Displaced Scholars

Skard – Stern

244.) Skard, Sigmund (1940-1944) Overseas Branch, Office War Information (DC) / Literature

Sigmund Skard (1903-26 May 1995) was a Norwegian poet, essayist and professor of literature. During the German occupation of Norway, he fled to the United States and worked at the Library of Congress and the Office of War Information.

(født 31. juli 1903 i Kristiansand, død 26. mai 1995 i Bærum)

Sigmund Skard (1903-1995) was a Norwegian poet, essayist and professor of literature.

He was born in Kristiansand to Matias og Gyda Skard. He took the dr.philos. degree in 1938, with a thesis on Aasmund Olavsson Vinje. He was hired at the University Library of Oslo, and was connected to the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters in Trondheim. During the German occupation of Norway, he fled to the United States and worked at the Library of Congress and the Office of War Information.

After the war he settled at Lysaker, and worked as a professor in American literature at the University of Oslo from 1946 to 1973. A proponent of the Nynorsk language form, he was the secretary of the publishing house Det Norske Samlaget from 1930 to 1938, and chairman of the board from 1949 to 1972. From 1940 to 1950 he was the vice chairman of Noregs Mållag.

Skard has an extensive bibliography, and has received numerous awards. The most prestigious awards were the 1983 Arts Council Norway Honorary Award and the 1992 Brage Honorary Prize.

In 1933 he married Åse Gruda Skard, née Koht. She was the daughter of Halvdan Koht and Karen Grude Koht. The couple had three children; Halvdan Skard, Torild Skard and Målfrid Grude Flekkøy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Skard

Professor Sigmund Skard, the cordial friend of hundreds of Americans, heads the American Institute at University of Oslo. His wife, a professor of psychology and mother of five children, is daughter of the great historian, great scholar and pre-war foreign minister Halfdan Koht, whose book on The American Spirit in Europe is a revelation. As refugees through Siberia, the Skards spent the war years in America. In a public address he good-naturedly “told us off” and made us like it: he had great applause.

There is a little anti-Semitism in Norway; a little traditional antipathy toward Swedes, revived by the events of the war; a stronger feeling against Germans and Quislings. But Norway invited and cared for a group of Jewish refugees equivalent to those deported and destroyed by the Nazis; has given eight months’ camp-rehabilitation to two hundred Jewish orphans and two hundred Bavarian and Austrian displaced children; and has shown great official restraint and fairness toward Quislings, even those flagrantly guilty, despite persistent social ostracism against those still at large.


245.) Sollner, Karl (1933-1944) U of Minnesota / Chemistry

Biophysical Journal – Failure of the Nernst-Einstein Equation to … “Charles W. Carr and Karl Sollner Abstract. It has been previously shown, theoretically and in model system … Melvin H. Gottlieb and Karl Sollner …” www.biophysj.org/cgi/content/abstract/8/5/515


246.) Solmsen, Friedrich (1933-1944) Cornell / Classics

Friedrich W. Solmsen (1905–1989) was a philologist and professor of classical studies. His edition of Hesiod is considered definitive. He published nearly 150 books, monographs, scholarly articles, and reviews from the 1930s through the 1980s. Solmsen’s work is characterized by a prevailing interest in the history of ideas. He was an influential scholar in the areas of Greek tragedy, particularly for his work on Aeschylus, and the philosophy of the physical world and its relation to the soul, especially the systems of Plato and Aristotle.

Friedrich Solmsen, sometimes called “Fritz” by friends and intimates, was born and educated in Germany. He was among the “Graeca” of Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, the Graeca being a group of “young scholars” who met in his home during his last decade of life. In an essay fifty years later, Solmsen recalled those years and the legendary philologist in a biographical sketch that combines politico-historical perspective, sociology of academia, and personal, sometimes wry observations. “I do not recall Wilamowitz ever laughing aloud,” he mused in a footnoted aside. “Nor did he ever grin.” Solmsen was also a student of Eduard Norden, Otto Regenbogen, and Werner Jaeger, to the three of whom along with Wilamowitz he dedicated the first volume of his collected papers. He was one of the last people to whom the terminally ill Wilamowitz addressed correspondence.

