Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor (2018-2019)

Sabine Ladstätter studied Classical Archaeology, Prehistory, Protohistory and Ancient History at the Universities of Graz and Vienna, culminating in a Master's degree (University of Graz) in 1992 and a Doctoral degree at the University of Vienna in 1997. Between 1997-2007 she held the position of Research Assistant at the Institute for the Cultural History of Antiquity at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. After her Habilitation at the University of Vienna in 2007 she moved to the Austrian Institute of Archaeology, the directorship of which she assumed in 2009. At the same time, the directorship of the excavations at Ephesos was assigned to her.

Awards for Scientist of the Year in 2011 in Austria, and for the best popular scientific book in Austria in 2014, are proof of her engagement in the areas of scientific communication and public outreach. She is a member of the German Archaeological Institute and of the Archaeological Institute of America, as well as numerous national and international scientific and editorial boards, and is a referee for leading research promotion institutions. Visiting professorships at the Ecole Normale Superieur de Paris (2016) and Stanford University as the 2018-2019 Visiting Austrian Chair Professor,  underscore her engagement in the fields of education and teaching, also attested by her supervision of academic degrees at a variety of European universities.

Professor Ladstätter is currently teaching for the Department of Classics the course Classics 359: An Archaeology of Ephesos (Winter Quarter).

Director, Austrian Institute of Archaeology

Hans Asperger, the pioneer of autism and Asperger syndrome in Nazi Vienna, has been celebrated for his compassionate defense of children with disabilities. But in this groundbreaking book, prize-winning historian Edith Sheffer exposes that Asperger was not only involved in the racial policies of Hitler’s Third Reich, he was complicit in the murder of children. 

As the Nazi regime slaughtered millions across Europe during WWII, it sorted people according to race, religion, behavior, and physical condition for either treatment or elimination. Nazi psychiatrists targeted children with different kinds of minds―especially those thought to lack social skills―claiming the Reich had no place for them. Asperger and his colleagues endeavored to mold certain “autistic” children into productive citizens, while transferring others they deemed untreatable to Spiegelgrund, one of the Reich’s deadliest child-killing centers.

In the first comprehensive history of the links between autism and Nazism, Sheffer uncovers how a diagnosis common today emerged from the atrocities of the Third Reich. With vivid storytelling and wide-ranging research, Asperger’s Children will move readers to rethink how societies assess, label, and treat those diagnosed with disabilities.

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Edith Sheffer

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Visiting Scholar at The Europe Center, 2016-2017

Maximilian Graf is a Visiting Scholar from the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He specializes in Cold War Studies and the History of Communism. In November/December 2013, he was chercheur associée at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin. In 2014, he received the Karl von Vogelsang Prize – Austrian State Prize for the History of Social Sciences, and in 2015 the Dr.-Alois-Mock-Wissenschaftspreis. In September 2017, he will start a new position at the European University Institute in Florence. At the moment, he is working on a book with the working title Overcoming the Iron Curtain. A New History of Détente in Cold War Central Europe.

Graf's most recent publications include his first book on Austrian–East German relations during the Cold War Österreich und die DDR 1949–1990. Politik und Wirtschaft im Schatten der deutschen Teilung (Vienna: ÖAW, 2016); the edited volumes Franz Marek. Beruf und Berufung Kommunist. Lebenserinnerungen und Schlüsseltexte (Vienna: Mandelbaum, 2017); Österreich im Kalten Krieg. Neue Forschungen im internationalen Kontext (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2016); Orient & Okzident. Begegnungen und Wahrnehmungen aus fünf Jahrhunderten (Vienna: Neue Welt Verlag 2016, ²2017); and numerous articles and book chapters, including: together with Wolfgang Mueller, "An Austrian mediation in Vietnam? The superpowers, neutrality, and Kurt Waldheim’s good offices," in the Sandra Bott/Jussi Hanhimaki/Janick Schaufelbuehl/Marco Wyss (eds.) book Neutrality and Neutralism in the Global Cold War. Between or within the blocs?, (London: Routledge, 2016), 127–143; "(Kalter) Krieg am Bergisel. Skispringen im Spannungsfeld von Politik, Sport und Nation: Österreich und die DDR als Fallbeispiele," in Zeitgeschichte 42 (2015) 4, 215–232; "The Rise and Fall of 'Austro-Eurocommunism'. On the 'Crisis' within the KPÖ and the Significance of East German Influence in the 1960s," in the Journal of European Integration History 20 (2014) 2, 203–218.

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The history of the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor at Stanford begins with the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. At this time, Austria wanted to make a gift to the United States – as did many other states –  in order to demonstrate its appreciation for America’s support following the Second World War.

The proclamation by the Austrian National Committee on the American Bicentennial reads as follows:

“In 1976 the United States of America is celebrating its Bicentennial Anniversary. On the 4th of July we do not only commemorate the birthday of a great nation, but we are also reminded of the liberal principles to which the American nation owes its existence and which have since inspired so many peoples in their fight for freedom and independence.

After the Second World War it was exactly these principles that made the United States aware of its responsibility towards the rest of the world. In the time of misery and despair the American people helped the Europeans in a most generous way by giving material support, self-confidence, and the belief in a better future.

Austria has fully experienced American support. It has been an essential factor in the rapid recovery of our destroyed country; it furthermore helped to strengthen our democratic institutions, to keep our newly-found inner freedom, and finally, to achieve independence from foreign powers.

In a time in which the world at large, as well as Austria, cannot always escape a critical evaluation of American politics, we want to emphasize that we have by no means forgotten this generous support and will always retain a feeling of gratitude towards the United States. 

American generosity has never demanded anything in return. Yet we have expressed our gratitude by retaining our freedom and by fully sharing the responsibility for peace in Europe as well as the rest of the world.

Austria has also participated in numerous activities concerning the reconstruction of Europe, borne by the great spirit of co-operation. Austria was co-founder and is still a member of a number of institutions initiated by the USA and created out of this wish for co-operation, such as the OECD. According to our special position we have pursued our own way to neutrality, a policy for which we have also found American respect and understanding.

The American contribution to global stability is vital to Europe and thus also to Austrian security. Through participation in the conference for security and co-operation in Europe the USA has renewed its engagement, which has been accepted by all European countries including the Iron-Curtain-States. Of equal importance is the American influence in world economics.

Sometimes it seems as if the American people were tired of this burden. We understand this as a consequence of set-backs and failures of American international and foreign policies as well as the disappointment about a world that has countered every mistake by the United States with harsh criticism. However, as Americans themselves evaluate the actions of their government according to the high ethical principles laid down when the nation was found, it is only natural that the world measures the United States by the nation’s own standards.

Even more so should we respect the American people for not pushing problems aside but trying to overcome them by relentless self-criticism. This process is often difficult to understand for outsiders and is yet proof for the invincible determination to fulfill the ethical legacy of the American founding fathers.

The problems of this world have changed without becoming smaller. And it will not be possible to solve them without joint effort. The great tasks of the future require firm and self-confident democrats on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, determined to answer any challenge in a courageous and yet peaceful manner. An example for this course has been set by the Marshall Plan.

Therefore, we wish the American people on the occasion of their Bicentennial Anniversary that they may always retain the power to live up to their ideals and that they may be able to fulfill the great tasks of the future in the spirit of these principles.”[1]

Founded on March 2, 1976 and headed by Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, the Austrian National Committee on the American Bicentennial raised more than twelve million Austrian schillings between June and October 1976. According to the Austrian National Committee, “Firms, notable persons, and civic leads were asked for donations. The Austrian people were asked to contribute their share by buying the so-called ‘Amerika-Sterne’ [‘America Stars’] (car-stickers showing the Bicentennial emblem).” The “America stars” were sold at banks for a contribution of at least 50 Austrian schillings and worked as lottery tickets; participants could win trips to the U.S., American cars, vouchers for gas, or gold coins. The idea was “to appeal to the Austrian public to make donations for an Austrian contribution from people to people on the occasion of the American Bicentennial.” The aim of the fund, initially proposed by Yale historian Robin Winks, was to finance an Austrian studies center at an American university.[2]

The Austrian government matched the donations and the final endowment reached $1.5 million, which was fifty percent higher than had been anticipated. Subsequently, American universities were invited to apply for this endowment. Hertha Firnberg, the first female Social Democratic minister in an Austrian government and the first Austrian Minister for Science and Research, published guidelines for the proposals: The chair or institute was supposed to be a catalyst for Austrian Studies throughout its home university and the entire U.S. and to focus on modern Austria; its perpetuity had to be guaranteed and it had to be fully integrated into the academic program of the university; the holder of the chair or the head of the institute ought to be an American specializing in Austrian Studies; the chair or institute’s activities should focus primarily on the postgraduate level with its own program, library, staff, and publications; it was expected to foster academic exchange, e.g., through Austrian guest lectures; and its location had to be meaningful for Austrian Studies.[3]

At this time, there were two important changes occurring at Stanford University. First, Stanford was in the process of expanding International Studies at a newly established (1973) research center, which was under the directorship of political scientist Robert E. Ward.[4] Second, in 1970 the Department of German was renamed as the Department of German Studies. This second change occurred under the influence of Walter Lohnes, who would go on to chair the department from 1973 to 1979. Lohnes was interested in broader cultural studies rather than focusing exclusively on language, linguistics, and literature. At the same time, he understood German Studies as Central European Studies including Austria and Switzerland. Lohnes who was born in Frankfurt in 1925 and came to the U.S. in 1948 as one of the first German exchange students after the Second World War – in which he had served on the Eastern Front –  was a pioneer of German education in the U.S.[5] At the time, German Studies was the largest foreign language department at Stanford, teaching more than 1,500 students a year and producing more PhDs in German than any other university in the United States.

