The Burden of German History: A Transatlantic Life 9781800739611

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Table of contents :
List of Illustrations
Introduction. A Poisoned Past
Chapter 1. Child of War
Chapter 2. Adventure America
Chapter 3. Becoming a Historian
Chapter 4. Exploring German Pasts
Chapter 5. The Wild East
Chapter 6. Southern Part of Heaven
Conclusion. German Lessons
A Note on Sources
Books by Konrad H. Jarausch, 1966–2021
Select Bibliography
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The Burden of German History: A Transatlantic Life

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The Burden of German History


( Konrad H. Jarausch

berghahn NEW YORK • OXFORD

First published in 2023 by Berghahn Books © 2023 Konrad H. Jarausch All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purposes of criticism and review, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without wri en permission of the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Jarausch, Konrad Hugo, author. Title: The burden of German history : a transatlantic life / Konrad H Jarausch. Description: New York ; Oxford : Berghahn Books, 2023. | Series: Contemporary European history ; vol 28 | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2022053205 (print) | LCCN 2022053206 (ebook) | ISBN 9781800739604 (hardback) | ISBN 9781800739611 (epub) Subjects: LCSH: Jarausch, Konrad Hugo, author. | Germany— Historiography—20th century. | Germany—Study and teaching— History—20th century. | Germany—History—20th century. | Holocaust, Jewish (1939–1945)—Historiography. | Historians—Germany— Biography. | Historians—United States—Biography. Classification: LCC DD86.7.J37 A3 2023 (print) | LCC DD86.7.J37 (ebook) | DDC 943.087072/2092 [B]—dc23/eng/20221108 LC record available at h ps:// LC ebook record available at h ps://

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978-1-80073-960-4 hardback ISBN 978-1-80073-961-1 ebook h ps://

Figure 0.1. Portrait of the author. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


( List of Illustrations Abbreviations Preface

viii ix xi

Introduction. A Poisoned Past


Chapter 1. Child of War


Chapter 2. Adventure America


Chapter 3. Becoming a Historian


Chapter 4. Exploring German Pasts


Chapter 5. The Wild East


Chapter 6. Southern Part of Heaven


Conclusion. German Lessons


A Note on Sources Books by Konrad H. Jarausch, 1966–2021 Select Bibliography Index

170 171 174 181


( Figures 0.1. Portrait of the author. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


0.2. Lurcy Professor of European Civilization. Photo courtesy of the Woodrow Wilson Center.


1.1. The future scholar. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


1.2. At a scouting campfire. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


2.1. Wyoming’s open spaces. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


2.2. The Western ski instructor. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


3.1. Wisconsin graduate student. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


3.2. My marriage to Hannelore. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


4.1. Missouri teacher. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


4.2. Northwoods campers. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


5.1. ZZF director. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


5.2. Potsdam Festschri . Photo by Martin Schmi , used with permission.


6.1. German Historical Institute lecture. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


6.2. Carolina surf fishing. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


7.1. Jarausch family in Oakland, California. © Konrad H. Jarausch.


7.2. Golden anniversary couple. © Konrad H. Jarausch.




Afro-American studies


American Historical Association


Association of German Scouts


Bruno Jarausch


Federal Office for Stasi Documents


hunger relief association


Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences


Christian Democratic Union


Central European history


French Cultural History Center


Christian Boy Scouts


German Academic Exchange Service


German Alpine Club


German Christian Student Association


German Research Council


Franz Petri


Federal Republic of Germany


Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study


German Democratic Republic

x | Abbreviations


German Historical Institute


German Studies Association


Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Research


Network for Social and Cultural History


Institute for Contemporary History


International Association for Quantitative Methods


Konrad H. Jaraus


Lo e Jaraus


University of Missouri


National Collegiate Athletic Association


National Socialist Welfare Association


Party of Democratic Socialism


Association for Quantitative History


Socialist Unity Party


Social Democratic Party of Germany


Statistical Package for the Social Sciences


teaching assistant


Trudel Krapf


University of North Carolina


classical music station


National Public Radio station


Center for Historical Social Research


Center for Research in Contemporary History


( My triple bypass surgery came as a shocking surprise. In November 2019 I was ge ing a visa to travel to China for a lecture in Shanghai and a conference in Beijing where I would present a paper on German memory politics. But before leaving I noticed that it took me longer than usual to catch my breath a er climbing all eighty-eight stairs to my office on the fi h floor of Pauli Murray Hall. An immediate checkup with a stress test revealed irregularities in my heartbeat, and the subsequent catheterization showed massive blockages of three arteries, making it impossible to widen them with the insertion of stents. The a ending cardiologist therefore insisted on performing a triple bypass surgery, arguing that my otherwise excellent state of health would reduce the risk. Nonetheless, before the anesthesia started to work, I said goodbye to my wife Hannelore, unsure of whether I would ever wake up again. This unexpected reminder of mortality has made me reflect with gratitude on my somewhat unusual transatlantic academic life. Due to the flexibility of American institutions, I have been fortunate enough to teach beyond eighty years of age, one and a half decades beyond the standard time of retirement. But the end of professional work could only be postponed, not avoided altogether, forcing me to put my papers in order. Digging through a wide range of sources, including family photographs, private le ers, scholarly essays, and academic books, turned out to be a heartening and exasperating task, since it recalled forgo en incidents and prior aspirations. Such an archaeology of personal and professional traces revealed a series of earlier selves—some incarnations to be proud of and others best ignored as having been rather embarrassing. Essentially, this search in my own past has constituted an ambivalent journey of self-discovery. In the following pages, I risk sharing some of my experiences because my uncommon life story as German and American intermediary may be

xii | Preface

of interest to others. O en enough, my children and grandchildren have asked questions about the reasons for our complicated existence in both Chapel Hill and Berlin. Moreover, students and colleagues have been intrigued by my transatlantic career in two different academic systems that has illuminated their respective peculiarities. Finally, some readers of my diverse books have wondered about their argumentative framing and publication in several languages. Taken together, these impulses have inspired me to provide an explanation of some crucial personal decisions as they have interacted with key developments in German historiography on both sides of the Atlantic. I hope that such an exploration will shed a more general light on the relationship between historical experiences and historiographical writing in the second half of the twentieth century. My research for Broken Lives (Princeton, 2018) has shown that autobiography is a treacherous genre because of its self-affirming pretension to personal importance. Such retrospectives are usually wri en at the end of a professional life to sum up one’s experiences and to pass on lessons learned to posterity. Most authors tend to present their own life story as a success narrative, leaving out any awkward details or mistaken judgments. Politicians love to show that their policies were right, especially when they were actually proven wrong by the course of events. Generals o en try to win ba les on paper that they have lost in the field. Celebrities instead engage in “kiss-and-tell” exhibitionism of their private affairs. … Skeptical of such “biographical illusions,” historians tend to be rather suspicious of the veracity of such accounts. But this reluctance to engage memoirs misses out on the human dimension, which can, in a critical reading, o en reveal what it is trying to hide.1 Academic autobiographies are even more problematic since they require an interest in and a knowledge of a field of scholarship that is being discussed. Such scholarly memoirs presuppose some familiarity with the substantive debates of a given area and with the sequential shi s in methodology. They involve tracing the intellectual training that initiates a scholar into an area as well as the institutional affiliations and the career paths taken. Moreover, they also require discussions of the products of scholarships, such as books or PhD students. According to ethnographer Sara Delamont, such reminiscences are important because they illuminate the personal dimension behind scholarly work by reflecting a constructivist understanding of academic arguments. Unlike the polite questions of interviewers, a self-reflexive perspective can provide an inside view of the feelings and motives behind one’s scholarship.2 Especially in an area as contested as German history, I hope that the exploration of such subjectivity may help to reveal the personal stakes of some interpretative claims.

Preface | xiii

Notes 1. Konrad H. Jarausch, Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century (Princeton, 2018). 2. Sarah Delamont, Academic Autobiographies (London, 2020); Volker Depkat, “Autobiography and the Social Construction of Reality,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 29 (2003): 441–76.


( For young postwar Germans like myself, the past was not an inspiration but a heavy burden with which they struggled to make sense of the mass murder commi ed in their country’s name. Instead of growing up in a peaceful world and being proud of our country, we as children of the war were confronted with the physical and moral debris of the Third Reich that forced us to rebuild our personal future as well as our political outlook. Ashamed of the disastrous legacy le by our elders, we distanced ourselves from our national heritage and tried to strike out on our own in the search for models that o en took us abroad. While some members of our cohort clung to religious or bourgeois traditions, many others embraced a critical view of German history that challenged orthodoxy by importing interpretations from overseas émigrés or by learning from Nazi victims at home. Inspired by the broader exploration of seven dozen “German Migrant Historians in North America,” the following text presents an individual narrative so as to reflect on the effort at wrestling with a catastrophic past in general.1 In contrast to other Europeans, German youths had few sources of pride in their own country because virtually all their traditions had been corrupted by National Socialism. Since 17 June was a Cold War creation, there was no real holiday to celebrate the democratic heritage of 1848 and 1918. Hoffmann von Fallersleben’s national anthem was restricted to the third verse of “unity, right and freedom” so as to avoid “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles.” The style of the Federal Republic was sober and provisional, a state in waiting for a future rebirth that seemed to recede ever more. Even innocuous folk songs fell out of favor because they had been bellowed by marching SA columns. At the same time, the revived Bundeswehr had difficulty deciding whether to base its sense of tradition

Notes for this chapter begin on page 5.

2 | The Burden of German History

Figure 0.2. Lurcy Professor of European Civilization. Photo courtesy of the Woodrow Wilson Center.

on the Wehrmacht or the Resistance.2 Adolescent Germans were therefore embarrassed by their own country and rather sought inspiration from antifascist intellectuals or athletic heroes like the 1954 winners of the soccer World Cup. Popular representations of German history abroad also tended to employ a whole repertoire of negative stereotypes repeated by the media. While German immigrants to the United States largely blended in, the Kaiser’s injunction during the Boxer Rebellion to “be terrible like the Huns” le a lasting impression, especially when reinforced by the image of heelclicking and monocled Prussian Junkers. While the democratic émigrés of the Weimar Republic evoked sympathy, the potbellied, beer-drinking brownshirts of the SA created much revulsion due to their brutality. Even more feared were the Wehrmacht officers, who featured in countless World War II propaganda movies, due to their arrogance and ruthlessness. Most reviled were the Blackshirts of the SS, mainstays of the Nazi dictatorship and henchmen of genocide in the concentration camps.3 Prompted by actual NS excesses, these repulsive new images overshadowed the older appreciation of “the country of poets and thinkers.”

Introduction | 3

During the postwar decades the negative legacy of the German past even colored some personal encounters in foreign se ings. When asked about their origin abroad, young Germans tended to evade the issue by claiming just to be Europeans. During one blind date in Madison, Wisconsin, a young Jewish woman accused me of being a Nazi even though I was too young to have been personally involved. Since her family had not directly suffered from persecution, she repeated a widespread cultural resentment. Another example of Germanophobia was the refusal of some Jewish customers to buy German products like VW or Mercedes cars. German youths therefore learned to live with a collective stigma that many of them resented. A more constructive response was to confront the legacy of German crimes in order to understand the reasons for such feelings and to make a empts at international reconciliation, like with the Aktion Sühnezeichen or the joint youth efforts to tend to military graves.4 Presenting my own effort of coming to terms with this poisoned past, this autobiography deals with my involvement in half a century of scholarly debate about German history on both sides of the Atlantic. Due to the prewar emigration of liberal and Jewish historians as well as the postwar reorientation of West German historians, the connection between American and German scholars has been extraordinarily close.5 The initial effort of political and diplomatic historians focused on the Nazi dictatorship and the responsibility for World War II. The impact of the social sciences then triggered the development of quantitative methods that looked for generalizations. The German version of the “history of society” sought to provide historical foundations for the Federal Republic, while a parallel East German effort a empted to legitimize the GDR with a Marxist history. More recently, the transatlantic exchanges have debated the “cultural turn,” women’s and gender history, and the Holocaust. Due to a lengthy scholarly career and a residence on both sides of the Atlantic, my own work has been involved in virtually all of these approaches, providing a guide to their succession. In order to be generally relevant, such a self-historicization must seek to address broader themes beyond individual interest. No doubt, my personal experience, including its intimate dimension, remains at the core of the narrative. But this academic autobiography intends to probe the connection between my individual life and the development of an entire academic field. Its form is inspired by the exemplary accounts of Jewish émigrés like George L. Mosse as well as the postcommunist narratives of GDR historians like Fritz Klein, even if its content might be somewhat less dramatic.6 The subsequent text seeks to combine the presentation of personal experiences with a discussion of scholarly interpretations in a

4 | The Burden of German History

challenging mixture of narrative and reflection. By addressing the role of one German-born US historian as a transatlantic mediator, this autobiography hopes to shed light on the effort of the entire field to draw lessons from a catastrophic past. The double focus on my personal life and intellectual engagement makes it necessary to address a mixture of chronological issues and thematic topics. The narrative begins by recalling my wartime childhood in Germany that awakened my interest in history. The text then discusses my Americanization at the universities of Wyoming and Wisconsin, which developed into my training as a historian in the United States. The next part examines the transformation of my research interests from political biography to the new social and later on cultural history in order to wrestle with the thesis of a “special path” of German development. The following chapter engages the debate about the failure of the GDR and my role as director at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam. Finally, the analysis returns to the University of North Carolina to explore the shi toward Holocaust and gender approaches as well as the training of dozens of PhDs. By expanding an earlier summary of more than five decades of transatlantic scholarship,7 this account seeks to illuminate some of the main developments of German and European history and historiography. Historical experiences hold the key to understanding Berlin’s policies in several controversial areas. For instance, the German fear of inflation and insistence on austerity are the product of the hyperinflation in the early 1920s. Berlin’s pacifist rejection of the use of military force is the result of two lost wars with enormous loss of life that touched almost every family with some member killed. The FRG’s foreign policy axiom of multilateral negotiation stems from misguided unilateral efforts to gain control of the European continent. Berlin’s use of trade and exchange is part of a European learning experience that integration is more effective than bludgeoning. The special sensitivity toward Moscow comes from feelings of guilt for the twenty-seven million Soviets killed in World War II. Similarly, the unquestioning support of Israel is the consequence of a deep sense of shame for the Holocaust. The peculiarity of such reactions can only be understood as collective experiences that make Berlin different from its neighbors.8 Confronting the German past also remains important because it contains universal lessons that should never be forgo en. On the one hand, the first half of the twentieth century presents a cautionary tale, full of catastrophes and depression, followed by dictatorship, world war, and mass murder. It is a stark reminder of what can go wrong when cultural conflict and economic crisis empower a populist frenzy to capture a government that implements repressive policies that would have been considered out-

Introduction | 5

rageous in a civilized society. Through insistent memorialization, the Holocaust has become the symbol of ultimate evil that calls for a vigorous commitment to human rights in order to prevent its recurrence. But on the other hand, this shocking history also holds a more encouraging message of a potential recovery of civility. A consistent internal effort, aided by outside pressure, can succeed in self-critically transforming a political culture and in restoring a vibrant democracy. In spite of ugly right-wing remnants, the Federal Republic of Germany has become a pillar of domestic stability and European peace. To explain this perplexing story to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic has become the task of my life.

Notes 1. Karen Hagemann and Konrad H. Jarausch, eds., German Migrant Historians in North America a er 1945 (forthcoming New York, 2024). 2. Edgar Wolfrum, Ges i te als Waffe: Vom Kaiserrei bis zur Wiedervereinigung (Gö ingen, 2001). 3. Hans Walter Frischkopf, ed., Images of Germany (New York, 2000). 4. h ps://; h ps:// 5. Philipp Stelzel, History a er Hitler: A Transatlantic Enterprise (Philadelphia, 2019). 6. George L. Mosse, Confronting History: A Memoir (Madison, 2000); Fritz Klein, Drinnen und draussen: Ein Historiker in der DDR: Erinnerungen (Frankfurt, 2000). Cf. Geoff Eley, A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society (Ann Arbor, 2005), and Martin Klingst, Guido Goldman: Transatlantic Bridge Builder (New York, 2021). 7. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Contemporary History as Transatlantic Project: The German Problem, 1960–2010,” in Historical Social Research, supplement 24 (Cologne, 2012). 8. Konrad H. Jarausch, A er Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945–1995 (New York, 2006).

Chapter 1


( “Healthy boy arrived on the 14th.” This telegram to my father, who was serving in the German army, announced my birth in August 1941 in the hospital at the Kaiser-O o-Ring 6 in Magdeburg. Since I was a couple of weeks late, “the doctor had to use forceps. But soon everything was fine.” My parents had prepared the delivery well to prevent additional miscarriages and hired a nurse for “the care of mother and child.” But my father never had a chance to see his offspring since his leave was cut short due to Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, which needed every soldier it could get. From deep within Russia but as yet without news of his son, he wrote to his own mother the following day: “Now I want to wish you and all of us that we shall be able to have a real celebration in peace so that we can participate wholeheartedly and not have to think again of goodbyes and separation.” He was never able to share in my baptism as the “Russian campaign” bogged down in the late fall and he died of typhus in January 1942.1 From its very beginning, my life was overshadowed by war. In Germany, the generation born between 1939 and 1945 has become known as that of “the children of war,” or the Kriegskinder. Haunted by troubling memories, many broke their silence only as they reached retirement age, since they were preoccupied with survival and career success. Though some had a protected childhood, others were deeply affected by their recollections of wartime terror to which they a ributed all manner of psychological and physiological problems in their later life. While only rarely having witnessed actual killing, they recalled the fear of being huddled in air-raid shelters, the violence of flight and expulsion, the rapes of their mothers or sisters, the lack of food and shelter a er the war’s end, and so on. A veritable wave of private publications, public media portrayals, and academic analyses has described their shocking experiences and examined their potential psychological impact.2 Many analysts have blamed characteristics such as political conformity, preoccupation with Notes for this chapter begin on page 25.

Child of War | 7

work, emotional blockage, hoarding of food, and other strange quirks on their wartime experiences. This concept of a Kriegskinder cohort is, nonetheless, somewhat problematic, because it supports claims to German suffering. Even if one expands the time frame from 1930 to 1950 in order to include the pre- and post-history of the war, these children were too young to be perpetrators themselves and can therefore claim a degree of innocence. But many were indoctrinated by Nazi propaganda and were proud of the collaboration of their parents, thus they were still caught up in the vortex of the Third Reich. Public discussion has also pointed to a wide range of differing experiences, with some youths hardly affected at all and others deeply scarred by what they observed but failed to understand. This diversity of individual fates makes it difficult to apply the psychological notion of trauma to the entire age group, even if it might be quite appropriate for individual case histories.3 Instead of supplying a collective answer, the notion of “the children of war” raises important questions about the practical and psychological consequences of growing up during and immediately a er a devastating war. I shared many of these experiences in my own childhood, such as a wartime birth, loss of a father, destruction of my home, displacement from the East, and nagging hunger. Though my mother tried to protect me, fear of air raids and material deprivation remained ubiquitous. The death of my father destroyed a middle-class family with a promising future. While my mother saved some of our furniture and library by removing them to a suburb, the obliteration of our five-room apartment during one of the air raids on Magdeburg le me without a home. As a result, she relocated us to the lower Bavarian countryside where there was food and shelter. But even a er the war, she had to struggle to resume her teaching career and bring up her unruly son as a widow. While we recovered materially during the 1950s, the mental baggage of the war remained by discrediting for young intellectuals the authority of the older generation who had created the disaster. This wartime imprinting impelled me to become a historian in order to find out what had gone so horribly wrong.4

Bourgeois Roots The Jarausch family, which would determine my early life, had many of the advantages and problems of the German middle class, the Bürgertum. In regional terms, the Jarausches were Prussian and North German, having a pronounced sense of personal discipline and national duty. In religious affiliation they were also fiercely Protestant, considering faith

8 | The Burden of German History

an individual responsibility, and proud of the Lutheran reformation. Economically speaking, the paternal branch le a Silesian farm and moved to Berlin around the turn of the twentieth century, starting a small grocery store in the German capital. By contrast, the maternal side was more educated and clerical, with a long record of working in public service. While benefi ing from the general rise of prosperity in the late Empire, both branches had to struggle to persevere through World War I, hyperinflation, the Great Depression, and World War II. They considered themselves respectable but found their prosperity threatened time and again. They therefore passed on a double sense of social mobility and continuing insecurity to their daughters and sons.5 According to the family history wri en by my uncle Bruno, the Jarausches hailed from the Silesian village of Alzenau, close to the town of Brieg (now Brzeg). A George Jarausch is first mentioned in 1741 as “Frey und Gerichtsscholz,” i.e., a wealthy farmer with judicial authority. The last name is probably of Slavic origin, but in the wri en records it is linguistically German, though the mixture is typical of the ethnic blending of the region. Born in 1868, my great-grandfather Hugo Jarausch possessed a flourishing farm in the neighboring village of Misselwitz, but his third son entered a commercial apprenticeship in Brieg since he could not inherit. In order to have be er prospects, he moved to Berlin, and in 1896 he married the petite Anna Grenz and bought a grocery, which offered goods imported from European colonies (Kolonialwaren), for 2,200 marks. Since business was somewhat disappointing, Grandfather sold the store and rented another shop at the Oldenburger Strasse in 1902, which turned out to be more profitable until the rationing of World War I once again threatened its existence.6 On 12 December 1900, my father Konrad was born as Hugo’s second son. His older brother Bruno recalled that a maid named Bertha “spoiled our ‘Radi’ whenever she could” and that both of them “got along well and only rarely fought.” The boys had to work in the store, learning bourgeois virtues such as honesty, frugality, and industry in order to make ends meet. Inspired by his elder sibling, Konrad learned to read quite early and did so well in preparatory school that he was allowed to skip a grade and enter the Gymnasium, a selective classical secondary school that offered courses in Latin and Greek. During World War I he was dra ed in 1918 and trained to handle artillery horses, but fortunately the conflict ended before he could see combat. A er a stellar Abitur, Konrad studied German literature and history, to which he added Protestant religion, at Berlin University, working with such stars as the Germanist Gustav Roethe. His 1925 dissertation on “The Popular Beliefs of the Icelandic Sagas” fit into the Nordic interests of neoconservative intellectuals in the German Christian

Child of War | 9

Student League (DCSV). A er passing his Staatsexamen in 1925/27 “with distinction,” he started on a high school teaching career at Schwedt on the Oder River, having risen from a shopkeeping family into the ranks of the educated bourgeoisie.7 By contrast, the Petri family on my mother’s side was part of the educated middle class, the Bildungsbürgertum, and included a sprinkling of nobles and businessmen. A genealogy of its clerics and teachers goes back to 1391, but that claim is difficult to prove since the biblical name is quite common. Around the turn of the century, one branch of the Petris lived in the small residential city of Wolfenbü el in Northern Germany where my grandfather Heinrich, born in 1859, worked as a research librarian in the famous eighteenth-century collection of the Herzog August Bibliothek. He married Maria Teich, a nurse from a wealthy family that owned a marble quarry in Kelheim on the Danube. But since he was an alcoholic, he died prematurely in 1904, leaving his daughter Elisabeth Charlo e (born in 1901) and his son Franz (born in 1903) fatherless. Because their mother also passed away in 1919, suffering from the deprivations of World War I, the Petri children were orphans, supported by the extended family and religious charity.8 Both tried to recover security by intensive dedication to higher education that would earn Franz a professorship in history at the University of Cologne. According to a brief CV wri en by herself, Lo e Petri was educated in the girls’ high school of her hometown, where she “participated in the life of the congregation as aide for the children’s service and as member of a youth circle.” A er moving to Berlin, she managed to graduate from an academic high school and in 1923 obtain a teaching certificate, maintaining herself as “work student” by tutoring and offering private lessons. Coming into contact with leading Protestant Church personalities such as the von Thaddens and discussing religious questions, she “joined the Christian student movement.” Therea er she studied “French, history and Protestant religion” in Geneva, Munich, and Berlin before ending in Marburg, where she worked under the Lutheran theologian Karl Holl and wrote a master’s thesis “On the Influence of Pietism on the Social Life of Germany” that earned her an A grade. Lo e chose Oppeln (now Opole) in Upper Silesia for her teaching debut, since “there [she] could most likely count on a paying job.” Given her “lack of funds,” this was truly an impressive achievement at a time when few women were able to study at a university and to work in academic professions.9 My parents met through my father’s academic contact with Franz Petri in 1930 and built a relationship on their shared interests. Lo e was delighted when the shy Konrad finally asked whether she would be willing to share her life with him. They were married on 28 December 1933 in Ber-

10 | The Burden of German History

lin in a small religious ceremony with family and a few friends. Since my mother had to cease teaching due to the Nazis’ double earner prohibition, the young couple moved to Schwedt at the Oder River. In 1935 my father was appointed “director of the school for teachers’ trainees” of religion at the cloister of Our Dear Lady in Magdeburg. He had been working in a leading position in the “Association for Protestant Religious Teaching and Pedagogy” for which he coedited the journal Unterweisung und Evangelium with the conservative deputy Magdalene von Tiling and the teacher Karl Cramer. Living in a large apartment in the Regierungsstrasse in the center of the city, Father was busy with lecture tours, conferences, and articles, while Mother kept an open house and tended to the human dimension of their joint life project.10 This promising personal and professional life came to an untimely end in a German camp for Soviet POWs in Roslavl in January 1942. Though a Prusso-German patriot, my father never joined the Nazi Party because he loathed its neopaganism and racialized version of Christianity. But since he had only briefly served in World War I, he was eager to participate in a historic struggle that tried to reverse the German defeat. Because he was of a slight constitution and too old to fight, he was put into the reserve army, assigned to the training of recruits in Poland, and tasked with running a field kitchen for POWs during the Russian campaign. This assignment brought him into a conflict of conscience since food supplies for prisoners were never sufficient. Viewing the resulting starvation as a violation of his Christian ethics, he began to fraternize with the captives, learning Russian and trying to help them to survive the so-called “hunger plan.” During these contacts, he picked up lice infected with the typhus bacilli, which killed him. As a result, I grew up as a half orphan, dependent upon my mother’s care.11 The legacies that this background consciously or subconsciously imprinted upon me were complex and contradictory. For instance, my less than robust physique made me seek to strengthen the body with lots of exercise. A penchant for compensating intellectual endeavors with hiking and nature observation also seems to be a remnant of my parents’ leisure activities. Initially I resisted the imposition of bourgeois secondary virtues until I eventually realized their advantages and became more orderly and disciplined. In my educated middle-class family, it was taken for granted that I would try to excel academically. The subject of history was so strongly present in my parents’ scholarly training as well as in the example of my uncle Franz that I could hardly escape it. But their expectation that I would become a Protestant pastor created an adolescent rebellion that forced me onto a different career path than that of my parents. Moreover, the question of how to relate to my German identity a er

Child of War | 11

the war and the Holocaust continued to trouble me my entire life, since I found the excuses of the perpetrator generation for their ethnic nationalism u erly repugnant.12

Troubled Childhood Of the war itself, I have only indistinct memories. An early snapshot, converted into a drawing by a grateful Russian POW, shows me as a baby bundled on my mother’s lap in the Romanesque cloister of Our Dear Lady. This peaceful idyll was soon sha ered by thirty-eight Allied air raids that sought to destroy the war industries located in Magdeburg, leaving me with a life-long fear of sirens. One of my recurrent nightmares has been of suffocation under the rubble of a destroyed building from which I struggle to escape in order to breathe. But this might be a projection of adult terror since I cannot clearly recall being in an air-raid shelter underground. Other photographs show mother and child temporarily evacuated to Thuringia, close to relatives and friends. A more permanent solution was our relocation to the security of the Lower Bavarian countryside in July 1943, far from the bombing a acks and the front. The move came none too soon, since massive airstrikes in February 1944 and January 1945 completely obliterated the center of Magdeburg, including our apartment.13 Our southern refuge was Hackendorf, the large farm of the Mennonite Lichti family outside of Landshut in Bavaria. Not trusting the Nazi social service agency NSV, mother chose this location since she had tutored the Lichtis’ teenage daughter Gertrud in Magdeburg during the later 1930s, who had felt lonely there, thereby establishing an emotional bond. Because living on a farm provided food and shelter, we accepted the invitation, and mother also gave high school lessons to the other children, Paula and Walter. The farm was large enough to employ POW laborers from France and Poland who humored me as a li le boy by le ing me ride on the back of dra oxen or feeding me an occasional swig of schnapps. My most shocking memory was the slaughter of a squealing pig, which I observed through a bathroom window, though I enjoyed eating the warm sausage made from its meat. In one disagreement with my mother, I shouted: “I am a Bavarian, and you are a Prussian pig!” My only direct recollection of the wartime fighting that I observed is a derailed train at a siding with broken windows but no bodies.14 Toward the end of the war, my mother reentered the teaching profession in order to have an income beyond her meager widow’s pension. She started in a one-room country school in neighboring Oberhatzkofen, and we moved to the Heckmühle, a former mill, to be closer to it. There I en-

12 | The Burden of German History

Figure 1.1. The future scholar. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

joyed playing with animals, riding on carts to the fields, and constructing waterwheels for the li le creek close by. Once when I had hurt myself, I ran all the way to the village, knocked at the school door, and blubbered, “I want Miss Mother”—“Miss” for the teacher and “Mother” for comfort. In the school the local kids charged that the refugee children “stank” because they had eaten too many beets. In June 1946 an unshaven stranger in a ta ered uniform carrying a wooden case appeared at our door—it was Uncle Bruno, my father’s brother who had been released from a POW camp, but had not gone to Berlin since his wife advised against it for fear of the Russians.15 Mother also miraculously escaped poisoning; she had eaten some deathly mushrooms that I picked, and only drinking lots of milk and throwing up on the way to the hospital due to the potholes in the road saved her life. During the “hunger winter” of 1946 to 1947, the coldest on record, we were in the Franconian town of Neuende elsau. This was a Protestant welfare center, created in the nineteenth century by the reformer Wilhelm Löhe to provide spiritual sustenance, healthcare, and shelter for the elderly. There, Mother was able to obtain a be er job in teacher training and high school instruction. Since I had “a young a ractive teacher,” beginning school “was a great pleasure” for me. But I disliked the cold

Child of War | 13

corridors of the institution and resented the lack of food, which was insufficient for a growing boy. Because I was thin and underweight, I was sent to a Bavarian camp to receive more nutrition, though I hated having to eat the skin on top of boiled milk. Due to the meager diet, I had some of the usual childhood diseases like chicken pox, although I escaped most others.16 Once, when visiting my grandmother at an old age home in Bayrischzell, I found a discarded rifle and pointed it at my mother. Needless to say, she was not amused. Because the traditionalist Lutheran deaconesses were too strict and devout for my mother, we le Neuende elsau a er a year. To keep me from “being spoilt” and to follow her “strong reformist pedagogical interest,” my mother accepted the invitation to teach at a progressive girls boarding school, led by the dynamic Baroness Irmgard von Loeffelholz. Located in a medieval castle in Schauenstein in upper Franconia, this institution was part of the country-school movement, begun by reformers in the Weimar Republic, that provided a more liberal atmosphere in order to teach the girls a sense of responsibility.17 My mother felt more at home because the director was “an extraordinarily capable pedagogue and serious Christian.” Though overwhelmed by all the girls, I liked the location overlooking a small town and enjoyed watching their so ball games and joining long hikes through the forests. I went to the village school “with enthusiasm” and was always one of the best students since I loved to read and listen to stories. The only drawback was the freezing cold of what was called “Bavarian Siberia,” which made Mother huddle under thick feather comforters when correcting her students’ French compositions and send me outside to sled or ski down the hill to town.18 For one year we also moved to Vorra in Franconian Switzerland, where the lower grades of the boarding school were located. This was a more hospitable place with a warmer climate, a newer, nineteenth-century castle, and a lovely park along the Pegnitz River. But mother’s salary was a meager ninety-eight marks a month, never enough to buy everything we needed. Once I enjoyed a puppet theater created by a colleague of my mother’s and was so engrossed in playing that I forgot to go to school. The teacher generously accepted our apology that the clock was wrong. He “said that according to his talent, Konrad could be the best. Only he is easily distracted.” On the next report card, I got three As, two Bs, and two Cs, the la er in penmanship and singing. With the help of cod-liver oil, my health also gradually improved. But one day, when playing in the park, I caught my foot in a hedge and plunged headfirst into a lower terrace, breaking my collarbone. That eliminated swimming during the rest of the summer. On 29 May 1949 I wrote to Uncle Bruno: “I am so sorry that the li le grandmother has died.”19

14 | The Burden of German History

The final station of my childhood was the Paul Schneider Gymnasium, a Protestant boarding school named a er the resistance pastor who was killed by the Nazis in 1939. The Internat was located in Meisenheim, a picturesque town in the Palatinate, close to Bad Kreuznach. My mother deposited me there since she was finally starting a public teaching job in Krefeld, and she needed to find an apartment and focus on her preparations. At the beginning I had a hard time, being separated as I was from her care and le to the tender mercies of the older boys. I entered the Sexta (fi h grade) as the youngest pupil in class, since I had skipped half a year of primary school due to the schedule difference between the Rhenish Palatinate and Bavaria. To catch up to the grade level and acclimate to the Frenchimposed point system for grading, I needed special tutoring. But I gradually felt more at ease, since I enjoyed participating in sports and group excursions to the Nahe and Rhine Rivers.20 I also took an early step toward independence as a ten-year-old by traveling to Krefeld—a lengthy train trip with several changes—on my own to join my mother for the holidays. The first decade of my life was therefore overshadowed by the disruption of World War II that gradually gave way to a be er outlook on the future. Since I “was rather hungry and o en difficult to satisfy,” CARE packages or parcels from Jewish friends in Oxford were a welcome supplement even if I mistook a rubber ball for an orange. Without a father, I was completely dependent upon my mother’s care while she struggled with widowhood and a return to teaching to earn a living. Since my mother understood that “a male influence would certainly have been good for me,” she “tried also to take over the role of the father in this respect.” For a boy, growing up as a teacher’s son in a world of girls was also not easy. Both of us lived in a Protestant religious cocoon in the Catholic Rhineland that was psychologically reassuring but materially limited. Therefore, a status discrepancy between intellectual and cultural wealth and a financial situation near poverty separated us from regular families. Though I was shy and bookish, mother claimed: “He just always wants to write what he thinks.”21 The frequent childhood moves le me without an emotional a achment to a place called home.

Brighter Teens During the “miracle years” of the 1950s, the outlook for German families, including our own, improved considerably due to the economic recovery. As a result, my memories also become more distinct and positive, though the wri en record, consisting largely of photographs and slides, is fragmentary due to my later emigration. The most important factor was my

Child of War | 15

Figure 1.2. At a scouting campfire. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

mother’s new public teaching position at the Ricarda Huch high school for girls in Krefeld.22 This institution not only prepared young women for marriage with home economics but also included an academic track, readying them for university admission. My mother played an important role in the la er because the study of the French language occupied a central place in its modern curriculum. More difficult was her teaching of Protestant religion as it not only involved instruction in the Judeo-Christian tradition but also dealt with ma ers of personal faith, trying to “provide spiritual sustenance.” Her position in Krefeld stabilized our material existence and also gave her the professional recognition and human appreciation she deserved.23 Two initiatives made mother especially beloved among many of her pupils. She had a theatrical vein and loved to put on school plays. One such production was Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, whose fantastical plotlines appealed to teenage girls. But I was not so sure that I really liked wearing an ass’s head as required of the role of Bo om. The second special addition to the curriculum was her organization of summer bus trips to the French Riviera. They started in the Saar, then still occupied by France, continued through Burgundy, and eventually reached Provence. One stopping point was the Communauté de Pomeyrol of Protestant nuns that offered a spiritual retreat.24 While including other tourist spots like the ruins of Les Baux or the Roman remnants of Arles, the trip concluded in a week of camping at the Mediterranean shore in Fréjus. For the participating girls and me, encounters with the French

16 | The Burden of German History

not only helped our language competence but also contributed to FrancoGerman reconciliation even before the signing of the Élysée friendship treaty between Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle in 1963.25 Another stabilizing factor was the economic and psychological help provided by two substitute fathers, my mother’s brother and my father’s brother. The former, Franz Petri, was a leading ethnic and regional historian, innovative in methodology, but a former Nazi Party member and a nationalist in politics. His research on the Franco-German language frontier had a racted the a ention of the SS because the demonstration that the Franks had se led far into current France provided support for Hitler’s annexationism. Petri’s work in the Belgian military government also sought to advance the Flemish cause during the German occupation. Hence, a er the war, he was interned for two years and had to struggle to regain a professorship in Rhenish history in Bonn. While I admired his intellectual acumen, I found his politics repugnant, which precipitated endless disputes between us.26 More supportive was Bruno Jarausch, a trade schoolteacher who loved me as the son he did not have. His good humor and great knowledge of local history always made my visits to Berlin a pleasure.27 Each in his own way provided a male role model I otherwise lacked. Due to Mother’s appointment we se led in Krefeld, then a city of two hundred thousand inhabitants on the le bank of the Rhine. Founded as a center for silk and textile production by Dutch Mennonite artisans, Krefeld had become Catholic over time due to the immigration of workers from the surrounding countryside, dominated by the archbishopric of Cologne. As Protestants with a Prussian background, we were in the minority and did not quite fit in because religious differences still played a significant role. But the easygoing Rhenish way of life, culminating in the annual carnival celebrations, made it possible for us to get along. Our home where we lived on the third floor was located on Oranierring 19 at the corner of a boulevard that had been the city’s fortification and still supported a market twice a week. It was close to a streetcar route, but we found the noise of the shi ing trucks to be quite annoying. We actually rented two small adjoining apartments, which allowed me to have a space of my own. Nearby hiking destinations included a large urban park and the Linn Castle, and we could take steamboat excursions to Kaiserswerth on the Rhine River.28 Though it only had a school of design, Krefeld possessed some interesting cultural institutions that stimulated my creative efforts in writing, sketching, and photographing. The multistage city theater put on experimental productions like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible or Death of a Salesman. The modern-style Haus Lange, designed by Ludwig Mies van der

Child of War | 17

Rohe, offered exhibitions of contemporary art by painters such as Georges Mathieu or sculptors such as Alberto Giacome i. Düsseldorf was also close by, featuring a more famous city stage that put on Gustav Gründgens’s internationally renowned productions of Hamlet and King Lear. A bit further afield was Cologne with its Romanesque churches and museum of German-Roman antiquities. As a result of such an informal curriculum, I started writing short stories (including one focusing on the destruction of my hometown of Magdeburg), painting watercolors, creating slideshows, and shooting films.29 Opening up internationalist modernist styles beyond German classicism, these influences stimulated my later intellectual interests and creative initiatives. In 1952, as an eleven-year-old, I entered the Arndt Gymnasium, a neohumanist elite institution offering nine years of Latin and six years of Greek. Located at the Dionysiusstraße, it consisted of two brick buildings with an antique sculpture of a spear carrier in the court. English and French were supplemental courses, but the school was also proud of its math and science teaching. The class size was only in the low twenties, and the group stayed together for the entire nine-year course of instruction. Moreover, it was still strictly gendered as an all-male institution. The staff represented a broad spectrum, ranging from former Nazis like the physical education teacher Möhlen and traditionalists like the Greek teacher Euing to modern pedagogues like the Germanist Lauterbach or the physics instructor Kuypers. My classmates were a mixture of sons of wealthy families and offspring of the lower middle class. Pupils who failed had to repeat a year, which created a mixture of ages. Being the youngest, I initially needed tutoring, but at the end I was one of the best in our class. Though we o en chafed at its focus on antiquity, the school initiated us into the spirit of the classics.30 Most of my free time was spent in the Christliche Pfadfinderscha (CP), a Protestant version of the Boy Scouts. This group offered a peculiar blend of ideologies stemming from the British imperial scouting tradition and the romanticism of the German Youth movement. Added to these sources was a strong religious orientation. “The basis of our work consists of the Christian faith.” I liked the CP, because its mo o “youth leads youth” created much space for youthful initiative.31 The scouts were a ractive due to their weekly meetings, called Heimabende, which were full of games, songs, and competitions, with a dash of Bible study thrown in. Most weekends were taken up with camping and hiking trips, bicycle rallies, or kayaking outings. I already led my own li le troop, called “bobcats,” as a twelve-year-old, whose cute flag had to be defended at all costs against capture by rival groups. Wearing gray shirts with a stylized lily and blue bandanas as uniforms, we hitchhiked to the Deister hills, bicycled to the

18 | The Burden of German History

Spessart mountains, and went across the border to Holland or up the Rhine to Alsace. My scouting activities culminated in two memorable occasions. In 1957 our troop participated in the Jubilee Jamboree in Su on Park, Great Britain, that celebrated the fi ieth anniversary of the founding of the scouting movement. Among the many groups from all over the world, our contingent stood out because we built elaborate towers and bridges with wood and rope and camped in Nordic tents with open roo ops called Kothen, which made it possible to have a fire within. We were overawed when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip drove by in a Land Rover to inspect our camp. The second trip was a four-person kayaking tour down the Rhône River all the way from Geneva to Marseille. While the downstream current allowed for easy travel, we had to portage the kayaks around some huge dams, called barrages, which produced electricity. We especially enjoyed the wild sections of the river, with rapids that demanded all of our skill lest we capsize. For three weeks we teenagers were on our own, as close to a free life as one could get in densely se led Europe.32 Another way to escape from under my mother’s wing was participation in various sports. We improvised soccer games in abandoned lots between the ruins, sometimes using rolled-up rags for lack of a regular ball. For a while I also joined a track club, called Preussen Krefeld, to practice sprinting and jumping, but I eventually gave up because I was not quite good enough to challenge for the top.33 Nonetheless, I was able to gain the coveted multisport badge and the lifeguard certificate. In physical education I liked floor exercises, ice hockey, and swimming, but I got only average scores in the high bar, rings, or pommel horse. I especially enjoyed team sports such as soccer and tried hard to make the class team, or be er yet the squad for interschool competition. Arrogant as we were, we believed that we ought to beat teams from schools with more modern curricula due to the classical precept of mens sana in corpore sano, “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” While I broke my arm playing soccer, the scout outings and athletic exercises gradually toughened me up so that I was able to hold my own in male adolescent athletic competitions. Although Krefeld lies in the flatlands, skiing became one of my favorite sports. Already while in Upper Franconia I had started to learn how to slide downhill on wooden boards with primitive bindings and to participate in tours with the boarding school girls. Then invitations by Uncle Franz to the mountains of the Hochsauerland made it possible to continue skiing in places like Winterberg, though there were no li s. The real breakthrough came with organized youth trips by the German Alpine Club (DAV) during spring vacations, which opened up a world of Alpine wonders for me.34 The Krefeld DAV offered affordable tours by train to

Child of War | 19

destinations in the Ötztal Alps, which my mother was kind enough to support. On be er skis with metal edges, safety bindings, and skins for traction, we climbed up to mountain huts, such as those in Hochsölden. While flowers were blooming in the valleys, enough snow remained at the higher elevations for touring. The high point was an ascent on skis to the Wildspitze, which is, at 3,768 meters of elevation, the second-highest peak in Austria.35 A stable residence also made it possible to establish longer-lasting friendships. Among the Christian scouts, my closest contacts were Wilfried Neugebauer, Günther Stapf, and “Windy” (whose last name I have forgo en), with whom I made the Rhône trip. Among my classmates, my first close friend was Peter Mennenöh, whose father owned a Protestant bookstore that he later inherited and whose family became an example of a functioning home. Ironically, he wrote his dissertation on the book trade under my uncle’s direction in Bonn. Another close friend was Rainer Hearten, who came from a prosperous commercial background, and with whom I competed in sport. He had made a transatlantic engineering career with Siemens until his premature retirement and death. I became godfather to one of his girls. A final friend was “Helmi” Lehmann, whose father had been in the diplomatic service and owned a villa and a Mercedes. He became a successful lawyer and corporate councilor.36 Unfortunately, the later transatlantic distance made it difficult to maintain such personal relations. A rather mixed pleasure was the cotillion, since it was expected that middle-class teenagers would take dance lessons. As a pupil in an allboys’ school and member of the male-only scouts, I lacked regular contact with girls and did not know how to communicate with them. While I was strongly a racted to the other sex, I did not want to embarrass my mother as teacher in the girls’ school by dating one of her charges. Offering everything from waltzes to rock ’n’ roll, the dance lessons that stressed formal politeness hardly helped—I felt intimidated, as I was less experienced than my older classmates.37 My official date to the cotillion was the resolute and petite “Vroni” Feuerhake, who did not find me very interesting. As a result, I continued to have a crush on a girl or two, admiring them from afar without mustering enough courage to talk to them. In spite of, or perhaps because of, continual exposure to young women through my mother, dealing with members of the other sex remained a mystery to me until I finally figured out in college that they were only human. Gradual improvement in our material situation also allowed me to pursue several hobbies. Fortunately, the Franco-Spanish painter Firpo whom my mother had befriended squelched my aspiration of becoming an artist, as I simply lacked sufficient talent. More successful were my forays

20 | The Burden of German History

into photography: I used a Leica camera to take slides, allowing me to document various travels. During the 1950s, slideshows were a popular form of entertainment, and I was good at selecting motifs. Eventually I even got a Bauer 8-millimeter movie camera. Three of my motion picture efforts stood out particularly: To record of our several weeks travel to the Monte Gargano in the South of Italy, I shot a film on “The Fishers of Peschici,” which Rainer Hearten underlaid with selections from a Brahms symphony. As a nod to existentialist philosophy, I created a black-andwhite movie called Ekel in expressionist style, for which Rainer composed twelve-tone music. And as a document of our high school graduation, I secretly filmed our teachers in class to the hilarity of the seniors.38

Adolescent Crisis Just when everything seemed to have go en be er, things began to fall apart for me. Since I did not know that growing up was a contentious process of finding one’s own voice, I fell into an adolescent crisis that derailed my future plans of becoming a Protestant pastor.39 It all started with a health problem. When coming back from a class trip to Zandvoort at the Dutch shore in 1959, I collapsed in front of our apartment door. Subsequent tests found that I had contracted a viral hepatitis, which was confirmed by my yellow skin, by eating a bad batch of French fries. I spent weeks in the hospital and was put on a diet that included mounds of cottage cheese to help my liver fight the infection. This disease also kept me from consuming alcohol and joining the customary frolics of high school graduation.40 The only advantage was that the hepatitis allowed me to postpone my military conscription for a year and thereby avoid it altogether, though I had looked forward to joining the mountain troops. But being sick was no fun, and I was unable to participate in sports and other activities in order to speed the recovery. At the same time, I also started to question my religious faith. Due to my father’s legacy and my mother’s commitment, I was brought up in an atmosphere saturated with Lutheran Christianity. But dinner-table conversations about the impact of Rudolf Bultmann’s demythologization of the New Testament began to undercut naïve notions of faith by treating Christianity as a historical sect growing out of Judaism. Outwardly, I continued to adhere to Protestant rituals and was confirmed as customary by Pastor Noetzel, a gruff and traditionalist East Prussian. But inwardly I was losing faith through reading existentialist philosophers like Sartre and Camus who made belief seem irrational by highlighting the contradiction between a benign God and the suffering of war and mass murder.

Child of War | 21

By projecting a modern style, a youthful pastor in another parish offered a more a ractive alternative, but his version of social engagement seemed to have li le to do with a literal understanding of the Bible. While I remained commi ed to a cultural Protestantism, its religious core gradually faded from my life in my late teens.41 The progressive loss of belief also meant that I ultimately rejected the expectation of succeeding to my father’s religious role. The network of Protestant educators around my godmother, the conservative politician Magdalene von Tiling, had been pressuring me to step into his footsteps, since his own life was cut short in its early forties without being able to fulfill its intellectual promise.42 My identical first name, my godmother’s dedication of a book to me, and numerous talks with my mother had suggested that I ought to continue my father’s quest of trying to reconcile a personal Lutheran faith with a rational pursuit of theological scholarship. Becoming a Protestant pastor was one of the reasons I learned Latin and Greek, as these languages were required for the study of theology at a university. Moreover, I also took two years of ancient Hebrew in order to read the Old Testament in the original language. But my loss of faith rendered these preparations irrelevant, to the chagrin of my mother. Moreover, the rejection of studying theology raised the troubling issue of what alternative career I would be willing to follow. Another consequence of my loss of belief was my gradual withdrawal from leadership in the Christliche Pfadfinderscha . The local groups were organized hierarchically with small troops of at most a dozen kids combining into a larger tribe. In due course I had become Stammesführer of the entire CP in Krefeld, joining leadership retreats. I took considerable pride in this responsibility since we competed with the Catholic St. Georg scouts and the secular scouts (BDP) as well. But the erosion of my religious belief did not exactly help me spread the Protestant message to other adolescents. Moreover, cultural tensions were building over questions such as whether to allow mopeds in bicycle excursions or alcohol in concocting a Russian-inspired Tschai. And then there was the troubling issue of relations with girls in parallel female scouting groups that eventually led to a split between gender-integrated and -segregated troops. Male campfire comradeship was bound to lose out to sexual a raction.43 Unable to resolve these conflicts, I gradually withdrew from my responsibilities. During my last teenage years, I was becoming ever more rebellious, in some ways anticipating the generational revolt of 1968 before it actually happened. I got tired of the restoration climate of the Adenauer years that proclaimed formal democratization but, in many ways, tried to reimpose authoritarian pa erns from the late empire. Represented by the septuagenarian chancellor, the Kaiserreich seemed in retrospect the last period

22 | The Burden of German History

when there had been stability, called die gute alte Zeit. For an adolescent, that meant deferring to his elders and following the secondary virtues of discipline, hard work, and thri , whether one wanted to or not. The Christian-conservative effort to restore the old bourgeois world clashed with the overwhelming evidence of death and destruction wreaked by the older generation, which discredited its demands. The sociologist Helmut Schelsky called the postwar adolescents a “skeptical generation,” unwilling to follow the example of their elders.44 Fascinated by the liberal American style, I was a nonconformist who no longer fit the cynical pa ern without quite being a 68er. As a result of such self-doubt, my political commitments began to shi away from a conservative nationalism to a progressive cosmopolitanism. The orthodox Lutheran legacy was rather traditionalist and patriotic, underscored by the self-sacrifice of my father during the war. Steeped in the romanticism of the Youth Movement, the CP scouts were also culturally conservative and rejected the youthful pop culture of rock ’n’ roll that was beginning to spill over from the United States. Moreover, the neohumanism of the Gymnasium went in the same direction because it purveyed an ideal of timeless classicism. Family visits to divided Berlin also dramatized the East-West difference of the Cold War by showcasing the competing regimes.45 While the Western Kurfürstendamm was an exemplar of prosperity and the International Building Exhibition of 1957 suggested modernity, the Soviet-inspired style of the Stalinallee seemed curiously outdated. Conversations with friends in Magdeburg and relatives in East Berlin reinforced my anticommunism due to the dictatorial and drab character of the GDR.46 In contrast, other influences pushed me in a more liberal direction. Young intellectuals like myself tended to ape the fashion of existentialism and imitate the Le Bank in Paris. I was also fascinated by the antifascist portrayals in Wolfgang Borchert’s play The Man Outside about a returning POW, Bernhard Wicki’s movie The Bridge on a senseless Hitler Youth slaughter, or Günter Grass’s picaresque masterpiece The Tin Drum.47 Such literary works and paperbacks on the Third Reich conveyed a critical view of the German past that overpowered apologetic efforts with a sense of shame. While I accepted the need for self-defense, the impassioned Bundestag debate about rearmament impressed me with the imperative to “never again” wage another war. For a teenager with a strong drive toward independence, the “chancellor democracy” of the elderly Konrad Adenauer seemed ever more authoritarian and backward, since it was tarnished by the scandalous presence of former Nazis. While my background initially pushed me toward the CDU, these critical views symbolized by West Berlin mayor Willy Brandt pulled me toward the social democratic camp.

Child of War | 23

These conflicts came to a head during my oral exam for high school graduation, in which the teachers decided to make an example of my unruliness. Though the Arndt Gymnasium was a secular institution, its director Dr. Teipel took pride in maintaining a Catholic atmosphere and in producing priests. Rejecting such indoctrination, I tried to be the ringleader of the Protestant minority in ideological subjects such as history. During the oral examination in German, I slouched into a chair, wearing blue jeans and radiating rebelliousness. When the examiners asked me about a Bildungsroman, I could not think of the nineteenth-century comingof-age novel Der Grüne Heinrich since I was more interested in the contemporary works by Sartre or Hemingway.48 As a result of this blackout, my grade was lowered from an A minus all the way to a C. When in a concluding interview the director suggested I ought to study German literature, I exploded: “A er what you have done to me, why I should follow your advice?”49 This Abitur conflict summed up everything I disliked about Adenauer Germany. The put-down during high school graduation le me at loose ends about what I ought to do next. Assuming that I would start my studies in the summer of 1960, I had applied to and been accepted by the Leibniz Kolleg at the University of Tübingen. This elite group of students was interested in a course of general studies, and the institution was located in a picturesque Swabian university town.50 But the charge of reading Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason as a preparation le me decidedly unenthusiastic, as I was much more interested in contemporary existentialist literature. Moreover, as the youngest member of my graduating class, I did not feel pressured to begin college right away, choosing instead to take time off in order to find myself philosophically and determine what I would really want to study. The idea that was supposed to end my adolescent confusion was to go abroad and establish some distance to my personal issues and the broader German problems of past and present. Though my English was only moderately fluent, I chose the United States for the place to spend my “gap year.”

A Mixed Legacy Growing up as a child of the war in a traditional Protestant family le me with a problematic heritage. On the one hand, we had to play in the rubble le by the bombing and fighting without understanding its dangers. Once, when improvising street hockey with sticks and a rag on the ground floor of a destroyed building, we smelled gas. Irresponsibly, I suggested that one of my buddies check out the basement with a candle. Suddenly

24 | The Burden of German History

there was a huge boom, and he reemerged screaming with his hair on fire. The explosion might have killed us. On the other hand, there was also the mental disorientation about how to build a peaceful, socially just, and self-governing world. While the parent generation was happy just to have escaped war and dictatorship in an increasingly prosperous chancellor democracy, as the postwar adolescents we were not content with their authoritarian restoration of order but wanted to build a truly democratic future.51 Somehow the reaffirmation of Christian faith and classical heritage did not appear compelling enough to me, as both were tarnished by collaboration with the Third Reich. In my case, the process of maturation was complicated by an exceptionally strong bond with my mother. She as a widow and I as a semi-orphan desperately needed each other because, even given the assistance of my substitute fathers, we really were the only people each other had. Wanting to resolve theological issues for her students, she would involve me in conversations beyond my age about biblical criticism, which both challenged and overwhelmed me, since I could not be the adult partner she required. Though as an intellectual she was an indifferent housekeeper, I was dependent on her not just for physical sustenance but also for emotional support in my endeavors and cultural enrichment through her collection of art and artists, as well as her introducing me to France. At the same time, she was gratified by my development from a shy youngster to an inquisitive and athletic young man who shared her life and who was grateful for the efforts she put into me. While she fre ed over my missteps, she was amazingly liberal in le ing me find my own way. But my increasing separation was painful for both of us.52 Exposure to the formative influences mentioned above created a curious intellectual elitism at the end of my adolescence. The once sincere religious devotion had shrunk to a cultural Protestantism that distanced itself from literal faith but retained its ethical values. The introduction to the classics via the study of Greek and Latin produced a familiarity with the roots of the Western tradition that even encouraged me to decipher Roman gravestones in Italy as a gateway to antiquity. Years of leadership in the Christian scouting movement also created a cultural distance from the superficiality of youthful pop culture, centered on alcohol and rock music. Constant involvement in biking trips, soccer games, ski outings, and kayaking ventures, just to mention a few athletic activities, made for a physical resilience that complemented my intellectual pursuits. In terms of politics, I also moved away from Cold War Christian conservatism and anticommunism to Willy Brandt’s social democracy without embracing all the illusions of radical Marxism.53 This blend of a itudes made me different from the dominant youth culture.

Child of War | 25

Behind these personal contradictions also lay an unresolved problem of German national identity. In spite of the military defeat, male war stories still conveyed a sense of pride in dangerous missions. For instance, we used references to the parachute drop on Crete to get veteran teachers to cancel tests, because they could not resist sharing their exploits whereas female narratives centered largely on suffering.54 Moreover, being recognized as German abroad was also problematic; for example, when we asked in German for directions in Alsace, we received no answer, but when we inquired in halting French, the locals replied in Alsatian dialect. Compared to the United Kingdom, German cultural tradition was broken; the cheering for the pageantry of the royals was unimaginable in Germany. Franz Josef Strauss’s misguided a ack on press freedom in the Spiegel affair made it clear that democracy had yet to really take root, as authoritarian reflexes remained strong.55 Adenauer Germany therefore seemed like a constricting and provincial place that I increasingly wanted to leave in order to throw off the burden of such a troublesome past.

Notes 1. Bruno Jaraus , “Erinnerungen in einer s lesis -märkis en Familie,” 121f. Cf. Konrad H. Jarausch, ed., Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Le ers from the Eastern Front (Princeton, 2011). 2. Jürgen Reule e and Lu Seegers, eds., Die “Generation der Kriegskinder”: Historis e Hintergründe und Deutungen (Giessen, 2009). Cf. “Wissens a ler aus der Kriegskindergeneration als Zeitzeugen: Peter Maser, Konrad Jaraus und Jürgen Reule e im Gesprä mit Barbara Stambolis, kommentiert von Heide Glaesmer,” Totalitarismus und Demokratie 15 (2018): 233–62. 3. Mi ael Ermann, “Wir Kriegskinder,” Forum der Psy oanalyse 20 (2004), 226–39; Sabine Bode, Die vergessene Generation: Die Kriegskinder bre en ihr S weigen, 2nd ed. (Stu gart, 2004). 4. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Contemporary History as Transatlantic Project: The German Problem, 1960–2010,” Historical Social Research, supplement 24 (2012): 1–360. 5. Jürgen Ko a, ed., Bürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert: Deuts land im europäis en Verglei , 3 vols. (Munich, 1988). 6. BJ, “Erinnerungen,” 1–37. On 9 January 1929, my grandfather suddenly passed away, and the store was sold during the Great Depression. 7. Konrad Jaraus , “Der Volksglaube der Isländersagas” (diss., Berlin, 23 February 1925); Prüfungszeugnisse of 3 November 1925 and 17 January 1927. 8. Oberst Cullmann, Familienges i te der Petri, 1391–1913 (Nuremberg, 1913). Cf. Karl Di , “Petri, Franz,” Neue Deuts e Biographie 20 (2001): 265–66. 9. Elisabeth-Charlo e Petri, “Über den Einfluss des Pietismus auf das Sozialleben in Deutschland” (Marburg, 1929); “Lebenslauf,” n.d.; “Gehalt und Form der Legende von Ulenspiegel und Lamme Goedzak von Charles de Coster” (n.p., n.d.).

26 | The Burden of German History

10. BJ, “Erinnerungen,” 83ff. 11. Jaraus , Reluctant Accomplice, passim. Cf. Christoph Die mann and Babe e Quinkert, eds., Kriegführung und Hunger 1939–1945: Zum Verhältnis von militäris en, wirts a lien und politis en Interessen (Gö ingen, 2015). 12. Jarausch, “Contemporary History as Transatlantic Project.” 13. Jörg Friedri , Der Brand: Deuts land im Bombenkrieg (Berlin, 2002), and Manfred Wille, Der Himmel brennt über Magdeburg: Die Zerstörung der Stadt im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Magdeburg, 1990). 14. Lo e Jaraus (herea er LJ) to Franz Petri (herea er FP), n.p., n.d. (1947). 15. BJ, “Erinnerungen,” 151ff. 16. Ma hias Horold and Hans Rößler, eds., 700 Jahre Neuende elsau (Neuende elsau, 1998). 17. LJ to FP, 21 September 1947; Baronesse von Loeffelholz, Evangelis es Landerziehungsheim Vorra/S auenstein e.V. (Hof, n.d.). 18. LJ to FP, 21 September 1947 and 28 August 1948; Jens Bra mann, Fors ungsau rag: Reformpädagogik zwis en Re-education, Bildungsexpansion und Missbrau sskandal—Die Ges i te der Vereinigung Deuts er Landerziehungsheime (1947–2012). 19. LJ to FP, 7 November 1948; BJ, “Erinnerungen,” 166ff. 20. KHJ to LJ, 25 April 1951 to 17 August 1952; h ps:// 21. LJ to FP, 14 February 1946 and n.d. (1947); BJ, “Erinnerungen,” 168. 22. Paul Wietzorek, 150 Jahre Ricarda-Hu -Gymnasium zu Krefeld. 1848–1998 (Krefeld, 1998); Hanna Schissler, ed., The Miracle Years: A Cultural History of West Germany (Princeton, 2000). 23. Baronesse von Loeffelholz affidavit for Lo e Jarausch, 10 February 1951; Dr. Clasing, Schulkollegium Düsseldorf to Elisabeth-Charlo e Jarausch, 27 March 1951. 24. “Qui sommes-nous?” h ps:// 25. Corine Defrance and Ulri Pfeil, eds., Der Élysée-Vertrag und die deuts -französis en Beziehungen 1945–1963–2003 (Muni , 2005). 26. Hans Derks, Deuts e Westfors ung: Ideologie und Praxis im 20. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 2001), 85–128; and Horst Ladema er, “Franz Petri zum Gedä tnis,” Rheinis e Vierteljahrsblä er 57 (1993): vii–xix. 27. BJ, “Erinnerungen,” passim and manuscript diary, 14 August 1922 to 24 March 1923. 28. Reinhard Feinendegen and Hans Vogt, Krefeld: Die Ges i te der Stadt, 4 vols. (Krefeld, 1998ff.). 29. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Rund um den Magdeburger Dom” or “Tiberufer, abends” (Krefeld, 1959). 30. Rheinis e Post Online, “Krefeld: Arndt-Gymnasium: Reise in die 60er,” 24 November 2016. In the meantime the institution has become co-ed and changed its name to Hannah Arendt Gymnasium. Cf. E. M. Butler, The Tyranny of Greece over Germany (Cambridge, 1935). 31. h ps:// and h ps:// Cf. Dieter Kraeter and Hanns-Dieter Lohnes, eds., Aus der Arbeit und Gemeins a der Christli en Pfadfinders a Deuts lands (Kassel, 1960). 32. John S. Wilson, Scouting Round the World (Blandford Press, 1959), and digitized slides in my possession. 33. h p:// 34. Rainer Amstädter, Der Alpinismus: Kultur, Organisation, Politik (Vienna, 1996). 35. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Stille Klause: Notizen einer Frühlingsskifahrt in den Hohen Tauern” (Krefeld, n.d.).

Child of War | 27

36. h ps://Mennenoeh-bue er/bu; Rainer Hearten Na ruf, h p://; Wilhelm Lehmann, “Verwehte Spuren: Aus dem Leben unseres Vaters Friedri Wilhelm Lehmann” (S liersee, n.d.). 37. Sabine Wienri , “Ha e, Spitze, eins, zwo, drei: In der Tanzs ule Hansi und Eri Barth lernte die Jugend der 1950er Jahre weit mehr als Tanzs ri e,” Südkurier, 11 August 2016. 38. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Die Fis er von Pes ici”; “Ekel”; and “Abiturklassenfilm,” in my possession. 39. Joseph F. Ke , Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America, 1790 to the Present (New York, 1977). 40. Mira Seidel, “Hepatitis,” Netdoktor, 25 April 2018, h ps:// ten/hepatitis/. 41. Benjamin Carl Pearson, “Faith and Democracy: Political Transformations at the German Protestant Kirchentag, 1949–1969” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2007). 42. More in Jarausch, Reluctant Accomplice, 1–44. 43. Ulri Bauer et al., eds., Kreuz und Lilie: Christli e Pfadfinder in Deuts land von 1909 bis 1972 (Berlin, 2013). 44. Helmut S elsky, Die skeptis e Generation: Eine Soziologie der deuts en Jugend (Düsseldorf, 1957). 45. Mi ael Lemke, S aufenster der Systemkonkurrenz: Die Region Berlin-Brandenburg im Kalten Krieg (Cologne, 2006). 46. LJ to KHJ, 24 October 1962. 47. Wolfgang Bor ert, Draussen vor der Tür (1946); Bernhard Wi y, Die Brü e (1959); and Günter Grass, Die Ble trommel (Muni , 1959). 48. Go fried Keller, Der grüne Heinri (Brauns weig, 1854f.) 4 vols. The Bildungsroman is a German coming-of-age novel for which there is no English counterpart. 49. Städtis es Arndt Gymnasium, “Zeugnis O I a, 1959/60.” 50. Mi ael Behal and Nina Baur, Studium generale, studium sociale: Das Leibniz-Kolleg 1948– 1998 (Tübingen, 1998). 51. Joyce Mushaben, From Post-war to Post-Wall Generations: Changing A itudes towards the National Question and NATO in the Federal Republic of Germany (Boulder, CO, 1998). 52. Erika Kuhlman, Of Li le Comfort: War Widows, Fallen Soldiers, and the Remaking of the Nation a er the Great War (New York, 2012). 53. Axel Schildt and Detlef Siegfried, eds., Between Marx and Coca-Cola: Youth Cultures in Changing European Societies, 1960–1980 (New York, 2006). 54. Robert Moeller, War Stories: The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany (Berkeley, 2001). 55. David Schoenbaum, The Spiegel Affair (Garden City, NY, 1968).

Chapter 2


( Slowly the Manha an skyline appeared on the horizon. First the curiously old-fashioned Statue of Liberty came into view, and then the Empire State building emerged among other jagged skyscrapers. Though the day was gray and rainy, I joined the other passengers on deck, full of excitement about finally reaching my destination. The crossing on the Norddeutscher Lloyd liner Bremen had taken over a week, the storms along the way causing intermi ent bouts of seasickness that painted a far different picture than those depicted in posters of sunny cruises.1 The crew threw lines to the tugs, which carefully pulled the ship into one of the many harbor berths, while the band struck up a sentimental tune, “Now Farewell My Dear Homeland.” I was delighted to be able to put my feet onto solid ground again, even if it took some time for the rocking to subside. Looking forward to cowboy lore, Black spirituals, and friendly GIs, I, a mere eighteen-year-old, had at last arrived in the New World. Now my American adventure could begin. On the crowded pier, I followed my fellow passengers to uniformed immigration officials. Fortunately, my papers were in order, and they allowed me to pass without a hitch. Hailing a taxi was more difficult, since my British-accented English made it hard to communicate with the New York brogue. A er a few nights in a YMCA, I somehow got to Grand Central Station, bought a ticket, and found my train, assisted by Black porters, a new experience for me. A er ten hours we reached Chicago, the Windy City, only to continue westward on the Overland Route of the Union Pacific. A er another day’s travel, the endless plains gave way to the rugged mountains of the continental divide, and the train needed extra engines to cross over them at eight thousand feet. Finally, the train sped downhill again, only to come to a halt at a small depot in Laramie, Wyoming.2 Worn out by all the travel, I was relieved to be welcomed in German by the Krapfs, my kind hosts. Notes for this chapter begin on page 45.

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Inadvertently, I had ended up as part of the last great emigration wave from Germany to the United States. During the nineteenth century, over five million German speakers had migrated to America, constituting the largest ethnic group aside from the Anglophones. Identified with the enemy in both world wars, their once-flourishing ethnic community with churches, schools, and newspapers declined with forced assimilation, leaving only remnants. Nonetheless, a er 1945, a final wave of close to a million uprooted emigrants came from the continent, composed of Holocaust survivors, displaced persons, ethnic expellees from Eastern Europe, captured scientists and engineers, economic migrants, and, last but not least, so-called “army brides.” But tarnished by the Third Reich and the world war, most tried to assimilate quickly in order to be accepted into the Anglo-American community, comprising at best a “silent minority.”3 Unaware of this complex history, I benefited from the help of this ethnic network to ease my path into the United States. With only a superficial knowledge of the New World, I had to undertake a rapid process of Americanization in order to function within it. While scholars generally use this concept to describe cultural changes in entire societies, it can also be applied to an individual transformation.4 Above all, I had to master American English, which American television, such as shows like Bonanza, helped me to accomplish. I also needed to learn peculiar laws, such as the prohibition of drinking alcohol for anyone younger than twenty-one years old, which I violated by going into a bar—much to the horror of my sponsors. Another challenge was recognizing different structures, like the absence of visual fences in contrast to the persistence of invisible social barriers. There were also strange customs such as “dating” that were unknown to European youths at the time. Finally, a foreigner had to absorb American culture, both in its literary and popular forms, but not criticize what he did not understand.5 For German exchange students like Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Jürgen Kocka, Volker Berghahn, and myself, decoding these differences triggered a fascinating voyage of discovery.

Campus Gardener Ironically, I came to the United States not to study but rather “to learn about practical work.” I had this quasi-Marxist notion, reinforced by reform pedagogy, that one would find out more about a foreign country by working there than by being a tourist. Being part of the labor force would reveal its actual character and quality of life. I was therefore disappointed that my hepatitis made it impossible to work on a ranch—a romantic notion derived from Western stories and cowboy movies. Instead, my hosts

30 | The Burden of German History

Figure 2.1. Wyoming’s open spaces. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

managed to secure me a summer job assisting in campus gardening. The task was not terribly taxing since it merely involved watering flowers to compensate for the dryness of the atmosphere at seventy-one hundred feet of altitude. Raking leaves and cu ing grass were relatively easy, leaving me enough time to explore the campus, with its fieldstone buildings and approximately thirty-five hundred students, and get acquainted with the college town, then with a population of about fi een thousand.6 Moreover, the work also provided a bit of pocket money that I could well use. The reason I ended up in Laramie all the way out in Wyoming was a result of my sponsors, which I needed according to US immigration legislation, living there. Actually, the racist National Origins Law of 1924 facilitated my admission to the country because it privileged Northwest Europeans in order to maintain white dominance. By the late 1950s, the German quota was no longer filled.7 For the visa application, one also needed a sponsor to put up money—so that one would not become a burden on US welfare—and to provide a return ticket to guarantee that the traveler would leave the country when necessary. My host was the composer and organist Gerhard Krapf, who had married Gertrud Lichti, the daughter of the family with whom we had spent the second part of the war. Since the Krapfs were our only contact in North America, my mother approached them by mail, and they were kind enough to issue a formal le er of invitation and to take care of the rest of the formalities.8 Not only did they offer me a place to stay but they also arranged my summer job.

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Living with the Krapfs for a semester was a human education for me, as they seemed to be, at half a generation older, the ideal family I never had. The father Gerhard was a well-known church musician, composer, and organist who had come to the United States as an exchange student. He had been a Wehrmacht officer in the war and a POW in Russia, and one of his legs had been shortened by a wound. I always had to turn pages for him during recitals or Episcopalian services. His wife, affectionally called Trudel, was a trained nurse who combined warmth with order in her domestic world as she coped with the many practical challenges her professorial husband ignored and taught me how to contribute to the household. They had twin pigtailed girls, Gerburg and Gerhild, and a younger daughter Uta, who were always willing to play games; they acted as the cheerful siblings whom I lacked. All of them lived in a boxy li le suburban home that became even more crowded by my presence. The high points of our cohabitation were weekend excursions in a Volkswagen microbus to picnic areas in the scenic Medicine Bow National Forest.9 O o Dahl, the campus gardener for whom I worked, became a legend at the University of Wyoming because he managed to make the campus bloom within the short, ninety-day growing season. He also hailed from Hamburg in Germany, where he had been a landscape architect, working for the city. There was a rumor that he might have had to leave Germany a er the war because of involvement with the Nazis, although that could never be ascertained for sure. With his weather-beaten face and ubiquitous pipe, he was a stern and demanding taskmaster, not willing to tolerate any goofing off.10 Since I had never really needed to work before, this summer job taught me what it was like to earn my keep. Fortunately, O o had two sons about my age who joined me in a folk-singing trio that even earned a few bo les of beer with its performances. Thus, all the way in the American West, I was living with a German family and working for a German boss, unable to escape my German background. Beyond the campus, I was fascinated by the wide open spaces of Wyoming, with its big sky and dramatic landscapes. The small city of Laramie with its co onwood trees, brick storefronts, and broad boulevards was a typical Western town, squeezed in between the railroad and the university. To the west began the plains, too high and dry for farming and do ed with sagebrush that would only sustain ranching or mining. To the east loomed the rounded slopes of the continental divide and the Vedauwoo rock outcroppings, composed of red granite and formed into weird shapes of mythical creatures. Further to the west towered the Snowy Range, overgrown with conifer forests, bisected by rushing streams, and topped by steep rock faces that were o en covered with snow during the summer due to their altitude of more than twelve thousand feet. For a young Euro-

32 | The Burden of German History

pean this was an amazing physical se ing that projected a Western mystique, which was even reaffirmed by an annual rodeo.11 This magnificent scenery suggested an individualism and freedom unimaginable on the old continent. In order to understand this different environment, I decided to a end some public lectures in the interdisciplinary field of American studies. Supported by a major grant from the Coe Foundation, the university had begun to offer courses on the US experience from the early 1950s onward. According to a recent catalogue, “American studies is an interdisciplinary field emphasizing the integration of the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences in the study of American experiences, past and present.” In contrast to program sites like Yale, the University of Wyoming specialized in Western studies, a logical choice to illuminate its own environment and to take advantage of its location.12 Though my English was far from perfect, as it had been my fourth foreign language, I surprised myself by actually understanding most of what was being said and discussed. Since I was fascinated by the chance to systematically learn more about the American experience, I began to think about staying on beyond the summer in order to enroll in the American studies program. This change of plans was not without complications. First of all, I had to convince my mother to let me remain in the United States, which Franz Petri strongly opposed, arguing that “good historical writing has emerged in Germany and can only be learned there.”13 Then I had to cancel my return voyage but retain the ticket for a future transatlantic passage. It was also difficult to change my visa status from being a tourist to becoming a student, for which I needed help from the international office of the university. To receive such assistance, I first had to be admi ed, then my German high school diploma had to be accepted (though nobody could read it), and I had to pass an English-language test to show that I would be able to follow the course of instruction. At the same time, I had to find a way of paying tuition and coming up with living expenses, which my mother graciously supported in spite of her limited means, helped by a small education allowance from the German government for half orphans.14 Somehow I surmounted all these hurdles, and in the fall semester of 1960 I enrolled as a freshman in the American studies program of the University of Wyoming. Though unintended, the decision to remain in Laramie temporarily turned out to have life-changing consequences. Instead of returning to Germany like most exchange students, I stayed in the United States in order to learn more about the country. Based on Cold War crises, I believed that the crucial world political decisions were made in Washington and Moscow, not in provincial Bonn. Since during the Cold War the Federal

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Republic was dependent on the Western superpower, I wanted to seize the opportunity to understand what governed the sometimes unpredictable US policies. For that purpose, ge ing a BA in American studies seemed the right approach.15 Moreover, I was also convinced that the real America was not just represented by the East Coast but also by the symbolically potent West. I had read enough of the German writer Karl May and seen a sufficient number of cowboy movies to be fascinated by the allure of rugged individualism.16 Reasoning that this sojourn was only temporary, I did not anticipate that it would trigger a process of Americanization that would change the course of my entire life.

Wyoming Student Studying at UW was actually fun, though I had to work hard in order to compete. The atmosphere was friendly and encouraging, which motivated me to get my work done. Founded in 1886, this land-grant institution thought of itself as progressive by supporting female education and as practical by emphasizing applied subjects such as agriculture, engineering, and geology. The mostly regional student body was small enough to keep the classes intimate, but the campus was large enough to have most subject areas covered. Though not particularly high-powered, the humanities and social science faculty was competent and approachable, ready to help with explanations and suggestions for further reading. Since Laramie contained the only four-year university in the thinly se led state, the facilities were decent, and the library at least offered the basics.17 Moreover, the stress on athletics created a sense of civic pride and institutional identity in support of the “cowboy” teams. Expecting the freedom of study and student life of the German system, I was surprised that the American undergraduate college was more regimented and school-like. Graduating from high school at age eighteen, US students were generally younger than they were on the continent, following the more controlled approach of the British college tradition. It took me some time to get used to the stream of textbook assignments spelled out on a printed syllabus, as well as to continual testing with multiplechoice questions that depended upon unspoken cultural assumptions. Annoying though they seemed at the time, the midterms and finals kept me on track. Moreover, term papers allowed me some degree of originality and creativity. The grading was also fair and rapid so that one always knew where one stood in each course. For me as an international student, the structured curriculum of the first two undergraduate years was quite helpful since it allowed me to catch up in areas that I knew li le about.

34 | The Burden of German History

And finally, I was amazed that some course evaluations actually allowed students to rank their professors.18 Being a foreign student at a middling Western university even had a few advantages since I was an object of some curiosity. To begin with, the number of international students was limited, and even fewer of these were from European countries or were interested in the humanities.19 Instead of disappearing in the mass of undergraduates, I stuck out to my fellow classmates, while faculty members had more patience with my foibles. Though I wanted to get away from the deadly burden of European history, my classical training in Latin and Greek helped with cultural allusions as well as the spelling of complex terms. My affectation of continental existentialism also drew some countercultural interest in European philosophy. And my experience as a scout leader gave me a leg up in student life organizations. The fact that I had come a great distance from Germany in order to study in Wyoming also validated the American way of life that my classmates were so proud of. Hence, I had an odd mixture of academic deficits and cultural advantages compared to local undergraduates. The system of requirements actually worked to my advantage, as it provided a broad exposure to different subjects that created a comprehensive picture of the United States. For instance, the freshman English course that every beginner had to take improved my language competence through the writing of regular papers and widened my acquaintance with American literature, ranging from Mark Twain to J. D. Salinger. Courses in political science introduced me to the confusing world of British philosophy and made me analyze Hitler’s Mein Kampf “as work of political propaganda.” Another lecture in sociology offered a more critical view of US society through David Riesman’s bestseller The Lonely Crowd.20 The curmudgeonly professor shocked his undergraduate audience by calling the well-turned-out coeds “glossy li le animals” who were interested in dating rather than ideas. Fortunately, the evaluation of my German Abitur gave me credit for one year of study, allowing me to escape some onerous requirements in math and the sciences. My major in American studies gave me further insights into the peculiar character of the United States. The leading scholar in history was the New Deal specialist Lawrence E. Gelfand, who was then working on The Inquiry, the academic preparation for the Versailles peace treaty. He also took a personal interest in my intellectual development and encouraged me to write a term paper on “The American Response to the Rise of the Nazis, 1933–1938.” One of his genial colleagues was the colonial historian William R. Steckel, who focused on the Founding Fathers and who was engaged in active politics as mayor of the city of Laramie and higher ad-

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ministrator in the university. Yet another faculty member was Herb Dietri , sporting a bowtie and a smile, whose courses on American culture were popular and who served as my advisor; he was a kind and supportive scholar. And finally, there was T. A. Larson, an already elderly specialist in Wyoming history.21 With their different subjects and methodologies, these historians conveyed a complex picture of American development. My chief intellectual effort at UW was a lengthy paper on the relationship between Mathew Brady’s stunning early photographs and Stephen Crane’s powerful 1894 novel of the American Civil War, The Red Badge of Courage. The former was one of the first ba le photographers who tried to capture the violence and destruction of the fighting with equipment that did not allow pictures of rapid action. Though close to the front, Brady mostly recorded the shocking devastation of intensive warfare that destroyed buildings, horses, and people, thereby undercu ing a heroic conception of war. A generation a er the event, the naturalist writer Stephen Crane used a mythical protagonist to portray the ferocity and fear of the Civil War with powerful language. By focusing on internal emotions, The Red Badge of Courage presents a timeless indictment of suffering in war, anticipating the anguish of World War II and the pain of Vietnam.22 While I could not find out whether Crane had seen Brady’s images, the narrative and visualization seemed complementary in their antiwar message. Having to supplement my mother’s limited funding by working at various jobs also made me concentrate on my studies. One new avenue I explored was the Russian language, which I was trying to learn in order to understand the other side of the Cold War. The course was taught by Miriam Gelfand, a Jewish Holocaust refugee who had survived World War II in the French quarter of Shanghai. Since there were no graduate students, she made me language lab assistant for first-year practice while I was just enrolled in the second year!23 Another chance to earn a bit of pocket money was working as “an audio-technician” for the campus radio station. The affable Douglas Jones (?), who produced a weekly show on campus news that was mailed to stations all over the state, employed me to lug around the heavy Ampex cases and microphones needed to record the broadcast interviews. This enjoyable task informed me about campus life and taught me how to interview subjects and edit and copy the tapes for distribution.24 Though my many activities o en “stressed me out,” the positive feedback I received from professors motivated me to study hard. On the one hand, there was always a surprising new feature of the “American way of life” to be discovered by a European visitor. On the other hand, the good grades I received were a direct incentive that increased my academic dedication. During my second year, I obtained a scholarship that improved my tenuous

36 | The Burden of German History

material situation since tuition was still low and living costs in Laramie remained modest. I also received the Duniway Prize for “outstanding work in history,” which came with the gi of a comprehensive bibliography of American studies. Since I received virtually straight As, I was also elected to Phi Alpha Theta, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Omicron Phi, even though I had no idea what these Greek-le ered honors societies were all about.25 In contrast to the rigidity of the German system, such recognition for hard work suggested that the United States was a place where individual effort would be rewarded, allowing students who worked hard to get ahead.

Reinvention of Identity My immersion in American college life offered a chance for a fresh start in the New World. The physical distance from the old continent was so huge that Germany and its troubles seemed to be a galaxy away. The new rituals of undergraduate collegiate existence, such as freshmen having to wear “beanies” to identify them as inferior, required much energy to be learned. My adolescent troubles with religious faith, scout leadership, and dealing with the other sex seemed irrelevant, because nobody cared about them. Of course, the pretense of having no past was an illusion, but it was shared by many other immigrants who crossed the Atlantic to make a new start.26 At the age of eighteen, I was just old enough to have a grounding in European culture and young enough to learn about a different way of life to allow for a successful transition. The trace of an accent in my English suggested a different upbringing, but it did not create a barrier for subsequent acculturation. The intention to learn American customs landed me in a student fraternity, which I joined in order to experience college life from the inside. During the mutual selection process, called “rush,” I chose the smaller Phi Delta Thetas, because they had more intellectual pretensions, over the popular Sigma Nus. The Phi Delts also had a house on “fraternity row,” which was chaperoned by a housemother who saw to it that the boys did not get out of hand. Providing an instant community for me, the “brothers” engaged in pranks like “panty raids” or li ing a VW bug onto the porch of a girls’ dormitory. The organized dinners, formal dances, and informal “beer busts” also provided many chances to meet young women from sororities, even if the ten o’clock curfew was rigorously observed in order to preserve some privacy and study time. Surprisingly enough, I was elected pledge class president; as such, I had to undergo some mild hazing, such as swallowing a live goldfish or wearing a gunny sack for a week, to become a full member. As Wyoming delegate, I traveled to the

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Figure 2.2. The Western ski instructor. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

national Phi Delta Theta convention in Pennsylvania and voted for the admission of Blacks, a controversial stance.27 Fraternity membership also got me involved in student affairs. Participating in interfraternity sports competitions like wrestling (I had no idea how to do that) or singing events (with pop melodies like “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) was taken for granted. Moreover, the fraternity students were active in community service projects in which they tried to outdo each other. To my great surprise, the Phi Delts also put me up for election to campus “ugly man,” which was the opposite of a beauty queen contest. In spite of a glossy photograph that made me look like Count Dracula, I lost due to the small number of my brothers compared to other fraternities. I had be er luck with the election to the student senate, where I captured a seat. While the business of that august body was usually mundane, consisting of arranging various student events, we did have a budget to spend and were consulted on issues of student affairs. The senate stint taught me parliamentary procedure with Robert’s Rules of Order and “let me collect valuable experience regarding the American political system.”28

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At the same time, I also began to participate in intercollegiate sports, including soccer. Compared to the huge expense of football, basketball, or baseball, soccer was a modest affair, showing what amateur competition was supposed to be like. Our team was composed of foreign students from Norway, Latin America, and Africa with only a couple of Americans, since the sport was then largely confined to immigrants. My own position was right fullback, complemented by Josh Chinwa, a Nigerian teammate on the le side. Our center forward was Gunnar Martinsen, a towering Viking who ended up kicking for the football team, and the center hal ack was a talented Mexican named Victor Duran. The coach who trained us twice a week was a buildings and grounds worker, nicknamed “Sco y” for his brogue. On weekends we traveled in university cars to venues like the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State at Greeley, or the Air Force Academy. Our record was somewhat mixed since we had a small squad; but during the last ten minutes of home games we o en turned it around, as the opposition would run out of breath at Laramie’s altitude of about seventy-two hundred feet.29 Being close to the mountains, I also pursued my passion for skiing. As a freshman I went out for the ski team, participating in several alpine races without much success, since the others had be er equipment. At the end of the season, Coach Richardson confronted me with a simple choice: “Either you ski five days a week and study for two, then you are on the team. Or you study five days a week and ski for two, then you are off.” Reluctantly I said goodbye to my racing career.30 But I was soon rescued. During soccer practice, a new player banged into my shin. “Du Aschloch,” I angrily said in German. He replied, “You are an asshole yourself.” The culprit turned out to be Hans Schwarz, a former Austrian development team member tasked with building a ski school for the Snowy Range ski area. Since I had a German accent, he hired me on the spot and trained me as an instructor. Unfortunately, I missed certification during my first try by three-tenths of a point, but, undeterred, I continued to teach and eventually did get certified as professional ski instructor, much to my delight.31 As I learned how to communicate with young women more freely, my social life also improved considerably. My first American girlfriend was Terri L., who, as an “army brat,” knew a bit about Europe. Looking cute in her Air Force ROTC uniform, she was cheerful and tolerant, explaining various dating customs to me. Though we got “pinned”—i.e., she wore my fraternity pin—I was not ready for the serious long-term commitment she expected. I then developed another crush on Susan K., a more intellectual student, which made it possible to have philosophical and artistic conversations. She even took me home with her during one of the holidays. But she was already in love with a Spanish poet, which meant that

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there was no space for me in her life. Eventually, she became a professor of Spanish literature at the University of California in San Diego.32 These formative encounters helped me to get over my shyness and prepared me for a more lasting relationship. Living in “a real American family” allowed me to learn more about the intricacies of the country, including such 1960s essentials as TV dinners. As the Krapfs’ children grew and the house became too small, I was kindly invited by the Jacoby family, members of the local elite, to live with them for a semester. The father, Glenn “Red” Jacoby, was the university’s athletic director, and he was so successful in reviving cowboy sports that the school later named its golf course a er him. His wife Dorothy was a society lady, charming, enthusiastic, and welcoming to a stranger. Their son Peter was half a dozen years younger than me but willing to accompany me in any mischief. Once in a fancy hotel in Denver we bounced on our beds until one of the ma resses crashed—and I shamefacedly had to admit that it was my fault. Later on, when living in the Phi Delt house got too noisy for studying, I moved off campus with a fraternity brother named Larry Amundsen, a quiet and sensible lad who made a name for himself in archaeology.33 These living arrangements introduced me to domestic facets of the American way of life. Yet another aspect of the college experience was obtaining a summer job. A er my first year, Gerhard Krapf recommended me as counselor to Elmar O , the director of Camp Manito-wish, a big YMCA camp in the Northwoods of upper Wisconsin. In order to get there, I hitched a ride with art student Jim Becker in his bug-eye sprite, a British sportscar, which created a lasting friendship. The camp was an impressive affair with 130 canoes, a dozen sailboats, several trail horses, and countless activities to keep city kids amused. I especially liked the wilderness canoe trips with the older campers, and I once goaded a charge into catching a baby porcupine. Unfortunately, my time at Camp Manito-wish did not work out in the end, as I disagreed somewhat with the camp’s blend of adventure and religion.34 I spent another summer as a construction worker for a German firm in Milwaukee without a permit and for lower wages. But I was glad to have a job at all, se ing up new houses for the parade of homes that allowed me to witness remnants of German-American immigrant culture in terms of restaurants, movie houses, and dances. Only the evenings were lonely, which I spent in a one-room apartment with a broken TV set on which the baseball disappeared into the static snow. To explore the broader environment, I wanted a driver’s license and a car. Ge ing a permit was easy in the United States compared to Germany, and an acquaintance, named Bud Smallwood, let me practice on the dirt roads of his ranch with a 1957 push-bu on Ford. The wri en test was

40 | The Burden of German History

easy, but I was lucky to pass the practical demonstration without knowing how to parallel-park.35 Ge ing an automobile was more difficult for an impecunious student, but my mother was kind enough to have a used VW bug shipped to Galveston in Texas. Another friend was willing to drive me the twelve hundred miles and twenty hours in his MGB sports car on two-lane roads to pick it up; we crashed in a motel and then drove back in separate vehicles the following day. But the Beetle’s steering was so wobbly that I had a hard time keeping it on the road. On later inspection it turned out that the steering linkage was almost completely broken, and I only avoided an accident by the skin of my teeth.36 Nonetheless, my mother’s amazing generosity allowed me to get to know America from behind a wheel.

American Attractions In the summer of 1962, I excitedly embarked on a “fantastic route” across the country with my mother in order to show off the a ractions of the United States. As a rising senior I had been looking at potential graduate schools, so I was out of money and almost missed picking my mother up at the New York airport. But her insistence on importing a forbidden German sausage for her son sufficiently delayed her at customs for me to get there in time. She was awed by the New York skyline, and we toured some of the colonial sites of the East Coast together. Then we set off to the West on two-lane roads through the Pennsylvania hills and into the Midwestern flatlands to the Windy City of Chicago. Therea er, we progressed through the endless prairies until we reached the imposing Rocky Mountains. A er stopping at a ractions like Mount Rushmore, we finally ended up in Laramie to inspect the university. My mother actually “liked the US” due to its “grand nature” and the “less fearful life of its people.”37 The cross-country trip not only allowed us to cover a large part of America but also created an even closer emotional bond between my mother and me. One impressive aspect of the United States for a European visitor like myself was the teeming cities with their skyscrapers. In contrast to the medieval continental towns with their cobblestone streets, market squares, and ancient cathedrals that I was used to, the urban centers in America seemed to soar into the sky, compressing financial and commercial establishments into close proximity. While on the old continent workers lived at the fringes of the cities, in the United States it was the well-to-do who se led in the sprawling suburbs. Equally impressive were the manufacturing centers like Detroit or the steel towns like Gary, Indiana, with their assembly-line halls and smoke-belching furnaces. These cities showed the

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industrial might of production and distribution that made the American economy the largest in the world during the 1960s.38 Moreover, interstate highways were just beginning to link such urban centers to one another, making them easier for travelers to reach. Compared to the destruction le by the war in Europe, this seemed like a dynamic world that represented the future. My mother and I were also fascinated by the power, variety, and wildness of the American landscape. No doubt, the Hudson River Valley resembled the Rhine River, and New England as a whole still seemed to have been constructed on a European scale. But the state of New York was already larger than most European countries. The Great Lakes alone struck us like inland oceans in size and enormity. The endless cornfields of the Midwest and the rolling hills and prairies were unique in their regularity and monotony. And then there were dramatic formations like the Badlands that appeared uninhabitable; or the geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone, fringed by the Grand Tetons. Between the traces of human habitation, the roads and towns, still stretched wild and open country.39 The state of Wyoming alone was about the size of West Germany, but with one-twentieth of its population. Whereas in Europe one reached a new country a er a few hours of driving, the coast-to-coast trip in the United States took almost a week. My first encounter with such a landscape was mind-boggling. My academic studies and this extended travel created the impression that America was a free and flourishing country, quite in contrast to wartorn Europe. While on the continent the destruction le by fighting and bombing was visible everywhere, the US appeared to be a peaceful and new place, in love with the future. Since it had an unbroken record of self-government dating back to colonial times, America was the leading democracy in the world. Having just conquered fascism, it was now confronting communism, hoping to spread freedom to Eastern Europe during the Cold War. At the same time, it was the leading consumer society in the world, inventing ever new gadgets like air conditioners and refrigerators that would make life more agreeable. While there were still social differences, mass production would make durables cheap enough so that simple folks would also be able to buy them. This combination of ideological mission and consumer comfort was creating an optimistic belief in US exceptionalism that all problems could be solved with enough money or scientific study.40 For me, this American self-assurance was enormously a ractive because it offered an alternative to my personal problems and the burden of the German past. To begin with, the American stress on individual freedom suggested that I could break with family expectations and determine

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my own future, although I was just beginning to reach adulthood. No doubt, as a foreign student I lacked the advantages of the children of the local elites, but the credo of individual initiative meant that I could pull myself up by my bootstraps if I only put in enough effort. While being German elicited some negative associations to the world wars, the long record of immigration and assimilation of German-Americans encouraged me to think that such difficulties could be overcome. The Western “frontier spirit” created a sense of possibility that reinforced the illusion of individual mobility, provided a person was determined to seize the moment. According to my disappointed Uncle Franz, I had developed a veritable “America mania.”41 My infatuation with the United States caused me to ignore the massive evidence of the dark underside of the American dream that turned into a nightmare for many people. While encountering some Native Americans in the west, I was more interested in their turquoise and silver jewelry than in the dispossession of their lands by se lers. Since there were very few Blacks in Wyoming, their recruitment to the football team created a sensation that failed to appreciate their sense of unease and displacement. True enough, I also encountered some Hispanics, but they were largely invisible since they worked in menial service jobs and as seasonal farm laborers. Finally, when in sufficient number, Asian immigrants created Chinatowns that became tourist a ractions, but they were not taken seriously as fellow citizens. While I knew that these groups existed, their travails did not impress me enough to dislodge the favorable image of America that was fed by the successful mobility of white European immigrants who celebrated the country as a “land of unlimited opportunity.”42 It took a lifetime of protests and disappointments to open my eyes to the ugly reality of racial discrimination and social inequality in the United States. Arriving in the mountainous West and teaching in a Midwestern university, I saw America as a white continent rather than a multicultural society. Vacation travel to the mountains and the shore did illustrate the discrepancy between fancy leisure homes and ugly trailer parks. But the few Black colleagues and students whom I got to know were supported by equal opportunity policies, a far cry from the ghe o dwellers who felt the brunt of racial discrimination. My own historic burden of the world wars and the Holocaust kept me focused on European suffering, in a division of moral labor in which I felt responsible for keeping the continental memories alive. For all of its shortcomings, the United States deserved credit for having been on the right side of the world wars, and its ideals of freedom and mobility remained a ractive. Only gradually did I become aware of the “invisible fences” that hindered individual opportunity and made the European model of social solidarity look like a progressive alternative.43

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Ironically, my postgraduation trip to Mexico reinforced the uncritical impression of an affluent United States by contrasting it with that poverty-stricken Hispanic country. Since Victor, the center hal ack of the soccer team, needed a ride home, I offered to drive him. We crossed the border at El Paso, Texas, and then drove through deserts and uplands for over eighteen hundred miles until we reached his home in Mexico City. That teeming metropolis impressed me with its colonial legacy of cathedrals, palaces, and ethnological museums. Moreover, the tropical resort town of Acapulco offered stunning scenery and a lively beach scene. Back in the city, I ran into a Ford while mistaking Victor’s direction. Since it was only a fender bender, Victor grabbed fi y dollars from me, jumped out, and handed it to the other driver, allowing us to speed away before the Mexican police could lock us up. To get back into the United States, I needed a new visa and a fresh X-ray, which was a costly boondoggle. In spite of the natural beauty, Mexico’s crime and social disparities made the United States look good by comparison.44 The election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency in the fall of 1960 also supported the positive image I had of America. In the close contest with Vice President Richard Nixon, the good-looking junior senator from Massachuse s won public support with his charismatic aura and his charming wife. While I was suspicious of his Irish Catholic background, I was excited when I was able to shake the hand of his youngest brother Teddy at a rally in Laramie. At a mere forty years of age, the Democratic candidate suggested a generational change toward a more egalitarian and inclusive domestic policy with his rhetoric of a “new frontier.” While promoting disarmament and coexistence, he acted as a tough Cold Warrior in response to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the escalation in Vietnam. These contradictions between JFK’s public image and actual policies did li le to diminish his popularity.45 Hence, for me, the TV pictures of his assassination in November 1963 were an enormous shock, but they failed to shake my continued acculturation in the American system. The combination of my German background and newly emerging US persona created a hybrid transatlantic social identity with which I would continue to wrestle for the rest of my life. During my first eighteen years I had grown up as a child of the war and a postwar teenager, a member of a defeated and discredited country of perpetrators. Balanced by my scouting elitism, I was trained as part of the last cohort steeped in the neohumanist classics of Latin and Greek. During the following six semesters and in the years beyond them, I became an American adult within the horizon of a Western university and then a Midwestern institution, rapidly learning a different language and assimilating to a new culture. Try-

44 | The Burden of German History

ing to catch up not just on intellectual content but also in terms of social habits, I threw myself fully into the task of continually learning what my peers took for granted.46 The result was an interesting but also perplexing hybrid identity that made me both an insider and an outsider in two cultures, allowing me to gain privileged insights but also leaving me unsure about where I really belonged.

American Adventure For an eighteen-year-old German high school graduate, coming to America was above all an exciting adventure. Traveling alone across the Atlantic on a steamer was already new and different. Coping with a strange New World with barely passable English was an even greater challenge. The skyscrapers of Manha an and Chicago seemed to be anticipating a technological future, while the size of the North American continent was daunting for a foreigner. Moreover, the traces of the old West in ranches and rodeos suggested that the frontier mystique, which I had seen in a movie called Fort Laramie while on the ship crossing the Atlantic, was still alive. Following the news on TV made it possible to discover the strange politics of the leading democracy and to learn about the odd customs of a wealthy consumer society. From a transatlantic perspective, the familiar European conflicts of the Cold War seemed strangely diminished since they paled in comparison to other global problems. In the tradition of the immigrant farmer Jürnjakob Swehn, there was so much new to discover, so much to find out, and so much to understand.47 For me, the lifelong process of learning about the United States took place on both a formal and an informal level. For the former, the American studies curriculum was a helpful guide, as it provided an interdisciplinary approach ranging from literature to history, from sociology to political science. To distinguish the US heritage from the British legacy, this perspective asked what was special or exceptional about American culture and development, sometimes in a laudatory tone. By highlighting peculiar achievements or developments, it helped me to catch up on what I had missed during the first eighteen years of my life.48 On an informal level, the “hidden curriculum” was also important in conveying customs of daily life, habits of behavior, and standards of expression, all of which I needed to absorb. Here both the media and my friends played a crucial role in helping me identify faux pas that would mark me as a foreigner in order to avoid repeating them. Ultimately, the intellectual and practical levels worked together to let an eager newcomer like myself assimilate into American culture.49

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Coming to the United States and enrolling in American studies was in a sense a more pronounced form of adolescent rebellion than usual. Since my dead father was a phantom target, I revolted against a substitute parent, namely my mother’s brother, the historian Franz Petri, whose Nazi involvement I loathed. Escaping my adolescent crisis required a more dramatic distancing than that between my home and a typical college since it involved crossing the Atlantic. Moreover, the break with my family expectations was also linguistic and cultural, adopting a whole new language and pa ern of behavior.50 Student life at Wyoming made it possible to assume a new personality without the pressures of classical education, religious faith, and scouting responsibilities. Somewhat by accident I fell into a role as “big man on campus,” which accelerated my quest for maturity. My familial separation was difficult for my mother, who sighed: “Yes, I miss Konrad.” But she proved liberal enough to let me go. Though it provoked a family conflict with charges of “egotism,” my reinvention made it possible to retain pieces of my past, including my interest in history and preoccupation with the German problem.51 The a empt at cu ing my German apron strings raised the difficult question of where to continue my studies. In the spring of 1963, I was glad that I was entering my final semester in Laramie. As I reported to the Petris, I had applied to the “ten best history programs” in the country, intending, “if accepted, to get my MA a er another three more semesters.” That would leave the door open “for the PhD in Germany,” with a fallback position “of returning [to the United States] if necessary.” I was confident that “my background in US history, literature and politics would be respectable.” But even if I were to gain admission, I lacked the funds to pay tuition. “I can only stay here if I am supported by these universities. But that is rather questionable.” The return to Germany hinged on the recognition of my studies in the United States. The continuation of my stay in America depended upon adequate funding. By ge ing my BA as covaledictorian in Laramie and receiving many honors, I had made a promising start in the US system.52 But since I did not quite fit in on either side, I remained torn between the German and American alternatives.

Notes 1. Hans-Georg Rammelt, “Berlin” auf allen Meeren: S iffe aus drei Jahrhunderten (Berlin, 1996). 2. LJ to KHJ, 19 May 1960. Cf. Lucius Beebe, The Overland Limited (Berkeley, 1963). 3. Frank Trommler and Joseph McVeigh, eds., America and the Germans: An Assessment of a Three-Hundred-Year History, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1985).

