Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Paul Hanebrink

Fellow Paul Hanebrink

October 2014 - March 2015
Mail: hanebrink(at)history.rutgers(dot)edu

Paul Hanebrink is a Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg from October 2014 to March 2015. Since 2007, he has been Associate Professor History and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. From 2007-2013, he was also Director of the Institute for Hungarian Studies at Rutgers. Before that, he was Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University from 2001-2007 and Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska fro 2000-2001. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2000.



Research project at the Kolleg

The project examines the idea of Judeo-Bolshevism in twentieth century European politics in comparative and transnational perspective. Despite every attempt by scholars to separate myth from reality, the association of Jews with Communism has persisted as an element in political discourse since the beginning of the twentieth century. Since World War II and especially after 1989, this idea has become a crucial aspect of memory politics, especially in Eastern Europe, where it recurs as a persistent and highly charged feature of debates about war, totalitarianism, and genocide. There are many studies of this problem in different national contexts, which treat this issue as a powerful form of the "Other" in nationalist imagination. But relatively few studies consider the circulation or transfer of the image from one national context to another, or study the problem in comparative fashion to highlight similitarities and critical differences between national contexts in the genesis or function of the idea. In the project, I consider these issues by focusing on the intersections and parallels between the idea of Judeo-Bolshevism as it appeared in five national cases: Germany, France, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. During my time at the Kolleg, I will focus most particularly on the function of this image across Europe between 1938-1948 and in the memory politics of postcommunist Europe since 1989. The project will be published as book by Harvard University Press with the tentative title, A Specter Haunting Europe: The Idea of Judeo-Bolshevism in the Twentieth Century.

Main areas of research

  •     History of East-Central Europe, especially the history of modern Hungary
  •     History of Religion in Modern Europe
  •     Nationalism
  •     Antisemitism
  •     Memory studies, especially the History of Holocaust memory

Positions and Memberships

  •     Member, Academic Committee, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
  •     Member, Association for the Study of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies


In Defense of Christian Hungary: Religion, Nationalism, and Antisemitism in Hungary, 1890-1944, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006).


"The Politics of Holocaust Memory in Hungary" in John-Paul Himka and Joanna Michlic, eds. Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, University of Nebraska Press, 2013.

"Islam, Anti-Communism, and Christian Civilization: The Ottoman Menace in Interwar Hungary," Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. 40 (2009): 114-124.
"Transnational Culture War: Christianity, Nation, and the Judeo-Bolshevik Myth in Hungary, 1890-1920," Journal of Modern History 80, no. 1 (March 2008): 55-80.
"Sicknesses of the Empire" in András Gerő, ed. The Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, 1867-1918 (New Holland Publishers Uk Ltd, 2009) (Listed on cover as contributor for editorial work done.) The Hungarian version is: András Gerő and Zsuzsa Gáspár, eds., Volt egyszer egy birodalom... Egy közép-európai birodalom. Az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia (1867-1918), Budapest: Officina '96, 2009.

"Christianity and National Reconstruction in Interwar Hungary" in Brian Porter and Bruce Berglund, eds., Christianity in Eastern Europe (Central European University Press, 2010): 72-96.

"The Redemption of Christian Hungary: Christianity, Confession, and Nationalism in Hungary, 1919-1944." In Michael Geyer and Hartmut Lehmann, editors. Religion und Nation. Goettingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2004: 255-75.


Review of Health, Hygiene and Eugenics in Southeastern Europe to 1945, ed. by Christian Promitzer, Sevasti Trubeta, and Marius Turda. In Slavic Review 71(4) (Winter, 2012): 923-924.

Review of Wien und die jüdische Erfahrung, 1900-1938: Akkulturation - Antisemitismus - Zionismus, ed. by Frank Stern and Barbara Eichinger. In English Historical Review 127(524) (January, 2012): 222-224.

Review of Andrei Oişteanu, Inventing the Jew: Antisemitic Stereotypes in Romanian and Other Central- East European Cultures. In Journal of Modern History 83(4) (December, 2011): 935-937.

Double review of Jason Wittenberg, Crucibles of Political Loyalty: Church Institutions and Electoral Continuity in Hungary and Norbert Spannenberger, Die katholische Kirche in Ungarn, 1918-1939: Positionierung im politischen System und "Katholische Renaissance." In Journal of Modern History 81(1) (March, 2009): 228-232.

Please find more information on Paul Hanebrink on the website of the Rutgers University