annex any non-German territory, "especially Poland." He claimed therefore that Germany was "inherently pacifistic." [22]

Besides influencing their students in the German clubs to adopt a favorable attitude toward Nazism, some prominent professors of German also served as propagandists for the Third Reich in other forums, including Friedrich Auhagen and Frederick K. Krueger, prominent participants in the University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs roundtables, and Professor Paul H. Curts of the Wesleyan University German Department. In October 1934, Curts explained to a student assembly at Wesleyan that only Hitler could provide Germany with what it needed. Having witnessed the Night of the Long Knives from Hamburg, Germany, Curts reported that most Germans had no objection to "the quick blow of retaliation that the leader made" against what they considered "a radical conspiracy." 23 Speaking at New Haven's Exchange Club about two weeks later as someone who had vacationed several times in the Third Reich, Curts accused the American press of publishing exaggerated accounts of disorder there. Curts declared that the Nazis had no intention of spreading their doctrine outside Germany. [24]

Back in Germany in April 1936, Professor Curts reported that everyone there "believe[d] absolutely in the sincerity of Hitler's offer of nonaggression and peace." He defended the Wehrmacht's march into the Rhineland, claiming it was "an integral part of Germany." Curts endorsed the Nazis' antisemitic policies, declaring that "'Germany for the Germans' is the slogan. Substitute 'America for the Americans' and it sounds quite reasonable." [25]

American professors of German enthusiastically participated in the anniversary celebrations at the Universities of Heidelberg and Goettingen in 1936 and 1937. At Heidelberg, Arthur F. J. Remy, Villard Professor of Germanic Philology, represented Columbia and Professor Ernst Rose, recommended by his department chairman, W. D. Zinnecker, represented New York University. Cornell University president Livingston Farrand appointed Professor A. W. Boesche as that institution's delegate, and Professor Aloysius G. Gaiss represented the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan student newspaper reported that Professor Gaiss was looking forward to the Heidelberg ceremonies "with great excitement." He declared that the presence of delegates from American colleges and universities would improve relations between the United States and Nazi Germany. Gaiss announced that he planned to spend the next seven months after he sailed for the festival on June 11 in Europe, six of them at the University of Heidelberg. [26] The next year at Goettingen, Professor A. B. Faust, chairman of Cornell's German Department, gave the Nazi salute as he accepted an honorary degree at that university's bicentennial celebration. [27]

The Nazi government rewarded several American professors of German for promoting friendship between the United States and Germany with medals that it considered very prestigious. In April 1938, the German consul-general in Los Angeles, Dr. Georg Gyssling, bestowed the Order of the German Eagle on Professor Erwin T. Mohme, head of the German Department at the University of Southern California, for "furthering cultural relationships between Germany and the United States." In presenting the medal, along with a parchment letter of congratulations personally signed by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi consul-general informed Mohme that he was the only man on the Pacific Coast to have received it. [28] In November 1938, about two weeks after the Kristallnacht, Adolf Hitler awarded the Order of Merit of the German Eagle, first class, to another American professor of German, William Alpha Cooper, who had retired from Stanford University in 1934. [29]

Professor Max Otto Koischwitz of Hunter College's German Department was so enthusiastic about Nazism that he moved permanently to Germany in 1939, after a fourteen-year career teaching in the United States, and served the Hitler government as a propagandist. In 1939, the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League (NSANL) protested to the New York City Department of Education when the magazine Literatur, published in Nazi Germany, carried an article in which Professor Koischwitz denounced American democracy. The NSANL noted that Koischwitz had been under close surveillance as a Nazi propagandist for the previous six years, since Hitler came to power, and had appeared as a guest of honor at meetings of the pro-Nazi German-American Bund. [30] The German-born Koischwitz joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1925, immediately after graduating from the University of Berlin. In 1931, he became a professor of German at Hunter College. Considered a Nazi, according to the New York Times, Koischwitz traveled to the Third Reich, allegedly for "study," in 1935, 1937, and 1939. He did not return to the United States after the last trip, on which his wife and three daughters accompanied him. [31]

Image
FIGURE 6.1. "Axis Sally" (Mildred E. Gillars) leaving U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., during her trial for treason, February I7, 1949. Courtesy of AP Images.

By 1940, Koischwitz had become a prominent radio official for the Hitler regime and the patron and lover of "Axis Sally" (Mildred E. Gillars), his former student at Hunter College, whose English-language broadcasts to Allied troops in Europe and North Africa were designed to convince them that it was futile to fight the German armed forces. Koischwitz headed the U.S.A. Zone of German radio, which broadcast by shortwave to the United States and to American soldiers. During World War II, he often met with Germany's foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, at Hitler's headquarters. Koischwitz and Axis Sally often visited German prisoner-of-war camps to interrogate captured American soldiers and airmen. A District of Columbia grand jury indicted Koischwitz for treason in July 1943. [32]

Although Koischwitz died in Berlin in August 1944, his protege, Axis Sally, was arrested after the war and convicted of treason in 1949 in a federal court in Washington, D.C. She testified at her trial that Koischwitz had recruited her for Nazi propaganda work in Germany. A federal judge sentenced the "supposedly glamorous radio siren" to serve ten to thirty years in prison (she served twelve). The treason conviction was based on the single count of broadcasting a program entitled Vision of Invasion shortly before D-Day, written by Professor Koischwitz. Koischwitz's script began with an announcer intoning: "The D of D-Day stands for doom ... disaster ... death ... defeat." Axis Sally assumed "the role of an American mother who talked to her soldier son in a dream and learned that he had been killed in the [Allied] invasion" of France. [33] Koischwitz had the mother tell her husband that in the invasion "etween 70 and 90 percent of our boys will be killed or crippled the rest of their lives," and that "Roosevelt has no right to go to war." [34]

[b]The Bergel-Hauptmann Case at the New Jersey College for Women


When Friedrich J. Hauptmann, the avowedly pro-Hitler chair of the German Department at New Jersey College for Women (NJC), the women's coordinate college of Rutgers University, in 1935 terminated the employment of his department's only anti-Nazi faculty member, instructor Lienhard Berge!, the resulting controversy focused national attention on the role of German departments and campus German clubs in promoting sympathy for the Third Reich. Hauptmann's dismissal of Bergel received strong backing from the NJC German Department's other faculty members, all of whom were ardent Nazi sympathizers, and from nearly all of the German majors who lived in the NJC German House. NJC's dean and the president of Rutgers upheld Hauptmann's decision. The press described both the German Department and the NJC German House in which most of the majors resided as " Nazi nests." Pressure on the Rutgers University administration from concerned legislators, and adverse publicity in the press, caused Rutgers University president Robert C. Clothier to appoint a special committee composed of five trustees to investigate Bergel's charge that his dismissal was an act of retaliation against him by his chair for refusing to conform to the department's pro-Nazi outlook. This Special Trustees Committee was chaired by J. Edward Ashmead, vice-president of the Rutgers University alumni association. During the lengthy hearings it conducted, the Trustees Committee displayed hostility toward Bergel and others who spoke out forcefully against Nazism and displayed a very complacent attitude toward the German Department's pro-Hitler outlook.

