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Albright College Lecture Series: National Speakers, Timely Topics

by Albright College

Albright College Lecture Series: National Speakers, Timely Topics

The 17th Annual Richard J. Yashek Memorial Lecture, “David de Jong: The Unapologetic Heirs of Nazi Billionaires,” will be held on Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m., Campus Center South Lounge, and is an Experience event for students as well as being free and open to the public. The event is organized and co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Reading.

Following Adolf Hitler’s seizure of power in early 1933, most German businessmen started to vigorously capitalize on Nazi Germany’s newly codified antisemitism. These men began to remove Jewish executives from their company boards, before indiscriminately seizing Jewish-owned businesses, first in Germany then across Nazi-occupied Europe. Many of the German moguls ended up using Jewish men and women as slave laborers in their factories and mines during World War II. Were many of these tycoons ardent Nazis, who unquestioningly embraced Hitler’s ideology and antisemitism to begin with, or were most simply calculating, unscrupulous opportunists looking to expand their business empires at any cost? How are their heirs dealing with this history today? Journalist and author David de Jong has written for for Bloomberg News. the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg Businessweek. A native of the Netherlands, he currently lives in Tel Aviv and works as a Middle East correspondent for the Dutch Financial Daily.

The James J. Gallagher Memorial Lecture, “Robert P. Jones: Christianity, White Supremacy and America’s Identity Crisis,” will be held on Thursday, Thur., March 30, 7 p.m., Campus Center South Lounge. The lecture is organized by the Religious Studies department and is an Experience event for students as well as being free and open to the public.

Drawing on history, public opinion surveys and personal experience, Robert P. Jones will deliver a provocative examination of the unholy relationship between American Christianity and white supremacy, issuing a call for white Christians to reckon with this legacy for the sake of themselves, their faith and the nation. It is not just the future of Christianity but the outcome of the American experiment that is at stake. Robert P. Jones is the founder and head of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture and public policy.