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Professor Matthew Hockenos

Dr. Matthew Hockenos
2008-2009 Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow

"Antisemitism and the Berlin Judenmission, 1933-1950s"

Professional Background

Professor Matthew Hockenos is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Skidmore College in New York. He received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in history from New York University and a B.A. in history from Connecticut College. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship, Professor Hockenos conducted research for his project “Antisemitism and the Berlin Judenmission, 1933-1950s.”

Professor Hockenos is the author of A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past (Indiana University Press, 2004) as well as several articles including “The Church Struggle and the Confessing Church: An Introduction to Bonhoeffer’s Context” in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations (2007); “Proselytizing Jews after the Holocaust: The German Protestant Church and its Judenmission, 1945-1950” in editor Kevin P. Spicer’s Antisemitism, Christian Ambivalence, and the Holocaust (Indiana University Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2007); “Representations of the Nazi Past in the German Protestant Church in Early 1945” in editor Donald Dietrich’s Christian Responses to the Holocaust: Moral and Ethical Issues (Syracuse University Press, 2003); and “German Protestants Debate Politics and Theology after the Second World War” in editor Dianne Kirby’s Religion and the Cold War (Macmillan/Palgrave, 2002). Professor Hockenos is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including a Skidmore College Faculty Development Grant; a Scholar-in-Residency at New York University; a Visiting Scholarship at the Institute for European History in Mainz, Germany; a DAAD-Leo Baeck Institute Fellowship; a Fulbright German Studies Seminar Grant; and a Mellon Research Fellowship from the Remarque Institute for European Studies at New York University.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Center, Professor Hockenos conducted research on the Gesellschaft zur Beförderung des Christenthums unter den Juden (Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the Jews), also known as the “Judenmission.” The Judenmission was the Protestant Church’s Berlin-based organization tasked with converting Jews to Christianity. Professor Hockenos examined the misunderstanding of the Judenmission’s quest to convert Jews as being synonymous with Nazi Germany’s answer to the “Jewish question.” He compared attitudes of the Society’s staffers to the attitudes of racial antisemites, examining the differences between Nazi antisemitism and missionary antisemitism. Professor Hockenos utilized the Museum’s extensive archival collections to complete his research, including records of the Berlin Society (RSHA), documents on the 19th and 20th century history of the Berlin Judenmission, and the Judenmission’s newsletter, “Messuasbote: Nachrichten der Berliner Landeskirchlichen Judenmission.”

Professor Hockenos was in residence at the Mandel Center from January 2 to June 30, 2009.