Peter Stenberg joined the Department of Germanic Studies at UBC at the completion of his graduate work, teaching courses in modern German literature (Romanticism to the present) with a special interest in works depicting the relationship between Germans and Jews, as well as in the literatures of Austria and the Germans of Eastern Europe. He also taught courses in Scandinavian literature.
VIDEO 1. Initially, Peter Stenberg describes Vrba’s character.
VIDEO 2. Peter Stenberg talks about Vrba’s relationship with Claude Lanzmann, director of the movie, Shoah. He claims that Lanzmann did not want Vrba to dress so well.
VIDEO 3. Vrba always wanted to look like a powerful man. For him, dressing well was linked to self-preservation.
VIDEO 4. Peter Stenberg shows the German book When Canada was in Auschwitz about the “Canada Brigade,” the people who worked sorting through the Jewish suitcases and belongings in the Canada Compound. He also talks about his friend, Peter Weiss, a novelist and playwright, who wrote a play about the Nuremberg Trials, much of which reflected the content provided by The Auschwitz Protocols. The play was called “The Investigation” and German speakers can view it here.
VIDEO 5. Stenberg recalls socializing with Rudolf and Robin Vrba.
VIDEO 6. Peter speaks of other friends of the Vrbas. He says they had a wide circle of friends, many of them Central European.
VIDEO 7. Georg Klein, a Hungarian/Swedish microbiologist, whose life was saved by Vrba, did not know Vrba was still alive until he watched the movie, Shoah. The next day he got on a plane to Vancouver and met Vrba at the UBC Faculty Club, seated at the same table as Peter Stenberg.
VIDEO 8. Stenberg discusses Vrba’s final resting place.
Peter Stenberg died on November 12, 2022 at his home in Vancouver. Thank you, very much Peter, for your valuable contribution.