Hartmut Lehmann & James J. Sheehan, eds.

An Interrupted Past: German-Speaking Refugee Historians in the United States after 1933

Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 1991.

The essays in An Interrupted Past describe the fate of those German-speaking historians who fled from Nazi Europe to the United States. Their story is set into several contexts: the traditional relationship between German and American historiography, the evolution of the German historical profession in the twentieth century, the onset of Nazi persecution after 1933, the special situation in Austria, and the difficulty of settling the refugees in their new homeland. In addition to articles on prominent scholars, there are accounts of the group as a whole, including information on more than ninety individuals, and of their family lives. An Interrupted Past is set in one of the darkest periods in human history, a time of political catastrophe and personal suffering. Yet the lives recorded here also illustrate people's capacity to survive, adjust, and create under difficult circumstances.