Solmsen was not untouched by the compromises of intellectual life in the Germany of the 1920s-1930s. The classicist and historian of scholarship William M. Calder III produced documentation that indicates, in his view, Norden’s complicity when Solmsen was let go from his academic position on the grounds that he was “non-aryan.” Calder also rebuked Solmsen for signing, along with six other scholars, a published letter objecting to a 1981 article by Calder calling Jaeger and Richard Harder “reluctant fellow-travelers to Fascism“. Also a student of Wilamowitz, Calder has characterized Solmsen’s essay on their teacher as “the recollection of an adoring student” and his assessment of the philologist’s relations with Friedrich Nietzsche as “ignorant and vulgar” — remarks which have been taken to reveal the fine line between “psychologizing,” as the classicist Hugh Lloyd-Jones termed it, and ad hominem criticism.

Solmsen’s dissertation on Aristotelian logic and rhetoric was published in 1928. He left Germany to escape Nazism in the mid-1930s, and after a time in England came to the United States, where he taught at Olivet College (1937–1940) in Michigan. He then moved to Cornell University, becoming chair of the classics department. He taught at Cornell for twenty-two years. Among his courses was “Foundations of Western Thought,” which explored the history of philosophical, scientific and religious ideas from early Greece through the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

In 1962, he was named Moses Slaughter Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1972 he won the Goodwin Award of Merit, presented by the American Philological Association for an outstanding contribution to classical scholarship, for his Oxford Classical Text edition of Hesiod’s works, the Theogony, the Works and Days, and The Shield of Heracles. He retired in 1974.

In retirement, Solmsen lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and continued to publish. He gave occasional lectures at the University of North Carolina, conducted a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar, and led readings in Pindar and Plotinus. The bulk of his library was donated to the university[citation needed] upon his death at the age of 84. He was survived by his wife, Lieselotte. Colleagues mourned him as “one of the last giants of the German tradition of classical humanism.”

The Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin offers four one-year fellowships in his name for postdoctoral work on literary and historical studies of the Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance periods to 1700. The fellowship fund was established by a bequest from Friedrich and Lieselotte Solmsen.

Works: In his essay on Wilamowitz, Solmsen reflected on classical studies as a discipline and an intellectual pursuit within a broadly historical context. “The post-World-War-I generation for whom the value of the Classics had become a problem,” he writes, “did not find [from Wilamowitz] an answer to their question what made ancient civilization particularly significant and worth intensive study,” adding that Wilamowitz “did not realize the need of justifying their study to a generation for whom the continuity of a tradition that reached back to the age of Goethe was weakened (though not completely broken) and whose outlook was still in the process of formation; many in fact were consciously striving for a new orientation.”

The following bibliography, arranged by topic and then chronologically within the topic, attempts to represent the range of Solmsen’s contributions to scholarship but is by no means exhaustive. Omitted are most articles in German, reviews, and notes (i.e., articles of less than three pages). The articles are for the most part collected in his Kleine Schriften, 3 vols. (Hildesheim 1968–1982).


247.) Sommer, Clemens (1938-1944) U of N.C. / History of Art

UNC Department of Art | Clemens E. Sommer Prize “Friends, colleagues, and former students of Dr. Clemens Sommer, Professor of Art History, established this award as a memorial to him. …” http://www.webslingerz.com/depts/art/art_history/graduate/gradsupport/sommer_prize Ischemia and Ischemic Tolerance Induction Differentially Regulate … “Correspondence to Dr Clemens Sommer, Laboratory of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, D-89081, Ulm, …” stroke.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/33/4/1093 patent: (w/) GUENZBURG, DE 20090087481 METHODS OF TREATING NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS WITH HEMATOPOEITIC GROWTH FACTORS 04-02-2009


248.) Sommerfeld, Martin (1933-1940) NYU / Language and Literature

“EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES AND MODELLING OF FOUR-WAY. COUPLING IN PARTICLE-LADEN HORIZONTAL CHANNEL FLOW. Santiago Lan, Johannes Kussin and Martin Sommerfeld …” www-mvt.iw.uni-halle.de/download.php?id=285488,319,2 Pay Articles from July 1939 Part 1 – Site Map – The New York Times “… Warns of Sacrifice Of the Liberal Arts; Dean Berg, at N.Y.U., Sees Classics, …… MARTIN SOMMERFELD, PROFESSOR AT SMITH; Head of German Department, …” spiderbites.nytimes.com/pay_1939/articles_1939_07_00000.html Teaching German in twentieth-century America “… trend that of the 23 presidents of the Modern Language Association elected from among … Wolfgang Liepe, Werner Richter, Martin Sommerfeld, and others. …” books.google.com/books?id=qQ0gRndzJI8C&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=%22Martin+Sommerfeld%22+%2B+language&source=bl&ots=kgVxT0GSR6&sig=ER0x6sRf6oDy35GJPFuAh3rRcqA&hl=en Pay Articles from July 1939 Part 1 – Site Map – The New York Times “… Spanish and French Language Teachers Are Obtained –Two Promotions …… MARTIN SOMMERFELD, PROFESSOR AT SMITH; Head of German Department, a Refugee, …” spiderbites.nytimes.com/pay_1939/articles_1939_07_00000.html

Elizabeth A. Nichols is a 1990 Smith alumna. This collection contains notes, articles, and correspondence she collected in the course of researching her senior thesis in history: “Paradise Lost and Regained: Experiences of Refugee Professors at Smith College.” Scope and Contents of the Collection / For her senior thesis “Paradise Lost and Regained: Experiences of Refugee Professors at Smith College” Elizabeth A. Nichols attempted to investigate the academic and personal experiences of seventeen European academics who taught at Smith College in the 1930s and 1940s. Her thesis was awarded high honors. Most of these individuals had fled Germany and other parts of Europe in order to escape oppression by the German National Socialist regime. The research materials in this collection include information culled from the Smith College Archives and other sources on several of the professors. It also includes Nichols’s detailed notes on the papers of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars located in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library. The heart of the collection consists of responses to a query letter sent by Nichols to more than fifty Smith alumnae whom she hoped would have recollections of the professors in question. She appears to have chosen her correspondents based (at least in part) on their membership in the German Club or residence in the German House while at Smith College. Those alumnae who were able to reply substantively provided thoughtful reflections about the personalities and teaching styles of (some of the) teachers in question. Certain letters also describe in some detail the tensions between Nazi sympathizers and opponents that developed at the German House, and on campus, in the 1930s.

A list of the professors in Nichols’s query is below. The weight of alumnae recollections centers on three of these: the historian Hans Kohn (1891-1971), who taught at Smith from 1933 to 1949 and was immensely popular with students; German literature professor Martin Sommerfeld (1894-1939), who taught at Smith from 1936 to 1939; and Matthias Schmitz (1899-?), who was not a refugee at all but (apparently) a member of the Nazi Party. The flamboyant Schmitz taught at Smith from 1934-1939 and students had wildly differing opinions of him. This collection contains both published and unpublished material regarding Schmitz.

Lecturer/Professor Department
Anita Ascher German
Herbert Busemann Math
Alfred Einstein Music
Susanne Engelmann German
Mannfred Kridl Slavic Studies
Hans Kohn History
Lilly Lorentz Physics
George Michaelides Religion
Renato Poggioli Italian
George Poyla Math
Annelies Rose Psychology
Maja Schade Physical Education
Matthias Schmitz German
Oskar Seidlin German
Martin Sommerfeld German
Jean Wahl French
Edgard Wind Art History

The collection also contains published articles on the refugee scholar experience in the U.S. and one set of notes from an oral interview. There was presumably more evidence from oral interviews that did not survive. / The collection contains a copy of Nichols’s query letter and two faculty evaluations of the thesis by Dan Horowitz and Hans Vaget, but does not contain the thesis itself. At this writing, the Smith College Library also did not possess a copy of the thesis.