Antisemitism was commonplace in the NJC administration, which imposed a strict quota to limit the admission of Jewish students. In 1930, NJC's acceptance rate for Jewish applicants was about half that of non-Jews: 31 percent as opposed to 61 percent. During the 1920s, the administration implemented measures similar to those used by Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and the Seven Sisters colleges to restrict Jewish admissions. These included requiring applicants to provide place of birth and full names of both parents, along with a photograph, and to list extracurricular activities, including "church work." The administration also gave significant weight to recommendations from principals and alumni that included comments on the candidate's personality and "moral character." It relied on such factors to screen out academically qualified Jewish candidates as not sufficiently "well-rounded." [35]

Mabel Douglass, dean of NJC from its founding in 1918 until 1932, complained that too many Jews had been "inadvertently admitted on academic grading solely." Characterizing many of the Jewish students as "crude," she complained that they had caused the "finest girls" to transfer. Douglass's successor as permanent dean, Margaret T. Corwin, shared her views, and in 1936 she persuaded the trustees to limit the proportion of commuters in the student body to 25 percent. This served to further reduce Jewish enrollment because the percentage of Jewish students who commuted was more than double that of non-Jews: 68 percent as opposed to 30 percent. Corwin's father, Robert N. Corwin, as director of Yale University's admissions board from 1920 to 1933, had been instrumental in developing policies there to restrict Jewish admissions. [36]

Complaints by New Jersey Jews about discrimination against Jewish applicants at Rutgers and NJC caused the Rutgers Board of Regents to hold hearings on the issue in 1931. Ten Jewish organizations representing about 200,000 citizens charged that Rutgers, as a defacto state university that received substantial state appropriations and "the apex of the public school system," had violated New Jersey civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis "of race, creed, or color in furnishing facilities at colleges and universities within the State." A committee representing the Jewish organizations documented in a brief that Rutgers had rejected many Jews from Elizabeth, New Brunswick, and Perth Amboy high schools in favor of non-Jews with much inferior records. [37]

Fraser Metzger, dean of Rutgers College, and other members of the Rutgers University administration emphatically denied that the university had ever discriminated against Jews. Julius Kass, the Perth Amboy attorney who initiated the case, testified that Dean Metzger told him in October 1930 that the administration was determined to maintain a quota limiting Jews to about 15 percent of the student body to prevent Rutgers from becoming "like C.C.N.Y." Kass asked Dean Metzger to consider a hypothetical case in which a Jewish student in the top quarter of his preparatory class and a non-Jewish student in the lower three-quarters both applied for admission when the Jewish quota was already filled, and to tell him which he would admit. Dean Metzger answered "without hesitation" that he would admit only the non-Jewish student. Dr. William B. Gourley, a member of the Rutgers board of trustees, termed Kass's charges "perfect nonsense." [38]

The Rutgers administration insisted it was not discriminating, arguing that it was necessary to preserve geographical balance within the state and to ensure that no ethnic group was admitted in proportions significantly higher than its percentage in the state population. The Nazis used a similar argument in 1933 in restricting Jewish admissions to German universities to 1 percent, their proportion in the German population. The Rutgers administration claimed that Jews, 6 percent of the state's population, composed 12 percent of the student body. Moreover, it maintained that the student body "should be composed of students in fair proportion from all parts of the state." This meant that the administration had the right to reject applicants from northern New Jersey high schools in which Jews were disproportionately represented in favor of those with inferior records from southern New Jersey counties that contained very few Jews. Only the Admissions Committee of Rutgers University possessed the requisite judgment to properly select candidates. The Admissions Committee had been "carefully selected" and its members were "men of high character and long experience." The Jewish organizations' "misunderstanding" arose from their "erroneous assumption that scholastic standing is the sole test" in the college admissions process. [39] Despite the hearings, the Rutgers andNJC administrations maintained this outlook toward Jewish admissions throughout the decade.

NJC and Rutgers discriminated against Jews in faculty hiring as well. There were at most four Jews on the NJC faculty during the mid-1930s, two of whom were German refugees hired in the Music Department in September 1934. There were very few Jews on the faculties of the Rutgers men's colleges. Evalyn Clark, assistant professor of classical languages, in 1935 testified before the Trustees Committee appointed to consider the dismissal of Lienhard Bergel that she had heard NJC dean Mabel Douglass declare that she would not have a Jew on her faculty. [40]

During the 1930s, non-Jewish professors at NJC at times injected crude antisemitic comments into classroom discussions. Marion Siegel Friedman, who attended NJC from 1935 to 1939, recalled in 1986 that she still felt "hatred and revulsion" for her European literature professor because he endorsed in class the medieval charge that Jews ritually murdered Christian children around Easter time to reenact the crucifixion and mock Jesus. The professor had assigned the class the tale of Little Hugh of Lincoln, a Christian boy whom Jews in England had been accused of murdering for this purpose in 1255 C.E. The bizarre Christian ritual murder fantasy, often combined with the blood libel accusation, claiming that Jews extracted the child's blood to mix with matzoh consumed at Passover, resulted in the torture and execution of many innocent Jews. The professor, in discussing the tale in class, had told the students "that there must be some truth to the charge of Jews sacrificing a Christian child for making Passover matzoh." [41]

No sooner had Hitler assumed power in Germany than members of the JC and Rutgers German departments were extolling Nazi achievements in public forums on and off campus. Dr. Emil Leopold Jordan, instructor in German at NJC, speaking at a meeting of theNJC League of Women Voters in March 1933, declared that Hitler had rescued Germany from a republican system that had left her "worse off than ever." Hitler had unified a nation divided by thirty-six quarreling political parties. He was a man of high moral character, a vegetarian who did not smoke or drink, committed to combating corruption. Jordan concluded his speech by accusing the American press of presenting distorted accounts of German conditions. [42]

Presaging the conflict that later erupted over theNJC German Department's Nazi orientation, Lienhard Bergel, who, in addition to being the only department member opposed to Hitler, was a non-Jewish German native, challenged Jordan's defense of the Nazi government in the question period. According to Bergel, the next day the NJC German department chair, Professor Friedrich]' Hauptmann, "rebuked him for spoiling the good effect of Dr. Jordan's speech." Alice Schlimbach, assistant professor of German and director of the NJC German House, later testified that Bergel's anti-Nazi remarks during the question period had angered students at the German House, precipitating "small riots." She reported that "the girls could not respect a man who spoke in such a disrespectful way about his own country." One student called Bergel "unethical." Another complained that he had made the German department "look like a scrapping place." [43]

Jean M. Earle, who lived in the German House for three years and graduated from NJC in 1934, in 1935 described Dr. Jordan's presentation at the League of Women Voters forum as "a very interesting talk on how Hitler came into power and why the German people were against a certain class of Jews." She said that the students in attendance objected to "hav[ing] that meeting spoiled by Mr. Berge! constantly contradicting Dr. Jordan." The students" had gone to hear Dr. Jordan talk about Hitler and instead had to listen to Mr. Bergel talk against Hitler." [44]

A student who attended the lecture testified in 1935 at the Special Trustees Committee hearings that Jordan had made explicitly antisemitic comments in answer to a question from the floor about Nazi treatment of Jews. The witness had taken notes at the lecture and said that the NJC student newspaper, Campus News, had not reported the antisemitic comments. She quoted Jordan as having said that "the Jews should be kept in their place," and that they "should only be employed in the various positions in their proportion to the population." The Special Trustees Committee summary of the hearings stated that "Dr. Jordan said he did not recall" making the remark that "Jews should be kept in their place." [45]

The same evening as Professor Jordan's League of Women Voters presentation, Associate Professor Albert Holzmann of the Rutgers German Department spoke in favor of Hitler at a symposium on the current situation in Germany sponsored by the Rutgers Liberal Club. Holzmann denied that the Nazis had committed antisemitic atrocities, blaming the American press for printing propaganda to besmirch the German people's "fair name." What was remarkable was the very infrequency of antisemitic incidents, considering that a "tremendous revolution" had taken place in Germany. Holzmann credited the Nazi leadership for the alleged lack of violence, claiming that it had ordered its followers "to harm no Jew." He insisted that there was no reason for anyone to protest against the Hitler regime. [46]

Although another speaker, Rabbi Nathaniel Keller, urged that people denounce antisemitic discrimination in Germany, the speaker following him, Dr. Milton J. Hoffman of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, argued that no protest take place until "a thorough investigation of the facts" had been conducted. Hoffman claimed that the Jews were in part responsible for any mistreatment they suffered, because, unlike other "races," they refused to assimilate when they settled in "a foreign country." He declared that "Jews remain Jews and cannot become otherwise." [47]

