Two Lives in Uncertain Times: Facing the Challenges of the 20th Century as Scholars and Citizens | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Volume 4

Studies in German History

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Two Lives in Uncertain Times

Facing the Challenges of the 20th Century as Scholars and Citizens

Wilma Iggers and Georg Iggers

230 pages, 21 illus., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-138-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2006)

ISBN  978-1-84545-140-0 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78238-796-1 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Reactions to the German edition:
“What among the advantages of this book has to be counted is the fact that the authors were fully aware of the political and social situation during the various stages of their lives and able to reflect on it.” • H-German (H-Net)


Published in Association with the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.

Wilma and Georg Iggers came from different backgrounds, Wilma from a Jewish farming family from the German-speaking border area of Czechoslovakia, Georg from a Jewish business family from Hamburg. They both escaped with their parents from Nazi persecution to North America where they met as students. As a newly married couple they went to the American South where they taught in two historic Black colleges and were involved in the civil rights movement. In 1961 they began going to West Germany regularly not only to do research but also to further reconciliation between Jews and Germans, while at the same time in their scholarly work contributing to a critical confrontation with the German past. After overcoming first apprehensions, they soon felt Göttingen to be their second home, while maintaining their close involvements in America. After 1966 they frequently visited East Germany and Czechslovakia in an attempt to build bridges in the midst of the Cold War.

The book relates their very different experiences of childhood and adolescence and then their lives together over almost six decades during which they endeavored to combine their roles as parents and scholars with their social and political engagements. In many ways this is not merely a dual biography but a history of changing conditions in America and Central Europe during turbulent times.

Wilma Iggers, born in 1921, in the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia. She and her family moved to Canada in 1938. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McMaster University in Canada and, in 1952, a PhD in Germanics from the University of Chicago. At the University of Chicago, she met Georg Iggers, and the couple were married in 1948. Her most recent positions were Professor of German at Canisius College (Buffalo), 1965-1991, since then Professor emerita. Her publications include Karl Kraus, A Viennese Cultural Critic of the Twentieth Century (1967) and Women of Prague (Berghahn, 1995). 

Georg Iggers (1926-2017) was Professor of History at the State University of New York at Buffalo, 1965-78, Distinguished Professor 1978-1997, Distinguished Professor emeritus since 1997. His numerous publications include The Cult of Authority. The Political Philosophy of the Saint-Simonians (1958), New Directions in European Historiography (1975) and Historiography in the Twentieth Century (1997).

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Germany


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