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Noted Holocaust historian Fr. Kevin Spicer to speak about Catholics and Jews in Hitler’s Germany

The actions, or inaction, of Germany’s Catholic priests in the face of the Nazis’ persecution of Europe’s Jews will be the focus of a special lecture by Fr. P. Kevin Spicer, CSC, hosted by the Lux Center at Sacred Heart School of Theology on Feb. 10.

Fr. Spicer, the James J. Kenneally Distinguished Professor of History at Stonehill College in Boston, will present Catholics, Nazis, Jews: The Complexity of History, as part of a semester-long class on the Holocaust being offered this semester at the Franklin, Wis. seminary.

The Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center is sponsoring the course and Fr. Spicer’s talk.

This lecture will examine the often contradictory statements and actions of the approximately 26,000 diocesan and religious priests in Germany within its Altreich borders during World War II. Fr. Spicer says his aim is to provide greater understanding of the role Christian anti-Semitism played in the response, and lack-of-response, of Catholic churchmen to the persecution and murder of Jews.

 The lecture is Sunday, Feb. 10, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart School of Theology, 7335 S. Highway 100 in Franklin, Wis. The lecture is open to the public free of charge. Those interested in attending must call Bonnie Shafrin by Wed, Feb. 6. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Bonnie Shafrin at the Holocaust Education Resource Center at 414-963-2719 or

Fr. Spicer’s research centers on the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the German state under National Socialism. He is the author of Hitler's Priests: Catholic Clergy and National Socialism (North Illinois University Press, 2008),Resisting the Third Reich: The Catholic Clergy in Hitler's Berlin (North Illinois University Press, 2004), editor of Antisemitism, Christian Ambivalence, and The Holocaust (Indiana University Press, 2007) and a variety of articles in journals including Church History, HistorischesJahrbuch, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The lecture is made possible by a generous donation in honor of Dr. Fred Shafrin and a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc.

The Holocaust Education Resource Center is a program of the Coalition for Jewish Learning, the education program of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

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