Despite these important changes at Stanford, it is clear that the University was not initially aware of the competition. In a letter from 1989, Lohnes notes that he only learned about the Austrian gift to the U.S. by chance when he travelled through Salzburg and read the newspaper. (The people connected to Stanford’s overseas studies center in Austria that was in place since the mid-1960’s thought the competition would not be interesting for Stanford.) Because Stanford’s proposal came in late (due to another misunderstanding), the whole decision-making process in Vienna was postponed.[6] (Maybe this was also the case because the Austrian federal government had difficulties in matching the funds collected by the National Committee.)

Fifteen American universities had signaled an interest, nine submitted formal applications, and three finalists were considered: Yale, Minnesota, and Stanford. All three had proposed to use the money differently: Yale wanted to create a permanent Chair for Austrian Studies, not attached to a specific department but instead rotating, depending on the field of the successful candidate. Minnesota proposed to install a permanent Chair for Austrian Studies within a Center for Austrian Studies, closely connected to the History Department. And Stanford came up with the idea of a Visiting Chair, bringing an Austrian scholar to the U.S. each year, with alternating professional backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts.[7]

In his proposal, Lohnes made the case for Stanford on several fronts. He underscored the increasing demographic and economic weight of the West Coast. He highlighted Stanford’s consistent place among the top five universities in the U.S. and its outstanding resources, including libraries with a prominent Austriaca collection, the Hoover Institution, the Department of German Studies, the Program in Central European Studies, and the Center for Research in International Studies. He also pointed to its long-established ties with Austria, including the Stanford-in-Austria program that had been in place since 1965 and the many Austrians on the faculty.[8] In a supplement, Lohnes made clear that Stanford as a private institution with high tuition fees is not only a school for the wealthy, but that all qualified students who cannot afford the costs of a Stanford education are supported with scholarships and/or part-time employment.

In the end, the money was split between Minnesota and Stanford with Minnesota receiving $1 million for a full professorship and a Center for Austrian Studies and Stanford receiving an endowment of $450,000 for the “Distinguished Visiting Professorship of Austrian Studies.” There are only speculations as to why this decision was taken. However, there seemed to have been a sense that Austria was already well represented on the East Coast. Austrian Chancellor, the Social Democrat Bruno Kreisky, is said to have favored Yale at the beginning, but to have switched his support to Minnesota because its application was supported by Minnesota Senators Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, the latter of whom had just became Vice President under Jimmy Carter. Moreover, the fact that Minnesota is a public university may have also played a role for Kreisky, who was governing a country in which universities were exclusively run by the state. Allegedly, a majority of the committee favored Stanford– and Kreisky must have been furious about that – which is why the decision to split the endowment was taken.[9] While nervously waiting for a decision from Vienna and given the rumors he had heard, Robert Ward commented on the process that it was “very Austrian.“[10]

Kreisky informed Lohnes in a letter from February 14, 1977:

“Dear Professor Lohnes,

With reference to your letter from October 29, 1976, I have the pleasure to inform you that the Austrian National Committee for the U.S. Bicentennial has decided to sponsor Chairs in Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota and Stanford University, as a bicentennial gift from the Austrian people to the people of the United States.

The Austrian’s public response to the National Committee’s appeal for donations “from people to people” was so generous that the funds raised surpassed the initial goal by far and enabled us to sponsor two chairs.

The two above-mentioned universities were selected from a total of fifteen leading American institutions of higher learning, which had notified their interest in the Austrian Chair. I am particularly pleased that a Professorship of Austrian Studies can be established at your eminent University.”[11]

In his thank-you letter to Kreisky, Lohnes made clear that the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor Program will be a substantial contribution to Stanford’s focus on Central European Studies: “It will make Austria’s glorious past and vital presence more visible throughout Stanford University and on the American West coast.”[12] In the Stanford University News Service, President Richard W. Lyman expressed his wish that “[t]his distinguished professorship will, we hope, thus become an enduring symbol of friendship and shared interests between the peoples of Austria and the U.S.”[13] On March 18, 1977, the endowment was officially presented by a group of Austrian dignitaries to Stanford at the university’s Museum of Art. The delegation was led by the President of the Austro-American Society, industrialist Manfred Mautner-Markhof. He was joined by the former Minister of Finance Stephan Koren from the conservative People’s Party, the Austrian Ambassador to the U.S., a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Science and Research, the Director of the Austrian Institute in New York City, the Consul-General in Los Angeles, the honorary Consul-General in San Francisco, and an assistant to Kreisky.[14] The chancellor himself only made it to Minnesota to present the gift of the Austrian people there.

