Fritz Stern

Today I attended a memorial to Fritz Stern, the Historian, who died in May. Stern left Germany with his parents in 1938, just 2 weeks before the Kristallnacht. He studied PreMed, then switched to History, to start a distinguished career that led him to join the faculty of Columbia for many years. His focus, or can we say obsession, was on the circumstances, the historical forces, that led to Germany being taken over by the Nazis. In Germany, as we heard from the German Ambassador to United States, he was highly regarded as a moral compass as Germany struggled to regain its direction. Unfortunately, I never met him, even though there was an overlap of 8 years at Columbia.

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