June 22, 2009
Today’s idea: American universities had amicable ties with Nazi Germany in the 1930s — a record of indifference, complicity and collaboration leading into World War II that stemmed from institutional anti-Semitism, an author says.
In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Stephen H. Norwood, author of The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower, summarizes what he calls American colleges’
Harvard, Columbia, the “Seven Sisters” women’s colleges and the universities of Virginia, Wisconsin and Minnesota are among Norwood’s targets. Columbia, for its part, concedes that the time was not its finest hour, but criticizes his “extravagant interpretation of Columbia’s modest interactions with Germany in the 1930s,” adding, “Few historians would take it seriously as a reasonable response to the facts he has assembled.” [Inside Higher Ed]