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4. Konrad H. Jaraus and Hannes Siegrist, eds., Amerikanisierung und Sowjetisierung in Deuts land 1945–1970 (Frankfurt, 1997). 5. Trudel Krapf (therea er TK) to LJ, 29 March 1960. 6. LJ to TK, 31 January 1960. Cf. Donald L. Veal, University of Wyoming: Our Heritage, Cornerstone for our Future (New York, 1986). 7. Maddalena Marinari, Madeline Y. Hsu, and Maria Cristina Garcia, eds., A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: US Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924–1965 (Urbana, 2019). 8. TK to LJ, 29 March 1960; Gerhard Krapf, “Recollections” (MS, Edmonton, 1990s), vol. 9. 9. LJ to TK, 14 May 1960; uary?n=gertrud-krapf&pid=176041102. 10. O o Dahl, Trees, Shrubs, Roses, and Vines for Wyoming High Altitudes (Laramie, 1967). There is even a picnic shelter in a Laramie city park named a er him. 11. 12. h p://; William Robertson Coe, American Studies Program of the Coe Foundation (New York, 1957). 13. LJ to KHJ, 15 June 1960, as well as 12/13 August and 3 October 1962. 14. Versorgungsamt Düsseldorf to Lo e Jarausch, 5 September 1960; h p:// missions/international/requirements-first-year.html; LJ to KHJ, 26 November and 7 December 1962. 15. Richard L. Merri , Democracy Imposed: U.S. Occupation Policy and the German Public, 1945–1949 (New Haven, 1995). Fortunately, my half-hearted effort to study in Russia failed. 16. H. Glenn Penny, Kindred by Choice: Germans and American Indians since 1800 (Chapel Hill, 2013). 17. h ps:// 18. For a lighthearted comparison see h ps:// 19. h p:// 20. KHJ to FP, 22 February 1962; Bernard I. Duffey, Modern American Literature (New York, 1951); and David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character (New Haven, 1950). 21. Lawrence E. Gelfand, The Inquiry: American Preparations for Peace, 1917–1919 (New Haven, 1963); William R. Steckel, Pietist in Colonial Pennsylvania: Christopher Sauer, Printer, 17381758 (diss. Stanford, 1949); h ps:// -obi tuary?pid=192057708. 22. Manuel Komroff, Photographing History: Mathew Brady (Chicago, 1962); and Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage: A Facsimile Reproduction of the New York Press Appearance of December 9, 1894 (Gainesville, 1967). 23. KHJ to Lene Petri, 19 February 1963; I also worked for the lab in German; h ps://aspace 24. UW weekly “news from campus” radio show. 25. KHJ to FP, 22 February 1962; h ps://; h ps:// phi-beta-kappa; Donald H. Mugridge and Blanche P. McCrum, A Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, 1960). 26. Walter D. Kamphoefner, Wolfgang Helbich, and Ulrike Sommer, eds., News from the Land of Freedom: German Immigrants Write Home (Ithaca, 1991). 27. KHJ to FP, 22 February 1961; h ps:// 28. KHJ to Lene Petri, 19 February 1963; Ann Siren and Yancey Thomas, eds., WYO Nineteen-Sixty-Three (Laramie, 1963). 29. Ibid. In the meantime the sport has been downgraded to club level.

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30. h ps:// 31. h ps://; h ps:// 32. Wyoming Yearbook 1963; h ps:// .html. A friend cautioned me that “I should beware of American girls. One has to marry them right away when one gets too close to them.” LJ to KHJ, 16 December 1961. 33. LJ to TK, 20 November 1960; h ps:// coby.pdf; h ps:// 34. TK to LJ, 29 March 1960; Trudel and Gerhard Krapf to KHJ, summer 1961; h ps:// 35. h ps://; h ps:// 36. LJ to KHJ, 23 September and 4 December 1961, 2 February 1962. Cf. Walter Henry Nelson, Small Wonder: The Amazing Story of the Volkswagen (Boston, 1967). 37. KHJ to FP, 22 February 1962; LJ to KHJ, 7 December 1961, and 17 September 1962. 38. Andrew Lees, Cities Perceived: Urban Society in European and American Thought, 1820– 1940 (New York, 1985). 39. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Der Wilde Westen ist zivilisiert,” Rheinis e Post, 26 July 1960. Cf. Oscar Handlin, This Was America: True Accounts of People and Places, Manners and Customs, as Recorded by European Travelers to the Western Shore in the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Cambridge, MA, 1949). 40. Andrea Carosso, Cold War Narratives: American Culture in the 1950s (Bern, 2012). 41. KHJ to FP, 19 February 1962. 42. Konrad H. Jarausch, “National Pride versus Critical History: American Memory Wars,” in Thomas Maissen and Niels May, eds., National History and New Nationalism in the Twenty-First Century (London, 2021). 43. Nikole Hannah-Jones et al., eds., The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (New York, 2021) vs. Konrad H. Jarausch, Emba led Europe: A Progressive Alternative (Princeton, 2021). 44. Robert M. Salkin, ed., Encyclopedia of Mexico: History, Society and Culture (Chicago, 1997). 45. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Ein Krefelder erlebt USA-Wahlfieber,” Rheinis e Post, 8 November 1960; Robert Dallek, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 (Boston, 2003). 46. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Some Thoughts on Becoming a US Citizen: Countries Cannot Be Made to Order,” Rundschau: An American-German Review 4 (May 1974): 17. 47. Johannes Gillhoff, Le ers of a German American Farmer: Jürnjakob Swehn Travels to America (Iowa City, 2000). 48. Lucy Maddox, ed., Locating American Studies: The Evolution of a Discipline (Baltimore, 1999). 49. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Commencement: Der Höhepunkt des akademis en Jahres in Amerika” (MS, Laramie, 1963). 50. Erik H. Erikson, Identity and the Life Cycle (New York, 1980). 51. LJ to TK, 14 May 1960 and n.d.; LJ to KHJ, 12/13 September 1962. 52. KHJ to Lene Petri, 19 February 1963; “Bemerkenswerte Studienerfolge,” Rheinis e Post, 4 June 1963.

Chapter 3


( On a cold December morning in 1968, I trudged up Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin in order to defend my dissertation. The white crosses, commemorating the deaths in the Vietnam War, were gone, but the tension of the antiwar protests lingered. Finishing the thesis of about six hundred pages had been “an enormous psychological strain,” since I had started teaching full-time while struggling to develop a nuanced interpretation of German responsibility for the outbreak of World War I. For two hours, a faculty commi ee headed by my advisor Theodore S. Hamerow, which included the intellectual historian George Mosse, the Baltic specialist Alfred Senn, the educationist Sterling Fishman, and the political scientist John Armstrong grilled me about German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg. My worry that this controversial subject would provoke sharp criticism turned out to be misplaced, since their questions were disappointingly bland. But I was pleased to hear that Hamerow called me “his best student ever”1 and relieved to have the ritual behind me so I could start a new stage of life. Becoming a historian was in many ways overdetermined due to the destructive impact of World War II, which had claimed my father’s life. My adolescent crisis of faith had already eliminated the possibility of me following in his footsteps and studying theology, the discipline favored by his circle. The alternative of entering the diplomatic service foundered on my lack of social connections and my distaste for jurisprudence as a prerequisite. In contrast, history was not only the calling of my uncle Franz Petri but also one of the teaching subjects of my late father and my mother, though the la er did not particularly like it. The study of the past a racted me since it promised to provide a key to understanding the trajectory of the present and future. Sometimes the endless reading led me to denounce the discipline of history that “seemed to be an exercise in national, ideological, class based and personal prejudices, vende as, disputes and conflicts” and Notes for this chapter begin on page 68.

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whose task it appeared to be to supply “munition for preconceived ideas.” But such moments of dejection passed and the crucial question for me became: What kind of history would I study, and on which continent?2 For the postwar generation of US intellectuals, the “German problem” loomed large, and the country’s involvement in the two world wars required a convincing explanation. Many historians had already analyzed Germany during their wartime service in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. Émigrés in particular, from Georg Iggers to Fritz Stern, sought to figure out the reasons for the breakdown of the so-called German-Jewish symbiosis that was reflected in the linguistic blend of Yiddish.3 But leading gentile scholars like William Langer, Carl Schorske, or O o Pflanze also became German specialists in response to public interest in what had gone wrong in a country that had once a racted so many American students. Moreover, the “captured German documents” that supplied source material for the international trials provided unparalleled access to primary sources that would illuminate the European catastrophe.4 While I was interested in comparative history, the pull of these concerns was so strong as to draw me back into the German past. Studying modern Germany from across the Atlantic provided more cognitive distance than I would have had being directly involved in the partisan politics within the successor states of the Reich. No doubt, the basic perspective was critical, since Germany had, a er all, been the main enemy of the United States during both world wars. But the Germanophobe propaganda of writers like the British historian and publicist A. J. P. Taylor was contested by more moderate scholars like the German émigré Hajo Holborn who did not condemn the Central European past outright but preferred a gradual reorientation to wholesale retribution.5 A transatlantic approach liberated historians from the domestic quarrels of the Federal Republic, in which the self-critical view of the Bielefeld school of le ist social historians had to struggle hard in order to prevail over apologetic scholarship. Such a perspective also avoided the Marxist reduction of the German past into a series of class struggles that legitimized the GDR. Finally, it sidestepped the Austrian claim of being the “first victim” of the Third Reich.6 The physical distance offered a chance for greater detachment from the internal querelles allemandes.

Graduate School The offer of a generous fellowship from the University of Wisconsin resolved the dilemma of where and how I would pursue the study of history. A er much heated correspondence, my mother agreed that I ought to “be

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Figure 3.1. Wisconsin graduate student. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

able to get an MA” that would “round out” my stay in the United States before coming back to Germany. The prestigious Yale University had admi ed me without financial support, requiring a tuition of $3,500 that we could not afford. Prompted by my former professor Lawrence Gelfand who had moved there in the meantime, the University of Iowa proposed a teaching assistantship of $1,600 that was unfortunately not enough on which to live. In contrast, the University of Wisconsin took a chance on my unlikely record as a foreign student from the University of Wyoming and offered me a stipend of $2,400 without teaching obligations.7 Since there was no program in comparative history, the department classified me as a European historian. I was delighted at this outcome because it allowed me to continue my studies in the United States and relieved my increasingly ill mother of the need to support me. Madison in the mid-1960s was an exciting place, not just for its beautiful location but also for its contentious politics. A chain of lakes promoted water sports in the summer, while a set of hills permi ed skiing in the winter. From the turn of the twentieth century on, the progressive legacy of Robert La Folle e had created a reformist bond between the university campus and the state capital, symbolized by the street that connected the two. Not even the reactionary populism of Senator Joseph McCarthy, supported by a rural and ethnic electorate, could shake this reputation. The University of Wisconsin was one of the northern centers of student support for the civil rights movement of the Mississippi Freedom Summers,

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that tried to overcome racist segregation with public protests and legal action. Moreover, Madison became a key site of antiwar agitation, where activists sought to end the American intervention in the Southeast Asian civil war. I encountered these hippie radicals in the “Green Lantern” eating cooperative that provided cheap food and heated discussions.8 It was this combination of political progressivism, academic excellence, and natural beauty that made Madison so a ractive. Because of my personal experience with the SED dictatorship, I disagreed with the simplistic Marxism of the protesters but supported racial integration and withdrawal from Vietnam. Critical of restoration Germany, I had “developed in a social democratic direction due to my dissertation work,” considering the Sermon on the Mount as well as the Communist Manifesto rather naïve. While I “condemned the war” in Vietnam, I warned that one should not have any illusions that the Soviet Union was morally superior to American power politics. “A knife in the belly or a bomb under a Jeep remains a cruelty whether it is commi ed by a Marine or the Vietcong.” Since both sides protested their desire for peace, the question was “which peace” they wanted and how they went about obtaining it. It was wrong to praise progressive violence. “A nuclear bomb is amoral: It does not ask whether it is dropped for a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ cause.” I was offended by this “indifference to human suffering” on both sides and tired of “the entire idealist cha er.” The ideological quarrel between Le and Right appeared to me only as “a choice between blue-grey or grey-blue.”9 Involved in these debates, the Wisconsin Department of History was a stimulating site for graduate study as it was one of the very best at the time in the United States. Drawing hundreds of undergraduates into their lectures, George L. Mosse and Harvey Goldberg ba led for ideological primacy. The former was the émigré scion of a Jewish-German publishing family who worked on the intellectual origins of Nazism and pleaded for liberalism. The la er was a French communist labor historian who impressed his audience by speaking without notes and offering Marxist interpretations, though he speculated in the stock market. Pedagogically innovative in his slide and sound presentation was the Balkan scholar Michael B. Petrovich, who represented Russian history. Since Mosse was on leave and the former diplomat Chester V. Easum was retiring, I had “no choice but to write my thesis under Hamerow,” a Polish-born Jewish historian of social politics who had wri en on the 1848 revolution. This was a stroke of luck, as he was a fine cra sman who insisted on a balanced interpretation and was a caring advisor.10 One of his deadpan councils to nervous graduate students was “life is full of risks.” My fellow students were quite talented and energetic, helping me in seminars and discussions to learn about issues beyond my own research

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topics. The cohorts of the mid-sixties were numerous, completely white and largely male. Among my older colleagues, working on nineteenthcentury Jewish liberals like Lasker and Bamberger, were James F. Harris, who later became dean of arts and sciences of the University of Maryland, and Stanley Zucker of Southern Illinois, who unfortunately died of brain cancer in his early forties. Among my roommates was David Hacke , who studied with Robert Koehl, wrote on the Buchenwald Report, and eventually landed at the University of Texas in El Paso. Another fellow was Robert Dockhorn, who ended up as a Quaker organizer of international programs in Philadelphia and taught me the importance of reading the New York Times.11 These and many others, like Joan Sco or Christopher Browning, were the cream of the crop of Wisconsin’s Europeanists. The first challenge in the graduate program was writing a master’s thesis in order to prove the ability to do research. For a long time I searched for a topic that was both original and feasible. Eventually I hit upon the “four power pact” offered by Mussolini as a “response of the European powers to Hitler’s Machtergreifung.” This diplomatic initiative sought to draw the Western countries of Britain and France into a conversation with the fascist states of Italy and Germany in order to revise the Versailles Treaty in a peaceful manner. Though the Western embassies had a clear picture of Hitler’s aggressive designs, the democratic leaders completely ignored their advice to stop him before he got too powerful. I was delighted when the State Historical Society Press decided to publish my thesis, and I was even more pleased that René Albrecht-Carrié called it “a judicious assessment” in the American Historical Review and Andreas Hillgruber termed it “an exceptionally thorough study” in the Historisch-Politische Buch.12 This first book was in effect my “journeyman’s piece.” The completion of my master’s degree in 1964 again raised the issue of where I would continue my studies—in Germany or in the United States. Since my mother pressured me “to study European history in Europe,” I returned home during the summer in order to test the possibilities myself. Unfortunately, I had an unproductive interview with Theodor Schieder, a leading German historian in Cologne, as his university would only recognize half of my semesters of study. The young assistant Ekkehart Krippendorff of the Free University in Berlin was more interested in the United States, but his radicalism created such difficulties for himself that he could not help me. The O o Suhr Institute of political science was a fascinating meeting place for Eastern and Western intellectuals, remigres, and GDR dissidents. Eventually the FU decided that my MA was legitimate, but it took such a long time to inform me that I had already returned to Madison for the fall semester. “I still have not heard anything from Berlin, so that I shall try to do my PhD over here.” My mother no

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longer objected, since she had already persuaded herself “to set me free, even morally.”13 While I was studying for the comprehensive examinations, a shocking telegram from Franz Petri turned my life upside down: “Unexpectedly mother died today from a heart a ack.” In order to strengthen her fragile health, she had been taking the waters in a hydropathic Kneipp-Kur that overstrained her heart. In her last le er she had complained about “a horrible night” with a racing heart that signaled “a circulation collapse.”14 But the sudden end of a merely sixty-five-year-old woman was still unexpected. I boarded a bus to New York and flew to Frankfurt to be present at the funeral. Completely sha ered, I listened to the pastor’s comforting eulogy and accepted a ra of condolences that showed how many people my mother had touched. In May there was a memorial at her school at which “the director spoke with rare understanding of Lo e’s character,” and pupils thanked their beloved Studienrätin. I was completely overwhelmed by grief and grateful to Uncle Bruno for pu ing her personal and financial affairs in order.15 The sudden death of my mother cut the emotional bond to my home country. The bereavement postponed my comps from May to November, doubling the time of preparation for the comprehensive examinations. My workload was considerable, since as a TA for Mosse I had to grade seventyfive ten-page papers and conduct discussion sessions during the fall semester. At the same time, I had to get my book manuscript ready for publication. The generosity of Uncle Bruno made it possible for me to leave the hovel in which I had been living for a be er apartment, one shared with other graduate students that facilitated concentration. Finally, I also sold my trusty VW, since I needed the money and had hardly enough time to drive it. The pressure was considerable, as one of my roommates had failed the exams, and the questions ranged from topics in Russian via German to French history, including different approaches such as political or social history. In the eight hours I had to compose my answers, I typed thirty-eight pages in order to circumvent my awful handwriting. With great relief, I reported at the end of November to Uncle Bruno: “It is done!” A er anxious waiting, I found out that I had passed “with distinction,” a rare achievement indeed.16 Ultimately the decision to pursue a PhD in the United States was the result of a mixture of practical and intellectual considerations. I was strongly torn between Germany and America: “One way or another, it is a risk since I cannot judge both paths sufficiently in order to know what I should do.” Understandably enough, my mother had missed me dearly and wanted me close by. My uncle, the historian Franz Petri, firmly believed that a history DPhil in Germany was superior to its American

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counterpart. But I viewed graduate study in the United States as livelier and more innovative due to its comparative breadth and methodological openness. In contrast to the recognition of my potential in America, the German system proved bureaucratic and disappointing when I returned. Moreover, I was convinced that “the ‘job prospects’ are rather good” in the United States, while obtaining a professorship in Germany still seemed nearly impossible.17 Step by contingent step, the choice of American studies, the Wisconsin MA, and the be er career outlook inclined me to stay in the United States.

Love of My Life A blind date with Hannelore Louise Flessa in the winter of 1966 turned into a lifelong partnership that brought both of us lasting happiness. When I needed a girl for a post-comp party, Arnie Paster, an undergraduate acquaintance with a fancy sports car, suggested his French instructor, as she also hailed from Germany. Somewhat awkwardly, we met at the bar of the Edgewater Hotel, where Arnie introduced us and then disappeared. Hannelore talked a blue streak about continental art and literature, while I felt insecure and thus retreated. Nonetheless, I wrote to Uncle Bruno that she “is good looking, charming, etc. Above all she is intelligent and has a delightful personality.” Eventually we got along so well that I asked her to join me on a skiing trip to the mountain resort of Aspen in Colorado, though she had never skied before. Since she was willing to learn and I was able to reduce my downhill antics, our relationship prospered. A er the end of the spring semester, we took a bus to Connecticut to inform her parents that we wanted to be engaged. Mu ering “Oh, really,” her surprised father produced a bo le of champagne to celebrate.18 Born in Nuremberg in 1940, Hannelore had come to the United States with her family in March 1948. Her father, Friedrich Flessa, was an engineer who had worked for Neumeyer, a special steel manufacturer, and therefore did not have to fight in the war. Her mother, Charlo e Merkel, a pediatric nurse, had actually lived in the United States as a child but returned to Germany where she married Friedrich on the day before the outbreak of World War II. The couple survived the bombing but were evicted in 1945 “so American soldiers could move in.” Since destroyed Germany held li le hope for a be er future, Hannelore’s father was delighted when a “technical field team” recognized his “cold steel extrusion” process as a “technological innovation” that would help American industry, as it was unknown there. Accepting a defense job offer, Friedrich Flessa le Germany in late January 1948 on a converted Liberty ship for

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Figure 3.2. My marriage to Hannelore. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

the United States. Hannelore’s brother had whooping cough at the time, so the rest of the family followed two months later. Though her father had top security clearance, he had to reenter the country in 1950 to receive official immigrant status.19 Arriving in the United States as an eight-year-old, Hannelore had a pleasant immigrant childhood in Philadelphia. According to her father, “Our first years in the US were not always easy,” as he had to support “a ready-made family, two children, [with] li le money, no furniture.” But helped by a network of other German immigrants, the Flessas succeeded in buying a house and car, the signs of material comfort. Though she had initially been put into kindergarten, the bright Hannelore quickly advanced to third grade, proudly saying, “Yes, I can speak English now.” In le ers describing her school to her cousin Gertrud back in Germany, she wrote passages in flawless German, interspersed with paragraphs in correct English, indicating a smooth cultural transition.20 In high school she had mostly intellectual and political friends, and she participated in the model UN. She also a ended the Lutheran church where she taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, and went to vacation camp in the Pennsylvanian countryside. Since she started at a young enough age, she acculturated quickly in her new environment.

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The family’s move to Cheshire, Connecticut, in 1957 was a further step toward Hannelore’s full integration into American culture and society. Leaving the defense sector where he built nuclear reactor cores, her father had become plant manager for the Olin corporation, working for a Ramset factory that produced fasteners for construction. The Flessas bought a typical suburban home with a large yard in a residential community outside of New Haven. Though she switched to a new high school, Hannelore continued to receive excellent grades. At the same time, she developed a more robust social life with new girl- and boyfriends, a ending parties and the like. No longer distinguishable from other American teenagers, she got her driver’s license, took on babysi ing jobs, and eventually held a secretarial summer job. The move also involved changing affiliation to the Congregational church, a more intellectual and socially commi ed congregation. In 1958 she graduated from high school with an impressive academic record, ready to move on to university.21 During her campus tour Hannelore chose to study at Bates College, a small liberal arts school in Lewiston, Maine. With 850 mostly white middle class students, it was a safe and comfortable place, far enough from home to encourage independence yet close enough in the Northeast to be basically in familiar territory. What she especially liked was the intellectual atmosphere of a two-year course in “cultural heritage,” which presented a “great books” curriculum of the European classics, ranging from ancient Greece to the present. As an avid reader, she enjoyed actually discussing different ideas with other students in order to construct a worldview of her own. Moreover, she participated in several theater productions. Since there were no fraternities or sororities, social life centered on dormitories and roommates. Among her academic interests, Hannelore eventually decided to major in French, since its instructors were more inspiring than those in German and offered a window on yet another culture. Finally, Bates also supported study abroad by transferring credits and limiting costs.22 To immerse herself in French, she spent her junior year at Grenoble, located in the French Alps. Her ship passage across the Atlantic was exciting, since she “fooled around” with other girls and boys onboard. During a stopover, she walked around Paris until her feet hurt, but she liked Grenoble be er because “it is more of an average city,” representative of France. Though this provincial university had a special program for foreign students, Hannelore was on her own in finding accommodations and coping with French bureaucracy. According to her diary, she was impressed by the “lovely landscape” and unse led by the forwardness of French men. In her explorations she discovered the Arab quarter, which introduced her to the covert racism and social inequality of France. In her cours intensif she

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made rapid progress in understanding French, though speaking fluently took a bit more time. During vacations she traveled to Geneva and Nice, as well as to Germany to visit her relatives. Ironically, it was in Grenoble that she realized she felt “so much more German than French, naturally.”23 Going to graduate school was a logical extension of Hannelore’s literary and linguistic studies. While Yale and USC also offered her funding, she chose Madison because she received a prestigious fellowship and the French faculty were nationally renowned. Since she had wri en a senior honor’s thesis on the theater of the absurd, she was especially interested in Germaine Brée, the leading scholar of Camus. Other well-known professors were the sixteenth century specialist Alfred Glauser and the eighteenth century expert Hélène Monod-Cassidy. Living in the French house, she considered the University of Wisconsin more intellectually challenging than Bates, finding herself among promising students like Phil Solomon, François Rigolot, and Connie Knop. Excelling in her coursework, Hannelore loved teaching language classes with just a Harris and Leveque textbook and no further instructions, since that allowed for a kind of academic theater in which content had to be communicated in engaging ways. Once again, she participated in plays and spent a couple of summers leading Experiment in International Living groups in Europe.24 Having just met in February, we faced a year-long separation in June, since I had to leave for research in East and West Germany. Hannelore stayed behind in Madison while I was off to Bonn, Berlin, Potsdam, and Merseburg. Being apart while we were still ge ing to know each other was a severe strain, but it was a personal sacrifice that had to be made for professional reasons, a pa ern that repeated itself in later years. Both being highly verbal, we kept in touch with a stream of heartfelt le ers, intimate transatlantic phone calls, and recorded tapes of folk songs. Though we felt intermi ently lonely, this intensive communication kept our relationship alive by passionate protestations of “how much i love you and how much I am looking forward to our future together.” In August 1966 Hannelore threw caution to the wind and flew over to join me in a pre-honeymoon trip to the medieval port of Dubrovnik that ended with a coastal cruise to Venice. Over the Christmas holidays she came again to Germany so that we could visit her relatives as well as my uncles in Bonn and Berlin in order to gain approval for our marriage.25 Our wedding took place on 19 August 1967 in Cheshire, CT where Hannelore’s parents lived. Because I had not yet finished my doctorate, I had originally been reluctant to get married, but she persuaded me to go ahead anyway. Since most of our relatives were in Germany, the ceremony was a modest affair, with some graduate student friends and family acquaintances in a endance. The betrothal was held in the chapel

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of a white-steepled Congregational church that looked like a postcard. Gerhard Krapf had sent a composition, but the organist forgot to bring it along. The bride looked stunning in her gown, and the reception followed in the Flessas’ garden, which was decorated with colorful garlands and lanterns. Although I had tried to hide the VW squareback that I had brought along from Europe, Hannelore’s brother Karl succeeded in filling it with balloons.26 Our honeymoon took us to the Connecticut shore and then to the World Expo in Montreal. On the way back to Madison we stopped at Lake Nipissing in Canada, where we repeatedly capsized a rented Sunfish sailboat—but managed to laugh off the misadventure.

Writing a Dissertation The next challenge a er passing comps was writing a dissertation. The search for a “reasonable topic” proved difficult because the task was fraught with great expectations. While I feared that “all important questions have been treated already,” I did not “really want to waste my time on secondary or tertiary problems” either. Unwilling to follow Uncle Franz’s suggestions, I sought to find a theme on my own, such as the emergence of German world politics.27 Fortunately, a Madison lecture by Hamburg professor Fritz Fischer came to my rescue. By asserting that Berlin bore a large share of the responsibility for the outbreak of World War I, he had triggered a storm of controversy in West Germany that prompted the Auswärtige Amt to cancel his American lecture tour. Wearing a rumpled suit and perspiring heavily, he pulled li le slips of paper out of his billfold to rebut his nationalist critics’ charge of violating a taboo. Though he was hard to understand, his intense excitement suggested that the role of the Second Reich in World War I was a central issue around which interpretations of all of German history revolved.28 Running “a high risk,” I chose to write a political biography of Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, the German chancellor from 1909 to 1917. “Even if he was not a figure of Bismarckian greatness,” I believed that “this man stood in the center of the most important political, social and intellectual developments of the Wilhelmian era.” Surprisingly enough, he had not yet been the subject of a major biography. This lack of a ention was largely the result of “the unanimous verdict that he was a ‘weak’ chancellor, an impractical, ponderous, Hamlet-like Prussian bureaucrat” that made his rehabilitation “a lost cause.” Nonetheless, I was intrigued because as head of the civilian government Bethmann, whose family had been recently ennobled, represented “the positive sides of the Prussian state ethos” and belonged to the “conservative, bourgeois mainstream.”

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Viewing him neither as a “weak leader” nor a devious “Mephistopheles” but rather as a product of some of the be er aspects of the Prusso-German system, I considered it “the tragedy of German history in that era that these two traits essentially caused his failure.”29 In tackling such a controversial topic in a dissertation, I had to wrestle with daunting difficulties of sources and interpretation. The conservative majority of established German historians, including Gerhard Ri er, Karl Dietrich Erdmann, and Hans Rothfels, considered Fischer a dangerous heretic. These scholars a acked him as a traitor to the national cause, arguing that if they admi ed that Germany had also started World War I, there would be no chance for a future unification of East and West, since the international community would assume that a German national state meant war. Second, a younger generation, including some of Fischer’s more than one hundred doctoral students, or associates like Imanuel Geiss or John Röhl, was pushing for an even more radical view of German guilt. Moreover, critical social historians like Hans-Ulrich Wehler or Wolfgang J. Mommsen accepted the argument of a structural continuity of German expansionism from one war to another.30 Since academic competitors like Eberhard von Vietzsch and Willibald Gutsche also worked on the chancellor, my challenge was to establish an interpretative position beyond these camps.31 At the same time, writing a Bethmann biography was complicated by the lack of a Nachlass of his personal papers. In the spring of 1945, invading Russian troops had ransacked the family estate at Hohenfinow, looting and destroying the ex-chancellor’s personal archives, with documents flying in the wind. I corresponded with the chancellor’s son, who had moved to an estate outside of Kiel, and he established that there were a few records le , but these would not suffice to sustain a full biography.32 To establish Bethmann’s personality, I therefore needed to reassemble a wri en record from his friends and associates in order to get beyond the official correspondence. This task required not only perusing government documents of the chancellor’s office in East and West Germany but also tracking down some of the personal correspondence in which the chancellor might have bared his soul. Since it seemed overly ambitious for a doctoral student to a empt to write a dissertation on such a momentous topic, the nationalist historian Werner Frauendienst warned that I might get away with it in the United States but never in Germany.33 For practical reasons, I started my primary research in Bonn. By renting a room in the suburb Do endorf, I was close to Franz Petri, which provided intellectual stimulation and friendly company. Starting there also allowed me to get into the gray literature, which was not available in the United States. The key a raction was the archive of the German Foreign Office, which allowed me to check the official edition of the Große Poli-

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tik der Europäischen Kabine e against the originals. It was difficult to get a working space in the crowded depository, but my persistence eventually paid off. When Günther Sasse, the nationalist director of the archive, refused me access to the papers of foreign secretary Go lieb von Jagow, I just ordered the microfilm version from the National Archives in Washington. “Gradually I realize what I have go en into and why so far all a empts to treat this material have failed.” As I wrote to Uncle Bruno, to research Bethmann one “needed to be a kind of superman with incredible endurance, angelic patience, and a clear ability to see through all the lies and self-praise a er five decades. …”34 The crucial documentary work took me to the East German archives in Potsdam, where the domestic documents of the Reich were housed, and to Merseburg for the Prussian files. Since access to Western scholars was tightly restricted, I was overjoyed when I received permission to work there due to the mediation of GDR historian Fritz Klein. I started in Potsdam in January 1967 as the first scholar a er Fischer to see the secret war aims files that documented the widespread annexationism of German elites, which Bethmann had tried to moderate somewhat. There I found “much good material” that made me modify my preconceived ideas by allowing me to retrace the chancellor’s evolution from a staunch Prussian conservative to a somewhat more liberal statesman. Making use of limited time, I ordered three thousand microfilm images, for which I paid with Western copies from the National Archives. Doing research in East Germany in the dead of winter was a “trial of patience and willpower,” but it also permi ed glimpses into the daily life of a Communist dictatorship that were both enlightening and disillusioning.35 The diaries of the chancellor’s assistant Kurt Riezler offered another controversial source. They were in the possession of Maria White, his daughter who lived on Long Island. Since their content was considered potentially incriminating, Hans Rothfels had advised her against publication. When I heard that Fritz Stern had go en access, I also requested to see them and succeeded in “landing a great coup” by viewing a manuscript copy.36 I was fascinated by the account of the July crisis and the discussion of the so-called September Program of moderate annexationism. Riezler’s writings on “world policy without war” reflected the chancellor’s liberal imperialism that sought to advance German interests without military force. In 1972 Karl Dietrich Erdmann finally published a critical edition, but Bernd Sösemann pointed out that, in contrast to the handwritten copy of the rest, the entries on the July crisis were typed, suggesting a later revision. While I also wondered about the discrepancy, I did believe that subsequent entries accurately reflected the chancellor’s pessimism and critique of the nationalist annexation lobby.37

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The intensive work that extended to the Staatsbibliothek in Marburg and the Federal Archives in Koblenz was at last bearing fruit. “I have had much success in the Bundesarchiv last week, [reassuring me] that I am at least doing justice to my research approach and something excellent should result.” I was relieved by the “great progress a er the critique of the dear German colleagues” who had warned me against such an ambitious undertaking. “I have found my interpretative line and the diverse subject areas are slowly beginning to take shape (at least in my head) so that I don’t anticipate too many difficulties during the writing.” I was especially pleased “that in terms of material I am now in excellent shape.” The new form of copying documents was a real help. “Gradually I am swimming in microfilms and no longer need to worry about the documentation.”38 While such optimism might have been somewhat premature, the conclusion of the source work allowed me to return to the United States, remedied my nervous exhaustion, and made me look forward to our wedding. The return to Madison brought Hannelore and me a step closer to finishing our academic training. We were delighted with our married existence in a rented apartment. I “never had it as good in my entire life. It is terrific to have a home of one’s own and as splendid a wife as Hannelore.” She was highly successful as a French teacher, while I taught a seminar on comparative revolution that was interrupted when the student body president and vice president excused themselves in order to lead an antiwar demonstration. I also developed a survey of European history from 1815 that took more time than I had expected. At the same time, I wrestled with the writing of “the dumb dissertation,” not just concentrating on the war years but also pu ing together the entire story of Bethmann’s life. Progress was slow, as I had to organize much material. I tried to find an interpretation that reconciled his insights with his lack of action. Though he had constructive impulses like improving relations to England and Prussian electoral reform, he caved in to hardliners during the July crisis and the war aims debate, as well as in the face of unrestricted submarine warfare.39 In order to establish my own view on the “war guilt controversy,” I also dra ed an article on “Bethmann Hollweg’s Policy, July–September 1914.” Since my advisor Theodore Hamerow had liked it, I submi ed the manuscript to the American Historical Review, the leading historical journal in the United States. When I finally heard back, I was rather disappointed: “It was not accepted, since at the same time another historian [Fritz Stern] had wri en something similar.” I nonetheless persevered and sent the dra to Central European History, the key journal for German history. Here the chief reviewer Gordon Craig was puzzled about who this Jarausch fel-

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low was that dared to wade into such a controversy. While he pointed out a number of minor errors, he was liberal enough to accept the piece under a revised title: “The Illusion of Limited War: Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg’s Calculated Risk, July 1914.” According to one German colleague, the risk theory was “a fortuitous compromise between Ri er and Fischer,” i.e., between self-defense and aggression, which was recently rediscovered by Christopher Clark.40 On 16 August 1968 I proudly reported to Franz Petri: “The work is finished … all of five hundred pages!” The final revisions took a few more months, but “as Christmas present my dissertation was accepted by the Graduate School.” The defense went so well that on Hamerow’s recommendation, “I sent the manuscript to Yale University Press for review but believe that it will still have to grow.” Wolfgang J. Mommsen, who had wri en his own Habilitationsschri on German prewar policy, was “kind enough to review the dra , ‘although in a certain sense we have to be considered competitors.’” He made a number of somewhat critical suggestions but was on the whole “extraordinarily impressed.” His report required that I spend another summer intensively working on the project, but Hannelore and I were rather glad about the news “that Yale University Press has accepted the Bethmann” manuscript. With a ponderous portrait by Olaf Gulbransson on the cover, all 560 pages of The Enigmatic Chancellor: Bethmann Hollweg and the Hubris of Imperial Germany appeared in New Haven in 1973. With this political biography of the fi h chancellor, I wanted to intervene in the so-called Fischer controversy about the German role in World War I. Though Emperor Wilhelm II retained ultimate authority, it was Bethmann Hollweg who was responsible for domestic issues and foreign policy in the Second Reich. To characterize the Wilhelmian system, I started with the hesitant Prussian reform efforts as well as with the timid a empts to pacify foreign relations. In discussing the July crisis, I emphasized Berlin’s illusion of a limited war, and in the war aims debate I interpreted the September Program as both expansionist and more limited than what the pan-Germans wanted. Similarly, I stressed the ultimate failure of Bethmann’s “diagonal policy” of trying to maintain the war effort while reining in the military. Though he o en had correct insights into what needed to be done, it was his lack of success in implementing them that ultimately doomed not only himself but the empire as a whole.41 This interpretation sought to be both critical and empathetic at the same time. Among the dozen or so leading reviews, the judgment was generally respectful but also critical in some respects. For instance, Volker Berghahn called it an “admirable book,” and Leonidas Hill also termed it an “impressive work of scholarship.” Most reviewers were amazed by the

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enormous amount of material presented in 118 pages of footnotes, appreciating the summary of scholarship and favorably viewing the work as a “successful synthesis.”42 German colleagues such as Klaus Hildebrand, Günter Zmarzlik, and Klaus Schwabe were quite generous in recognizing the difficulties of a socially informed biography.43 More critical voices questioned the empathy I had as an author for my protagonist and wondered how one should weigh the impact of Bethmann’s pessimistic personality against the structural deadlock of Wilhelmine society. Others grumbled about the excess of quotations and the collective citations. The most negative review was by Annelise Thimme—whose father had also worked on a Bethmann biography. But on balance, most reviewers tagged it as an “important and at times provocative book.”44

First Job In early February 1968 I could report the pleasing news to my uncles that Hannelore and I had gained “our positions for the fall semester. We had the good fortune both to receive offers from the University of Missouri and since the salary was also decent, we could not decline them.” In the late sixties the great expansion of American higher education was starting to grind to a halt, but we snuck in under the wire by obtaining two jobs at a respectable state university, although spousal hiring was not yet common. The placement was the result of “the big red machine” in which one’s major professor nominated a single Wisconsin candidate for a position in order not to have several UW PhDs competing with each other. At the Toronto meeting of the American Historical Association, we were vetted by the chair of the history department Charles Nauert, an early modern European historian. The subsequent on-campus interview went well enough with the French department, making Hannelore’s hiring possible as well although neither of us had yet finished our degree.45 Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri was proud to call itself the oldest state university west of the Mississippi River. It is located on an interstate highway about halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, just close enough to each for occasional museum or shopping visits but far enough away to support a college town of its own. In the late sixties MU had about twenty thousand students, hailing largely from the Midwest. Our impression during our campus visit was that “we liked it, since it had the right mixture of tradition and innovation.” The local faculty was a ractive, also containing “many young people, who have already published and are all seriously working on something.” The library, with its 1.5 million books, was especially impressive, and it was one of the first

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that was “fully automated, run by a computer.” Though it was no Harvard, Mizzou was also no Wyoming. “We could hardly have hit it be er. Both of us teaching at a good university, that is luck.” The only drawback was that “it is not so good for skiing because it is too warm.”46 The change of roles from graduate students to junior faculty members also meant a physical move to Columbia, which would be our new home for the next dozen years. Since we both had some teaching experience, we were not too nervous about our new academic responsibilities. A er some searching, we found a 3.5-room apartment at the outskirts “with a beautiful view of the hilly, green, and wooded area” around the town. Thanks to some financial help from Uncle Bruno, we were also able to buy a set of Danish modern furniture in a warehouse in Moberly, another small town about an hour away. Since we did not have many other possessions, Hannelore drove a rented van loaded with household goods while I steered our VW squareback full of about fi een hundred books for the 450 miles from Madison to Columbia so as to move into our new apartment.47 At the same time, I received my green card for permanent residency, which I had put off in order to avoid being dra ed for the Vietnam War. With these preparations complete, we were set for a new stage in life. Since in the late sixties, MU had one of its be er phases, the new colleagues were competent scholars with national reputations. Among the established Americanists were the quantifier Thomas B. Alexander, the Western historian Lewis Atherton, the twentieth-century specialist Richard S. Kirkendall, the colonial historian Noble Cunningham, and the Black historian Arvarh Strickland. On the European side were the Renaissance specialist Charles Nauert and the British historian Charles Mulle . Since the university had enough money, it hired half a dozen junior scholars, creating a young cohort and making department meetings lively affairs. The bestknown Americanists were David P. Thelen, a charismatic pipe-smoking progressive, and the environmentalist Susan Flader. Among the new Europeanists were the French historian Richard Bienvenu and the Russian specialist Charles Timberlake, just to mention a few.48 All of them were publishing scholars, which created an intellectual atmosphere that made it easy to be involved in research. The oddest couple among our German-speaking acquaintances were Werner and Ingrid Deich. He was a colleague in early modern history, while she was pursuing a PhD in sociology, analyzing the nuclear research programs of the FRG. Though he was refused tenure, she was hired at the branch campus in Rolla. One day in 1979, Werner burst into her classroom, causing Ingrid to dismiss her students, and both rushed home and then le town. In a telegram from Mexico City, they stated that a family emergency had called them away. A few years later, one of Ingrid’s former

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professors saw her at a conference in Sweden where she represented the University of Leipzig. It turned out that both had worked for the East German secret service, the Stasi, but were forced to flee when their cover was blown by Werner Stiller’s defection to the West. She even wrote a book in the GDR about her American experiences. The first faculty members to be fired a er reunification, they lived in a modest apartment and started a consulting business. They had been idealistic members of the student movement but were shocked by the reality of socialism in the GDR.49 Hannelore and I felt abused when we found out that both had been East German spies. Undergraduate teaching at MU was pleasant enough since I had an easy load of six hours, which required only two courses per semester. “The tasks are interesting and manageable, but in the beginning the involvement in lectures and seminars is greater than a er years of sovereign command of the material.” My initial impression was that “the students are not quite as dynamic and interested as those in Madison, but also not really stupid.” I offered a two-semester sequence of modern German history for which I used Hajo Holborn’s magisterial survey as “the best of both worlds,” as it offered a critical but also sympathetic view. Other courses with large numbers were a survey of Europe from Napoleon to the present and a lecture series on twentieth-century Europe, which attracted a few hundred students and had to be taught with the help of teaching assistants. Inexperienced as I was, I assigned lengthy passages of Trotsky’s Russian Revolution, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and Churchill’s and de Gaulle’s war memoirs as outside reading. Nonetheless, “from third parties we have only heard good reports” about the course. 50 The graduate students included some excellent PhD candidates, but others were a bit more limited. My first doctoral student was US Marine Corps major Donald F. Bi ner, who wrote a massive dissertation on the British occupation of Iceland. Another successful PhD whom I coadvised was Walter Kamphoefner, who studied transatlantic migration in Missouri, calling the emigrants “transplanted Westphalians,” and who went on to teach at Texas A&M. Yet another student I coadvised was Kenneth Mernitz, whose research concerned the hydrogenation efforts of oil extracted from coal in Germany and the United States. Then there was also John P. Bo , whose dissertation explored the food shortage in Germany during World War I. Of the problem students, one gave up a er his research notecards reportedly flew off the roof of his Volvo during a move. Yet another had a fellowship from the Institute of European History at Mainz but refused to present his research on Count Harry Kessler. He and I got into a shouting match on his return, as the presentation had been a condition of his financial support that I had helped him to get.51

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With our professional life going well, “we dared take a great leap and bought a house,” with the generous help of Uncle Bruno. Because we assumed that we would stay in Columbia for a while, we were willing to invest in housing to “let the dog and next year hopefully also a baby grow up there.” The part of town that we decided on was called Quarry Heights, composed of houses clustered around a small lake with a park and tennis court that promised to make the summer heat bearable. “The house itself is modest from the outside, located on a corner lot of 2/3 an acre,” dropping off in the back and looking out onto trees and grass. We proudly reported: “On the inside it has a living room with a fireplace, a kitchen, three bedrooms, one full and two half baths,” as well as a family room and a dining area—in short, enough space to grow into. Financially, we were also fortunate, paying down $3,000 and assuming a loan for the rest of the $25,000 at 6 percent interest, with the purchase direct from the owner saving the realtor’s fee. Since our combined salaries were $18,800, we needed to work hard in order “to earn our house.”52 A er moving in on 1 August 1969, we began to enjoy our new private life. Located on 819 Edgewood Avenue, a quiet residential street, the house was about ten minutes by bike or car from the campus. One of the additions to the family was Ullr, a playful Alaskan Malamute who weighed almost one hundred pounds. We had to get used to the fact that there was always something to fix in the home and that the garden required constant a ention. In order to have more space for future children, we later had the garage converted into two downstairs bedrooms and a shed added for garden tools. As a reward for all the hard work, we also bought a li le red British sports car, a bug-eyed Austin Healy Sprite—which turned out to be a big mistake, since it froze up in the winter and stalled during heavy rain. On the weekends we hiked along the Missouri River, went canoeing in a state park, or fished in nearby farm ponds. Le ers and photos from our Columbia years show that we were happy with each other and our new Midwestern home.53

Turning into a Historian Though the impact of the past was overwhelming, becoming a scholar of German and European history was an incremental process for me. My childhood interest was sparked by the ancient cathedrals, castles, and townhouses that sent stone messages from a distant time. But even more powerful for an adolescent were the ubiquitous ruins from the more recent past that signified the destruction that had broken up many families like my own. Stories of desperate fighting, hiding from bombing raids, or

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flight from the Red Army were told and retold at gatherings of friends and family in order to explain the rather problematic current circumstances. Political debate about controversial issues like restitution or rearmament was rife with references to lessons from the past that were supposed to be heeded in order to prevent its recurrence in the future. In a postwar society like divided Germany, memories of be er times sought to console the storyteller, while dramatic accounts of suffering served as cautionary tales.54 In short, history was well-nigh inescapable when I was growing up. It took systematic graduate training to turn my receptive amateur interest in the past into a productive professional commitment to research. In the American system, this distinction characterized the switch from school-like undergraduate instruction to an increasingly self-directed advanced learning. The great strength of research on German history in the United States was a broad perspective that put Germany into a European context and was open to methodological impulses from all over the globe. Moreover, the transatlantic distance allowed for a wide range of interpretations, which, though critical, were not constrained by German-American enmity in both world wars.55 In contrast the German approach of academic freedom was both less controlled and more highly specialized on limited topics, which were then treated in greater depth. While I was formally trained in the United States, I also dipped into the German system while living in Bonn and was guided by Franz Petri, who gave me suggestions of literature and interpretation. In straddling the Atlantic I therefore sought to combine the best of both academic worlds. Through repeated practice in research and interpretation I gradually developed a voice of my own in constructing a credible narrative and analysis. A starting point was the “si ing and winnowing” of the extant literature in order to pose a concise question about the past that could guide the search for a reasonable answer. In controversial issues like the diplomatic response to Hitler’s seizure of power, taking stock of prior scholarship was difficult enough. The next step was the confrontation with sources, be they official or private, in order to see what they suggested as a potential interpretation. On topics like German responsibility for the outbreak of World War I, the documents did not always provide a single message. Since this was not just an academic issue but a highly politicized ma er, one had to weigh the contending claims very carefully in order to arrive at a convincing interpretation. I learned only slowly that the sources and interpretations had to work with each other in order to contribute to the grand conversation about the past, called history.56 Finally, becoming a historian required self-reflection about my own biases and preferences that were likely to color an interpretation. In con-

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trast to the naïve claims to objectivity of nationalist historiography, my transatlantic distance suggested that the “continuation of war with scholarly means” just prolonged conflict and did not contribute to historical understanding. Because I as a historian was also part of popular memory culture, it was essential for me to become aware of the ways in which my feelings and identities colored the reading of the sources. While apologists like Gerhard Ri er continued to defend German policies, some Anglo-American scholars like A. J. P. Taylor wrote in the accusatory vein of war propaganda about the German past. Though polemics draw public a ention, they fail to do justice to the complexity of history; yet crimes like mass murder nonetheless have to be condemned unequivocally. Since neither apologias nor a acks are ultimately credible, the challenge was to develop a more nuanced understanding.57 With the Bethmann book and the Missouri job I hoped to have begun this laborious process.

Notes 1. KHJ to FP, 16 August and 10 December 1968; and to BJ, 14 December 1968 and 11 January 1969. 2. KHJ to LJ, 30 September 1964; and KHJ to BJ, 26 September 1965. 3. Barry Katz, Foreign Intelligence: Research and Analysis in the Office of Strategic Services, 1942–1945 (Cambridge, 1989); Andreas Daum, Hartmut Lehmann, and James Sheehan, eds., The Second Generation: Émigrés from Nazi Germany as Historians (New York, 2016). 4. Philipp Stelzel, History A er Hitler: A Transatlantic Enterprise (Philadelphia, 2019); Astrid Eckert, The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives a er the Second World War (Cambridge, 2012). 5. Michaela Hönicke-Moore, Know Your Enemy: The American Debate on Nazism, 1933–1945 (New York, 2010). 6. Konrad H. Jarausch and Michael Geyer, Sha ered Past: Reconstructing German Histories (Princeton, 2003). 7. LJ to KHJ, n.d., 10 and 29 April 1963; “Konrad Jarausch Wins $2,400 Grant for Advanced Work,” Laramie newspaper clipping, 21 May 1963. 8. Wisconsin State Historical Society, “What Was the 1964 Freedom Summer Project?”; Cf. Ma hew Levin, Cold War University: Madison and the New Le in the Sixties (Madison, 2013). 9. KHJ to Hannelore Flessa, 3 and 8 November 1966. 10. KHJ to FP, 18 July 1963; George L. Mosse, Confronting History: A Memoir (Madison, 2000); Theodore S. Hamerow, Remembering a Vanished World: A Jewish Childhood in Interwar Poland (New York, 2001). 11. KHJ to BJ, 19 June 1965. 12. Konrad H. Jarausch, The Four Power Pact, 1933 (Madison, 1965); reviews by Rene Albrecht-Carrie in the American Historical Review, January 1967, and Andreas Hillgruber

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13. 14. 15.

16. 17. 18. 19.

20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.

32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37.

38. 39. 40.

in the Historisch-Politisches Buch. As a result, the French series of Documents Diplomatiques devoted a special section to the Four Power Pact. LJ to KHJ, 28 January and 8 February 1964; KHJ to LJ, 25 September 1964. FP to KHJ, 12 April 1965; LJ to KHJ, 10 April 1965. Lene Petri to Trude and Bruno Jaraus , 25 May 1965; KHJ to BJ, 10 May 1965; and Direktorin der Maria-Sibylla-Merian-S ule, “Gedenkstunde für Frau Studienrätin Jaraus .” KHJ to BJ, 10 May, 4 August, 26 September, 22 October, 23 November, and 17 December 1965. KHJ to LJ, 10 October 1964; and KHJ to BJ, 4 December 1965. KHJ to BJ and Trude Jarausch, 17 March, 17 April, and 1 May 1996. Friedrich Flessa, “The Flessa Family History,” with excerpts from his diary, Cheshire, n.d.; and Charlo e Flessa, reminiscences, Cheshire, n.d. Cf. Annie Jacobsen, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America (New York, 2014). Flessa, “Family History”; Hannelore Flessa to Gertrud Schöffel, 24 April 1948, 25 February 1950, 20 January and 21 October 1951. h p:// Bates yearbook The Mirror (Lewiston, 1962), 42, 169. Hannelore L. Flessa, “Diary, October 1, 1962 to January 15, 1963.” KHJ to BJ, 17 March, 17 April, 1 May 1966. KHJ to HF and vice versa, 17 June 1966 to 1 June 1967. Charlo e Flessa to BJ, 19 September 1967 and detailed report of the wedding. Cf. “Hannelore Flessa Bride in Cheshire,” 20 August 1967, clipping from local newspaper. KHJ to BJ, 4 December 1965. Klaus Grosse Kra t, Die zankende Zun : Historis e Kontroversen in Deuts land na 1945 (Gö ingen, 2005). KHJ to BJ, 8 February and 17 March 1966. Konrad H. Jarausch, “World Power or Tragic Fate? The Kriegsschuldfrage as Historical Neurosis,” Central European History 5 (1972): 72–92. Eberhard von Viets , Bethmann Hollweg: Staatsmann zwis en Ma t und Ethos (Boppard, 1969); Willibald Guts e, Aufstieg und Fall eines kaiserli en Rei skanzlers: Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, 1856–1921 (Berlin, 1973). KHJ to BJ, 14 July and 3 August 1966. Werner Frauendienst to Konrad H. Jaraus , fall 1966. KHJ to BJ, 29 September, 21 October, and 28 November 1966. KHJ to BJ, 21 October, 20 November, 6 December 1966 and 26 January 1967. Leonard Krieger and Fritz Stern, eds., The Responsibility of Power: Historical Essays in Honor of Hajo Holborn (London, 1968). Karl Dietri Erdmann, ed., Kurt Riezler: Tagebü er, Aufsätze, Dokumente (Gö ingen, 1972); Bernd Sösemann, “Die Tagebü er Kurt Riezlers: Untersu ungen zu ihrer E theit und Edition,” Historis e Zeits ri , h ps:// hzhz.1983.236.jg.327. KHJ to BJ, 8 and 16 April and 4 May 1967. KHJ to BJ, 16 September, 29 October, and 3 December 1967; KHJ to FP, 15 October 1967. KHJ to FP, 27 May 1968; Konrad H. Jarausch, “The Illusion of Limited War: Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg’s Calculated Risk, July 1914,” Central European History 2 (1969): 48–76; Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (New York, 2012), 418.

