Lindbergh’s antisemitism

As a retired government lawyer who has handled a number of First Amendment-related issues and cases, I feel compelled to comment on the article “The Media Story of the Century,” which appeared in the Spring issue’s Arts and Culture section.

I found the article’s central premise — that the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby had a significant influence on American news media, and on U.S. law and law enforcement — interesting. As a Jew and a Brandeis graduate, however, I was disturbed that Charles Lindbergh’s antisemitism was mentioned only in passing, in a quote attributed to Professor Tom Doherty: “[At the time of the kidnapping, Lindbergh] had earned his fame, and he had not yet ruined his reputation with his antisemitism and isolationism that became apparent in the 1940s.”

Lindbergh was fascinated by the German “revitalization.” He was given the Service Cross of the German Eagle — a medal that featured Nazi swastikas — by Hermann Goering, who said the honor had been granted by Hitler. In January 1941, in an appearance before the U.S. Congress, Lindbergh urged opposition to the Lend-Lease Act, and the following September, in a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, he accused the Jews of pushing America toward involvement in World War II. Although Lindbergh flew combat missions over the South Pacific as a civilian, he never denounced the Nazis’ atrocities against Jews.

I would have thought Lindbergh’s antisemitism might have been highlighted more explicitly in an article published by an institution founded by the American Jewish community.

Judy Zeprun Kalman ’77
Marlborough, Massachusetts

Class envy

I just received my alumni magazine in the mail and read with interest about the various “cool” courses offered during the fall 2020 semester.

As a staff member at one of the large fan-run science fiction and fantasy conventions in the Boston area, I wish I had had the option of a class called “Fantasy Worlds: From Lilliput and Middle Earth to LARPs.” As someone who has been trying to broaden his musical library, particularly with music from artists of color and other traditionally marginalized communities, I wish I had had the option of a class called “Hip-Hop History and Culture.”

I greatly enjoyed my three and a half years at Brandeis. I know I would equally enjoy being a Brandeis student today.

Danny Miller ’97
Brookline, Massachusetts


It continues to amaze me that your publication intersects my interests so well. I just finished “Lindbergh,” by A. Scott Berg, one of the best biographies I have ever read. Then I open Brandeis Magazine to find “The Media Story of the Century,” an article about Professor Tom Doherty’s new book on the media frenzy that surrounded the kidnapping and death of the first son of Charles Lindbergh.

I await with great interest the next issue of your magazine.

Dr. Alan L. Rubin ’62
Tiburon, California

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Thank you for the fabulous article “That Look,” by Mark Seth Lender ’71, MA’74, in the Spring issue. His wildlife photos were spectacular, and the accompanying captions were fascinating and informative.

I always enjoy reading Brandeis Magazine. Keep up the great work!

Hilary Shein Rothman ’90
Woodmere, New York