The first holder of the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professorship was Fritz Fellner, a historian from the University of Salzburg who taught courses on pre-WWII and post-WWII Austria and on Austria at the Paris Peace Conference after WWI during the winter and spring quarter 1978. The next year, Herbert Zeman from Vienna, a specialist for Austrian literature, came for the winter and spring quarters of 1979. The endowment was not enough to bring in Austrian guests for three quarters each year, but only for one or two. As originally envisioned, the chair rotated among different disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and arts, including literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, political science/international relations, economics, art, music, and drama.

In order to choose the candidates for the chair, two advisory committees were created with one in Vienna and one at Stanford. A list of possible candidates was put together in Vienna, but Stanford had the final pick and reserved the right to add names to the list to include non-Austrians if necessary:[15]

“From our standpoint we must start with the fact that Stanford must clearly retain control of all critical stages of the selection and appointment procedures. It is essential to the integrity of the University – and required by the established practices of all our Schools and Department which in the first instance must approve and recommend all appointments to their staffs – that Stanford alone determines who will become a member of our faculty. We clearly recognize, however, in the present case the need for the best possible advice on the qualifications and the potential availability of candidates for the Austrian Visiting Professorship. […] We value this Austrian Professorship highly and want to do everything possible to insure its success at Stanford. Ideally this recommend the following qualifications: great scholarly or other professional distinction without regard to age, sex, or official rank; a degree of fluency in English that will permit him or her to lecture or address effectively student, faculty, and public gatherings; and, where possible, the sort of mind and personality that adds style and flair to what would otherwise be a sound and respectable performance.”[16]

It was most important that the Austrians taking the chair “fit into the Stanford scene and needs.”

Lohnes and Ward believed that it was more lively and more interesting for Stanford faculty and students to bring over Austrians for a limited time than to permanently install an American or Austrian academic in this position “so Stanford students and faculty may obtain as broad and complete a view of Austrian society as possible”.[17] From the beginning, Stanford’s main interest was in “modern/contemporary” Austria (not necessarily the history of the Habsburg Empire, etc.). This was in line with what Vienna has envisaged. 

The establishment of the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professorship 40 years ago was closely connected to the idea of creating German and Swiss Chairs at the same time, all together completing Central European Studies. But the Germans apparently did not understand the U.S. university system as Austrian chancellor Kreisky seemingly did: The Volkswagen foundation gave a grant of only 600,000 German marks, which had been consumed after a few years and did not endow a chair, as the Austrians did. A German visiting professor at Stanford in 1978 – Gerd Wolfgang Weber – complained in a letter to Bonn about that and held the “clever Austrians” up as an example.[18]


[1] Österreichisches Nationalkomitee 200 Jahre USA, Final Report, Stanford University / Special Collections, Walter Lohnes Papers, ACCN 1996-041, SC 322, Box 7.

[2] Yale News, 04/08/2003: In Memoriam Robin Winks, <http://news.yale.edu/2003/04/08/memoriam-robin-winks&gt; [02/04/2017].

[3] Wilhelm Schlag, Minnesota and Stanford. New Centres for Austrian Studies, in: Austria Today. Quarterly Review of Trends and Events 3 (Spring 1977), ibidem.

[4] Stanford Report, 12/18/2009: Stanford's Robert Ward, pioneer in international studies, dead at 93, <http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/december14/obit-robert-ward-121809.h…; [02/04/2017].

[5] Stanford Report, 05/1/2012: Walter F. W. Lohnes, Stanford professor emeritus of German Studies, dies at 87, <http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/may/walter-lohnes-obit-050112.html&gt; [02/04/2017].

[6] Walter F. W. Lohnes, The German, Austrian, and Swiss Chairs at Stanford. A Historical Note, 07/1989, ibidem.

[7] Schlag, Minnesota and Stanford.

[8] Letter Richard W. Lyman to Bruno Kreisky, Stanford 11/01/1976, ibidem; Proposal for a Distinguished Endowed Professorship of Austrian Studies at Stanford University, ibidem; Letter Richard W. Lyman to Bruno Kreisky, Stanford 11/11/1976, Stanford University / Special Collections, Walter Lohnes Papers, ACCN 1996-041, SC 322, Box 2; Supplementary Statement to Proposal for a Distinguished Endowed Professorship of Austrian Studies at Stanford University, Stanford 11/11/1976, ibidem; William F. Miller (Vice President and Provost), Stanford University, Statement of Intent with respect to The Administration of a Distinguished Visiting Professorship of Austrian Studies, Stanford 03/23/1977, Stanford University / Special Collections, Walter Lohnes Papers, ACCN 1996-041, SC 322, Box 7.

[9] Letter Robert Ward to Richard Lyman & William Miller, Stanford 11/22/1976, ibidem.; Letter Robert Ward to list of addressees, Stanford 02/11/1977, ibidem.

