06 September 2018 Published in Events

'A blind man in Theresienstadt'. Lecture by Professor Wolfgang Benz.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Benz, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Benz, Berlin
Type: Lecture
Date: Sunday, September 2nd, 2018
Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: Community Room in the Town Hall in Dettensee

On European Day of Jewish Culture, Professor Wolfgang Benz reports on his research on Norbert Stern, writer and scholar (1881 – 1964), a blind man who survived the Concentration Camp in Theresienstadt.

Nathan Stern was born in Dettensee in 1881. He converted to Christianity taking the name Norbert. He no longer considered himself a Jew. After a career as a technician, he dedicated himself to philosophy, concluding with a doctorate. He then became interested in fashion and culture and worked as a journalist. As a soldier in World War I he suffered an eye injury which later resulted in blindness. A writer and scholar, he published his first work in 1922. But as of 1933, Nazi ideology considered Stern a Jew and he was barred from exercising any profession.

On June 21st 1942, he was deported from Munich to the Concentration Camp in Theresienstadt. In the camp he was aided by a woman who copied his written texts. Today, Norbert Stern's diary is a unique source of German-Jewish history. His notes on Theresienstadt provide an unparalleled account of the contradictions among Jews there, forced into community by circumstance. Now over the age of 60, he learned Czech in the ghetto to reconcile the differences between the Bohemian and German Jews. Stern survived Theresienstadt and returned to Munich in 1945 where he lived in the Jewish Nursing Home for Senior Citizens in Kaulbachstraße.

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Benz, a German historian focused on contemporary history, is a leading figure in research into antisemitism and Nazism. From 1990 to 2011 he taught at the Technical University of Berlin, directing its center for research into antisemitism, and up to 2011 he published its yearbook.



Guests: Professor Dr. Wolfgang Benz, Berlin
Admission: 5 €
Address: Neuneckstraße