Office Hours

During the semester:

Thursdays, 9:30-11 a.m., GA 5/60


Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaft
Historisches Institut
Prof. Dr. Michael Wala
Universitätsstraße 150
44780 Bochum
Room: GA 5/60
Tel. +49-234-32-24667
Fax. +49-234-32-14083

Heike von Hagen
(Substitute for V. Junkernheinrich)
Room: GA 4/157
Tel. +49-234-32-28635
Fax. +49-234-32-14083
Information on opening hours


Invitation to a Workshop

In cooperation with the Department of Contemporary History, there will be a workshop in the context of the VIP Grant of the RUB Research School with Prof. John Torpey (CUNY Graduate Center, New York City) from December 19th through December 21st. Prof. Torpey will be a Visiting International Professor at the RUB at the end of December. Attendance is free of charge.

Please note that there have been made changes with regard to the location of the workshop. You will find all updated room numbers on the PDF below.

For further information see here.


Volkswagen Foundation Grants Research Project

"Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models, Transatlantic Interventions"

With colleagues from University of Duisburg-Essen (Barbara Buchenau, Jens Gurr, Josef Raab), Ruhr-University Bochum (Kornelia Freitag), as well as TU Dortmund (Randi Gunzenhäuser, Walter Grünzweig), Prof. Wala successfully raised funds for a research project with seven Ph.D. and one Post-Doc positions. Research fellows will be funded by the Volkswagen-Foundation with a grant of €1.7 Mio. over a four-year-period, which will include internships. The project ist based at the Department of Anglophone Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen with Barbara Buchenau as its spokeswoman.

They will analyze scripts about history, development, and planning of US-American cities marked by deindustrialization, shrinkage, and demographic diversification. These postindustrial cities will be examined from the perspective of the greater Ruhr Area. The research will concentrate on narrative, figurative, and medial strategies of communes, urban developers, creatives and industries in their efforts for sustainable and socially inclusive urban planning and development.


DFG Research Project

Western Allied Intelligence Services and Former Members of the Waffen-SS, Gestapo and Wehrmacht in the Early Cold War. Cooperation, Networks, Communication Strategies.

The research project, directed by Prof. Wala, North American History with its research focus on “Security and the Public”, analyses processes of information acquisition and knowledge construction by American intelligence services with respect to the, at the end of World War II, still obscure enemy USSR. Based on preliminary research made possible by a Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) grant, the project will focus on how former members of the SS-, Gestapo, and Wehrmacht utilized their position within the knowledge and interpretation markets during the immediate postwar period to shift threat perceptions from former members of the NS-regime onto Communists and Soviet spies, thus obscuring themselves as possible past and present adversaries. Lutz Heilmann, M.A. will serve as researcher for this project.


New Publication

Jan Hildenhagen: Demokratie als Gefahr für die Republik. Andrew Jackson und warum die USA Tyrannen (nicht) fürchten sollten.

With the Presidency of Donald Trump, the question of how much direct influence the "common people" should have on the political decision-making process is present on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet, the 7th US-President Andrew Jackson had already polarized and was celebrated by his followers as the candidate of the people and savior who would take action against a corrupt elite. His opponents, however, referring to the doctrines of ancient authors and the history of fallen republics as a warning example, accused him of being a danger to the republic. Jan Hildenhagen shows that this politically ambivalent question is not new but has contributed significantly to the democratization of the United States from the very beginning.


Transatlantic Workshop in New York

At the beginning of April the third Transatlantic Workshop took place at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York with eleven participants from Bochum. In context of the topic "Globalization, Nationalism, and Populism in the Transatlantic World" PhD students from both universities discussed their PhD projects with the professors Ben Hett (CUNY), John Torpey (CUNY), Constantin Goschler (RUB), and Michael Wala (RUB). This was accompanied by several presentations, among which was a lecture by Dr. Karen Donfried, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, in the German Consulate General in New York.


Michael Wala, Karen Donfried, John Torpey (CUNY), Peter Rosenbaum (UA Ruhr), Patrizia Nobbe (CUNY)


Interview with Prof. Wala

Prof. Wala in an interview with Yun-chen Tsai (Phoenix TV, Hong Kong) on espionage and international relations.

  • You can find the video here.


Conference "Creating and  Challenging the Transatlantic Intelligence Community

The international conference "Creating and Challenging the Transatlantic Intelligence Community" which took place from March 30 to April 1, 2017 in Washington D.C. at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the German Historical Institute, can be pleased about a highly positive response. The first and second day of the conference was accompanied by the US-American broadcasting company   C-Span, the videos of those presentations have now been published and can be viewed online:

Pictures of the event are now available here.


 Keine Neue Gestapo

 "Keine neue Gestapo" - