· History professor emeritus and authority on childhood, Paula Fass, who in her 2011 memoir, “Inheriting the Holocaust: A Second Generation Memoir” (2011), recalls growing up with Polish parents who survived the Nazi atrocities.
· Emilio Segrè was forced by Italy’s anti-Semitic laws to abandon his professorship at the University of Palermo. Segrè accepted a post in 1938 at the then Berkeley Radiation Lab. Eight years later joined the UC Berkeley faculty as a professor of physics and the history of science. In 1959, Segrè and Berkeley colleague Owen Chamberlain won the Nobel Prize in physics for discovering the antiproton. · Peter Selz, former director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive and emeritus professor of art at UC Berkeley, who was born in Munich in 1919 and came to the United States in 1936. He became an expert on German expressionist painting and a historian of American art, and oversaw the planning and 1967 opening of what was then a brand-new Berkeley Art Museum on Bancroft Way. Spagnolo, who oversaw the exhibition’s careful assembly over the past two years, noted its overarching theme of scholars and artists who went “from peril to safety, from exclusion to intellectual prominence.”
“Priceless learning opportunity”
Spagnolo worked on the exhibition together with about a dozen undergraduate and graduate students, including the 2012-2013 Magnes Graduate Student Fellow and history student Daniel Viragh. Other students were involved in either a class about the intellectual migration from Nazi Germany taught by history professor Martin Jay, an authority on Europe in the period covered by the exhibit, or a special Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program
(URAP) project led by history professor Thomas Laqueur, whose own family fled Germany for Istanbul before coming to the United States. During an opening reception, University of California President Janet Napolitano praised the exhibition’s remarkable story and called the collaboration “a priceless learning opportunity.” The students and other team members uncovered hundreds of letters, childhood photos, passports, affidavits and professional correspondence as well as personal information in the University Archives, The Bancroft Library, Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library and department records. A fraction of their finds are featured in “Saved by the Bay,” including war rations books, anonymous hate mail sent to musicologist Alfred Einstein, a German consult general’s rejection of a request to extend a passport in response to math professor Hans Lewy’s three-year suspension when he refused to sign the campus Loyalty Oath, family photos and a 1985 certificate awarding Max Knight Austria’s Medal of Honor. The exhibition breaks down the immigrant stories into information about their lives in Europe, their strategies to escape, their lives at Berkeley and their post-war attitudes about Europe. Visitors also can watch a 10-minute film featuring interviews with key people involved in putting the exhibition together.
Student curator Elena Kempf, a Munich native and third-year history major focusing on