T HE J EWISH Q UA R T E R LY R EVIE W, Vol. 108, No. 1 (Winter 2018) 106–124 “One of Hitler’s Professors”: Max Weinreich and Solomon Birnbaum confront Franz Beranek KALMAN WEISER York University INLATE J UNE 1946 Max Weinreich, a cofounder and guiding spirit of the Yiddish Scientiﬁc Institute (YIVO), received word in New York City that Franz Beranek was looking for him. From Berstadt, Germany, Bera- nek had inquired with an ofﬁce for Jewish refugees in Geneva about the welfare of Weinreich and other YIVO workers. By coincidence, only a few months earlier, Weinreich had written concerning Beranek to his son Uriel (1926–67), a U.S. Army soldier in Germany who would soon estab- lish himself as a leading linguist and Yiddish scholar of his generation. In this letter, he asked Uriel to acquire Beranek’s 1941 book Die Jid- dische Mundart Nordostungarns—a study of the phonology of Yiddish in Carpatho-Ruthenia, a region annexed by Hungary in 1939 after the Nazi dismantlement Czechoslovakia. While he needed the book, Weinreich spurned the book’s author: “My demand would be to tell him that the government that paid him murdered the largest part of those people, and to try
Jewish Quarterly Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Mar 3, 2018
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