Kristallnacht: a Night of Broken Glass, Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts

Guy SternPresented by Dr. Guy Stern
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

7:00 p.m.
Bovee University Center Auditorium ( view map)

>>View video of Guy Stern's talk on iTunes U


Guy Stern is the Director of the International Institute of the Righteous at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills. He has published several books and compilations on German literature history, especially related to literature on emigration and immigration.

In 1944 he landed three days after D-Day in Normandy with the so called Ritchie Boys, a special military intelligence unit comprising mainly of native German speaking immigrants. Part of his duty was the interrogation of German prisoners of war and defectors. For this he gained the Bronze Star Medal.


Guy Stern was born in Hildesheim, Germany in 1922 and emigrated to the United States in 1937. From 1940 to 1942 he studied at St. Louis University and followed his studies with three years of army service. As a sergeant in U.S. Military Intelligence, he took part in the Normandy invasion and was decorated with the Bronze Star. After World War II, he continued his studies at Hofstra University, then at Columbia University.  While teaching at various American universities, he also accepted guest professorships at the Goethe Institute and the universities of Freiburg, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Potsdam, and Munich.

Following his retirement from Wayne State University in 2003, Stern took the position of Director of the International Institute of the Righteous at the Holocaust Memorial Center of Greater Detroit.

Among his numerous publications are: War, Weimar and Literature. The Story of the "Neue Merkur" 1914-1925 (1971); Literatur im Exil. Gesammelte Aufsätze 1959-1989 (1989); Literature and Culture in Exile (1997); and Fielding, Wieland, Goethe, and the Rise of the Novel (2003).

Among his awards are Distinguished Germanist of the Year (AATG 1985), the Grand Order of Merit, and the Goethe Medal of the Federal Republic of Germany. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from Hofstra University and was awarded the Presidental Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992. A Festschrift was given to him in 1989 entitled Exile and Enlightenment, and in 2005 he was honored again in another Festschrift at the University of Munich: Autobiographische Zeugnisse der Verfolgung: Hommage für Guy Stern. 

Event Sponsors

This talk is sponsored by the Dr. Harold Abel Endowed Lecture Series in the Study of Dictatorship, Democracy and Genocide and the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences at Central Michigan University.