“Just how profoundly refugee Germanists perceived of themselves as spiritual leaders … When his Frankfurt mentor, the literary scholar Martin Sommerfeld, …”
books.google.com/books?id=d2w2TS1BVHQC&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=%22Martin+Sommerfeld%22+%2B+refugee&source=bl&ots=V9Rut4Eitj&sig=uSTVmTlq4joek3QqlP_JxwNtpfk&hl=en …died of heart attack in vermont in 1939? mentor to homosexual oskar koplowitz, aka Oskar Seidlin] “… NAMED TO ADMINISTER CZECH REFUGEE FUND; Three Britons Will Supervise Work Under ….. MARTIN SOMMERFELD, PROFESSOR AT SMITH; Head of German Department, …”


249.) Sperber, Alexander (1933-1938, 1941-1944) Jewish Theological Seminary (NYC) / Philology

 [see caption]  Portrait of the faculty and gradutaing class of (Jewish Theological Seminary) 1939. Faculty, seated from left, are: Alexander Sperber, H.L. Ginsberg, Moses Hyamson, Louis Finkelstein, President Cyrus Adler, Louis Ginzberg, Alexander Marx, Israel Davidson, Boaz Cohen http://www.jtsa.edu/Library/Collections/Archives/The_Ratner_Center/Records_of_The_Jewish_Theological_Seminary/Record_Group_3_Faculty.xml

“A historical grammar of Biblical Hebrew”. by Alexander Sperber http://unjobs.org/authors/alexander-sperber * Eisenbrauns – The Bible in Aramaic Edited by Alexander Sperber and … “The Bible in Aramaic Based on the Old Manuscripts and Printed Texts Second edition; Four volumes in Five parts Edited by Alexander Sperber and Robert P. …” http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/SPEBIBLE SERIES DESCRIPTIONS: SERIES A – 1902-1942 Boxes 1-29 35.6 linear feet. Marx, Alexander Sperber, and others; the Office Employees International Union … Alexander Sperber (who writes lively and substantive letters to the Seminary … http://www.jtsa.edu/Documents/pagedocs/Ratner/RG1_series_des… The Targum of Lamentations The Targum of Lamentations. Translated, with a Critical Introduction, … (5) Alexander Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, 4A: The Hagiographa (Leiden: Brill, 1968) … https://www.litpress.org/excerpts/9780814658642.pdf www.targum.info/ IOTS/ TEECprop36.pdf Proposal. An International Targum Text Edition Project. Version … of the books has to make do with the edition of Alexander Sperber that was published almost … http://www.targum.info/IOTS/TEECprop36.pdf Jotham and Amon: Two Minor Kings of Judah According to Josephus In the Bible the good king Jotham (see 2 Kgs 15:32-38//2 Chr 27:1-9) and his … 6. For Targum Jonathan I use the edition of Alexander Sperber, The Bible in … http://www.ibr-bbr.org/IBRBulletin/BBR_1996/BBR_1996_01_Begg… LOT 198 HAFTAROT HA-TORAH, WITH TARGUM, MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [YEMEN … 1932, vol.I, #332, p. 33. ; Alexander Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic: based on old … the renowned scholar, Alexander Sperber, who made use of the manuscript in … http://www.islamicmanuscripts.info/news/20081207/Sotheby-200… Because it Had Rained: A Study of Genesis 2:5-7 With Implications for … In 1958 the Westminster Theological Journal published “Because It … Tsumura, Earth, 94. For Onkelos, see Alexander Sperber, ed. The Bible … http://www.thirdmill.org/newfiles/mar_futato/TH.Futato.Raine… Is the Correct Pronunciation Known? they claim that terms like Lord, God, Allah, Adonai, and the hybrid forms … 46, p. 18. Also see BASOR, 222, pp. 25–28. Alexander Sperber likewise notes that … http://yahweh.org/publications/sny/sn09Chap.pdf How are the mighty fallen! A Study of 2 Samuel 1:17-27 digitally prepared for use at Gordon and Grace Colleges and elsewhere] … Deutsche Bibelstiftung, 1935); Alexander Sperber, ed., The Bible in Aramaic, vol. … http://gts.grace.edu/documents/GTJ/documents/Zapf-2Sam1Lamen… * When Alexander Sperber came to the US before World war II and got hold of copies of rabbinic bibles, he discovered that the Biblica Hebraica did not always …” lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/1998-October/000342.html


