German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050



Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor


The Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship is a co-operation between the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the German Historical Institute London (GHIL), and the Gerda Henkel Professor’s home university. Its purpose is to promote awareness in Britain of German research on the history of the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic, and to stimulate comparative work on German history in a European context. The first professorship was awarded in 2009.


Prof Constantin Goschler

+44 020 7309

Constantin Goschler is Professor of Contemporary History at the Ruhr-University Bochum and the current Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor at the LSE and the German Historical Institute London in 2022/2023.

Professor Goschler was born and educated in Germany. He studied for his undergraduate degree and also for his PD at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

In 1992 he became an assistant professor at the Humboldt-University Berlin. In 1998 the taught as a guest lecturer at the Charles-University Prague, and from 1998 to 1999 he was a visiting scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. He continued his academic career at the Humboldt-University Berlin, the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and the Ruhr-University Bochum, where he became a full professor for modern history in 2006. From 2016 to 2019 he was the dean of the Faculty of History at the Ruhr-University Bochum.

Professor Goschler received numerous grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation and the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development. He also organized many national and international research projects.

Professor Goschler also consulted a number of documentary films, most importantly “The Wings of History. The Story of the Luxembourg Agreements” (2022).

His latest book  Intelligence Agencies, Technology and Knowledge Production. Data Processing and Information Transfer in Secret Services during the Cold War (ed. with Rüdiger Bergien u. Debora Gerstenberger) was published by Routledge Press (London/New York) in 2022. He is also an editor of the Jahrbuch Deutsche Einheit.

Expertise: 20 century Germany/Europe; restitution post-dictatorships and biopolitics


Inaugural lecture

Cultures of Compromise in Germany and Britain 1945–2000

The Gerda Henkel Foundation Visiting Professorship Lecture 2021, hosted by the German Historical Institute and London School of Economics and Political Science, will be held at the Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ on Thursday, 1 December 2021 at 6.00pm (UK time).

This public event is free and open to all but registration is required. For those who are unable to join us on this date, there will be a recording of the lecture.

In order to register for this event, please follow this link to Eventbrite. To take part online via Zoom you can register here.

The Visiting Professorship is a joint project of the GHIL and the International History Department of The London School of Economics and Political Science and is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.


Wolson Theatre, LSE

Research Project

Cultures of Compromise in Germany and Britain, 1945–2000

The current discussion on the crisis of liberal democracy repeatedly bemoans the loss of the ability to compromise as a result of increasing social polarization. Compromise as a fundamental technique —albeit not the only one—for dealing with societal and political conflicts is a voluntary agreement between at least two individual or collective parties or their representatives. It has often been claimed that readiness for compromise as an option for resolving such conflicts is tied to historically changeable preconditions, that is, specific cultures of compromise. Sociologist Norbert Elias regarded Britain and Germany as prime examples of contrasting cultures of compromise. However, political scientist Martin Greiffenhagen claims that the relationship between the cultures of compromise of the two countries has been reversed since 1945: allegedly, it is no longer Britain that now possesses a pronounced culture of compromise, but the Federal Republic of Germany. This lecture will discuss these claims on the basis of a comparison of both countries. To what extent can we speak of different cultures of compromise in Britain and Germany; how did they develop during and after the Cold War; and what does this mean for the history of liberal post-war democracy?

Recent Publications

See ORCID for a complete list of publications:


"Keine neue Gestapo". Das Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz und die NS-Vergangenheit (together with Michael Wala). Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2015. 
[="No new Gestapo". The Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution and the Nazi past].

Europäische Zeitgeschichte nach 1945 (together with Rüdiger Graf). Berlin: Akademie, 2010. 
[=European contemporary history since 1945].

Schuld und Schulden. Die Politik der Wiedergutmachung für NS-Verfolgte nach 1945. 2nd. ed. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2008.
[= Guilt and debts: The politics of compensation for Nazi victims, 1945-2000].

Rudolf Virchow. Mediziner, Anthropologe, Politiker. 3rd. revised ed. Köln: Böhlau, 2021.
[= Rudolf Virchow: Doctor, anthropologist, politician].

