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Research field: Dictatorship Research

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Dictatorships and autocracies in the 20th century and their study

This research field, in accordance with the purposes defined during HAIT's foundation in 1993, is tasked with studying the dictatorships of the 20th century and the way that society dealt with them. It also ties in with the politological research approach of comparative autocracy research. The focus of the predominantly historiographic projects is on the Nazi and SED dictatorships, which are complemented by studies of dictatorships or autocracies especially in Europe. In all projects, the aspiration is to seize the conceptual and methodological expansions of contemporary historical research in the recent decades, to link approaches of political, social, cultural, media and everyday history with each other and to integrate innovative approaches from the social and cultural sciences. The relationship of the two German dictatorships to each other is treated from a systematic-comparative as well as an experiential-historical perspective. Furthermore, explorations of non-democratic regimes in the interwar period and in other regions of the world form reference points for historical comparison. A particular challenge for projects in this research field is the connection of regionally or nationally limited (Saxony or Nazi Germany, GDR) with supra-regional and international objects of investigation, which also includes non-dictatorial societies, especially the Federal Republic at the time of German division. The scientists active in this area are working together with institutions of political education, victim groups and reappraisal initiatives in the Free State of Saxony and the East German federal states, in accordance with the goals defined in HAIT's statute.

Researchers: Dr. Claudia Böttcher, Dr. Andreas Kötzing, Anselm Meyer, Prof. Dr. Mike Schmeitzner, Dr. Francesca Weil

Current projects

Exhibition politics. Documenta and the GDR

coordination: Dr. Alexia Pooth

Beschlussregister. Institutionalisation in the GDR

coordination: Dora Busch

Herbert Backe - The food industry and the crimes of National Socialism

coordination: Anselm Meyer

Geflüchtete jüdische Akademikerinnen und Künstlerinnen 1918-1945

coordination: Francesca Weileditor: Francesca Weil

Women who migrated from, to, and within Germany - interdisciplinary approaches taking into account the category experience 1918-2918

coordination: Dr. Francesca Weil

Mind, power and violence. Heinrich Bennecke and the SA – a German career in the 20th century

coordination: Prof. Dr. Mike Schmeitzner

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat. A History of the Concept and its Impact

coordination: Prof. Dr. Mike Schmeitzner

Two states - one culture? Art and culture in divided Germany (1945-1990)

coordination: Dr. Andreas Kötzing

The Dresden city council under National Socialism. Municipal welfare policy between 1933 and 1945

coordination: Benjamin Wernereditor: Benjamin Werner

The GDR Ministry of Justice under the direction of LDPD Minister Kurt Wünsche and Hans-Joachim Heusinger 1967-1990

coordination: Franz-Joseph Hille

The socialist multi-party system in the GDR. Modes of operation and limits of block politics

coordination: Dr. Thomas Wideraeditor: Dr. Tilman Pohlmann, Michael Thoß

Biography of Dr. Curt Ludwig Ehrenreich von Burgsdorff

coordination: Dr. Francesca Weil

Database for the Dresden National Socialist newspaper Der Freiheitskampf

DIKUSA - Networking digital cultural data in Saxony

coordination: Dr. Francesca Weil

History of Psychology at Dresden Technical College / University 1920 - 1970

Completed projects

State persecution of homosexuals in Saxony 1933-1968

coordination: Dr. Clemens Vollnhalseditor: Dr. Alexander Zinn

History of late Saxon war-time society (1943-1945)

coordination: Dr. Francesca Weil

Stasi operation ‘Light’ in 1962

coordination: Dr. Thomas Widera

East German film propaganda and West German censorship by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for East/West Cinematic Affairs

coordination: Dr. Andreas Kötzing

Images of omnipotence. Depictions of State Security in film and television.

coordination: Dr. Andreas Kötzing

Saxony from 1933 to 1945. A historical travel guide

coordination: Prof. Dr. Mike Schmeitzner, Dr. Francesca Weil

The 11th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the SED in December 1965

coordination: Dr. Andreas Kötzing

Youth and Hitler Youth in National Socialism

coordination: Dr. André Postert

There can be no mercy. An exchange of letters during World War II

coordination: Dr. Francesca Weil

Childhoods in the Second World War

coordination: Dr. Francesca Weil, Dr. André Postert

Critique of utopian thinking – Karl Marx and Marxism

coordination: Prof. Dr. Lothar Fritze

Nach den Diktaturen: Der Umgang mit den Opfern in Europa

coordination: Dr. Clemens Vollnhals M.A.

Protestantism and the nationalist movement

coordination: Dr. Clemens Vollnhals

Sachsenburg concentration camp 1933-1937

coordination: Prof. Dr. Mike Schmeitzner

National Socialist propaganda in Saxony 1921-1945

coordination: Stephan Dehn

The Saxon Grand Lodges after 1918

coordination: Franziska Böhl

Völkische Bewegung, Konservative Revolution, Nationalsozialismus

coordination: Dr. Clemens Vollnhals M.A.

Early death sentences in the Soviet Zone. Soviet military tribunals from 1944-45 to 1947

coordination: PD Dr. Mike Schmeitzner

Co-operation between the GDR Ministry for State Security (MfS) and the Polish Ministry of the Interior (MSW)

coordination: Dr. Tytus Jaskułowski

Edition project: Anna Walentynowicz and Anna Baszanowska: Shadows in the Future

coordination: Dr. Tytus Jaskułowskieditor: Dr. Eva Wiese

The Peaceful Revolution in the GDR, 1989-1990. The transition compared with Eastern Central Europe

coordination: Dr. Clemens Vollnhals M.A.

Victims along the Saxon-Bavarian and Saxon-Czech borders between 1952 and 1989Victims along the Saxon-Bavarian and Saxon-Czech borders between 1952 and 1989

coordination: Jan Gülzau

Courageous women of the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche) in opposition to Nazi racial policy

coordination: Dr. Clemens Vollnhals M.A.

History of the Bautzen Strasse detention centre and the Dresden State Security District Administration Authority 1945-1990

coordination: Dr. Thomas Widera

Construction soldiers in Prora and their protest against SED military policy

coordination: Dr. Thomas Widera

The Prague embassy refugees of 1989

coordination: Dr. Karel Vodička

First in the district. Social profile, career and the reign of regional Saxon SED elites during the Ulbricht era

coordination: Dr. Tilman Pohlmann

National Socialist crimes and Stalinist justice

coordination: PD Dr. Mike Schmeitzner

Totalitarian thinking in Marxism and National Socialism

coordination: Prof. Dr. Lothar Fritze

The moral order of National Socialism

coordination: PD Dr. Wolfgang Bialas

The Deutsche Volksliste (German People's List, DVL) in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1939/41-1945

coordination: Dr. Johannes Frackowiak

Biographies and case law of Wehrmacht judges

coordination: Dr. Claudia Bade