U.S. Journalism Schools Refused to Aid Jewish Refugees, Scholar Reveals

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America's journalism schools and newspaper publishers refused to help Jewish refugee journalists fleeing Hitler, according to research to be presented at a conference in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Prof. Laurel Leff of Northeastern University will speak on "American Journalism and the Plight of Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany," at the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), the premier organization of Jewish scholars.

Prof. Leff will speak at a session of the AJS conference that has been organized by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. The Wyman Institute's session of the conference will be held at the Washington Hilton and Towers, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., on Monday, December 19, 2005, from 10:45 am to 12:15 pm.

The session will be chaired by Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute.

Prof. Leff will present new research revealing that while many academic departments of American universities added Jewish refugee scholars to their faculties to help save them from Hitler, none of America's approximately 40 journalism schools placed refugee journalists on their staffs. She will document how some journalism school officials not only failed to aid refugee journalists, but expressed outright hostility to the idea and in some cases offered blatantly antisemitic rationales for their refusal to admit Jewish refugee journalists to their schools to retrain them as American journalists.

Prof. Leff will also describe how U.S. newspaper publishers refused to hire refugee journalists, and how the American Newspaper Publishers Association would not even allow a Harvard professor ten minutes to speak at its 1939 convention about the plight of refugee journalists.

Prof. Leff is the author of the critically-acclaimed new book about the New York Times and the Holocaust, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper, which was published by Cambridge University Press earlier this year.

For media representatives interested in attending this session should call the Association for Jewish Studies, 212-294-3801, x 6249, to make the necessary arrangements.

Those interested in interviewing Prof. Leff, either before or after her lecture, should call the Wyman Institute at 215-635-5622.

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