Emergency committee in aid of displaced foreign scholars

Alternative names
Dates:
Active 1927
Active 1949
English, Spanish; Castilian, German, French

Biographical notes:

The Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars was formed in New York City in 1933 by American academicians for the purpose of employing refugee German scholars in American institutions.

Many of these refugee scholars were Jews displaced by the National Socialist government. The Committee disbanded in 1945.

From the description of Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars records, 1927-1949 (bulk 1933-1945). (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122571141

The Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars was formed in New York City in 1933 for the purpose of employing refugee German scholars in American institutions. Many of the refugee scholars were Jews displaced by the National Socialist government. The Committee came into existence through the efforts of a small group of academics and philanthropists in New York City. In May of 1933, Alfred E. Cohn, Bernard Flexner, and Fred M. Stein contacted Stephen Duggan, the director of the Institute of International Education, to discuss the possibility of creating an organization to assist German scholars fleeing to the United States. These four men formed the organizing committee that became the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars. Felix Warburg and Alan Gregg served as advisors to the organizers and helped gain support from other refugee and philanthropic organizations. Livingston Farrand became Chairman of the Committee; Stephen Duggan became its Secretary, and after the death of Farrand, its Chairman; and Fred M. Stein became its Treasurer. Edward R. Murrow served as Assistant Secretary until 1935, followed by John H. Whyte (1935-1937), Betty Drury (1937-1944) and finally, by Francis Fenton Park (1945). Professor Nelson P. Meade and Professor L.C. Dunn were added to Messers. Farrand, Stein and Duggan to form an Executive Committee.

The Committee was in operation for twelve years and served to raise funds on behalf of refugee scholars. Relief was not made directly to the scholars, rather, funds were made available through a program of grants-in-aid to colleges, universities, and other institutions and later through fellowships that served mainly artists and writers. These funds were provided mainly through foundations, although many individuals did make significant contributions.

In 1938, as Nazi aggression spread throughout Europe, the Committee broadened the scope of its mission to include refugee scholars from all countries overrun by the Nazi armies. The Committee changed its name to the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, in order to reflect this new mission.

Over the course of twelve years, the Committee provided grants for 335 scholars and assisted many others through references to other assistance organizations. The Committee disbanded in 1945.

Sources Duggan, Stephen and Betty Drury. The Rescue of Science and Learning. New York : The Macmillan Company, 1948.

From the guide to the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars records, 1927-1949, 1933-1945, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

German-born dance critic and historian Artur Ferdinand Michel (1883-1946) was a journalist and scholar who immigrated to the United States after the Nazi rise to power, settling in New York, where he became a reviewer for the German-language newspaper Aufbau and wrote articles that appeared in Dance Magazine and other publications. Born in Barmen, Germany, Michel attended universities in Tübingen and Berlin, and received his doctorate from the Universität Jena. He originally studied language and literature, but later became interested in theater and dance. Michel pursued a career in journalism, working for two newspapers, Magdeburgische Zeitung (1913-1915) and Deutsche allgemeine Zeitung (1920-1922), primarily as an art, book, and theater reviewer, but after becoming an editor and critic for Berlin's Vossische Zeitung (1922-1934), he extended his coverage to dance as well, documenting the vibrant German dance scene. According to his curriculum vitae, Michel estimated that he had published more than one thousand articles in newspapers, periodicals, and books by the early 1940s. In addition to his newspaper work and interest in contemporary dance, Michel traveled extensively in Europe between 1920 and 1936, studying art, folk dance, and ballet history in France, Italy, and Austria. He also lived and worked for almost a year in Portugal and Spain, filing a series of cultural reports for German newspapers from 1927-1928.

Michel sought to leave Germany during the mid-1930s, and with the assistance of relatives in New York, he had obtained a landing permit for Cuba by late 1938, intending to stay in Havana until he could be admitted to the United States under its immigration quota. Michel arrived in New York in June 1941 and soon found work writing dance and theater reviews for Aufbau, which served the city's German Jewish population. Through his position on the newspaper, and as a result of reconnecting with fellow émigrés, such as Hanya Holm, he was able to familiarize himself with many developments in American dance. In late 1942, the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars awarded Michel a twelve-month fellowship to complete work on a book, Der Tanz auf der Bühne: Geschichte des Theatertanzes seit der Renaissance ( History of the Theatre Dance from the Renaissance to the Present Day ), that he had begun in Germany. He hoped that the book (which he envisioned as a text book of sorts) would help him to secure lecture work and a teaching position. Although he initially was unsuccessful in finding a publisher for the finished work, Michel, who had been instrumental in organizing an American effort to honor Mary Wigman on her sixtieth birthday, seemed well on his way to establishing himself within the American dance community before his sudden death in 1946.

From the guide to the Artur Michel papers, 1832-1987, 1920-1946, (The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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SNAC ID:
3984

Subjects:

  • Dance critics -- United States -- 20th century
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Refugees
  • National socialism
  • World War, 1939-1945--Refugees
  • Political refugees
  • Jewish refugees
  • Jews -- Employment
  • Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.
  • Jews, German -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Jews -- Legal status, laws, etc -- Germany
  • Jews -- Persecutions
  • Religious refugees
  • Jews--Persecutions
  • Jewish refugees -- United States
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
  • College teachers -- Selection and appointment
  • Antisemitism
  • Learned institutions and societies
  • Antisemitism -- Germany
  • College teachers--Selection and appointment
  • Dance critics -- Germany -- 20th century
  • National socialism -- Germany
  • Universities and colleges
  • Jews, German -- United States -- Intellectual life
  • Expatriation
  • Expatriation -- Germany
  • Jews--Employment
  • Dance criticism

Occupations:

  • Scholars
  • Dance critics

Places:

  • Germany (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)