[10] Letter Robert Ward to list of addressees, Stanford 01/04/1977, Stanford University / Special Collections, Walter Lohnes Papers, ACCN 1996-041, SC 322, Box 2.

[11] Letter Bruno Kreisky to Walter Lohnes, Vienna 02/14/1977, Stanford University / Special Collections, Walter Lohnes Papers, ACCN 1996-041, SC 322, Box 7.

[12] Letter Walter Lohnes to Bruno Kreisky, Stanford 02/28/1977 [my translation from the German], ibidem.

[13] Stanford University News Service, 03/18/1977, ibidem.

[14] Letter Richard W. Lyman to Bruno Kreisky, Stanford, 03/28/1977, ibidem.

[15] Letter Robert E. Ward to Wilhelm Schlag, Stanford 02/03/1978, ibidem; Letter Wilhelm Schlag to Robert E. Ward, Vienna 07/30/1977, ibidem; Letter Robert E. Ward to different departments, Stanford 12/15/1977, ibidem. 

[16] Letter Robert E. Ward to Wilhelm Schlag, Stanford 02/03/1978, ibidem.

[17] German, Austrian professors offer five new courses, in: Campus Report, 01/04/1978, ibidem; Letter Walter Lohnes to Robert E. Ward, Stanford 02/07/1977, ibidem.

[18] Letter Gerd W. Weber to MdB Karsten Voigt, Palo Alto 12/09/1978, ibidem.


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616 Serra Street
Stanford, CA 94305-6165

Visiting Scholar at The Europe Center, 2015-2016

Julia Dahlvik is a sociologist and interpreter. She earned her PhD in Sociology in 2014 as an external fellow to the Initiative College "Empowerment through Human Rights" (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Human Rights) at the University of Vienna. Her thesis investigated everyday professional and bureaucratic practices of administrating asylum applications in Austria and was honored with the Dissertation Prize for Migration Research of the Austrian Academy of Science and the Dissertation Prize of the Austrian Sociological Association. She is currently editing her thesis into a publication Inside Asylum Bureaucracy with IMISCOE Springer.

Julia currently holds a lecturer position at the University of Vienna and is a project researcher at the Austrian Academy of Science in a project on "Interethnic Coexistence in European Cities". Before that, she coordinated a project on "Health Literacy of Migrants in Austria" at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Health Promotion Research. From 2009 to 2014, she coordinated the "Platform on Migration and Integration Research" at the University of Vienna. Julia is the local program coordinator for the Research Committee Sociology of Law for the ISA Forum 2016.

Distinguished Austrian Chair Professor (2015-2016)
Visiting Associate Professor, Department of History
Associate Professor of History, University of Vienna, Austria

Martina Kaller is a philosopher and historian with a clear professional background in global history and a main focus on the Global South. She studied in Vienna, Berlin and at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM). She earned her Ph.D in epistemology of history from University of Vienna and did her postdoctoral thesis in modern history there as well. Her main research focus is on global food history and global studies of food.

At University of Vienna she co-directs the EU funded Master Erasmus Mundus-program, called “Global Studies—A European Perspective.” A consortium conformed by global studies specialists from the London School of Economics (UK), the University of Leipzig (Germany), Roskilde University (Denmark), the Willy Brand Center at University of Wroclaw (Poland), and at University of Vienna, proved that a joint studies program with incoming students from whole over the world works and equally turned greatly attractive for European students.

Her teaching philosophy is guided by a firm belief in the freedom of inquiry, encouraging students to discover and rigorously research the questions that emerge from their own interests, while applying stringent methodological standards. She welcomes difference, dialogue and respect among diverse and divergent points of view. Her courses are characterized by mutual respect, a sense of responsibility and reliability.


On March 29, 1945 the first Soviet troops crossed the Austrian border. On April 13, after fighting involving heavy losses, Vienna was liberated by the Red Army. The efforts of a resistance group within the Wehrmacht to avoid combat and surrender the city were betrayed and failed.

In building up the new, postwar Austria, the provisional Austrian government, installed by the Soviets, faced a dilemma: on the one hand the Moscow Declaration of November 1943 offered the opportunity to avoid the accusation of shared responsibility in Nazi crimes, even though Austria had been an integral part of the German Reich since the “Anschluss” in March 1938. The Moscow Declaration formula that, after the war, Austria would be dealt as the “first victim of Hitlerite aggression” offered a more than welcome way to avoid the threatened punishment. On the other hand, the obvious fact could not be denied that Austrians – as well as other Germans – had served in the Wehrmacht.

The Austrian Declaration of Independence, proclaimed on April 27, 1945, tried to explain this fact in claiming that the Austrians had been forced by Nazi suppression to fight in a war no Austrian had ever wanted, against peoples towards whom no Austrian felt any resentment.

