2008–09 Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow Dr. Christopher J. Probst
Christopher J. Probst received a Ph.D. in history at Royal Holloway, University of London, an M.A. cum laude in Biblical studies from the Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and a B.A. in liberal arts from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship, Dr. Probst conducted research for his project, “Confessing Church Attitudes toward Jews and Judaism in Württemberg, 1929-1950.”
Dr. Probst is the author of two journal articles that were forthcoming at the time of his tenure: “‘An Incessant Army of Demons’: Wolf Meyer-Erlach, Luther and ‘the Jews’ in Nazi Germany,” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and a review of Alan E. Steinweis’s Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany (Harvard University Press, 2006) in Patterns of Prejudice. He is the recipient of the St. Thérèse of Lisieux Ph.D. Scholarship and a Research Studentship from Royal Holloway, University of London. Dr. Probst has given several presentations on his research, including “Protestant Scholarship, Luther, and ‘the Jews’ in Nazi Germany” at Phillips-University in Marburg, Germany; “Protestant Scholarship, Luther, and ‘the Jews’ in Nazi Germany: The Case of Heinrich Bornkamm” at the German Historical Institute in London; and “Protestant Scholarship, Luther, and ‘the Jews’ in Nazi Germany: The Case of Jena Theology Professor Wolf Meyer-Erlach” at the Institute of Historical Research in London.
During his tenure at the Center, Dr. Probst explored the relationship between the Confessing Church in Württemberg and Jews and Judaism from the late Weimar to the early post-WWII period. Specifically, he examined the Church’s view of Jews and Judaism, their reactions to the Nazis’ Final Solution to the Jewish question, the regime’s repression of their own community, and the post-war response of the church to the Holocaust. He analyzed the extent of the church’s anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism to reveal what influence such thinking had on the membership’s view of Nazi oppression of Jews before, during and after the war. Dr. Probst uncovered the nature of German Protestant approaches to Jews and Judaism from 1929 to 1950 in Württemberg. He utilized Museum records from the Protestant Confession Community of Württemberg collection, the Heinrich Fausel papers and the Theophil Wurm collection, among others.