Martin Sabrow

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Martin Sabrow (born April 6, 1954 in Kiel ) is a German historian . He is Director of the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Research in Potsdam and Professor of Modern History and Contemporary History at the Humboldt University in Berlin .


After graduating from the Hebbelschule in Kiel , Sabrow studied history , German and political science in Kiel and Marburg from 1972 to 1977 . He received his doctorate in 1993 from the University of Freiburg with an investigation into the murder of Walther Rathenau . In 2000 , he completed his habilitation with a paper on GDR history from 1949–1969. From 1994 he taught at various universities - including the Free University of Berlin , the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and the Technical University of Braunschweig , and as a visiting professor at the University of London and the University of Bologna . From 1996 to 2004 Sabrow was project division manager at the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Research (ZZF). In December 2004 he was appointed director of the ZZF and professor for modern history and contemporary history at the University of Potsdam . In May 2009 he accepted an appointment at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

In the spring of 2005, Sabrow was appointed chairman of the commission of experts set up by the federal government, which was tasked with developing a concept for a decentrally organized historical network to come to terms with the SED dictatorship. The recommendations presented to the public on May 15, 2006 and discussed in a public hearing on June 6, 2006 sparked an intense debate about how to deal with the GDR's past in the future.


Fonts (selection)


  • The Rathenaumord. Reconstruction of a conspiracy against the Republic of Weimar . Oldenbourg, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-486-64569-2 (dissertation, University of Freiburg, 1992).
  • The power of myth. Walther Rathenau in public memory. Six essays. Das Arsenal, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-931109-11-9 .
  • The suppressed conspiracy. The Rathenau murder and the German counter-revolution . Fischer Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-596-14302-0 .
  • Mr. and Hanswurst. The tragic fate of the court scholar Jacob Paul von Gundling . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart / Munich 2001, ISBN 3-421-05512-2 .
  • The dictate of consensus. History in the GDR 1949–1969 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-486-56559-1 (habilitation thesis, FU Berlin, 2000).
  • The time of contemporary history. Wallstein, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-8353-1035-3 .
  • Erich Honecker. The life before. 1912-1945 . CH Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-69809-5 .
  • with Matthias Berg , Olaf Blaschke , Jens Thiel, Krijn Thijs: The assembled guild. Association of Historians and Historians' Days in Germany. 2 volumes. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 3-8353-3294-5 .



Web links


  1. See in particular Martin Sabrow et al. a. (Ed.): Where are GDR memories drifting? Documentation of a debate . 2007 as well as the material collection on the topic on contemporary history online .