Nathan Stoltzfus

Stoltzfus
Nathan
Stoltzfus
PhD (Harvard University 1993)
Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies
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Nathan Stoltzfus is the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University and author or editor of seven books: Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany (Yale University Press, 2016); Protest in Hitler’s National Community: Social Unrest and the Nazi Response (Berghahn Books, 2015); Nazi Crimes and the Law (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007); Shades of Green: Environmental Activism around the Globe (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press, 2001); Resistance of the Heart (W.W. Norton, '96). Resistance of the Heart was the Fraenkel Prize co-winner and a New Statesman Book of the Year and prize winner of Munich’s Besten Liste for nonfiction. His work has been translated into German, French, Swedish, Greek, Turkish, and Russian. Stoltzfus has been a longterm member of the faculty of the National Judicial College. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1993, and has been a Fulbright and IREX scholar in East as well as West Germany, a Friedrich Ebert Stiftung grantee, a DAAD research scholar, a Humboldt German American Center for Visiting Scholars grantee, and a H.F. Guggenheim Foundation Scholar as well as a Florida State University “Developing Scholar.” His work has formed a basis for films and he has published in the Atlantic Monthly, the Daily Beast, Der Spiegel, The American Scholar, and Die Zeit.  His current book projects include the study of the memories of World War II as a basis for national myths and social cohesion.

 

His publications include the following books:

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Hitler's Compromises Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany (Yale University Press, 2016) is a comprehensive and eye-opening examination of Hitler’s regime, revealing the numerous strategic compromises he made in order to manage dissent.

Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest, wrote of Hitler’s Compromises that “Stoltzfus’s ambitious study seeks to correct the perception of the Nazi state as a seamless totalitarian organization that easily cowed Germans into unthinking obedience. The author suggests there was more to it than that: rather than seek to rely automatically on outright terror, Hitler was surprisingly prepared to compromise politically in order to avoid jeopardizing his popularity with the German people. .. . Hitler regularly restrained his subordinates from escalating their persecution of the churches during wartime.” By 1943 propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels complained, “The people know exactly where to find the leadership’s soft spot and will always exploit it.” Stoltzfus demonstrates that by pretending to be moderate at key points, Hitler worked to enlist Germans to fulfill his mission of building a New Order, a sobering reminder about the threat posed to any democratic society by a crafty demagogue.
 

Kirkus Reviews wrote of Hitler’s Compromises (Yale, 2016) that it "advances a cogent argument with broad moral, historical, and sociological implications . . . serious students of history will be thoroughly engaged. A lucid work of historical argumentation that succeeds in establishing compromise as a crucial instrument in Hitler’s political arsenal."

Stoltzfus’ lectures on Hitler’s Compromises include the Krasno Distinguished Lectureship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvqKny2TQ64 

and the Institute for European Studies series at U Cal Berkeley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-wEzy_QAII

 
During the run up to the 2016 election, in light of Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consent in Nazi Germany, Stoltzfus was asked to comment in the media on the frequent comparisons of Hitler and Donald Trump. www.thedailybeast.com/contributors/nathan-stoltzfus.html.
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"His book Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany (W.W. Norton 1996, paperback 2001 with a forward by Walter Laqueur) was published in German (Hanser Verlag/dtv). See reviews, foreward by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Introduction and Chapter 1. It was a co-recipient of the Institute of Contemporary History's Fraenkel Prize, a New Statesman 'Book of the Year', #2 on the German Bestenliste for nonfiction (October, 1999), Main Selection (March-April, 2004) of the Swedish Book Club Clio, and identified by Germany’s leading intellectual weekly Die Zeit as the 'standard work' on the protest."

This seminal work has spawned a considerable debate among academics, leading to what Die Zeit called a "historian's controversy" (kleine Historikerstreit). His interviews have brought to publication the voices of Germans who were otherwise never interviewed about their wartime experiences, not only of Nazi victims but also its perpetrators including Leopold Gutterer, Joseph Goebbels’ Under Secretary of Propaganda. His work has been published in seven languages.

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Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press, 2001), co-edited with Robert Gellately, reveals the range of groups persecuted under the Nazis and the role of society in their victimization.
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Shades of Green: Environmental Activism around the Globe (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), co-edited with with Doug Weiner and Christoph Mauch, represents the diversity of national, regional and international environmental activism, showing that the term "environmentalism" describes a wide range of perceptions, values and interests.
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Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People (Palgrave MacMillan, 2007), co-authored by professors of history, political science, and sociology, introduces readers to a spectrum of types of resistance to tyranny and investigates the factors that motivate and sustain opposition to human rights violations.
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Nazi Crimes and the Law (Cambridge University Press, 2008), co-edited with Henry Friedlander, examines the efficacy of national and international law to prosecute perpetrators of Nazi crimes, the centerpiece of twentieth-century state sponsored genocide and mass murder. Stoltzfus’ article for this collection as well as for The Oxford Handbook of Fascism, R.J.B. Bosworth, editor (Oxford University Press, 2009) considers the memory and representations of fascism since WW II in Italy and Germany.
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 Protest in Hitler's “National Community” Popular Unrest and the Nazi Response (Berghahn Books), co-edited with Birgit Maier-Katkin, Afterword by David Clay Large. In common perceptions, Hitler’s Gestapo slapped down every sign of opposition. This study of public, collected displays of dissent by “racial” Germans within the Reich examines cases of public, social dissent both before and during the war that were serious enough to command a response from the regime. Not only workers, but also women protecting their families as well as Protestants and Catholics determined to continue their church traditions, convinced the regime to appease rather than repress expressions of disagreement by “racial” Germans.