Identity in a Time of Peril: Nazis and Jews in Latin America during the Second World War

Event information
Venue:FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, GC 140

Max Paul Friedman, award-winning author of Nazis and Good Neighbors: The United States Campaign against the Germans of Latin American in World War II (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Associate Professor of History at American University, will speak on the topic, "Identity in a Time of Peril: Nazis and Jews in Latin America during the Second World War" from 11:00 am - 12:00 noon in GC 140 on Friday, March 13, 2009.

On the eve of World War II, Latin America was home to more than a million ethnic Germans, many of them sympathetic to the rise of Nazi Germany. Into these communities came Jewish refugees fleeing persecution. How did these two groups conceive of their own identities in the intercultural setting of Latin America and against the backdrop of global war? Friedman examines the politically charged struggles over group cohesion and the role played by U.S., German, and Latin American security policies. Plans to rescue Holocaust victims were thwarted by governments influenced by anti-Semitism and an obsession with subversives, while Germans and Jews alike were interned side-by-side in prison camps. This is a story of the clash of cultures, international insecurity, ethnic profiling, and corruption with implications for the present day.

The lecture is free and open to the public and is part of the Latin American Jewry Series, co-sponsored with LACC.