Kevin Ostoyich

Kevin Ostoyich

Valparaiso University

Prof. Kevin Ostoyich was a Visiting Fellow at AICGS in summer 2018 and was previously a Visiting Fellow at AICGS in summer 2017. He is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Valparaiso University. He holds his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has served as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School and an Erasmus Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to moving to Valparaiso, he taught at the University of Montana. He has published on issues of German migration, German-American studies, and the Shanghai Jews.

While at AICGS, Prof. Ostoyich conducted research on his project, “The Wounds of History, the Wounds of Today: The Shanghai Jews and the Morality of Refugee Crises.” The Shanghai Jews were refugees from Nazi Europe who found haven in Shanghai, and thus escaped the Holocaust. For this project Ostoyich is interviewing former Shanghai Jewish refugees and conducting research at the National Archives at College Park, MD. In addition to his work on the Shanghai Jews, he is currently working on projects pertaining to the experiences of ordinary Germans during the bombing of Bremen, German Catholic experiences in nineteenth-century Württemberg, German Catholic migration, and U.S.-German cultural diplomacy during the first half of the twentieth century.

Click here for an article by Ostoyich on the Shanghai Jews.

Click here for an article by Ostoyich on the Shanghai Jews.

He is currently trying to interview as many former Shanghailanders as possible. If you would like to be interviewed or know someone who might want to be interviewed, please contact Professor Ostoyich at

Recent Content


The Dealer’s Cards:  How Gary Sternberg Has Made the Best of Them

Gary’s father, Hermann, was born on September 2, 1893, in Wetzlar an der Lahn. Gary’s mother, Auguste, was born on November 24, 1894, in Lengoven, in present-day Poland.  Hermann and …

A Doctor’s Mission: The Life and Work of Ernst Kisch

Dr. Ernst Kisch was an opera-loving Viennese physician who was imprisoned in Dachau and Buchenwald for being Jewish.  Upon his release from Buchenwald, he journeyed to Shanghai, China.  He soon …

Mothers: Remembering Three Women on the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Ida was terrified. She figured she would never see either her husband or brother ever again. For several days she fretted, not knowing what to do. While desperately trying to …

The Story of Bert Reiner, the Toy Maker, or: An Appreciation of the Individual Experiences of Former Shanghai Jewish Refugees

During the 1983 Christmas season, Coleco Industries, Inc. took the world by storm with a novel concept for a doll:  Each doll was unique and would be adopted by a …

A Survivor’s Luck: Reflections on Berlin and Shanghai

Harry Katz is lucky.[1] As a man who has had a life-long love of numbers, he knows the odds were stacked against him from the beginning: He was born a Jew …

Shattered by Glass: Working through Memories of Kristallnacht and Shanghai

We should learn from this story of the Shanghai Jews. But we haven’t learned.

Records of Shanghai: One Man’s Quest to Validate Memories of a Family’s Refugee Past

Eric Kisch is a historian.  Although he does not hold a Ph.D. and made a comfortable living as a market researcher, he is a historian nonetheless.  The signs are all …

From Kristallnacht and Back: Searching for Meaning in the History of the Shanghai Jews

When the Jews sought refuge from the Nazi regime, they were most often met with hatred and indifference. Most of the world closed its doors on the Jews, and, for …