I was born in Detmold (Germany) on 20 August 1958. After primary education (1966-69) and higher secondary school (Gymnasium), I studied History and English at the University Bielefeld, Germany, from October 1978 to July 1982 and from October 1983 to July 1986. As a postgraduate student, I spent an academic year at Wadham College, Oxford, in 1982-83. My published PhD thesis dealt with the emergence and upsurge of radical nationalist, anti-Semitic and fascist movements in Britain from the late nineteenth century to 1945 in comparative perspective.
After establishing a museum in Landkreis Emsland (North-Western Germany) from 1991 to 1993, I worked as a Research Fellow of the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam. In June 2001, my Habilitation on the transformation of rural society and agriculture in the Soviet zone of occupation and the GDR (in comparison with land reform and collectivization in the Soviet Union and in East European states after 1945) was accepted at the Free University of Berlin. Besides my book on this topic (brought out in 2002), I have written monographs on the social history of the GDR (for the textbook series Enzyklopädie deutscher Geschichte, published in 2005), on fascism in Europe from 1918 to 1945 (Der Faschismus in Europa 1918-1945, brought out by Philipp Reclam in 2006) and on the contested memories of National Socialism, Fascism and the Second World War in Europe (Das umstrittene Gedächtnis. Die Erinnerung an Nationalsozialismus, Faschismus und Krieg in Europa seit 1945, published in 2012). My publications (in German and English) also include volumes and articles on the European Revolutions of 1848-49, ‘mental maps’ of Europe, political and social relations between Britain and the GDR during the Cold War as well as on the transfer and dissemination of Anglo-American models of democracy in West Germany from 1945 to the mid-1960s. My new research topic deals with the relationship between security and humanity, focusing on the treatment of civilian ‘enemy aliens’ in the First World War.
Since my dissertation, my research has concentrated on German history in its European context as well as the emergence of entanglements in Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Apart from my publications, I have been closely involved in a number of projects on the cross-border history of Germany. As Managing Director of the Berliner Kolleg für Vergleichende Geschichte Europas (BKVGE), I ran an historical institute which was supported by two major German foundations, the Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung (Frankfurt/Main) and the Gerda Henkel Stiftung (Düsseldorf), from 2001 to 2009. The BKVGE concentrated on comparative European history and entanglements in Europe since the late eighteenth century. Since 2010, I have directed and conducted several research projects on the social and cultural history of Europe in transatlantic perspective.
I regularly teach as Professor of Modern European History at the Department of History of the Free University of Berlin. I also had the chance to give courses at the History Department of Central European University, Budapest, from 9 January to 24 March 2006 (one PhD Course and one MA Course, both of them in English) and at the Department of History at Ball State University (Indiana, USA) from 23 February to 24 April 2009.
Moreover, I collaborated in the network ‘Towards a European Civil Society’, which has been funded by the Commission of the European Union from 2003 to 2005 (Fifth Framework Programme). Moreover, I was a member of the Board of the international research project on ‘Nations – Borders – Identities. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in European Experiences and Memories’ (funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) from 2005 to 2008. Not least, the network of my international academic cooperation has been reinforced by my membership of the Board of H-German from 2006 to 2008. I am a co-founder of the Centre for German Studies at Beijing University (supported by the German Academic Exchange Service). In 2016, I participated in an evaluation committee of the Norwegian Research Council on the state of the humanities (Archaeology, History and Cultural Studies) in Norway (HUMEVAL). Most recently, I have served as a member of the Board of the Association for the History of Berlin (Historische Kommission zu Berlin).
*** Professor Arnd Bauerkämper is the 2017-18 Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor ***