The Ritchie Boys tells the story of American soldiers who used their German language skills and cultural knowledge of Germany to fight against Nazi Germany. Many of them were persecuted by the Nazi regime and had to leave Germany in the 1930s. They were trained in Camp Ritchie, MD, in intelligence and psychological warfare and then send to Europe. The surviving Ritchie Boys are in their eighties and nineties now. They never met for reunions; they did not join veteran associations. In the end, the Ritchie Boys quietly left the war behind them and went on to enjoy quite remarkable careers – in arts and politics, in business and academia. In ”The Ritchie Boys” these remarkable, funny, sharp, brave men share their memories with us.
The event will be followed by remarks from Wolf Thormann (Professor Emeritus). He served in the US Army as one of the “Ritchie Boys.” Professor Thormann was a Professor of French at Goucher College from 1960-1989. In addition, he served as chair of the Modern Languages Department for numerous years. Wolf Thormann was born in Frankfurt, Germany, emigrated with his family to France in 1933, and came to the US in 1941.
Please join us for a presentation that will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. We will screen a documentary that explores the history of the Berlin Wall and how the STASI (secret police) observed, oppressed and persecuted GDR citizens. We will follow the short documentary with a look at three graphic novels that tell different personal stories about the GDR. You will hear about an escape attempt via tunnel, the story of a teenager who was observed by the STASI for his involvement in the GDR peace movement, and the autobiographical account of an artist who left the GDR with his parents in the beginning 1980s. The presentation will also feature an exhibition of one of the graphic novels (translated into English).
presenters: Antje Krueger, Justine Ruhlin (’15)
Join us for a commemoration of Kristallnacht, featuring Holocaust oral history storytelling performed by Gabrielle Spear, Nadav Marcus, Katie Mowrer, and Hannah Spiegelman. All of these students took Dr. Uta Larkey’s class “Oral Histories of Holocaust Survivors” in the past.
The program will also feature a musical performance of “Voice From The Annex”, Opus 46 – a song-cycle for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, composed in 1990 by Jose A. Bowen with words from “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, performed by Goucher sophomore Charlotte Khuner, soprano and Goucher Professor of Music Lisa Weiss, piano. Justine Ruhlin (’15, History/German) organized the program for this event.
Gillian Ziegler (’14) presented his History Senior Thesis on May 8th 2014. He explored the impact of the so called ’48ers – German Liberals who had left Germany after the failed Revolution of 1848 – on the political scene in Baltimore. In particular, he discussed the election of 1860 and the role of the “Baltimore Wecker” – a daily newspaper published in German – within this political campaign. The presentation was followed by a lively Q& A. About 30 people attended the presentation which ended with a toast to all graduating seniors, namely Gilian Ziegler, Kari Schulz, Levi Jones, Zvi Shoval, Adam Mosley, Mike Christian, and Sophia Hausner.
In May 2014, Antje Krüger was invited to a symposium in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Georgia. The symposium was titled “Triangular Readings in German Literature and Culture.” It aimed at the development of scholarship on the role of the Third in German literature and culture as well as on triangulation as a method of inquiry in literary scholarship. The meeting brought together scholars, both junior and senior, from North America and Europe whose areas of expertise range from medieval to 21st-century German literature and culture. Antje Krüger’s lecture was titled “Das Un-erhörte Erzählen”: Uwe Timm’s Poetics of Daily Life” and investigated third position in Uwe Timm’s works. See here for more information
Michael Christen presented a short film about Emeritus Professor Wolf Thormann on April 5th for the re-dedication of the Wolf Thormann Center in Julia Rogers. Wolf Thormann was a Professor of French at Goucher College from 1960-1989. In addition, he served as chair of the Modern Language Department for numerous years. He received many awards and honors for his engagement for and services to the French Culture. Wolf Thormann was born in Frankfurt, Germany, emigrated with his family to France in 1933, and served in the US Army during WWII. Michael Christen film gives an account of this part of his biography.
See here for Michael Christen’s short film.
On April 6th, Antje Krüger and Justine Ruhlin (’15) presented a paper at the annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Harrisburg. They participated in a panel that addressed questions of how to teach GDR History to American Undergraduates. The paper was the first co-authored conference presentation by a professor and student!
See here for more information on the conference
Hello everyone! My name is Conor Snow and I am a senior history major here at Goucher. I have had a wonderful experience in the history department and absolutely love all of the professors. Preferably I like to study early American and twentieth century German history. And yes, I love studying German language as well. I had studied German for about 5 years prior to studying abroad in Lüneburg, Germany in the fall of 2013.
The program was through USAC and I took an intensive German language course along with a German history and culture class. I really enjoyed not only learning the German language, but also living it! Lüneburg was the perfect place for this. It is the only true way to master a language. The town was not destroyed in WW2 so the medieval city center still exists along with contemporary architecture and a fantastic nightlife. I chose Lüneburg mostly for the historical reasons. But if you are looking for a more modern experience, then Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, is only 20 minutes away by train for free with your student pass! In fact, you can travel for free throughout the whole state of Niedersachsen! Travel in general was easy and being able to visit other German cities and European countries conveniently by train was incredible (and plausible due to the fact that USAC gives their students off on Friday).
This experience of living in Lüneburg for more than 3 months really sharpened my German skills in all areas and opened my mind to a somewhat different but wonderful culture. The people were some of the friendliest people I have ever met and they made me feel very welcome. In addition, Leuphana University in Lüneburg was incredible and the food was very good as well. Speaking of food, German food is amazing and the beer of course tops the charts.
If you are looking to further your German skills and expand your knowledge of German culture or simply study in such a great place, then I recommend Lüneburg for you. I made life-long friends and experiences. I would not take back one second of it.
Uta Larkey and Barbara Mennel, Associate Professor in the Germanic Studies section of LLC and in the English Department.
Uta Larkey gave a talk at the University of Florida about her current research. The talk addressed life in Jewish DP camps in Germany between 1946 and 1950. The talk was co-sponsored by German Studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and by the Norman and Irma Braman Chair in Holocaust Studies.
Uta Larkey presented the talk “Triumph over Hitler: Jewish Life in Germany today” on March 20th for the Baltimore Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee.
See here for more information