Quarterly issues for contemporary history

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Quarterly issues for contemporary history

description Trade journal
Area of ​​Expertise Contemporary history
language German
publishing company De Gruyter Oldenbourg ( Germany )
Headquarters Munich
First edition January 1953
Frequency of publication quarterly
Editor-in-chief Thomas Schlemmer
editor Andreas Wirsching (Director of the IfZ)
Helmut Altrichter
Horst Möller
Margit Szöllösi-Janze
Web link www.degruyter.com
Article archive 1953-2014
ISSN (print)
ISSN (online)

The quarterly books for contemporary history (abbreviated VfZ ) are an important specialist, contemporary history periodical in Germany, which is published on behalf of the Institute for Contemporary History Munich-Berlin (IfZ).


The first issue of the magazine was published in 1953. In it, the then editor was Hans Rothfels a seminal essay even decades later valid definition of the historical research center Contemporary History , which until then had no tradition in this form in Germany. In the following years the journal developed into the most important periodical research on the history of National Socialism .

The scientific importance of the journal can also be measured by the fact that many of its articles are considered classics in historical studies or have triggered paradigmatic debates not only in German contemporary history research. Worth mentioning here are, for example, Hans Mommsen's contribution on the Reichstag fire of 1964 or Martin Broszat's examination of the revisionist theses of the Holocaust denier David Irving .

However, after contemporary history - in the sense of Rothfels' definition as the "epoch of those who lived with them" - increasingly extended beyond the time of National Socialism, the range of topics in the quarterly issues expanded from the 1970s. The proportion of research contributions, for example on the history of the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany, increased more and more . The history of Europe in its global contexts also received more and more attention.

Organization and cooperation

The quarterly journals for contemporary history are refereed journals, the articles of which usually go through a three-stage review process for quality assurance: After the anonymous articles have been viewed and evaluated by the editorial team, external reviews are obtained from Germany and abroad ( double blind peer review ). Then the editorial board and the editorial team decide on the publication after detailed discussion.

In addition to the actual magazine, there is also a series of quarterly journals for contemporary history (editors: Karl Dietrich Bracher , Hans-Peter Schwarz ). Mostly current monographic research articles of medium size as well as conference and edited volumes (special issues) appear here.

The German Yearbook of Contemporary History (GYCH) has been published annually by the Institute for Contemporary History Munich-Berlin since 2016 and contains articles translated into English from the quarterly journals for contemporary history as well as specially acquired, discursive-commentary contributions.

The VfZ editorial team has been working with the review journal sehepunkte since December 2003 to strengthen the contemporary history section there.

Articles or complete booklets that were published five years or more ago can be downloaded free of charge from the booklet archive ; the annually updated table of contents can also be downloaded. The last five years are chargeable online.

Editing and editing

The current editors are Andreas Wirsching as director of the IfZ as well as Helmut Altrichter , Horst Möller and Margit Szöllösi-Janze . The extended group of editors includes Elisabeth Harvey , Hélène Miard-Delacroix , Herfried Münkler , and Alan E. Steinweis .

After Jürgen Zarusky's death in March 2019, Thomas Schlemmer will act as editor-in-chief and Petra Weber as deputy editor-in-chief . Other members of the editorial team are Magnus Brechtken , Agnes Bresselau von Bressensdorf, Johannes Hürter , Thomas Raithel , Elke Seefried and Martina Steber . The magazine appears quarterly.


  • Hermann Graml , Hans Woller: Fifty Years of Quarterly Issues for Contemporary History 1953–2003. What has moved the magazine since 1953? In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Volume 51, 2003, Issue 1, pp. 51-88 ( PDF; 1.7 MB ( Memento from September 16, 2016 in the Internet Archive )).
  • Hans Maier : The quarterly books for contemporary history. In: Horst Möller , Udo Wengst (Eds.): 50 Years Institute for Contemporary History. A balance sheet. Munich 1999, pp. 169-176 ( preview ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Hans Rothfels: Contemporary history as a task. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Volume 1, 1953, Issue 1, pp. 1–8 ( PDF; 518 kB ).
  2. See for example Hans-Günther Seraphim , Andreas Hillgruber : Hitler's decision to attack Russia (a reply). In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Volume 2, 1954, pp. 240-254 ( PDF; 781 kB ); Hugh Trevor-Roper : Hitler's War Aims. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Volume 8, 1960, pp. 121-133 ( PDF; 744 kB ); Gotthard Jasper : On the causes of the Second World War; To the books by A. J. P. Taylor and David L. Hoggan. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Volume 10, 1962, pp. 311-340 ( PDF; 1.4 MB ); Andreas Hillgruber: The "Final Solution" and the German Eastern Empire as the core of the racial ideological program of National Socialism. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Volume 20, 1972, pp. 133-153 ( PDF; 1.0 MB ).
  3. Hans Mommsen: The Reichstag fire and its political consequences. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Volume 12, 1964, pp. 351-413 ( PDF; 2.8 MB ).
  4. Martin Broszat: Hitler and the Genesis of the "Final Solution". On the occasion of David Irving's theses. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. 1977, pp. 739-775 ( PDF; 1.7 MB ).
  5. DNB 011136650 Overview of the series of publications in the German National Library (call up the data record in the catalog for details).
  6. ^ Complete table of contents for the quarterly journal for contemporary history at the Institute for Contemporary History.