Frank Boesch

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Frank Bösch (born October 25, 1969 in Lübeck ) is a German historian . Together with Martin Sabrow, he is Director of the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Research (ZZF) in Potsdam and Professor of European History of the 20th Century at the University of Potsdam . Bösch came out particularly with books on the history of parties, the media and global history of the 1970s / 80s.

Live and act

Frank Bösch studied history, political science and German in Hamburg and Göttingen . In 2001 he received his doctorate with Bernd Weisbrod in Göttingen with a thesis on the CDU under Konrad Adenauer , which examined in particular the convergence between political Catholicism and bourgeois Protestant currents. Between 1998 and 2002 he worked as a research assistant and assistant at the Department of Medieval and Modern History at the University of Göttingen and, for a short time, at the Department of Political Science there in the project group “Social-Moral Milieus in Democracy and Dictatorship”. During this phase, books and articles were created that examined conservatism from the 1920s to 1960s, also based on local club cultures. From 2002 to 2007 he was a junior professor at the Historical Institute of the Ruhr University in Bochum , and in 2005 he was a fellow of the DHI London . During this time he wrote the study Public Secrets , which examined the change in norms and the change in political culture in the German Empire and Victorian Great Britain on the basis of scandals.

From 2007 to 2011 Bösch was a professor at the history seminar at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen , where he expanded a research focus on media history . There he was head of the history journalism course and was spokesman for the DFG Graduate School Transnational Media Events. From the early modern times to the present . In 2011 he accepted an offer at the University of Potsdam for a W3 professorship for German and European history of the 20th century. At the same time he was appointed director of the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Research (ZZF), which he heads together with Martin Sabrow . He is co-editor of the journal Zeithistorische Forschungen and the series Geschichte der Gegenwart , both of which appear at the ZZF. Bösch also publishes the book series Media and Society Change in the 20th Century and Historical Introductions .

His writings cover a wide range of topics and approaches. First, he set accents in social history. Using organizations such as parties and associations, he identified processes of social change before and after 1945. Bösch is also regarded as a well-known expert on media history. His study of media history comes from this area . From Asian book printing to television , in which he examines the interrelationships between social and media change, especially in modern times, as well as numerous essays and anthologies, for example on the role of the media in foreign policy or in the change in religion. At the ZZF, he expanded this focus to include research on computerization and headed a larger project on the effects of early digitization, which in turn determined the social significance and use of computers since the 1950s. In the field of cultural history , he has presented works on the audio-visual culture of remembrance, but also on the history of sexuality.

In the 2010s, Bösch researched in particular the connection between global and German changes in recent history. The resulting book Zeitwende 1979 received a lot of attention. As the world of today began (2019), which uses ten global events in 1979 to examine the emergence of current challenges and their connections to Germany. To this end, Bösch looks at the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism based on the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan , the new role of markets based on Thatcher's election and the opening of China under Deng Xiaoping , the admission of refugees based on the Boat People, and the series Holocaust for the change in contemporary history. Immediately after publication, the book stayed on the Spiegel bestseller list for several weeks and was voted the best non-fiction book by a jury of German-language feature books in February 2019, and in March 2019 it landed in third place on the jury of Die Zeit , ZDF , Deutschlandfunk Kultur . The reviews praised the "abundance of knowledge, many of which will also be found by connoisseurs of contemporary history" ( Franziska Augstein , Süddeutsche Zeitung ), the "abundance of material and his careful argumentation" (Rudolf Walther, taz ). Sven Felix Kellerhoff ( Die Welt ) called the book “an example of the scientific discipline of recent contemporary history that could hardly be better”.

Frank Bösch is an honorary member of numerous scientific committees and advisory boards. In 2016, he was elected deputy chairman of the Association of Historians in Germany . From 2012 to 2018 he was a member of the Senate and Approval Committee of the DFG for Research Training Groups . He is a member of the advisory board of the Luxembourg Center for Contemporary and Digital History, the House of History , the House of History of the Ruhr Area and, as chairman, the Advisory Board of the Federal President-Theodor-Heuss-House Foundation . Together with Andreas Wirsching , he led a research project from 2014 to 2018 of a commission set up by Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière , which examined the history of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR with regard to possible personal and material continuities after National Socialism .

Fonts (selection)


  • The turning point in 1979. When the world of today began. Beck, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-73308-6 .
    • License issue at the Federal Agency for Civic Education: Turn of the Times 1979. When the world of today began. Bonn 2019.
  • Media history. From Asian printing to television (= historical introductions. Vol. 10). Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39379-7 . (English edition: Media and Historical Change: Germany in International Perspective, 1400–2000, Berghahn Books, Oxford / New York 2015)
  • Public secrets. Scandals, politics and media in Germany and Great Britain 1880–1914 (= publications of the German Historical Institute London. Vol. 65). Oldenbourg, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-58857-6 . ( Digitized on )
  • Power and loss of power. The history of the CDU. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart et al. 2002, ISBN 3-421-05601-3 . ( Digitized version )
  • The conservative milieu. Club culture and local collection policy in East and West German regions (1900–1960) (= publications by the Lower Saxony Contemporary History Working Group. Vol. 19). Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2002, ISBN 3-89244-501-X .
  • The Adenauer CDU. Foundation, rise and crisis of a successful party 1945–1969. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart et al. 2001, ISBN 3-421-05438-X (also: Göttingen, University, dissertation, 2001).