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41. Konrad H. Jarausch, The Enigmatic Chancellor: Bethmann Hollweg and the Hubris of Imperial Germany (New Haven, 1973). Cf. idem, “Revising German History: Bethmann Hollweg Revisited,” Central European History 21 (1988): 224–43. 42. Volker R. Berghahn, European History Quarterly 8 (1978): 497–99; Dieter K. Buse, Canadian Journal of History 9 (1974), 197–200; Christoph M. Kimmich, American Historical Review 80 (1975): 1351–52. 43. Klaus Hildebrand, Historis e Zeits ri 219 (1974): 685; Hans-Günter Zmarzlik, Militärges i tli e Mi eilungen (1976), 240–43; Klaus S wabe, Jahrbü er für Ges i te Osteuropas 22 (1974): 462–64. 44. Leonidas E. Hill, Canadian Historical Review 55 (1974): 354–56; Annelise Thimme, Journal of Modern History 48 (1976): 732–34; Paul B. Wiener, Journal of European Studies 3 (1973): 276–77. 45. KHJ to FP and BJ, 6 February 1968. An application to the speech department at the University of California at Berkeley was unsuccessful since the chair realized that I was already too much of a historian to become a researcher of propaganda. 46. Ibid.; Frank F. Stephens, A History of the University of Missouri (Columbia, 1962). 47. KHJ to BJ, 12 May, 14 July, and 20 August; Hannelore Jarausch (therea er HJ) to Trude Jarausch, 1 June 1968; KHJ to FP, 27 May 1968. 48. h ps:// 49. Petra DeWi , “Ingrid Deich: The Sociology Professor Who Disappeared,” h ps://libcal. 50. KHJ to FP, 27 September 1968 and 29 January 1969. Hannelore had a three-course teaching load, focused on French language and survey of literature teaching. 51. KHJ to FP, 27 September 1968. 52. KHJ to BJ, 14 July 1968 and to FP, 18 May 1969. 53. KHJ to BJ, 8 October 1968, 2 February, 9 May, 21 June, and 16 August 1969. 54. Aleida Assmann, Shadows of Trauma: Memory and the Politics of Postwar Identity (New York, 2016); Edgar Wolfrum, Ges i tspolitik in der Bundesrepublik Deuts land: Der Weg zur bundesrepublikanis en Erinnerung 1948–1990 (Darmstadt, 1999). 55. Konrad H. Jarausch, Harald Wenzel, and Karin Goihl, eds., Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives (New York, 2017). 56. Martin Sabrow, Zeitges i te s reiben: Von der Verständigung über die Vergangenheit in der Gegenwart (Gö ingen, 2014). 57. A. J. P. Taylor, The Course of German History: A Survey of the Development of Germany Since 1815 (New York, 1946); Jarausch and Geyer, Sha ered Past, 1–33.

Chapter 4


( In early October 1984, I gazed nervously at a crowd of over four hundred colleagues as I prepared to deliver my presidential address to the German Studies Association. As the incoming chair of this interdisciplinary organization, I wanted to share some of my concerns at an evening meeting in a Washington hotel. I had chosen “the perils of professionalism” as a theme, a topic on which I had been working for a book on the Nazification of the professions from the Empire to the Federal Republic. My discussion of this topic was a risky move, since it broke with the tradition of “feel-good a er dinner speeches” that were supposed to lighten the mood with a few jokes. Instead, I talked about the susceptibility of highly competent lawyers, teachers, and engineers to the appeal of National Socialism during the Great Depression. I argued that mass unemployment and salary cuts had especially made recent university graduates vulnerable to Nazi propaganda, ready to violate their professional ethics and expel their Jewish colleagues.1 A er a moment of awkward silence at the end, warm applause indicated that the audience had understood the cautionary tale. I had accepted the honor of the GSA presidency to support its multidisciplinary approach to Anglo-American expertise on the German-speaking world. In 1976 the Arizona State University historian Gerald Kleinfeld had gathered colleagues from his own field as well as from literature and comparative politics to overcome the physical distance and intellectual isolation of institutions in the western states. Since its annual meetings were lively affairs, the Western Association for German Studies grew quickly as a meeting place for scholars wanting to present their own work but also those interested in keeping up with contemporary issues. Financially supported by the Study Program of German as Foreign Language (StaDaF) of the German Foreign Office, the conferences also a racted German scholars, authors, and politicians who were pleased to meet each other abroad. Since this was a winning formula, I strongly pushed for changing Notes for this chapter begin on page 93.

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Figure 4.1. Missouri teacher. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

the name and opening the membership to the entire country as well as to international scholars. Sponsoring the German Studies Review, several prizes, and exemplary curricula, the GSA has in the meantime become the premier venue in interdisciplinary German studies with around two thousand members.2 Within a comparative and transatlantic context, the field of German history has developed rather dynamically in terms of topics and methods during the past five decades. Propelled by US veterans who wanted to know why they had fought in Europe, the initial interest focused on a political investigation of the Nazi dictatorship and World War II. During the 1960s, the generational revolt and the influence of the British New Le pushed the center of research toward a history of society that promised to offer a deeper explanation of the causes of German aggression. A ra of new methods, such as quantification and structural generalization, developed on both sides of the Atlantic to uncover the reasons for Germany’s “special path,” which deviated from “Western Civilization.” But in the 1980s, the impact of French postmodernism produced a “cultural turn” that sought to grasp the peculiarities of Central European culture that motivated individuals and groups. Culminating in Holocaust studies and gender approaches, this breathtaking trajectory has firmly established Modern Germany as an Anglo-American research specialization.3 Instead of resting on my World War I laurels, I decided to engage these new trends to help me see how their adoption might expand historical

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explanation. In December 1970 I wrote to Franz Petri that “I am currently changing my approach from political to social history.” I argued that I was still young and “reckless enough to risk a basic change of course” and thus could adopt, for instance, “quantitative social history, working with data processing,” since this area was underdeveloped in Germany. Though I felt uncertain about the potential results, I was willing to try new approaches in order to find out what they might yield. Of course, I was aware that such a reprogramming would require “a big investment in time and effort.” But taking the lead in a rapidly developing subfield was a fascinating opportunity.4 This open-minded curiosity was one of the traits that kept me intellectually alive during the following half century. At one annual AHA meeting a colleague therefore asked me whether there were two people that shared my name, since the Bethmann biographer and the quantifier could not really be the same person.

Quantitative Methods While I was still wrestling with political questions, other innovative historians were pushing into new methodological areas by importing quantitative methods and theories from the social sciences. In France, the Annales school was developing a histoire serielle in order to trace the fluctuations in the economy and population of the Mediterranean in the longue durée. In Great Britain demographic historians were studying parish registers in order to generate historical statistics from below for analyzing the transformation of family structures. In the United States political scientists supported by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan were investigating voting pa erns and the returns of the manuscript census in order to explain the evolution of mass politics. Only in Germany did the emergent “historical social science” of the Bielefeld school focus more on theory and structure than on statistical studies of empirical phenomena. Transferring some of these new international methods to German subjects therefore seemed like a challenging opportunity. A prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University provided me with a chance to get acquainted with these initiatives in 1970/71. Supported by a generous grant from Ambassador Shelby Cullom Davis, the early modern British historian Lawrence Stone had assembled a group of young scholars to study the “role of the university in [European] culture” through the method of prosopography. Other leaders of quantification such as the sociologist Charles Tilly and the demographer Edward Shorter were at the Center for Advanced

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Studies at the same time. Though I was still finishing my Bethmann biography, the Davis Center discussions forced me to expand my horizon to the history of German higher education, since Germany’s institutions were hailed as the model for the modern research university. While working on “the sources of student unrest” during the Vormärz, I encountered a endance statistics that raised the problem of academic overcrowding in the 1830s as well as matriculation registers that held the key to establishing changes of social composition in the student body.5 My postdoctoral year at Princeton provided both a new topic and a new method. During the 1970s I learned how to use quantitative methods, but it took great effort and patient teachers. Since I was no mathematics wizard, I had to “go back to school” in order to acquire a basic understanding of statistical procedures. Moreover, harnessing the power of mainframe computers also required some programming knowledge; fortunately this was facilitated by the appearance of statistical packages like SPSS and SAS. Si ing in on a class on quantitative methods taught by my Americanist colleague Thomas B. Alexander introduced me to these techniques, and repeated consultations with the help desk at the University of Missouri computer center gradually got the rudiments of quantification across.6 One key problem was the coding of qualitative information into numerical form, since the classification decisions determined the statistical outcome. It was an adventure to carry a deck of data cards around, punch in orders for certain procedures, read both into the machine, and wait for “thick” output. All too frequently the result was a disappointing “garbage in, garbage out.” To stimulate the debate about quantification in Germany, I published the first reader on Quantifizierung in der Geschichtswissenscha in 1976. Instead of pushing the Droste Verlag for a German translation of the Bethmann biography, I had suggested editing a paperback on the “possibilities and limits” of quantitative methods as a research tool. Due to the publisher’s premature typese ing, the production proved unnecessarily difficult, but in the end the collection appeared. In order to reduce skepticism toward an imported method, I argued that these statistical techniques were a continuation of a grand German tradition begun by historical economists and sociologists at the turn of the century. In the first part, essays by Charles Tilly, Lawrence Stone, and Tom Alexander made a general case for the utility of this approach. Because judging the usefulness of methods required a demonstration of their results to be convincing, the second part presented research by historians such as Michael Kater, Hartmut Kaelble, and Peter Lundgreen. This volume created a bit of a stir, not least because Jürgen Kocka welcomed it in a long Historische Zeitschri review “as a successful contribution.”7

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While I was retooling as a quantitative historian, I returned to Germany through a visiting professorship at the University of Saarbrücken in 1975/76. For one semester, I replaced Walter Lipgens, a historian of European integration, while a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation funded two additional semesters of research leave. Originally a postwar French foundation, the Universität des Saarlandes, located in former Prussian barracks, had returned to Germany in 1956, therea er favoring cultural reconciliation with France. During this first teaching experience in my former home country, I was surprised to find out how li le German students read when they were supposed to discuss Hans-Ulrich Wehler’s controversial book on Imperial Germany. Nonetheless, the challenge of explaining German history to Germans inspired me to apply for a position there, where I landed on a divided third place on the appointment list. When the offer of a C-4 professorship finally passed down to me due to its rejection by the first two competitors, Hannelore and I agonized about how to respond. Though we were sorry to leave our sympathetic colleagues behind, we ultimately decided to return to the United States for the sake of Hannelore’s career and our family’s future.8 Promoting a novel approach to historical study required the creation of new organizations as forums for discussion. Even the venerable American Historical Association (AHA) formed a commi ee on quantitative methods for which I organized several interesting conferences.9 More exciting was the founding of the Social Science History Association (SSHA) in 1975 by historical social scientists and social scientific historians in order to “address pressing questions by combining social-science methods and new forms of historical evidence.” This interdisciplinary group of innovative scholars propagated the application of quantitative methods and the testing of social theories through research on the development of populations, the transformation of social structures, the changing roles of women, and the pa ern of electoral politics. Within this umbrella, I created a network on the history of education that sponsored interesting discussions.10 The emergence of new journals like Social Science History, the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, and the Historical Methods Newsle er testified to the ferment of this impetus. A suitable textbook was also needed to train German social science history students and to explain the various aspects of this approach. The leading efforts by Roderick Floud or Charles Dollar and Richard Jensen reflected the early stages of the method and were focused on British as well as American research questions. Though Wilhelm Schroeder had begun to offer helpful short courses in Cologne, instructors at other institutions needed an introduction to the method that was oriented on the successive steps of research and based on SPSS. To provide such guidance,

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I persuaded the database specialist Manfred Thaller, who had developed his own KLEIO so ware, and the social statistician Gerhard Arminger to join me in creating just such a textbook. Fortunately, the Wissenscha liche Buchgesellscha supported the venture so that Quantitative Methoden in der Geschichtswissenscha appeared under its imprint in 1985. Christopher Friedrichs graciously called the book “a masterly introduction to the nature and principles of quantitative history.”11 Since quantitative methods were increasingly used around the globe, it seemed logical to create an organization for international communication. In Germany, Heinrich Best and Wilhelm Schroeder had already founded the association QUANTUM and the Center for Historical Social Research (ZHS). Together with them I approached the International Congress of Historical Sciences as chair of the AHA Commi ee on Quantitative Methods to create a working group on quantitative methods, called INTERQUANT. Founded at the 1980 Congress in Bucharest, this body, in true Cold War fashion, had two co-presidents, the Soviet academician Ivan Kovalchenko and myself, representing the United States, with Schroeder as general secretary. Trying to communicate across the Iron Curtain, we created programs at subsequent congresses in Stu gart, Madrid, and Montreal. To promote such cooperation, I wrote essays on the international dimension of quantitative history and organized a conference in Washington, DC. With Wilhelm Schroeder I also published the papers of the Stu gart meeting as Quantitative History of Society and Economy in 1987.12 When older surveys grew out of date, American students of quantification started looking for a new introduction into the theory and method. Encouraged by positive reviews of the German text, I set out to provide an English version on the basis of added practical experience. In it, Kenneth Hardy, then director of the statistical laboratory at the University of North Carolina, presented complex statistical procedures in a more intelligible fashion. Dale Steinhauer, a graduate student of US history, provided an American dataset in order to illustrate the research steps and statistical procedures. The UNC Press published the book, Quantitative Methods for Historians: A Guide to Research, Date and Statistics, in 1991. While quantitative pioneers like Morgan J. Kousser and John Modell found the introduction somewhat superficial, Allan Bogue called it “extremely helpful to the students and teachers of quantitative methods in history.”13 This venture allowed me to become involved in fascinating discussions about history as social science, but with the shi of research to culture, quantification fell out of favor among historians and survived only in the neighboring disciplines. A consequence of this interest in computers was my involvement in the founding of electronic discussion networks in the United States and Ger-

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many, which were made possible due to the advent and development of the internet. Since I had already learned how to use email during my year at the CASBS in Stanford in 1991/92, I immediately pledged my support for the plan of some UNC graduate students to create a discussion list on German history, called H-German, within the emerging structure of H-Net. Hence, when Karsten Borgmann asked me in 1995 about starting a similar effort in Germany focused on promoting social and cultural approaches to history, I referred him to the statistical historian Rüdiger Hohls, who took charge of the project at the Humboldt Universität. During the explosive growth of H-Soz-Kult, I served as link to the American H-Het and as external advisor for some of its grant applications to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinscha (DFG). It has been gratifying to see how much the subsequent development of Clio-online and Zeitgeschichte-online has revolutionized scholarly communication in our field.14

New Social History Scholars coming of age in the late sixties embraced the “new social history,” which promised to provide more profound explanations for societal changes than research on domestic or international politics. Influenced by the New Le and spurred on by the generational revolt, the followers of Eric Hobsbawm or E. P. Thompson studied “history from below,” giving the mute masses a voice and agency in interpreting the past. In Germany, Hans-Ulrich Wehler and Jürgen Kocka developed a related concept of “historical social science” both in edited volumes and in a new journal, programmatically titled Geschichte und Gesellscha . To provide a Weberian alternative to East German Marxism, they stressed modernization deficits that made German development take a “special path,” one that deviated from the Western pa ern of democracy.15 Part of this effort was a new history of education, investigated with quantitative methods, which would allow historians to intervene in contemporary reform discussions by revealing the underlying structures of inequality. Ironically, the notion of a German Sonderweg had originated as a propaganda claim in defense of the Second Reich during World War I. Professors like Werner Sombart and writers like Thomas Mann claimed that the combination of high culture, social policy, and military power was superior to the shallowness of Western civilization. But during World War II, émigrés and Anglo-American historians turned the notion on its head in order to explain the failure of Germans to embrace liberal democracy. Positing the development of Western civilization as yardstick, they employed the notion of a special path as a shorthand description of what had gone wrong

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in Germany with National Socialism. The identification of deficits of historical development suggested strategies of reeducation that would return the chastened Germans to the family of nations. It was this political dimension that made the Sonderweg a ractive to a generation of younger historians.16 Propagated by the so-called Bielefeld school, the notion of a special path emphasized several aspects of German development that diverged from the country’s Western neighbors. This concept was based on a modernization narrative that highlighted the discrepancy between rapid economic development and a lag in political democratization, already recognized by Thorstein Veblen during World War I. On the one hand, Germany had created an “organized capitalism” that was quite dynamic and innovative, but on the other hand, the Kaiser still had ultimate political and military authority because the Reichstag could only advise the chancellor. One of the key explanations of this paradox was the weakness of the German Bürgertum that still deferred too much to the nobility and the military. Moreover, the working class was only “negatively integrated” without real participation rights in the political process. The most persuasive formulation of this historical critique was Hans-Ulrich Wehler’s slim volume on Imperial Germany that offered a host of theoretical indictments such as “Bonapartism” or “social imperialism.”17 Presented with verve, the Sonderweg thesis triggered a fierce debate about the fundamental direction of German history. Predictably, the conservative members of the guild were appalled by such a structural explanation of the aggressive foreign policy that had already provoked the Fischer controversy. But even moderate scholars like Thomas Nipperdey found Wehler’s theses too undifferentiated and polemical, since they emphasized only negative developments. Even more damaging was the attack by Geoff Eley and David Blackbourn, two younger, le -wing British historians. They criticized the Sonderweg proponents as too optimistic in their description of Western development, admonishing that they had le out imperialism, racism, exploitation, and the like. Moreover, their interpretation of German society was more nuanced, stressing that in many areas the German middle class had considerable influence.18 Belonging to neither camp directly, I sympathized with the critical tenor of the Bielefeld colleagues politically but reserved scholarly judgment until I could gain empirical proof. The issue I set out to address was the reversal of the ideological outlook of the educated elite from progressive liberalism to reactionary nationalism during the second half of the nineteenth century. I wanted to find out to what degree the fateful decisions of 1914 and 1933 “were caused by the training and values which [academics] received in the Wilhelmian university.” Until the revolution of 1848, most students had been national and

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liberal, pleading for the creation of a nation-state and for the granting of a constitution. But surprisingly enough, student subculture in the Second Reich swung into a nationalist and anti-Semitic direction with the founding of the Vereine Deutscher Studenten and the spread of their message into the established corporate subculture. Although liberal efforts in the creation of student self-government and in the Freistudentenscha tried to stem this development, these ultimately lost out against the rightward dri that intensified in World War I and during the Weimar Republic. Using the concept of “illiberalism,” I suggested a social explanation that a ributed the ideological sea change to academic overcrowding and student politics.19 The method I used to address the problem was a quantitative study of the student body and a qualitative investigation of the records of student associations. By a secondary analysis of Prussian census statistics, I sought to shed light on the rapid expansion of enrollments while quantifying the matriculation register of Bonn University to reconstruct the concurrent transformation of the student body in secondary schooling, religious affiliation, gender composition, and social background. For qualitative evidence on educational policy, I turned to the Prussian records in Potsdam and Merseburg, for festival rhetoric and association politics to the university archives in Berlin and Marburg, and for student subculture to the corporation records at the Institut für Hochschulkunde in Würzburg.20 Though coding, running, and interpreting the quantitative data took years to accomplish, I was aided by the hospitable se ing of a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC, in 1979–80 while completing the manuscript.21 Published in 1982 by Princeton University Press, Students, Society and Politics in Imperial Germany was immediately recognized as a major contribution. In her review, Kathryn Olesko summarized its explanation of the rightward turn of academic culture as a result of an enrollment explosion, the increased social stratification of student societies, the right-wing and illiberal orientation of corporate student organizations, the repression of democratic political expressions by ministerial regulations, and, finally, the increasingly professional and positivistic orientation of university learning that eroded the liberality of Bildung. While some reviewers complained about its “positivism” and the “maddening footnotes,” most praised the book as “a prodigious research effort” and “a major contribution.” One elderly member of a student corporation disagreed with its critical tone, musing, “Mr. Jarausch are you not of the Mosaic faith!?” Rejecting the term “illiberalism,” Geoff Eley called it nonetheless “the most important book on Imperial Germany to come out of North America since the beginning of serious work in the archives.”22

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In order to test the Sonderweg thesis, I also tried to stimulate a comparative discussion about The Transformation of Higher Learning through a conference at the University of Missouri in 1980. Instead of working with published statistics like Fritz Ringer did, I convened sixteen scholars doing original empirical work on England, Germany, Russia, and the United States, as these fields of study represented different paths of modernization. For the sake of comparability, the symposium focused on issues regarding the expansion of enrollments, the diversification of institutional offerings, the widening of social access, and the professionalization of graduates. Though the essays highlighted national differences, the basic transformation between 1860 and 1930 seemed similar: “A small, homogeneous, elite, and pre-professional university turned into a large, diversified, middle-class and professional system of higher learning.” Despite the disparity of the sources and categories of the different national cases, reviewers found the collection “valuable”—and it was eventually even translated into Japanese!23 This comparative work on educational sociology brought me into contact with German colleagues who were doing research on similar questions. With the help of the German Research Council (DFG), Detlef K. Müller had put together a massive project on “qualification crises,” which sought to explain academic overcrowding by producing a series of handbooks of historical statistics. While Müller’s team in Bochum worked on primary schools, Peter Lundgreen compiled data on secondary institutions in Bielefeld, and Hans-Georg Herrlitz and Hartmut Titze focused on universities in Gö ingen.24 In 1982/83 the la er scholars invited me to the institute for educational research at their institution as a DFG visiting professor. Founded during the Enlightenment, the Georgia Augusta had integrated Eastern refugees a er World War II and possessed an innovative Max Planck Institut für Geschichte. During this stimulating sabbatical I reacquainted myself with German academic culture, endlessly discussing whether it was possible to steer enrollment cycles politically. A concrete result of the Gö ingen lectures was the paperback survey of Deutsche Studenten 1800–1970. Since a translation of my earlier monograph would not have added much, I decided instead to set the problem into a wider context, starting with the national-liberal Burschenscha , proceeding to the anti-Semitic turn in the Empire, probing the Nazi involvement, and exploring the postwar switch to le ist rebellion. I followed a triple interaction of the numerical growth and social transformation of the student body, the evolution of the associational subculture, and the resulting reversals of political allegiances. The central argument sought to explain the early Nazi victory in the student cohort by linking it to the severity of the overcrowding and the unemployment crisis of the Weimar Republic.

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Hans-Ulrich Wehler accepted the book into his “Neue Historische Bibliothek,” where it was published by Suhrkamp in 1984. Though critics found it “somewhat superficial,” it nonetheless became a standard work and continued to sell for decades.25 Generous funding facilitated the transition of my research toward the professions, a logical step of following student careers a er graduation. A National Endowment for the Humanities grant supported research in the Nazi membership files at the Berlin Document Center and other association and government records as well as the coding and processing of massive statistical data by Eric Yonke. In the spring of 1986, during a leave at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, I was involved in intense discussions with Ulrich Teichler on comparative analysis of higher education. In the summer of 1987, an invitation to Bielefeld allowed me to participate in the Bürgertum project, directed by Jürgen Kocka, which debated the peculiarities of the German middle class. In the fall of 1988, a stay at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in Uppsala exposed me to other scholars like Rolf Torstendahl and Michael Burrage, who were also working on professions.26 As a result of these leaves, I was able to absorb the sociological literature and gain a broader perspective on professionalization as a transnational process. The first product of this reorientation was a volume of essays on German Professions, 1800–1950, published by Oxford University Press in 1990. Inspired by a panel at the German Studies Association, I teamed up with Geoffrey Cocks, a historian of twentieth-century psychiatry, to explore the terrain of academic occupations in Germany. An excellent group of scholars, including Anthony La Vopa, Hannes Siegrist, Jane Caplan, Michael Geyer, Kenneth Ledford, and Mitchell Ash, contributed essays whose topics ranged from successful occupations like law and medicine to failed professions like primary school teaching or social work. Taken together, the case studies of this volume suggested a German model of professionalization, distinct from Anglo-American autonomy, which relied more on the state, academic credentials, and an entitlement system. While several reviewers balked at its sociologese, most, like James Sheehan, appreciated that the volume presented “the very best new scholarship on the German professions.”27 More tightly focused on the theme of professional complicity with National Socialism was a second monograph on The Unfree Professions, published in the same year. It compared the development of lawyers as a classical free profession with that of teachers as state officials and engineers as industrial employees on the basis of thirty-four detailed tables and associational records. To explain the problematic trajectory of these three professions between 1900 and 1950, I emphasized a process of

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neo-corporate professionalization in the Empire, a crisis of interest-group professionalism in Weimar, a process of deprofessionalization in the Third Reich, and an effort at reprofessionalization in the FRG. Though their circumstances varied considerably, all three professions abandoned their liberal ethics for material self-interest in welcoming Hitler and acquiescing to the exclusion of Jews, women, and democrats, showing that expertise alone was no barrier against complicity with dictatorship. While critics found only a few bones to pick, most reviewers hailed it as “a widely researched and persuasively argued treatment.” Even some sociologists like Eliot Friedson took notice of it, and Christophe Charle called for a French equivalent.28 This work on professions also motivated me to engage with professional organizations in order to promote German and European studies in the United States. I gave one of the lectures for the 1984 centennial anniversary of the venerable American Historical Association, together with Fritz Stern, who hardly le any time for other speakers. Moreover, I headed the quantitative methods commi ee and once also chaired the program commi ee for the annual meeting, having to choose about 135 sessions in different geographical and methodological areas. Since 1958, the German historians in North America had met in the affiliated Conference Group for Central European History, the name a euphemism suggesting a region but avoiding the word “German.” Led by Gerhard Weinberg, its initial task was the supervision of a huge microfilming project to preserve the so-called “captured German documents.” For several years I served as secretary and then as chairman of the group, helping to create the Hans Rosenberg book prize and to revitalize its journal.29 More innovative was the German Studies Association, founded in 1976 by Gerald Kleinfeld, the tireless military historian at Arizona State University. It was originally intended to gather scholars specializing in different disciplines of German studies in the Western part of the United States in order to overcome their geographic and academic isolation through annual meetings. In contrast to the elite assemblies on the East Coast, these conferences were open to all comers, serving as a platform of first resort for scholars from less prestigious institutions as well as doctoral candidates. The meetings brought together specialists in “history, literature, culture studies, political science, and economics,” allowing both discussion in one’s own area of expertise as well as enlightening interdisciplinary conversations. When I was elected president of the GSA in 1983/84, I lobbied to transform this regional group into a national association and strengthened its ties to Germany. Due to its lively conferences and interesting journal, the GSA has become the premier organization for German studies worldwide.30

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In order to support the new German Historical Institute in Washington, I also co-founded a support group of its friends in 1991 and served as its president. Consisting of delegates from scholarly associations, this organization helped connect a series of German directors with their American clientele. Aside from interesting conferences and lectures and the Fritz Stern dissertation prizes, the GHI has sponsored a ten-volume set of “Documents and Images of German History” on the web, which has become an indispensable resource for teachers and students.31 When the Bonn government wanted to use its elegant townhouse as a platform for German politicians, I organized a protest against it, arguing that the organization should remain a legitimate academic enterprise and not involve itself in partisan politics. Due to this exposure I was also able to edit a book series for Berghahn on contemporary European histories and was named to various editorial boards of journals, invited to fellowship selections, and asked to review manuscripts. These time-consuming duties were nonetheless satisfying, as they shored up the infrastructure for scholarship. Research on German universities and professions also motivated me to speak out on transatlantic issues concerning higher education and professional ethics. Was it not ironic that in the nineteenth century about twelve thousand Americans had studied Wissenscha , i.e. science, in Germany, while a er 1945 German students were invited to the United States to learn how to rebuild their democracy? Because leading American institutions had managed to find a productive compromise between mass a endance of undergraduates and elite training of PhDs, I recommended a selective borrowing of features from this model for German audiences. When I pleaded to replace the ancient-medieval-modern triad with German, European, and global history, my colleagues were not always pleased to hear such advice. In other lectures, such as a talk at the Holocaust Museum, I pointed to the ethical problem of having material interest override moral concerns that led academics into NS complicity. As I have grown more and more concerned about the widening cultural distance between the two sides of the Atlantic, I have also repeatedly called for renewed efforts at transatlantic dialogue.32

The Cultural Turn While the Cold War order was crumbling, the rise of postmodernism shook the methodological foundations of historical social science. Refuting claims to objectivity, French philosophers a acked the assumptions of modernity, with Jean-François Lyotard criticizing “grand narratives,” Jacques Derrida calling for the “deconstruction” of texts, and Michel

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Foucault exposing the force of “discursive regimes.” Critics like Fredric Jameson picked up these concepts since they promised to go beyond literary history or Marxist reductionism. In the United States, feminist scholars like Joan Sco and Lynn Hunt quickly adopted this perspective as a way of a acking male meta-narratives by exposing the gendered structure of scholarly knowledge as well as of academic careers. Other spokesmen for minorities like Blacks or Hispanics developed similar postcolonial and subaltern studies. This impulse shi ed historical interests away from the social sciences and back to cultural questions, largely abandoning quantitative methods in the process.33 Because German historians were slow to take up the challenge of postmodernity, Michael Geyer and I convened a conference in 1989 at the University of Chicago to explore its potential. Two dozen innovative US scholars, including Geoff Eley, Isabel Hull, and David Crew, met to discuss the problem of grand narratives, the effect of the linguistic critique, and the practice of social history. The starting point was a shared frustration with the constraints of Bielefeld’s Historische Sozialwissenscha , fixated on the Sonderweg, the belief in objectivity, and the structural approach. Instead, the discussions pleaded for an opening to multiple narratives, exploration of subjectivities, and everyday history in order to provide a more comprehensive picture of the German past. When the revised essays were published in a special issue of Central European History, traditionalists like the journal’s editor Kenneth Barkin vigorously a acked such newfangled heresies. Michael Geyer and I responded in kind, triggering a heated controversy among Germanists in the United States over the cultural turn.34 How slowly the practice of German history was responding to this methodological shi became evident in the volume In Search of a Liberal Germany, coedited by Larry Jones and myself in 1990. This essay collection was an effort of some former students and colleagues to honor the social historian Theodore S. Hamerow on his seventieth birthday by focusing on the successes and failures of German Liberalism since the French Revolution. Taking a broad view of liberalism as an outlook rather than just a succession of political parties, the volume sought to revise the notion of inevitable liberal failure, pointing instead to moments in the 1840s, 1920s, and 1950s when it had considerable power to shape politics. Nonetheless, most essays fell into predictable categories, analyzing the ideology, bourgeois underpinning, repeated crises, eventual failure, and surprising reemergence of Liberalism. Only the two contributions by Dagmar Herzog and Thomas Childers addressed the new topics such as the rise of feminism and political language.35 Another Festschri for the German-Jewish historian Georg G. Iggers more clearly reflected the inroads of postmodernism into historiogra-

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phy. Edited by Jörn Rüsen, Hans Schleier, and myself, the he y volume Geschichtswissenscha vor 2000 contained the entire spectrum from Gesellscha sgeschichte to the new cultural history. The introduction interpreted the crisis of historical thinking as a result of the paradigm shi from modernization theory to linguistic methods that called the objectifying certainty of scientific history into question. While Rüsen, Geyer, and Bo Strath supported a methodological opening, Hans-Ulrich Wehler and Wolfgang Kü ler defended structural approaches. In the section on social history, Jürgen Kocka maintained the utility of historical social science, while Hans Medick, Alexander von Plato, and Dorothee Wierling were willing to experiment with methods of everyday history. As editors, we pleaded for a constructivist view “that has to engage the postmodern challenges, without following them uncritically.”36 Even more controversial was the overdue confrontation over the involvement of historians in the Nazi dictatorship that erupted at the Frankfurt Historikertag of 1998. The angry debate tended to confuse three different temporal horizons—the collaboration of leading scholars like Werner Conze and Theodor Schieder with the Third Reich, their tendency to remain silent about their transgressions a er 1945, and the alleged methodological “brown roots” of the Historische Sozialwissenscha . To untangle these issues, the social historian Rüdiger Hohls and I hit upon the idea of sending current students to interview the postwar generation of scholars about the questions they had failed to ask of their mentors, either due to their dependence upon them or their concentration on a new beginning. Published first on H-Soz-Kult and then in print as Versäumte Fragen, the answers a racted much a ention in the profession and the media out of personal curiosity and analytical interest. Reviewers found the concept “ingenious” and strongly recommended the book.37 In order to reflect on the tasks of historical writing in the present, I then tried to initiate a debate on the big interpretations of German history. At the historical congress in Aachen in 2000 Martin Sabrow and I convened a session around the postmodern concept of “master narratives,” initially suggested by Lyotard, to distinguish the tales of owners and slaves. At the beginning of the new millennium, all major versions of narrating the German past seemed equally discredited: the nationalist narrative had so disastrously failed with the Third Reich that it could hardly be salvaged; the Marxist interpretation of the GDR had collapsed with Communism; even the self-critical Sonderweg thesis of the Federal Republic was being undercut by comparative research. But unfortunately, alternatives such as the Holocaust or feminist and global history also had serious limitations. Published as Die historische Meistererzählung in 2002, these essays were generally welcomed by reviewers as an opening for “plural and interdependent narratives.”38

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The memory boom of media retrospectives, museum exhibitions, and memorial presentations also demanded a response from academic historians, as it threatened to undercut their authority. Hence, in 2001, Martin Sabrow and I organized a conference in Potsdam on “historicizing the present,” which addressed the conflict between memory culture and contemporary history. Hans Günter Hockerts and I discussed the growing competition for public a ention between “eyewitnesses” and scholars, while Martin Sabrow and Ralph Jessen stressed the important impact of personal experience on interpretation. Other essays reflected on literature, public ritual, and political instrumentalization of memory. The book’s title, Verletztes Gedächtnis, referred to Paul Ricoeur’s concept of “injured memory” so as to dramatize that in the German case individual recollections and collective remembrances were deeply traumatized by past catastrophes. Suggesting further directions for research, Jan-Holger Kirsch nonetheless called the volume “a welcome addition.”39 My major effort to pull all these strands of methodological reflection together was The Sha ered Past: Reconstructing German Histories. The book was the product of a fortuitous intellectual collaboration with Michael Geyer, as we both shared a German background and an American perspective. Unfortunately, the illness of his wife Miriam Hansen made the distribution of the actual writing more unequal than originally intended and delayed the publication. As a result, our intervention became post-postmodern, i.e., it gained enough distance from the postmodern challenge to incorporate its innovative impulses without accepting its faddish excesses. We both collaborated on the introduction and conclusion; I ended up writing the three historiographical essays on the grand narratives, while Michael supplied the Holocaust and consumption chapters; and I covered the rest, from dictatorship, foreign policy, migration, identity, and women to memory. Our purpose was to break out of the structuralist straitjacket of the Bielefeld school, not by supplying a new synthesis but by producing a set of exemplary essays that showed a multivocal approach.40 The book’s ambition of decentering narratives of twentieth-century German history produced a rather mixed response: traditionalists resented the emphasis on fragmentation, while innovative scholars welcomed its pluralism. On the one hand, the anti-postmodern economic historian Gerald Feldman blurted out at a reception in Berlin: “How could you do this to me, Konrad?” In a summary a ack on postmodernism, the German-Polish historian William Hagen accused the authors of showing “glowing traces of nationalist and National Socialist rhetoric and worldview”—an unfair charge that he later retracted. Though calling for more a ention to economics, postnationalism, and culture, Eric Weitz, on the other hand, pro-

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nounced the work “the most important book in German history to appear in recent years.” Robert G. Moeller concluded that “prompting us to think critically is a major contribution.” Due to “the new debates and research it will undoubtedly inspire” Stephen Remy predicted that the book would be a mainstay of graduate seminars.41 The German reception of the translation Zerbrochener Spiegel was more muted, as reviewers found it overly ambitious for two transatlantic historians “to initiate a reconceptualization of German histories in the 20th century.” Since most chaired professors tended to resist their implications, postmodern currents had only reached some of the younger generation in Germany. Part of the reason was the delay in translation, as the initial translator failed to deliver the manuscript at all. Friedrich Griese, who ultimately took on the task, provided a beautiful rendering of American arguments into academic German. Another part was the reluctance of colleagues to accept a plurality of narratives; indeed, Edgar Wolfrum stressed the importance of “a chronological and genetic coherence, which creates connections.” Moreover, traditionalists like Carsten Kretschmann in the FAZ complained that the authors “time and again blur the boundaries between historical analysis and political journalism.” Nonetheless, Sha ered Past did win the H-Soz-Kult book prize for contemporary history in 2004.42

Academic Lives The lifestyle this academic trajectory afforded was pleasant but frugal— we became dependent upon my salary, help from relatives, and various grants. With a modest house and a single car, we lived a middle-class existence in Columbia, taking advantage of such cultural opportunities as classical music concerts or theater productions that the university put on. In our leisure time we hiked, canoed, fished, and also sailed—healthy pursuits that were not too expensive. During the dozen years in the Midwest, we drove the long distances to the East Coast, the Northwoods of Minnesota, or the mountains of Colorado for vacation. Fortunately, Hannelore’s parents were generous in taking care of our sons, allowing us some time for ourselves. The occasional transatlantic trips to Germany for my research and to France for Hannelore’s language practice were supported by small summer grants. While the historian Franz Petri offered professional advice, Bruno Jarausch time and again made liberal gi s that allowed us to defray necessary acquisitions or house repairs without going into debt.43 The completion of Hannelore’s dissertation turned out to be more of a struggle than either of us had anticipated. The topic on which she even-

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Figure 4.2. Northwoods campers. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

tually se led was quite interesting: it concerned the eighteenth-century writer Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian, best known for his plays, pastoral novels, fables, and the song “Plaisir d’amour.” The teaching load of three courses a semester, running the household, and pregnancy slowed down the writing so much that a er our return from Princeton she decided to resign her full-time position. Her dissertation director, the French Protestant Hélène Monod-Cassidy, was not pleased by the delay and issued a stern ultimatum—either finish within two months or be dropped from the program! When this threat reached us during a research trip to Berlin, we decided to return to Columbia immediately, where Hannelore buckled down on the writing. She made rapid progress, which pleased her advisor and allowed her to defend her dissertation in December 1972. While we were all proud of the newly minted Dr. Jarausch’s achievement, it had cost her the job.44 Since spousal hiring was still an exception in the 1970s, regaining an academic position was rather complicated. Fortunately, the director of the MU Honor’s College, Bill Bondeson, hired her as an instructor in a foursemester great books course, which covered works from the ancient Greeks to the twentieth century. When the budget allowed, she was also invited to teach seminars on topics like politics or the Holocaust in literature. But this was part-time and poorly paid work. Only when we moved to North Carolina did she manage to get a visiting appointment in the Romance Language Department. Fortunately, the UNC TA supervisor and later coauthor

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Clare Tu s soon moved to Duke, which provided a more permanent opening. Hannelore applied for and got the position, but she had to retrain as a language pedagogue. In coordinating some twenty teaching assistants, co-teaching the pedagogical methods course, and publishing two popular textbooks, including Sur le vif: Niveau intermediaire (seventh edition), she was so successful that she eventually became a “teaching full professor.”45 With the birth of our two sons, we became a regular family, experiencing the unexpected joys and frustrations of parenthood. Our older son Konrad Frederic was born in September 1970 in Princeton while we were on leave. Blond and blue-eyed, he was a lovely child who liked to play alone with his cars in the dirt. Only sometimes did he display the strong willpower that would complicate his passage through adolescence. Our second son Klaus Peter joined us in March 1973 back in Columbia. His hair was darker than his brother’s, and he had a bit more sensitive constitution. Ge ing enough a ention among the other dominating individuals in our family was not always easy for him. But the boys were close enough in age to be able to play together in the forest behind our house, where they built stick forts and fried worms. With our children we spoke German to pass on a bit of cultural tradition, but their grandparents switched them to English while we were abroad to make it easier for them in school.46 On the whole we had a warm home that blended European traditions with customs from the United States. Life as a young academic family was strenuous, as we were busy with teaching and managing a household, but rewarding. Located on a sizable corner lot at 819 Edgewood Avenue, our house was unassuming but spacious, especially a er Rienzo Palmer helped us turn the garage into downstairs bedrooms for our sons, adding a carport and a garden shed. When the trusty VW squareback gave up its ghost, we acquired the first of two European delivery Volvos, which were big enough for the boys to grow into and saved us a bit of money. The nearby quarry was a great help in the Midwestern summer, with its cool water, sandy beach, and asphalt tennis court. Our big Alaskan Malamute dog was not only impressive to view but always willing to romp around when it had not just busted through the screens of the porch to find a bitch in heat.47 Day trips to St. Louis, Hermann, Arrow Rock, or the Current River allowed us to explore the region as a change of pace. While the adjustment to caring for two children was not always easy, we se led in for the long haul. Shared experiences like a disastrous skiing trip to Colorado kni ed us together as a family. On the evening before we le , Peter hit his head on our slate coffee table and required stiches. Once underway, Konrad got carsick and threw up all over the backseat. Then in western Kansas our headlights dimmed, and the car stalled. A friendly bus driver took us to

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a filling station, where we found out that a slipping generator belt had run down the ba ery. A er a refreshing night in a motel, we noticed that our skis were gone, having been stolen from the top of our car. When we reached our colleague’s house where we were staying in Boulder, our troubles continued: the heating unit gave out on New Year’s Eve. The biggest scare was a li accident. As I helped Hannelore off the chair, my arm got caught under the armrest. I li ed my new skis over the tripwire, but the tips got stuck in a snow fence, while my body was stretched until my screams roused the a endant to shut off the motor. The ski patrol only offered an aspirin, and we had to drive down the mountain to the university hospital for a checkup. Fortunately, I had only torn some muscles and wrenched a knee, and I was able to swim the next day to start my recovery. But in the end, we all got a nasty cold and decided to drive home early. The logical next step for me, driven by practical and ideological reasons, was the assumption of American citizenship. One motive was the qualification for research support from foundations like the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) that only funded US applicants, not German expatriates. Another consideration was the need to have the same passport as Hannelore and our sons, which would make international travel easier. At the same time, I wanted to criticize American policies as a citizen from the inside in order to be more credible for my students. Having go en a Green Card, I held off with applying for citizenship until I was over thirty years of age to avoid being dra ed for the Vietnam War, with which I disagreed. However, taking on American papers meant losing my German citizenship since neither country allowed dual statehood at that time. I argued with the German officials that I was working on German history but failed to move the legal bureaucrats to make an exception.48 As a result, I had mixed feelings when I was sworn in at the state capital in Jefferson City in the spring of 1973, as I felt a ached to both countries. At the same time, I experienced a severe health crisis that shook my athletic self-confidence. On the one hand, I was overworked due to the intensity of my professional ambitions; on the other hand, I had difficulty adjusting to my new responsibilities as a father for which I had no prior family experience. During the winter holiday of 1972/73 we had to break off a skiing trip to Stowe in Vermont when I developed heart palpitations. A more thorough medical check in Columbia revealed that I had developed a sizable kidney stone, which was rather painful but at least I did not have it as bad as my colleagues, who were hospitalized with a heart a ack and brain cancer at the same time. Because lithotripsy had not yet been developed, two operations and lengthy hospital stays were needed to remove the offending calcifications.49 The recovery took quite a while, since it also involved developing a more active conception of my paternal role.

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During the second half of the 1970s, I became increasingly aware of the intellectual limitations of the University of Missouri. The switch to Republican control of the governorship resulted in massive budget cuts, affecting new personnel hirings and library acquisitions. The atmosphere was rather provincial, with alumni more interested in the performance of the “Tiger” sports teams than in scholarly excellence. The undergraduates tended to be oriented toward a party subculture, whereas the graduate students were a mixed lot, with only a few truly gi ed enrollees. National media like NPR made it clear that intellectual debates on both coasts counted more than those in the Midwest. Personally, I had li le to complain about, since I received tenure a er three years in 1971 and was promoted to full professor six years later, as rapidly as the rules allowed. But I started applying to other institutions with li le success, owing to the collapse of the job market. An interview at Penn proved futile—I was ill during my presentation and threw up in the head of the search commi ee’s bathroom!50 In time we developed several strategies for coping with the institutional frustrations, and these also improved our chances of moving. A conventional response was to focus on research and publication in order to create a reputation, for instance being recognized by winning the Conference Group’s article prize in 1979. On the other side of the same coin, I organized important conferences like the MU meeting on the transformation of higher learning or the Bellagio symposium about quantification. Related to this, was my service in professional associations which eventually resulted in being named to commi ee chairmanships and leadership offices. Though the extra work was demanding, this approach also yielded various grants for summer travel to Europe and even funding for sabbaticals, such as the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars fellowship. A growing transatlantic presence also made it possible to be invited to German institutions like Saarbrücken and Gö ingen in order to participate in research projects like the Qualification Crisis initiative.51 Even if not all applications proved successful, the University of Missouri was a good platform for ge ing work done. Our personal life and academic work in Columbia le us with somewhat mixed feelings. The Midwestern college town was a nice enough place to bring up our sons Konrad and Peter, whom we allowed to move around freely. We had a comfortable house, pleasant neighbors like the Thelens, and a recreation area in the quarry across the street. Moreover, the University of Missouri was a decent enough institution for a first job, a training ground for learning how to teach, write, and get involved in campus affairs. My colleagues in the department were congenial and treated me well, and Hannelore was able to maintain at least a part-time position. But in time, I found Mizzou’s fiscal limitations and provincial atmosphere

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increasingly constricting. When funding was once again reduced, a frustrated Lewis Atherton fumed, “This used to be a first-rate second-rate university.” As a result, I grew more and more impatient until we finally succeeded in moving on to an intellectually more challenging place in 1983: the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.52

German Histories Being a German historian during the past half century in the United States has been an exciting challenge due to a strong public interest. Most Americans considered World War II the last “good war” since it was morally justified and militarily victorious. A lurid fascination grew around the Austrian-born dictator Adolf Hitler as a result of his unlikely rise to power and repressive regime that unleashed the Second World War. Military history buffs continued to wonder how a country with inferior resources and limited manpower could have conquered continental Europe and then held the Soviet Union and United States at bay. In contrast, intellectuals marveled at the paradox between the amazing creativity of Weimar culture and the subsequent hatemongering against so-called inferior people. Especially in the Jewish community, survivors helped create a Holocaust memory as an emblem of absolute evil that was both unique and comparable to other genocidal crimes. In countless Hollywood productions and History Channel programs, the former soldiers celebrated their triumph over the German enemy that demanded a historical explanation.53 The establishment of an academic specialty in German history was nonetheless difficult because it lacked the emotional a raction of comparable fields. British historians could build upon the common legacy, language, and wartime alliance. French scholars were able to draw on the shared ideals of the Enlightenment and the artistic a raction of Paris. Even Russian specialists were able to invoke national defense interests in the Cold War in order to justify their study. In contrast, Germany was a problematic subject, whose ethnic ties to the United States were largely forgo en by the enmity fomented in both world wars. Only a proconsul view could look at the Federal Republic as a gratifying success in the postwar rehabilitation project. Hence, a considerable investment in fellowships and research grants by the DAAD, the Humboldt Foundation, or the Goethe House were needed to underwrite historical research on Germany.54 Fortunately, the Bonn government understood the need for a self-critical cultural policy and offered ample support. German history differed from other European fields by being more of a transatlantic enterprise in which both sides stimulated each other. Orig-

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inally the émigrés and their US colleagues, created a critical approach that broke with the nationalist tradition from Ranke to Treitschke and beyond. But then, in Germany, the Fischer controversy and the emergence of the Bielefeld school took the lead in developing a systematic criticism of the past, lending support to the democratization of the Federal Republic. In this internal German debate, American scholars reinforced critical voices as a kind of externalized historical conscience. Yet many of the new methods, such as quantification, deconstruction, and gender history, but especially the concept of the Holocaust, have come from the United States and stimulated German research. However, comparative and structural as well as everyday histories once again were more of a German invention, while transnational and global approaches have become prevalent on both sides.55 Ultimately, this extraordinary interaction proved rather fruitful for German historians regardless of the cultural context in which they were working. The role I have gradually developed, based on my own biculturalism, has been that of a transatlantic mediator, an insider and outsider on both sides. My own acculturation in Germany until graduating from high school had given me insight into German affairs that have provided an almost instinctive understanding. My subsequent academic Americanization opened wider comparative perspectives that allowed me to draw on American methods and interpretations that were lacking among my continental colleagues. The result of this paradoxical hybridity has been an ability to offer nuanced interpretations to an Anglo-American public that might help it to understand the strange “German problem.” At the same time, it has also provided an impetus to resist revisionist views in Germany that have tried to relativize responsibility for war and genocide. While this double task has o en enough landed me between all interpretative chairs, it has also rescued me from complacency and kept me involved in the shi ing approaches to the elusiveness of the past.56

Notes 1. KHJ to FP, 13 October 1984; idem, “Perils of Professionalism: Lawyers, Teachers and Engineers in Nazi Germany,” German Studies Review 9 (1986): 107–37. 2. Anniversary issue of the German Studies Review 39 (2016); h ps://; Ulrich Ammon, The Position of the German Language in the World (Milton Park, 2019). 3. Philipp Stelzel, History A er Hitler: A Transatlantic Enterprise (Philadelphia, 2019); KHJ, “Central European History at Fi y: Notes from a Longtime Fan,” Central European History 51 (2018): 12–22.

