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Religion scholar to discuss Boston-based Nazi conspiracy of late 1930s in upcoming talk

Jan 19, 2017

Boston College Associate Professor of History Dr. Charles Gallagher will be discussing his in-depth investigation of a Boston-based Nazi conspiracy at the start of World War II, during a talk at Flagler College on Monday, Feb. 6. His lecture, titled “Espionage and Anti-Semitism: Nazi and British Intelligence in Wartime Boston” is part of the Cecile and Gene Usdin Judeo-Christian lecture series.

According to Gallagher, in early 1939 in Germany's consul in Boston, Nazi SS officer Herbert Scholz began giving secret direction and funds to the leadership of Boston’s anti-Semitic Christian Front organization. In 1940, British intelligence recognized the impact of Christian Front propaganda and set up their own covert operation to suppress Scholz’s efforts in America. Gallagher’s investigation is based on archival research in Berlin, London and the United States, along with 3,500 pages of declassified FBI files. To his knowledge, no one else has covered the topic. His Feb. 6 lecture will examine the theological, intelligence and legal aspects of these clandestine operations.

In addition to his teaching and scholarship, Father Gallagher is a Roman Catholic priest in the Jesuit order. He previously served as a visiting fellow at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations in 2010 where he taught undergraduate and doctoral courses on religion and international relations. From 2004 to 2006, he taught in the History Department at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. In 2008, he published a biography of the sixth bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Fla., titled “Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P.  Hurley and Pope Pius XII.” It won the 2009 John Gilmary Shea Prize from the American Catholic Historical Association. His interests include American Catholicism, papal diplomacy, international relations, the Holocaust, and intelligence history.  In 2012, he co-edited a volume of essays titled “Pius XI in America: Proceedings from the Conference at Brown University.” Gallagher is currently finalizing a book manuscript on his Flagler lecture topic in Washington, D.C., with the help of the prestigious William J. Lowenberg Memorial Fellowship, which supports endeavors that examine issues connected to the Holocaust and the United States.

The Cecile & Gene Usdin Judeo-Christian Lecture Series is made possible through a generous endowed gift to Flagler College from Gene Usdin, M.D., a former president of the American Psychiatric Association and a clinical professor of psychiatry at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. His love of St. Augustine inspired him to give back to the community by fostering dialogue about Jewish and Christian principles.

The lecture will take place in the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St. at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations are not required. Sign language interpreters are provided. Call (904) 819-6400 for more information.
 

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