250.) Spiegelberg, Friedrich (1939-1944) Stanford / Philosophy

“We know this from his close acquaintance with such friends as Friedrich Spiegelberg who was undoubtedly a main source of knowledge of Hinduism for Tillich. …”

books.google.com/books?id=RMsPtC58VOkC&pg=PA230&lpg=PA230&dq=Friedrich+Spiegelberg&source=bl&ots=s0WZp9iA3d&sig=hrhkFIhyAaelwGm56oFRiNDqeCc The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller by Calvin Thomas – Full “Here it was, then, that the young Friedrich Schiller got his first …… we may guess that the blatherskite Jew, Spiegelberg, with his swaggering …” http://www.fullbooks.com/The-Life-and-Works-of-Friedrich-Schiller1.html / Franz Rosenthal; E J Walter Simon; Friedrich Spiegelberg; Dieter von der Steinen ; Ludwig Sternbach; Siegmund Telegadi; Paul A Wittek Shelfmark: MS. …” http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/modern/spsl/spsl.html (see also walter maria kotschnig)


251.) Spiegelberg, Herbert (1934-1944) Lawrence College (Wis) / Philosophy

The phenomenological movement: a historical introduction “… des Wollens and the Logik in Phenomenology of Willing and Motivation and Other Phaenomenologica introduced and translated by Herbert Spiegelberg. …” books.google.com/books?id=C8G1HfOJz3AC&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=%22Herbert+Spiegelberg%22+%2B+bio&source=bl&ots=XpmKvVVS5p&sig=fEaxcnR7QtWLTluB0Kzyj_orbCY&hl=en * Herbert Spiegelberg said “The genuine will to know calls for the spirit of generosity rather than for that of economy …” creativechess.wordpress.com/existentialism/ phenomenologist Herbert Spiegelberg called epistemological humility, …” <Alfred Schutz> 1899-1959 “… which he carried out, at the suggestion of Herbert Spiegelberg, at the New School What is Phenomenology? http://www.phenomenologycenter.org/phenom.htm * Letter from Winthrop Bell to Herbert Spiegelberg, February 20, 1961


252.) Steinen, Diether von den (1937-1944) Berkeley / Languages

The emigration of German sinologists 1933-1945: notes on the history and historiography of Chinese studies. * An Annamese Reader (with Lý-duc-Lâm and Diether von den Steinen, 1944 * “The library was basically formed out of two prominent private collections of Oriental studies in Europe, which belonged to Diether von den Steinen of Berlin …” eastasian.lib.umn.edu/early_history.phtml * franz boaz correspondent * an article to which Dr. Diether von den Steinen, in Berkeley, called my attention. The motif of “Horseman with Angel” is found, e.g., …” * “I have notes that Michael Hagerty and Diether von den Steinen had some responsibilities … Diether von den Steinen was no longer in Berkeley when I came; …” http://www.archive.org/stream/eastasiaticlibrary00huffrich/eastasiaticlibrary00huffrich_djvu.txt


253.) Steiner-Prag, Hugo (1940-1945) NYU / Graphic Arts

Guide to the Papers of Hugo Steiner-Prag (1880-1945), 1899-1993 AR 1723 / MF 723 * Processed by Stefanie Aperdannier * Leo Baeck Institute

This collection documents the life and the work of graphic artist Hugo Steiner-Prag (1880-1945). The bulk of the records are comprised of his writings, including an autobiography, memoirs of his youth in Prague, as well as notes and outlines for both lectures and courses. In addition, the collection contains records documenting Steiner-Prag’s career as an artist, illustrator and set designer in Europe and the United States. These documents are in the form of correspondence, newspaper articles and various visual materials. Languages: The collection is in German, English, Swedish, Czech, Hebrew, and Japanese.

Biographical Note

Hugo Steiner-Prag was born Hugo Steiner in Prague (at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) on December 12, 1880. His parents were Hermann Steiner, a bookseller and Berta Steiner (neé Knina), who claimed to be a descendent of the famous Rabbi Judah Loew (1529-1609). Hugo Steiner was the youngest of four brothers.

