Professor Paul Hanebrink

Curriculum Vitae

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