Tribute to Peter Munz

Historian, author and Victoria University of Wellington emeritus professor Peter Munz has died aged 85. Born in Chemnitz, Germany, Munz was part of the wave of mostly Jewish intellectuals who fled fascist Germany and Italy in the 193s. He studied history, German and philosophy at Canterbury University in Christchurch before gaining his PhD from Cambridge. Munz became a senior lecturer at Victoria University in 1949 and held the history chair from 1968 to 1986, after which he became emeritus professor. Although a specialist in medieval history, Munz had a lifelong interest in philosophy. He studied under both Karl Popper at Canterbury and Ludwig Wittgenstein at Cambridge and published numerous books on both philosophers, including Our Knowledge of the Growth of Knowledge: Popper or Wittgenstein? (1985) and Beyond Wittgenstein’s Poker: New Light on Popper and Wittgenstein (24). His most important historical work is Frederick Barbarossa: A Study in Medieval Politics (1969). “A friendly man, he invited his MA students, after examinations were over, to a lunch at his home,” writes friend and former student Russell Price in the Guardian, “He will be remembered with gratitude and affection by many former students. He was a notable member of that great 193s Jewish diaspora.”

Peter Munz: 1921 – 2007

Tags: Germany  Guardian (The)  historian  Jewish Diaspora  Peter Munz (Dr)  University of Canterbury  Victoria University  

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