Harvard’s Holocaust chair has been in the news again.
It was bad enough that, as of this past winter, the university had kept the slot unfilled for more than three years, prompting the New York financier Kenneth Lipper, who had underwritten the professorship, to shift much of his $3-million grant elsewhere. “It breaks [Lipper’s] heart what’s happening at Harvard,” attested Michael Berenbaum, the former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and now the head of Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. But still worse was to come in the spring. Though the committee at Harvard had interviewed an all-star roster of historians, its members could not agree on who was most suitable to hold the endowed chair. And so, the university announced, the search was indefinitely suspended. Continue reading