The personal toll of Nazi Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia, Oct. 2


Madison, N.J. – Three speakers at Drew University will explain how Nazi Germany’s annexation of western Czechoslovakia 80 years ago impacted their lives.

The speakers—Peter Fleischmann, Susan Lederman and Eva Vogel—were born in Czechoslovakia and will share their stories Oct. 2 at Drew’s Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, beginning at 4 p.m.

The event, which will take place in Room 106, is presented by Drew’s Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study with support from the Jackie Berke Fund, Sylvia Holder Fund and Hedy and Jay Brasch.

Germany’s annexation stemmed from an agreement it struck with Britain, France and Italy. The Munich Pact of 1938 was designed to avert war—afterward, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain talked of “peace in our time”—but in the end, merely delayed it after fueling Adolf Hitler’s aggressive expansionism.

The talk will explore the personal ramifications of a misguided foreign policy decision that was made without the involvement of Czechoslovakia.

About the Center

Founded in 1992 through a grant from the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, the Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study offers a variety of events. We schedule—as permanent anchors in our programming—an annual November conference in memory of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) and an annual Yom HaShoah (Day of Remembrance) commemoration. We also offer films, lectures, performances, workshops and commemorative events dealing with the Holocaust and with other genocides such as those in Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur and Rwanda. We enrich Drew’s undergraduate and graduate course work by bringing notable scholars and speakers to campus, organizing visits to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and providing additional resources that enhance the study of Holocaust and genocide. We also support faculty research. For example, we commissioned an English translation of a German text dealing with Nazi slave labor camps. All events are open to the larger community.

About Drew

Drew University, a Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts university, includes the College of Liberal Arts, the Drew Theological School and the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. Drew is located on a beautiful, wooded, 186-acre campus in Madison, New Jersey, a thriving small town close to New York City. It has total enrollment of more than 2,000 students and 148 full-time faculty members, with 99% holding the terminal degree in their field. The Theological and Caspersen schools offer MA and PhD degrees and the College of Liberal Arts confers BA degrees in more than 30 disciplines.

Drew is dedicated to exceptional faculty mentorship, a commitment to connecting the campus with the community and a focus on experiential learning. Particularly noteworthy opportunities for undergraduates include the Charles A. Dana Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti (RISE), home of 2015 Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine and Drew Fellow William Campbell, the Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI), the Center for Civic Engagement, New York City Semesters focusing on Wall Street, the United Nations, Contemporary Art, Theatre, Social Entrepreneurship and Communications and Media and several international semester programs. Drew also houses the Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict, the Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, an independent professional theater, as well as the United Methodist Archives and History Center and one of the country’s leading concentrations of materials on Willa Cather.

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  1. “Czechoslovakia” was an artificial Franken-nation stitched together in 1918…I’m not an apologist for the regime, but that included three million ethnic Germans who had lived in the area for centuries who became sliced off from their homeland. The Czech, Slovak, Moravian, Bohemian, and German ethnicities were all desirous of autonomy. After the war it was forcefully held together by Soviet Russia…look at a map today and you will see the result of the peoples will.