A hitherto unknown name must be added to the pantheon of Sidonius scholars: Fritz Kretschmer. In the 1930s, Fritz Kretschmer, a Classicist and Romanist, pupil of Norden and Wilamowitz, composed the first-ever word index of Sidonius’ oeuvre. It got lost.
His biography which is as unexpected as it is tragic takes us from Berlin to Shanghai and on to San Francisco. An academic education in Berlin, the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the ghetto of Shanghai, a new start in the United States and the sudden death of Illinois professor William Oldfather mark a career that was defined by loss and hardship.
Were it not for the brutalities of the war and a dramatic accident, classical scholarship could have possessed a groundbreaking Sidonius index half a century before Peder Christiansen, James Holland and Bill Dominik published their indispensable concordances. The least we can do is honouring the memory of its author, Fritz Kretschmer.
Read the full story here, with illustrations and two papers by Prof. Abbott who inherited Oldfather’s archive.