In Memoriam: Kurt Jonassohn

Kurt Jonassohn. (1920 – 2011)

Generations of students whom he taught at Concordia University from 1961 to 1996 will remember with fondness and great respect their professor whose mission was to teach them how to think clearly, logically, and honestly about the social world.

He graduated from SGWU in 1953, earned the MA at McGill University in 1955, and proceeded to the University of Chicago for doctoral studies. From 1959-61 he worked as research sociologist at R.C.A.F. HQ in Ottawa, before joining the Department of Sociology at SGWU where he became Full Professor in 1972. He retired in 1989 but his love for teaching prompted him to continue part-time until 1996. 

Kurt was a co-founder of the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies and a leader in the field of the Sociology of Genocide. The International Sociological Association also benefited from his contributions to their Bulletin.

In 1972, Kurt was also involved in the Canadian Sociology & Anthropology Association’s (now known as the Canadian Sociological Association) incorporation as a not-for-profit organization.

Donations in Kurt’s name may be directed to the Jonassohn Family Foundation at Jewish General Hospital or to the Jonassohn Genocide Collection which he established in 2002 at Concordia University in memory of his parents.

Dr. Roberta Hamilton has written a wonderful tribute to Kurt with input from his children. 

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