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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 29, 2017

MAHWAH, N.J. – Dr. Marion Kaplan, Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University, will give a talk on “Lisbon, the Port of Last Resort, and the Jewish Refugee Crisis of World War II,” at Ramapo College of New Jersey.  The program will be held on Friday, October 20 at 1:45 p.m. in The Robert A. Scott Student Center (Alumni Lounges, SC-156) under the auspices of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The program is free and open to the public.

Professor Kaplan will focus on Jewish refugees in Portugal during World War II and will examine a triangle of actors: the Jewish refugees themselves; the Portuguese national and local governments, civil servants, and citizens; and Jewish and transnational philanthropies. Using diplomatic, political, and legal history, and the history of daily life, Kaplan’s presentation will analyze the conditions, individuals and laws that allowed Portugal to open (and sometimes close) its doors to tens of thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing war-torn Europe and Nazi persecution. It will highlight how refugees coped once they arrived, both practically and psychologically. The refugees’ sojourn in Lisbon captures a poignant moment: how did they adjust to the travails and sentiments of fleeing and waiting? Their frightening odysseys from impending doom to fragile safety, their fearful wait in an oddly peaceful purgatory, and their grateful surprise at the reactions of Portuguese citizens linked up with their private agonies.

Marion Kaplan is professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University. She has received the National Jewish Book Award for three of her books: The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family and Identity in Imperial Germany (Oxford University Press, 1991); Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (Oxford University Press, 1998); and Gender and Jewish History, co-edited with Deborah Dash Moore (Indiana, 2011). She has published extensively on Jewish everyday life in Germany, Jewish feminism, women in Germany, and Jewish refugees in the Dominican Republic during World War II.

For information or to request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact or call 201-684-7409.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.


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