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4. KHJ to FP, 12 December 1970. 5. KHJ to BJ, 28 February 1970; idem, “The Sources of German Student Unrest, 1815–1848,” in Lawrence Stone, ed., The University in Society (Princeton, 1974), 2: 533–69. 6. Walter D. Kamphoefner, “In Memoriam Thomas B. Alexander,” OAH Newsle er, February 2007. 7. Konrad H. Jaraus to Dr. Siegmund-S ultze, 10 May 1972; idem., ed., Quantifizierung in der Ges i tswissens a : Probleme und Mögli keiten (Düsseldorf, 1967). Reviews by Jürgen Ko a in the Historis e Zeits ri 226 (1978): 400–403; and Peter Steinba , Jahrbu der Historis en Kommission zu Berlin (1976): 219–21. 8. KHJ to FP, 21 and 25 March, 2 and 7 April 1974, 5 March, 16 April, and 31 May 1978; idem to BJ, 21 June, 5 October, 16 November 1975, 21 March 1977; and idem to I. Spangenberg, 5 September 1978. 9. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Promises and Problems of Quantitative Research in Central European History,” Central European History 11 (1978): 279–91 was an effort to convince reluctant colleagues. 10. h p:// 11. Konrad H. Jaraus , Gerhard Arminger, and Manfred Thaller, Quantitative Methoden in der Ges i tswissens a : Eine Einführung in die Fors ung, Datenverarbeitung und Statistik (Darmstadt, 1985). Review by Christopher J. Friedrichs, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18 (1987): 160–62. The high point of my quantification efforts was an essay with Gerhard Arminger on “German Teachers and National Socialism: A Demographic Logit Model for Party Membership,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 22 (1989): 229–59. 12. Konrad H. Jarausch and Wilhelm Schroeder, eds., Quantitative History of Society and Economy: Some International Studies (Berlin, 1987). 13. Konrad H. Jarausch and Kenneth A. Hardy, Quantitative Methods for Historians (Chapel Hill, 1991). Reviews by J. Morgan Kousser, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 23 (1992): 139–40; John Modell, Journal of Social History 26 (1992): 149–50; and Allan Bogue, Journal of American History 89 (1994): 1569–70. 14. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Von Emailliste zur Fa information: Der Beitrag von Rüdiger Hohls“ h ps:// ri -ruediger-hohls/. See the websites h p://; h p://; and h p:// In 2010 I was elected honorary chairman of clio-online. 15. Georg G. Iggers, ed., The Social History of Politics: Critical Perspectives in West German Historical Writing Since 1945 (Dover, NH, 1985). 16. Helga Grebing, Der “deuts e Sonderweg” in Europa 1806–1945: Eine Kritik (Stu gart, 1986). 17. Hans-Ulri Wehler, The German Empire, 1871–1918 (Leamington Spa, 1985), vs. Hedwig Ri ter, Demokratie: Eine deuts e Affäre: Vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart (Muni , 2020). 18. Klaus Große Kra t, Die zankende Zun : Historis e Kontroversen in Deuts land na 1945 (Gö ingen, 2005). 19. Resear plan, “Gaudeamus Igitur: Studenten, Gesells a und Politik im Kaiserrei ” Columbia, n.d.; KHJ to FP, 22 May 1971, 10 June 1972, 9 September 1974; and idem to BJ, 13 November 1971. 20. Konrad H. Jarausch, Students, Society and Politics in Imperial Germany: The Rise of Academic Illiberalism (Princeton, 1982). Cf. idem, “Frequenz und Struktur: Zur Sozialges i te der Studenten im Kaiserrei ,” in Peter Baumgart, ed., Staat und Bildung in Preußen und im deuts en Kaiserrei (Stu gart, 1980), 110–49. 21. KHJ to FP, 4 March, 4 and 23 September 1979, 16 May, 19 July, 4 and 11 November 1980, 28 November 1981.

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22. Geoff Eley, “Educating the Bourgeoisie: Students and the Culture of ‘Illiberalism’ in Imperial Germany,” History of Education Quarterly 26 (1986): 287–300. Reviews by Geoffrey Giles, German Studies Review 6 (1983): 332–33; Antony LaVopa, Journal of Social History 17 (1984): 730–33; Mary Jo Maynes, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 15 (1984): 150–52; Kathryn Olesko, Social Science History 8 (1984): 117–20; Walter Struve, American Historical Review 88 (1983): 702–3; and Klaus Schwabe, Historische Zeitschri 240 (1985): 439–42. 23. Konrad H. Jarausch, The Transformation of Higher Learning, 1860–1930: Expansion, Diversification Social Opening and Professionalization in England, Germany, Russia and the United States, first published as volume 13 of HSF, then as a book by the University of Chicago Press in 1983. Eventually the volume was even translated into Japanese. Reviews by James C. Albise i, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 16 (1985): 136–38; and James Van Horn Melton, Journal of Social History 18 (1985): 652–54. 24. See Datenhandbu zur deuts en Bildungsges i te (Gö ingen, 1987), vol. 1.1: Das Ho s ulstudium in Preußen und Deuts land 1820 bis 1944, ed. by Hartmut Titze, and vol. 2.1: Datenhandbu zur deuts en Bildungsges i te: Sozialges i te und Statistik des S ulsystems in den Staaten des Deuts en Rei es,1800–1945, ed. by Detlef K. Müller. 25. Konrad H. Jaraus , Deuts e Studenten 1800–1970 (Frankfurt, 1984). Reviews by Elisabeth Fehrenba , Historis e Zeits ri 241 (1985): 646; and Andrew Lees, Journal of Modern History 62 (1990): 202–6. 26. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Die unfreien Professionen: Überlegungen zu den Wandlungsprozessen im deuts en Bildungsbürgertum 1900–1955,” in Jürgen Ko a, ed., Bürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert: Deutschland im europäischen Vergleich (Gö ingen, 1988), 2:124–46; and Michael Burrage, Konrad Jarausch, and Hannes Siegrist, “An Actor-Based Framework for the Study of the Professions,” in Michael Burrage and Rolf Torstendahl, eds., Professions in Theory and History: Rethinking the Study of the Professions (London, 1990), 203–25. 27. Konrad H. Jarausch and Geoffrey Cocks, eds., German Professions, 1800–1950 (New York, 1990). Reviews by Mauro F. Guillen, Contemporary Sociology 21 (1992): 378–80; William Carl Mathews, German Studies Review 15 (1992): 366–67; Paul Miranti, Business History Review 65 (1991): 711–13; and James J. Sheehan, Central European History 25 (1992): 102–5. 28. Konrad H. Jarausch, The Unfree Professions: German Lawyers, Teachers and Engineers, 1900–1950 (New York, 1990). Reviews by Christophe Charle, Annales 48 (1993): 70–72; Eliot Friedson, Contemporary Sociology 20 (1991): 683–85; Kees Gispen, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 22 (1992): 520–22; Kenneth F. Ledford, German Studies Review 15 (1992): 409–11; Jeffrey Johnson, Journal of Social History 26 (1992): 192–94; Charles McClelland, Journal of Modern History 65 (1993): 656–59; Irmgard Steinisch, History of Education Quarterly 32 (1992): 262–64; and Lawrence D. Stokes, American Historical Review 98 (1993): 193–94. 29. AHA website: h p:// Already as graduate students, James Harris, Stan Zucker, and I pleaded with Hamerow to revive the defunct Journal for Central European Affairs, which was eventually re-founded under a new name. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Central European History at Fi y,” 12ff. 30. h p://www.; Konrad H. Jarausch, “From National to Transnational German Studies: Some Historical Reflections, 1977–2017,” German Studies Review 39 (2016): 493–503. 31. Panel discussion, “The German Historical Institute at 30: The Founding of a Historical Institute at the Intersection of Scholarship and Politics,” 12 October 2017; h ps://www A er Detlef Junker’s term ended, I was supposed to become his successor, but my candidacy was vetoed by the conservative majority on the advisory board.

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32. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Vorbild Amerika: Schwierigkeiten transatlantischen Borgens bei der Universitätsreform,” in Manfred Rudersdorf, Wolfgang Höpken, and Martin Schlegel, eds., Wissen und Geist: Universitätskulturen (Leipzig, 2009); idem, “The Conundrum of Complicity: German Professionals and the Final Solution,” lecture at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington 2001; and idem, “Dri ing Apart: Cultural Dimensions of the Transatlantic Estrangement,” in Hermann Kurthen, Antonio V. Mendendez-Alarcon, and Stefan Immerfall, eds., Safeguarding German-American Relations in the New Century (Lanham, MD, 2006), 17–32. 33. Hans Bertens, Postmodernism (New York, 2019); and Keith Jenkins, ed., The Postmodern History Reader (New York, 1997). 34. Michael Geyer and Konrad H. Jarausch, eds., “German Histories: Challenges in Theory, Practice, Technique,” Central European History 22 (1989): 1–459 (the issue actually appeared two years later because the journal was behind schedule). Cf. Kenneth A. Barkin, “Bismarck in a Postmodern World,” German Studies Review 18 (1995): 241–51; and the reply by Michael Geyer and myself, “Great Men and Postmodern Ruptures: Overcoming the Belatedness of German Historiography,” German Studies Review 18 (1995): 253–73. 35. Konrad H. Jarausch and Larry E. Jones, eds., In Search of a Liberal Germany: Studies in the History of German Liberalism from 1789 to the Present (Providence, 1990). 36. Konrad H. Jaraus , Jörn Rüsen, and Hans S leier, eds., Ges i tswissens a vor 2000: Perspektiven der Historiographieges i te, Ges i tstheorie, Sozial- und Kulturges i te, Beiträge zur Ges i tskultur, vol. 5 (Hagen, 1991). 37. Rüdiger Hohls and Konrad H. Jaraus , eds., Versäumte Fragen: Deuts e Historiker im S a en des Nationalsozialismus (Stu gart, 2000). Reviews by Ri ard J. Evans, taz, 8 August 2000; Manfred He ling, Die Zeit, 27 July 2000; Christoph Jahr, Neue Zür er Zeitung, 23 September 2000; and Philipp Stelzel,, 11 November 2001. 38. Konrad H. Jaraus and Martin Sabrow, eds., Die historis e Meistererzählung: Deutungslinien der deuts en Nationalges i te na 1945 (Gö ingen, 2002). Reviews by Frank Ebbinghaus, Süddeuts e Zeitung, 4 December 2002; Robert Moeller, Central European History 37 (2004): 461–65: and Philipp Stelzel,, 12 December 2003. 39. Konrad H. Jaraus and Martin Sabrow, eds., Verletztes Gedä tnis: Erinnerungskultur und Zeitges i te im Konflikt (Frankfurt, 2002). Review by Jan-Holger Kirsch, H-SozKult, 21 October 2002. 40. Konrad H. Jarausch and Michael Geyer, Sha ered Past: Reconstructing German Histories (Princeton, 2003). 41. William W. Hagen, “Master Narratives beyond Postmodernity: Germany’s ‘Separate Path’ in Historiographical-Philosophical Light,” Central European History 30 (2007): 1–32; and Michael Geyer and Konrad H. Jarausch, “Reply to William W. Hagen,” ibid., 242. Reviews by Peter Black, German Studies Review 27 (2004): 669–70; Robert Moeller, Central European History 37 (2004): 461–65; Steven P. Remy, H-German, September 2003; and Eric Weitz, Slavic Review 63 (2004): 150–51. 42. Konrad H. Jaraus and Mi ael Geyer, Zerbro ener Spiegel: Deuts e Ges i ten im 20. Jahrhundert (Stu gart, 2005). Reviews by Carsten Krets mann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 30 December 2006; and Edgar Wolfrum, Die Zeit, 10 November 2005. 43. For instance, KHJ to BJ, 7 September 1974, 22 February 1975; or idem to FP, 30 July 1978, 18 July 1979. 44. Hannelore Jarausch, “Beyond the Idyllic Imagination: A Critical Study of Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian, 1755–1794” (diss., Madison, 1973). Cf. KHJ to FP 28 November 1971, 2 September and 10 October 1972.

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45. Hannelore Jarausch and Clare Tu s, Sur le vif: Niveau intermediaire (Boston, 2021), 7th ed. Cf. KHJ to BJ, 1 December 1972, 3. Advent, 1973; idem to FP, 2 December 1978, 11 November 1979, 8 February, 3. Advent, 1987. 46. KHJ to BJ, 13 September, 3 October 1970, 21 February 1971, 7 September 1974. 47. KHJ to BJ, 31 June, 16 August 1969, 21 November 1971, 17 January 1975. 48. KHJ to FP, 2 April and 22 October 1972; idem to BJ, 15 October 1972. Cf. Regierungspräsident Köln to Konrad H. Jaraus , 10 November 1972. 49. HJ to BJ, 11 February 1973. 50. KHJ to BJ, 3. Advent, 1974; idem to FP, 11 February 1978, 20 September 1981. In 1978 I rejected an offer from Ohio State, as I felt the institution was hardly any be er than MU and the salary was too low. 51. KHJ to BJ, 5 September 1971, 15 October 1972, 2 September 1974; idem to FP, 7 January 1979, 4 and 23 September 1979. 52. h ps:// 53. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Die Unheimli en ‘Germans’: Das problematis e Deuts landbild amerikanis er Akademiker,” Die Zeit, 14 July 1972. 54. Frank Trommler, Kulturma t ohne Kompass: Deuts e auswärtige Kulturbeziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert (Cologne, 2014). 55. Philipp Stelzel, “Working toward a Common Goal? American Views on German Historiography and German-American Scholarly Relations during the 1960s,” Central European History 41 (2008): 639–71; Catherine Epstein, “German Historians at the Back of the Pack: Hiring Pa erns in Modern European History, 1945–2010,” ibid. 46 (2013): 599–639. 56. Arndt Bauerkämper, Konrad H. Jaraus , and Markus Payk, eds., Demokratiewunder: Transatlantis e Mi ler und die kulturelle Öffnung Westdeuts lands 1945–1970 (Gö ingen, 2005); Konrad H. Jaraus , Harald Wenzel, and Karin Goihl, eds., Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives (New York, 2017).

Chapter 5


( During the late a ernoon of 9 November 1989, I sat in my study, correcting the manuscript of my new book on the German professions. Suddenly, my younger son stormed up the stairs from our TV room, shouting excitedly: “Papa, the Wall has fallen!” Initially, I thought he was joking, as the Soviet Union would never give up the World War II victory prize it had earned with so much human sacrifice. But when I looked at the screen, I saw the well-known journalist Tom Brokaw of NBC news standing with his camera crew in front of the Brandenburg Gate. I could hardly believe my eyes, but sure enough happy youths were dancing on the broad crown of the Berlin Wall. At crossing points like the Bornholmer Strasse, others were pushing past the stunned border guards to get into the West. The misguided announcement of Günter Schabowski, the politburo member in charge of media affairs, that the border would be open immediately had triggered the rush.1 The pictures of this spontaneous celebration finally also convinced skeptics that the unimaginable had become reality. Though Kremlinologists had long observed mounting structural problems, they were surprised by the speed and extent of the Communist collapse. With the normalization of the SED dictatorship a er the repression of the Prague Spring, Marxism had lost its utopian appeal, as it seemed that only the use of force could keep it in power. While Western capitalism had barely survived the postindustrial transformation of globalization, the planned economies of the East were stagnating and failing to fulfill the consumer desires of their populace. In spite of Stasi repression, a small but courageous peace and human rights movement had formed in the shadow of the Protestant Church, challenging the legitimacy of the system. And finally, travel to the West had even eroded the confidence of party cadres, demonstrating the need for economic and political reforms. While the SED still controlled the instruments of power and seemed firmly in control, these developments taken together undermined the foundaNotes for this chapter begin on page 119.

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tions of the East German regime in such a way that it could implode rather suddenly.2 In the summer and fall of 1989, I watched with fascination how a series of short-range problems triggered a mass uprising that ultimately overthrew the entire system. The initial impulse came from Mikhail Gorbachev’s effort to save communism by reforming it—his rhetoric of a common European house suggested that Moscow would no longer intervene. Opposition movements like the Polish Solidarity trade union and the reburial of Imre Nagy in Budapest demonstrated new possibilities for a re-democratization of their systems. The symbolic opening of the Iron Curtain between Hungary and Austria encouraged a mass flight of East German vacationers to West Germany, where they were welcomed as fellow citizens. In the subsequent wave of demonstrations, more and more citizens called for the recovery of human rights, intending to stay in East Germany to liberalize their own state. Because the dictator Erich Honecker was ill during these events, state suppression of dissent remained halfhearted, and public protests were permi ed in Leipzig on 9 October.3 Culminating in a rally of half a million people at Alexanderplatz in East Berlin on 4 November, the civic revolt aimed at a liberalization of the GDR. The implosion of the most orthodox Communist regime in the winter of 1989/90 was a breathtaking spectacle that puzzled participants and observers alike. The replacement of the aging dictator Erich Honecker by the younger Egon Krenz was predictable, but the inadvertent fall of the Wall on 9 November was a great shock due to the apparent permanence of the concrete barrier and, with it, the GDR. The shi of popular slogans from “We are the people” to “We are one people” signaled the rapid progression from protest to unification that undercut the discussions at the Round Table about reforming an independent GDR. The overwhelming vote for unity in the first free election in March 1990 sent a message of selfdetermination that came to dominate the Two Plus Four negotiations about the international form of reunification. Following that wish, the KohlGenscher government in Bonn managed the domestic manner of the accession of the new federal states into the market democracy of the Federal Republic. Within a single year the intractable German problem had been solved, and Europe had become, in President George H. W. Bush’s words, once again “whole and free.”4 For contemporary historians like myself, the “miracle of 1989” challenged us to explain an unexpected development that constituted a new caesura at the end of the twentieth century. What were the reasons for the sudden overthrow of Communist rule and the end of German division that had seemed so permanent? Since I had personal ties to East Berlin and East Germany, I cheered their citizens’ recovery of self-determination and

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the chance for a be er life. But because the lack of access to documents had prevented the writing of East German history, I could only turn to political science descriptions to figure out whether it was a “system collapse” of a socialist dictatorship or a “peaceful revolution from below.”5 Since I had just finished my professions books, I seized the once-in-a-lifetime chance to comment on current developments by plunging headfirst into historicizing what I was observing. Li le did I know that these dramatic events would draw me into a new research area of East German history and make me an active participant in the process of academic reunification.

The Rush to Unity Unlike my Western-oriented Krefeld classmates, I had always been interested in East Germany, since I originally hailed from there. One connection was my birthplace in Magdeburg, which had been so destroyed that one could now see the Elbe River from the train station. Since my parents lived there before the war, we still had personal ties to my godmother Magdalene Caspar and friends like Ursula Nüssle. When a young man asked me to help him escape from the GDR during one of my later visits I refused, since I did not want to fall into the clutches of the infamous secret service, the Stasi. Another link to divided Berlin were my annual trips to see Uncle Bruno, the brother of my father, in Wedding, when I would also visit distant relatives in Rosenthal who were opposed to the SED regime. Finally, in the summer of 1989, Hannelore and I used a small inheritance to buy a modest apartment in the Salzburger Strasse of the Bavarian Quarter in West Berlin, cementing a practical tie to the former capital.6 As a result, my image of East Germany was rather critical, fi ing in with Western Cold War prejudices. Three times from the 1960s to the 1980s I also had the good fortune of being allowed to do research in the central German and Prussian archives, stays that offered a glimpse of the drab everyday life behind the Iron Curtain. By appealing to the GDR travel agency as an impecunious academic, Hannelore talked down the steep cost of such an archival visit. Lodging in the royal castle Caecilienhof in Potsdam, I saw the border guards shooting from the Eastern side of the Wall, and I met some dissidents during another trip. In Merseburg I was put up in the dismal Dessauer Hof next to a noisy streetcar track. During a later visit, I stayed in a dorm where I joined some of the East German students in cheering for the great white shark in Jaws. Moreover, I was the first Western scholar to bring a portable computer and printer along with me, which created a sensation, since the Eastern archive administration had never seen such a device. During my

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final stint, my host Joachim Petzold had go en close enough to dra the report that he would submit to the SED authorities, calling me “a progressive democrat.”7 As a result of this travel, I became involved in scholarly exchanges with GDR colleagues during the late 1980s, creating new ties across the Iron Curtain. With Georg Iggers I supported the invitation of Marxist scholars to the annual GSA meetings and brought some of them, such as Heinz Vosske, the archivist of the Institute for Marxism-Leninism, to Columbia, Missouri. When the International Research and Exchanges Board was looking for a topic to replace the Luther anniversary, I suggested National Socialism rather than Thomas Müntzer, since the World War II alliance against fascism would be a more fruitful theme for debate than the radical Reformation. Our academic goal was to get the East German scholars to confront racism and the Holocaust, while they wanted to stress exploitation and social class. Our political aim was to reach younger, more flexible historians, even if we had to “swallow some toads” by talking to orthodox Communists. In conferences at Princeton and in East Berlin, renowned scholars like Kurt Pätzold and Christopher Browning debated the nature of the Third Reich and joked about how long the Wall would continue to stand.8 The sudden collapse of the GDR raised the question of what should remain of its historiography and its historians. To mediate a fierce controversy between critics of its subservience to the SED and defenders of its competence, I organized a conference in December 1990 at the Historische Kommission in Berlin, hoping to shi discussions from name-calling to a substantive dialogue about an academic renewal. Bringing together East German scholars, West German colleagues, and American historians created a constructive atmosphere. The key problem was the strange blend of “partisanship and professionalism” that had made GDR researchers both defenders of the regime and also competent scholars. The lively discussions, covered by major newspapers, radio, and TV, made it clear that personnel needed to be evaluated, curricula changed, and interpretations revised. With the volume Zwischen Parteilichkeit und Professionalität, I tried to contribute to a moderate course. Cold warriors like Alexander Fischer accused me of whitewashing the GDR, while affected scholars like Eckhardt Fuchs were skeptical that my warnings would help.9 Three years later, I returned to the topic because it had become clear that Eastern self-renewal had given way to Western reconstruction. During a visiting professorship at Leipzig in 1991, I had go en to know several critical younger historians like Ma hias Middell, who deserved a chance to continue developing their research in united Germany. In the spring of 1992, we both convened a conference for these colleagues that also included some researchers from the Forschungsschwerpunkt Zeithis-

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torische Studien, along with Michael Geyer, Georg Iggers, and Charles Maier from the United States. The discussions found much room for criticism since historians had le many unexamined “blank spots” and ideologically supported a brutal dictatorship. But at the same time, there was also cause for compassion, as the reconstruction had proceeded rigorously, o en with insufficient understanding of the local context. In the edited volume Nach dem Erdbeben, I concluded that the only way to escape the cycle of condemnation and apology was to engage in a “critical historicization” of GDR history and historiography.10 Even a er the conclusion of personnel ve ing and institutional restructuring, GDR historiography remained a contentious issue, as it raised questions about the relationship of historians to politics in general. In response to Alexander Fischer’s blanket condemnation of SED scholarship, Georg Iggers and I organized a conference at the Max Planck Institut für Geschichte in Gö ingen in 1996 to discuss the “abnormal normality” of the East German case. Together with Martin Sabrow and Ma hias Middell, we edited the revised essays in a special issue of the Historische Zeitschri that tried to “foster a deeper understanding of the contradictory nature of East German historical research.” A er sketching “problem areas of critical historicization,” the volume focused on the conception of scholarship, its chronological development, and the language styles and experiences of historians. Though the former dissident Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk panned the effort in a lengthy review, the volume did ultimately contribute to moving the topic from political condemnation to academic research.11 Another product of this shi of interest to the former GDR was a volume of documents on Die Deutsche Vereinigung, which had been collected during unification for use as an information base. In editing these sources, I worked together with the German social scientist Volker Gransow, who helped familiarize me with the GDR literature. We compiled a core of official texts, including programmatic announcements, communiqués, and treaties, but we also supplemented them with a colorful mixture of commentary from different ideological positions and some reports representing actual experiences. The German version published by the Verlag Wissenscha und Politik appeared in 1991. Günther Heydemann welcomed it in the Historische Zeitschri as “immediately useful and employable for scholarly purposes.”12 But the English-language version Uniting Germany (Berghahn Books) took three more years because we added a seventh chapter on the consequences of unification. It did not arouse much commentary but sold briskly, as it proved to be a useful teaching tool.13 Starting with this slim source base, I then embarked upon an ambitious project of writing a history of German unification close to the events in order to satisfy a widespread desire for a coherent account. Because West-

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erners had not go en at its primary sources, there was virtually no GDR history in the FRG, while in the English-speaking world the country was neglected by Slavic-oriented Sovietology.14 But the collapse of the SED dictatorship made available a trove of party, government, and secret police records, even if their West German counterparts remained off limits. Therefore, I fleshed out the official record with press coverage collected by the Bundespresseamt and with interviews ranging from Lothar de Maizière to Gregor Gysi. The methodological challenge consisted of grounding the necessary reconstruction of political events in a societal analysis and sensitivity to cultural experiences. Fortunately, a stimulating year spent at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in 1991/92 provided the leisure for the writing.15 The Rush to German Unity a empted to trace an unlikely trajectory of events, provide a balanced judgment, and suggest a reasonable explanation. For this purpose, I divided the story into three stages: the first part centered on the mass exodus, the growth of protests, and the overthrow of Honecker; the second section focused on the Round Table talks, the collapse of regime support, and the vote for unity; and the final section dealt with the currency union, the accession negotiations, and the actual unification. As interpretation, I proposed the concept of a peaceful revolution that evolved from civil society beginnings through a national turn to a social transformation. Starting with GDR citizens, I broadened the perspective to the Kohl government and the international community. Upon publication with Oxford University Press in 1994, some critics, looking for more theoretical analysis, objected to the breathlessness of the text. But most reviewers lauded the clarity, readability, and comprehensiveness of the “compelling narrative.” The German sociologist Karl Ulrich Mayer graciously called it “the best available book on the German events of 1989.”16 This positive reception encouraged me to a empt a German version, as I hoped that my transatlantic distance might contribute to calming the querelles allemandes. While the CDU and the SPD disputed the credit for unification, disappointed dissidents distanced themselves from their revolution, and the SED nomenklatura protested against its loss of privileges. In order to improve the original text, I did additional research in the Stasi archives, included the new secondary literature, and talked with many colleagues about their impressions. Hence, I sharpened the introductory reflections on the role of a historian in the process of turning the present into the past, calling for a “critical historicization” of the GDR in order to transcend the heated partisanship. When the Suhrkamp Verlag published the rewri en German text as Die unverho e Einheit 1989–1990 in 1995, Die Zeit hailed it as “all in all a successful book.” Due to its transatlantic detachment, the book found an eager readership, with a second

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Figure 5.1. ZZF director. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

edition quickly printed.17 My initial reaction to the surprising overthrow of the SED was the intellectual effort to explain its causes and the practical a empt to help deal with its institutional consequences.

Founding the ZZF One of the many challenges of German unification was fi ing the large academic establishment of the GDR into the leaner structure of the FRG. Paragraph 38 of the unification treaty stipulated that East German scholars should be evaluated in order to decide whether they could continue to work. In the universities, mixed commissions, dominated by West German colleagues, screened the personnel according to the following criteria: First, they looked at the quality and quantity of scholarly publications. But since publishing was less important in East Germany, many applicants failed to meet this standard. Second, they stressed political involvement in order to eliminate party hacks who had merely indoctrinated their students. Third, they automatically excluded anyone who had collaborated with the secret service, the infamous Stasi. Lying on the obligatory questionnaire led to disqualification. Finally, they considered the need for specialists of new fields for postcommunist instruction, which also led to many dismissals. The result that I described for Humboldt University was the drastic reduction of university positions.18

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The integration of personnel from the East German Academy of Sciences was even more problematic, since its 150 institutes with 27,000 members were too large for the decentralized West German system. Even if the majority of the 900 members in the humanities was evaluated positively, there were no institutions to receive them. As a solution, the German Science Council recommended the creation of seven new humanities centers, which would not only pick up Eastern colleagues but also add Western scholars and some international academics so as to create innovative research centers outside of the universities. One of these new institutes, called “Research Cluster for Contemporary History,” was to be located in Potsdam in the state of Brandenburg. It was chaired by the dynamic historian Jürgen Kocka, who had moved from Bielefeld to the FU Berlin and was an influential member of the Wissenscha srat. To facilitate the transition, the venerable Max Planck Society for natural sciences created an affiliate, called the “Society for Supporting New Scholarly Initiatives,” for funding the centers at least temporarily.19 The Potsdam institute quickly developed into a “small laboratory of German unification,” since the mixture of its members made for stimulating discussions. Sixteen scholars, including Peter Hübner, Mario Kessler, Michael Lemke, and Jochen Laufer, came from the East, and an increasing number, such as Martin Sabrow, Thomas Lindenberger, and HansHermann Hertle, hailed from the West. Research began in 1992, and the first international conference on “GDR as History” was held a year later. In February 1993, the institute moved from the Prenzlauer Promenade in Berlin to a representative house Am Kanal 4/4a in Potsdam. In April 1994, the comparative postwar historian Christoph Klessmann assumed the directorship over twenty-five scholars and staff members. When the Max Planck Gesellscha refused the permanent funding of humanities institutes, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinscha was kind enough to offer support for positively evaluated projects according to the model of its special research areas (Sonderforschungsbereiche). This more solid base allowed for the refounding of the institute, now called Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung (ZZF), in 1996.20 I became drawn into the ZZF through my interest in GDR history and efforts to mediate between East and West German historians. During the evaluations, colleagues from the GDR Academy approached me for advice on how to present their work and for le ers of recommendation. When Jürgen Kocka received an invitation from the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, I supported his decision to take the year off, since I had just been there and found it stimulating to write and participate in its discussions. To support Christoph Klessmann as his successor, I was invited for a sabbatical year to Potsdam

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as “guest scholar with directorial tasks,” an impossible job description. Nonetheless, the odd arrangement worked quite well, since Klessmann provided continuity and administrative experience, while I tried to inject some transatlantic impulses from the lively methodological debates in the United States. Moreover, we shared a Protestant scouting background and an interpretative commitment to an intermediary stance toward the East German past.21 As a result, I participated in the institute’s decisions, returning several summers therea er. The successful development of the ZZF was by no means a foregone conclusion, as fierce competitors in research and publicity tried to impede its growth. The influential but traditionalist Institut für Zeitges i te (IfZ) in Munich that focused on the Third Reich defended its monopoly by founding a branch in Berlin, arguing that our newcomer would only duplicate its work. Moreover, members of the Unabhängige Historikerverband such as Armin Mi er and Stefan Wolle a acked the ZZF in the conservative newspaper FAZ for rescuing party functionaries of the defunct academy instead of giving young dissidents a chance. Similarly, the former Maoists of the SED-Forschungsverbund at the Free University, led by Klaus Schroeder, polemicized against the Potsdam institute for not being rigorous enough in its anticommunism. The controversy culminated with the disclosure that the military historian Olaf Groehler had indeed reported on his colleagues to the Stasi, forcing his resignation.22 The heated debate in the media and scholarly journals revolved around the question of who was entitled to interpret the nature of the GDR. Only through an intense collective effort did the Potsdam center manage to create an institutional basis for its own research. The State of Brandenburg was too poor to provide more than minimal funding. The ministerial official in charge, Dr. Ulrich Schmidt, was rather conservative and preferred our sister institute on the European Enlightenment. Once, when he was berating us during a building inspection at the New Market, I lost my temper and shouted, “I don’t need you, I have a US chair, but you need me.” Therea er his tone markedly improved. Much of my own work revolved around reviewing grant proposals for the German Research Council, since every other year new applications had to be filed, and we could never be sure which ones would be approved. One of my least favorite tasks was acting as “angel of death” by telling colleagues that their application had failed. We only mastered this hectic schedule through the self-exploitation of the staff of Christa Schneider and Anke Wappler as well as the benign support of Dr. Schneider of the DFG. But ultimately these critical reviews helped to improve the projects, thereby saving the institute.23 The ZZF not only survived but also prospered due to the quality of its research and the credibility of its interpretation of GDR history. From 1996

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on, its distinctive approach focused both on “structures of domination and dimensions of experience,” emphasizing the dictatorial character of the SED regime but at the same time also engaging the everyday memories of its former citizens. The mixed members worked on four areas: “Sovietization and autonomy of the GDR,” “domination and self-assertion in a dictatorship,” “elites under socialism,” and “history as discourse of rule.” In contrast to the one-sided interpretation of its institutional competitors, the ZZF pursued a more nuanced approach “beyond condemnation and glorification of GDR-history.” This perspective presented a more complex picture of the GDR than media simplifications, because it drew both on the wri en records of the party state and on the personal recollections of its subjects. While some individual projects were rejected for reasons of age, ideology, and quality, the perspective as a whole convinced DFG evaluators sufficiently to fund most of its projects.24 Fascinated by the opportunity to help build a new institution and shape a contested interpretation, I ultimately persuaded myself to apply for a directorship at the ZZF. Following the pa ern of other non-university research institutes, the Potsdam center envisaged a structure of two coequal directors. Since I had already informally played this role, I followed Martin Sabrow’s encouragement and submi ed my application to the Brandenburg Ministry of Science, Research and Culture. I hesitated to return to Germany full-time since that might jeopardize my American career and cost my wife her hard-earned job, in addition to uprooting my sons. It was one thing to offer advice as a visitor but something else entirely to accept administrative responsibility within a different academic system that I knew only from the outside. Moreover, the conservative selection commi ee at the University of Leipzig had placed me merely third when I applied there a er my visiting semester. Nonetheless, the chance to develop the ZZF into a major center for research in contemporary history in Germany was too good to pass up.25 It required complex decisions and difficult negotiations for me to be appointed as director of the ZZF and adjunct professor at Potsdam University. My chief rival was the renowned everyday historian Lutz Niethammer, whose oral history projects on workers in the Third Reich and the GDR were pioneering efforts. As a result, the professors on the search committee voted four to three in his favor. But the liberal political historian at Potsdam, Manfred Görtemaker, rallied the junior faculty and staff, giving me a slim overall majority. Although the ministry preferred a sister institute on European Enlightenment, it followed the selection commi ee vote and offered me the job. A er lengthy negotiations, the ministry official in charge, Dr. Schmidt, and I arrived at a compromise, accepted by Richard Soloway, then senior associate dean for arts and sciences at UNC: for eight

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months of the year I would be in Potsdam, and for four months I would retain my endowed chair at Chapel Hill. Though this meant having to do one and a half jobs in addition to being separated from Hannelore for lengthy periods, she agreed to this arrangement, and from 1998 to 2006 I served as director of the ZZF.26 During the following eight years, I contributed to the successful development of the new institute in a variety of ways. For instance, I suggested changing the name from the tentative Research Cluster for Contemporary History to the more permanent sounding Center for Research in Contemporary History. At the same time, I involved myself in the preparation of applications to the German Research Council, since the ZZF was largely funded through individual projects that had to be submi ed every other year. Into these ever more elaborate research applications I tried to introduce some transatlantic methodological innovations, such as postmodern or feminist approaches to the cultural topics. Moreover, I sought to acquaint leading Anglo-American scholars with the institute. This proved an invaluable help because such well known colleagues as Mary Fulbrook, Corey Ross, Georg Iggers, and Mitchell Ash liked the ZZF’s moderate approach and defended it in public. Similarly, I supported the offer of summer grants to younger scholars from abroad that helped train a postcommunist cohort of PhDs in GDR history.27 Based on my American experience with the H-German email list, I also championed the digital transition that was still lagging somewhat in Germany. To improve internal communication, I insisted that all institute members, even the reluctant Mario Kessler, make the technological leap to the internet. Moreover, I strongly supported linking the ZZF to the emerging web network H-Soz-Kult, which was being developed by Rüdiger Hohls at Humboldt University. While Jürgen Danyel led the introduction of PCs to the institute, Michael Lemke provided the contemporary history expertise to H-Soz-Kult and Clio-online for reviewing. Finally, I also advocated for the establishment of a hybrid institute journal, called Zeithistorische Forschungen. While the Potsdam bulletin for contemporary history had been a useful mouthpiece, a more formal channel of communication was needed to establish the ZZF’s general approach in the field. Fortunately, its capable editor, Jan-Holger Kirsch, developed an innovative conception of joint print and internet publication that made use of the possibilities of presenting images on the web.28 Another accomplishment was managing the transition of the other director of the ZZF, from Christoph Klessmann to Martin Sabrow. A er the former had successfully guided the center’s development for a decade, he retired in 2004 with an impressive ceremony that celebrated his engagement and lauded his academic reputation.29 Though there was consid-

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erable pressure for appointing an outsider as his replacement, I argued that there were several inside candidates who were more than capable of taking the reins. While none of the external applicants was well enough versed in the GDR to direct research on that topic, the presentation of the talented insider, the everyday historian Thomas Lindenberger, did not convince the selection commi ee either. In contrast, Martin Sabrow’s talk was more compelling, suggesting that he could represent the ZZF well in the public memory debates. He was a Rathenau specialist and had written his Habilitationsschri on historiography in the GDR.30 I was delighted with this choice, and we worked constructively together for two years. My most important contribution was, however, obtaining permanent funding for the ZZF through its acceptance into the Go fried Wilhelm Leibniz Association. Since the special DFG fund was about to run out a er twelve years, the ZZF had to find another source of support, as Brandenburg was too poor to carry the institute alone. From the beginning I pushed for inclusion into one of the four research groupings that offered federal support. This was a risky strategy, as the institute had to be big and reputable enough to qualify for membership. Because the only group willing to accept a humanities institute was the Leibniz Association, which already supported the rival IfZ, the question became not only academic but also political. During its visit, the evaluation commission grew concerned about the proliferation of research topics. On the morning of the second day, its head Jürgen Osterhammel therefore asked me what made the ZZF unique. I swallowed hard and replied that for all its efforts at innovation, the institute remained focused on GDR history. This answer reassured the commi ee and saved the ZZF by opening the door to the WGL.31 A final initiative, still unachieved, is the creation of a Cold War Museum to highlight the connection between global power politics and their local repercussions in Berlin. During a public hearing about a Wall memorial, the SPD politician Markus Meckel and I hit upon the idea of complementing it with another museum that would represent the global dimension of the East-West conflict. We also wanted to clean up the carnivalesque mess at the former border crossing point Checkpoint Charlie, the site of the tank confrontation in 1961, because we found the commercial escape museum, founded by Rainer Hildebrandt, rather inadequate for the three-quarter million tourists who visited annually. Gathering like-minded people, we founded an association that was guided by Rainer Klemke, the museum specialist of the Berlin Senate. But partisan politics have only allowed the construction of a “black box” preview of a future center, as the CDU preferred the Allied Museum and the Le wanted to avoid the issue altogether. In spite the withdrawal of a potential investor, the city’s recent effort to buy some partial parcels suggests that the issue might yet be resolved.32

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Writing GDR History During the 1990s, East German history became a highly politicized field, with ideologies clashing over how to interpret the second German dictatorship. To discredit the defunct SED regime, the Bundestag created a Commission of Inquiry in which the political parties offered divergent but largely negative views of the East German state. The CDU claimed it had always believed in German unification and blamed the SPD for cozying up to the SED dictatorship. At the same time, the SPD argued that its rapprochement with East Germany through the Neue Ostpolitik had undercut the GDR regime and prepared its overthrow from below. The media had a field day exploiting the surviving Stasi documents in order to accuse leading East Germans like Lothar de Maizière, Manfred Stolpe, or Katarina Wi of collaborating with the secret police.33 In this overheated atmosphere rife with scandalization it was difficult for the ZZF to establish a more reasonable interpretation that did not merely look for proof of repression but also stressed the progressive policies that had supported the regime for four decades. One interpretation, favored by the Right, was the revival of totalitarianism theory that construed the GDR as a gigantic prison. Originally conceived by German exiles like Hannah Arendt to explain the similarity of repression between National Socialism and Communism, this approach had fallen into disuse with détente which argued for a growing convergence of advanced industrial societies. But access to secret SED documents and disclosure of the Stasi files seemed to bear out the totalitarian perspective by revealing a shocking degree of dictatorial control. In the East, many former dissidents who had suffered from persecution favored this approach, while in the West inveterate anticommunists tended to see the GDR through a kind of Stasi tunnel vision in which the party controlled everything. In contrast, individual memories of everyday lives in East Germany tended to be more mixed, blending aspects of repression with experiences of voluntary collaboration.34 Rejecting totalitarianism as oversimplified, the ZZF therefore set out to correct its clichés with a more nuanced understanding of the GDR. At the other political extreme, the Le sought to salvage what it could from the collapse of the East German state in order to retain its vision of a postcapitalist future. One favored argument of GDR memoirs was the claim that the Marxist ideology was correct but somehow its implementation in “real existing socialism” had failed. The search for reasons of this mishap tended to go backward, blaming Gorbachev’s misguided reforms, Brezhnev’s inflexible orthodoxy, Khrushchev’s hasty de-Stalinization, Stalin’s paranoid repression, or even Lenin’s brutal modification of a humane

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Figure 5.2. Potsdam Festschri . Photo by Martin Schmi , used with permission.

vision. Another line of argumentation held capitalist subversion responsible, claiming that it was borne out by the “colonization” during unification. In the East, mostly prior members of the nomenklatura who had lost their jobs engaged in the blame game, while in the West, Le intellectuals sympathized with the mistreatment of East German academics and the hasty privatization of the economy by the Trusteeship Agency.35 The challenge for the ZZF was to refute the apologias of the PDS while conceding the errors of unification, such as the excesses of academic purges. In the cooperative environment of the ZZF, our method of engaging Right and Le exaggerations was to publish a spate of books that integrated the East German experience into postwar history. The first was a volume on Amerikanisierung und Sowjetisierung, which analyzed the competing influences of the two hegemonic powers between 1945 and 1970. In it the cultural historian Hannes Siegrist and I sought to pose a comparative question that would de-emotionalize the normative juxtaposition of democracy and dictatorship by looking at the contrasting efforts to reshape the Germans in West and East. While the concept of Americanization was widely, though imprecisely, used to suggest the transformation of popular culture and consumption, the notion of Sovietization had to be rescued

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from anticommunist rhetoric. In empirical studies on politics, economy, society, and culture, the essays sought to reveal the asymmetries between so US influence and hard Soviet power. Anselm Döring-Manteuffel correctly concluded that the collection “describes an important research area for the next years.”36 The volume A er Unity: Reconfiguring German Identities was instead an effort to inform an English-speaking audience about some of the postunification debates in Germany. The collection responded to the German Studies Association’s wish to develop a truly interdisciplinary dialogue on the basis of shared questions. To reach this goal, I decided on an unprecedented experiment of asking a historian, a literary scholar, and a social scientist to write a joint essay that would combine their different perspectives on a specific topic. The chosen themes focused on discussions of the double burden of the past, conflicts on immigration and multiculturalism, controversies about the slow progress of unity, struggles over abortion rights, and debates about the international role of united Germany. As reviewers pointed out, the level of integration and interpretative balance varied considerably among the essays. In spite of such shortcomings, Diethelm Prowe called the volume “the most successful of the post-unification efforts to assess German identities.”37 The tenth anniversary of the peaceful revolution inspired an a empt to draw a balance sheet of the historical research on the internal dissolution of the GDR. Together with Martin Sabrow I therefore edited the revised papers of a session at the Frankfurt Historikertag in 1998, titled Weg in den Untergang: Der innere Zerfall der DDR. In my conceptual introduction, I tried to refute the cynical thesis of a simple collapse of Communist rule by pointing to the large popular mobilization that overthrew the SED dictatorship. While Detlef Pollack stressed the unpredictable intertwining of a series of separate social processes, Martin Sabrow reflected on the cultural reasons for the erosion of regime loyalty. Other essays treated the liberalization of Soviet policy, the economic decline, the allure of the West, the influence of East European dissidents, the self-blockage of the secret police, and the growth of an opposition. In contrast to other titles on the events of 1989, this volume was appreciated by reviewers, like the generally critical Eric Weitz, in that it sought to provide a more complex explanation.38 The essay collection on Dictatorship as Experience, published in 1999 as well, set out to historicize the GDR by “penetrating beneath the uniform surface of dictatorship.” Drawing together one decade of ZZF discussions, it also sought to make some of the new research available to an AngloAmerican public. In order to transcend the totalitarianism paradigm, the introductory essays scrutinized concepts of “modern dictatorship” (Jürgen Kocka), the question of “modernization blockages” (Detlef Pollack),

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and the paradoxical neologism of “welfare dictatorship” (proposed by myself). The empirical contributions dealt with regime repression, social incentives, cultural stabilizers, and chronological transformations. Across the different topics, the essays were united by an effort to come to grips with a regime that was at once dictatorial and egalitarian. Though not completely convinced by its concepts, reviewers like the French scholar Sandrine Ko welcomed it as “vibrant historical inquiry” pointing in a “direction that might prove to be fruitful.”39 The fortieth anniversary of the building of the Wall prompted the ZZF to revisit the question of responsibility a er the opening of the East European archives. Hans-Hermann Hertle, a leading specialist on its fall, brought together a wide-ranging volume on Mauerbau und Mauerfall with the help of Christian Ostermann, the director of the Cold War International History Project in Washington. The chapters were a mixture of eyewitness reports (Peter Bender, William Smyser), foreign policy analyses (Bernd Bonwetsch, Gerhard We ig), and social history essays (Stefan Wolle, Thomas Lindenberger), many of which also stressed the international context. Hope Harrison made a case for Ulbricht’s initiative, though Khrushchev had to approve it, while other contributors wrestled with the paradox of the Wall’s short-term stabilizing and long-term destabilizing effect as concrete building and cultural symbol. That initiative strengthened the Berlin Senate’s resolve to develop more elaborate plans for remembering the Mauer with the creation of a memorial at the Bernauer Strasse.40 The edition of a volume of talks between Brezhnev and Honecker was a special pleasure since these protocols offered firsthand insights into the styles, concerns, and worldviews of both leaders. When Hans-Hermann Hertle, who had found these documents in the SED archives, asked me to coedit them, I quickly agreed since they were a fascinating source. Between 1974 and 1982, both dictators had met for lengthy conversations on the Crimea, holding monologues and exchanging views. In the mid-1970s the Communist leaders thought that the winds of history were filling their sails, but later in the decade their mood soured, since the Soviet Union had food problems and would rather sell its oil at world market prices. A er the reduction of Russian oil deliveries, Honecker had li le choice but to turn to the FRG, much to the horror of his Moscow comrades. Published as Risse im Bruderbund in 2006, the volume was criticized by Hermann Wentker of the Berlin branch of the IfZ but praised by Gerhard We ig for its meticulous editing and “outstanding analysis.”41 Beyond these various efforts at a “critical historicization” of the GDR, I tried to stimulate the discussion by capturing its essence in a single concept, called “welfare dictatorship.” Jürgen Kocka’s suggestion that the SED regime was “a modern dictatorship” was a good starting point but did

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not distinguish the GDR from other dictatorial regimes of the twentieth century. While a concept needed to state clearly that East Germany was a dictatorship, it also had to distinguish the GDR from other such regimes, like Nazi Germany. Other labels like “educational dictatorship” were too unspecific, since they just stressed the practice of indoctrination, which all modern dictatorships had in common. Similarly, Martin Sabrow’s suggestion of “consensus dictatorship” emphasized popular collaboration but did not address the ideological content of the SED regime. To avoid such problems, I came up with the paradoxical concept of Fürsorgediktatur, which also recognized the positive social aspirations of socialism.42 The criticisms that the notion of a “welfare dictatorship” was either too condemnatory or too forgiving indicated that the idea was on the right track. A final imperative that I developed with Christoph Klessmann was the perspective of an “integrated postwar history,” which focused on the interaction of both Germanys during the Cold War. We were frustrated with the syntheses of postwar histories that were wri en by West German scholars, which either disregarded the GDR altogether or treated it as doomed from the start. On the other hand, the emergent literature on East Germany also largely proceeded as if the Federal Republic had not existed. In his pioneering volumes, Christoph Klessmann had already developed the notion of an “asymmetrical entanglement” of the two successor states of the Third Reich.43 In our ZZF discussions we tried to go further in analyzing how this interaction actually proceeded, as the Germans remained closely related to each other while living in separate states. For the sake of teaching the second half of the twentieth century, we sought to develop a more inclusive approach. This was easier said than done, but at least the ZZF initiated a discussion that established an integrated presentation as a goal.44

Living Transatlanticly Combining the ZZF directorship with a chaired professorship at UNC required me to develop a transatlantic lifestyle that would take advantage of a dual existence. The double institutionalization offered me a chance to get involved in internal German discussions while maintaining ties to American colleagues and students. But the actual implementation quickly proved to be less glamorous than a jet-set image might have suggested. To be sure, the internet allowed a virtual presence on the other side, but such a web connection could only substitute somewhat for not actually being there. I spent much time flying back and forth or responding to emails, time that could otherwise have been used for research and writing. Though the topic of German history was the same, it soon became obvious that its

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cultural framing differed substantially; in the United States emphasis fell on the Holocaust, while in the FRG it fell on the Nazi or SED dictatorships. Each wri en text required a decision as to which language it would be expressed in and toward which discussion it ought to be directed. This hyphenated situation was both stimulating and exasperating.45 Such a dual existence, nonetheless, offered exciting advantages that were not available to colleagues who worked and thought only in one national frame. Staying three-quarters of the year in Germany allowed me to have a deeper transnational perspective than I would have gained if I were limited only to shorter conference visits or research trips. Both access to primary sources and participation in interpretative discussions were easier in person. In the FRG there was more interest in German topics in the leading newspapers and the cultural programs of highbrow radio stations, offering historians a chance to reach a wider audience. At the same time, having an Anglo-American background made it possible to draw on English-language methodologies like deconstruction and gender history that were less constrained by the partisanship of domestic conflicts. Instead of internally participating in memory controversies, I was able to take an outside view and to problematize the tension between private recollections and their public memorialization. Hence, a transatlantic perspective made it easier for me to cope with the double burden of dictatorship.46 This unusual situation, however, also created numerous legal problems, since it violated the expected norm of living in one country. In order to work in Germany as an American citizen, I had to obtain a residence permit based on my Potsdam contract. A er a series of yearly permissions and extensions, we finally gained an “unlimited residence permit” in July 2014, a German version of an American “green card.” Then my employment status had to be adjusted so that I was paid for nine months in Potsdam while being on an unpaid one-semester leave in Chapel Hill. This complicated my insurance and retirement situations, as I kept my American coverage by paying both contributions at UNC, even when I was in Germany. Finally, I needed to resolve the issue of double taxation as well. Ultimately, my accountant suggested an intuitive and sensible solution that conformed to official regulations. I chose to pay taxes for my Potsdam salary in Germany and for my American earnings in Chapel Hill. Since this arrangement was unusual, it took considerable time to work out.47 In order to become fully functional on both sides of the Atlantic, we had to duplicate our infrastructure and much of our possessions, from PCs to tennis rackets, from clothes to books. We purchased and renovated a large apartment first in Schlachtensee and eventually in Nikolassee. When we were not in Berlin, we rented our place to foreign scholars, and when we were away from Chapel Hill, we had graduate students house sit for us.

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Still, we o en found that whatever we really needed tended to be on the other side of the Atlantic. To friends I joked that I had two of everything— except my dear wife Hannelore, who was unique. The transatlantic existence also created confusion for others since as they were never quite sure whether they were dealing with a German or an American. I o en seemed American to my German colleagues while to US scholars I appeared to be German. Though I was able to serve on the selection commi ee of the FU Berlin program first as a US and then as an FRG representative, I failed to qualify for funding from other institutions because I did not fit their national profile.48 The biggest challenge was maintaining a loving relationship with my wife Hannelore while we were separated for large periods of time. Out of respect for her career as director of French language instruction at UNC, we decided that she should stay in Chapel Hill during the academic year, where I lived with her during the fall, while she would join me in Berlin during the summer. In this fashion we maximized our time together so that we could share our daily lives as well as cultural highlights such as operas in the German capital and theater productions in North Carolina. It helped that Hannelore directed the UNC study abroad program in Montpellier in 1995 and 1997, since it was easier for me to fly to France and view Provençal antiquities or relax on Mediterranean beaches than it was to cross the Atlantic. Moreover, we communicated regularly by consulting about her textbook revisions and editing my English-language publications.49 I shall forever be grateful for her liberality in le ing me go to Potsdam and her patience with our intermi ent long-distance relationship. My transatlantic involvement was not easy on our sons either, though it enriched their life through unusual experiences. While growing up, they had to cope with moves to Saarbrücken, Gö ingen, Wassenaar, and Washington, which complicated their schooling and their friendships. As a student at Saint Olaf College, Konrad spent his junior year abroad at the Technical University in Berlin before doing his PhD in material science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Peter went to the University of Indiana and studied for two semesters in Tübingen before obtaining an MA degree in anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MS in natural resource management from Humboldt State University. The periods of their life spent in Germany widened their horizons and allowed them to maintain their fluency in the German language, though they also interrupted their educational progress and strained some of their friendships in the United States. But when we were at the Center for Advanced Studies in Stanford, both were so impressed by the beauty of San Francisco that they decided to live in the Bay Area. In the meantime, both sons have obtained German citizenship for themselves and their children.

