Showing 4 results

Authority record
Academic Affairs

Browning, Christopher R.

  • UA 5.3.2
  • Person
  • 1944-present

Christopher R. Browning was born on May 22, 1944 in Durham, North Carolina. He spent most of his childhood growing up in Chicago, where his mother worked as a school nurse and his father was a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University. In 1967, he graduated summa cum laude from Oberlin College in Ohio with Highest Honors in History to earn his B.A. degree. While at Oberlin, Browning became a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1966 and won the Comfort Starr Prize in History in 1967. Dr. Browning then attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, earning his M.A. in 1968 and his Ph.D. in 1975. In 1967 he received a National Collegiate Athletic Association Post-Graduate Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. After earning his Master’s degree, Dr. Browning taught junior high and high school students for one year at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin. He then served as an Instructor in History at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania for two years. In 1972 Browning also received a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Dankstipendium towards his Ph.D.

In 1974, he was hired as an Assistant Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran University. During his twenty-four years at Pacific Lutheran, Dr. Browning taught courses on the Holocaust, German history, French history, Western Civilization, and World Civilization. He also taught courses in the Freshman Experience, Integrated Studies, and Global Studies programs. He received numerous honors and recognitions, served on and chaired several University committees, presented papers at many conferences and lectures, delivered speeches at University functions and many venues outside the University, published multiple books and papers, received several research grants, and served as a visiting professor at various institutions. He was promoted to the position of Associate Professor at Pacific Lutheran University in 1979.

In 1980, he was awarded a prestigious research grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to study in Germany. He was promoted to the level of Professor at Pacific Lutheran University in 1984. Also in 1984, he served as a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the fall of 1988, he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. That year he also received the Burlington-Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award at Pacific Lutheran University and won the “Best article” award from the German Studies Association. He studied in Israel in 1989 with a Fulbright Senior Research Grant. In the spring of 1992, he served as Visiting Professor at Northwestern University. He received the Faculty Excellence Award from Pacific Lutheran University in 1992 and the National Jewish Book Award in Holocaust Studies in 1993 for his book Ordinary Men. He was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton in 1995. In 1996, he served as the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Visiting Professor of Judaic Studies at the College of William and Mary and as the J.B. and Maurice Shapiro Senior Visiting Scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was promoted to the level of Distinguished Professor at Pacific Lutheran University in 1997.

In 1990, Dr. Browning delivered the prestigious George Macaulay Trevelyan Lectures at Cambridge University, and in 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College. Beginning in the fall of 1999, Dr. Browning began working in his new position as the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In 2002 he was the George L. Mosse Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in the same year served as an Ina Levine Invitational Scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Browning received another research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2004 as well as a UNC Faculty Fellowship. That year he also won the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category for The Origins of the Final Solution.

Starting in 2006 Browning was a fellow at the National Humanities Center and was also elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Throughout the spring and summer of 2007, he served as the Bertelsmann Europaeum Visiting Professor of 20th Century Jewish History and Politics at Mansfield College in Oxford University. In 2008 Dr. Browning received both an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Northwestern University and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Holocaust Studies and Research from the Holocaust Educational Foundation. In 2011 he won the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category for his book, Remembering Survival, which in 2012 also won the Yad Vashem Book Prize. That same year, he received the Annetje Fels-Kuperferschmidt Award from the Netherlands Auschwitz Committee. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from his Alma mater, Oberlin College, in 2013. Throughout his fifteen years as the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Browning taught undergraduate and graduate courses on the Holocaust, Western Civilization, contemporary European history, and German history. After a long career as a historian, speaker, researcher, and professor, he retired from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2014.

Dr. Browning has published nine books: The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office (1978), Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution (1985), The Path to Genocide (1992), Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (1992), Der Weg zur “Endlösung”: Entscheidungen und Täter (1998), Nazi Policy, Jewish Labor, German Killers (2000), Collected Memories: Holocaust History and Postwar Testimony (2003), The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (2004), and Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave Labor Camp (2011). He has published fifty-eight papers in various languages, delivered seventy-nine lectures and papers at conferences, contributed encyclopedia entries for The Encyclopedia of Religion and The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, published ten review articles, and written book reviews for various internationally-circulated newspapers and journals, such as The New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, The International History Review, Die Zeit, and Neue Politische Literatur.

Dr. Browning has served as a consultant to the Department of Justice in Canada, the Commonwealth Office of Public Prosecution in Australia, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the War Crimes Branch of the Crown Prosecution Service in Great Britain. Because of his extensive knowledge of the Holocaust, Dr. Browning has also given Expert Witness testimony in Canada and Australia during the trials of Nazi war criminals. Other important cases include the libel action of David Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt in the United Kingdom and The Crown v. Ernst Zündel in Canada.

Dr. Browning is married and has two daughters, Kathryn and Anne. His wife, Jennifer, is a lawyer.

Ericksen, Robert P.

  • Person

Robert Ericksen, Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies Emeritus and Professor of History at PLU, earned his Ph.D. in history at the London School of Economics. He is the author or editor of five books and more than forty articles or book chapters. All of his work has dealt with two major institutions in Germany during the Nazi period: churches and universities. He retired in 2016.

