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Saved by The Bay: The Intellectual Migration from Fascist Europe to UC Berkeley

Exhibit - Multimedia | January 28 – June 27, 2014 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. |  Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (2121 Allston Way)


Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life


During the Spring Semester 2013, faculty, curators and students interviewed current and Emeriti UC Berkeley faculty, and researched the University Archives of The Bancroft Library. This work unearthed hundreds of primary sources documenting the lives of a group of intellectuals who came to Berkeley as refugees from European fascism. These individuals contributed much to the academic life of our University, becoming world-renowned leaders in all fields of scholarship. They also expanded the global mind of the campus, paving the way for UC Berkeley’s leading role in academia and in public intellectual engagement, two decades before the rise of the Free Speech Movement.

The exhibition, Saved by the Bay, highlights the history of this important intellectual migration through biographical sketches, a film, and over one hundred documents from the University Archives, The Bancroft Library, and the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library at UC Berkeley. The materials, which include letters, photographs, travel documents, and professional records, document life in Fascist Europe, the strategies of immigration and refugee life, the arrival to Berkeley, and life on campus from 1933 until the end of the Second World War, of a select number of immigrant faculty at UC Berkeley.

Francesco Spagnolo -- Curator
Elena Kempf -- Undergraduate Curatorial Apprentice

Project Team:

Professor Thomas Laqueur, Department of History
Professor Martin Jay, Department of History
Dr. Alla Efimova, Director, The Magnes
Dr. Francesco Spagnolo, Curator, The Magnes and Department of Music
Daniel Viragh, Department of History and Magnes Graduate Fellow 2012-2013
Elena Kempf (History 2014), Undergraduate Curator

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program participants: Anna Cai, Honest Chung, Stuart Fine, Alexander Garcia, Aaron Horowitt, Elena Kempf, Serena Ma, Maiya Moncino, and Rachel Xiao

Julie Franklin, Registrar
Gordon Chun Design, Exhibition designers


magnes@library.berkeley.edu, 510-643-2526