Karl S. Weimar (1916-1982), professor of German, was born in Philadelphia on December 1, 1916. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1937, his master’s in 1938, and his Ph.D. in 1944, all from the University of Pennsylvania. He was appointed instructor at the University of Delaware in 1940 and at the University of Illinois in 1943. He later taught at the Army training program at the University of Pennsylvania and the veteran’s extension division of Temple University, before coming to Brown in 1946. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1948, associate professor in 1954, professor in 1965, and was chairman of the German Department from 1967 to 1973. He published Concept of Love in the Works of Hermann Stehr in 1945, German Language and Literature in 1974, and Views and Reviews of Modern German Literature in 1975.
Weimar was active in his community, serving on the school committee of his town, North Kingstown, from 1954 to 1960, when he bought a larger house in Warwick. He also sued North Kingstown, when the real estate exemption granted to professors by Rhode Island under the University Charter was denied to him because he was an assistant professor. In Warwick he was chairman of the school committee from 1962 to 1966. He pursued other hobbies. In 1975 he directed a production of “The Mikado” by the Academy Players of Kent County. He was active in the Boy Scouts from 1950 to 1970, first as assistant scoutmaster and later as a district commissioner. In 1977 he became part owner of the Book Gallery on Thayer Street.
He died suddenly on February 12, 1982, after being stricken by a heart attack at the Brown printing shop. He was to have retired the next June. In a speech which Frederick Love had prepared to deliver at a dinner on February 12 to honor retirees, he wrote:
“It can truly be said the German Studies at Brown would look quite different today had it not been for Karl Weimar. His arrival and survival here signalled the beginning of a transition which ultimately saw the study of German redirected toward the 20th century and contemporary developments ... Together with the late Alan Holske he guided the first theses and dissertations that were completed in the post-war phase of graduate school expansion. For a time Karl was so heavily involved in promoting (or fathering) student research and writing that he was affectionately known to a whole generation of graduate students as ‘Vati’ (the equivalent of ‘Dad’).”