Jefferson Educational Society will host renowned World War II Expert tonight at 7pm

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The Jefferson Educational Society, Erie’s think tank for community progress, will host renowned World War II historian Dr. Gerhard Weinberg at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24. This event is a Distinguished Visiting Speaker Lecture and is part of the Jefferson’s Fall Term 2018 programming. 

This event is being held in partnership with the Robert H. Jackson Center, located in Jamestown, N.Y., with the mission to advance public awareness and appreciation of the principles of justice and the rule of law as embodied in the achievements and legacy of Robert H. Jackson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Chief U.S. Prosecutor at Nuremberg.

Admission is $15 per person, or $25 with a guest. 

Weinberg is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has been a member of the history faculty since 1974. He is considered by many to be an authority on Nazi Germany and the origins and course of World War II. 

Previously he served on the faculties of the University of Michigan (1959–1974) and the University of Kentucky (1957–1959) after earning both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. 

Notable publications of Dr. Weinberg’s include: Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Hitler’s Foreign Policy 1933–1939: The Road to World War II (New York: Enigma Books, 2005); A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); and World in the Balance (Hanover: Brandeis University Press, 1981).

Weinberg’s lecture at the Jefferson draws from his 2007 work and will focus on the eight most important leaders of World War II – Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Tojo Hideki, Chiang Kai-shek, Charles DeGaulle, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt. Those leaders, Weinberg notes, “had quite different views about the future borders of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. It was to a large extent out of the actions and arguments of the war’s winners that today’s boundaries emerged.” 

“One cannot help wondering how people today would see some of the projects anticipated by the losers,” Weinberg ponders. “What was to happen when German settlers met on the other side of a globe controlled from Germania, the renamed Berlin? What would Fidel Castro have thought of Cuba being included in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and of being saved from that fate by the Yankees? A look at the past may help.”

For more information about the essay, to register in advance for any Jefferson event, or to become a member of the Jefferson, visit or call us at 814.459.8000.

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