His first book, Theologians under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus and Emanuel Hirsch (Yale University Press, 1985), was translated into German, Dutch, and Japanese. In 2005 it was made into a documentary film of the same name, produced by Vitalvisuals.com and shown on PBS to a market of 43 million households. Ericksen co-edited with Susannah Heschel of Dartmouth College Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust (Fortress Press, 1999). His most recent book, Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany (Cambridge University Press) appeared in 2012. He is now under contract with Cambridge University Press to complete Christians in Nazi Germany, which will appear in their Short History Series.

Ericksen has been a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Lutheran Academy of Scholars at Harvard University; he has received research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others; he is a founding member on the board of editors of a German journal, Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte, and of an online journal, Contemporary Church History Quarterly; and he serves as Chair of the Committee on Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In 2004 Ericksen delivered the biennial Kaplan Holocaust Lectures at the University of Cape Town, which led to his recent book, Complicity in the Holocaust. In April 2013 he delivered the Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture at the University of Vermont. In August 2012 he spoke on “Pastors and Professors: Assessing Complicity and Unfolding Complexity” at the University of Cape Town conference on “Holocaust Scholarship: Personal Trajectories and Professional Interpretations.” The nine talks at the conference are soon to appear as a volume on Holocaust historiography. He has spoken on several occasions on the Holocaust, including the November 2007 Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture, published by the Museum as “Christian Complicity? Changing Views on German Churches and the Holocaust.”

Schnackenberg, Walter C.

  • UA 5.3.3
  • Person
  • 1917-1973

Walter C. Schnackenberg was born in Spokane, Washington on July 3, 1917. He entered Pacific Lutheran College as a freshman in 1935. After completing the junior college division in 1937, he studied at St. Olaf College in Minnesota where he received an A. B. degree (1939). As an undergraduate, he participated in a variety of student activities including varsity sports, music, dramatic organizations, and student government. After spending two years in business with his father, he returned to Pacific Lutheran in 1942 with his new wife, Doris Strom. During their two year stay, Schnackenberg worked as the Dean of Men and Secretary of the Development Association. He also taught classes. In 1944, he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

After two years of service, he returned to the Northwest and entered graduate school at Gonzaga University in Spokane. He received his master’s degree in history the following year. In the fall of 1947, he began to work towards his Ph.D. at Washington State College in Pullman. For his thesis Schnackenberg studied the history of Lutheran educational institutions founded in Washington and Idaho from 1890 to 1920. With the majority of the primary sources located at Pacific Lutheran University, he visited the campus often. The thesis became the basis for his history of PLU, “The Lamp and the Cross,” which was published in 1964.

After completing his doctorate, he taught at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. for two years. In the fall of 1952, he returned to Pacific Lutheran University where he served as a Professor of History until his death in 1973. During his tenure at the university, Dr. Schnackenberg played an active role in many facets of the community. He served on nearly every faculty committee. He spoke 72 times at chapel services. He advised the Lutheran Student Association of America, both the PLU branch and the national body. He was influential in nearly every major decision made at the university during his tenure. He spearheaded the faculty constitution which was adopted in 1972. He also served as Chairman of the Department of History from 1963 until his death.

Throughout his career, Dr. Schnackenberg was involved with numerous outside organizations. He served as a board member and as president of Trinity Lutheran Church. He assisted in the revision of the church’s constitution and supported the decision to build the current sanctuary. He participated in a variety of church-related programs from 1942-1973. During his 1962-1963 sabbatical, he was a visiting scholar and lecturer for the Evangelische Akademie in Germany. He organized the Enumclaw Library Oral History Project. As the President of the Board of Directors for Franklin Pierce School District (on which he had served for many years), he traveled to Laos to facilitate the School-to-School program. He was a member of the American Historical Association, the American Association of University Professors, the American Society of Church History, the Hudson’s Bay Record Society, and the Norwegian-American Historical Association.

Dr. Schnackenberg was often recognized for his efforts. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the ELCA (1960), the Medina Foundation Award (1962), the Distinguished Service Award from Parkland Businessmen (1968), and the Distinguished Professor Award (1971). Dr. Schnackenberg authored several articles and books. In 1953, Schnackenberg delivered a speech entitled To Whom the Future Belongs which was later published by the Board of Christian Education for the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Now or Never: Some Reflections on the Meaning and Fullness of Time was published in 1957 and met with controversy. The Lamp and the Cross appeared in 1965 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the university. His history primer On Studying History was completed in 1972 and printed for university use, but was never fully published.

Walter Schnackenberg and Doris Strom married in 1941 and had four daughters: Ann Louise, Mary Helen, Dikka Marie, and Gjertud Cecelia. Dr. Schnackenberg died in 1973 from a massive heart attack at the Faculty House. All of his accomplishments and commitments numbered too many to include in this brief biographical sketch. A more detailed listing of his activities can be found in specifically in Series 1, File 3 or can be compiled from the following collection.

Rasmussen, Janet E.

  • UA 3.5.2
  • Person
  • 1949-

Janet Rasmussen was born in Paxton, Illinois on April 21, 1949. After attending University of Illinois for her undergraduate degree, she went on to Harvard University for her Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures in 1975. She stayed at Harvard from 1975-1977 when she became the Assistant to the Dean of Harvard College. Then she moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1977 where she was a founder of the Scandinavian Area Studies Program and became the first woman to hold the position of Dean of Humanities at Pacific Lutheran University. 1991-1996 Janet was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She then became the President of Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia before returning to PLU to be the Director of the Wang Center for International Programs. Janet has written several books, articles, and other publications. She also established the immigrant oral history archive during her time at PLU.