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Eric D. Weitz
Position: Distinguished Professor of History at The City College of New York
Campus Affiliation: City College of New York|Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., Boston University
Research Interests: Modern Europe, Germany, Labor, International Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity

                                             In Memorium

“It grieves me to write that our friend and colleague Eric Weitz died on Wednesday, July 1st.  Information about memorials is forthcoming, but I’ll say briefly that he was a vital part of our department, generous with counsel and a brilliant historian, and affable to the point that we all wish we had more time.” – Joel Allen

"We were incredibly lucky last year in having Professor Weitz teach our first-year literature course in modern European history. Through the unexpected transition to online learning, he showed infectious enthusiasm for the discipline and warmth to all of his students. Our weekly meetings were a cherished space of community and source of stability during an unrecognizable spring semester. As an instructor, Professor Weitz was patient and kind, while consistently pushing us intellectually. Outside of class he was immensely generous to his students, meeting with us to discuss the readings, offering to read our work and providing swift guidance. He will be so deeply missed as a scholar, teacher, and mentor." - Miranda Brethour

"I only had the pleasure of briefly getting to know Professor Weitz while taking his course on Socialism and Communism in the Fall of 2018.  I found Prof. Weitz to be a thoughtful educator and incredibly knowledgeable scholar whose breadth of scholarship enlivened the course.  Through both the structuring of the syllabus and his running of the classroom, he created an environment that deepened our understandings and pushed us all.  As a fellow teacher, I most appreciated a small move he made at the end of the course: he asked us all how he could improve it in the future.  This is a mark of a truly great teacher: always striving to improve and being responsive to feedback from all possible sources, including his students.  I am saddened that others in the future won’t continue to benefit from Prof. Weitz’s commitment to teaching and scholarship. " - Stephen Lazar
 
“Before I ever met Eric, I was a fan of his early work on German Communism. As a grad student in the early 1990s trying to find a way to write about Weimar politics that accounted for gender and cultures of daily life, Eric’s work inspired me. When I finally met him during my stint at Beloit College, we bonded over being a couple of East Coast fish out of water in the upper midwest. He always treated me as an equal, from when I was just starting out to our work here at the Grad Center. In addition to his first-class monographs, Eric wrote a survey of Weimar Germany that’s the go-to textbook for many of us who teach the period. It’s written in part as a stroll through Berlin and its intersecting worlds of high and low, attentive to fine details and sweeping panoramas. My students have been (and will continue to be) so lucky to have such a smart, amiable guide into these pasts.” - Julia Sneeringer
 
“I found Eric a dear friend, an inspiring scholar, and an all-around mentor whom I could always consult for sage advice on matters intellectual, administrative, or personal. I will always remember having a drink with him in the MOMA bar one afternoon after we had met in some more formal setting (at CCNY? I can’t remember).  I marveled that anyone could both drink Scotch in the afternoon and be so productive a scholar. I will also always remember the home-made pastries he concocted for a dinner at his home in Princeton some years back.  Again, pretty impressive for so productive a guy, and one so averse to self-importance.  I always appreciated that he took seriously – very seriously – what he did, but himself -- not so much.  It’s a rare and winning combination, especially in academia.” - John Torpey
 
“I I remember the Spring before I began at the GC (Spring, 2016), I was drawn by an op-ed  he wrote about Trump and the dangers of authoritarianism.  At the time I was so impressed by the thought of him using his voice like that, and felt that it boded well for an overlap between my values and those of the institution.  In the early 2000s, I had encountered his work as an undergraduate in a class I took on Genocide, and was a little star struck to think he was in our department.  When the chance arose, I took his class on Human Rights.  He seemed to be able to offer a critical history of the concept while also keeping sight of the humanity and pathos needed to treat a topic that impacts the lives of so many.  He never seemed to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but also never settled for a half-baked understanding of Human Rights. In that class, he brought his close attention to each of us and our work.  Even though my paper topic was far afield - and involved Hebrew language - he sat with me for hours thinking through not just the paper, but also how to use my focus to advance my career.  Serious menschlich behavior. One more memory - in the elevator up to class one day, I had my basketball gear with me. I don't remember what he said or how he said it, but it was clear that he could hang.  He was - in addition to everything else - a very cool dude.” – Phil Keisman


Eric D. Weitz was a Distinguished Professor of History at City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is also the former Dean of Humanities and Arts at City College. Trained in modern German and European history, Weitz also works in international and global history. His most recent book is, A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States (Princeton University Press, 2019). His other major publications include Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (2007; Weimar Centennial (third) edition 2018), A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (2003; reprint with new foreword 2014), and Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State (1997), all with Princeton University Press. Weimar Germany was named an "Editor's Choice" by The New York Times Book Review.
 
Weitz edits a book series for Princeton, Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity. He has been the recipient of many fellowships and awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and others. Weitz lectures widely in public and academic settings on the history of human rights and genocides and on Weimar Germany. He has published essays and opinion pieces in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Armenian Weekly, tabletmag.com, PublicBooks.com, and others.

Selected Publications:
 





A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States
(Princeton University Press, 2019)
Now on Audible.

 


 Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), edited and introduced with Omar Bartov.











A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), viii, 360 pp., paperback ed. 2005, reprint with new foreword 2015. 









Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), paperback ed. 2009; 2nd and expanded ed. with new chapter, “The Weimar Legacy: A Global Perspective,” (2013); 3rd ed. with new foreword, "The Weimar Centenary" (2018).




“Self-Determination: How a German Enlightenment Idea Became the Slogan of National Liberation and a Human Right,” American Historical Review 120 (2015): 462-96
 
“Liberaler Totalitarismus? Herbert Marcuse neu gelesen,” Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 11 (2014).





Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997)