Acclaimed German Professor Returns To Denison for Campus Convocation
Posted: March 25, 2005
Denison University's Academic Lecture Fund, Modern Languages Department and Patty Foresman Fund are sponsoring an all-campus convocation featuring a former Denison faculty member. Acclaimed Professor of German Guy Stern will return to campus to speak on "A Battle of the Minds: The Exiles in the Service of the U.S. Intelligence" at 7:30 p.m., Thursday (April 7) in Slayter Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
Stern is returning to Denison as a celebrity after The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2004 Toronto Hotdocs Film Festival's celebrated opening film "The Ritchie Boys" as a semi-finalist for the 2005 Oscars. Directed by Christian Bauer, the German-Canadian documentary film tells the story of a group of young German-Jewish intellectuals who as refugees from Nazi Germany were trained at the super-secret Camp Ritchie in Maryland "to pioneer the first modern psychological warfare and break the German army's morale." Stern was one of the Ritchie Boys and will share his story and that of making the film in the convocation. "The Ritchie Boys" (93 min.) will be screened following the convocation.
The film features never-seen archival footage of dazzling quality and color, obtained from the Library of Congress, the U.S. National Archives and the private collections of the Ritchie Boys. Interviews from several of the Ritchie Boys, including Stern, will reveal both important historical facts and deeply moving personal accounts. "The Ritchie Boys" shows that humans can transcend potential victimhood to achieve victory," Bauer told a packed gallery during its world premiere.
Born in 1922 in Hildesheim, Germany, Stern immigrated to the United States in 1937 and became a citizen in 1943. While serving with the Military Intelligence Service of the US Army, he earned the rank of Master Sergeant and was decorated with the Bronze Star. Stern earned his bachelor's degree in romance languages from Hofstra College and pursued graduate studies at Columbia University, where he earned his master's degree in Germanic studies in 1950 and his doctorate in 1953. He was a German instructor at Columbia University until 1955.
A member of the Denison faculty from 1955-1963, he went on to teach at the University of Cincinnati and at the University of Maryland, College Park. Stern has been at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1978, serving as provost, senior vice president, and distinguished professor of German. He also has held guest professorships at the Universities of Freiburg, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Potsdam and Munich. A co-founder and past president of the Lessing Society, Stern also served as co-curator for the Washington, D.C. Holocaust Memorial Museum's 10th Anniversary Book Burning Exhibit in 2003. Known as one of the most important German-Jewish Germanists in America, his consistent efforts have significantly contributed to a better understanding between Germans and Jews.
CALENDAR LISTING: Acclaimed German professor Guy Stern returns to Denison for an all-campus convocation on "A Battle of the Minds: The Exiles in the Service of the U.S. Intelligence" and will speak on the new 2005 Oscar-nominated documentary film "The Ritchie Boys" (93 min.) which will be screened after the convocation; 7:30 p.m., Thursday (April 7) in Slayter Auditorium. Free and open to the public. Please call (740) 587-6643 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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