Back to All Events

Strangers in Strange Places: Jewish Refugees from Central Europe in the Late 1930's

  • Kehilat Pardes (located in the Berman Hebrew Academy) 13300 Arctic Avenue Rockville, MD 20853 United States (map)


with Marsha L. Rozenblit
Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor Jewish History, University of Maryland

Noted historian Dr. Marsha Rozenblit will share her insights into the plight of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany and Austria in the late 1930's who sought visas to any country that would accept them. While most hoped to go to the United States, Great Britain, or Palestine, many ended up in places that were indeed strange for people who had lived in Central Europe. In such havens as Bolivia or Shanghai, they sought to make new lives for themselves while coping with difficult climates, cultures that were profoundly foreign to them, and deep longing for home. Mostly, they recreated a German-speaking, Central European Jewish culture. While grateful that they had found a refuge from Nazism, they never integrated into the societies in which they lived. Dr. Rozenblit will explore how these immigrants coped and why they did not integrate into their new communities of refuge.

This program is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested.

Dr. Marsha Rozenblit

Dr. Marsha Rozenblit

Marsha L. Rozenblit is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Maryland, where she has been on the faculty for 41 years. A social historian of the Jews of Central Europe, she is the author of two books: The Jews of Vienna, 1867-1914: Assimilation and Identity (1983) and Reconstructing a National Identity: The Jews of Habsburg Austria during World War I (2001). She has also co-edited two books: Constructing Nationalities in East Central Europe (2005) and World War I and the Jews: Conflict and Transformation in Europe, the Middle East, and America (2017); and she has written over 30 scholarly articles on such topics as the failure to establish Reform Judaism in Nineteenth Century Vienna, German-Jewish Schools in Habsburg Moravia, and Jewish marriage and courtship in 1920s Vienna.

She has also served as the director of the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland (1998-2003) and as president of the Association for Jewish Studies (2009-2011)

Later Event: December 15
Tango Under Jewish Stars