During the discussion period, NJC German Department chair Friedrich Hauptmann defended Nazi Germany's policy toward Jews, arguing that the Hitler regime was concerned only about Jews who had migrated to Germany from the East after the World War. Hauptmann charged that many of the Jews were contributing to "Socialist and Communist" subversion. Moving into Berlin in large numbers, they rendered many native Germans homeless. [48]

Professor Holzmann aggressively promoted the Hitler regime during the next months. Speaking before the Rutgers chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in early May 1933, he declared that he "was 85 percent in approval of Hitler and the Nazi regime" and praised the Fuehrer for uniting the German people. He told the New Brunswick, New Jersey, Daily Home News in late May that Hitler was the savior of Germany, who had put a quarter of a million Germans back to work. Holzmann denounced the German Social Democrats for signing the Treaty of Versailles, which he claimed had "subject[ed] Germany to more humiliating and cruel conditions than any other country in recent civilization has been forced to bear." Ignoring the Nazi students' intense anti-intellectualism, reflected in the massive book burnings they staged that month at universities across the Reich, Holzmann identified the disproportionate involvement of students "and those interested in education" as a particularly impressive feature of the German Nazi party. [49]

NJC students majoring in German who traveled in Nazi Germany during 1933 and 1934 presented glowing accounts of Hitler's achievements in the campus press. Marion Kelley, Class of 1934, returned in the fall of 1933 from fourteen months of study at the University of Berlin impressed with Germany's "earnest and serious" students. She was struck by the "cleanliness and neatness" of German cities, with their "beautiful, well-kept gardens." [50] Margarethe Varga, Class of 1935, who had studied in Germany during the 1933-34 academic year, told the NJC German Club in September 1934 to disregard American press reports of street violence in the Third Reich. She reported that an "air of peace" prevailed there. Varga said that she had been impressed by the way all Germans, even little children, saluted their friends with the greeting "Heil Hitler," a sign of the national unity the Nazis had forged. [51]

In an April 1936 article published in a Jewish magazine, Lienhard Bergel explained that Nazi faculty in the NJC German Department made special arrangements for the students traveling to Germany for study to maximize their chances of being influenced by Nazi ideology. One of the aziNJC professors would personally select a German host family for the student to reside with when abroad that was particularly committed to Nazism. The professor justified his or her personal involvement in the placement by explaining that it was for the purpose of making sure that the student was exposed to a "genuinely German atmosphere."

Bergel considered NJC's financing student travel to the Third Reich by collecting money in the German classes to be the most scandalous aspect of the college's study in Germany program. He noted that" [e]very student in the [German] department is obliged to make weekly contributions for this fund." Although the German Department presented the contributions as voluntary, students were under strong pressure to make them, because the collections were conducted under their professors' supervision. Bergel emphasized that the German faculty expected the Jewish students to contribute along with the non-Jewish. Questions about whether a student really had to contribute, or why the students were not sent to study in a German-speaking country not under Nazi control, like Switzerland or Austria, only "provoker d] the anger of the teacher" and retaliation against the person asking it. [52]

In December 1934 the NJC student newspaper Campus News published sections of a letter it had received from Elaine Zischkau, Class of 1936, the recipient of the 1934-35 NJC German scholarship, who was enrolled at the University of Berlin, full of enthusiasm for the "new Germany." Zischkau extolled Adolf Hitler as a leader "deeply respected by the older people and adored by the younger" in Germany. After years of "growing misery and disunion" under the Social Democrats, the German people had rallied to Hitler, who "offered a new life of which they can be proud." He was determined to forge Germans into one people, and to restore their self-respect. The Nazis were "trying so hard to create a new and better Germany out of the old." They were "so desperately sincere." To be sure, they had made "occasional errors." But it was impossible "in a revolution of this size" not to do so. [53]

Zischkau angrily denounced the American press for what she called its "savage and unjust attacks" on Nazi Germany. American reporters who had never been to "the new Germany" wrote about it "with absolutely no understanding of the situation." Zischkau singled out a recent Collier's editorial that declared that "[i]t was Germany's misfortune and the world's misfortune" that Hitler had assumed power. She strongly resented that such "stupid" and "malicious" articles influenced American perceptions of the Third Reich. [54]

Zischkau became embroiled in a fevered exchange in the Campus News when a letter to the editor signed only "Member of '36" denounced her as a propagandist for Hitler. Member of '36 charged that Zischkau could not possibly understand what was really taking place in Germany when the persons with whom she was in contact were "either themselves committing the crimes of the Nazis" or were "in fear of their lives if they tell the truth." [55]

Zischkau responded in the Campus News by declaring that she was just "doing [her] part in attempting to destroy this picture of Germany as a land of fear and lies." During her months in the Third Reich she had seen "a government helping its people." The Nazis had united the Germans and made it possible for them "to gain pleasure from music and travel ... [and] to gain an equal standing with the people of other nations." [56]

Lienhard Bergel probably had Elaine Zischkau in mind when he wrote in 1936 that it was almost inevitable that a student would return from a year in the Third Reich feeling sympathy for the Hitler regime, given how college study in Germany programs were structured. Arriving in Germany at an impressionable age, the American student came into contact with Nazis almost exclusively. The student's college German Department arranged for her to reside with a pro-Nazi German family. She was enrolled in courses at a German university where "she heard the official  Nazi doctrines explained." The professors whose lectures she attended all presented their subjects "from the Nazi angle." No wonder that she "writes letters to the College paper during her stay which are full of praise for the Nazis." Bergel noted that American exchange students continued their pro-Nazi propaganda activities after they returned from Germany. Nazi sympathizers on the German Department faculty referred other students to her to learn "first-hand" about the virtues of the Third Reich. [57]

Professor Emily Hickman of the NJC History Department echoed these paeans to the Third Reich when she returned from the Carl Schurz Tour of Germany that the Nazi government had arranged for American academics for the summer of 1934. Professor Hickman emphasized that "something positive was going on" in the Third Reich and sharply criticized American press coverage as biased and inaccurate. She endorsed the labor camp service the Hitler regime required of students before they entered universities for drawing together youth of different backgrounds, thereby supposedly reducing class divisions. The labor camp also served as an arena in which a prospective student could display character and leadership qualities important in gaining admission to a university. Hickman found much to admire in the Nazi government's higher education policies, which she suggested provided better preparation for modern society's challenges. She explained that "[t]he new [ Nazi] system criticizes the highly specialized scholarship of Germany as divorced from life, and believes that higher education should be aimed more nearly at ... character education and an education fitting the student to deal with the problems met in life." The reduction in the number of students admitted was necessary to alleviate overcrowding in the professions. [58]
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Re: The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Confl

Postby admin » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:05 pm

Part 2 of 2

The NJC and Rutgers German departments energetically promoted the film of the Carl Schurz Foundation Tour of Nazi Germany that the Hitler government arranged for American academics in the summer of 1934. The film was produced by the Nazi government's Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA) studio. The Hitler regime distributed it to American colleges and universities that participated in the tour for campus showings, to present a favorable image of the Third Reich to students and faculty members. The president of Rutgers University, Robert C. Clothier, wrote to Professor Albert Holzmann that he hoped to attend a campus showing. Clothier and Holzmann agreed that proceeds derived from renting the film outside the university would be allocated to send a member of the Rutgers or NJC German Club to study in Germany. [59]

Holzmann informed President Clothier on March 13,1935, that the first campus screening of the film was "a splendid success." It was "a university affair," sponsored by both the Rutgers and NJC German departments. Professor Hickman assisted the German departments in distributing tickets. According to Holzmann the audience was "large and enthusiastic." [60]