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Fulfilling teaching obligations across the Atlantic was a complicated task, although I tried to limit my courses due to my time consuming administrative duties. In Potsdam I offered only a single seminar per year, which helped lighten the load. I enjoyed the contact I had with students from both Germanys; I could observe the blending of their backgrounds, which made for interesting discussions. Though I decided not to accept doctoral candidates in Potsdam, I supervised some interesting master’s theses, such as one on the Stasi Academy in Golm and another on foreign students in the GDR. A few seminar members went on to complete PhDs with other colleagues, and at least one student finished his degree under my direction. I also intermi ently co-taught the American graduate fellows of the Berlin Program in German and European Studies of the Free University and thereby had contact with the cream of the US crop.50 But my main focus remained on graduate students at the University of North Carolina whom I mentored via email and telephone. The high point of this transatlantic effort was the summer picnic for doctoral candidates in our backyard in Berlin. Maintaining transatlantic friendships was similarly difficult since it presupposed “being there” in order to stay in touch. In Germany annual visits with our relatives such as Johanna and Joachim Hagenauer, as well as Petra and Wilfried Jandok, helped maintain relationships. In Berlin we went hiking with Björn Dämpfling and Christiane Lemke, during which we had long discussions about the course of the world. Each May we joined the European cultural historian Hannes Siegrist and his wife Lili as well as the internet guru Rüdiger Hohls and his wife Beate for hikes in the Thüringer Wald, which also inspired fascinating conversations. The high point of the social season was Urte and Jürgen Kocka’s annual garden party, where the scholarly elite of the German capital met to debate controversies in memory politics. In Chapel Hill we had stimulating exchanges with the late British historian Richard Soloway and the Germanist Siegfried Mews. We also hiked with political scientist Helga Welsh, while I played tennis with the linguist Paul Roberge. It took considerable effort to maintain these ties because they had to be revived whenever we returned. As reward for our intensive labors, we enjoyed extensive vacations in some of the most scenic locations on both sides of the Atlantic. In the fall we would take the ferry to Ocracoke Island off the shore of North Carolina, where we enjoyed its unspoiled beaches and could sometimes find cooperative fish. Between Christmas and New Year’s, we tended to gather with our sons in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, for cross-country skiing or, when there was no snow, for hiking. In the winter we would go to Sils Maria, Switzerland, with its impressive mountains and frozen lakes, from which we could descend via the Bergell to the Lago di Como. In the spring we would hike with friends in the forests of Thuringia. For our summer trips, we ini-

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tially tried various French beaches, like the Isle de Re, before se ling on the stunning town of Talloires at the Lac d’Annecy, a high Alpine lake and nature preserve for swimming and hiking. These destinations combined some of the best that Europe and America had to offer, and as we returned to them annually, we started to feel at home on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Potsdam Perspective In August 2006, at the age of sixty-five, I retired from the directorship of the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung. My family and I celebrated the occasion with two dozen colleagues at the tennis club Grün-Weiss Nikolassee, where we showed some personal slides from different stages of my life. In November, the German Historical Institute honored my long support with a special lecture in Washington, DC. And in December the ZZF staged an academic symposium and a public celebration to mark the end of my transatlantic commitment. I was touched to see several hundred people, led by science minister Johanna Wanka, gather in the Kutschstall in Potsdam to reminisce about past crises and toast shared successes. The high point was Michael Geyer’s public lecture on “Transatlantische Bürgerscha : Betrachtungen zur deutschen und amerikanischen Wissens a skultur,” which critically reflected on the challenges of a transatlantic academic existence and was based on his own experiences. And much to my surprise, the members of the institute presented the cover of a Festschri whose content was delivered several months later.51 As a “senior fellow,” I watched the further growth of the ZZF without having to bear the responsibility for an increasing number of scholars. I retired from Potsdam in order to make space for younger colleagues and because I could continue my work by returning to UNC. As a visitor in board meetings, I observed how Martin Sabrow increased the space of the institute in the Kabine shaus and the Pferdelazare at the Neue Markt and succeeded in improving the administrative staff that had hitherto worked by self-exploitation. With adept use of “special conditions,” he also augmented the number of scholars, opening up new research directions. I was also pleased to see the intellectual energy of my own successor, the media historian Frank Bösch, who added projects reflecting on the digital age. One remaining problem was the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions. But, fortunately, our cooperation with the IfZ improved noticeably. Due to its closeness to Berlin and the innovative methods of its research, the ZZF has become a recognized authority in the emotional tangle of German memory politics.52 As a participant observer, I sought to contribute as much as I could to the academic dimension of German unification. I used my perspective as

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a contemporary historian to reflect on the process and interpret its successes and failures for a general public on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, I tried to treat East German colleagues like Fritz Klein decently and make an effort to understand their paradoxical situation of wanting to follow humanitarian aims while serving a party dictatorship. In advisory board meetings of the French Centre Marc Bloch, the Hannah Arendt Institut für Totalitarismusforschung, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Georg Eckert Institut für Schulbuchforschung, I helped the Easterners to understand Western academic standards while aiding Westerners in appreciating the problems of Eastern scholars. Several times I also participated in teacher training sessions by explaining my concept of a welfare dictatorship, which East Germans understood intuitively as a solution to their own perplexity. In contrast to many FRG scholars, I thought that their academic system could also benefit from reforms in allday schooling and the introduction of the BA as well as a tenure track.53 The perspective on contemporary history with which the ZZF approached its tasks might be called “critical historicization.” Like most observers, we were surprised by the size of East German protests and the speed of the restoration of a German national state. During the annus mirabilis of 1989 to 1990, the present changed into the past virtually in front of our eyes, challenging scholars to come up with accurate descriptions and credible interpretations of the confusing events. But in order to understand what was happening, we had to reflect critically on our own stakes in the process and on our biases that might color our reactions. The multiplicity of experiences demanded a plurality of interpretations that also implied moderation in our arguments. Instead of just blindly jumping into memory ba les, we learned that contemporary historians ought to review their conflicting meaning. Our “Potsdam perspective” that stressed an acceptance of complexity was therefore less a ma er of mediating temperament than a recognition of the limitation of insights by scholars caught in a whirlwind of change.54

Notes 1. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Der wundersame Weg in die Einheit,” in Martin Sabrow and Alexander Ko , eds., Experiment Einheit: Zeithistoris e Essays (Gö ingen, 2015). Cf. HansHermann Hertle, Der Fall der Mauer: Die unbeabsi tigte Selbstauflösung des SED-Staates (Opladen, 1996). 2. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Final Report on GDR Visit,” 17 February 1986; Stephen Kotkin, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (New York, 2009). 3. Ilko-Sas a Kowalczuk, Endspiel: Die Revolution von 1989 in der DDR (Muni , 2009). 4. Mary E. Saro e, 1989: The Struggle to Create Post–Cold War Europe (Princeton, 2014).

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5. Martin Sabrow, Tilmann Siebenei er, and Peter Weiß, eds., 1989—Eine Epo enzäsur? (Gö ingen, 2021). 6. Hannelore and Konrad H. Jaraus , Christmas le ers 1980 to 1990. 7. Joa im Petzold, Parteinahme wofür? DDR-Historiker im Spannungsfeld von Politik und Wissens a (Berlin, 2000). 8. h p:// Cf. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Nazi Terror and Resistance: Conference Report,” IREX-Newsle er, November 1989. 9. Konrad H. Jaraus , ed., Zwis en Parteili keit und Professionalität: Bilanz der Ges i tswissens a der DDR (Berlin, 1991), in the series Publikationen der Historis en Kommission zu Berlin. Reviews by Alexander Fis er, Historis e Zeits ri 260 (1995): 131–32, and E hardt Fu s, German Studies Review 17 (1994): 214–15. 10. Konrad H. Jaraus and Ma hias Middell, eds., Na dem Erdbeben: (Re-)Konstruktionen ostdeuts er Ges i te und Ges i tswissens a (Leipzig, 1994). Review by Alexander Fis er, Historis e Zeits ri 261 (1995): 655–56. 11. Georg G. Iggers, Konrad H. Jaraus , Ma hias Middell, Martin Sabrow, eds., “Die DDR-Ges i tswissens a als Fors ungsproblem,” Historis e Zeits ri Beihe 27 (Muni , 1998). Review by Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk, H-Soz-Kult, 19 May 1999. My contribution “Historische Texte der DDR aus der Perspektive des linguistic turn,” 112–33, was the high point of my exploration of postmodernism. 12. Volker Gransow and Konrad H. Jaraus , eds., Die deuts e Vereinigung: Dokumente zu Bürgerbewegung, Annäherung und Beitri (Cologne, 1991). Review by Günther Heydemann, Historis e Zeits ri 258 (1994): 274–75. 13. Konrad H. Jaraus and Volker Gransow, eds., Uniting Germany: Documents and Debates, 1944–1993 (New York, 1994). 14. The surveys by Hermann Weber, Die DDR 1945–1986 (Muni , 1988), and Dieter Staritz, Ges i te der DDR 1945–1985 (Frankfurt, 1985), were wri en by political scientists. 15. Konrad H. Jarausch, “The Failure of East German Anti-Fascism: Some Ironies of History as Politics,” German Studies Review 14 (1991): 85–102, was an exploratory effort. 16. Konrad H. Jarausch, The Rush to German Unity (New York, 1994). Cf. Gordon A. Craig, “United We Fall,” New York Review of Books, 13 January 1994, 36-40. Reviews by Michael Bernhard, Slavic Review 54 (1995): 138–39; Nevil Johnson, English Historical Review 112 (1997): 271–72; Karl Ulrich Mayer, Contemporary Sociology 24 (1995): 221–21; Diethelm Prowe, American Historical Review 100 (1995): 546; Fritz Stern, Foreign Affairs 73 (1994): 171; and John Torpey, German Studies Review 18 (1995): 378–79. 17. Konrad H. Jaraus , Die unverho e Einheit (Frankfurt, 1995). Reviews by Rudolf Grosskopff, Die Zeit, 28 July 1995; Ralph Hanselle, Financial Times Deuts land, 21 January 1995; Hermann Rudolph, Tagesspiegel, 19 January 1995; Elke S ubert, Frankfurter Runds au, 27 January 2005; Ole Wa ermann, Deuts landfunk, February 14, 1995. Der Spiegel used the title for its series at the tenth anniversary in 1999. 18. Konrad H. Jaraus , Ma hias Middell and Anne e Vogt, Sozialistis es Experiment und Erneuerung in der Demokratie—Die Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 1945–2010, vol. 3 of Ges i te der Universität unter den Linden, ed. Heinz-Elmar Tenorth (Berlin, 2012). 19. Jürgen Ko a, “Fors ungss werpunkt Zeithistoris e Studien, Potsdam,” Deuts land Ar iv 1993, 983–85. 20. Christoph Klessmann, “Ein kleines Laboratorium der Einheit—das ZZF in Potsdam,” public lecture, Potsdam, 23 February 2017; Peter Hübner and Hans-Hermann Hertle, “10 Jahre ZZF Potsdam,” Potsdamer Bulletin für Zeithistoris e Studien 25 (2002): 7–13. 21. Mit ell G. Ash, “In Potsdam mit amerikanis en Gastprofessoren,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 1993.

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22. Armin Mi er and Stefan Wolle, “Der Bielefelder Weg,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10 August 1993; idem, “Inquisitoren auf der Faultierfarm,” ibid., 9 September 1993; Jürgen Ko a, “Au Wissens a ler können lernen,” ibid., 25 August 1993. 23. Christoph Klessmann und Konrad H. Jaraus , “Ein Zentrum für Europäis e Zeitges i te—Überlegungen zur Verstetigung des ZZF” (Potsdam, 25 September 2000). The last DFG application was twelve hundred pages long. 24. Hübner and Hertle, “Zehn Jahre”; Me tild Küpper, “Zeitges i te mit Potsdamer Adresse,” Tagesspiegel, 28 Mar 1993. 25. Hannelore and Konrad H. Jaraus , Christmas le ers 1996 and 1997. 26. Katja Naumann’s MA thesis, “Die Rezeption und Diskussion kulturhistoris er Ansätze in der Zeitges i tsfors ung: Eine Fallstudie am Beispiel zweier Fors ungsprojekte” (Leipzig, 2003), neglects my role, since I was in the United States when she did her interviews. 27. Mary Fulbrook, “Politik, Wissens a und Moral,” Ges i te und Gesells a 22 (1996): 458–71. 28. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Von Emailliste zur Fa information: Der Beitrag von Rüdiger Hohls,” in Daniel Bur hardt, Thomas Meyer, and Claudia Prinz, eds., Fests ri für Rüdiger Hohls (Berlin, 2021); and idem and Jan-Holger Kirs , “Zeithistoris e Fors ungen: Ziele und Entwi lungen” (MS, 2021). 29. E. Hohenstein “‘Ges i te, die no qualmt und brennt’: Verabs iedung des Zeithistorikers Christoph Klessmann,” Potsdamer Neueste Na ri ten, 2 February 2004. 30. Martin Sabrow, Der Rathenaumord: Rekonstruktion einer Vers wörung gegen die Republik von Weimar (Muni , 1994); and idem, Das Diktat des Konsenses: Ges i tswissens a in der DDR 1949–1969 (Muni , 2001). 31. h ps://; h ps:// um&album_id=112122362178614. 32 .Senatsverwaltung für Finanzen, “Che point Charlie: Land Berlin erzielt Einigung über den Erwerb von zwei Teilflä en,“ 25 October, 2022; and Hope Harrison, A er the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present (Cambridge, 2019). 33. Andrew Bea ie, Playing Politics with History: The Bundestag Inquiries into East Germany (New York, 2008). 34. Jens Ha er, Deuts e Irrtümer: S önfärber und Helfershelfer der SED-Diktatur im Westen (Berlin, 1992); Klaus S roeder, Der SED-Staat: Ges i te und Strukturen der DDR 1949–1990 (Cologne, 2013). 35. Rainer E ert and Bernd Faulenba , eds., Halbherziger Revisionismus: Zum postkommunistis en Ges i tsbild (Muni , 1996). 36. Konrad H. Jaraus and Hannes Siegrist, eds., Amerikanisierung und Sowjetisierung in Deuts land 1945–1970 (Frankfurt, 1997). Review by Anselm Doering-Manteuffel, Historische Zeitschri 269 (1999): 546–48. 37. Konrad H. Jarausch, ed., A er Unity: Reconfiguring German Identities (New York, 1997). Reviews by Diethelm Prowe, German Studies Review 21 (1998): 394–95; and Hans Wagener, German Quarterly 71 (1998): 418–20. 38. Konrad H. Jaraus and Martin Sabrow, eds., Weg in den Untergang: Der innere Zerfall der DDR (Gö ingen, 1999). Review by Eric Weitz, Central European History 36 (2003): 490–94. 39. Konrad H. Jarausch, ed., Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-cultural History of the GDR (New York, 1999). Reviews by Samuel Goodfellow, German Studies Review 24 (2001): 255–56; Sandrine Ko , Contemporary European History 13 (2004): 233–47; and Eric

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40. 41.

42. 43. 44.

45. 46.

47. 48. 49. 50. 51.

52. 53.


Weitz, Central European History 36 (2003): 490–94. Cf. my essay “Realer Sozialismus als Fürsorgediktatur: Zur begriffli en Einordnung der DDR,” Aus Politik und Zeitges i te B20 (1998). Hans-Hermann Hertle, Konrad H. Jaraus , and Christoph Klessmann, eds., Mauerbau und Mauerfall: Ursa en, Verlauf, Auswirkungen (Berlin, 2002). Hans Hermann Hertle and Konrad H. Jaraus , eds., Risse im Bruderbund: Die Gesprä e Hone er-Bres new 1972 bis 1982 (Berlin, 2006). Reviews by Franziska Augstein, Süddeuts e Zeitung 23 April 2007; Hermann Wentker, Sehepunkte 7, no. 1 (2007); and Gerhard We ig, H-soz-Kult , 23 January 2007. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Fürsorgediktatur,” Docupedia-Zeitges i te, h ps://docupedia .de/zg/F%C3%BCrsorgediktatur. Christoph Klessmann, The Divided Past: Rewriting Post-war German History (Oxford, 2001). Konrad H. Jaraus ,” Die Teile als Ganzes erkennen,” Zeithistoris e Fors ungen 1 (2014): 10–30, and Christoph Klessmann and Peter Lautzas, Teilung und Integration: Die doppelte deuts e Na kriegsges i te als wissens a li es und didaktis es Problem (Bonn, 2005). Cf. Frank Bös , ed., Geteilte Ges i te: Ost- und Westdeuts land 1970–2000 (Göttingen, 2015). Konrad H. Jarausch, Harald Wenzel, and Karin Goihl, eds., Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives (New York, 2017), 1–23. Konrad H. Jarausch, “A Double Burden: The Politics of the Past and German Identity,” in: Jörn Leonhard and Lothar Funk, eds., Ten Years of German Unification: Transfer, Transformation, Incorporation? (Birmingham, 2002). Bürgeramt Zehlendorf, “Unbefristete Niederlassungserlaubnis,” 4 July 2014. Hannelore and Konrad H. Jaraus , Christmas le ers, 1998 to 2006. Nina Furry and Hannelore Jarausch, Bonne Continuation: Approfondissement à l’écrit et à l’oral (New York, 2006), 2nd ed. Jaraus , Wenzel, and Goihl, Different Germans, Many Germanies. Hannelore and Konrad H. Jaraus , Christmas le er 2006; Mi ael Geyer, “Transatlantis e Bürgers a : Betra tungen zur deuts en und amerikanis en Wissens a skultur; Festrede anlässli der Verabs iedung von Konrad H. Jaraus ,” Potsdamer Bulletin für Zeithistoris e Studien 38/39 (2006): 11–20: Jürgen Danyel, Jan-Holger Kirs and Martin Sabrow, eds., 50 Klassiker der Zeitges i te (Gö ingen, 2007). See the annual reports of the ZZF, such as Martin Sabrow, ed., ZZF: Tätigkeitsbericht 2006–2007 (Potsdam, 2007). Konrad H. Jaraus , “Demokratis e Exzellenz? Ein transatlantis es Plädoyer für ein neues Leitbild deuts er Ho s ulen,” Denkströme (Leipzig, 2008); Karen Hagemann, Konrad H. Jaraus , and Cristina Allemann-Ghionda, eds., Children, Families and States: Time Policies of Childcare, Pres ool, and Primary Education in Europe (New York, 2011). Marc Howard, “Unique, but Not beyond Comparison: Comments on Konrad Jarausch’s ‘The German Democratic Republic as History in United Germany,’” German Politics and Society 15, no. 2 (1997): 33-48.

Chapter 6


( For the second time in two weeks, I was flying back from Europe to the United States for a job interview, hoping to move to a more highly ranked institution than the University of Missouri. During the academic year of 1982–83 I was enjoying a German Research Council guest professorship at Gö ingen University, and my book on Students, Society and Politics in Imperial Germany had just appeared with Princeton University Press. But a rightward shi in Missouri state politics had reduced funding for MU, and I was becoming increasingly impatient with the intellectual provincialism of our small Midwestern college town. The collapse of the academic job market for historians during the second half of the 1970s made it exceedingly difficult to find a more a ractive position. A er a couple of disappointments, I was resigned “that one can only be patient and pursue one’s national and international academic work without being discouraged.”1 While dozing in my airplane seat I mused about my chances. Would something work out this time around? The first stop was the University of Florida in Gainesville, an up-andcoming institution in a popular vacation area. In contrast to Missouri, the state of Florida was still growing rapidly and therefore capable of funding its institutions. My contact there was the British-born historian Geoffrey Giles, whom I knew from our shared interests in the Nazification of German students and our common work for the newly founded Friends of the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.2 The presentation on my new research topic of German professions went well because the collaboration of professionals with a dictatorship and the persecution of Jewish practitioners were subjects that spoke to an American audience. But I hesitated over UF because I disliked the oppressive summer heat and worried about the presence of alligators, which would render swimming and boating dangerous. The department made a dynamic impression, and I was

Notes for this chapter begin on page 150.

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pleased with its interest in me, but the chair explained that he wanted to build the faculty to mirror that of UNC. Ironically, the second destination was, indeed, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the oldest public university in the country founded in 1792. It was also located in the South, but it had a reputation as a beacon of liberalism and progress in the entire region. Moreover, the presence of Research Triangle Park, the private institution Duke University, the technically oriented North Carolina State University, and the National Humanities Center had fostered a lively intellectual and artistic environment. Ranked in the top dozen history departments in national comparisons, UNC had a distinguished faculty of Europeanists, including the diplomatic historian Samuel Williamson, the military scholar Gerhard Weinberg, and the British social specialist Richard Soloway.3 The position had opened up because Lamar Cecil decided to move to a liberal arts college and the other finalist, Michael Kater, chose to remain in Toronto. I was rather nervous during my presentation before such an illustrious audience, but the colleagues were charitable and liked what I had to say. During my short and jet-lagged visit, I was amazed at the pride the residents had in their town, expressed in the slogan the “Southern Part of Heaven.” This phrase had been coined by William Meade Prince in 1950 as the title of his reminiscences about growing up in Chapel Hill. It was supposed to suggest a pleasant lifestyle of an academic village that was both locally rooted and cosmopolitan.4 But the slogan could also be meant ironically to denote exaggerated expectations of its inhabitants. My first impression of Chapel Hill, conveyed by the realtor Eunice Brock, was friendly enough, showing a spacious campus with century-old trees and ivy-covered buildings. The town was not bigger than Columbia, but it was located close to the Black factory city Durham and the state capital Raleigh, which provided more of an urban context. Sports fans celebrated national championships in basketball, women’s soccer, field hockey, and the like, while cultural aficionados enjoyed the North Carolina Symphony and PlayMakers Theater. The combination of houses on woodsy lots and sophisticated shops suggested that Chapel Hill was a special place. In the end, lightning struck twice, and I was offered chaired professorships by both Florida and North Carolina. I was sorry to decline the Gainesville offer, but I worried that the outcome of an ambitious building program remained uncertain, whereas an established institution with a scholarly reputation such as UNC’s could survive some setbacks. The Chapel Hill endowed chair was the Lurcy Professorship in European Civilization. Georges Lurcy, née Levy, was a Jewish financier who had fled the Nazi invasion of France to North Carolina, the home state of his wife. During the war, banker and UNC graduate Edward M. Bernstein drew

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him into Washington, where he helped economic mobilization. When his collection of impressionist art was returned to him a er the war, Lurcy established a foundation in his will with chairs in French, economics, and history at Chapel Hill, as well as at other institutions and graduate exchange fellowships.5 Since I felt touched and honored by this background, and Hannelore received a half-time lectureship in romance studies, we decided to accept the UNC offer.

Carolina Teaching When we arrived in 1983, the public image of the University of North Carolina was both competitive and congenial. The campus had grown over two centuries with buildings in different styles, all clustered around the Old Well in front of South Hall. The statue of Silent Sam, a confederate soldier, dominated the front mall, while the Wilson Library anchored its counterpart in the back. The town of Chapel Hill was dominated by the university, centered around Franklin Street, while the residential houses were shaded by old trees. As flagship institution of the state system, UNC was the pride of generations of alumni who were generous in their donations of fellowships and endowed chairs. In national surveys of institutional ranking, North Carolina tended to place in the top three to five among public universities, as it aspired to be the best in the Southeast. As a result, the campus atmosphere was generally friendly and polite, exuding a bit of Southern charm.6 Even if the conservative senator Jesse Helms disparaged liberal UNC as “a zoo,” it felt good to be at an institution with a positive public identity. We soon found out that behind this pleasant façade, the rather white male university was undergoing a fundamental diversification of its students and faculty. Since women were directed toward their own college in Greensboro, it took until the 1960s for female students to be regularly enrolled and for female professors like Gillian Cell to be appointed to faculty positions.7 In a largely Protestant region, Catholic students and faculty were in a distinct minority, finding a campus home in the Newman Center.8 In spite of old Jewish communities in urban areas, the first Jews, such as Gerhard Weinberg, were not hired as professors until the 1970s, while the number of Jewish students supported by the Hillel Center eventually grew to 5 percent.9 The real touchstone of diversity was, however, the admission of Blacks. It took a Supreme Court decision to force the enrollment of three Blacks from Durham in 1955 and a major recruitment push in the 1970s to increase their number to over 12 percent, while the hiring of Black faculty, like Colin Palmer, began at the same time. Encouraged by

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Figure 6.1. German Historical Institute lecture. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

famous athletes like Michael Jordan, who a ended UNC, Black activists gathered in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.10 During this period, the “building of a research university” took several decisive steps forward. Begun around 1900 and specializing in the sciences, UNC transformed from a sleepy college to a major research enterprise, a process that gathered steam with the construction of the Wilson Library and the founding of the university press. During the 1970s, the process intensified with the construction of the postmodern Davis Library and the establishment of the Odum Institute and the Demography Center. In the history department, standards for hiring and tenure changed: where once the ability to teach large undergraduate classes in an entertaining fashion was the norm, the baseline shi ed so that the publication of scholarly books and articles by renowned presses and journals became essential. Faculty caught in this transition found it unse ling, as the expectations according to which they were evaluated changed without warning. Some, like the able teacher David M. Griffiths, were promoted at the end of their careers, while others, like the popular Willis Brooks, retired early. But some decisions, such as the denial of tenure for the intellectual historian Carl E. Pletsch, seemed unfair and le a bad taste.11 Teaching Carolina undergraduates was a pleasure—they were o en bright, even if somewhat unsophisticated, and eager to be instructed. But

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because the number of students at Chapel Hill was limited so that other campuses of the state system could fill up, admissions were quite competitive. Four-fi hs of the undergraduates hailed from North Carolina, usually stemming from the top tenth of their graduating class with SAT scores of about 1200. To assure widespread political support, freshmen were selected from each of the one hundred counties of the state. The remaining one-fi h of out-of-state students had to perform even be er, averaging around 1400 on the SAT. Compared to the huge Big Ten institutions, Carolina enrollments were modest, large enough to be diverse but still small enough to allow personal contact between students and professors. While there was a lively party culture, promoted by fraternities, there were also enough activist student organizations to offer intellectual alternatives.12 The local NPR affiliate WUNC and the classical music station WCPE provided political and cultural stimulation as well. With its recruitment and support policy, UNC tried to balance intellectual excellence with social equality. The institution was proud of having two Nobel Prize winners among its faculty, and it was equally pleased with its top six record in generating research funding, since the proportion of public financing plateaued in the wake of the Republican takeover of state government in 2010. With the Morehead-Cain scholarship program, Carolina a racted about seventy top undergraduates by offering tuition, room and board, summer stipends, and the like to the best applicants. The Moreheads had a reputation of being talented and involved students that leavened the undergraduate population.13 At the same time, UNC kept in-state tuition low in order to make higher education affordable to gi ed students from modest and nonacademic families. A special Carolina Covenant Program offered “bright, hardworking young people from impoverished backgrounds” a full ride of grants and work study in order to graduate “debt-free” a er four years. This exemplary program of aid for hundreds of students caused UNC to be ranked as the best value in public universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine.14 My major teaching effort was a course on twentieth-century Europe that sought to communicate the ambivalent European experience to Carolina undergraduates. The first half of the lectures dealt with the catastrophic decades of World War I, World War II, and the Holocaust that almost annihilated the continent. But the second half also sought to present a more encouraging picture of a return to civility, rising prosperity, and “peaceful revolution,” stressing the learning process that has motivated European integration. Generations of dedicated teaching assistants helped by discussing outside readings in smaller recitation sections and doing most of the grading. Enlivened by supplementary paperbacks and the addition of films, this lecture cum discussion approach tried to offer basic information

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on events and concepts while also presenting a coherent interpretation centered on the travails of modernity. Even if the shi of public a ention away from Europe has caused enrollment to decrease during recent decades, the course has been effective in treating the continent both as cautionary tale for and positive alternative to the United States.15 A second important course which I have offered has been an interdisciplinary multimedia exploration of postwar Germany, reaching up to the present. The pedagogical purpose of this initiative has been to remedy the American lack of interest in and dearth of information about the recovery of Germany from World War II to its position of leadership in the European Union. On the one hand, language and literature specialists tend to neglect the historical development of and political debates about the postwar re-civilization of the country. On the other hand, political scientists and historians o en ignore the cultural productions of present-day Germany that would help them understand the country. Responding to the German studies impulse, the Germanist Siegfried Mews and I designed a team-taught course that examined several short literary works and discussed half a dozen films while also including lectures on historical developments and political conflicts. Featuring Richard Langston and a succession of Germanist PhD students, this enriching team-teaching enterprise has offered several different instruction methods as well as distinctive content.16 Fellow teachers and students seem to have enjoyed the unusual approach. Another regular offering of mine was an undergraduate seminar on Nazi Germany, which introduced students to historical methods through the controversial example of the Third Reich. It was based on the online publication of ten volumes of documents and images on German history held at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC, and provided introductions and texts of key documents on a whole range of important topics. Compiled by Richard Breitman, the Nazi Germany volume contains accessible, English-language versions of important sources, including Hitler’s concordat with the Catholic Church and the protocol of the Wannsee conference on the Holocaust. This base makes it possible for students to go beyond secondary scholarship and probe primary documents on the Nazi dictatorship, its wartime aggression, and its perpetration of mass murder. By picking a topic of particular interest, students can make up their own mind on controversial questions and thereby learn how to use sources, whether wri en or visual.17 This approach allows them to debunk some of the myths of the Third Reich and get a taste of original research. One of the pleasures of teaching at UNC has been working with exceptionally talented undergraduates. Due to my frequent transatlantic

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absences, I could not really build a student following, but a few honors theses stand out. One early effort was by John Williams, who wrote on German life-reform movements around the turn of the twentieth century, which grew into a book that was published by Stanford University Press. He did his PhD at Michigan and has been teaching at Bradley University since 1997.18 Another honors student was John Deak, whose thesis investigated suicides in late Hapsburg Vienna. He completed his doctorate at the University of Chicago and is currently the Carl E. Koch Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.19 Finally, the Albanian Morehead Scholar Jona Bocari explored the role of gender in the resistance against Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. As of this writing she is currently a ending the University of California at Berkeley Law School.20 While writing le ers of recommendation is a nuisance, for me it is rewarding to see the applicants succeed in their efforts to a end graduate or professional schools. With several further initiatives, I tried to aid in the creation of an institutional infrastructure for teaching German and European subjects at Carolina. When the German government sought to strengthen transatlantic relations by funding German studies in the United States, UNC was selected to receive one of the lecturers. The DAAD offered half of a regular salary plus extensive benefits but asked the host institution to come up with the other half. The visiting faculty would teach some of the courses in a receiving department and add others on German subjects not otherwise offered. Since the German department was strong enough already and the history department already had Gerhard Weinberg and me and did not need additional faculty, we selected the political science department as recipient. We hit the jackpot with Christiane Lemke, a specialist in East Germany and international relations, because she “made an excellent beginning in terms of popularity with students and respect by her colleagues.”21 Whenever problems arose, I acted as an informal coordinator who helped subsequent lecturers to keep the program going until the present. Another institutional innovation was the creation of a Center for European Studies that served as a platform for working on contemporary continental issues. The political scientist Gary Marks and I persuaded a reluctant dean that the area studies approach should be extended to Western Europe in 1991. The collaboration with Peter Lange at Duke University, the hiring of Ruth Mitchell-Pi s as administrator, and the support of DAAD fellow Christiane Lemke strengthened our Title VI application to the National Defense Education Program so much that it resulted in a federal grant of $345,000 in 1994. As a national resource center, UNC established close relations to the European Union and therefore became the

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North American anchor of its institutional support. A fortuitous move was the creation of a Transatlantic Master’s Program (TAM) that linked UNC with leading continental universities. To stabilize the project, the CES also created an undergraduate major in European studies.22 While I had to resign my co-directorship in 1998 due to my focus on the ZZF in Potsdam, I was pleased with the CES’s lively contribution to the curriculum. A final initiative and outgrowth of the German studies approach was the foundation of the North Carolina German Studies Seminar that is both interdisciplinary and transinstitutional. In order to stimulate intellectual life at UNC, the College of Arts and Sciences and other sponsors made a modest amount of funding available for thematic discussion forums in 2006. Cu ing across disciplinary boundaries, this initiative supported debates among historians, Germanists, and social scientists about German history, culture, and politics. Moreover, the platform also brought together specialists from the neighboring institutions in central North Carolina, including Duke University, thereby creating a critical mass for scholars. The NCGS program included well-known international and national speakers, such as David Blackbourn or Helmut Walser-Smith, as well as graduate students who presented their dissertation research. Occasional workshops, including one on the postwar transition, completed the offerings.23 From the beginning, Karen Hagemann has been one of the main co-organizers of the NCGS series, which is coordinated by an advisory board.

Training Graduate Students Over the past decades, the UNC graduate program has created what might be called a Carolina school of Central European History, with dozens of PhDs and half a dozen winners of the Fritz Stern dissertation prize. One essential contributor to this success has been its outstanding Europeanist faculty24. Though its initiator John Snell passed away all too early, the diplomatic historian Gerhard Weinberg trained several cohorts of graduate students. His A World at Arms synthesis is still one of the best-known volumes on World War II. His successor, Christopher Browning, a leading Holocaust scholar, also produced a number of PhDs. His exploration of the mentality of the perpetrators in Ordinary Men has become a classic in the genocide literature. Moreover, UNC was also able to recruit Karen Hagemann, who a racted graduate students interested in women’s and gender history. Her pathbreaking work on the memory of the Napoleonic wars connected military, cultural, and gender history.25 These scholars were supported by the Polish historian Karen Auerbach, the Central Europeanist Chad Bryant, the intellectual history scholar Lloyd Kramer, the

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global specialist Klaus Larres, the early modernist Terence McIntosh, the Russian specialist Don Raleigh, and the French historian Don Reid. Another important aspect of graduate study was an a ractive program structure that offered a mixture of intellectual challenge and psychological support. Due to the stinginess of the legislative appropriation, most students were funded through teaching assistantships, requiring twenty hours of work a week. Hence, we reduced the MA from a lengthy thesis to an essay in order to speed up the search for a dissertation topic. Over time, the format of the comprehensive exams, with one dissertation field, a methodological focus, and a chronological epoch, has loosened considerably. Outside funding has usually supported researchers in European archives, allowing them to compile source material, get acquainted with continental faculty, and network with other candidates. The results of the research, o en supported by small writing groups, are then presented in departmental or area-specific colloquia.26 This formal structure is complemented by a lively social scene that offers moral support. A sign of the closeness of the Carolina community is the annual dinner of graduates at the German Studies Association meeting. I have contributed to this program by mentoring some sixty graduate students in order to train new generations of European historians. I enjoyed graduate teaching because, since the basic facts were already known, I could concentrate on the debate about their meaning. This effort involved working with primary sources—a drastic transition from passively receiving prior accounts to actively engaging with constructing the meaning of the past. I was convinced that only by wrestling with documentary remains could later students begin to develop their own understanding. To become part of the great conversation about the significance of earlier times, I also considered it necessary to introduce PhD candidates to the development of successive arguments, transmi ing a sense of historiography to allow them to make conscious decisions about interpretational claims. In helping budding historians find their own voice, I tried to guide them with loose reins, only intervening when I had a sense that they needed help. While some colleagues insisted on closer supervision, I preferred a more open approach.27 Though they reflected individual interests, the dissertation topics of the five dozen PhDs who worked with me also reveal the changing preoccupations of German history in general. The initial group of students, who took about five years to defend their results, worked on nineteenth-century subjects. The first to finish in 1988 was the late Jere Link, who explored the role of the national-liberal Schiller Foundation in the creation of a German identity. The second to complete his degree investigated the development of Bavarian particularism as a failed proto-nationalism. Another early PhD

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wrote on the Jewish youth movement. Yet another researched the emergence of a Catholic middle class in the Rhineland in the mid-nineteenth century.28 Several others investigated the German student movement of the Burschenscha during the Vormärz, the Napoleonic kingdom of Westphalia, and the journeymen’s association in Saxony during the 1848 revolution. No longer just dealing with politics, diplomacy, or war, these dissertations reflected the field’s shi toward sociocultural themes.29 While those interested in the Third Reich worked with Gerhard Weinberg, my own students shi ed their focus toward the later decades of Imperial Germany. One doctoral candidate tackled the heated debates about the creation of Greater Berlin, while another wrestled with the regulations and practices regarding immigration in the Wilhelmian capital. In a comparative dissertation, Christopher Fischer (Indiana State University at Terre Haute) probed Alsatian regionalism between Imperial Germany and Republican France.30 In a similar vein, Adam Seipp (Texas A&M University) investigated the difficult demobilization and urban protest in Munich and Manchester during the transition to peace a er World War I. Moreover, Richard Frankel (Louisiana State University at Lafaye e) wrote on the nefarious impact of a misunderstood Bismarckian legacy on German political culture in looking for a strong leader. Yet another graduate researched German-American relations during the economic crisis following World War I. And another recently defended a military history dissertation on Field Marshal Ewald von Kleist.31 Most of these theses cut across conventional caesuras to investigate questions of continuity from one period to another. A er Christopher Browning’s arrival, our mutual students also benefi ed from formal and informal co-advising. My first Holocaust graduate was Thomas Pegelow Kaplan (University of Colorado), who came from Germany to write about “linguistic violence” in the separation of Germans of Jewish ancestry as a prelude to mass murder. Soon therea er, John Cox (University of North Carolina at Charlo e) finished his degree by writing on le -wing Jewish youth resistance in the Third Reich, taking an unusual perspective. Another co-advised dissertation was Michael Meng’s (Clemson University) interesting work on “Sha ered Spaces,” which investigated the disposition of Jewish sites in Poland and Germany a er World War II. Finally, a recent dissertation tackled related issues of the integration and disintegration of the Jewish community in the city of Frankfurt known as “Jerusalem on the Main.”32 Together with the theses of Weinberg’s and Browning’s students, these dissertations helped UNC to gain a reputation as a center for Jewish studies and Holocaust history. The shi of interest among contemporary historians to the post–World War II period also drew much graduate work in this direction. The first to

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explore this area at UNC was Michael Hayse (Stockton University), who worked on the recasting of German elites, including civil servants, business leaders, and physicians. Next came Kimberly Redding (Carroll University) who researched the transition of the Hitler Youth in Berlin a er the war. Related to this topic was Brian Puaca’s (Christopher Newport University) dissertation on early efforts regarding educational reform in West Germany that explored democratic reform efforts before 1968.33 Yet another student similarly probed the transformation of educational administrators in East and West Germany a er World War II. An air force veteran worked on civilian internment in the American zone, while another PhD examined efforts to demilitarize German society in Baden-Wuer emberg.34 All this interesting research sought to figure out how former Nazis gradually became titular democrats a er 1945. The peaceful revolution in East Germany triggered a veritable flood of dissertations on GDR topics in the first decade of the twenty-first century. One unusual study compared the SED’s policies toward state-sponsored Sorbian groups and ignored Jewish minorities, while Thomas Goldstein (Central Missouri University at Warrensburg) explored the cultural impact of the East German Writers’ League in another volume. Edward Richardson-Li le (Erfurt University) wrote on the strange GDR notions of human rights that appeared counterintuitive to Western scholars,35 whereas Volker Benkert (Arizona State University at Tempe) probed the biographical ruptures of a cohort of young East Germans during unification, showing different forms of adaptation. Finally, a more recent dissertation looked at the postcommunist transition in the socialist showcase city of Eisenhü enstadt, while another student worked on the East-West media competition for constructing a be er Germany. These pathbreaking dissertations helped establish a new research field in GDR history.36 Inspired by feminist scholarship, women and gender history also grew rapidly at UNC, especially under the mentorship of Karen Hagemann. Elizabeth Heineman (University of Iowa) was the pioneer, writing on the struggles of single women in the transition from Nazi Germany to the Federal Republic. While another student worked on the mythologization of the 1968 youth revolt in German political culture, Catherine Dollard (Denison University) investigated the surplus of women in Imperial Germany.37 One later co-advisee studied the gendered division of labor in West Germany from the 1950s onward, while another one wrote on the reform of marriage and family law in postwar East and West Germany. Finally, yet another project on the development of the female police from the Weimar Republic to the postwar period is still in progress.38 Taken together, these explorations contributed to the shi from women’s history to gender studies among German history students at UNC.

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Another popular field that was inspired by postmodern perspectives and contemporary controversies was the study of memory culture in various controversial se ings. Jon Berndt Olsen (University of Massachuse s) led off with a study of official GDR commemorations, memorials, and museums, followed by Laurence Hare’s (University of Arkansas) dissertation on the archeological competition between Denmark and Germany for identity in the borderlands. Then Philipp Stelzel (Duquesne University), who originally hailed from Germany, wrote on the emergence of a critical social history, known also as the Bielefeld school, as a transatlantic enterprise,39 while another student investigated public mourning in the postwar Germanys. More recently, yet another PhD worked on the creation of a narrative of flight and expulsion in postwar Germany, while Daniela Weiner (Stanford University) investigated the representation of the Holocaust in schoolbooks in Italy and the two Germanys.40 These dissertations adopted a meta-perspective in that they did not study the events themselves but rather their reflections in the past. Other doctoral students addressed politically relevant topics such as the environment and migration. Early on, Sandra Chaney (Erskine College) wrote a prize-winning study on the transition from nature protection to environmental activism in the Federal Republic; Stephen Milder (University of Groningen) followed with a dissertation on the rise of antinuclear activism in the Rhine Valley; and Julie Ault (University of Utah) composed a monograph investigating East German environmentalism.41 In contrast, Sarah Thomsen Vierra (Lewis and Clark College) shi ed to an examination of literature and film in the construction of a TurkishGerman identity in Berlin. Another student explored the concept of “regulating humanitarianism” with a case study of the refugee transit camp of Friedland. Finally, Bri any Lehman tackled the controversial subject of teaching migrant children by looking at several national case studies.42 These dissertations opened up new areas of research for contemporary German studies. Some cultural historians also worked on the history of science and the development of religion. For instance, Eric Engstrom (Humboldt University) investigated the birth of clinical psychiatry in Imperial Germany from a professionalization perspective. Another student focused on the development of science and technology through a study of the Deutsche Museum in Munich, while Tobias Schulz (Erlangen University) examined the socialist concept of science based on its practice at Humboldt University.43 Exploring the transformation of religion, Michael O’Sullivan (Marist College) studied the decline of devotion in popular Catholicism during the first half of the twentieth century, while another student investigated the liberalization of the Protestant Kirchentag in Germany.44 These studies

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used methods of cultural history to investigate the evolution of science and its impact on the secularization of religion. A few dissertations also focused on a new approach to international history, drawing on a cultural perspective rather than treating it as traditional diplomatic history. For instance, Annika Frieberg (San Diego State University) investigated media efforts at reconciliation between West Germany and Poland that laid the groundwork for Brandt’s Ostpolitik. Similarly, a recent thesis explored the practice of “a socialist neighborhood” between the GDR, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.45 Just finished is a thesis on the impact of views of Nazi Germany on the development of the Spanish Right during the rise and rule of Francisco Franco. Still underway is a dissertation on the human dynamics of leaders during the last weeks before the outbreak of World War II.46 These dissertations shed fresh light on controversial aspects of German development within Europe. Finally, a small cluster of doctoral students has established a special transatlantic connection between Chapel Hill and Berlin. Since I had my hands full with American doctoral candidates, I did not accept any PhD students in Germany—with a single exception—and I only acted as second reader for a handful of others. But Sco Krause’s (Willy Brandt memorial) work on the German-American campaign for Cold War democracy in Berlin linked up with that of two doctoral students from the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, who also did some of their research and writing in Chapel Hill. Hanno Hochmuth wrote a comparative study of the Berlin neighborhoods of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. And Stephanie Eisenhuth produced a dissertation on the presence of American forces in West Berlin as political protection.47 We worked so closely together that we organized a conference and edited a volume on Cold War Berlin. Going beyond traditional political history, this collection explores the cultural conflicts of the divided city.48 Taken together, these varied dissertations reflect the transformation of topics and careers in Central European history during the past half century. The dedication of the European faculty at UNC helped, but much of the achievement is due to the students themselves, who provided a critical mass to stimulate each other. Typical of the graduates of a public institution, the majority have academic jobs, most in branches of state universities and liberal arts colleges in the South. But about a dozen have landed in Research 1 institutions. An equal number have taken other career paths in government or business. About half of them have published their research in scholarly books, others also in articles. Several have won the Stern prize of the German Historical Institute or other awards. About onethird of the dissertations were wri en by women. Regre ably, there were also a handful of failures, not for lack of intelligence but due to writing

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blockages, material constraints, and institutional obstacles.49 Mentored by my colleagues and myself, the research of these young historians is contributing a nuanced understanding of German history.

