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GERMAN HISTORICAL INSTITUTE WASHNGTON, D.C. ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES No. 8 - page 18 / 46

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with Spanish or Italian. Feeling increasingly alienated in this hostile environment, when the prospect of war became inevitable, Lasch resigned her position and returned to Germany. There she continued her work in philology, specifically dialectology, and eventually obtained a professorship in Hamburg. But the story, unfortunately, does not end there, because Agathe Lasch was Jewish. In the deteriorating atmosphere of Germany, she attempted to renew her contacts at Bryn Mawr in an increasingly urgent attempt to escape the growing Nazi menace. In 1933 she lost her chair and, both through colleagues and directly, appealed to the president of Bryn Mawr for assistance in finding a post. However, the academic world that had once welcomed her had changed. By the 1930s a friend of Lasch, attempting to find her a position in the United States, was told that Bryn Mawr had a full professor in German Philology, and very few graduate students in it.No one needed a German philologist, particularly, the letter suggested, a woman. Eventually, the possibility of escape disappeared entirely. She was deported in 1937 and died in a concentration camp in 1942. 11

Between the wars, little attention was given to German history, particularly medieval German history, in the United States. For the entire period between the founding of the Medieval Academy of America in 1926 and 1940, a single article on German history appeared in its journal,

and this was on Ottokar II of Bohemia and the Double Election of 1257.Actually, even this topic was of interest to American medievalists not because of its significance to German history but rather because one of the rival emperors elected in 1257 was Richard, Earl of Cornwall. 12

11 Unsigned letter to Mrs. Richter Juchter dated June 17, 1938, Bryn Mawr College Archives.

12 F. R. Lewis, Ottokar II of Bohemia and the Double Election of 1257,12 (1937): 512515.

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