In the immediate postwar period, this interpretation was underlined through several governmental projects, particularly the official Rot-Weiß-Rot-Buch (Red-White-Red-Book, 1946) that aimed to prove the significance of Austrian resistance to the Nazi regime – Wehrmacht soldiers were amongst those honored as patriotic resistance fighters, having been murdered for opposing the regime’s military orders.

But this narrative was to change within a short period in time. The Cold War and the re-integration of former members of the Nazi Party reframed the politics of history. This did not affect the official theory of Austria as the “first victim” but this argument was used mainly for official representations, especially to the “Ausland”. In Austrian internal discourse, clear indicators of a re-definition can be observed as early as 1948 as concerned attitudes to the Wehrmacht soldiers. In war memorials, commemoration ceremonies etc. the fallen soldiers – in 1945 defined as victims of infamous Nazi war policy - were now honored as heroes defending their homeland against the enemies from the “East”.

1945’s victim theory is of course the founding myth (more critically referred to as the foundational “historical lie”) of the Second Republic of Austria. But it is only one part of the specific Austrian postwar myth. Rather, Austrian memory is characterized by the tension between the official victim theory – Austria as the first victim of Nazi Germany in 1938 – and a widespread, populist counter-narrative: Austrians as heroic defenders of Heimat and as military and civilian victims of the Allied war against Nazi Germany. In this populist or popular second victim theory, the darkest moment of Austrian history was not in 1938, but in 1945, when Austria was occupied by the Allies, above all by the “Russian barbarians”. Obviously “Liberation” was not a term appropriate to this perspective.

These contradictory narratives caused several public conflicts, mostly triggered by the erection of new war memorials and commemoration ceremonies for the fallen, especially in the decade after the State Treaty (1955) when it was no longer necessary to take the Allied Military Occupation Forces into consideration.

In the 1980s, with the break with the European postwar myths also came the unmasking of the official victim theory, triggered by the debate on President Kurt Waldheim’s role as a Wehrmacht officer in the Balkan theater of war (1986). The official standpoint, declared by Chancellor Franz Vranitzky in 1991, now acknowledged the “co-responsibility” of the Austrians for the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes.

But surprisingly, the culture of commemoration for the fallen soldiers of the Wehrmacht remained largely untouched, despite the intensity of the "memory wars" at the end of the 20th century. Only in 2012 was Austria at last confronted with its long overlooked blind spot in coming to terms with the Nazi past. Beyond all ethical or moral arguments and the historical fact that the Wehrmacht had participated in War Crimes and played a major role in the Holocaust, honoring Wehrmacht soldiers for defending the “homeland” against the Allied Military Forces, which liberated Austria from the Nazi terror regime, is anachronistic and inappropriate, not at least taking the commitment of the Austrian Bundesheer in European military co-operation into consideration. Ironically, the starting point for the break with this outdated postwar tradition was a hidden Nazi document discovered in 2012 at the very center of official commemoration: the sculpture of the Fallen Soldier in the Austrian national Heroes Monument on Vienna’s Heroes square.

But despite overcoming of the last und today yet hardly comprehensible remains of the postwar strategies of national, social and individual reconstruction, the question still remains: How should Austrian society commemorate its Wehrmacht soldiers – the fallen and the surviving, a generation which is now passing away? As victims? As perpetrators? This affects not only national representation but also family memory. Honoring the millions of soldiers of the Allied Forces who died for the liberation of Europe – and Austria – will be in the focus of this year‘s 70th anniversary of the end of WW II. But how to commemorate the ambivalent role of the Red Army in Austria (and other countries) – commemorating and honoring the death toll of Russian soldiers who died in the Eastern and Central European theaters of war, whilst also remembering the suffering of raped women?

In 2014, the centenary of WW I resulted in an harmonious scene in which a European family of nations had learned their lessons from history. Predictably in the commemoration year 2015, the picture will be far more complex and ambivalent – especially in view of the different experiences of democratic and communist EU countries after 1945, the conflicts with Russia in Ukraine and Crimea and, not least, the role of the Great Patriotic War in today’s Russian nationalist politics of history. The commemoration year 2015 seems to become an exciting event: one can observe how new world orders – and new tensions – will be negotiated in the field of cultural memory.



Heidemarie Uhl is a Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor, a consulting professor at The Europe Center and visiting associate professor with the Department of History.  She is a Senior Researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and teaches at the University of Vienna. Professor Uhl has held guest professorships at Hebrew University Jerusalem (Israel), University of Strasbourg (France) and Andrassy University Budapest (Hungary). She has published books and articles on the memory of the Holocaust in Austria and Europe and is currently co-directing a project on the persecution, expulsion and annihilation of Viennese Jews 1938-1945.

Professor Uhl's recent research interest focuses on the political, social, cultural and intellectual framework in which the Holocaust became the universal watershed event for a common memory of Western civilization at the end of the 20th century. What are the pre-conditions for this change in paradigm? Which transformations in narrative and in representation - from historiography to Memorial Museums and popular movie productions - were necessary for the acknowledgment of the Holocaust as the negative point of reference for the values and norms of western societies? And what are the new challenges Holocaust memory is confronted with in today’s multi-polar post-Cold War era?

Professor Uhl taught the history course "The Holocaust in Recent Memory: Conficts - Commemorations - Challenges" during the fall quarter, 2014.


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Consulting Professor at The Europe Center, 2014-2015

Heidemarie Uhl is a Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor, a consulting professor at The Europe Center and visiting associate professor with the Department of History.  She is a Senior Researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and teaches at the University of Vienna. Professor Uhl has held guest professorships at Hebrew University Jerusalem (Israel), University of Strasbourg (France) and Andrassy University Budapest (Hungary). She has published books and articles on the memory of the Holocaust in Austria and Europe and is currently co-directing a project on the persecution, expulsion and annihilation of Viennese Jews 1938-1945.

Professor Uhl's recent research interest focuses on the political, social, cultural and intellectual framework in which the Holocaust became the universal watershed event for a common memory of Western civilization at the end of the 20th century. What are the pre-conditions for this change in paradigm? Which transformations in narrative and in representation - from historiography to Memorial Museums and popular movie productions - were necessary for the acknowledgment of the Holocaust as the negative point of reference for the values and norms of western societies? And what are the new challenges Holocaust memory is confronted with in today’s multi-polar post-Cold War era?

Professor Uhl is teaching the history course "The Holocaust in Recent Memory: Conficts - Commemorations - Challenges" this Fall 2014.


Senior Researcher Speaker Austrian Academy of Sciences

*Please note the date has changed from September 23 to September 22*

A talk by Arnold Suppan, author of Hitler - Beneš - Tito: Conflict, War and Genocide in East Central and South East Europe. The monograph explores the development of the political, legal, economic, social, cultural and military “communities of conflict” within Austria-Hungary (especially in the Bohemian and South Slav lands); the convulsion of World War I and the Czech, Slovak and South Slav break with the Habsburg Monarchy; the difficult formation of successor states and the strong discussions at Paris 1919/20; the domestic and foreign policies of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and the question of national minorities (Sudeten Germans, Magyars in Slovakia and the Vojvodina, Danube Swabians, Germans in Slovenia); Hitler’s destruction of the Versailles order; the Nazi policies of conquest and occupation in Bohemia, Moravia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovenia; the genocide committed against the Jews in the Protectorate, Slovakia, the Ustaša-state and Serbia; the collaboration of the Tiso­- and Pavelić-regime with Nazi Germany; the retaliation against and expulsion of the Germans from Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia; and finally the issue of history and memory east and west of the Iron Curtain as well as in the post-communist states at the end of the 20th century.

Sponsored by The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and co-sponsored by The Europe Center and the Department of History.

Free and open to the public.


Pigott Hall (Building 260)

Arnold Suppan Professor of History University of Vienna
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Recap: Pascal Lamy Lecture, “World Trade and Global Governance”

On February 10, 2014, Pascal Lamy, the former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, visited Stanford University as a special guest of The Europe Center and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. During his two-term tenure at the helm of the WTO (from 2005 to 2013), Mr. Lamy successfully guided the organization through complex changes in the regulation of international trade. Among his many achievements, he oversaw the systematic integration of developing countries into positions of political leadership in the world economic order. Prior to the WTO, Mr. Lamy served as the European Commissioner for Trade, the CEO of the French bank Crédit Lyonnais, and in the French civil service. 
At Stanford, Mr. Lamy first participated in a lunchtime question and answer roundtable with students that was moderated by Stephen Stedman, Deputy Director of the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Among other topics, he spoke about the necessary mix of economic, social, and political policies that determine the efficacy of free trade as an engine of global economic growth. 


Mr. Lamy then delivered a public lecture on “World Trade and Global Governance” before an audience of over a hundred members of the Stanford community. In this talk, Mr. Lamy outlined a statement of his thinking about the future of global governance, focusing on three overarching points. First, despite some setbacks, governments and international organizations have achieved major successes in regulating the liberalization of global trade. Tariffs are on average lower than ever before, and governments did not raise tariffs during the recent financial crisis as they did during the Great Depression. Second, a new feature of the global economy is that protectionism based on economic objectives has been replaced by ‘precautionism’ based on normative prerogatives. For example, competing national perspectives on product standards such as those related to safety or labor norms thwart efforts to achieve consensus on trade regulation. Third, in order to achieve regulatory convergence, we need to bring together stakeholders from the public and private sector to build coalitions that jointly negotiate conflicts in matters of global governance. For example, the “C20-C30-C40 Coalition of the Working” that comprises countries, companies, and cities is currently striving to overcome regulatory gridlock on climate change.
We welcome you to visit our website for additional details about this event.

