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Eric Weitz

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Eric D. Weitz

Distinguished Professor of History

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Eric D. Weitz is Distinguished Professor of History and the former Dean of Humanities and Arts at The City College of New York (CCNY). Previously he was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota and St. Olaf College. At Minnesota he chaired the History Department and directed the Center for German and European Studies. He held the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair in the College of Liberal Arts and was Distinguished McKnight University Professor.

Trained in modern German and European history, Weitz has also worked in international and global history. He is currently completing, A World Divided: A Global History of Nation-States and Human Rights since the Eighteenth Century. His major publications include Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (2007; second expanded edition 2013),  A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (2003; reprint with new foreword 2014), and Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State (1997), all with Princeton University Press.  Weimar Germany was named an "Editor's Choice" by The New York Times Book Review.

As Dean of Humanities and Arts at CCNY, Weitz built the faculty and identified new resources for faculty research and creative activity. He promoted interdisciplinary collaborations across the College, and sponsored new programs for students that provide them with major educational experiences outside of New York City. One highlight is the cooperation with Stanford University, in which 10 of CCNY’s best Humanities students engage in research projects over the summer with Stanford faculty mentors. The goal is to prepare them for doctoral programs in the Humanities and, ultimately, to help diversify the professoriate in the United States. In turn, CCNY provides teaching experience for advanced Stanford Ph.D. students.

Weitz is a frequent lecturer in public and academic settings. He has written and lectured on the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and the genocide of the Herero and Nama of Namibia. In 2006 he initiated a book series with Princeton University Press, Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity.

Weitz has been the recipient of many fellowships and awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and others. 

Curriculum Vitae


Boston University, Ph.D., 1983, Modern European History.
Graduate study at Ruhr-Universität, Bochum, with Prof. Dr. Hans Mommsen, 1979-80.
Boston University, M.A., 1976, Modern European History.
State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., 1974, History.

Research Interests

International Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity

Modern Germany

Social and Intellectual

Modern Russia/Soviet Union

Early Modern Germany


Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), xii, 435 pp., paperback ed. 2009: 2nd ed. with new chapter, "The Weimar Legacy: A Global Perspective," 2013.
     Chinese edition (fothcoming 2012).
     Polish edition: (Cracow: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego, forthcoming 2012).
     Italian edition: La Germania di Weimar: Utopia e tragedia (Turin: Einaudi, 2008)
     Swedish edition: Weimartyskland: Löfte och tragedia (Stockholm: Dialogos, 2009)
     Spanish edition: La Alemania de Weimar: Presagio y tragedia (Madrid: Turner Noema, 2009).
     Reviews in New York Times Book Review, New York Sun, Economist, Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, Harper's, Book Forum, Philadelphia Inquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Christian Science Monitor, Jerusalem Reporter, Commonwealth, La Repubblica, among others.
"Editor's Choice" in New York Times Book Review, 21 October 2007; "The Year in Books – History"
selection, Financial Times, 8 December 2007; "The Best Books of 2007" selection, Independent, 30
December 2007; starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal.

A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), viii, 360 pp., paperback ed. 2005.
     Selected as a Chioce Outstanding Academic Title for 2003.

Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), xviii, 445 pp., paperback ed. 1997.
     Honorable Mention, Allan Sharlin Memorial Award of the Social Science History Association, 1998.

Popular Communism: Political Strategies and Social Histories in the Formation of the German, French, and Italian Communist Parties, 1919-1948. Western Societies Program Occasional Paper number 31 (Ithaca: Cornell University Institute for European Studies, 1992), 84 pp.

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