The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide


List of Events
Joachim Prinz speaking at March on Washington, 1963.

Center for Jewish History

Talk: Holocaust Consciousness, German Jewish Refugees and the Civil Rights Struggle in Post-War America

Dr. David Juenger

Tue 24 Apr 2018

Time: 6:30pm - 8pm

Joint event with the Second Generation Network.

“When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.” Those words were spoken by Rabbi Joachim Prinz (1902–1988) addressing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in Washington D.C., by then the biggest demonstration of the African American Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. David Juenger will take this event and this quote as a vantage point to explore the participation of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the African American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He will talk about various personages, especially Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a Zionist rabbi who left Berlin in 1937 and became an important figure of American Jewry from the 1950s through the 1970s.

It is the purpose of this talk to highlight the historical experience with Nazi oppression of those protagonists as a key instrument for understanding their later activism in the Civil Rights Movement. It is argued argument that the Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement cannot be understood without an understanding of early Holocaust memory in the United States and without looking at those Jews who had fled Nazi-occupied Europe and became leading activist of post-war American Jewry.

About the Speaker

Dr. David Juenger is the DAAD Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Sussex. He is affiliated with the Centre for German-Jewish Studies. His research and teaching interests are Modern German and American Jewish History and Modern European History.

He is currently working on his second book about the life and times of the German-American rabbi Joachim Prinz (1902–1988). His most recent publication is Jahre der Ungewissheit. Emigrationspläne deutscher Juden 1933–1938, Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016 [Uncertain Years. Emigration planning of German Jews, 1933–1938].


Image credit: Joachim Prinz speaking at March on Washington, 1963. Center for Jewish History, NYC, via Wikimedia Commons.

Location: The Wiener Library - click for map

Image - 2gn_1.JPG

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