skip to content

Chair for Modern and Contemporary History

Prof. Dr. Habbo Knoch

At the Chair for Modern and Contemporary History we focus on studying and teaching how civility and violence have been inextricably interwoven during the “long” 20th century. Within the context of the processes of political and social modernization beginning in the 1880s, we ask after the development, the practices and the reasons for extreme violence within politics and society that manifested themselves most prominently during both world wars, during the National Socialist Regime, during the Holocaust, as well as during the other genocides of the 20th century. Further interests of the Chair of Modern and Contemporary History lie in the way in which this collectively endured and perpetrated violence is dealt with in order to create and restore order (memory studies) and in the political cultural history of global humanitarianism since the 19th century (moral history). A particular focus is thereby put on the politics of history and memory within Western Germany and Europe after 1945, especially on the representation of historical events on photographs and other visual media, at the memorials for crimes of mass violence and at museums of contemporary history (public history).