Jewish POW in Nazi Germany to Lecture at The University of Scranton

Oct 24, 2011

            The experiences of a Jewish-American prisoner of war in Nazi Germany during World War II will be the topic of a lecture by Robert R. Max, a slave laborer who escaped from his captors, earned several prestigious medals, and became a community and business leader in northern New Jersey.

            The Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute of The University of Scranton will present “From American Soldier to Nazi Slave Laborer” at The University of Scranton on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 509 of Brennan Hall on campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

            Recipient of the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, three Bronze Stars and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for ground combat, Max speaks regularly to schools and organizations, and he has written several articles about Nazi atrocities during his time in captivity.

            Over the past 60 years, Max, a resident of Summit, N.J., has held leadership positions in several regional public service organizations. He was president of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations, the Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest, Temple Sinai and the Congregation Beth Hatikvah – and received honors for his service to other Jewish organizations. He also co-chaired the Union County Advisory Council on Aging and the Senior Legislative Issues Coalition, and he led the nonprofit Retirement to Renewal/Center for Change.

            With his wife Shirley, Max created the Max Foundation at Ohio University, their alma mater, to promote understanding among interfaith and ethnic groups. An endowment was established in their name at Drew University in Madison, N.J.

            A well known businessman, Max was the founder and president of LR Communication Systems and Computer Action Learning. Creative by nature, he authored “Power Writing,” a training course for executives in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and published popular music compositions including music and lyrics for the official album of the “Bat Masterson” TV series of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

            The Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute was created in 1979 through an endowment funded by the local Jewish community. The institute fosters a better understanding and appreciation of Judaism, Israel and their histories. It supports visits to The University by Jewish scholars and writers, and supports library acquisitions, publications, faculty research travel and other scholarly endeavors. The work of the institute was further enhanced by a $1 million gift from Harry Weinberg in 1990.

            For further information, contact Marc Shapiro, Ph.D., professor of theology/religious studies at The University of Scranton, at 941-7956.

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