  • with Andreas Wirsching : Keeper of Order. The interior ministries in Bonn and East Berlin after National Socialism . Wallstein, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8353-3206-5 .
  • Paths to the digital society. Computer use in the Federal Republic of 1955–1990. Wallstein, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8353-3290-4 .
  • with Caroline Moine and Stefanie Senger: International Solidarity. Global engagement in the Federal Republic and the GDR. Wallstein, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8353-3208-9 .
  • with Thomas Hertfelder and Gabriele Metzler : Limits of Neoliberalism. The change in liberalism in the late 20th century. Steiner, Stuttgart 2018, ISBN 978-3-515-12085-2 .
  • A History Shared and Divided. East and West Germany since the 1970s. Berghahn Books, New York / Oxford 2018, ISBN 978-1-78533-925-7 .
  • Shared history. East and West Germany 1970–2000 (= Federal Agency for Political Education. Vol. 1636). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2015, ISBN 3-525-30083-2 .
  • with Rüdiger Graf : The Energy Crises of the 1970s. Anticipations and Reactions in the Industrialized World (= Historical Social Research. Vol. 39 2014). Mannheim 2014.
  • with Peter Hoeres : Foreign Policy in the Media Age. From the late 19th century to the present (= history of the present. Vol. 8). Wallstein, Göttingen 2013, ISBN 3-8353-1352-5 .
  • with Lucian Hölscher : Beyond the Church. The opening of religious spaces since the 1950s (= History of Religion in Modern Times. Vol. 5). Wallstein, Göttingen 2013, ISBN 978-3-8353-1348-4 .
  • with Jürgen Danyel : contemporary history. Concepts and Methods. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 3-525-30060-3 .
  • with Ariane Brill and Florian Greiner: Pictures of Europe in the 20th Century. Developments on the periphery (= history of the present. Vol. 5). Wallstein, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 3-8353-1173-5 .
  • with Patrick Schmidt: Mediated events. Performance, staging and media since the 18th century. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-593-39198-4 .
  • with Lucian Hölscher: Church - Media - Public. Transformations of church self-interpretations and other interpretations since 1945 (= history of religion in modern times. Vol. 2). Wallstein, Göttingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-8353-0504-5 .
  • with Constantin Goschler : Public History. Public representations of National Socialism beyond the science of history. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2009, ISBN 978-3-593-38863-2 .
  • with Dominik Geppert : Journalists as Political Actors. Transfers and Interactions between Britain and Germany since the late 19th Century (= contributions to research on England. Series of publications by the German Research Group on England, German Association for the Study of British History and Politics. Vol. 59). Wißner, Augsburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-89639-673-0 .
  • with Manuel Borutta : Moving the masses. Media and emotions in the modern age. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2006, ISBN 3-593-38200-8 .
  • with Norbert Frei : Medialization and Democracy in the 20th Century (= Contributions to the History of the 20th Century. Vol. 5). Wallstein, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 3-8353-0072-5 .

Web links

supporting documents

  1. See the review by Ansgar Diller in: Nassauische Annalen 124, 2013, p. 689.
  2. ^ Frank Bösch, Peter Hoeres (ed.): Foreign policy in the media age. From the late 19th century to the present. Göttingen 2013; Frank Bösch, Lucian Hölscher (ed.): Beyond the Church. The opening of religious spaces since the 1950s. Göttingen 2013.
  3. Frank Bösch (Ed.): Paths in the digital society. Computer use in the Federal Republic of 1955–1990. Göttingen 2018.
  4. Historian Frank Bösch: 1979 was a turning point - in every respect . Deutschlandfunk Kultur from January 25, 2019, accessed January 26, 2019
  5. SPIEGEL bestseller (2019). In: Der SPIEGEL . Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  6. These are the best nonfiction books for February. In: Die Welt , February 3, 2019.
  7. The best non-fiction books in March fear. Politics and Sex Machines. In: Die Welt , February 27, 2019.
  8. ^ Franziska Augstein: 1979 - the year of upheavals . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . 29 January 2019.
  9. Rudolf Walther: Book about the crises of 1979: Document of a turning point . In: taz. February 24, 2019.
  10. Sven Felix Kellerhoff: What shapes our lives today began in 1979 . In: The world. 1st February 2019.