Thomas Brechenmacher

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Thomas Brechenmacher (born January 28, 1964 in Immenstadt ) is a German historian and professor of modern history at the University of Potsdam .

Thomas Brechenmacher studied history, German language and literature and philosophy in Munich with a Master of Arts degree in 1990. From 1988 to 1990 he was a scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation , and from 1991 to 1994 a graduate scholarship from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation . He received his doctorate in 1995 from the Free University of Berlin and completed his habilitation in 2004 at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich with the Venia legendi for modern and contemporary history.

From March 1995 he was a research assistant and lecturer at the Historical Institute of the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich, and since 1999 research assistant there. From 1998 he was second and since 2009 he has been the first director of the “ Forschungsstelle Deutsch-Jüdische Zeitgeschichte e. V. ". In February 2003 he took a leave of absence to carry out a research project in Rome: "Reports of the Apostolic Nuncio Cesare Orsenigo from Germany 1930–1933" - a project commissioned by the Commission for Contemporary History, Bonn. From October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004, he was visiting professor at the German Historical Institute in Rome . In 2005/06 he took the position of senior scientific assistant at the University of Passau . Since 2007 he has held the professorship for Modern History II (German-Jewish history) at the University of Potsdam.

He is a member of the Scientific Commission of the Commission for Contemporary History and co-editor of the Historical Yearbook of the Görres Society . His main research interests lie in the history of historiography in Germany, the history of political Catholicism and the Papal States, as well as the history of the Jews in Germany and Europe.


  • with Michael Wolffsohn : The Germans and their first names. 200 years of politics and public opinion. Diana-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-8284-5018-0 .
  • Edited with Michael Wolffsohn: History as a trap. Germany and the Jewish world. Ars una-Verlag, Neuried 2001, ISBN 3-89391-311-4 .
  • The end of double protection. The Holy See and the Jews at the Transition to Modernity (1775–1870) (= Popes and Papacy. Vol. 32). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-7772-0405-6 .
  • The Vatican and the Jews. Story of an unholy relationship. Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52903-8 .
  • with Michael Wolffsohn: Monument collapse? Brandt's kneeling. Olzog Verlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7892-8162-X .
  • The Reich Concordat 1933. State of research, controversies, documents. Schöningh, Paderborn 2007, ISBN 3-506-76465-9 .
  • with Michael Wolffsohn: Germany, Jewish homeland. The history of the German Jews from the German Empire to the present day. Piper Verlag, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-492-04244-4 .
  • The Bonn Republic. Political system and internal development of the Federal Republic. be.bra Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-89809-413-9 .
  • with Michał Szulc: Modern German-Jewish history. Concepts - Narratives - Methods. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-17-021417-0 .
  • with Christoph Bothe: Bruno Blau. A German-Jewish life. Duncker et al. Humblot, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-428-15559-0 .

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