Christoph Nonn

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Christoph Nonn, 2008

Christoph Nonn (born December 11, 1964 in Leverkusen ) is a German historian . Since 2002 he has been teaching as a professor of modern history at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf .

Live and act

From 1984 to 1989 Nonn studied history, English and political science at the Universities of Trier and Warwick , Great Britain . After the first state examination in 1990, he received his doctorate in Trier in 1993 under Wolfgang Schieder with a thesis on consumer protest and the party system in Wilhelminian Germany. From 1994 to 2000 he worked as a university assistant at the University of Cologne , where he qualified as a professor in Newer and Modern History in 1999/2000 ( Die Ruhrbergbaukrise. De-industrialization and politics 1958–1969 ). He then participated as project manager of the forced labor fund of the Jewish Claims Conference in the organization and coordination of the evaluation of reparation files. In 2001/2002 he was a Heisenberg fellow of the German Research Foundation .

Since the 2002/2003 winter semester, he has succeeded Kurt Düwell as Professor of Modern History at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf . Nonn was chairman of the Brauweiler district for regional and contemporary history and managing editor of the magazine Geschichte im Westen , he is co-editor of the Düsseldorf publications on regional history and the cabinet minutes of the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia.

In 2009 Nonn published an overview of the history of North Rhine-Westphalia . Two years later he published a migration story from North Rhine-Westphalia. He also published an introduction to the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, which has been reissued several times.

In 2013 Nonn presented the first biographical study on the historian Theodor Schieder . For the first time, Nonn comprehensively evaluated the extensive estate of Schieders and many other archive holdings. Already at the Frankfurt Historikertag 1998, Schierer's role in National Socialism had sparked heated debates. The debate broke out again through Nonn's account. Shortly after the biography was published, a controversy arose between Nonn and Peter Schöttler . Ingo Haar said that Nonn's portrayal was "embellished instead of beautiful". While Haar and Schöttler saw Schieder as a “pioneer of annihilation”, according to Nonn Schöttler's studies, political practice does not have an influential role. His so-called “Polendenkschrift” of October 1939 was therefore “not a 'direct forerunner of the General Plan East”. Indirectly, Schieder was "but very much involved in the inhuman and murderous Nazi policy": "Because his voice was one in the polyphonic chorus that created a mentality that legitimized and radicalized such a policy." Other reviews recognized Nonn's biography as Standard work.

In 2015 Nonn published a biography about Otto von Bismarck . Nonn places Bismarck's political work in the international context. He understands his portrayal as a “European-understood Bismarck biography”, which “pays more attention to alternative development paths” than has previously happened. His judgment on Bismarck is thoroughly critical. He wants to relativize the myth about Bismarck as a "great man". In his conclusion, he judges: “Bismarck was not a genius. He was a talented diplomat and was reasonably successful as a domestic politician ”. According to Nonn, it was “less of Bismarck's policy that determined the course of events. Rather, the course of events determined his policy ”. Because Bismarck "brought things with him into the world without having begotten them".


Nonn lives in Saarburg with his wife and two daughters . In 1987 he and his future wife began as amateur actors in a theater group of English students at the University of Trier. Both have been leading what is now known as Trier English Drama since 1995 . Nonn plays and directs himself. On average, one or two pieces are performed per year, for some years now in the TuFa cultural center in Trier .

Fonts (selection)

  • Consumer protest and party system in Wilhelmine Germany (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. Volume 107). Droste, Düsseldorf 1996, ISBN 3-7700-5196-3 (also: Trier, University, dissertation, 1993).
  • The Ruhr mining crisis. De-industrialization and politics 1958–1969 (= critical studies on historical science . Volume 149). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-35164-X (Also: Cologne, University, habilitation thesis, 2000).
  • A city is looking for a murderer. Rumor, violence and anti-Semitism in the empire. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2002, ISBN 3-525-36267-6 .
  • Anti-Semitism. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-534-20085-6 .
  • History of North Rhine-Westphalia (= Beck'sche Reihe. Volume 2610). Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-58343-8 .
  • Short history of migration from North Rhine-Westphalia. Greven, Cologne 2011, ISBN 978-3-7743-0479-6 .
  • Theodor Schieder. A bourgeois historian in the 20th century (= writings of the Federal Archives. Volume 73). Droste, Düsseldorf 2013, ISBN 978-3-7700-1629-7 ( book excerpts from the chapters "Interim balance sheet: Theodor Schieder and National Socialism" & "Unheard history of a historiographical course in West Germany").
  • The 19th and 20th centuries. (= UTB. Volume 2942). 3rd, revised edition. Schöningh, Paderborn 2014, ISBN 978-3-8252-4045-5 .
  • Bismarck. A Prussian and his century. Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-67589-8 .
  • The German Empire. From the foundation to the downfall (= Beck'sche Reihe. Volume 2870). Beck, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-70802-2 .
  • Edited with Tobias Winnerling: Another German story 1517–2017. What if ... Schöningh, Paderborn 2017, ISBN 978-3-506-78788-0 .
  • Environmental history of North Rhine-Westphalia. Greven, Cologne 2018, ISBN 978-3-7743-0691-2 .

Web links


  1. See the review by Karl-Ulrich Gelberg in: Journal for Bavarian State History . Volume 73, 2010, pp. 988-989.
  2. See the review by Jürgen Reulecke in: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter . Volume 77, 2013, pp. 428-430.
  3. Review by Peter Schöttler at H-Soz-u-Kult , December 19, 2013. Reply from Christoph Nonn, January 14, 2014 (online) .
  4. Ingo Haar: This biography of a citizen is embellished instead of beautiful. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . January 30, 2014, p. 18.
  5. ^ Christoph Nonn: Theodor Schieder. A bourgeois historian in the 20th century. Düsseldorf 2013, pp. 90 and 119.
  6. Thomas Gerhards in: Journal of History . Volume 62, 2014, pp. 84-86; Hans-Christof Kraus in: Historical magazine . Volume 300, 2015, pp. 720-727, doi: 10.1515 / hzhz-2015-0197 ; Johannes Holeschofsky in: Communications from the Institute for Austrian Historical Research . Volume 123, 2015, pp. 257-259; Thomas Kroll in: New Political Literature . Volume 59, 2014, pp. 141-142; Joachim Scholtyseck in: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter . Volume 80, 2016, pp. 425-427; Ewald Grothe in: Yearbook on Liberalism Research . Volume 26, 2014, pp. 1-4.
  7. Christoph Nonn: Bismarck. A Prussian and his century. Munich 2015, p. 13.
  8. Christoph Nonn: Bismarck. A Prussian and his century. Munich 2015, p. 355.
  9. Christoph Nonn: Bismarck. A Prussian and his century. Munich 2015, p. 356.