Martin Broszat

German historian

1926 or 1928   -   1989

country of citizenship: Germany
languages spoken, written or signed: German
educated at: University of Cologne, Leipzig University
occupation: historian, university teacher
award received: Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Martin Broszat (14 August 1926 – 14 October 1989) was a German historian specializing in modern German social history. As director of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History) in Munich from 1972 until his death, he became known as one of the world's most eminent scholars of Nazi Germany.Broszat joined the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in 1955 after obtaining his PhD from the University of Cologne. His work at the Institute included serving as an expert witness for the prosecution at the 1963–1965 Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials, and helping to debunk the forged Hitler Diaries in 1983. He also held an honorary professorship at the University of Konstanz.According to Ian Kershaw, Broszat made important contributions in four areas. From the late 1950s he worked on the history of Eastern Europe, especially Poland, and on Nazi concentration camps. This led to his exploration of the structure of the Nazi German state, which resulted in his book Der Staat Hitlers (1969), published in English as The Hitler State (1981). In the 1970s he became interested in Alltagsgeschichte and examined everyday life under the Nazis, developing the concept of "Resistenz" (immunity) and co-editing a six-volume work about Bavaria under National Socialism, Bayern in der NS-Zeit (1977–1983). Finally, in 1985, he began the debate about the "historicization" of Nazi Germany, arguing that it should be studied like any other period of history, without moralizing and with recognition of its complexity.
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