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Robert Gellately

Robert Gellately

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Robert Gellately is a Newfoundland-born Canadian academic who is one of the leading historians of modern Europe, particularly during World War II and the Cold War era. He is presently Earl Ray Beck Professor of History at Florida State University
Florida State University
The Florida State University is a space-grant and sea-grant public university located in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. It is a comprehensive doctoral research university with medical programs and significant research activity as determined by the Carnegie Foundation...

.

Gellately's most recent work is Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007).

Gellately recently published a set of original documents by Leon Goldensohn
Leon Goldensohn
Leon N. Goldensohn , was an American psychiatrist who monitored the mental health of the twenty-one Nazi defendants awaiting trial at Nuremberg in 1946....

 dealing with the 1945-46 Nuremberg trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

 of war criminals in The Nuremberg Interviews: An American Psychiatrist's Conversations With The Defendants and Witnesses (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004).

His other books include Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2001). It has been published in German, Dutch, Spanish, Czech, and Italian. Japanese and French translations are in press. Backing Hitler was chosen as a main selection for book clubs in North America and the United Kingdom.

In the book Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945, Gellately argues that the Gestapo were not in fact all-pervasive and intrusive as they have been described. The Gestapo only numbered 32,000 for the entire population of Germany, and this clearly limited their impact. In the city of Hanover there were only 42 officers. Instead, Gellately says that the atmosphere of terror and fear was maintained by 'denunciations' from ordinary Germans, whereby they would inform any suspicious 'anti-Nazi' activity to the local Nazi authority. According to Gellatley, these denunciations were the cause of most prosecutions, as in Saarbrucken 87.5 per cent of cases of 'slander against the regime' came from denunciations. This diminished the Gestapo's role in maintaining fear and terror throughout the Third Reich, however they still proved to be a powerful instrument for Hitler and continued to provide the security apparatus needed for the Nazi Regime.

His first book was The Politics of Economic Despair: Shopkeepers in German Politics, 1890-1914 (London, 1974). In 1990 he published The Gestapo and German Society: Enforcing Racial Policy, 1933-1945 (Oxford University Press.) It has been translated into German and Spanish.

In addition, Gellately has co-edited a volume of essays with Russian specialist Sheila Fitzpatrick
Sheila Fitzpatrick
Sheila Fitzpatrick is an Australian-American historian. She teaches Soviet History at the University of Chicago.-Biography:Sheila Fitzpatrick attended the University of Melbourne and received her DPhil from St...

, Accusatory Practices: Denunciation in Modern European History, 1789-1989 (Chicago University Press, 1997). With his colleague Nathan Stoltzfus
Nathan Stoltzfus
Nathan Stoltzfus , born 1954, is an associate professor of history at Florida State University noted for his work on protest during the Nazi era, particularly the Rosenstrasse Protest that has sparked debate and discussion about the possibility and impact of protest in Nazi Germany. He was educated...

 (also at Florida State University
Florida State University
The Florida State University is a space-grant and sea-grant public university located in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. It is a comprehensive doctoral research university with medical programs and significant research activity as determined by the Carnegie Foundation...

) he co-edited a collection called Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press, 2001). With Ben Kiernan
Ben Kiernan
Benedict F. Kiernan is the Whitney Griswold Professor of History, Professor of International and Area Studies and Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University. He is a prolific writer on the Cambodian genocide...

, Director of the Genocide Studies program at Yale, he recently co-edited The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

Professor Gellately has won numerous research awards, including grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is a foundation set-up by the government of the Federal Republic and funded by the German Foreign Office, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and others for the promotion of international co-operation...

 in Germany and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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