Friday Colloquium

Opening a Jewish German’s diary during Third Reich

Dr. Martina Cucchiara, an assistant professor of history at Bluffton University, will explore the diary of a Jewish German in Nazi Germany during a campus colloquium Nov. 8.

Centennial Hall’s Stutzman Lecture Hall will be the site of the 4 p.m. presentation, which is titled “‘I am suffocating on the evil that engulfs me’: The Diary of Erna Becker-Kohen, 1937-1963.” The event is free and open to the public.

Becker-Kohen was a so-called “privileged” Jew due to her marriage to a non-Jewish German. However, says Cucchiara, the designation “privileged” is “a gross misnomer” because Becker-Kohen—who converted to Catholicism—“suffered constant persecution at the hands of her fellow Germans, including fellow Christians in her faith community.

“This remarkable diary brings into sharp relief to what extent the Nazis depended on ordinary Germans to act out their vicious racial policies in everyday life,” the historian adds.