German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


calendar & information

Breadcrumb navigation:

Public Lectures 2011

16 February

Thoughts on a History of Political and Social Key Concepts in Twentieth-Century Germany

GHIL in co-operation with the Research Seminar on Modern European Social and Cultural History of the University of Oxford

Willibald Steinmetz is Professor of History at the University of Bielefeld, focusing on twentiethcentury political history. His publications include Das Sagbare und das Machbare: Zum Wandel politischer Handlungsspielräume in England, 1780–1867 (1993) and Begegnungen vor Gericht: Eine Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte des englischen Arbeitsrechts 1850–1925 (2002); and he is editor of Private Law and Social Inequality in the Industrial Age: Comparing Legal Cultures in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States (2000) and Political Languages in the Age of Extremes (forthcoming 2011).

3 March
(5.30 pm)

Moving History: Television and Holocaust in Western Europe since the 1950s

GHIL in co-operation with the Seminar in Modern German History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Frank Bösch is Professor of Modern History and Journalism at the Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen and head of the graduate school Transnational Media Events from the Early Modern Period to the Present. His publications include Die Adenauer-CDU (2001), a social history of the Christian Democratic Party after 1945; Öffentliche Geheimnisse: Skandale, Politik und Medien in Deutschland und Großbritannien, 1880–1914 (2009), a history of German and British scandals in the nineteenth century; and Mediengeschichte: Vom Asiatischen Buchdruck bis zum Fernsehen (forthcoming 2011), a comparative and transnational history of media since the invention of book printing in Asia.

10 March

Much Ado About Nothing? The NATO Double Track Decision and West German Political Culture

GHIL in co-operation with the Seminar in Modern German History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Philipp Gassert was Deputy Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. (2008/09) and since 2009 has been Professor of Transatlantic Cultural History at the University of Augsburg. His research interests span the history of Atlantic relations, National Socialism, and post-1945 contemporary German and European history. His publications include Amerika im Dritten Reich: Ideologie, Propaganda und Volksmeinung, 1933–1945 (1997); Kurt Georg Kiesinger: Kanzler zwischen den Zeiten (2006); Germany and the United States in the Era of the Cold War, 1945–1990, 2 vols. (co-ed. 2004); and Coping with the Nazi Past: West German Debates on Nazism and Generational Conflict, 1955–1975 (co-ed. 2006).

18 May
(5.30 pm)

What was German Modernity?


Seminar in Modern German History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London in co-operation with the German Historical Institute London

Geoff Eley is the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Michigan. He has published widely in German history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, frequently placing it in wider European and global contexts. Among his chief publications are Reshaping the German Right: Radical Nationalism and Political Change after Bismarck (1980), The Peculiarities of German History, with David Blackbourn (1984), Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850–2000 (2002), and The Future of Class in History: What’s Left of the Social? with Keith Nield (2007).

Download flyer (PDF file)

8 November

Carl Goerdeler’s Struggle to Protect the Jews

In the 1930s, Carl Goerdeler, mayor of Leipzig and as prices commissioner a cabinet-level official, engaged in active opposition to the persecution of the Jews in Germany and Eastern Europe, openly until 1938, concurrently in secret contact with the British Foreign Office. In the war he joined forces with military and civil conspirators against the regime. He was hanged for this ‘treason’ on 2 February 1945. This lecture is based on new evidence and thus far underresearched documents, including a memorandum written by Goerdeler at the end of 1941 with a proposal for the status of the Jews in the world.

Peter Hoffmann is William Kingsford Professor of History at McGill University, Montreal. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany), the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (Federal Republic of Germany), and the Konrad Adenauer Research Award. He is the author of books on the German Resistance including The History of the German Resistance 1933–1945 (1977); Hitler’s Personal Security (1979); German Resistance to Hitler (1988); Stauffenberg: A Family History, 1905–1944 (1995, 3rd rev. edn. 2009); Behind Valkyrie. German Resistance to Hitler: Documents (2011); and Carl Goerdeler and the Jewish Question, 1933–1942 (2011).

Download flyer (PDF file)

29 November

‘Politics of Privatization’: Germany and Western Europe 1970–2000

GHIL in co-operation with the Research Seminar on Modern European Social and Cultural History of the University of Oxford

In Germany, the consequences and repercussions of the financial crisis have given the idea of a ‘return of the state’ new importance. ‘Privatization’ and ‘increased flexibility’ are no longer mantras for economic success, but are themselves now being historicized. The paper examines various forms and concepts of ‘privatization’ in Western Europe and asks to what extent contemporary history ‘after the boom’ of the 1970s can also be written as a social and cultural history of privatization.

Dietmar Süß is Dilthey Fellow at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. His research interests include German and British contemporary history, labour history, and the history of violence. He is the author of Kumpel und Genosse: Arbeiterschaft, Betrieb und Sozialdemokratie in der bayerischen Montanindustrie 1945–1976 (2003); and Tod aus der Luft: Kriegsgesellschaft und Luftkrieg in Deutschland und England (2011). His edited volumes include Waldemar von Knoeringen: Ein Erneuerer der deutschen Sozialdemokratie. Reden, Aufsätze, Briefwechsel und Kommentare zu Leben und Wirken (2 vols., 2006); and Luftkrieg: Erinnerungen in Deutschland und Europa (co-ed., 2009).

Download flyer (PDF file)

8 December

Mussolini, Hitler, Franco: The Construction of Charismatic Leader ship

GHIL in co-operation with the Seminar in Modern German History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Probably none of Max Weber’s terms has had a greater impact on both academic and non-academic language than ‘charisma’. Hitler’s ‘charismatic domination’ is one of the most influential, yet contested, analytical paradigms used to explain the Nazi dictatorship. Starting with Mussolini as the prototype of a ‘charismatic leader’, this lecture will compare the Italian Duce, the German Führer, and the Spanish Caudillo from the point of view of ‘charismatic domination’. It will also discuss the scope and problems of a term which was already used by contemporaries to characterize fascist regimes and dictatorships.

Martin Baumeister is Professor of Contemporary European History at the Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität München. His recent publications include Kriegstheater: Großstadt, Front und Massenkultur 1914 bis 1918 (2005); ‘If you tolerate this…’: The Spanish Civil War in the Age of Total War (co-ed., 2008); and Die Kunst der Geschichte: Historiographie, Ästhetik, Erzählung (co-ed., 2009). He is currently writing a book on the history of Italian fascism.

Download flyer (PDF file)