In 1933, Professor Speier came to the United States from Berlin and was one of 10 intellectuals who formed the University in Exile and recruited other refugees to make up its faculty. In 1934, the University in Exile, born out of the plight of European scholars and artists threatened by fascism in their native lands, became the graduate faculty of political and social science for the New School in Manhattan. The New School itself was founded in 1919.
He was a professor of sociology at the New School from 1933 to 1942, returning in 1974 as a professor emeritus.
In 1948, Mr. Speier joined the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit organization that deals with research related to national security, and headed its social service division until 1960.
He was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in 1964 and a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts from 1969 to 1973.
Book Suppressed by Nazis
A prolific author and essayist, Mr. Speier wrote a number of books including ”German White-Collar Workers and the Rise of Hitler,” which was suppressed by the Nazis and then went unpublished for 45 years. An English edition was published by Yale University Press in 1986. A more recent publication was ”The Truth in Hell and Other Essays” (Oxford Press, 1989).
Mr. Speier, who was born in Berlin, studied at the University of Berlin and received a Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1928.
During World War II, he was a propaganda adviser in the United States Office of War Information from 1944 to 1945 and associate acting chief of the State Department’s Occupied Areas Division from 1945 to 1947.
He is survived by his wife, the former Margit Leipnik; a son and a daughter from a former marriage, Sybil Barton of Scarsdale, N.Y., and Steven Speier of Woodland Hills, Calif., and four grandchildren.
The New School has scheduled a memorial service for March 25 at 2 P.M. in the Ernst Wolff Conference Room of the Albert List Academic Center, at 65 Fifth Avenue.
Source: “Hans Speier, Author, Exile School Founder And Sociologist, 85”, New York Times. Web. 09 Nov 2014.
Photo: Hans Speier. Records of the New School Publicity Office/Office of Public Information. New School Archives and Special Collections Digital Archive. Web. 12 Nov 2014.