Annual Letter 1975

100 Ivyhurst Road
Buffalo, NY 14226
December 10, 1975

Dear Friends:

Once again our annual urge to communicate with our friends strikes us at a time when we are too busy to write individual letters.

Little has changed in our lives in the past year. Jeremy continues in the graduate philosophy program at the University of Minnesota. Danny is in his second year of law school at the University of Windsor in Canada. Maggie completed her B A at Windsor in June and is working as a social worker in Chatham, an interesting job which, however, involves a one-hour commute daily each way. We manage to see the two fairly frequently. Jonathan remains at home and is now a sophomore at Canisius College.

The demands on Wilma’s time have been particularly great this year. In addition to her full load of courses at Canisius, she was asked to take over the graduate fellowships office, a position it was difficult to turn down in the face of the declining modern language enrollment. The job is time-consuming but does give her an opportunity to counsel with a large number of students. She has also been active in the faculty senate and on the state board of the AAUP, important as several crucial academic freedom cases have come up in the face of continuing faculty retrenchments. At the same time, she has sought to continue her scholarly work on the social and cultural history of the Bohemian Jews in the nineteenth century.

I have enjoyed my own teaching, both graduate and undergraduate. The student atmosphere has changed very much over the past several years, as it has generally on university campuses, but we continue to have lively sessions in my seminar which meets in our house on Monday evenings and seldom breaks up before ll p.m Teaching and working with students individually takes most of my time so that I have relatively little time for my research during the regular year. My main involvement in the community, except for my continued membership on the NAACP education committee, remains the Military and Draft Counseling Center. We handle much fewer cases now than several years ago, when we counseled hundreds of young men, mostly middle class students, on the draft. Our clients are now mostly persons facing problems in the armed forces, for the most part from disadvantaged economic and educational backgrounds, including some women, veterans seeking discharge upgradings, and an occasional draft or military refugee interested in legalizing his status or in repatriation. In June and the first half of July, Wilma and I were in Europe on a research trip. We were in Czechoslovakia only very briefly this time, to see friends, since Wilma could not obtain permission to use the archives in the Jewish State Museum. The political and cultural atmosphere has become even more repressive and depressing. Only a few weeks earlier various writers and intellectuals had had their houses searched and manuscripts seized. The major part of our stay in Europe, except for visits with friends in the Munich area and a lecture trip to Leipzig, was spent in Göttingen, where we buried ourselves in the libraries during the day and divided our evenings between friends and going to plays at the two theaters. We again very much enjoyed the unique atmosphere of community at Frau Bokemeyer’s house in Rauschenwasser where we stayed.

We look forward to hearing from you. With best wishes for the holidays and the New Year, Georg and Wilma Iggers

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