Professor Emeritus John Sloane: From Patriot to Pariah in Nazi Germany

Thursday, November 02, 2017

THE UNION (GRASS VALLEY) -- Posters around town showed drawings of scary-looking men, with the caption “Beware the Jew!” Sloan didn’t quite understand this, but “I understood enough to know that Jews were bad people.”

Then he found out he was one.

During air raids, the schoolkids were herded to safety in the cellar. The teachers sang and read stories to make the time pass and distract the children until the “all-clear” siren sounded.

After five years, Sloane’s father made his way to Chicago, where he changed the family name to Sloane, wanting to leave behind his German and Jewish identity.

He not only learned to speak “American,” but went on to thrive academically and play his violin in the high school orchestra. After high school, he earned his Ph.D. in international relations at Illinois State University, going on to teach for 30 years at San Francisco State University, where he eventually became an associate dean.