Monday, February 27, 2012
Historian Robert Gerwarth will deliver the 20th annual Emanuel Levine History Lecture, entitled Hitler’s Hangman: The Life and Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942), on Wednesday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in Sweigart Auditorium. The event, which is free and open to the public, is presented by Rider’s Department of History.
A professor of Modern History at University College Dublin since 2007, Robert Gerwarth is also the director of the Dublin Centre for War Studies. His presentation at Rider will be based on his 2011 book, Hitler’s Hangman: The Life and Death of Reinhard Heydrich, published by Yale University Press. In the 336-page book, Gerwarth writes that Heydrich occupies a curiously modest place in the literature of the Third Reich despite his prominence in the Nazi party and a wartime résumé that is appalling even among his peers. Chief of the Nazi Criminal Police, the SS Security Service and the Gestapo, as well as a leading planner of the Holocaust, Heydrich played a central role in Hitler’s Germany.
“Fully exploring Heydrich’s progression from a privileged middle-class youth to a rapacious mass murderer, Gerwarth sheds new light on the complexity of Heydrich's adult character, his motivations, the incremental steps that led to unimaginable atrocities, and the consequences of his murderous efforts toward recreating the entire ethnic makeup of Europe,” according to Yale University Press.
After finishing his undergraduate degree in history and politics in Berlin, Gerwarth moved from Germany to Oxford University, where he completed his doctorate and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. Gerwarth, who previously held visiting professorships at Harvard University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Western Australia, is also currently a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
In addition to Hitler’s Hangman, Gerwarth is also the author of the book, The Bismarck Myth (Oxford University Press, 2005), and his scholarly work has been published widely in international journals such as The Journal of Modern History, Past & Present, Geschichte & Gesellschaft and Vingtième Siècle.
Gerwarth is the editor of Twisted Paths: Europe 1914-1945 (Oxford, 2007), Terrorism in Twentieth-Century Europe (London, 2007, with H.G. Haupt), Wilhelmine Germany and Edwardian Britain (Oxford, 2008, with D. Geppert), Constitutions: Civility and Violent Collapse in Europe (Munich, 2008, with J. Harris and H. Nehring), and Political Violence in Twentieth-Century Europe (Cambridge, 2011, with D. Bloxham). He is also the general editor of the new Oxford University Press monograph series, The Greater War, 1912-23, due to be published during the centenary of World War I.
The Levine Lecture Series at Rider University began in 1991 in recognition of Dr. Emanuel Levine, a member of Rider’s Department of History for nearly 40 years who specialized in ancient history and archaeology. Over the years, the Levine Lecture Series has brought an impressive group of scholars to Rider, including historians who are leaders in their fields and are the recipients of prestigious prizes and awards for their scholarship including multiple Pulitzer Prize winners.