Save the Date: The Europe Center Lectureship on Europe and the World

Please mark your calendars for the inaugural annual lectures in this series by Adam Tooze, Barton M. Briggs Professor of History, Yale University. 
Dates: April 30, May 1, and May 2, 2014
Image of Adam Tooze
Adam Tooze will deliver three lectures from his forthcoming book, A World Fit for Heroes. In particular, he will speak about the history of the transformation of the global power structure that followed from Imperial Germany’s decision to provoke America’s declaration of war in 1917. Tooze is the author of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy (2006) and Statistics and the German State 1900-1945: The Making of Modern Economic Knowledge (2001), among numerous other scholarly articles on modern European history.


Meet our Visiting Scholars:  Manfred Nowak 

In each newsletter, The Europe Center would like to introduce you to a visiting scholar or collaborator at the Center. We welcome you to visit the Center and get to know our guests.
Image of Manfred Nowak, Visiting Austrian Chair Professor 2013-2014, Stanford University
Manfred Nowak (LL.M., Columbia University, 1975) is Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor; Visiting Professor, Stanford Law School; and, Professor of Law, University of Vienna. One of the world’s most renowned human rights scholars and legal theorists, Nowak has published more than 400 books and articles on international, constitutional, administrative, and human rights law, including the standard commentary on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He was the Director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights at the University of Utrecht (1987-1989), and he founded the Austrian Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in 1989. From 1996-2003, Nowak was a judge at the Human Rights Chamber in Bosnia. He has also served as a U.N. legal expert on missing persons and enforced disappearances, and was appointed the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment in 2004. 
Manfred Nowak was awarded the UNESCO Prize for the Teaching of Human Rights in 1994 and the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Human Rights in 2007.

Workshop Schedules  

The Europe Center invites you to attend the talks of speakers in the following workshop series: 

Europe and the Global Economy

February 20, 2014
Alan Deardorff, John W. Sweetland Professor of International Economics & Prof. of Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan
RSVP by Feb 19, 2014
Mar 6, 2014
Sophie Meunier, Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and Co-Director, EU Program at Princeton, Princeton University
RSVP by Mar 3, 2014
Mar 13, 2014
Randy Stone, Professor of Political Science, University of Rochester
RSVP by Mar 10, 2014
Apr 3, 2014
Kåre Vernby, Associate Professor, Department of Government, Uppsala University
RSVP by Mar 31, 2014
Apr 17, 2014
Mark Hallerberg, Professor of Public Management and Political Economy, Hertie School of Governance 
RSVP by Apr 4, 2014
May 15, 2014
Christina Davis, Prof. of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
RSVP by May 12, 2014

European Governance

May 22, 2014
Wolfgang Ischinger, Former German Ambassador to the U.S.; Chairman, Munich Security Conference
RSVP by May 19, 2014
May 29, 2014
Simon Hug, Professor of Political Science, University of Geneva
RSVP by May 26, 2014

The Europe Center Sponsored Events

We invite you to attend the following events sponsored or co-sponsored by The Europe Center:
March 6, 2014
“Promise and Critique of Capitalism: Changing Discourses Since the 18th Century”
Jürgen Kocka, Professor and Former President of the Social Science Research Center, Berlin
Location: Watt Room, Stanford Humanities Center
March 6 and 7, 2014
Indian Ocean Conference
“Connecting Continents: Setting an Agenda for a Historical Archaeology of the Indian Ocean World”
Location: Stanford Archaeology Center, Building 500, 488 Escondido Mall
March 31, 2014
Simon Hix, Professor of European and Comparative Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science
Political Science Comparative Politics Workshop
Location: Encina Hall West Room 400
April 15, 2014
Ulrich Wilhelm, Director General, Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation
“Assessing the Impact of the NSA Spy Scandal on American-European Relations” 
The Europe Center and FSI Stanford Special Event
Location: Oksenberg Conference Room, Encina Hall
RSVP by April 10, 2014

Other Events

The Europe Center also invites you to attend the following events of interest:
February 20, 2014
Gregory Shaffer, Melvin C. Steen Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School
“How the WTO Shapes Regulatory Governance”
Room 185, Stanford Law School
European Entrepreneurship & Innovation @Stanford Engineering
February 24, 2014
    “Switzerland and Turkey - Venture Capital and Product Design Firms”
    Giuseppe Zocco, Founding Partner, Index Ventures; Emrah Yalaz, CEO, Spring Ventures
March 3, 2014
    “Flanders and Sweden - Enterprise Software and VC Funds”
    Lieven Vermaele, CEO, SDNsquare; Martin Hauge, Founding Partner, Creandum
March 10, 2014
    “Hungary and Italy - Digital Infrastructure Startups and ‘Maker’ Movements”
    Gyula Feher, CTO & Co-Founder, Ustream
Location: Hewlett 201 Auditorium, Engineering School

We welcome you to visit our website for additional details.

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