Not only was President Clothier very supportive of the German departments' efforts to expose Americans on and off campus to a Nazi propaganda film produced by the Hitler regime, but several months later he declined an opportunity to publicly support German refugees. In December 1935 Clothier refused Director Alvin Johnson's appeal to join the Advisory Committee he was organizing for the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research in New York City. In 1933, Clothier had agreed to be a sponsor of a plan to establish a University in Exile to be staffed by German refugee scholars who had fled to the United States. Serving as a member of the Graduate Faculty's Advisory Committee required no obligation other than to provide occasional advice. All that Johnson really asked of Clothier was his "moral support" for the University in Exile. Nonetheless, Clothier replied to Johnson that it was "inadvisable" for him to join the Advisory Committee. [61]

In the fall of 1933, NJC German Department chair Friedrich J. Hauptmann informed Lienhard Bergel, an instructor hired in February 1932 and the department's lone anti-Nazi, that he would not be retained after June 1935. The Rutgers University trustees had adopted a three-year term limit for instructors during the 1932-33 academic year. Acting NJC dean Albert Meder, who had replaced Mabel Douglass, approved Hauptmann's decision. His successor, Dean Corwin, determined that the German Department could not afford to employ five faculty members, two of whom were instructors, in part because of an anticipated decline in German course enrollments. Hauptmann recommended that the other instructor, the pro-Nazi Emil Jordan, who had been at NJC since 1931, be retained, and not Berge!. After conferring with President Clothier, Dean Corwin wrote to Bergel on May 23, 1934, saying that NJC would terminate his employment in June 1935. [62]

Besides the instructors Bergel and Jordan, the NJC German Department in 1934 consisted of associate professor Hauptmann, chair since 1931; assistant professor Alice Schlimbach; and Marie Hauptmann, the chair's wife, who was classified as "assistant," a temporary position, although she taught at NJC for eight years, until June 1937. Schlimbach had been director of the German House since its establishment in the fall of 1929, and she resided there. All were German nationals educated in Germany. Jordan, who had been in the United States only since 1930, was the only department member with a Ph.D. (in economics, not literature). [63]

Lienhard Bergel's appointment in February 1932 as instructor in the NJC German Department had been arranged by his fiancee, Sylvia Cook, who persuaded Dean Mabel Douglass to turn over Cook's position to him. Bergel came to NJC with "superb recommendations" from the University of Breslau, where he had done his graduate work, and from Professor William A. Braun of Barnard, under whom Sylvia Cook had studied. Cook, a Barnard alumna and graduate exchange student at the University of Breslau in Germany from 1928 to 1931, began teaching at NJC in the fall semester of 1931. She had met Lienhard Bergel at the University of Breslau, in Professor Paul Merker's seminar on German literature. They became engaged in Germany and were married shortly after Bergel assumed the NJC instructorship. In Breslau, Bergel prepared for his Staatsexamen, required of those entering college teaching, and passed it with distinction in 1930. [64]

Cook was one of the few exchange students at Breslau who feared that Nazism constituted a serious long-term threat in Germany, a view Bergel shared. Bergel was not a member of any political party, and Cook described him during his Breslau student days as "having no interest in politics" except that, like Cook, he found Nazism "deeply abhorrent." Neither Bergel nor Cook was Jewish. Bergel had been raised a Lutheran, but neither he nor Cook attended church. Cook's father was a professor at the University of Cincinnati and her mother "an old-fashioned New England type, staunchly Republican." [65]

During the period Bergel and Cook were studying in Breslau, the Nazis became increasingly visible there, and the couple witnessed or heard about  Nazi beatings of persons considered a threat to "racial purity." Breslau, situated near Poland, had a significant Jewish population. Cook recalled watching Nazi youths marching in a park near the Coenaculum, a house run by Catholic nuns for women students where she resided, and then fanning out into Breslau, attacking Jews and other "undesirable[s]." The Nazi youths' "weapon of choice" in these beatings was a "Gummiknueppel," a word Cook said she had not learned in her Barnard German courses -- a length of pipe encased in rubber hose. [66]

From the time of Cook's arrival in Breslau in October 1928, she had been deeply disturbed by the chauvinism and militarism expressed by Germans she encountered. Cook, who spoke fluent German, had come to Germany "with happy expectations" shaped by her admiration for German literature, music, and philosophy. The new American exchange student received her first shock when the director of the Coenaculum, a nun called Mutter Bischoff, presiding at a party for Cook, delivered her welcoming address. Mutter Bischoff proclaimed that day a great one for Germany, because it had just launched its first armed cruiser and taken "the first step toward the eventual destruction of England." Cook became "quickly aware of the forces at work around [her]" and read Hitler's Mein Kampf carefully, along with the local newspaper, Breslauer Neueste Nachrichten. Foreseeing the "impending catastrophe," Cook arranged to get her fiance out of Germany to the United States and gave up her position at NJC for him. [67]

Sylvia Cook Bergel recalled in 1992 that German Department chair Friedrich Hauptmann was "jealous and abominated Lienhard [Bergel] from the start," making his life at NJC "a misery." Hauptmann detested Bergel's anti-Nazism and probably felt intellectually intimidated by the younger man. [68]

Hauptmann's academic limitations were clearly revealed when, having received a leave of absence with full pay from the NJC administration, he traveled to Nazi Germany, where the University of Marburg awarded him a Ph.D. for a sixty-nine-page dissertation that he completed, along with some other doctoral requirements, in only five months. He did not even work full time on the dissertation because the leave of absence was granted in part so that he could visit spas in Germany to improve his health. The dissertation, "Eine wissenschaftliche Kritik des Standes des deutschen Unterrichts an den High Schools und Colleges der Vereinigten Staaten" (" A Scholarly Critique of German Instruction at the High Schools and Colleges of the United States"), drew on only "a handful of secondary sources" and some questionnaires Hauptmann mailed to state departments of education, which he may not have used. David Oshinsky, Richard P. McCormick, and Daniel Horn, in their 1989 investigation of the Bergel dismissal, The Case of the Nazi Professor, called Hauptmann's dissertation, "a dreadful piece of work." It was "loaded ... with pro-Nazi statements." [69]

Bergel later described the Rutgers administration's role in the leave of absence as scandalous. He noted that during Hauptmann's five months in Germany he not only wrote his dissertation but prepared for and passed his oral examination "and had still time enough to improve his health in a fashionable watering resort." The worst part of it, he said, was that this had occurred with the administration's full knowledge and approval. It had granted him the leave knowing his expressed purpose and had provided him with his entire salary. [70]

Dean Corwin challenged Lienhard Bergel's assertion that German Ph.D. degrees were equivalent only to American M.A. degrees and claimed that there was "nothing exceptional" in Hauptmann's having completed a dissertation and other doctoral requirements in "only five months." She noted that the University of Marburg had awarded him his degree cum laude. Besides, it was "a little difficult to evaluate European degrees." [71]

In justifying Bergel's termination, Hauptmann and Corwin, besides citing the three-year rule for instructors, criticized Bergel's teaching and his lack of attendance at German Department meetings and unwillingness to have meals at the German table in the campus dining hall. In her report to the trustees, Corwin also complained that Bergel, who had been teaching for only three years, had not yet published any of his work. It was in the same report that she defended as academically legitimate Hauptmann's poorly researched sixty-nine-page dissertation from the Nazified University of Marburg. Hauptmann also charged that Berge! had reneged on an agreement that he live in New Brunswick and instead commuted to campus from Cranford, New Jersey, as a result of which he "never participated in social activities," including those of the German Club and German House. Hauptmann and Corwin both claimed that Bergel's anti-Nazism was not a factor in his termination. [72]

In a comment to the Special Trustees Committee, Dean Corwin appeared to dismiss the NJC German Department's Nazi orientation as a matter of concern. She reported that she had been "very much impressed" by a statement of Bergel's that his fiancee had warned him before he came to the United States "of the situation in the German Department of the New Jersey College for Women," and that his experiences during his first few weeks on the NJC faculty had "fully justified the warnings." To Dean Corwin this indicated that Berge!, who while in Germany had seen the Nazis grow into a mass movement, heard their antisemitic invective, and witnessed the impact of their savage violence, "lacked sympathetic understanding" of a college department composed entirely of German-born  Nazis. She could not understand how Bergel could have made up his mind about his "colleagues" in the German Department after only a few weeks. Corwin concluded that "[tJhe whole statement reinforced me in my opinion that the College should not retain Mr. Bergel." [73]