Return to Writing The end of my administrative duties in Potsdam allowed me to return to UNC and resume my scholarly writing, which ranged all the way from conceptual reflections to teaching materials. One exploration of the American stakes in working on Germany sought to question the negative stereotyping of the country among some Anglo-American intellectuals. The volume was based on papers presented during the twenty-fi h anniversary of the Berlin fellowship program in 2011, which had brought over 250 students of history, politics, and culture to the Free University. As long-time member of the selection commi ee, I coedited this collection with Karin Goihl, its administrator, and Harald Wenzel, its chair. We did not dispute the justifiably negative associations with Germany but tried to rebalance the books by recovering what foreign observers found interesting and a ractive before 1933. A er the war, there was also a story of exemplary recovery to be analyzed. Ironically, with the economic miracle, European integration, and the overthrow of Communism, the “German model” was once again cited as an example to be emulated.50 By teasing out such constructive aspects, we sought to add more nuance to the picture. In another programmatic volume Das Ende der Zuversi t? I sought to stimulate a historical debate about the roots of the new problems facing the twenty-first century. In conjunction with a social science fellowship at the Wissenscha szentrum Berlin, I organized a conference with my former colleagues at the ZZF on the 1970s as transitional epoch in order to establish a vantage point beyond 1989/90. In my view, the oil shock recession was not just a business cycle problem but the end of the thirty-year postwar boom, which signaled the structural transition from the second stage of the industrial revolution to the third. Due to globalization, the statistical evidence showed both massive deindustrialization in traditional sectors like textiles, mining, and shipbuilding as well as the spread of high technology in computers, industrial robots, and communication. Together with the long essay by Anselm Doering-Manteuffel and Lutz Raphael, this collection refocused the debate by initiating a “problem-oriented pre-history of the present.”51 Yet another essay collection on Conflicted Memories, which I co-edited with Thomas Lindenberger, pleaded for broadening contemporary his-

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tory with a European perspective. It grew out of the discussions of the EURHISTXX network, led by the Parisian Centre de l’histoire du temps présent and the Potsdam ZZF, about an alternative framework between hostile Eurobashing and uncritical European enthusiasm. Instead of trying to gloss over historical differences, the collection started with essays on memory conflicts, proceeded to topics regarding the impact of wars, continued with examinations of transnational interactions, and concluded with reflections on the difficult process of integration. This reversal of perspectives hoped to contribute a critical voice to the discussions about the preamble of a European constitution that suggested harmony where the actual past had been confrontational. Though Jeremy Black called the collection “very much a work in progress,” Shannon Nagy recommended the volume as “an excellent tool for historians” and “a refreshing framework in which European history can be studied.”52 Chief among the postwar issues that needed to be explained was the problematic process of democratization that made the Federal Republic a “star pupil” of self-government. Not content with the formal establishment of representative institutions, I sought to explore the “inner democratization” of West Germany in contrast to the failure of the Weimar Republic. Based on a Potsdam conference in 2003, I coedited this essay collection with Arndt Bauerkämper and Markus Payk. It departed from an actor-centered perspective in order to explore the partial and problematic arrival of various intellectual, media and academic elites in the Federal Republic. Wri en by younger scholars, the essays also focused on “transatlantic mediators” due to the assumption that it took human contacts to transmit ideas of self-government a er the defeat of the Nazi dictatorship. While Holger Nehring in his review correctly pointed to the multiple meanings of democracy a er 1945, he applauded the essay collection’s raising of the issue as “a significant achievement.”53 This cultural approach also inspired my interpretative synthesis of postwar history, Die Umkehr: Deutsche Wandlungen 1945–1995, published in 2004. This book tried to answer the question of how a country that had commi ed the barbarity of the Holocaust once again became civilized a er 1945. My thesis was that this transformation of political culture was the result of a societal learning process, promoted by the Western allies and a minority of democratic Germans in three stages: First, in the postwar decade the defeated were compelled to demilitarize, denationalize, and decartelize. Second, in the sixties the West Germans modernized themselves by accepting the West, internalizing democracy, and participating in protest. Third, in the late eighties the East Germans rebelled, and united Germany became normalized, facing such problems as migration and multiculturalism. From a transatlantic perspective, this book pro-

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posed an original interpretation that presented a “critical transformation history,” which integrated experiences from East and West.54 Though somewhat partisan, the reception of the book was generally quite positive. The conservative historian Andreas Rödder in the FAZ was rather critical, objecting to the use of personal sources and focusing on the value change a er 1970 while ignoring its antecedents. The reviewers in Die Zeit, Frankfurter Rundschau, and Süddeutsche Zeitung were more generous, recognizing the interpretation as “thoughtful,” appreciating the “mixture of distance and sympathy,” and calling the portrayal of the reorientation “impressive.” The British scholar Christoph Vietzke praised the “readable and at the same time analytically sophisticated approach to interpreting German postwar history.” The Cologne international historian Jost Dülffer waxed even more enthusiastic, judging the book to be “a great accomplishment” due to its argumentative richness and commitment to the values of civil society. The Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung bought several thousand copies, and the H-Soz-Kult judges awarded it the contemporary history prize in 2005.55 Next, I tried to stimulate American interest in Germany’s postwar rehabilitation by publishing an English version, called A er Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945–1995. Annoyed by superficial media references, I was concerned that the preoccupation with the Third Reich and the Holocaust had created a historical stereotype that failed to appreciate how much Germans had changed since the end of the World War II. To make my counterargument about a widespread learning process accessible to an English-speaking public, I asked my former student Brandon Hunziker to translate Die Umkehr, and reworked the text by writing a new preface, responding to some reviewers’ criticisms and updating the references. While Mary Fulbrook remained rather lukewarm, Neil Gregor called it “a marvelous book, full of ideas, which will challenge readers of all persuasions to rethink their positions on almost a page-by-page basis.” Students seem to agree with him, because they have continued to read A er Hitler, discussing it with enthusiasm.56 Another area of public interest was the memorialization of the Cold War, which linked local confrontations to global conflicts. A collection of essays on representations of the East-West conflict grew out of the debate about what to do with the tourist magnet Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. In contrast to the standard scholarship on the diplomatic development of the East-West conflict, Christian Ostermann, Andreas Etges, and I set out to chart the politics of its “rethinking, representing and remembering,” offering a cultural perspective. The volume grew out of a Berlin conference focused on the development of Cold War narratives in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia that tried to broaden the perspec-

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tive beyond the German ba leground. Individual contributions dealt with history textbooks, spy fiction and movie thrillers, public memorials, and even personal recollections. Other essays focused on physical remains of the Cold War, the preservation of memory sites, and the specific efforts of the city of Berlin to memorialize its contested legacy.57 Beyond its academic purpose, the essay collection was an effort to construct an academic framework for the museum project that is still unfinished. In response to the suggestion by the publisher Marion Berghahn at a GSA meeting, I also put together a volume on United Germany that charted the halting progress of unification. This venture tried to respond to a public and academic need for reliable information about the impact of unification on German affairs during the past two decades. Since judgments differed according to personal experience and ideological outlook, I asked East and West Germans to share their impressions and Americans to evaluate their respective claims. Moreover, I assembled an interdisciplinary team of authors from political science, history, and cultural studies in order to illuminate the subject through different methodologies. The essays, wri en by leading specialists in their field, addressed the transfer of institutions, the economic crisis, the problem of social adjustment, the cultural debates, and finally also the changes in foreign policy. The result was a mixed balance sheet of developments offering a comprehensive view of the new Germany in Europe. Donna Harsch called it “a well conceptualized, informative volume.”58 By coediting a volume on Gebrochene Wissenscha skulturen that discussed the troubled relationship between politics and scholarship, I returned to my longstanding interest in the history of higher education. The 450th anniversary of the founding of Jena University and the bicentenary of the Humboldt Universität inspired an effort to transcend the selfcongratulatory genre of institutional Festschri en. Michael Grü ner, Rüdiger Hachtmann, Jürgen John, Ma hias Middell, and I organized a conference at Jena to discuss the connection between political ruptures and institutional reorientations in the twentieth century. We decided on a different chronology, creating blocs of 1900–1930, 1930–48, 1949–90, and 1990–2009, and looked beyond academic self-images into actual practices. My final section focused on both the painful reconstruction of East German institutions and the debate about how to reform the united system. The critics appreciated this joint effort, calling it “a substantive volume of considerable thematic as well as methodological interest.”59 Another effort at a critical history of education involved coediting a volume on Children, Families and States, which compared the time policies of European countries toward childcare and early education. The gender historian Karen Hagemann initiated the project and took the lead in ex-

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ploring the exceptionalism of the German half-day model, which even prevailed somewhat in the GDR. I endorsed her VW application and held the first international and interdisciplinary conference in Potsdam, while the comparative educationist Cristina Allemann-Ghionda hosted the second meeting at Cologne. The results of this partly historical, partly social scientific enterprise were fascinating: early leaders in compulsory schooling, like the German-speaking states, got stuck in a half-day pattern; socially reformist countries like Scandinavia and France developed a full-day model; and neoliberal societies like Britain created a mixed version. Receiving some government support, the editors of this collection, also translated into German, sought to bolster the case for introducing the full-day model in the FRG.60 Part of the bicentennial celebrations of the University of Berlin, once the leading institution in the world and whose fate was intimately tied to German politics, was the publication of the third volume of the Geschichte der Universität unter den Linden. Since my father had obtained his PhD there, I agreed to take on the GDR period and its a ermath from 1945 to 2000. To present a plurality of views, I asked East and West German scholars such as Reimer Hansen, Anne e Vogt, Ma hias Middell, and Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk to write the earlier chapters, while I chose the difficult task of analyzing the transformation from 1985 to 2000. Though a disregard for deadlines and the excessive length of the contributions made the editing exasperating, I enjoyed being back in the archives and exploring a controversial topic hardly touched by research. To cool the heated emotions of the transformation from the outside, I tried to balance sympathy for the pain incurred during the dismantling of the leading GDR institution with insistence on the need for fundamental change.61 A er the end of my Potsdam obligation, I finally dared to confront the legacy of my own father by editing his World War II le ers from the Eastern Front. In spite of my mother’s wishes, I had initially balked at the task, since I found his Prussian Protestant politics insufferable. I only changed my mind when Klaus J. Arnold, a young specialist on the Russian war, found the le ers fascinating and the Schöningh Verlag agreed to publish them. He laboriously transcribed the texts, of which we selected about 350 to create a “le er diary,” and I wrote a personal introduction based on my father’s publications while Arnold added an appraisal of their military significance. The chief value of the correspondence consisted of its shocking descriptions of the mass death of Soviet POWs and its increasing expressions of doubt about the justification of the war. Published as Das stille Sterben in 2008, the le ers came too late for the World War II media boom, but reviewers like Markus Roth and Christian Hartmann called the edition “a great achievement.”62

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Brigi a van Rheinberg, editor in chief of Princeton University Press, encouraged me also to publish an English-language version of my father’s le ers as Reluctant Accomplice in 2011. In this version, I revised the introduction, adding the effect of the memory cult on my own adolescence and rewriting the military history sections myself. To tighten the text, my former student Eve Duffy selected and translated somewhat fewer le ers but found a marvelous voice for them. Surprisingly enough, public interest was greater in the United States, where the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a long review, Dick Gordon of the American Public Media program The Story picked it up, and the University of North Carolina alumni magazine published a feature article, combining quotations with an interview. Jewish critics especially were fascinated by the “revealing glimpse into the mind of a patriotic German who was skeptical of the Nazi leadership,” calling the edition “thought provoking in its ambiguities.”63 The biggest challenge with which I have wrestled during my career was a comprehensive reinterpretation of twentieth-century European history, titled Out of Ashes. A er five decades of teaching, I had become frustrated with the syntheses by Robert Paxton, Mark Mazower, and Tony Judt and felt the need to state my own views. I started with the protean notion of European exceptionalism that led to imperial domination of the globe, descended into catastrophe through the world wars and the Holocaust, but recovered a surprising measure of civility a er 1945. The concept that many contemporaries at the cusp of the twentieth century used to express this sense of Faustian dynamism was “modernity.” Instead of reviving the discredited modernization theory, I explored the competition of communist, fascist, and liberal visions of modernity in order to explain why a chastened version of democracy ultimately triumphed. Though the United States twice had to rescue the old continent from its own quarrels, I believe that during the postwar period the Europeans have developed a credible alternative to the American way of life in terms of peace, prosperity, and equality.64 The reviewers of this “sweeping synthesis” of twentieth-century Europe were generally favorable. Acknowledging the central thesis of competing modernities, the German historian Jost Dülffer called the volume “a great achievement.” The Balkan scholar Bogdan Iacob characterized the tome as “a wonderfully eloquent and comprehensive answer” to the question of how one ought to write a history of Europe in the twentieth century. The British writer Geoffrey Wheatcro allowed that it was “an old-fashioned book by an old-fashioned historian,” but he was more critical of some of its discussion of the United Kingdom. The Canadian historian Gary Bruce would have liked more content on the smaller European countries, while the British colleague Paul Dukes called the book “over-optimistic.” How-

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ever, the global historian Jürgen Osterhammel called for “respect for the successful whole.” Similarly, the military specialist Peter A. Popp put the volume into “the same row as other grand works on European History.”65 Most gratifying was that it won the Bronislaw Geremek Prize, sponsored by the College of Europe, for the best book on European history in 2017. Responding to a critic’s wish for more human drama in another book, I turned to the amazing stories told by Germans about their Broken Lives during the catastrophes of the twentieth century. In order to access these popular memories, I collected over eighty autobiographies by ordinary people born during the Weimar Republic, since this cohort was the most misled by Nazi propaganda. By looking at the individual life histories, I hoped to discern general pa erns of interaction between personal experiences and broader developments of German history. My parallel account began with Wilhelmine ancestors, passed through Weimar childhoods, and proceeded to the Third Reich, with men waging war, women caught on the home front, and Jewish and Communist victims murdered. The book then addressed the East-West competition in distancing itself from National Socialism and the feeling of redemption with German unification. While dealing with ego documents proved to be methodologically difficult, many of the texts were surprisingly self-critical, suggesting a cultural sea change a er the war.66 Ironically, the very qualities of personal accessibility and readability that general readers liked were criticized by more scholarly reviewers. The British historian Hester Vaizey waxed enthusiastic about the bo om-up approach, and Richard Evans called it “a gripping and rewarding book” in a long review in The Nation. But critics like Jonathan Steinberg worried about the difficulty of knowing when the informants were embellishing the truth about their own past. Mary Fulbrook was similarly concerned about the representativeness of the sample and suggested subdividing the Weimar children into two generations. Nonetheless, many Anglo-American readers liked the experiential perspective that made the protagonists’ dilemmas come alive, while the German public was especially pleased to have its personal memories taken seriously in Zerrissene Leben in contrast to more critical academic presentations. The religious historian Nathan Ristuccia concluded: “Jarausch greatly succeeds at helping readers envision what it was like to a empt a normal life in the midst of depression, war, revolution, and tyranny.”67 My final effort so far has been a defense of the European model as a progressive alternative to right-wing populism on both sides of the Atlantic. Responding to Trumpist Eurobashing, Emba led Europe presents a history of the present during the last decades that seeks to inform the

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younger generation about continental developments o en misreported by the media. The book begins with the euphoria of the Communist overthrow, discusses the economic transformation, and analyzes European integration. It then confronts the triple threat of the sovereign debt crisis, the mass migration wave, and the United Kingdom’s Brexit from the EU, but counters with the continent’s strength in competitiveness, welfare reform, and environmental protection. The analysis concludes with a plea for transatlantic cooperation in defense, democracy, and globalization. While a columnist of the American Enterprise Institute disparaged the work as “lukewarm chicken soup,” Andrew Moravcsik of Foreign Affairs called it “a provocative book.”68 To provide a teaching tool, I became involved in another innovative project to make German historical documents and images available to a transatlantic public. It was the director of the GHI in Washington, Christof Mauch, who persuaded the Max Kade and Gerd Bucerius Foundations to provide more reliable content on the German past to users surfing the internet. The steering commi ee of the Friends of the GHI, to which I belonged, decided to divide the subject into ten electronic volumes from 1500 to the present, each edited by a renowned scholar like Volker Berghahn or Roger Chickering. The entire collection was presented in the German original and in English translation, with a brief introduction opening every volume and each document glossed as to its content and provenance. As project manager, Kelly McCullough not only collated all contributions but also stressed the importance of adding multiple images. The result was a rich resource, appealing to teachers for preparing lessons and to students for writing papers.69 Drawing on my ZZF experience, I co-edited, along with the political scientist Helga A. Welsh, the final two volumes on the periods from 1961 to 1989 and 1990 to 2009, later updated. While Helga looked for political speeches, laws, and treaties, I was more inclined to include intellectual commentary and personal experience. We ultimately decided on a mixed chronological and topical approach, ranging in volume 9 from the building of the Wall to the GDR opposition and in volume 10 from the Democratic Awakening to the Grand Coalition. Within the sixteen chapters before 1989 we alternated between East and West German documents whenever the topic required, and we included separate chapters on “Germany in Europe” in both volumes. Working in a media age, we had no difficulty in finding over 250 photographs for volume 9 and almost 300 for volume 10—providing not only dry text but also captivating images that made issues come alive. In sessions at the GSA and AHA conferences, these volumes received much positive feedback from their users.70

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Southern Living Ge ing used to living in Chapel Hill a er my return from Germany in 2006 required some adjustment. In contrast to the metropolitan flair of Berlin, the Research Triangle is a “decentered conurbation” consisting of the capital Raleigh, the city of medicine Durham, the bedroom community Cary, and the university town Chapel Hill. Where the core ought to be there is an international airport, a high-tech research center (RTP), and a large state park.71 In spite of this geographic diffusion, the universities UNC, Duke, and NCSU provide not just athletic competition but also scholarly interchange, supported by the National Humanities Center. The various institutions present a surprisingly rich cultural life of concerts, plays, and exhibitions, while WUNC offers National Public Radio programming, and WCPE struggles to maintain classical music. In politics, the atmosphere is decidedly liberal in contrast to the prevailing conservatism of the coast and the mountains. In the spring the flowering dogwood trees and in the fall the colorful leaves compensate for the blistering heat of the summer. For Hannelore UNC offered professional opportunities, which she seized upon to become director of French language instruction. Due to her inspiring style, she managed to turn her part-time lecturer position into a full-time job of teaching undergraduates and, even more importantly, of training graduate teaching assistants. She was so successful in retooling from a literary scholar into a language pedagogue that in 2010 she was named Foreign Language Teacher of the Year for the state of North Carolina. Twice she directed the French residential program in Montpellier, and for one year she also chaired the study abroad program for the College of Arts and Sciences. The intermediate-level textbook Sur le vif, which she coauthored with Clare Tu s of Duke University, sold so well that it is now in a web-based seventh edition. Moreover, the French reader Bonne continuation, which she produced with her colleague Nina Furry, is also still in print. Though on a revolving five-year contract she became a member of the department’s executive commi ee and eventually rose to the rank of a “teaching full professor.”72 Our older son Konrad also used Chapel Hill High School as a springboard for a successful career. As a strong-willed adolescent and member of the cross-country team, he found a new circle of friends ready to join him for basketball games in the gym at midnight. Leaving behind his hard-earned VW Rabbit, he went to college at St. Olaf in Minnesota, where he explored the Northwoods and fancied himself a campus radical in the traditionalist Lutheran atmosphere. He enjoyed his junior year abroad at the Technical University of Berlin, where he also sampled the club scene.

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Figure 6.2. Carolina surf fishing. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

For graduate school he chose North Carolina State University, where he was taken on by a mentor who helped him earn his PhD in material science. Visiting San Francisco when I was at Stanford, he fell in love with the Bay Area and landed his first job at INTEL in Silicon Valley. Eventually, he found a soulmate in Melissa Ober, with whom he has a son named Tyson and a daughter named Charlo e. Still cheering for the Tar Heels in basketball and windsurfing in the Bay, he divides his time between three tech jobs and a thirty-seven-foot sailing yacht.73 In contrast, his younger brother Peter has always been more interested in nature protection and social justice issues. As a teenager, he was easier to live with, playing in a garage band with a couple of friends. He went to college at the University of Indiana in Bloomington to study anthropology. For his junior year abroad, he picked the picturesque town of Tübingen but unfortunately had to fight a nasty case of Lyme disease. In graduate school at the University of California at Santa Barbara he earned an MA in European ethnology, but he decided not to pursue this avenue further as he felt his mentors were not helpful enough. A er joining a program to rehabilitate youths through outdoor work, he followed his real interest and pursued an MS degree in natural resource management at Humboldt State University. This training landed him a job in the California Coastal Conservancy, which supports coastal access projects. In Shannon Tracey he found a like-minded partner, and they have two daughters, Anne-

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liese and Johanna. Also living in the East Bay, he and his family love to go camping or canoeing.74 Recovering their heritage, both sons and their children have recently obtained German citizenship. Life in Chapel Hill has also been rewarding for us because we have found a stunning house designed in the Bauhaus style by a Japanese American architect.75 Anticipating environmental concerns, it is a passive solar building, located on the slope of a ravine with south-facing windows of about fi y feet. Keeping out summer heat and le ing in winter sun, the glass wall makes it possible to live with nature in the woods, where we observe herds of feeding deer, nosy raccoons, pesky squirrels, pre y songbirds, and red-shouldered hawks. When we realized that water tended to pool on the flat roof, we had a helpful contractor add a peaked roof that shed the rain and provided the necessary overhang for offering shade. A few years later he also built an addition, adding 50 percent more space with a huge study, where we put our grand piano, plus a double-car garage, a guestroom, and a downstairs laundry room. Although raking all the leaves in the fall is a nuisance, this a ractive se ing provides a pleasant refuge from academic work. Hannelore and I have also enjoyed the stimulating cultural offerings of the Research Triangle area. We have obtained season tickets to the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, which offers a concert series in Chapel Hill. Sometimes we also drive over to the impressive Meymandi Center in Raleigh to take in the local opera productions or occasional musicals. We have been regular patrons of the professional of PlayMakers Theater, which provides a pleasant mixture of classical and experimental plays. Once in a while we go to the regional showcases, such as the North Carolina Museum of Art, at which I was once asked to lecture on the Nazi involvement of the Porsche engineers who developed the Volkswagen at an exhibit called “Seducing Speed.”76 We have also visited historic sites in the region, such as the eighteenth-century capital of New Bern, the Stagville Plantation, and Benne Place where General Johnson surrendered the largest Southern army in the Civil War. While we do not feel personally responsible for the suffering caused by slavery in the United States, we are ready to support all efforts to confront this evil heritage. The hills and rivers of the Piedmont have also enticed us to hike and boat on weekends Fortunately, there are various state parks like the Eno River or Umstead Park, which provide a varied landscape and natural se ings to explore. We have donated to the Triangle Land Conservancy, an organization that acquired former farms in Brumley, Horton Grove, and White Pines and created interesting hiking trails.77 We also make use of inviting county parks like Li le River or Duke Forest. On the water, Eastwood Lake, a mere five minutes on foot from our house, beckons for

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swimming, canoeing, and fishing. When it is not too hot or stormy, we also love to sail on Jordan Lake in our Catalina 22 that is docked in Tradewinds Marina—if we succeed in ge ing its balky outboard motor running. Finally, the university staff and recreation area, known as “The Farm,” offers sixteen tennis courts and a pool for swimming laps that is especially welcome in late summer. All these features have helped compensate for long hours si ing at the computer to write or teach. On long weekends and holidays we tend to venture farther afield to the Atlantic shore or the Appalachian Mountains. On the coast we love the jewel of Ocracoke, a barrier island that is only accessible by ferry and therefore less crowded than Emerald Isle. As part of the National Seashore, it offers miles of unspoiled beaches and dramatic surf fishing. One never knows what might bite, ranging from a three-inch pompano to a forty-two-inch red drum, with blues, skates, and flounders in between. The village of Ocracoke contains weather-beaten houses, gnarled live oaks, and a pre y harbor in Silver Lake.78 For something different we can visit the mountains in the western part of the state, which are actually the highest ranges on the East Coast at over six thousand feet in elevation. Here our destinations have ranged from Hanging Rock, a Piedmont outcropping, to peaks further south around Lake Glenville that present the best of both worlds: swimming and mountain hiking. Though we must drive several hours to get there, we can reach these destinations without too much effort. During longer vacations we have established a travel rhythm that includes some of the pre iest destinations on both sides of the Atlantic. Over Labor Day we o en visit our grandchildren in the Bay Area, hiking the golden hills and enjoying the cold Pacific beaches. For the Christmas holidays we usually gather the family and Hannelore’s brother in a rented house at Lake Tahoe, where we ski cross-country when there is enough snow or otherwise savor the awesome vistas. During extended spring breaks we tended to fly to Switzerland, visiting a friend in the Engadin and skiing the glaciers of St. Moritz; however, Hannelore’s accident has caused us to shi to less dangerous cross-country skiing on the frozen Alpine lakes. A er trying out various French destinations, we have finally se led for the summer vacation on the Weissensee in Carinthia, close to the Italian and Slovenian border. It offers ecological tourism, with one half of the shores an undeveloped nature preserve, glass-clear water for pursuing the elusive whitefish, and craggy mountains for more strenuous hiking.79 We have been fortunate to have found such spectacular places and to be healthy enough to enjoy them. Finally, we have also felt blessed by circles of personal friends on both sides of the Atlantic. Since we live in Chapel Hill for the American

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academic year and in Berlin for the summer months, our relationships require tending and renewal whenever we travel to the other side. The patience and generosity of our friends have helped us reacclimate to another world a er a prolonged absence, making us feel as if we had never le . Three of them, my closest friend from the Gymnasium Rainer Hearten in Erlangen and our academic colleagues Richard Soloway and Siegfried Mews in Chapel Hill, have already passed away. But others, like the artist Björn Dämpfling and Elke Weber in Berlin or the linguist Paul Roberge the historian Karen Hagemann at UNC, are still very much with us. And others yet, like the political scientists Helga Welsh and Christiane Lemke, are particularly close, sharing the same transatlantic experience with us. It is their intellectual stimulation and emotional support that have made our presence on different continents manageable. In short, we have every reason to be satisfied with our double lives.

New Challenges Just when UNC seemed to be realizing its full potential, unforeseen challenges arose that threatened to damage the institution. The most problematic issue, repeated also in other state universities, was the fiscal retrenchment imposed by conservative politicians. While the acquisition of grants as well as the donations from alumni set new records, the state appropriation failed to keep pace. The Republican supermajorities in the legislature were ready to punish what they saw as a liberal institution that criticized social inequality, racial discrimination, and environmental damage while pushing for gender equality and LBGTQ rights. In practice, that hostility meant no raises for faculty and staff as well as meager TA stipends. Freezing state support has prohibited the replacement of retired faculty and made graduate student funding uncompetitive. Moreover, such unnecessary austerity hit the social sciences and humanities especially hard—like the history department, they have no alternate sources of income.80 As a result, the institution has lost talented professors and found it difficult to a ract promising graduate students. Particularly damaging to UNC’s reputation was an athletic scandal, since the university had prided itself on winning championships with a cleaner program than many of its competitors. Allegations by former basketball and football players revealed in 2011 that Carolina athletes had taken about two hundred classes, especially in Afro-American studies, that did not require a endance, homework, tests, and the like. The AFAM chair Julius Nyang’oro and Secretary Deborah Crowder claimed only to have helped athletes maintain their academic eligibility by submi ing fake

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grades. One of the tutors, Mary Willingham, turned whistleblower and denounced these “paper courses” as academic fraud, and French historian Jay Smith indicted the entire money-driven and alumni-promoted system. Though AFAM classes were open to all students, they were especially subscribed by students on athletic scholarships who were in effect cheated out of receiving a substantial education. While an internal investigation led to the firing of the involved persons and the Southern accrediting agency put UNC on probation, the NCAA refused to impose sanctions.81 Another heated controversy involved the Confederate monument “Silent Sam,” located in the front quad of the university. The bronze statue that portrayed a Southern soldier holding a rifle and standing guard seemed rather inoffensive—but its dedication in 1913 with an incendiary speech by Julian Carr was a symbolic reaffirmation of white supremacy. Since the countermonument of a black marble table upheld by enslaved people was less visible, activist students toppled Silent Sam in 2018 as part of a movement to denounce the racist heritage of UNC. Armed defenders of the Confederate legacy from off campus then demonstrated for the restoration of the monument, leading to scuffles. The Department of History pointed out that the monument was incompatible with the principles of racial equality and demanded the permanent removal of the statue. A comedy of errors followed, with the majority of faculty and students calling to have the offensive monument removed, while the board of governors and the legislature wanted to restore it. The divisive issue ended up in the courts and remains unresolved.82 The Covid-19 pandemic has also severely disrupted scholarship and campus life since 2020. Though some faculty members were involved in developing vaccines, the board of governors pressured the UNC leadership to ignore the disease and carry on as usual. Predictably, some fraternity students continued to party and act as super-spreaders, forcing the university to shi to online instruction. While Duke University imposed a vaccination mandate, UNC only required frequent testing. Promoting vaccination merely by persuasion only slowed the spread of the disease on campus without preventing the switch to web instruction. By summer 2021 the case numbers had dropped sufficiently to make a return to the classroom possible, albeit with a mask requirement that hampered lecturing due to the reduced flow of oxygen. For undergraduates, the hybrid response restored some traces of collegiate life, but the closing of libraries and archives hampered research for graduate students.83 By concentrating on offering vaccination and testing, the university has survived the pandemic without too much damage. Though these challenges have soured the campus mood, they could be overcome through a vigorous defense of the liberal Carolina spirit. The uni-

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versity mo o of “lux libertas” points to public enlightenment and freedom of speech, the “timeless principles of excellence, inclusivity and integrity,” no ma er what the repercussions in the legislature might be.84 To implement this resolve, students and faculty have to work together, and the administration has to be courageous enough to stand up to small-town politicians on the board of governors, even if this stance causes conflicts. The lessons of the crises are clear: If the state wants a world-class university, it has to fund it adequately. If the athletic program wishes to recover its clean reputation, it has to play by the rules. If student activists insist on a critical memory, they have to convince the public of the evils of slavery. And finally, if the campus hopes to return to normal, it has to accept a vaccination mandate. Since UNC has overcome other crises in the past, one can only hope that it will emerge stronger than before from the current challenges.

Notes 1. KHJ to BJ, 7 September 1981. 2. h ps://; Geoffrey Giles, Students and National Socialism in Germany (Princeton, 1985). 3. h ps://; John F. Blair, ed., Hark the Sound of Tar Heel Voices: 220 Years of UNC History (Winston-Salem, 2008). 4. William Meade Prince, The Southern Part of Heaven (Chapel Hill, 1950). 5. h ps:// When I later on received an offer from Georgetown University in Washington DC, we decided to stay in Chapel Hill since UNC’s research orientation was more a ractive. 6. h ps:// 7. h ps:// 8. h ps:// 9. h ps:// 10. h ps:// 11. h ps:// tember-2014/in-memoriam-david-mark-griffiths; h ps:// lis-brooks/; h ps:// 12. h ps:// 13. h p://; h ps:// the-case-for-restructuring-the-governance-of-north-carolina-higher-education/. 14. Shirley A. Ort, “The Carolina Covenant™: A Low-Income Student Financing Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” h p:// the-carolina-covenant-a-low-income-student-financing-initiative. 15. History 159 syllabus, fall semester 2022. The result of over five decades of teaching the subject has been the book Out of Ashes. 16. German/History/Political Science 257 syllabus, spring 2020. The teaching of the postwar course also inspired the A er Hitler book.

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17. History 398 syllabus, fall semester 2021. My contribution to the GHDI series has been the co-edition with Helga Welsh of two documentary volumes from 1961 to the present. 18. John Williams, Turning to Nature in Germany: Hiking, Nudism, and Conservation, 1900– 1940 (Stanford, 2007). 19. John Deak, h ps://; idem, Forging a Multinational State: State Making in Imperial Austria from the Enlightenment to the First World War (Stanford, 2015). 20. Jona Bocari, h ps:// 21. Konrad H. Jarausch, “The Center for European Studies at UNC: Christiane Lemke’s Contribution,” in Natalia Dalmer, Ju a Joachim, and Andrea Schneiker, eds., Transatlantic Relations in Times of Change: Past, Present and Future (Baden-Baden, 2021), 9–19. 22. Ibid.; and John D. Stephens et al., UNC Center for European Studies: A Jean Monnet Center of Excellence (Chapel Hill, 2016). 23. h ps:// Cf. Karen Hagemann, Konrad H. Jarausch, and Tobias Hof, eds., “Burdens and Beginnings: Rebuilding East and West Germany a er Nazism,” Central European History 53 (2020): 275ff. 24. The Stern Prize winners who worked with me are Sandra Chaney, Christopher Fischer, Michael Meng, Sarah Thomsen Vierra and Ned Richardson-Li le. 25. Gerhard Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (Cambridge, 2005) 2nd ed; Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Ba alion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York, 1992); Karen Hagemann, Revisiting Prussia’s Wars against Napoleon: History, Culture and Memory (Cambridge, 2015). 26. h ps:// 27. See the testimonials in Karen Hagemann, ed., Festgabe in Honor of Konrad H. Jarausch (Chapel Hill, 2017). 28. Jere H. Link, “Guardians of Culture: The Deutsche Schillersti ung and German Writers, 1859–1917” (diss., Chapel Hill, 1988); Norbert J. Mayr, “Particularism in Bavaria: State Policy and Public Sentiment, 1806–1906” (diss., Chapel Hill, 1988); Glenn R. Sharfman, “The Jewish Youth Movement in Germany, 1900–1936: A Study in Ideology and Organization” (diss., Chapel Hill, 1989); Eric Yonke, “The Emergence of a Roman Catholic Middle Class in Nineteenth-Century Germany: Catholic Associations in the Prussian Rhine Province, 1837–1876” (diss., Chapel Hill, 1990). 29. Karin H. Breuer, “Constructing Germanness: The Student Movement from the Burschenscha to the Progressbewegung, 1814–49” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2002); Todd B. Berryman, “Boundaries of Loyalty: Territorial Consolidation and Public Allegiance in Northwest Germany, 1797–1817” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2004); and Sco Brandon Hunziker, “Associations, Demonstrations, Recreations: Working People and the Revolutionary Experience in Saxony, 1830–1850” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2003). 30. Daniel S. Ma ern, “Creating the Modern Metropolis: The Debate over Greater Berlin, 1890 to 1920” (diss., Chapel Hill, 1991); Charles Robert Garris, “Becoming German: Immigration, Conformity, and Identity Politics in Wilhelminian Berlin, 1880–1914” (diss., Chapel Hill, 1998); Christopher J. Fischer, Alsace to the Alsatians? Visions and Divisions of Alsatian Regionalism, 1870–1939 (New York, 2010). 31. Adam R. Seipp, The Ordeal of Peace: Demobilization and the Urban Experience in Britain and Germany, 1917–1921 (Farnham, UK, 2009); Richard E. Frankel, Bismarck’s Shadow: The Cult of Leadership and the Transformation of the German Right, 1898–1945 (New York, 2005); Mark E. Swartzburg, “The Call for America: German-American Relations and the European Crisis, 1921–1924/25” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2005); Luke Grossman, “Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist: Son and Soldier: The Formative Years” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2022).

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32. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, The Language of Nazi Genocide: Linguistic Violence and the Struggle of Germans of Jewish Ancestry (New York, 2009); John M. Cox, Circles of Resistance: Jewish, Le ist, and Youth Dissidence in Nazi Germany (New York, 2009); Michael Meng, Sha ered Spaces: Encountering Jewish Ruins in Postwar Germany and Poland (Cambridge, MA, 2011); Max Lazar, “Jerusalem on the Main: Jewish Integration in Frankfurt, 1914– 1938” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2021). 33. Michael R. Hayse, Recasting West German Elites: Higher Civil Servants, Business Leaders, and Physicians in Hesse between Nazism and Democracy, 1945–1955 (New York, 2003); Kimberly A. Redding, Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow: Remembering Youth in Postwar Berlin (Westport, CT, 2004); Brian M. Puaca, Learning Democracy: Education Reform in West Germany, 1945–1965 (New York, 2009). 34. Andrew Haeberlin, “Towards a Post-Nazi Education: Administrators Rebuild the German School System 1945–1949” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2015); Kristen Josie Dolan, “Isolating Nazism: Civilian Internment in American Occupied Germany, 1944–1950” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2013); Kathleen J. Nawyn, “Striking at the Roots of German Militarism: Efforts to Demilitarize German Society and Culture in American-Occupied Wür emberg-Baden, 1945–1949” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2008). 35. Cora Ann Granata, “Celebration and Suspicion: Sorbs and Jews in the Soviet Occupied Zone and German Democratic Republic, 1945–1989” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2001); Thomas W. Goldstein, Writing in Red: The East German Writers Union and the Role of Literary Intellectuals (Rochester, 2017); Ned Richardson-Li le, The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany (Cambridge, 2020). 36. Volker Benkert, Glü skinder der Einheit? Lebenswege der um 1970 in der DDR Geborenen (Berlin, 2016); Larissa R. Stiglich, “A er Socialism: The Transformation of Everyday Life in Eisenhü enstadt, 1975–2015” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2020); Lorn Edward Hillaker, “Presenting a Be er Germany: Competing Cultural Diplomacies of East and West Germany, 1949–1990” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2019). 37. Elizabeth Heineman, What Difference Does a Husband Make? Women and Marital Status in Nazi and Postwar Germany (Berkeley, 1999); Elizabeth L. B. Peifer, “1968 in German Political Culture, 1967–1993: From Experience to Myth” (diss., Chapel Hill, 1997); Catherine L. Dollard, The Surplus Woman: Unmarried in Imperial Germany, 1871–1918 (New York, 2009). 38. Sarah Summers, “Reconciling Family and Work: The West German Gendered Division of Labor and Women’s Emancipation, 1960s to 1980s” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2012); Alexandria Ruble, “‘Equal but Not the Same’: The Struggle for ‘Gleichberechtigung’ and the Reform of Marriage and Family Law in East and West Germany, 1945–1968” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2017); and Madeline James, who is working on a project about the female police from Weimar to the postwar era. 39. Jon Berndt Olsen, Tailoring Truth: Politicizing the Past and Negotiating Memory in East Germany, 1945–1990 (New York, 2015); J. Laurence Hare, Excavating Nations: Archaeology, Museums, and the German-Danish Borderlands (Toronto, 2015); Philipp Stelzel, History a er Hitler: A Transatlantic Enterprise (Philadelphia, 2019). 40. J. Franklin Williamson, “Memory with no Clear Answers: Volkstrauertag, Opfer des Faschismus, and the Politics of Publicly Mourning the War Dead in Germany, 1945– 1972” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2013); Peter N. Gengler, “Constructing and Leveraging ‘Flight and Expulsion’: Expellee Memory Politics and Victimhood Narratives in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1944–1970” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2019); Daniela R. P. Weiner, “Tendentious Texts: Holocaust Representations and Nation-Rebuilding in East German, Italian, and West German Schoolbooks, 1949–1989” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2017). 41. Sandra Chaney, Nature of the Miracle Years: Conservation in West Germany, 1945–1975 (New York, 2008); Stephen Milder, Greening Democracy: The Anti-nuclear Movement and Political Environmentalism in West Germany and Beyond, 1968–1983 (Cambridge, 2017);

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48. 49. 50. 51.



54. 55.

Julia Ault, Saving Nature under Socialism: Transnational Environmentalism in East Germany, 1968–1990 (Cambridge, 2021). Sarah Thomsen Vierra, Turkish Germans in the Federal Republic of Germany: Immigration, Space, and Belonging, 1961–1990 (Cambridge, 2018); Derek J. Holmgren, “‘Gateway to Freedom’: The Friedland Refugee Transit Camp as Regulating Humanitarianism, 1945– 1960” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2013); Bri any R. Lehman, Teaching Migrant Children in West Germany and Europe, 1949–1992 (Cham, 2019). Eric J. Engstrom, Clinical Psychiatry in Imperial Germany: A History of Psychiatric Practice (Ithaca, 2003); Eve M. Duffy, “Representing Science and Technology: Politics and Display in the Deutsche Museum, 1903–1945” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2002); Tobias Schulz, Sozialistische Wissenscha : Die Humboldt Universität von 1960–1975 (Cologne, 2010). Michael O’Sullivan, Disruptive Power: Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918–1965 (Toronto, 2018); Benjamin Pearson, “Faith and Democracy: Political Transformations at the German Protestant Kirchentag, 1949–1969” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2006). Annika Frieberg, Peace at All Costs: Catholic Intellectuals, Journalists, and Media in Postwar Polish-German Reconciliation (New York, 2019); Michal Skalski, “A Socialist Neighborhood: Unintended Consequences of Cross-Cultural Contacts among Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany, 1968–1989” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2020). Kenneth A. Negy, “The Transmission of Fascism: Spanish Understanding of National Socialism, 1931-1939” (diss., Chapel Hill, 2022). Till Knobloch is working on the human dimension of the outbreak of World War II while Madeline James is researching the female police. Sco Krause, Bringing Cold War Democracy to West Berlin: A Shared German-American Project, 1940–1972 (Abingdon, 2019); Hanno Ho muth, Kiezges i te: Friedri shain und Kreuzberg im geteilten Berlin (Gö ingen, 2017); Stefanie Eisenhuth, Die S utzma t: Die Amerikaner in Berlin 1945–1994 (Gö ingen, 2018). Konrad H. Jarausch, Stefanie Eisenhuth, and Sco H. Krause, eds., Cold War Berlin: Confrontations, Cultures and Identities (London, 2021). Among those who did not finish were R. S., P. W., M. J., M. H., C. N., and D. C. Konrad H. Jarausch, Harald Wenzel, and Karin Goihl, eds., Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives (New York, 2017). Konrad H. Jaraus , ed., Das Ende der Zuversi t? Die siebziger Jahre als Ges i te (Göttingen, 2008); and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel and Lutz Raphael, Na dem Boom: Perspektiven auf die Zeitges i te seit 1970 (Gö ingen, 2008). Reviews by Nils Freytag, H-Soz-Kult, 26 Mar 2009; Jeanne Madarasz, Deuts land Ar iv, 2009, 741–42; Ma hias Peter, Sehepunkte 9, no. 11 (2009); and Kim Christian Priemel, Vierteljahrss ri für Sozial und Wirts a sges i te 96 (2009): 363–64. Konrad H. Jarausch and Thomas Lindenberger, eds., Conflicted Memories: Europeanizing Contemporary Histories (New York, 2007). Reviews by Shannon Nagy, H-German, November 2009, and Jeremy Black, Journal of European Studies 39 (2009): 398–99. This initiative inspired the establishment of a series of studies on Contemporary European Histories with Berghahn Books, coedited by Henry Rousso and me. Arnd Bauerkämper, Konrad H. Jaraus , and Marcus H. Payk, eds., Demokratiewunder: Transatlantis e Mi ler und die kulturelle Öffnung Westdeuts lands (Gö ingen, 2005). Review by Holger Nehring, German History 25 (2007) 650–51. Konrad H. Jaraus , Die Umkehr: Deuts e Wandlungen 1945–1995 (Muni , 2004). Reviews by Jost Dülffer,, 4 April 2005; Andreas Rödder, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19 October 2004; Elke S ubert, Frankfurter Runds au, 27 January 2005; Axel S ildt, Die Zeit, 11 November 2004; Christoph Vietzke, Ar iv für Sozialges i te, December 2005; and Godehard Weyerer, Süddeuts e Zeitung, 12 October 2004.

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56. Konrad H. Jarausch, A er Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945–1995 (New York, 2006). Reviews by Frank Biess, German History 26 (2008): 331–33; Mary Fulbrook, American Historical Review 113 (2008): 600–601; Neil Gregor, Journal of Modern History 81 (2009): 478–79; Arthur Gunlicks, Holocaust and Genocide Studies 22 (2008): 234–50; Robert Moeller, European History Review 123 (2008): 1325–27; and Gerhard Weinberg, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 38 (2007): 291–93. In H-German, January 2007, Dieter K. Buse concluded: “Jarausch provides the best basis thus far for reflecting on the positive transformation of, historically, one of the world’s most problematic countries.” 57. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Die Teilung Europas und ihre Überwindung: Überlegungen zu einem Ausstellungskonzept für Berlin,” Zeithistoris e Fors ungen 5, no. 2 (2008); idem, Christian F. Ostermann and Andreas Etges, eds., The Cold War: Historiography, Memory, Representation (Berlin, 2017). 58. Konrad H. Jarausch, ed., United Germany: Processes, Problems and Prospects (New York, 2013). Reviews by Donna Harsch, German Studies Review 39 (2016): 430–32, and Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, German Politics and Society 33 (2015): 88. 59. Mi ael Grü ner, Rüdiger Ha tmann, Konrad Jaraus , Jürgen John, and Ma hias Middell, eds., Gebro ene Wissens a skulturen: Universität und Politik im 20. Jahrhundert (Gö ingen, 2010). Cf. Reviews by Rainer Nicolayse, Ar iv für Sozialges i te, 7 January 2011; and Till Kinzel, Informationsmi el, 2011. 60. Karen Hagemann, Konrad H. Jarausch, and Cristina Allemann-Ghionda, eds., Children, Families and States: Time Policies of Childcare, Preschool, and Primary Education in Europe (New York, 2011). Cf. Karen Hagemann and Monika Ma hes, “Ganztagserziehung im deuts -deuts en Verglei ,” as well as Konrad H. Jaraus and Cristina AllemannGhionda, “Die Zeitpolitik der Kinderbetreuung und Grunds ulerziehung,”Aus Politik und Zeitsges i te B23 (2008). 61. Konrad H. Jaraus , Ma hias Middell, and Ane e Vogt, Sozialistis es Experiment und Erneuerung in der Demokratie: Die Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 1945–2010, vol. 3 of Ges i te der Universität unter den Linden, ed. Heinz-Elmar Tenorth (Berlin, 2012). Review by Mitchell G. Ash, Journal of Modern History 88 (2016): 223ff. 62. Konrad H. Jaraus and Klaus Jo en Arnold, eds., “Das stille Sterben. …” Feldpostbriefe von Konrad Jaraus aus Polen und Russland 1939–1942 (Paderborn, 2008). Reviews by Christian J. Hartmann, Sehepunkte 10, no. 9 (2010); and Markus Roth, Wissens a li er Literaturanzeiger, 25 September 2008. 63. Konrad H. Jarausch, ed., Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Le ers from the Eastern Front (Princeton, 2011). Cf. Mark Derewicz, “Father and the Führer’s War,” Endeavors, fall 2011, 16–19. Reviews by Evan R. Goldstein, “A Troubling Legacy Unfolded,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 1 May 2011; Sheldon Kirshner in Canadian Jewish News, 1 September 2011; and Adam Kirsch, “Ordinary People” Tablet, 26 July 2011. 64. Konrad H. Jarausch, Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, 2015); and German translation: Aus der Asche: Eine neue Geschichte Europas im 20. Jahrhundert (Ditzingen, 2018). 65. Reviews by Jost Dülffer, Historische Zeitschri 302 (2016): 884–85; Bogdan Iacob, International Affairs, 4 March 2016; Geoffrey Wheatcro , New York Times online, 30 July 2015; Gary Bruce, International Journal 72, no. 2 (2017); Paul Dukes, History Today 65 (2015): 65; Peter A. Popp, Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschri , 22 October 2016; and Jürgen Osterhammel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 October 2018. 66. Konrad H. Jarausch, Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the 20th Century (Princeton, 2018); German translation: Zerrissene Leben: Das Jahrhundert unserer Mü er und Väter (Darmstadt, 2018).

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67. Reviews by Hester Vaizey, Times Higher Education Supplement, June 2018; Richard Evans, The Nation 307 (2018): 32ff; Cass R. Sunstein, New York Review of Books 55 (2018): 64ff; Jonathan Steinberg, Spectator 337 (2018): 34; Mary Fulbrook, Journal of Modern History 91 (2019): 967–69; Nathan J. Ristuccia, Christian Century 136 (2019): 49–51. 68. Konrad H. Jarausch, Emba led Europe: A Progressive Alternative (Princeton, 2021). Reviews by Dalibor Rohac, h ps://, and Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2021. See also an H-diplo review symposium. 69. For an overview, see “About the GHDI” on h p:// .cfm. A second edition, including videos, is currently in the works. 70. Konrad H. Jarausch and Helga A. Welsh, eds., “Two Germanies (1961–1989),” vol. 9; and “One Germany in Europe (1989–2009),” vol. 10 of German Historical Documents and Images, h p:// and h p://ger 71. RTP, “Where People and Ideas Converge,” 72. Hannelore Jarausch and Claire Tu s, Sur le vif, 7th ed. (Boston, 2021); and Hannelore Jarausch and Nina Furry, Bonne continuation: Approfondissement à l’écrit et à l’oral (Upper Saddle River, 2008). 73. Konrad F. Jaraus , h ps:// -09b9819. 74. Peter Jaraus , peter.jarausch @ 75. Realtor listing # 617 for 421 Ridgecrest Drive (Chapel Hill, 1993). 76. h ps:// 77. h ps:// 78. h ps:// 79. h ps:// 80. Preston Fore, “UNC Works to Balance Its Budget with Cuts to Operating and Personnel Funds,” Daily Tar Heel, 19 February 2021. 81. Raijee Ganesan, “Ten Years since UNC’s Academic Scandal—and We Still Haven’t Learned,” Daily Tar Heel, 29 August 2021; and Jay Smith, Cheated: The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes, and the Future of Big-Time College Sports (Washington, 2015). 82. “The History Department’s Statement on the Confederate Memorial at UNC (aka ‘Silent Sam’ Statue),” h ps:// 83. UNC-Chapel Hill CV-19 Dashboard, h ps:// 84. Carol L. Folt, “There Truly Is a Carolina Spirit,” 2 July 2013, h ps:// posts/2013/07/02/there-truly-is-a-carolina-spirit/.

CONCLUSION German Lessons

( On 6 April 2017, a symposium on “Burdens and Beginnings” convened at UNC to celebrate my seventy-fi h birthday. My colleague Karen Hagemann had put together an impressive program of papers on postwar Germany, presented by graduate students and recent PhDs, who examined the ambivalent nature of Nazi legacies and democratic initiatives. In her keynote, Mary Fulbrook spoke about the lack of reckoning by perpetrators and bystanders with their own involvement in the Holocaust. In his laudatio, Christopher Browning reviewed my life and work, ironically hinting that I wrote more quickly than he could read. “On behalf of the profession, the department, and myself personally, Konrad, it is a great honor to say thank you for all that you have done.” One of my first students, Elizabeth Heineman, doubted that I would ever retire; Simone Lässig, director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, discussed my institutional involvement; and Hanno Hochmuth of the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung conveyed greetings from Potsdam.1 I was truly touched by such professional recognition and personal gratitude. Another gratifying surprise was the presentation of two Festschri en, one from each side of the Atlantic. At the 2016 Historikertag in Hamburg, Thomas Lindenberger and Martin Sabrow handed me a volume of essays on the dual character of contemporary history as a field of inquiry and as a critical approach. Distinguished colleagues such as Charles Maier, Volker Berghahn, and Michael Geyer, just to mention a few, contributed essays on various aspects of Zeitgeschichte that recognized my involvement in the discussion about the recent German past.2 A year later at the German Studies Association meeting my students Michael Meng and Adam Seipp presented me with another volume on modern Germany in transatlantic perspective that explored the shared interest and interaction on both sides of the Atlantic. Along with distinguished colleagues like Browning, Geyer, Hagemann, Sabrow, and Siegrist, the other contributions were from UNC PhDs who had become well-known in their own right.3 Finally, James Notes for this chapter begin on page 167.

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Chappel of Duke University suggested the creation of an essay prize in my name to acknowledge my efforts in graduate training.4 Such plaudits raise the question of my involvement in the general development of a contemporary history of Germany. More than the study of other periods, Zeitgeschichte requires a critical self-examination of the historian in order for him to become aware of the personal preferences and ideological biases that color his evaluation. Such a reflection shows that the original concern of contemporary history about the first half of the twentieth century is usually presented as a cautionary tale of descent into dictatorship, war, and mass murder. In spite of the Cold War, most post–World War II narratives that expand their reach beyond 1945 have a more encouraging tenor, as the division of Europe did not unleash another armed conflict on the continent. And finally, a history of the present, covering the last generation into the twenty-first century, remains openended, full of problems and possibilities.5 Over the course of five decades of research and writing, I have addressed all of these dimensions in one way or another. As a result, my career is not just an individual trajectory but also a record of the field in general. While the public is still fascinated by world war testimonies, in recent decades German history has come under pressure that bodes ill for the future. In response to the desire for increasing diversity, much of the academy has turned away from the continent, holding “dead, white European males” responsible for many of the world’s problems. While paying more a ention to other backgrounds is long overdue, this global turn has created an Anglophone “cosmopolitan provincialism” that neglects the cultural roots of the West. At the same time, the job crisis due to the overproduction of doctorates has been particularly severe for Europeanists who have frequently not been replaced on retirement, as non-Western historians have been hired in their positions instead. And where there is still interest in German history, its framing has o en been narrowed to research on genocide, which is highly important but insufficient. It therefore seems that only a widening of topics to include a global Germany, an embedding into European issues, and a broadening of questions into cultural issues will help the field survive.6 How has contemporary history developed in general, and what have I contributed to it?

A Transatlantic Life In retrospect, my life and career were both predictable and unplanned. The impact of World War II and the death of my father on my childhood was so profound that history cast an overwhelming shadow. Moreover, the

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Figure 7.1. Jarausch family in Oakland, California. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

intellectual atmosphere provided by my mother and her brother pointed me toward a confrontation with the past in order to find my own way in a postwar present. But my move across the Atlantic was an inadvertent product of a rebellious spirit that wanted to break out of the provincial confines of Adenauer Germany. My subsequent Americanization led to an academic career in the United States that allowed me to wrestle with the German past from a transatlantic distance, which made it easier to confront the mass murder of the Holocaust. The lingering sense of loss of roots from my emigration led me to return to Germany on research trips and guest professorships that ended up in my directorship of the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. While there was a hidden logic in most of the choices, at the time this life course seemed full of unforeseen ruptures as well as enticing opportunities.7 The result of these incremental decisions was a transatlantic trajectory of academic involvement as well as of personal presence. Like those of other German-born and American-trained scholars, my own relationship to both sides of the Atlantic became a life-long exploration of their similarities and differences. A er beginning in the American studies program at Wyoming, I returned to studying German history within Europe in order to confront my cultural heritage and make it accessible to American students as well as to a German audience. Moreover, in the summer of 1989

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we bought a small apartment in Berlin close to the Bayerische Platz, which gave us a pied à terre on the continent. This decision not only facilitated research trips and contact with colleagues but also provided a regular home during the summer months when we lived a European life. And then the directorship of the ZZF in Potsdam shi ed the majority of my work back to Germany. As a result, I gradually became a double insider, seeing each side from within—but at the same time I remained somewhat of an outsider who never completely fit in.8 This hybrid identity was complicated by a diachronic existence—I lived simultaneously in the past and in the present. Teaching responsibilities and family ma ers occurred very much in the here and now, while intellectual preoccupations and academic research focused on earlier time periods. For a professional historian like myself, the challenge has been to relate the past to the present through lecturing and publishing, thereby opening doors to bygone, otherwise inaccessible times. But lest such a perspective deteriorate into a pointless nostalgia, it also had to be informed by current questions that would illuminate earlier aspects otherwise forgo en. In the German case, this meant exploring what went wrong in the creation of the Nazi dictatorship or the Communist system while at the same time paying a ention to what had gone right in developing the Federal Republic and the “peaceful revolution.”9 Only by being aware of this tension between catastrophe and recovery could a historian hope to illuminate the tenuous relationship between past and present. While I shared many preoccupations of my age cohort, I differed from my colleagues in the thoroughness of my Americanization, the flexibility of my approaches, and the transatlantic nature of my lifestyle. When searching for values not contaminated by National Socialism, many postwar intellectuals looked to the United States as an example of a flourishing democracy. But only a few colleagues became American citizens while trying to maintain their continental connections. Similarly, other scholars o en wondered about my willingness to engage the succession of topical, methodological, and interpretative transformations of German historiography rather than clinging to one approach. Part of the reason was my intellectual curiosity, as I wanted to explore changing perspectives in order to see what they might contribute to illuminating the past.10 Also, the effort involved in maintaining a double presence in the United States and Germany was rather unusual because it created many practical difficulties. While these traits made it hard to pigeonhole me, they did broaden my horizon, allowing me to engage in a rich realm of intellectual pursuits. The patient help of kind individuals at crucial junctures made it possible for me to cope with this complicated existence. For instance, it took Gerhard and Trudel Krapf to invite me to the United States and teach me

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the cheerful responsibilities of family life in Wyoming. Then there was the patient guidance of my mentor Theodore S. Hamerow at the University of Wisconsin, who fostered my growth as a historian and aided me in gaining a position in Columbia, Missouri. Next was the liberality of my colleagues Gerhard Weinberg and Richard Soloway, who cast crucial votes to offer me the Lurcy Chair and brought about our subsequent move to Chapel Hill. Moreover, the good humor and common sense of Christoph Klessmann and later on the sophistication of Martin Sabrow facilitated our co-directorship of the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam during its difficult beginnings. Other friendships with Hannes Siegrist, Rüdiger Hohls, and Karen Hagemann also eased my passage. Yet most important through it all was the loving support of Hannelore Louise Flessa, my patient wife.

