Alfred Wiener: The Fatherland and the Jews
Daniel Finkelstein, Joseph Koerner, Christine Schmidt
Chair: Matthew Stadlen
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In association with the Wiener Library
Dr Alfred Wiener, born in Germany in 1885, is best remembered as a leading figure in documenting Nazi and anti-Nazi literature, and as the founder of the world-renowned Wiener Holocaust Library. As early as 1918, as a de-mobbed soldier and passionate lover of his country, he realised that the Jews were being turned into the scapegoat for Germany’s humiliating defeat in WWI; he proceeded to record the alarming scale of post-war antisemitic propaganda, a toxic movement that, he saw, would shape Nazi ideology. The Fatherland and the Jews present two of his remarkable and chillingly prescient essays from 1919 and 1924, as this ‘Cassandra’ predicted the heart-breaking fate of Europe’s Jews.
To discuss his life, work and enduring legacy broadcaster Matthew Stadlen is joined by: Daniel Finkelstein, Times columnist and Wiener’s grandson; Dr Christine Schmidt, deputy director and head of research at the Wiener Holocaust Library; and Harvard professor of the history of art and architecture Joseph Koerner.
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Daniel Finkelstein is a columnist and Associate Editor of The Times. Before joining the paper in 2001 he was adviser to both Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague, and he has advised many other prominent Conservative party ministers. He was made a life peer in 2013. Daniel is Alfred Wiener’s grandson.
Joseph Koerner is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History of Art and Architecture, an Affiliate of the Germanic Languages and Literatures Department, and a Senior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard.
Dr Christine Schmidt is deputy director and head of research at the Wiener Holocaust Library, one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. The Library’s unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.
Matthew Stadlen is a broadcaster, writer and regular How To Academy host. Previously he was an LBC presenter, wrote The Matthew Stadlen Interview for the Telegraph and presented the TV series Five Minutes With and On The Road With for the BBC. He is a birdwatcher and photographer, and his book How To See Birds is out now. Twitter: @matthewstadlen