Jeffrey Herf is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park where he teaches Modern European, especially modern German history. His recent publications include Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Radical Left, 1967-1989  (Cambridge University Press, 2016);  Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale University  Press, 2009; The Jewish Enemy:  Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press, 2006), Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Harvard University Press, 1997; and War  by Other Means: Soviet Power, West German Resistance and the Battle of the Euromissiles (Free Press, 1991.  He is currently working on a book with the working title: “Israel’s Moment: Politics and Policy in the United States and Europe Regarding the Establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, 1945-1949.”  


B.A. (1969) University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.A. (1971) History, State University of New York at Buffalo; Ph.D. (1981) Sociology, Brandeis University


European History,Germany


  • Full Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, 2000-04
  • Full Professor, Ohio University, 1999-2000
  • Associate Professor, Ohio University, 1996-99
  • Mount Holyoke College; "Sommersemester" (April-July) 1994
  • Fulbright Guest Professor at the Seminar für Wissenschaftliche Politik, Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, Freiburg i. Br., Germany; Summer Semester, 1994
  • Emory University, Department of Political Science, 1989-90
  • Department of Strategy, Naval War College, 1987-88, College of the Holy Cross, 1986-87
  • Harvard University, Lecturer in the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, 1981-85
  • Fellowships: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; the Yitzak Rabin Center for Israel Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel; the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, School of Historical Studies; the German Marshall Fund Fellowship; Fulbright Award in Freiburg, Germany; the Helen and Lynde Bradley Foundation; Institut fur Zeithistorische Studien Potsdam, and the Max Planck Gesellschaft, in Germany; the Volkswagen Research Fellowship, at the German Historical Institute; and American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Washington, D.C.; Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, Austria; Research Associate and Bradley Foundation Fellow, Center for European Studies, Harvard University; Bradley Foundation Fellowship at the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy, University of Chicago; National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Independent Study and Research; Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship in European Society and Western Security, Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; and the German Academic Exchange Service Fellowship for Doctoral Research, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.


    Modern European, in particular Modern German, political, intellectual and international history

Project Summary

This study blends political and intellectual history to examine Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda during World War II. In their private conversations and in a massive propaganda output, the leaders of the Nazi regime viewed World War II and the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe, the Holocaust, as two aspects of one war. They did not distinguish between a war waged against the Allied coalition led, after June 1941, by Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States, and a second simultaneous and separate "war against the Jews." The Nazi hard core believed that it was fighting one, large war—"the Jewish war"—in which the Allies and their states and armies merged with the behind-the-scenes power of an international Jewish conspiracy. The work explores these themes in the editorials of Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, in secret press directives sent daily and weekly to newspaper and magazine editors, articles in the controlled press and weekly posters that conveyed the regime's propaganda with a mixture of visual images and text.

Major Publications

  • Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys Harvard University Press, Fall 1997. Winner of 1998 American Historical Association's George Louis Beer Prize; and co-winner of the 1996 Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History by the Institute of Contemporary History and the Wiener Library in London.
  • War By Other Means: Soviet Power, West German Resistance, and the Battle of the Euromissiles (New York: The Free Press, 1991)
  • Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984)