Podcast: Prof. Steve Cerf Brings Home the Devastation of Holocaust

Professor of German Steven Cerf delivers a highly moving Common Hour Lecture titled, “Hearing My Grandparents’ Voices: Their Letters Before Deportation,” which traces his grandparents’ failed attempts to escape Nazi Germany in the years before their transport to a death camp. Listen to the podcast.

Cerf, who has taught at Bowdoin for 40 years, has studied and taught Holocaust-related topics for many years. His publications on the Holocaust include a co-edited annotated edition of Richard von Weizsäcker’s Eighth of May Speech, extended encyclopedic essays on Holocaust-related imaginative writers, a pedagogical article on the teaching of the Holocaust, and sundry book reviews.

His talk is dedicated to the memory of his parents, Hans and Kate Cerf.


  1. Thank you for posting Professor Cerf’s moving, important talk. It’s been a true honor to know Steve for his entire forty year career at Bowdoin and count him among my Bowdoin friends. My youngest son Adam, a junior at the college this year, took Steve’s Holocaust course his freshman year continuing our family’s friendship with Steve.
    He is one of Bowdoin’s wonderful gems.

  2. This is a wonderful posting. I congratulate Professor Cerf on his work to preserve memorues of the Shoah. Zachor! G’dank!
    – Eric Weis ’73

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