NYT: UC grad was 'beloved professor with historic past'

Justus Rosenberg worked for the French Resistance before coming to UC

The New York Times shared the surprising life and times of a University of Cincinnati English graduate who fought in the French Resistance during World War II.

Justus Rosenberg died on Oct. 30. He was 100.

Rosenberg grew up in Poland and traveled to Paris to study as a teenager. When Germany invaded Poland and later France, Rosenberg joined the French Resistance, buying passports on the black market, scouting escape routes for refugees and guiding others to freedom in Spain, the New York Times said.

Later he fought alongside American forces and served as an interpreter for the U.S. Army. He is credited with helping luminaries such as writer André Breton and philosopher Hannah Arendt escape as part of the fabled rescue team of Varian Fry.

After the war, he came to UC and earned a doctorate in 1950. He taught literature and languages at Bard College.

Rosenberg published a memoir of his war experience titled "The Art of Resistance: My Four Years in the French Underground."

His wife, Karin Rosenberg, told the New York Times he rarely spoke of his role in the war.

“When he finally talked about it, I asked, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ and he told me, ‘Oh, I just didn’t want to brag about it,’” she said. “We went to France on vacation once, and he showed me where it all happened. Where he hid in the mountains. A little town where an old man still remembered him from when he lived there with a strange name.

“I believe he was a hero,” she added. “But he did not think of himself as a hero. To him, he was just doing what needed to be done.”

Read the New York Times news obituary.

Featured image at top: UC's Uptown Campus. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand