How Germans came to imagine world without Jews is lecture topic
Published 5:23 pm, Thursday, November 6, 2014
An expert on German culture and memory will discuss how the German people in the 1930s came to conceive of a world without Jews during a lecture Monday evening, Nov. 10, at Fairfield University.
His lecture, "A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide," offers new assessments of the German mindset in the years leading up to World War II, university officials said in a news release.
The talk is free and open to the public, but reservations are required because seating is limited.
Confino's talk coincides with the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, "The Night of Broken Glass," when Nazis burned copies of the Hebrew Torah, set fire to synagogues, destroyed Jewish-owned businesses, and attacked Jews across Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
The brutal assaults on Nov. 9, 1938 became known as "The Night of Broken Glass" because they left streets covered with shards from the shattered windows of Jewish businesses.
A history professor at the University of Virgina and at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, Confino will discuss why Kristallnacht happened, how Germans came to imagine a world without Jews and how that imagined future was crucial to the extermination of Jews that followed, according to a Fairfield University news release.
"By burning the (Hebrew) Bible, the Nazis actually said, `We are going to build a new civilization,' " Confino said in the release.
Confino has written four books dealing with German culture, his latest having the same title as his Fairfield lecture. In it, the university said, "he draws on an array of archives across three continents to propose a penetrating new assessment of one of the central moral problems of the 20th century."
To reserve seats, call Fairfield University's Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at 203-254-4000, ext. 2066.