5 Mar 2020 - 6 Mar 2020 All day Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College


This event is open to all. Please email events@crassh.cam.ac.uk if you would like to be kept informed about the event, or have any other questions. 


Theodor Dunkelgrün (twd26@cam.ac.uk) and Aaron Kachuck (ak555@cam.ac.uk)


The British rescue of scholars and scientists from Fascist Europe in the 1930s and 1940s rightly belongs among the most inspiring chapters in modern academic history. In these years, the catastrophe of the mid-twentieth century crystallised a sense of international academic solidarity and rejuvenated an ideal of the university as a sanctuary for the free pursuit of learning. Thousands of scholars and their family members fled regimes bent on their murder and on the destruction of those ideals. In turn, these refugees went on to enrich British life and society in countless ways.

But much is lost in both the popular mythology of the period and in extant scholarship about it: for all who made it to safety, there were many more who did not, and the survival of thousands depended upon the tireless work of a small number of dedicated individuals. Largely ignored, too, are the ways the history of refugee scholarship is embedded in local communities and households, and how the nation-wide effort to rescue persecuted academics was largely conceived in and run from Cambridge.

This conference is the first attempt to begin to reconstruct the story of the way Cambridge — university, colleges, and town — became a sanctuary for persecuted academics from Fascist Europe in the years 1933-1945. Papers will range widely across the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, both focusing on well-known refugee academics and also drawing attention to the experience of those marginalised or neglected: students, women, and scholars who never found their way here professionally. We will also look at the individuals, institutions and households that enabled escape and rescue, as well as at the evacuation from Nazi Germany to Cambridge of material resources of scholarly value.

Speakers and chairs: Nicolas Bell, Monica Bohm-Duchen, Peter Burke, Iain Fenlon, Miriam Glucksmann, Amanda Hopkinson, William Horbury, Marion Kant, John Krebs, Mike Levy, Samuel Llano, Rosamond McKitterick, Mary-Ann Middelkoop, Katarina Mihaljević, Robin Perutz, Vivien Perutz, Jan-Melissa Schramm, Daniel Snowman, Annette Vogt, Stephen Wordsworth.

The conference will take place from 09.00 to 18.00 on Thursday 5th March and from 09.00 to 13.00 on Friday 6th March.

Seating is limited, and registration (£ 5.00, including tea and coffee on both days) is necessary. If the event is sold out please email events@crassh.cam.ac.uk  to be added to the waitlist.

This event is co-sponsored by Trinity College and by the Jewish Historical Society of England.
Jewish Historial Society of England logo

This event is organised in association with the Insiders/Outsiders Festival


Thursday 5th March: Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College. For details of how to find the conference venue view the map on the University’s website

09.00 – 09.30


09.30 – 09.45

Welcome by Theodor Dunkelgrün (Cambridge) and Aaron Kachuck (Cambridge)

09.45 – 11.45

Session 1: History

Chair: Mary-Ann Middelkoop (Cambridge)

Paper 1: Peter Burke (Cambridge): ‘’The 3 Worlds of Karl Mannheim’

Paper 2: Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge): ‘From Viennese Lawyer to Cambridge Historian: The Early Career of Walter Ullmann, 1938-1946’

Paper 3: William Horbury (Cambridge) and Theodor Dunkelgrün (Cambridge): ‘Samuel Krauss, Herbert Loewe, and the Attempt to Rescue the Wissenschaft des Judentums

11.45 – 13.00


13.00 - 14.30

Session 2: Music

Chair: Iain Fenlon (Cambridge)

Paper 4: Nicolas Bell (Cambridge): ‘Music and Exile: Evacuating the Paul Hirsch Library from Frankfurt to Cambridge’

Paper 5: Samuel Llano (Manchester): ‘Music, ‘Exile and Cultural Translation: Roberto Gerhard’s Transnational Chronotopes’

14.30 – 15.00

Coffee and Tea

15.00 – 17.00

Session 3: Culture

Chair: Aaron Kachuck (Cambridge)

Paper 6: Marion Kant (Cambridge): ‘Kurt Jooss in Cambridge and German “Tanztheater” in Britain’

Paper 7: Amanda Hopkinson (City, University of London), Xavier Muñoz Puiggròs (Ateneu Barcelones) and Geoffrey Roughton (CEO of X-MR, alumnus of Trinity College), book launch of “The House of Alice Roughton: Cambridge Doctor, Humanist, Patron and Activist (Sussex Academic Press/Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies-LSE, 2020)

17.00 – 18.00

Keynote (Master’s Lodge, Trinity College): Lord Krebs

Introductory Remarks

Stephen Wordsworth (CARA)

Lord Krebs (Oxford), ‘Sir Hans Krebs and the Sir Hans Krebs Trust’

Friday 6th March: Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College. For details of how to find the conference venue view the map on the University’s website

09.00 – 10.30

Session 4: The experience of women

Chair: Jan-Melissa Schramm (Cambridge)

Paper 8: Katarina Mihaljević (Tilburg), ‘Nobody’s Daughter: Logician Rose Rand in the United Kingdom (1939-1952)’

Paper 9: Annette Vogt (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science): ‘From Berlin to Cambridge: scientists in exile from the Berlin University and the Kaiser Wilhelm Society’

10.30 – 11.00

Coffee and Tea

11.00 – 12.30

Session 5: Households and Families

Chair: Theodor Dunkelgrün (Cambridge)

Paper 10: Mike Levy (Anglia Ruskin): ‘On Their Mettle – Professor Robert and Mrs Sybil Hutton and the Rescue and Care of Cambridge Refugees’

Paper 11: Miriam Glucksmann (Essex, LSE): ‘Two Pathways to Strangeways: Alfred Glucksmann and Ilse Lasnitzki’

Paper 12: Vivien Perutz (Cambridge): ‘The Impact of the Refugees on History of Art in Britain’

Paper 13: Robin Perutz (York): ‘Max Perutz in his own words: 1936-45’

12.30 – 13.00


Daniel Snowman (Institute of Historical Research)
Monica Bohm-Duchen (Insiders/Outsiders Festival)
Simon Goldhill (Cambridge/British Academy)

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk