Page 27 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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ZAFREN / FROM HOCHSCHULE TO JUDAICA CONSERVANCY FOUNDATION
1 9
money “to satisfy ou r medical expenses” and by noting that
Gu ttm ann’s salary at HUC had been $150.00 a month, the re ­
lease led the repo rters to ask about the College’s medical in­
surance program and salary scale. In fact, HUC’s medical in­
surance program was well above average; and its faculty salary
schedule, in which Guttmann participated equal to others after
his first few years at HUC, has been very highly rated by the
American Association o f University Professors. The starting sal­
ary o f $150.00 a month, not a marginal wage for 1940, was
standard for the “refugee scholars” that HUC b rough t over.
Dr. Guttmann himself, in a 1974 interview, repo rted that then-
President Ju lian Morgenstern had told him that it was a m atter
o f inviting more European scholars at modest salaries o r fewer
at larger salaries. Guttmann agreed completely that more schol­
ars at smaller salaries was the right way to go .16
GUTTMANN’S STATUS
To jum p ahead chronologically for a moment, in one o f the
legal documents connected with the settlement, the Defendants
alleged that HUC had fired Dr. Gu ttm ann .17 Blazing newspaper
headlines followed immediately and the College was once again
unde r attack. HUC had to inform the press that yes, Professor
Guttmann, at age 83, was not invited to teach again in the next
academic year but no, he was not fired. He was and “remains
a professor emeritus with all the privileges o f that rank . . . ”18
Continued teaching is not such a privilege; it is by annual in­
vitation; some professors emeriti do teach and some do not.
I am describing the attempted vilification o f the Hebrew Un­
ion College by allegation, by omission o f pertinen t facts, by in­
nuendo; but I have no explanation o ther than my naive dis­
covery that attorneys, like so many others, seem often to be
less interested in pursuing the tru th than in presenting the pos­
itives for their side in o rd e r to win cases or favorable publicity.
The public press response to the revelation o f the Guttmanns
as the consignors and to the Cou rt’s decision to go forward
16. Alexander Guttmann interviewed by Michael A. Meyer, February 22, 1974,
American Jewish Archives Tape Recording No. 1204.
17.
Memorandum ofDefendants . . . in Response to Comments Concerning the Proposed
Settlement,
August 6, 1985, p. 9.
18. Gottschalk, “Guttmann Papers.”