On April 17, 1935, about a month before the Special Trustees Committee convened the hearings, NJC students met with Dean Corwin to express concern about German Department faculty propagandizing for  Nazism in the classroom and Bergel's dismissal. Corwin informed them that a drop in German course enrollment of 20 percent from the 1933-34 to the 1934-35 academic year necessitated the elimination of one position. The students then asked Corwin why Marie Hauptmann, the chair's wife, was not let go instead of Bergel. Corwin refused to answer on the grounds that she would have to share with them confidential faculty salary information. (As aforementioned, Marie Hauptmann was classified as an assistant, a temporary position, although she remained a member of the German Department for eight years, from academic year 1929-30 through 1936-37.) [74] Students returned on May 7 and asked that Dean Corwin appoint a committee to visit all German classes to determine whether Nazi propaganda was being disseminated in them. This Corwin refused to do. [75]

On April 13, 1935, the Campus News precipitated student involvement in the Bergel controversy by publishing an editorial that praised his contribution to NJC as a teacher but accepted Corwin's argument that declining German enrollments required the elimination of his position. Several letters to the editor challenged Bergel's termination. One from "A Group of German Students" charged that the German Department's Nazi orientation discouraged many students from enrolling in German courses. In early May, Campus News advisor and former acting dean Albert Meder asked the newspaper's editor Marion Short, who had just assumed that office, not to publish letters on the Bergel dismissal, but she refused. Dean Corwin authorized Meder to tell Short that the administration would make no further statement to the Campus News on the case. Short also printed letters from students and alumni supporting Hauptmann.  [76] The previous editor, Frances Williams, later testified that Meder had summoned her to his office to tell her he was displeased that Short was publishing letters to the editor on the Bergel case, and that he might remove her for doing so. [77]

Alan Silver, a Rutgers student and Bergel supporter, informed reporter Frederick E. Woltman of the New York World-Telegram about the controversy, and Woltman produced a story describing the anti-fascist Bergel's isolation in a German Department consisting entirely of Nazis. This generated enormous press interest in the case. Silver also secured an interview for Bergel with the Committee on Academic Freedom of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York, which included Roger Baldwin, Reinhold Niebuhr, Horace Kallen, and Sidney Hook. As a result of the interview, the ACLU decided to investigate and notified President Clothier of its concern. It also suggested that if it determined that the German Department had violated Bergel's academic freedom and had disseminated Nazi propaganda, it would ask the New Jersey legislature to withhold funds from Rutgers. Press coverage, ACLU involvement, and the efforts of the Bergels and their student backers to enlist support from anti-Nazi state legislators and New Brunswick assemblymen brought the case to a wider public. [78]

The five-person Special Trustees Committee that President Clothier selected was dominated by its chair, Newark attorney J. Edward Ashmead, Class of 1897; New York City attorney and clubman Philip M. Brett, Class of 1892, a former Rutgers football captain and acting president of Rutgers from 1930 to 1932; and John Wycoff Mettler, Class of 1899, founder and president of the Interwoven Stocking Company. Mettler also served on the Board of Managers of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad. All were longtime Rutgers trustees. None of the five members of the committee was a scholar or a teacher. Sylvia C. Bergel in 1988 ridiculed the notion of a man like Mettler, described as "a giant in the field of sock manufacture," serving on the committee. She recalled that Mettler brought socks manufactured in his hosiery mill to the hearings and distributed them to friends. [79]

Sylvia C. Bergellater described the Special Trustees Committee as "an ingrown little group of lawyers and business men closely related to the interests of Rutgers University," and not likely to be objective. In her view it "should have included at least one person of academic experience," as well as someone not affiliated with Rutgers. [80]

Testifying on the first day of the hearings, Bergel charged that Hauptmann's motive in terminating him was his having expressed opposition to  Nazism at campus forums, beginning with his challenge to Emil Jordan in March 1933. Bergel said that Hauptmann had told him he would not have hired him in February 1932 if he had known that Bergel would refuse to support Hitler when he became chancellor. He accused Hauptmann of propagandizing for Nazism in the classroom, and of having made antisemitic statements to students. Berge! declared that Dean Corwin had warned him that if he insisted on a hearing to contest his dismissal, the administration would not provide him with letters of recommendation for a position elsewhere. [81]

Testifying himself a few days later, Hauptmann denied that he propagandized in class, but he did state that "there are some good sides to Nazism," and that he had during class "corrected errors in newspaper reports" about Nazi Germany. [82] He told the committee that he was "inclined to discount" many of the American press reports of Nazi atrocities. Hauptmann claimed not to know whether the Nazi government had deprived Jews of civil and political rights, or whether they had removed Jewish professors from universities or burned books by Jewish authors. He praised, however, what he called the Nazis' "destruction of all obscene books in German libraries." [83]

Hauptmann admitted that he had told German Department faculty members not to speak about what was happening in Germany because "there was no first-hand information available." He claimed that only Bergel disregarded his instructions. Hauptmann informed the committee that he heard that students residing in the German House had said they "were 'disgusted' with Dr. Bergel's criticism of German officials." [84]

Many NJC students made their views known by signing petitions backing Bergel or Hauptmann. A letter signed by "seventy German students," whose names were not listed, was published in the Campus News on May 8, denying that German Department faculty propagandized for Nazism in the classroom. Irene Patterson, Class of 1936, who had taken courses with both Bergel and the Hauptmanns and identified herself as the only resident of the German House who was not pro-Nazi, testified that Marjorie Fricke, Class of 1935, president of the German Club, had solicited signatures for the letter in Marie Hauptmann's class. She stated that Ms. Hauptmann had left the room while students passed around the petition, suggesting that German Department faculty had acted in collusion with Fricke to obtain signatures. Evelyn Engle, Class of 1937, testified that the petition was circulated in all the German classes except for Bergel's. Vivien Sigel, Class of 1938, told the committee that in her class Professor Jordan had immediately walked out when Fricke arrived, without speaking with her. Sigel stated that this was a clear indication Jordan knew Fricke was coming. [85]

Bergel's supporters in the NJC student body, responding to the German House letter, secured the signatures of 405 of NJC's 892 students on a petition that praised his teaching and described him as a "thoroughly competent" faculty member. Believing Jewish students had orchestrated the campaign for Bergel, the NJC administration sought to determine how many of those signing the petition were Jews. [86]

During twenty-nine hearings that extended into late July 1935, more than sixty witnesses appeared before the Trustees Committee in support of Bergel, including eleven faculty members, three of whom were department heads (classics, political science, and Italian), as well as students and alumni. About half of these students and alumni were Jewish. [87] Bergel's witnesses, besides testifying to his competency as a teacher, emphasized that chairman Hauptmann and the other pro-Nazi members of the NJC German Department sometimes propagandized for the Hitler regime in class and suppressed criticism of it from students. Some stated that Hauptmann and other department members specifically defended Hitler's antisemitic policies. The implication was that the German Department would not tolerate an opponent of Nazism on its faculty. Student witnesses described Alice Schlimbach, director of the NJC German House, as a passionate supporter of Hitler who presided over a " Nazi nest." Some also presented specific evidence of Marie Hauptmann's incompetence as a teacher in an effort to convince the Committee that the administration, if it desired to reduce the budget, should have terminated her rather than Bergel.

