Dr Thomas Schneider, our Academic Liaison, was in Seattle recently and spoke to the ARCE NW chapter on his research into Egyptology during the Nazi Era. Andrea Frances Behan went to see the lecture also and kindly provides a summary for those that have missed it:
On February 19th Dr. Schneider spoke to the ARCE’s North West chapter on the subject of Egyptology under the Nazis. For many of us that may bring up images of the daring Indiana Jones fighting off Nazis, saving the treasure from the Third Reich and getting the girl, which is all very romantic. The truth is far less so. Dr. Schneider shows us how the academic world was stunted under the Nazi regime. From the beginning the pursuit of the subject was threatened by those who wished to end the study of people so far removed from themselves and those who would intertwine Nazi propaganda with Ancient History. Dr. Schneider shows us Egyptologists who bent to the will of the Nazi party, those who supported it whole-heartedly and those who stood up against it in amazing displays of courage. Though the topic appears to still be quite sensitive, how politics effect Academia is an important one considering today’s climate, especially when one considers what a crushing blow the Nazi party was to Germany’s once thriving intellectual community.
The opinions expressed in this guest blog entry do not necessarily represent the views of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities nor its chapter in Vancouver.