A Cautionary Tale German history of the first half of the twentieth century has largely been represented as a disaster, with even positive impulses turning into catastrophes. Many scholars claim that the miscalculated policy of the imperial government contributed to the outbreak of World War I, while mistaken decisions guaranteed that it was lost. Thanks to the Great Depression, the democratic reforms of the Weimar Republic ended in a quasi-presidential regime and a brutal Nazi dictatorship. The ethnic claim to self-determination that tried to revise the Treaty of Versailles led to another, even more horrific world war that devastated Europe and claimed untold numbers of victims. And the effort to create a national community excluded racial and political scapegoats that triggered the unparalleled mass murder of the Holocaust. Hence, generations of historians have struggled to explain why an otherwise civilized nation would descend time and again into an abyss that would take its neighbors down with it.11 All efforts at salvaging something positive notwithstanding, the original challenge of contemporary history was to explain the inexplicable. In contrast to the historical self-affirmation of other Western citizens, Germans have been compelled to develop a sense of shame for their guilt. The French may debate Vichy or Algeria but remain proud of their country, while the British may be embarrassed by their racist imperialism but take pride in their victories in the world wars. Even if Germans can point to specific cultural achievements in music, philosophy, and technology, they are generally defensive about their country. As a result of the Nazi damage to virtually all traditions, they have had to develop a self-

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critical identity in which they can only excel by being more rigorous than other nationals. Their anniversaries are usually not celebrations of their own accomplishments but rather somber affairs of apologies for failures of the past. As a result, an exculpatory undercurrent of private recollections centers on their own suffering, which is at odds with public memory culture. Professional historians have had to navigate a minefield in which being too forgiving is considered apologetic while being too critical risks affronting the popular majority.12 Much of the history of the first half of the twentieth century is seen through the lens of the Holocaust, which creates a powerful emotional teleology. The long-overdue focus on racial genocide has fashioned a metanarrative of absolute evil in which the interpretive roles are firmly assigned. In Western memory culture, Jews have become the primary victims, even though Polish intellectuals, Soviet POWs, and communists also suffered horrendously from Nazi persecution. Germans in SS or Wehrmacht uniforms are the chief perpetrators, although they had numerous local anti-Semitic assistants during the roundups and in guarding the concentration camps. And Anglo-Americans are the principal bystanders whose sole fault is not having saved enough refugees in their refusal to accept desperate immigrants. In this morality play, German historians have to identify not just the main criminals but also the many direct and indirect helpers that made mass murder possible in the first place. Of course, the danger of these assignments is a ritualization of contrition that hollows out its terrible meaning.13 Since the beginning of my academic training, I have wrestled with this poisonous legacy, trying to do justice to its horrific criminality without condemning all Germans indiscriminately. I started by asking why none of the Western countries had stopped Hitler in his tracks before it became too difficult to do so. Then I moved to the debate about German responsibility for the outbreak of World War I and probed the German chancellor’s miscalculated risk. Next, I examined the rise of academic illiberalism in order to find out why anti-Semitism spread in student subculture. A er that I studied the reaction of lawyers, teachers, and engineers to the Great Depression, which made many of them vulnerable to Nazi appeals. And then I examined the le ers of my own father in order to understand his ambivalent role during the war. Most recently I looked at over eighty autobiographies to find out why so many members of the Weimar cohort followed Hitler into war and allowed him to commit mass murder.14 The first lesson of such decades-long research is not edifying, showing that even higher education is no guarantee against populist siren calls.

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A Success Story In the second half of the twentieth century, German history has looked more promising, suggesting that even a “rupture of civilization” can be reversed with steady effort. In spite of the Cold War confrontation across the Iron Curtain, the outbreak of another world war was fortunately avoided. The second time around there was no depression, but the currency reform triggered an “economic miracle” that dramatically improved living standards. With the founding of a moderately conservative party such as the CDU/CSU, democracy slowly took hold, though it required a crisis like the Spiegel affair in 1962 to root it more firmly. Even the generational rebellion of 1968, which severely tested the public fabric, led to the emergence of new social movements like pacifism, feminism, and environmentalism that made the Federal Republic more livable and democratic. Historians therefore confronted the task of explaining surprising success by focusing on the postwar learning processes in order to figure out what had gone right.15 Many scholars felt uncomfortable in this affirmative role and continued to warn of recurring dangers. Different groups therefore took credit for shedding the Nazi legacy in West Germany and for incrementally transforming political culture. Following a proconsul view, some Anglo-American scholars insisted that it was the occupation policies’ mixture of severity and help that was responsible for the be er outcome. Conservative German historians in contrast praised the Basic Law and Konrad Adenauer for establishing a somewhat authoritarian chancellor democracy that made self-government palatable to a skeptical populace. But labor unions and Social Democrats also pointed to the growth of a critical public sphere and Willy Brandt’s second founding of the Federal Republic by “daring more democracy” as the chief reasons.16 Similarly, le ist intellectuals stressed the establishment of a public memory culture of commemorations, monuments, and memorials as a barrier against the revival of fascist temptations. While academics lauded a “constitutional patriotism,” the population at large developed national pride in soccer success, the buying power of the DM, and the speed of luxury cars. By contrast, the East German story is usually told as a failure because its antifascist beginning turned into a second dictatorship.17 Part of the explanation is the brutality of Soviet occupation, the dismantling of factories, and economic exploitation. Another aspect of the answer is the radicalism of social revolution by a Communist minority that provoked popular resistance and mass flight to the wealthier West. While the shortrun effect of the building of the Wall was to stabilize a shaky regime, in the long run the ugly edifice served as a symbol of the failure of “real existing

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socialism” to satisfy its own population. The various social reforms, such as subsidized housing, transportation and food, and support of women through childcare, a racted favorable commentary from Western intellectuals, but the lag in living standards disappointed the Eastern populace in the performance of the SED regime. Though the growth of an opposition was slower than in Poland, the “peaceful revolution” similarly prompted the overthrow of the SED regime. Scholars are still arguing whether it was a collapse from above or a revolt from below.18 I have a empted to stress through my own involvement the neglected Western transformation while also presenting a more nuanced picture of the Eastern transition. To an American audience I argued in A er Hitler that German history had not ended with the Holocaust, while to the German public I suggested that a complex, three-step learning process had created a new, democratic Germany.19 In the East German debate, I sought to create a middle ground between totalitarian clichés and apologias of the SED with the term “welfare dictatorship.” At the same time, I was one of the first historians to address the peaceful revolution and the subsequent rush to German unification, giving credit to the civic uprising while also acknowledging the initiatives of the Kohl government. Since I was fascinated by the grand social experiment of a failing Eastern state joining a successful Western country, I closely tracked the course of unification. At the same time, I suggested the need to create an “integrated postwar history” in order to do justice to the parallel developments in East and West that culminated in the restoration of a single nation-state.

The Present as History During the decades a er 1989, a new, third era of contemporary history has opened that some commentators have started to call an epoch of globalization. Making sense of this period is particularly difficult, as this era has not yet reached an endpoint of development, many crucial documents remain inaccessible, and cognitive distance is lacking for a dispassionate evaluation. Historians are just beginning to move into this most recent terrain that is being vacated by social scientists and journalists. Many of the early interpretations revolve around the concept of globalization as a result of technological innovation, intensification of trade, emergence of an Anglophone popular culture, and the like.20 When trying to sketch the outlines of this ongoing transformation, historians disagree between applauding the increase in global exchanges and criticizing the deindustrialization of Europe. It remains to be seen whether the new hardware and so ware inventions will actually improve the quality of life.21 Schol-

164 | The Burden of German History

ars will need to withhold final judgment until the effects of the transition become clearer. In the German context, discussions about the recent past have largely revolved around assessments of the successive chancellors and their cabinets. While Helmut Kohl has received much recognition for his success in managing the international and domestic course of unification, the stagnation and scandals of his final years have tarnished his reputation. The following red-green government of Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer has similarly been praised for its liberal reforms and refusal to participate in the second Iraq war, but it lost much credit with the neoliberal Agenda 2010.22 Angela Merkel and her coalition partners have been lauded for their cautious pragmatism that steered the country through an avalanche of crises and made the Berlin Republic the dominant player in Europe. But opinions remain divided over her handling of the sudden exit from nuclear power, her austerity policy in defending the euro, and her welcome of a million refugees, which fed a populist backlash.23 The CDU’s loss of the 2021 election and the formation of the “traffic light coalition” of the SPD, the Greens, and the liberals led by Olaf Scholz show that many Germans wanted more social, environmental, and digital initiatives. In my teaching and public commentary, I have sought to analyze this puzzling trajectory.24 On the European level, debates have swirled around the progress of EU integration and the cohesion of the Atlantic alliance. While the enlargement of the EU by neutral and eastern members has been celebrated as success, the failure of the constitution project was a setback for which the Lisbon Treaty could only partly compensate. The rise of Euroskepticism has threatened the survival of the European Union as a whole, even if Brexit has remained limited to the United Kingdom and other malcontents chose to stay. However, the emergence of illiberal democracies in the Visegrád states has hampered the further deepening of the EU. In defense, the new Balkan wars have shown the weakness of the continent in its own backyard, which encouraged the Russian annexation of Crimea and the occupation of the Donbas. As a result, transatlantic relations have deteriorated due to the Eurobashing by conservative Americans and the retaliation of le ist Europeans with anti-Americanism.25 Hence, in my most recent book, I have tried to explain the move from the euphoria of the communist overthrow to the postcommunist disenchantment. Based on contrasting readings of the past, the Ukrainian war of 2022 has thrown the peaceful development of international relations into further confusion. Vladimir Putin has explained his invasion with the ancient ties of “li le Russia” to Moscow and denounced the Ukrainians as fascists in spite of their Jewish president. But the Ukrainians have constructed a counternarrative of national independence and democracy that overlooks

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Figure 7.2. Golden anniversary couple. © Konrad H. Jarausch.

their corruption and collaboration with the Third Reich. As bystanders, the Germans have had to learn that trade-based multilateralism may work during peacetime but becomes appeasement when confronted by a ruthless aggressor. Berlin has been forced to depart from its ingrained pacifism by proclaiming a “turning point,” rearming the Bundeswehr with 100 billion euros and supplying Kiev with heavy weapons. And Finland and Sweden have been compelled to abandon their neutrality and join NATO. These contradictory responses show the importance of scholarly efforts to demythologize propaganda versions of past experiences.26 The outcome of the a empt to defend liberal values by force, unfortunately, still remains unclear.

German Lessons In contributing to a history of the present, I have been advocating a “critical historicization” that comments on the emergence of the past in a self-reflexive manner. A first issue to be resolved is the choice of a caesura, whether it is the peaceful revolution of 1989/90 or the structural transition to postindustrial society beginning in the 1970s.27 A second problem to be addressed is the dynamism of Europe during the entire century, which

166 | The Burden of German History

grew out of competing blueprints of modernity, proposed by communist, fascist and liberal ideologies. Coming out of World War I, these visions intended to remodel societies in a socialist, nationalist, and democratic fashion, triggering gigantic social experiments that cost millions of lives. A third challenge is an explanation of the transatlantic alienation between the victorious liberal versions that split into an individualistic neoliberal American strand and a more collectivist welfare-oriented European model. It is my sincere conviction that ultimately both of these interpretations of the common values of Western civilization need to cooperate since they complement each other.28 From the beginning I have been interested in deriving political guidance from the study of contemporary history by contributing to a rational discourse. In contrast to the misleading myths o en purveyed by the media and the special pleading of interest groups, a critical look at the historical origins of certain arguments can reveal their underlying partisanship. Strict methodological training in working with primary sources, deconstructing secondary literature, and reflecting on one’s own biases can help one understand complex issues. Personal engagement need not be detrimental if it motivates interest but at the same time is aware of individual prejudices that constrain interpretation.29 One such example is the defense of the half-day school in German-speaking countries, which were some of the first to institute compulsory a endance but then failed to take the next step toward all-day instruction—all because a cartel of conservative politicians, clergy, teachers, parents, and administrators clung to the older model. An investigation that uncovers these relationships can help advance the reform discussion by exposing the causes of opposition to it.30 During my academic career and personal life, I have inadvertently found my role as a transatlantic mediator in the realm of history. Living for protracted periods on both continents, I have a empted to explain one side to the other, arguments I have o en carried on in my own mind. Moreover, various organizational tasks, such as the fellowship selections of the Berlin Program for German and European Studies and the intermi ent teaching of the a endant seminar, have also involved me in tackling this enterprise of cultural translation.31 Most of my writing and public speaking has focused on deciphering the German past to an o enskeptical Anglo-American audience that is only moderately informed about the subject. But on other occasions, such as the debate about university reform, I have also tried to make American practices like the tenure-track system intelligible to German colleagues. This effort has been intermittently exciting but at the same time frustrating, as it has created a marginal inside-outside position between both cultures.32 My goal has always been to convey the human dimension in all of its facets to the other side.

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Though many Americans see themselves as teachers of democracy, even they can learn something from German history.33 As I have argued repeatedly, Germany’s chief lesson consists of a cautionary tale that warns of what can happen when democracy fails and descends into racist dictatorship, leading to the murder of millions of innocent victims. The transformation of a promising antifascism into a communist tyranny was similarly disappointing. But there is also the encouraging story of social learning from disaster in order to embrace democracy, one that shows a more promising message of a new, self-critical beginning. The willingness to admit past errors and atone for them is something that other countries might adopt as well when coping with their heritage of slavery and imperialism. In recent times, the politics of the Berlin Republic have also been somewhat saner than the populism of some of its neighbors. Taken together, the German examples point to the importance of defending human rights, international peace, social solidarity, and environmental protection.34 The human cost of learning these lessons has been enormous, but that makes heeding them all the more urgent.

Acknowledgments I have tried to acknowledge in the pages of this text the multiple debts that I have incurred during my lifetime. I want to thank especially Volker Berghahn, Andreas Daum, Karen Hagemann, Christiane Lemke, Hannes Siegrist, and Helga Welsh for reading the manuscript. Though I have not always followed their suggestions, they have made this account more readable. Finally, I want to thank Marion Berghahn for risking the publication of such an unusual memoir.

Notes 1. Karen Hagemann, ed., Festgabe in Honor of Konrad H. Jaraus (Chapel Hill, 2017). 2. Thomas Lindenberger and Martin Sabrow, eds., German Zeitges i te: Konturen eines Fors ungsfeldes (Gö ingen 2016). 3. Michael Meng and Adam Seipp, eds., Modern Germany in Transatlantic Perspective (New York, 2017). 4. h ps:// 5. Christoph Klessmann, Zeitges i te in Deuts land na dem Ende des Ost-West-Konflikts (Essen, 1998). 6. See David Blackbourn’s forthcoming book on global Germany.

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7. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Contemporary History as Transatlantic Project: Autobiographical Reflections on the German Problem, 1960–2010,” in Historical Social Research, supplement 24 (Cologne, 2012), 7–49. 8. Karin Hagemann and Konrad H. Jarausch, eds., German Migrant Historians in North America a er 1945: Transatlantic Careers and Scholarly Contributions (New York, 2024). 9. See the contradiction in Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York, 1996). 10. Volker Berghahn to Konrad H. Jaraus , 2 April 2022; and Hannes Siegrist to Konrad H. Jaraus , 13 April 2022. 11. Helmut Walser Smith, Germany, a Nation in Its Time: Before, During, and A er Nationalism, 1500–2000 (New York, 2020). 12. Hedwig Ri ter, Demokratie: Eine deuts e Affäre: Vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart (Muni , 2020). 13. Michael Meng, “Nation and Memory: Redemptive and Reflective Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Germany,” in Konrad H. Jarausch, Harald Wenzel, and Karin Goihl, eds., Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives (New York, 2017). 14. Konrad H. Jarausch, The Four Power Pact; The Enigmatic Chancellor; Students, Society and Politics; The Unfree Professions; Broken Lives. 15. Jeffrey Herf, Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Cambridge, 1997); Ulri Herbert, Ges i te Deuts lands im 20. Jahrhundert (Muni , 2014). 16. Hans-Peter S warz, Der Ort der Bundesrepublik in der deuts en Ges i te (Opladen, 1996); Edgar Wolfrum, Die geglü te Demokratie: Ges i te der Bundesrepublik Deuts land von ihren Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart (Stu gart, 2006). 17. Klaus S roeder, Der SED-Staat: Ges i te und Strukturen der DDR 1949–1990, 3rd ed. (Cologne, 2013). 18. Stephen Kotkin, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (New York, 2009); Padraic Kenney, A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989 (Princeton, 2002). 19. Konrad H. Jaraus , A er Hitler; Die Umkehr. 20. Andreas Wirs ing, Deuts e Ges i te im 20. Jahrhundert (Muni , 2001); Edgar Wolfrum, Welt im Zwiespalt: Eine andere Ges i te des 20. Jahrhunderts (Stu gart, 2017). 21. Andreas Rödder, 21.0. Eine kurze Ges i te der Gegenwart (Muni , 2015). 22. Edgar Wolfrum, Rot-Grün an der Ma t: Deuts land 1998–2005 (Muni , 2013). 23. Joyce Mushaben, Becoming Madam Chancellor: Angela Merkel and the Berlin Republic (Cambridge, 2017). 24 Konrad H. Jarausch, “Writing a History of the Present: Responses to Reviews of Embattled Europe,” H-Diplo Roundtable Review 2022. 25. Heinri -August Winkler, Ges i te des Westens: Die Zeit der Gegenwart (Muni , 2015). 26. Timothy Snyder, “Warum fällt es Deuts land so s wer, von einem fas istis en Russland zu spre en?” Der Spiegel, 27 May 2022. Cf. Konrad H. Jarausch, “Balancing History Books: Some Comments on Current Memory Wars” (keynote for International Congress of Historical Sciences, Poznan, 2022). 27. Frank Bös , Zeitenwende 1979: Als die Welt von heute begann (Muni , 2019); Jaraus , Ende der Zuversi t. 28. Konrad H. Jarausch, Out of Ashes; Emba led Europe. 29. Martin Sabrow, Zeitges i te s reiben: Von der Verständigung über die Vergangenheit in der Gegenwart (Gö ingen, 2014). 30. Karen Hagemann, Konrad H. Jarausch and Cristina Allemann-Ghionda, eds., Children, Families, and States: Time Policies of Childcare, Preschool, and Primary Education in Europe (New York, 2014).

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31. Jaraus , Wenzel, and Goihl, Different Germans, Many Germanies, 1–22. 32. Konrad H. Jaraus , “Demokratis e Exzellenz? Ein transatlantis es Plädoyer für ein neues Leitbild deuts er Ho s ulen,” Denkströme, 2008, 34–52. 33. Susan Neiman, Learning from the Germans: Race and Memory of Evil (New York, 2019). 34. Rene S lo , “Er pflanzt Begriffe: Vom Campusgärtner zum Wissens a smanager,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 13 August 2021.


( My transatlantic life has both destroyed much documentation and allowed me to compile a rich set of sources. While I have lost most of my early personal records, I have preserved the extensive correspondence with my mother, Elisabeth Charlo e; her brother Franz Petri; and my father’s brother Bruno in later years. Moreover, I have been able to draw selectively on a trove of professional and organizational le ers and emails from colleagues and friends. For my academic work, I have limited the discussion to books that I have wri en or (co)edited, which are listed in the next part, since there were too many articles and talks to deal with. Where memory failed me, I have consulted a visual record of slides, photographs, and electronic images to fill the gaps. To give a sense of the reception of my books, I have also included a sample of reviews. The selective bibliography contains referenced works as well as suggestions for further reading.


( The Four Power Pact, 1933 (Madison, 1966). The Enigmatic Chancellor: Bethmann Hollweg and the Hubris of Imperial Germany, 1856–1921 (New Haven, 1973). Quantifizierung in der Geschichtswissenscha —Probleme und Möglichkeiten (Düsseldorf, 1976), edited. Students, Society and Politics in Imperial Germany: The Rise of Academic Illiberalism (Princeton, 1982). The Transformation of Higher Learning, 1860–1930: Expansion, Diversification, Social Opening, and Professionalization in England, Germany, Russia, and the United States (Stu gart and Chicago, 1983), edited, translated into Japanese (2003). Deutsche Studenten, 1800–1970 (Frankfurt, 1984). Quantitative Methoden in der Geschichtswissenscha : Eine Einführung (Darmstadt, 1985), with G. Arminger and M. Thaller. Quantitative History of Society and Economy: Some International Studies (Berlin, 1987), edited with W. H. Schroeder. German Professions, 1800–1950 (New York, 1990), edited with G. Cocks. The Unfree Professions: German Lawyers, Teachers and Engineers, 1900–1950 (New York, 1990). In Search of a Liberal Germany: Studies in the History of German Liberalism (Oxford, 1990), edited with L. E. Jones. Quantitative Methods for Historians: An Introduction to Research, Data and Statistics (Chapel Hill, 1991), with Ken Hardy. Die deutsche Vereinigung: Dokumente zu Bürgerbewegung, Annäherung und Beitri (Cologne, 1991), edited with Volker Gransow. Geschichtswissenscha vor dem Jahr 2000: Historiographie, Theorie und Sozialgeschichte (Hagen, 1991), edited with J. Rüsen and H. Schleier. Zwischen Parteilichkeit und Professionalität: Bilanz der Geschichtswissenscha der DDR (Berlin, 1991), edited. The Rush to German Unity (New York, 1994). Nach dem Erdbeben: (Re-)Konstruktionen ostdeutscher Geschichte und Geschichtswissenscha (Leipzig, 1994), edited with Ma hias Middell. Uniting Germany: Documents and Debates (Providence, RI, 1994), edited with Volker Gransow.

172 | Books by Konrad H. Jarausch

Die Unverho e Einheit 1989–1990 (Frankfurt, 1995). Amerikanisierung und Sowjetisierung in Deutschland 1945–1970 (Frankfurt, 1997), edited with Hannes Siegrist. A er Unity: Reconfiguring German Identities, 1990–1995 (Oxford, 1997), edited. Weg in den Untergang: Der innere Zerfall der DDR (Gö ingen, 1999), edited with Martin Sabrow. Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-cultural History of the GDR (New York, 1999), edited. Versäumte Fragen: Deutsche Historiker im Scha en des Nationalsozialismus (Stu gart, 2000), edited with Rüdiger Hohls. Mauerbau und Mauerfall: Ursachen—Verlauf—Auswirkungen (Berlin 2002), edited with Hans-Hermann Hertle and Christoph Kleßmann. Die Historische Meistererzählung: Deutungslinien der deutschen Nationalgeschichte nach 1945 (Gö ingen 2002), edited with Martin Sabrow. Verletztes Gedächtnis: Erinnerungskultur und Zeitgeschichte im Konflikt (Frankfurt, 2002), edited with Martin Sabrow. Sha ered Past: Reconstructing German Histories (Princeton, 2003), coauthored with Michael Geyer. Die Umkehr: Deutsche Wandlungen 1945–1995 (Munich, 2004). Zerbrochener Spiegel: Deutsche Geschichten im 20. Jahrhundert (Munich, 2005), coauthored with Michael Geyer. Demokratiewunder: Transatlantische Mi ler und die kulturelle Öffnung Westdeutschlands 1945–1970 (Gö ingen, 2005), edited with Arndt Bauerkämper and Markus Payk. A er Hitler: Recivilizing Germans 1945–1995 (New York, 2006). Risse im Bruderbund: Die Gespräche Honecker—Breshnew 1974 bis 1982 (Berlin, 2006), edited with Hans-Hermann Hertle. Two Germanies, 1961–1989, German History in Documents and Images (online), vol. 9 (Washington, DC, 2006), edited with Helga Welsh. Conflicted Memories: Europeanizing Contemporary Histories (New York, 2007), coedited with Thomas Lindenberger. “Das stille Sterben …” Feldpostbriefe von Konrad Jarausch aus Polen und Russland 1939–1942 (Paderborn, 2008), coedited with Klaus-Jochen Arnold. Das Ende der Zuversicht? Die siebziger Jahre als Geschichte (Gö ingen, 2008), edited. One Germany in Europe, 1989–2006 German History in Documents and Images (online), vol. 10 (Washington DC, 2009), edited with Helga Welsh. Gebrochene Wissenscha skulturen. Universität und Politik im 20. Jahrhundert (Gö ingen, 2010), edited with Michael Grü ner, Rüdiger Hachtmann, Jürgen John and Ma hias Middell. Children, Families, and States: Time Policies of Childcare, Preschool, and Primary Education in Europe, edited with Karen Hagemann and Cristina AllemannGhionda (New York, 2011). Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Le ers from the Eastern Front, 1939– 1942 (Princeton, 2011). Contemporary History as Transatlantic Project: The German Problem, 1960–2010, Historical Social Research, supplement 24 (2012).

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Sozialistisches Experiment und Erneuerung der Demokratie—die Humboldt Universität Berlin 1945-2010, vol. 3 of Geschichte der Universität Unter den Linden, edited and wri en with Ma hias Middell and Anne e Vogt (Berlin 2013). United Germany: Debating Processes and Prospects (New York, 2013), edited. Po Hitlerze: Powrot Niemcow do cywilizowaqnego swiata 1945–1995 (Poznan, 2013), Polish translation of A er Hitler, ed. Hubert Orlowski. Historia Alemana do seculo VI aos nos dias (Lisbon, 2014), Portuguese translation of Kleine Deutsche Geschichte, book, cowri en with Ulf Dirlmeier and others. Halbtags oder Ganztags? Familie, Frauenarbeit und Zeitpolitik von Kinderbetreuung und Schule in Europa im historischen Vergleich (Weinheim, 2015), edited with Karen Hagemann. Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, 2015), Japanese translation (2022). Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives (New York, 2017), edited with Harald Wenzel and Karin Goihl. The Cold War: Historiography, Memory and Representation (Munich, 2017), edited with Christian Ostermann and Andreas Etges. Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the 20th Century (Princeton, 2018). Zerrissene Leben: Das Jahrhundert unserer Mü er und Väter (Darmstadt, 2018), Chinese translation 2022. Aus der Asche: Eine neue Geschichte Europas im 20. Jahrhundert (Ditzingen, 2018). Cold War Berlin: Confrontations, Cultures and Identities (London, 2021), edited with Stefanie Eisenhuth and Sco Krause. Emba led Europe: A Progressive Alternative (Princeton, 2021).


( Amstädter, Rainer. Der Alpinismus: Kultur, Organisation, Politik (Vienna, 1996). Assmann, Aleida. Shadows of Trauma: Memory and the Politics of Postwar Identity (New York, 2016). Ault, Julia. Saving Nature under Socialism: Transnational Environmentalism in East Germany, 1968–1990 (Cambridge, 2021). Bea ie, Andrew. Playing Politics with History: The Bundestag Inquiries into East Germany (New York, 2008). Benkert, Volker. Glückskinder der Einheit? Lebenswege der um 1970 in der DDR Geborenen (Berlin, 2016). Blair, John F., ed. Hark the Sound of Tar Heel Voices: 220 Years of UNC History (Winston-Salem, 2008). Bode, Sabine. Die vergessene Generation: Die Kriegskinder bre en ihr S weigen, 2nd ed. (Stu gart, 2004). Bös , Frank, ed. Geteilte Ges i te: Ost- und Westdeuts land 1970–2000 (Gö ingen, 2015). Bös , Frank. Zeitenwende 1979: Als die Welt von heute begann (Muni , 2019). Bra mann, Jens. Fors ungsau rag: Reformpädagogik zwis en Re-Education, Bildungsexpansion und Missbrau sskandal: Die Ges i te der Vereinigung Deuts er Landerziehungsheime (1947–2012). Browning, Christopher. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Ba alion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York 1992). Burrage, Michael, and Rolf Torstendahl, eds. Professions in Theory and History: Rethinking the Study of the Professions (London. 1990). Chaney, Sandra. Nature of the Miracle Years: Conservation in West Germany, 1945–1975 (New York, 2008). Clark, Christopher. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (New York, 2012). Cox, John M. Circles of Resistance: Jewish, Le ist, and Youth Dissidence in Nazi Germany (New York, 2009). Dallek, Robert. An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 (Boston, 2003). Daum, Andreas, Hartmut Lehmann, and James Sheehan, eds. The Second Generation: Émigrés from Nazi Germany as Historians (New York, 2016).

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Abitur, 8, 23, 34 Academic freedom, 67 Academic lifestyle, 87, 124 Adenauer, Konrad, 16, 21–23, 25, 158, 162 Adolescent crisis, 20–23, 45, 48 A er Hitler, 138, 136 Aktion Sühnezeichen, 3 Albrecht-Carrié, René, 52 Alexander, Thomas B., 64, 74 Allemann-Ghionda, Cristina, 140 American Historical Association (AHA), ix, 63, 75, 82 American Studies, 32–34, 36, 44–45, 54, 158 Americanization, 4, 29, 33, 93, 111, 158–59 Anti-Americanism, 164 Anticommunism, 22, 24, 106 Arendt, Hannah, 110, 119 Arminger, Gerhard, 76 Armstrong, John, 48 Arndt Gymnasium, 17, 23 Arnold, Klaus J., 140 Ash, Mit ell, 81, 108 Atherton, Lewis, 64, 92 Auerba , Karen, 130 Ault, Julie, 134 Autobiography, illusion of, xii Barkin, Kenneth, 84 Bauerkämper, Arndt, 137 Bavaria, 7, 11, 13–14, 131 Benkert, Volker, 133 Berghahn, Marion, 139, 167 Berghahn, Volker, 29, 62, 143, 156, 167

Berlin Program in German and European Studies, 116–17, 166 Berlin Wall, 43, 98 Berlin, 8–9, 12, 16, 22, 43, 45, 57–58, 79, 81, 86, 88, 99–101, 109, 113, 115–18, 132–36, 138–40, 144, 148, 159, 164–65 Bernstein, Edward M., 124 Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald von, 48, 58–63, 68, 73–74 Bielefeld S ool, 49, 73, 78, 86, 93, 134 Bienvenu, Ri ard, 64 Bi ner, Donald F., 65 Blackbourn, David, 78, 130 Bocari, Jona, 129 Bonn, 16, 19, 32, 52, 59, 67, 79, 83, 92, 99, 144 Bösch, Frank, 118 Bo , John P., 65 Brandenburg Gate, 98 Brandt, Willy, 22, 24, 135, 162 Breitman, Richard, 128 Brexit, 143, 164 Brezhnev, Leonid, 110, 113 Broken Lives, xii, 142 Brooks, Willis, 126 Browning, Christopher, 52, 101, 130, 132, 156 Bryant, Chad, 130 Burden of history, 1, 3, 25, 34, 41–42, 112, 115 Bürgertum, middle class, 7, 9–10, 17, 19, 56, 78, 80–81, 87, 132 Burrage, Michael, 81 Burs ens a , 80, 132 Bush, George H. W., 99

182 | Index

Camp Manito-wish, 39 Caplan, Jane, 81 Carr, Julian, 149 Caspar, Magdalene, 100 Cecil, Lamar, 124 Cell, Gillian, 125 Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, ix, 103, 105, 116 Center for European Studies at UNC, 126 Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin, 119 Chaney, Sandra, 134 Chapel Hill, xii, 92, 108, 115–17, 124–25, 127, 135, 144, 146–48, 160 Chicago, 28, 40, 44, 84, 129 Chickering, Roger, 143 Child of war (Kriegskind), 6–7 Childers, Thomas, 84 China, xi Christian Boy-Scouts (CP), ix, 17, 21–22 Civil rights movement, 50 Clark, Christopher, 62 Cocks, Geoffrey, 81 Coe Foundation, 32 Cold War, 1, 22, 24, 32, 35, 41, 43–44, 76, 83, 92, 100, 109, 113–14, 135, 138–39, 157, 162 Columbia, Mo, 64, 66, 87–91, 101, 124, 160 Communism, 41, 85, 99, 110, 136 Concentration camps, 2, 161 Conference Group for Central European History, 82 Consumer society, 41, 44 Contemporary history (Zeitgeschichte), 77, 86–87, 105, 107–8, 119, 138, 156–57, 160, 163, 166 Conze, Werner, 85 Covid pandemic, 149 Cox, John, 132 Craig, Gordon, 61 “Green Lantern”, 51 Crew, David, 84 Crimea, 113, 164 “Critical historicization”, 102–3, 113, 119, 165

“Cultural turn”, 3, 72, 83–84 Cunningham, Noble, 64 Dahl, O o, 31 Dämpfling, Björn, 117, 148 Danyel, Jürgen, 108 Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, 73–74 Deak, John, 129 Deich, Ingrid and Werner, 64 Delamont, Sara, xii Department of History, 50–51, 63–64, 91, 124, 126, 129, 131, 144, 148–49, 156 De-Stalinization, 110 Deuts e Fors ungsgemeins a (DFG), ix, 77, 80, 105–7, 109 Dietrich, Herb, 35 Dissertation, xii, 4, 8, 19, 45, 48, 51–53, 58–59, 61–65, 83, 87–88, 108, 116–17, 128–35, 140, 145, 156 Dockhorn, Robert, 52 Doering-Manteuffel, Anselm, 136 Dollard, Catherine, 133 Dubrovnik, 57 Duffy, Eve, 141 Duke University, 89, 124, 129–30, 144, 149, 157 Durham, 124–25, 144 Easum, Chester V., 51 Economic miracle, 136, 162 Eisenhuth, Stephanie, 135 Eley, Geoff, 78–79, 84 Emba led Europe, 141 Engstrom, Eric, 134 Enigmatic Chancellor, 62 Erdmann, Karl-Dietri , 59–60 Etges, Andreas, 138 Eurobashing, 137, 142, 164 European exceptionalism, 141 European Union (EU), 128–29, 164 Euroskepticism, 164 Existentialism, 22, 34 Fascism, 41, 101 Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), ix, 1, 3–5, 49, 64, 71, 82, 85, 92–93, 99,

Index | 183

103–4, 113–16, 119, 133–34, 137, 140, 159, 162 Fischer controversy, 62, 78, 93 Fischer, Christopher, 132 Fischer, Fritz, 58–60, 62, 78, 93 Fischer, Joschka, 164 Fishman, Sterling, 48 Flader, Susan, 64 Flessa, Friedrich, 54 Foreign student, 34, 38, 42, 50, 56, 117 Four Power Pact, 52 France, 11, 15–16, 24, 52, 56, 73, 75, 87, 116, 124, 132, 140 Frankel, Ri ard, 132 Fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, 36–39, 149 Frauendienst, Werner, 59 Free University of Berlin (FU Berlin), 52, 105–6, 116–17, 136 Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), ix, 119 Frieberg, Annika, 135 “Frontier spirit”, 42 Fulbrook, Mary, 108, 138, 142, 156 Furry, Nina, 144 Geiss, Immanuel, 59 Gelfand, Lawrence E., 34, 50 Gelfand, Miriam, 35 Gender equality, 148 Georg E ert Institut für Schulbuchforschung, 119 German Alpine Club (DAV), ix, 18 German Democratic Republic (GDR), ix, 3, 4, 22, 49, 52, 60, 65, 85, 99–110, 112–14, 117, 133–35, 140, 143 German Foreign Office, 59, 71 German Historical Institute in Washington (GHI), ix, 83, 118, 123, 126, 128, 135, 143, 156 “German problem”, 45, 49, 93, 99 German Studies Association (GSA), x, 71–72, 81–82, 101, 112, 131, 139, 143, 156 German Studies Review, 72 Geyer, Michael, 81, 84–86, 102, 118, 156 Giles, Geoffrey, 123 Globalization, 98, 136, 143, 163

Goihl, Karin, 136 Goldberg, Harvey, 51 Goldstein, Thomas, 133 Gorbachev, Mikhail, 99, 110 Görtemaker, Manfred, 107 Go fried Wilhelm Leibniz Association, 109 Gö ingen University, 80, 123 Graduate training in history, 49–54, 65, 67, 91, 117, 127, 130–36, 144, 148–49, 157 Gransow, Volker, 102 Griffiths, David M., 126 Groehler, Olaf, 106 Grosse Politik der Europäis en Kabine e, 59–60 Grü ner, Mi ael, 139 Guts e, Willibald, 59 Gysi, Gregor, 103 Ha tmann, Rüdiger, 139 Ha endorf, 11 Ha e , David, 52 Hagemann, Karen, 130, 133, 139, 148, 156, 160, 167 Hagenauer, Joa im, 117 Hamerow, Theodore S., 48, 51, 61–62, 84, 160 Hannah-Arendt Institut für Totalitarismusfors ung, 119 Hansen, Reimer, 140 Hare, Laurence, 134 Harris, James F., 52 Hayse, Mi ael, 133 Hearten, Rainer, 19–20, 148 Heineman, Elizabeth, 133, 156 Herrlitz, Hans-Georg, 80 Hertle, Hans-Hermann, 105, 113 Herzog, Dagmar, 84 H-German, 77, 108 Hildebrand, Klaus, 63 Hildebrandt, Rainer, 109 Hill, Leonidas, 62 Hillgruber, Andreas, 52 Historical social science (Historische Sozialwissenscha ), 73, 75, 77, 83–85 Historis e Zeits ri , 74, 102

184 | Index

Hitler, Adolf, 7, 16, 22, 34, 52, 65, 67, 82, 92, 128, 133, 138, 161, 163 H-Net, 77 Hobsbawm, Eric, 77 Ho muth, Hanno, 135, 156 Ho erts, Hans Günter, 86 Hohls, Rüdiger, 77, 85, 108, 117, 160 Holborn, Hajo, 49, 65 Holocaust, 3–5, 11, 29, 35, 42, 72, 83, 85–86, 88, 92–93, 101, 115, 127–28, 130, 132, 134, 137–38, 141, 156, 158, 160–61, 163 Honecker, Erich, 99, 103, 113 Honors societies, Phi Beta Kappa, 36 H-Soz-Kult, clio-online, x, 77, 85, 87, 108, 138 Hübner, Peter, 105 Hull, Isabel, 84 Human rights, 5, 98–99, 133, 167 Humboldt University of Berlin (HU Berlin), 77, 104, 108, 134, 139 Hunt, Lynn, 84 Hunziker, Brandon, 138 Iggers, Georg, 49, 84, 101–2, 108 Inflation, 4, 8 Institut für Ho s ulkunde in Würzburg, 79 Institute for Contemporary History (Institut für Zeitgeschichte), x, 106, 109, 113, 118 Institute for Marxism-Leninism, 101 International Association for Quantitative Methods (INTERQUANT), x, 76 Iron Curtain, 76, 99, 100–1, 162 Jacoby, Glenn “Red”, 39 Jameson, Fredric, 84 Jandok, Petra, 117 Jaraus (born Petri), Elisabeth Charlo e, 7, 9–16, 18–21, 24, 30, 32, 35, 40–41, 45, 48–50, 52–53, 140, 158, 170 Jaraus , Bruno, ix, 8, 12, 13, 16, 53–54, 60, 64, 66, 87, 100, 170 Jaraus , Hannelore Louise (born Flessa), xi, 54–58, 61–65, 75, 87–91, 100, 108, 116, 125, 144, 146–47, 160

Jaraus , Klaus Peter, 89 Jaraus , Konrad Frederic, 89 Jaraus , Konrad senior, 8–9 Jews, and anti-Semitism, 3, 14, 35, 49, 51–52, 71, 79–80, 82, 84, 92, 123–25, 132–33, 141–42, 161, 164 John, Jürgen, 139 Jones, Larry, 84 Judt, Tony, 141 July crisis, 60–62 June 17th uprising, 1 Kamphoefner, Walter, 65 Kaplan, Thomas Pegelow, 132 Kater, Michael, 74, 124 Kennedy, John F., 43 Kessler, Mario, 105, 108 Khrushchev, Nikita, 110, 113 Kirkendall, Ri ard S., 64 Kirs , Jan-Holger, 86, 108 Klein, Fritz, 3, 60, 119 Kleinfeld, Gerald, 71, 82 Klemke, Rainer, 109 Klessmann, Christoph, 105–6, 108, 114, 160 Koblenz, 61 Ko a, Jürgen, 29, 74, 77, 81, 85, 105, 112–13, 117 Koehl, Robert, 52 Kohl, Helmut, 99, 103, 163–64 Koval enko, Ivan, 76 Kowalczuk, Ilko-Sascha, 102, 140 Kramer, Lloyd, 130 Krapf, Gerhard, 30, 39, 58 Krause, Sco , 135 Krefeld, 14–16, 18, 21, 100 Krippendorff, Ekkehart, 52 La Folle e, Robert, 50 Lange, Peter, 129 Langer, William L., 49 Langston, Ri ard, 128 Laramie, 28, 30–34, 36, 38, 40, 43, 45 Larres, Klaus, 131 Lässig, Simone, 156 Laufer, Jo en, 105 Ledford, Kenneth, 81

Index | 185

Lehman, Bri any, 134 Leibniz Kolleg, 23, 109 Leipzig University, 65, 107 Lemke, Christiane, 117, 129, 148, 167 Lemke, Michael, 105, 108 Li ti, Gertrud, 11, 30 Lindenberger, Thomas Link, Jere Lipgens, Walter Lisbon Treaty, 164 Loeffelholz, Irmgard von, 13 Lundgreen, Peter, 74, 80 Lurcy (born Levy), Georges, 124–25 Lurcy Professorship in European Civilization, 2, 124–25, 160 Lyotard, Jean-François, 83, 85 Madison, 3, 50–52, 57–58, 61, 64–65 Magdeburg, 6–7, 10, 11, 17, 22, 100 Maier, Charles, 102, 156 Maizière, Lothar de, 103, 110 Mann, Thomas, 77 Marburg, 9, 61, 79 Marks, Gary, 129 Marriage, 15, 55, 57, 133 Marxism, 24, 51, 77, 98, 101 Mauch, Christof, 143 Max Plan Institut für Geschichte, Göttingen, 80, 102 Mazower, Mark, 141 McCarthy, Joseph, 50 McCullough, Kelly, 143 McIntosh, Terence, 131 Me el, Markus, 109 Meisenheim, 14 Memory culture, 68, 86, 134, 161–62 Meng, Mi ael, 132, 156 Merkel, Angela, 164 Mernitz, Kenneth, 65 Merseburg, 57, 60, 79, 100 Mews, Siegfried, 117, 128, 148 Mexico, 43 Middell, Ma hias, 101–2, 139–40 Milder, Stephen, 134 “Miscalculated risk”, 161 Mississippi Freedom Summers, 50 Mitchell-Pi s, Ruth, 129

Mi er, Armin, 106 Modernity, 22, 78, 80, 83, 85, 128, 141, 166 Mommsen, Wolfgang J., 59, 62 Moscow, 4, 32, 99, 113, 164 Mosse, George L., 3, 48, 51, 53 Müller, Detlev K., 80 Mulle , Charles, 64 National Archives in Washington, 60 National Humanities Center, 124, 144 National Socialism (NS), crimes of, 1, 3, 68, 71, 78, 81, 92, 101, 110, 142, 159 Nationalism, 11, 22, 78 Nauert, Charles, 63–64 Nehring, Holger, 137 Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, 81 Neuende elsau, 12–13 New Le , 72, 77 New Social History, 4, 77–83 New York, 29, 40–41, 53 Niethammer, Lutz, 107 Nipperdey, Thomas, 78 North Carolina German Studies Seminar (NCGS), 130 North Carolina Museum of Art, 146 Nuremberg, 54 Nüssle, Ursula, 100 O’Sullivan, Mi ael, 134 Olsen, Jon Berndt, 134 Osterhammel, Jürgen, 109, 142 Ostermann, Christian, 113, 138 O , Elmar, 39 O o Suhr Institute, 52 Out of Ashes, 141 Palmer, Colin, 125 Paris, 22, 56, 92 Partei des Demokratis en Sozialismus (PDS), x, 111 Pätzold, Kurt, 101 Paul S neider Gymnasium, 14 Paxton, Robert, 141 Payk, Markus, 137

186 | Index

Peaceful revolution, 100, 103, 112, 127, 133, 159, 163, 165 Petri, Franz, ix, 9, 16, 32, 45, 48, 53, 59, 62, 67, 73, 87, 170 Petrovich, Michael B., 51 Pflanze, O o, 49 Pletsch, Carl E., 126 Poland, 10–11, 132, 135, 163 Postmodernism, 72, 83–84, 86 Postwar youth, 1, 22, 24, 43 Potsdam University, 107 Potsdam, 4, 57, 60, 79, 86, 100, 105–8, 111, 115–19, 130, 136–37, 140, 156, 158–60. Prague Spring, 98 Prisoner of war (POW), 10–12, 22, 31, 161 Protestantism, theology, 7, 8–10, 12, 14–17, 19–21, 23–24, 88, 98, 106, 125, 134, 140 Provence, 15 Prussia, 2, 7, 11, 16, 20, 58, 60–61, 62, 75, 79, 100, 140 Puaca, Brian, 133 Quantitative methods, x, 3, 73–77, 82, 84 Racial discrimination, 42, 148 Raleigh, 116, 124, 144, 146 Raleigh, Don, 131 Raphael, Lutz, 136 “Real existing socialism”, 110, 162–63 Rearmament, 22, 67 Redding, Kimberly, 133 Reeducation, 78 Reid, Don, 131 Reinvention of identity, 36–40, 45 Reluctant Accomplice, 141 Research Triangle, 124, 144, 146 Reunification, 65, 99, 100 Rheinberg, Brigi a van, 141 Ri ardson-Li le, Edward, 133 Riezler diaries, 60, Ri er, Gerhard, 59, 68 Roberge, Paul, 117, 148 Rocky Mountains, 40–41 Röhl, John, 59

Roslavl, 10 Ross, Corey, 108 Rothfels, Hans, 59–60 Rüsen, Jörn, 85 Rush to German Unity, 103 Saarbrü en University, 75, 91 Sabrow, Martin, 85–86, 102, 105, 107–9, 112, 114, 118, 156, 160 Sasse, Günther, 60 S auenstein, 13 S ieder, Theodor, 52, 85 S leier, Hans, 85 S neider, Christa, 106 S olz, Olaf, 164 S orske, Carl, 49 S roeder, Klaus, 106 S roeder, Wilhelm, 75–76 S ulz, Tobias, 134 S wabe, Klaus, 63 S warz, Hans, 38 S wedt, 9–10 Sco , Joan, 52, 84 Seipp, Adam, 132, 156 Senn, Alfred, 48 September Program, 60, 62 Sha ered Past, 86–87 Shorter, Edward, 73 Siegrist, Hannes, 81, 111, 117, 156, 160, 167 Silent Sam, 125, 149 Silesia, 8–9, 19 Skeptical generation, 22 Skiing, 13, 18–19, 37, 50, 54, 64, 90, 117, 147 Smith, Jay, 149 Snell, John, 130 Snowy Range, 31, 38 Soccer, 2, 18, 24, 38, 43, 124, 162 Social democracy, 24 Social inequality, 42, 56, 148 Social Science History Association (SSHA), 75 Socialist Unity Party (SED), x, 51, 98, 100–4, 106–7, 110, 112–15, 133, 163 Soloway, Ri ard, 107, 117, 124, 148, 160

Index | 187

Sombart, Werner, 77 Sonderweg debate, 77–78, 80, 84–84 Sösemann, Bernd, 60 Southern living, 144–48 Sozialdemokratis e Partei Deuts lands (SPD), x, 103, 109–10, 164 Spiegel Affair, 25, 162 Stalin, Joseph, 110 Stasi, 65, 98, 100, 103–4, 106, 110, 117 Ste el, William R., 34 Stelzel, Philipp, 134 Stern, Fritz, 49, 60–61, 82–83, 130 Stiller, Werner, 65 Stone, Lawrence, 73–74 Strickland, Arvarh, 64 Students, Society and Politics, 79, 123 Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, 81 Taylor, Alan John Percivale (A. J. P.), 49, 68 Teichler, Ulrich, 81 Tenure-track, 166 Thaller, Manfred, 76 Thelen, David P., 64 Thimme, Annelise, 63 Thompson, Edward Palmer (E.P.), 77 Tilly, Charles, 73–74 Timberlake, Charles, 64 Titze, Hartmut, 80 Torstendahl, Rolf, 81 Totalitarianism theory, 110 Transatlantic intermediary, xi, 4, 93, 166 Transatlantic Master’s Program (TAM), 130 Tübingen University, 23, 116 Ukraine, 164 Unabhängiger Historikerverband, 106 Undergraduate tea ing, 65 Unfree Professions, 81 University of Florida in Gainesville, 123 University of Missouri (MU), x, 63–65, 74, 80, 91, 123 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), x, 4, 76–77, 88, 92, 107,

114–18, 124–30, 132–33, 135–36, 141, 144, 148–50, 156 University of Wisconsin, 48–50, 57, 160 University of Wyoming, 31–32, 50 Veblen, Thorstein, 78 Venice, 57 Versailles Treaty, 34, 52, 160 Vierra, Sarah Thomsen, 134 Vietnam War, 35, 43, 48, 51, 64, 90 Vietzs , Eberhard von, 59 Vogt, Anne e, 140 Volkswagen (VW), 3, 31, 36, 40, 53, 58, 64, 89, 140, 144, 146 Vorra, 13 Vosske, Heinz, 101 Wanka, Johanna, 118 Wappler, Anke, 106 War aims debate, 60–62 War guilt controversy, 61 Washington, 32, 60, 72, 76, 79, 83, 113, 116, 118, 123, 125–26, 128, 143, 156 Wehler, Hans-Ulri , 29, 59, 75, 77–78, 81, 85 Wehrma t, 2, 31, 161 Weinberg, Gerhard, 82, 124–25, 129–30, 132, 160 Weiner, Daniela, 134 Welfare dictatorship (Fürsorgediktatur), 113–14, 119, 163 Welsh, Helga A., 117, 143, 148, 167 Wenzel, Harald, 136 Western Association for German Studies, 71 “Western Civilization”, 72, 77, 166 White supremacy, 149 White, Maria, 60 Williams, John, 129 Williamson, Samuel, 124 Willingham, Mary, 149 Wisconsin, 3–4, 39, 48–52, 54, 57, 63, 160 Wolfenbü el, 9 Wolle, Stefan, 106, 113 Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, 2, 79, 91

188 | Index

World War I, 8–10, 48, 58–59, 62, 65, 67, 72, 77–78, 127, 132, 160–61, 166 World War II, 2–4, 8, 14, 35, 48, 54, 72, 77, 80, 92, 98, 101, 127–28, 130, 132–33, 135, 138, 140, 157 Wyoming, 28, 30–36, 41–42, 45, 64, 158, 160 YMCA, 28, 39

Youth Movement, 17, 22, 132 Youth revolt of 1968, 133 Zeithistoris e Fors ungen, 108 Zentrum für Zeithistoris e Fors ung (ZZF), x, 4, 104–14, 118–19, 130, 135–37, 143, 156, 159–60 Zmarzlik, Günter, 63 Zucker, Stanley, 52