Faculty witnesses for Bergel described the NJC German Department as a tightly knit group of Nazi sympathizers that tolerated no opposition to the Hitler regime. Frederick E. Woltman, who later won three Pulitzer prizes, reporting on the hearings for the New York World-Telegram, declared that the "gravity and sincerity" of some of these witnesses was "so apparent as to make an obvious impression" on those hearing them. [88] Miriam West, professor of economics at NJC for eight years, stated that the German Department, with its chair, Professor Hauptmann, acting as "dictator," was tightly coordinated in the manner of the Nazi government. Professor West testified that Hauptmann had told her that Nazi Germany was right "in shutting out the Jews to prevent them from gaining control of the country." Professor Shirley Smith, head of NJC's Classics Department, charged that Hauptmann ran the German Department with military regimentation. [89] Professor William Oncken, head of NJC's Italian Department, stated that Hauptmann represented "all that is most despicable in Germany" at that time. [90] Evalyn Clark, instructor in classics, testified that she had heard Hauptmann and his wife defend Nazi antisemitism at a dinner party she attended. [91] Mildred Moulton, assistant professor of political science, noted that the concept of academic freedom would be alien to any passionate supporter of Nazism such as Professor Hauptmann. [92]

Several students testified that Hauptmann had injected Nazi propaganda into classroom lectures and discussion and silenced those who tried to rebut it. An NJC senior stated in a letter to the Committee that Hauptmann's propagandizing in class was "very insidious and continuous." It consisted of a "steady flow of remarks." When students protested his claims that Jews had ruled pre-Hitler Germany by controlling its financial system and had no right to live in Germany, he abruptly "closed the discussion." The senior emphasized that the German Department chair became "very emotional and fanatical" when making these allegations. She asserted that Hauptmann's "definite Nazi bias" was "particularly dangerous because he immediately squelches all opposition." [93] Sylvia Silverman, Class of 1934, described Hauptmann bringing German and French newspapers to class to convince the students that the French were building up armaments and that Germany therefore deserved to rearm. When a trustee asked, "Who did most of the discussing?" Silverman replied, "Herr Hauptmann talked and we listened." She also recalled Hauptmann's defending in class the Nazi policy of relegating women to the home. [94]

Adele Lubman, an NJC sophomore, similarly testified to Hauptmann's aggressive championing of Nazism and refusal to tolerate dissent from students. She declared that he spoke in class of how Hitler was making Germany "a strong, good nation," praising "what he was doing for the people." Lubman stated that Hauptmann never showed approval for anything Jews ever did in Germany, although some students tried to bring to his attention significant Jewish contributions to German culture. When Hudson County assemblyman Samuel Pesin, who was permitted to question witnesses, asked Lubman whether any member of the class had tried to ask Hauptmann about Nazi persecution of Jews, she replied, "Yes, but it was impossible to get anywhere." Lubman stated that Hauptmann tried to stifle in class any opinion that he opposed. [95]

Dorothy Venook, Class of 1934, a German minor who had taken four years of German, including courses with both Hauptmann and Bergel, recalled that Hauptmann had condemned in class the March 1934 anti-Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden that had featured presentations by Al Smith, Senator Millard Tydings, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Chancellor Harry Woodburn Chase of New York University, and other prominent opponents of Nazism. She testified that Hauptmann had also denounced the Treaty of Versailles and Germany's disarmament in class. Venook asserted that there was "a definite anti-Semitic feeling" in the German Department. She, like the other witnesses who spoke in Bergel's behalf, described him as a "very competent" teacher. [96]

In 1986, Marion Siegel Friedman, who observed Hauptmann both in the classroom and at the German table in the NJC dining hall, recalled his propagandizing for Hitler among students. His manner was aggressive; he "roared frequently," which sometimes terrified the young women. Friedman recalled that Hauptmann insisted to her that "the newspapers lied" about the Third Reich. If she joined the student tour he led to Germany during the summer vacations, he would demonstrate to her that the Nazis were not antisemitic. Friedman refused Hauptmann's "repeated invitation." [97]

Other students testified that Alice Schlimbach, assistant professor of German, behaved in a similar manner to Hauptmann in class and in the NJC German House, which she directed. All German majors were required to live for at least a year in the German House. Naomi Parness, Class of 1934, stated that Schlimbach on several occasions told her German language class "how wonderful Nazism was," and that she had denied that Hitler was antisemitic. Mary Atwood, who resided at the NJC German House, told the Committee that she had seen several of the students there sing the Nazi party anthem, the Horst Wessel Lied. Atwood testified that the Horst Wessel Lied came first in a book of songs of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Nazi storm troopers, which was available in the German House. Margarethe Varga had obtained the songbook as an exchange student in Germany and brought it back to NJC. She recalled that "about five songs" in the book made "special reference ... to doing away with the Jewish race in Germany." [98] Atwood stated that because she publicly supported Bergel's reinstatement she had become "an outcast and pariah" at the German House. [99]

Bartlett Cowdrey, Class of 1933, told the Committee that Marie Hauptmann was "the most incompetent instructor" she had ever had at NJC. She expressed astonishment that the administration would terminate Lienhard Bergel, whom she called a "scholar of the first rank," and instead retain Marie Hauptmann, his "inferior both in educational background and as a teacher." Cowdrey had taken intermediate German with Ms. Hauptmann. Two sections of this course were offered, one taught by Ms. Hauptmann and one by Berge!. Cowdrey stated that most of the students were pleased to have been assigned to Ms. Hauptmann's section, because "she was known to be the easiest member of the German department." The class met three days a week, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but Ms. Hauptmann often did not show up on Saturday. If she did, most of the students were absent anyway. Ms. Hauptmann made little effort to check student attendance. Even at the end of the year, she was unsure of students' names, and her English was so poor she could only pronounce the German ones. Cowdrey claimed that Ms. Hauptmann's examinations "were a farce" and doubted that she even factored them into the final grade. When a student was shown to be unprepared during class recitation or translation, Ms. Hauptmann never made any comment, even to "habitual offender[sj." Cowdrey noted that the course grades "were exceedingly high for the negligible amount of class room work" Ms. Hauptmann required. [100]

Theresa Kunst, president of the NJC League of Women Voters and senior class advisor, also described Ms. Hauptmann as incompetent. Whereas the chair's wife made "swell cake," as a teacher she "couldn't get it across." [101]

Isabelle Shackell, Class of 1934, a non-Jew, stated to the committee that she believed Ms. Hauptmann may have failed her in a German course because she believed Shackell was Jewish. Shackell later received a high grade when she repeated the course in summer school. Ms. Hauptmann told Shackell when she inquired about her grade that she had missed too many classes during Jewish holidays. [102]

Professor Hauptmann during his nearly five days of testimony presented a very benign view of Nazi Germany. The German Department chair stated that the Hitler regime was not spreading propaganda, explaining that many Americans were confused about this issue because they interpreted the word differently from Germans. He claimed that, in Germany, propaganda meant simply "a statement of facts." [103]

Hauptmann's student witnesses presented similar testimony. Two-thirds of them were members of the German Club and lived, or had lived, in the German House. (Only three of Bergel's student witnesses had lived there.) Margarethe Varga, Class of 1935, an exchange student in Germany during the 1933-34 academic year, told the committee that she cherished a framed etching of Adolf Hitler on display in her room. She liked the Fuehrer both as "a dictator and a man." Varga characterized support for Bergel at NJC as an "organized Jewish" movement. Bergel's counsel, Sidney Kaplan, demonstrated, however, that two of the three NJC students Varga had named as leaders in the campaign against termination were non-Jews. Other pro-Hauptmann students attributed support for Bergel to Jews whose perceptions about Germany were distorted by an excessive sensitivity about antisemitism. [104]

