The Legacy of the Refugees in Exile (1933-1945)

Organized and supported by Washington University’s German Department, Olin Library, the Kemper Art Museum, as well as by Deutschlandjahr USA (Goethe Institute)

The greatest intellectual loss for Germany during the Nazi period was the group of Jewish and anti-Nazi writers, artists and scholars that had to flee from persecution. For many of them, the United States became the country of exile. Both the US as well as postwar Germany profited from their legacy. The exiled intellectuals were the ones who experienced the negative effects of the destructed democratic government and appreciated the life in a republic on the other side of the Atlantic. The exiled writers and scholars contributed to a democratic transatlantic culture.

The German Department started its long history of symposia with a conference on German exile literature in the United States in 1972; the initiators were Egon Schwarz and Guy Stern, both of them exiled scholars. At that time, Washington University was home to a number of internationally known exiled scholars who left their mark in their academic disciplines. 

A John M. Olin Library exhibit about the work of these exiled scholars will conclude the workshop.

For the event schedule, please click here. For information not covered there, please contact Professor Paul Michael Lützeler at