German Language and Literatures

German: Annual Lectures

Max Kade Memorial Lecture

The annual lecture is presented by Oberlin’s Departments of German Studies and Russian and is funded by grants from the Max Kade Foundation  of New York. Established here in 1975, the lecture features prominent writers, academics, philosophers, translators, and others who specialize in German language, literature, culture, history, and education.


Esther Dischereit is a German-Jewish writer living in Berlin. In 2010, she was Max Kade German Writer-in-Residence at Oberlin. Esther Dischereit’s exhibition created in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn honors the railroad worker Fritz Kittel. In 1944 and 1945, Kittel hid Esther’s mother Hella and sister Hannelore, who as Jews were persecuted by the Gestapo and threatened with death in Germany under National Socialism. They experienced their liberation by U.S. troops in 1945. The writer began to search for the family of the rescuer and found them in 2019. Fritz Kittel had not told them about his courageous act throughout his life. Esther Dischereit's literary responses in 17 text pieces relate to other found objects from the lives of the three people, and they offer a dialogue with those who are now the daughters and sons or grandchildren. False information given at a registration office, illegal names and addresses... What do we read when we read these documents? What do we see when we look at these photos?

WHEN: Wednesday October 4, 2023, 4:30pm

WHERE: Max Kade German House Lounge

Harold Jantz Memorial Lecture

The Harold Jantz Memorial Lectureship honors the memory of one of the most distinguished literary scholars among Oberlin graduates. It was established in 1988 through the generosity of family, friends, colleagues, former students, and Oberlin classmates of Harold Jantz. The endowed lectureship fund supports public lectures and symposia in one of the fields of his professional interests: German literature and literary history, German and American literary relations, art and art history, and bibliophilism.

The chair of the Department of German Studies, the director of libraries, and the director of the Allen Memorial Art Museum in regular rotation select the lectures and programs each year.

The lectureship is a lasting tribute to Jantz, an Elyria, Ohio, native and 1929 graduate of Oberlin College. He earned a PhD in comparative literature with a focus on German literature at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Jantz went on to become a Goethe scholar and an authority on early American literature. He taught at Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and Duke Universities, and the Universities of Hamburg and Vienna.