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GERMAN HISTORICAL INSTITUTE WASHNGTON, D.C. ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES No. 8 - page 17 / 46

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resigned his professorship, closed the German Museum at Harvard that he had founded, and retired from public life until 1920. He then reopened the German Museum but never returned to his Harvard professorship. Francke, with powerful support from Harvards administration, was fortunate in his ability to survive the war with only minor personal affronts and problems.

Some German scholars in America met with much greater problems. Consider the case of Professor Agathe Lasch (18791942), a brilliant medieval philologist and expert on Low German dialects. She began teaching at Bryn Mawr in 1910, and by 1916 was promoted to the position of associate professor. As anti-German sentiment rose in America, the college was not a particularly comfortable institution for German-born scholars. Its president, the charismatic M. Carey Thomas, herself a dynamic figure in American feminist education, had studied Germanic philology in Germany. At Bryn Mawr, she continued and encouraged the German philological tradition, just as Herbert Baxter Adams sought to transplant the John Hopkins tradition of German-modeled scholarship to its history and political science courses. Bryn Mawr students were even required to study German as a prerequisite for graduation. It was under this influence that she recruited and initially supported the young Agathe Lasch.

However, as America moved closer to war, Thomass resentment toward Germany became more pronounced and, according to one biographer, her long-standing antipathy to the Germans added sharpness to her attitude and led her during the war to act with regrettable harshness towards any Germans who had the misfortune to cross her path.10 There is no evidence that she treated Lasch with anything but respect, however, the college abolished the requirement of German language and replaced it

10

Finch,

(New York, 1947), 295.

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