Wiedergutmachung. Westdeutschland und die Verfolgten des Nationalsozialismus 1945–1954. Munich: Oldenbourg, 1992 (= Diss. PhD, Munich 1991).
[= Restitution. West Germany and the Nazi victims, 1945-1954].

Edited volumes (selection)

The Knowledge of Intelligence. Data Processing and Information Transfer in Secret Services during the Cold War (ed. together with Rüdiger Bergien and Debora Gerstenberger). (Routledge) 2022.

Jahrbuch Deutsche Einheit 2021; 2021 (ed. with Marcus Böick and Ralph Jessen). Berlin (Ch. Links) 2020; 2021
[= Yearbook German Unity]

Historical Dialogue and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities (ed. with Elazar Barkan u. James Waller). London (Routledge) 2020.

Kriegsverbrechen, Restitution, Prävention. Aus dem Vorlass von Benjamin B. Ferencz (ed. with Marcus Böick u. Julia Reus). Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) 2019.
[= War Crimes, Restitution, Prevention. From the bequest of Benjamin B. Ferencz].

Compensation in Practice. The Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" and the Legacy of Forced Labour During the Third Reich. Oxford/New York: Berghahn, 2017.

Ungleichheit zwischen Biologie und Gesellschaft seit 1945 (ed. with Till Kössler). Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016.
[= Inequality between biology and society].

Die Globalisierung der Wiedergutmachung. Politik, Moral, Moralpolitik (ed. with José Brunner and Norbert Frei). Göttingen: Wallstein, 2013.
[= The globalisation of restitution: Politics, moral, moral politics].

Die Entschädigung von NS-Zwangsarbeit am Anfang des 21. Jahrhunderts. Die Stiftung "Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft" und ihre Partnerorganisationen (in cooperation with José Brunner, Krzysztof Ruchniewicz and Philipp Ther). 4 vol., Göttingen: Wallstein, 2012.
[= Compensation for Nazi Forced-Labour at the Outset of the 21st Century: The Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” and their partner organisations].

Die Praxis der Wiedergutmachung: Geschichte, Erfahrung und Wirkung in Deutschland und Israel (ed. with Norbert Frei and José Brunner). Göttingen: Wallstein, 2009.
[= The practice of restitution: History, experience and effects in Germany and Israel].


Gerda Henkel Foundation:
Dr Sybille Wüstemann
Tel.: +49 0211 936524 0


German Historical Institute London:
Dr Michael Schaich
Tel.: +44 020 7309 2014

Previous Gerda Henkel Visiting Professors


Prof Alexander Nützenadel (Berlin): Economic Populism and the Rise of Fascism in Interwar Europe

2020/2021Prof Dr Martina Kessel (Bielefeld): The imagined individual:

Narratives of self, history, and politics in modern Germany


Prof Dr Ulrich Herbert (Freiburg): Migration Policy in Germany and Europe, 1980–2019


Prof Dr Johanna Gehmacher (Vienna): Records and Notes from Trans/National Networks: Politics and Women’s Movements around 1900 in the Personal Papers of Käthe Schirmacher (1865–1930)


Prof Dr Arnd Bauerkämper (Berlin): Security and Humanity in the First World War: The Treatment of Civilian 'Enemy Aliens' in the Belligerent States


Prof Dr Dominik Geppert (Bonn): A History of Divided Germany, 1945–1990


Prof Dr Lutz Raphael (Trier): Transformations of Industrial Labour in Western Europe between 1970 and 2000


Prof Dr Kiran Klaus Patel (Maastricht): Welfare in the Warfare State: Nazi Social Policy on the International Stage


Prof Dr Dorothee Wierling (Hamburg): Coffee Worlds. Trade in Green Coffee and its Agents: The Hamburg Coffee Merchants in the 20th century


Prof Dr Andreas Rödder (Mainz): The History of the Present


Prof Dr Ute Daniel (Braunschweig): Media and Politics: An entangled History (c. 1900–1980)


Prof Dr Christoph Cornelißen (Frankfurt am Main): The British and German Welfare States After 'the Great Boom': Public Debates on Social Inequality and Social Justice since the 1970s


Prof Dr Johannes Paulmann (Mainz): International Aid and Solidarity: Humanitarian Commitment and the Media in Germany, c. 1950–1985