Paul Kurt Ackermann, Boston University Professor of German and husband of former Cambridge Mayor Barbara Ackermann, died peacefully at home in Cambridge on November 25th. He was 92. Ackermann edited and designed the Boston University Journal, a collection of literary criticism, fiction, poetry and art, from 1966-1980. He also translated textbooks including Thomas Mann's Felix Krull, Fredrich Durrenmatt's The Visit of the Old Lady and Max Frisch's Homo Faber. A true scholar, he delighted in reading, spending hours at a time with stacks of books in his carrel at Weidener Library. He was an artist, painting for most of his lifetime, and maintained a loft at the Fenway Studios. A show of his work at Boston University in 1991 displayed the wide variety of his media, from oils, to watercolors, to pen and ink drawings. His family is currently planning an open house for interested visitors to view his many photographs, drawings and paintings. Ackermann was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1919, to Paul and Wilma Ackermann. As Hitler rose to power, the family decided to come to America and settled in New York city where Ackermann finished his studies at Trinity School. He received his BA from Colgate University, his MA from Columbia, and his PhD from Harvard. He taught briefly at Amherst College before he began teaching at Boston University in 1948. In later years, he and his wife Barbara returned every summer to Germany where they particularly enjoyed spending time on the island of Sylt in the wild North Sea. A Quaker and life-long pacifist, Ackermann was one of approximately two thousand conscientious objectors during World War II who spent four years in work camps, putting out forest fires, volunteering for medical research, and performing other acts of public service. He is survived by his wife and two children, Rick Ackermann of Portland, Maine, and Joan Ackermann of Mill River, Mass. His granddaughter, Jane Ackermann, also lives in Portland. The family plans a memorial service at the Cambridge Friends Meeting House in the Spring. www.casperfuneralservices.com
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Published by The Cambridge Chronicle from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8, 2011.