Renouncing Judaism Didn't Save These Historians From Nazi Persecution

A German historical institute acknowledges its own dark history with an online exhibition honoring the memory of seven Jewish medievalists who were expelled from its ranks during the time of the Third Reich

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Yitzhak Hen
Yitzhak Hen

On April 16, 1939, Prof. Wilhelm Levison and his wife, Elsa, secretly fled their home in the western German town of Bonn. Levison, who was in his early 60s, was already a world-renowned medieval historian. Following the passage of the Nuremberg Laws, in 1935, Levison had been forced to resign from his job at the University of Bonn. But, unwilling to acknowledge the new reality emerging around him, he did not leave Germany, despite the pleas of his brother, who lived in Britain.

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