Perhaps the most striking feature of the hearings was the Special Trustees Committee's lack of concern about Nazism in Germany and at NJC, its bias against anti-Hitler witnesses, and its obvious sympathy for Hauptmann. Compounding the problem for Bergel was the denial to his counsel of the right of oral cross-examination. They could only submit questions in writing to the committee, which often chose to rephrase those they asked. [105] About three weeks after the hearings began, Samuel Untermyer, president of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League and leader of the boycott movement against German goods, told New Jersey governor Harold G. Hoffman that he and many others were "far from satisfied with the impartiality of the Board of Trustees that is now taking evidence." [106] In its report on the hearings, the ACLU stated that "the Chairman and other members of the Committee" were "careful to avoid damaging evidence against Dr. Hauptmann" and had failed to "follow up points." [107] Professor Richard P. McCormick, official historian of Rutgers University and co-author of the only book-length study of the Bergel-Hauptmann case, wrote that the Special Trustees Committee was "obviously hostile" toward Bergel and those who testified in his behalf. He noted that the committee was "not disposed to inquire seriously into [the] actions of the [NJC] German Department." [108]

In questioning witnesses, the trustees appeared indifferent toward the evidence that the German Department faculty acted as advocates for the Third Reich in the classroom. Naomi Parness, Class of 1934, testified that when she challenged Alice Schlimbach's claim in class that the Nazis were not antisemitic by asking her why the Hitler regime had prohibited Jews from practicing law, exiled Jewish scholars such as Albert Einstein, and banned Felix Mendelssohn's music, Schlimbach refused to answer. Special Trustees Committee chair Ashmead then asked Parness whether Schlimbach thought Parness's question was "perhaps, a little outside of the course?" Parness shot back: "Well, the whole discussion was outside of the course." [109] Marjorie Fricke, Class of 1935, a German House resident, told the committee that she did not read newspaper articles about  Nazi Germany because Professor Emil Jordan, with whom she studied, "presented the situation [there] fairly" and told his students what they needed to know about it. A smiling Ashmead then asked her whether she believed "the newspaper stories about Germany were untrue and that is why you stopped reading the headlines?" Clearly, he was suggesting that American press accounts about Nazi persecution and violence were inaccurate. Bergel's attorney immediately objected to the manner in which Ashmead was questioning the witness. [110]

Other committee members behaved similarly. When Professor Evalyn Clark testified that Professor Hauptmann had defended Nazi antisemitism in Germany, a trustee dismissed this as irrelevant, exclaiming, "[Y]ou do not mean to say that you have ever found any antipathy towards the Jewish race on this campus?" [111]

In its report upholding Bergel's termination, the Special Trustees Committee found that "none of the classrooms" of the NJC German Department "were ever used for the purpose of spreading pro-Nazi propaganda." or had the German Club put forward such propaganda in any of its activities. The committee dismissed the significance of the German House's possessing the Sturmabteilung songbook containing the Horst Wessel Lied, which it called "a present-day popular patriotic song of Germany." It claimed that Margarethe Varga, who had brought the songbook to the German House, had never attempted to convert any of its residents to Nazism. The committee praised the students who resided in the German House as "a very intelligent group of young women." [112]

The committee was not bothered that without Bergel the German Department faculty was entirely composed of Nazi enthusiasts. It had "not the slightest doubt that each and every member" of the department was not only professionally qualified, but was a person "of unquestionable character." The committee presented Professor Hauptmann's political views as reasonable and stated that he was "not in the slightest degree anti-Semitic" despite his strong support for Nazism. This suggested that it considered Nazism a legitimate political movement, with some justification for its positions and goals. The committee implied that Hauptmann's opposition to democracy was understandable because the multiplicity of political parties in the Weimar Republic had resulted in instability. It took seriously Hauptmann's argument that he was hostile only to Polish Jews who had migrated into Germany after the World War, and therefore could not be antisemitic. The committee did not criticize his claim that this population was an alien element that did not belong in Germany and a major cause of Germany's economic distress. The trustees declared, moreover, that, having been trained as a Protestant minister, Hauptmann "strongly support[ed] the principle of religious freedom." [113]

The committee blamed not only Lienhard Berge! but Sylvia Bergel as well for causing "a lack of harmony" in the German Department. It took Lienhard to task for failing to participate in the activities of the German House, and for his irregular attendance at the German table in the dining hall, although as a principled opponent of Hitler and antisemitism, he was undoubtedly uncomfortable socializing with faculty and student supporters of Nazism. He did often eat at the French table. As a newly hired instructor, Bergel not only had a very heavy teaching load but needed to devote an enormous amount of time to preparing his courses and engaging in research that would lead to publication. The committee noted that it was "a recognized policy in college administration that in engaging a man consideration is to be given also to the personality of his wife." Like her husband, Sylvia Bergel was an outspoken anti-Nazi, and the committee agreed with Hauptmann that she did not mix well with the other members of the German Department. [114]

Ignoring student testimony to the contrary, the committee declared that "there was no improper limitation of discussion in the classrooms." Professors who had refused to allow students to respond when they praised the Hitler regime in class were only exercising "the proper discretion by the teacher to keep the discussion from becoming so controversial and extraneous as to interfere unreasonably with the regular class work." [115]

Particularly revealing was rhe committee's assessment of Professor Hauptmann's calling together the German Department faculty members in March 1933, shortly after Hitler had assumed power, and telling them not to comment on conditions in Germany because "the real facts" were not known. The committee, apparently sharing Hauptmann's mistrust of American and British press reports about Nazi Germany, called this "sane advice." [116]

The committee report concluded with a stinging rebuke to those NJC students and faculty members who had criticized the German Department's allegiance to Nazism. The only persons at NJC deserving of criticism, it claimed, were those who had "exhibited a measure of intolerance toward members of the German Department, some of whom have ventured to express a favorable point of view toward the aims and endeavors of the government of the land of their birth." [117]

Rutgers president Robert Clothier and other trustees shared the committee's lack of understanding of Nazism. Trustee August Heckscher of New York City, who had visited Nazi Germany for a month during 1934, wrote to Clothier in September 1935 strongly endorsing the committee's report on the Bergel case. Heckscher declared that his observations in Germany had led him to conclude that there was "much fault on both sides," that is, the Jews and the Nazis were about equally to blame for whatever problems beset Germany. He stated that the Hitler government had been "most harsh and inconsiderate" but had nonetheless solved "a problem that had to be solved." Comparing American Jews to the German  Nazis, Heckscher stated that "the Jewish race" had been "almost equally unwise in its aggressive and militant methods," apparently in protesting Nazi persecution in the Third Reich. All that was needed was for "the best of the Jewish race" and the "more tolerant" Nazis, "like Dr. Schacht," to sit down and discuss their differences. [118]

President Clothier replied that he was grateful for Heckscher's letter and called his comments about both Nazism and the Bergel case "highly appropriate." Clothier praised the Special Trustees Committee for conducting its investigation "with painstaking impartiality." He expressed serious concern about the "present spirit of controversy" about Nazism that was "abroad in the land." [119]

Fearing that press coverage of accusations about Nazism on the NJC German faculty might result in the New Jersey legislature reducing appropriations to Rutgers, its administration had Ms. Hauptmann step down from her position as assistant in 1937 and hired Werner Hollmann at the rank of instructor. Dean Corwin hired Hollmann after she received assurances from one of his references, President Ada Comstock of Radcliffe College, that he was not "a strong devotee of one type of government as opposed to another." Comstock explained that Hollmann, son of a Lutheran minister, was not "an adherent" of the Hitler regime but "has found it possible to live under it." She described him as "an exceptionally fine young man," [120] betraying her own unconcern about Hollmann's apparent indifference toward Nazi depredations and the strangulation of Germany's remaining Jews.

Friedrich Hauptmann himself remained an intransigent Nazi through World War II. In late 1940, with Nazi Germany having conquered most of Europe, President Clothier had Dean Corwin instruct Hauptmann not to speak about "controversial matters" in class. In what had become a very threatening geopolitical climate for the United States, Clothier feared that pro-Nazi statements by German Department faculty members could only severely embarrass Rutgers University. Hauptmann wrote to President Clothier on November 12, 1940, that he understood from his conversation with Dean Corwin that Rutgers "would welcome any renunciation on my part of espousing a cause which seems to me worthy of support" -- that is, Nazism. Because he was unwilling to do so, he concluded that the administration wanted him to resign. Hauptmann reiterated that he would not "deny or denounce" Nazi Germany. [121]

Hauptmann's decision to resign was also motivated by his severe financial indebtedness. Even though university trustees and faculty members had already lent him money, he told Corwin that unless the trustees granted him a year's leave with full salary, to be paid into a designated bank account, he would have to declare bankruptcy. [122]

On November 20, 1940, Dean Corwin conveyed to President Clothier her fear that the administration's difficulties with Hauptmann left it in "a very exposed position": "If our present action indicates that the [American] Civil Liberties Union was right in 1935, they will not hesitate to bring it out in the headlines." [123] In 1990, Bergel's widow referred to this correspondence between Corwin and Clothier as the case's "smoking gun." [124]

Hauptmann returned to Germany shortly afterward, his passage paid for at least in part by the Nazi government. There he joined the Nazi party and became the national leader of the Deutsche Akademie (German Academy) for Slovakia. Established to spread German language and culture outside Germany, it disseminated Nazi propaganda during the war. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Deutsche Akademie "served as a front for intelligence and espionage programs of the Gestapo." American soldiers arrested Hauptmann shortly after the war's end, and he was briefly imprisoned. He died in obscurity in Austria in 1978. [125]

Although the disclosure of Hauptmann's service to the Hitler regime during World War II revived public interest in the Bergel case, the Rutgers administration refused to reconsider it. President Clothier stated in June 1946 that because the Special Trustees Committee had already "carefully and conscientiously" heard all the evidence on the case in 1935 and dismissed the charges, the university considered it closed. [126] Asked by a reporter in June 1946 to comment on Hauptmann's arrest, former acting NJC dean Albert Meder, who had served as a character witness for the German Department chair when he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in March 1939, replied, "He fooled us," as though his Nazi commitment had not been clear to the administration before. [127]

In the intensely anti-Nazi climate that prevailed during the immediate postwar period, the Rutgers administration reaffirmed its support for NJC German Department chair Emil Jordan, who was on record as having endorsed the Hitler regime on campus. Dean Corwin went so far as to claim that Jordan "had not held Nazi sympathies so far as she knew." Jordan remained chair until his retirement in 1966. [128]

In 1946, the Rutgers German Department did hire the anti-Nazi Claude Hill. Hill, who had arrived in the United States as a refugee from Germany in 1938, remained in the department until about 1980. During World War II, he had analyzed German radio broadcasts for the Voice of America. Hill believed that Rutgers had appointed him "in part to refute the image of the German departments that had taken shape in the 1930S." Hill told historian Richard McCormick in 1985 that the Rutgers administration should not have terminated Lienhard Berge!. He believed it should have acknowledged that it had wronged Berge! and "made some gesture" to him after the press reported that Hauptmann had worked for the Nazis in Germany during World War II. Hill considered Emil Jordan, Alice Schlimbach, and Albert Holzmann pro-Nazi. [129]

The Jewish community lionized Bergel as a man who had risked his career to take a principled stand against Nazism. Even while the hearings were in progress, those attending the Jewish-sponsored "commencement in absentia" in Newark -- created for students in Germany who were barred from graduating from school by the Hitler regime's antisemitic legislation -- extolled Bergel for his contribution to the larger struggle against Nazism. A capacity audience at the Ezekiel Home adopted a resolution proposed by a committee of Jewish business and professional people that lauded Berge! as a "valiant non-Jewish opponent of Nazism" and demanded his reinstatement. [130] In February 1936, the Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress in New York sponsored Bergel's lecture on " Nazi Activities in American Colleges," a stinging denunciation of the Rutgers administration's tolerance for pro-Hitler propagandizing, which many Jewish newspapers and periodicals reprinted. [131] In April the Jewish Criterion of Pittsburgh stated flatly that Rutgers had dismissed Bergel "because of his pronounced anti-Nazi views." It asserted that during the Special Trustees Committee hearings "the infiltration of Nazi propaganda in the University was clearly exposed." Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, a founder of the American Jewish Congress and one of the nation's most prominent Jewish leaders, wrote to President Clothier in 1940 urging him to invite Lienhard Bergel to return to Rutgers. Wise told Clothier that he felt Professor Hauptmann had been "bitterly unjust" to Bergel. [132]

After several years outside of academia, Bergel was able to secure an instructorship in 1938 at the newly founded Queens College in New York City. He remained on its faculty until his retirement in 1974. Bergel earned a Ph.D. from New York University in 1945 and published numerous articles in the course of his career. He also received three Fulbright fellowships and participated in the Columbia University seminar on the Renaissance. Bergel was promoted to full professor in 1958 and received an appointment to the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Thomas Mann and Benedetto Croce praised his work. [133]

The Bergel-Hauptmann case illuminates the extent of support for Nazism by German Department faculty and students in American universities during the 1930s, and the widespread unconcern about it among university trustees, who were often highly influential business leaders. Members of NJC's German faculty, including its chair, did not hesitate to make their enthusiasm for Hitler's Germany known in public forums, and there is considerable evidence that they spoke favorably about it to their students on many occasions in class. The German Department placed impressionable students in an environment in which they were very susceptible to being influenced by pro-Hitler propaganda. It required its majors to reside for at least a year in the German House, under the supervision of an ardent Nazi faculty member. Nationally prominent Jewish leader Samuel Untermyer asked New Jersey's governor for a legislative investigation of the NJC German Department, which he called "a hotbed of Nazi sedition." The 1935 convention of the New Jersey American Legion unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the legislature to investigate charges that "alien instructors" at NJC were spreading Nazi propaganda. [134]

The issues involved in Bergel's termination are complicated, but what is most alarming about the case is the administration's indifference to having an all-Nazi German Department at NJC, and the Rutgers trustees' obvious hostility to committed opponents of Nazism. Bergel, to be sure, was an instructor on a temporary position with as yet no publications, in a period when the university was experiencing financial difficulty. He had a year's less seniority than the pro-Nazi instructor Emil Jordan, who was retained and promoted to assistant professor. But Bergel was the only member of the department trained in teaching German literature. If the administration needed to eliminate a position from the German Department, a more logical choice might have been Marie Hauptmann, who had far less intellectual capability, training, and teaching ability than Bergel, although she had carried a full fifteen-hour course load since 1930-31. Her salary was $540 less than Bergel's. Two years after terminating Berge!, NJC replaced Ms. Hauptmann, an assistant, with a new instructor, Werner Hollmann, suggesting that by then, at least, it could function on the same budget as when Bergel was employed. The 40 percent decline in German enrollments from 1933-34, the first academic year during which Hitler was in power, to 1936-37 could well be explained by an unwillingness of Jewish and other anti- Nazi students to take courses in a Nazified department. Jews had previously made up a disproportionate number of those enrolled in German courses. French enrollments declined only 10 percent during the same period, and Spanish enrollments increased 23 percent. [135]

During the hearings of the Rutgers Special Trustees Committee, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent declared that investigations at other universities would disclose the "sorry truth" that many German departments resembled NJC'S. [136] This was indeed the case, as many German department faculty members and the students they influenced served as campus apologists for Nazi Germany. By writing articles and letters in college newspapers justifying Hitler's policies, and through interviews in metropolitan dailies, they disparaged the Weimar Republic and extolled Hitler as Germany's savior. German departments were centrally involved in promoting student exchanges with Nazified universities and faculty and student tours of the "New Germany." Tightly supervised by Nazi functionaries while in Germany, participants usually returned prepared to propagandize for the Third Reich in the United States. The Hitler government even maintained a list in Berlin of former American graduate exchange students in Germany, assuming that many joined German department faculties in the United States, and regularly mailed them Nazi propaganda. [137] As the major facilitators of social interaction between  Nazi diplomats and university administrators, faculty, and students, German departments assisted the Hitler government in its effort to present itself as a legitimate member of a community of nations, with justified grievances and reasonable objectives.
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