Summer term 2007

Prof. Dr. Fritz Stern (New York)

Fritz Stern, born in 1926 in Breslau, emigrated to the U.S. with his parents at the age of twelve and lives in New York. He earned his degree from Columbia University, where he taught German and European history from the early 1950s and remains University Professor Emeritus there.

Research and teaching led Stern to Paris, Konstanz, New Haven and over and over again to Berlin. This current semester Fritz Stern is serving as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Jena Center 20th Century History.

Fritz Stern is one of the most recognized historians of our times; in 1999 he was awarded the Peace Prize of the German book trade, in 2004 he received the Leo Baeck medal in New York, and a year later the National Prize of the German Nationalstiftung. He is a member of the Pour le Mérite and in 1993-94 served as an advisor to the then U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Holbrooke. On June 17, 1987, then observed as Day of German Unity, Fritz Stern delivered a widely acknowledged speech in the German Bundestag.

Stern's books have been published in many languages. Currently available in German are his volumes Kulturpessimismus als politische Gefahr (original edition in English 1961), Stuttgart 2005; Gold und Eisen. Bismarck und sein Bankier Bleichröder (1977), Reinbek 1999; Der Traum vom Frieden und die Versuchung der Macht (1987), München 2006; Verspielte Größe (1996), München 2005; and Das feine Schweigen (1999), München 2000. His latest book, Fünf Deutschland und ein Leben. Erinnerungen will be published by C.H.Beck in August 2007.

During his stay in Jena, Professor Stern gave a series of three public lectures on "Der Westen im 20. Jahrhundert. Selbstzerstörung, Wiederaufbau, Gefährdungen der Gegenwart".