Professor of Modern European History, University of Maryland | College Park
Jeffrey Herf received his BA in History (Phi Beta Kappa, 1969) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his MA in History from the State University of New York-Buffalo, and his PhD in Sociology from Brandeis University.
He studies the intersection of ideas and politics in modern European history, specializing in twentieth century Germany. He has published extensively on Germany during the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and on West and East Germany during the Cold War. In November 2009, Yale University Press published his book Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World. It is the recipient of the German Studies Association 2011 Sybil Halpern Milton prize awarded every second year for work on the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and of the 2010 Washington Institute for Near East Policy bronze book prize for work on the modern Middle East. The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard, 2006) received the 2006 National Jewish Book Award for work on the Holocaust. Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Harvard, 1997) was one of the first works to make extensive use of the then recently opened East German Communist Party and government archives. It was a co-winner of the Fraenkel Prize of the Institute of Contemporary History and Wiener Library in London in 1996. In 1998 it received the George Lewis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association. Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Cambridge, 1984) became a standard work and has been published in Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish translations. War By Other Means: Soviet Power, West German Resistance and the Battle of the Euromissiles (Free Press, 1991) was a study of the connection between changing political culture within West Germany and the dispute over nuclear weapons between the Soviet Union and the Western Alliance during the 1980s.
Herf is associated with the University's Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and received a variety of distinguished research fellowships. He is a member of the editorial board of Central European History, and The Journal of Israeli History, was a Contributing Editor to Partisan Review and has contributed articles, reviews and essays to The New Republic, Internationale Politik, Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt, Die Zeit, The National Interest, The American Interest and The Washington Post. He joined the University of Maryland Department of History in 2000 after teaching at Ohio University in Athens, Emory, Holy Cross and Harvard.