Upon leaving secondary school, Hugo Steiner joined Jung-Prag, a group of young artists who tended strongly toward mysticism and the occult. He took private art lessons and finally entered the Prager Kunstakademie (Prague Academy of the Arts) in 1897.

In 1900, Steiner moved to Munich to enroll at the Königliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Royal Academy of Fine Arts). Concomitantly, he added the name of his native city Prag (using the German spelling) to his last name in order to distinguish himself from other artists bearing the same name. Steiner-Prag soon transferred to the Lehr- und Versuchsstätten in Munich and later became a teacher there. One of his students was Paula Bergmann, whom he married in 1905. The couple moved to Barmen in the Rhineland where Steiner-Prag had been offered a position as a professor for the local Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts). They had two children, Detlev and Helga, who were born in 1906 and 1908, respectively.

One of Steiner-Prag’s major projects during this time was the illustration of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Die Elixiere des Teufels. The sketches were successfully exhibited in the Buchgewerbemuseum in Leipzig. This cemented Steiner-Prag’s reputation as an illustrator and book designer. In 1907 he was offered a position as professor at Leipzig’s Königliche Akademie für Graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe (Royal Academy of Graphic Arts and Book Trade). This was followed by a very productive period in which Steiner-Prag illustrated books for well-known publishing houses as well as created stage decorations. He also wrote several articles for newspapers and magazines, and in 1913 he designed his own typeface, the Hugo-Steiner-Prag-Schrift. In 1916, Steiner-Prag created twenty-five lithographs for Gustav Meyrink’s novel, Der Golem, which would become his masterpiece. Many other drawings originated during study trips to Spain, Portugal and the Balearic Islands in the years between 1909 and 1925. In addition to his work as a professor in Leipzig, Steiner-Prag became art director of the Propylaeen publishing house in Berlin and organized several book exhibits, including the first international book exhibit in Leipzig in 1927. He was also an active member of various organizations dedicated to book arts and design.

In 1933, on his return from Paris, Steiner-Prag discovered that the Nazis had terminated his position as professor. He had just spent the summer with Eleanor Feisenberg, with whom he had an affair with since 1930. She was the daughter of Germany’s former attorney general. Since her father was Jewish, she had lost her job as a librarian and decided to flee to Paris.

Hugo Steiner-Prag decided to leave Germany. He returned to Prague and established a private school for book arts and graphic design, called the Officina Pragensis. In 1937, the publishing house of the Officina Pragensis released fifty stone drawings done by Steiner-Prag of the Jewish Ghetto and cemetery. He was then given the opportunity, in 1938, to establish a school based on the model of the Officina Pragensis in Stockholm. Since the political situation in Prague had grown more severe, Steiner-Prag decided to accept this offer and immigrated to Sweden with Eleanor Feisenberg.

In Stockholm, Steiner-Prag became director of the Skolan foer Bok- och Reklamkonst and taught book design, advertising and stage design. Eleanor Feisenberg did not want to remain in Sweden and immigrated to the United States. Steiner-Prag hoped to follow her as soon as possible, but had to wait since his visa application was rejected at first. After divorcing his first wife, Paula and finally receiving his visa, Steiner-Prag left Stockholm on May 15, 1941 for San Francisco via Finland, Russia, Japan and Honolulu.

He arrived in the United States at the end of June 1941. Prior to his emigration, Steiner-Prag had been offered a position as professor at the Division of Graphic Arts at New York University, so he settled a respectable commuter distance away in New Haven, Connecticut. He lectured once a week in New York and spent the remainder of his time writing his autobiography and several articles. On January 3, 1942, Hugo Steiner-Prag married Eleanor Feisenberg and the couple moved to New York City. Large publishing houses, such as Random House, began commissioning his work. Steiner-Prag illustrated a volume of Hoffman’s tales and worked for Random House, Roy Publishers, and the Book of the Month Club, while his wife Eleanor worked at the Office of War Information. In 1943, he mounted a successful exhibition at the New York Public Library.

Throughout 1945, Steiner-Prag’s health began to deteriorate and he eventually suffered a heart attack from which he did not recover. Hugo Steiner-Prag died on September 10, 1945 in New York City. Several of his projects remained unfinished, such as a book on the Prague Ghetto and the suffering of the Jews that he wanted to publish together with his friend Franz Werfel (1890-1945) who had died only a few weeks before.


254.) Stern, William (1933-1940) Duke / Psychology

William Lewis Stern (April 29, 1871March 27, 1938), born Wilhelm Louis Stern, was a German psychologist and philosopher noted as a pioneer in the field of the psychology of personality and intelligence. He was the inventor of the concept of the intelligence quotient, or IQ, later used by Lewis Terman and other researchers in the development of the first IQ tests, based on the work of Alfred Binet. He was the father of the German writer and philosopher Günther Anders. In 1897, Stern invented the tone variator, allowing him to research human perception of sound in an unprecedented way.

Stern was born in Berlin, the grandson of the German-Jewish reform philosopher Sigismund Stern. He received his PhD in psychology from the University of Berlin in 1893. He taught at the University of Breslau from 1897 to 1916. In 1916 he was appointed Professor of Psychology at University of Hamburg, where he remained until 1933 as Director of the Psychologic Institute. Stern, a Jew, was ousted by Hitler‘s regime after the rise of Nazi power. He emigrated first to the Netherlands, then to the United States in 1933, where he was appointed Lecturer and Professor at Duke University. He taught at Duke until his death in 1938 because of a heart attack.

He was married to Clara Joseephy, a psychologist. They had 3 children: Hilde, Eva and Günther, who became an essayist and thinker as well.

Stern was considered in his time as a leading youth psychologist and one of the foremost authorities in differential psychology. He introduced to intelligence testing the concept of the intelligence quotient or I.Q., the practice of dividing the developmental age by the chronological age. Stern’s philosophy, which is laid down in several voluminous books, was expressed as a form of personalism.

Stern also wrote about the persona of groups of people. He viewed large institutions like the church as living entities with personalities. He is quoted in the Dutch book De levende Onderneming (“The Living Company”) by Arie de Geus who uses Stern’s philosophy to explain the longevity of certain companies like Shell Oil and Mitsubishi. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stern

William Stern


When William Stern (picture), in 1927, wrote his autobiography, he summarized his external life in two lines by naming three cities: Berlin, where he was born and had studied philosophy, and Breslau and Hamburg where he had been, and was then, a professor. He had no idea that six years later Hitler would oust him, notwithstanding all his merits, and that he would thus come to teach at Duke University and Harvard.

Stern became famous as a pioneer in applied psychology. His contributions to the psychology of deposition created a sensation among jurists, and his investigations of the psychology of childhood attracted the attention of educators. Of equal importance were Stern’s concept of the intelligence quotient and other studies on intelligence testing.

This successful psychologist also became a highly respected and influential philosopher. According to Stern, psychology and philosophy must follow the strategic principle of “marching separately and battling commonly.”

Stern was strongly opposed to what he called “scientification of psychology” because its result was “mechanization of spiritual life.” His philosophy of critical personalism tries to overcome the antagonism between common sense, which believes in separate persons, gods, or vital forces, and impersonal science, which regards the whole world as a system of elementary units and all individuals as physico-chemical aggregates.

Stern declared that the person is the primordial and most pervasive unity in the range of the experimental world. Any attempt to dissect it, to typify or to reduce it to notions or principles he rejected as distortion of facts. Stern’s concept of person is larger than that of the human individual. It comprises also groups. The person is to be distinguished from the thing. The person is a whole, individuality, quality, while the thing is an aggregate, quantity, comparable with other things.

Personal development is no mechanical interchange between the person and his environment. It involves a constant; though not necessarily conscious, readiness to realize values which are suggested by environment. Stern’s concept of history denies both biological evolution and the dialectical process, and also Rickert’s reference to general values. Stern’s personalism begins as ontology and proceeds to “axiosophy.”

In The Radical Academy

Elsewhere On The Internet


Human Intelligence: Short Bio of William Stern

Wikipedia: William Stern (In German)

Essay: Play, by William Stern

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: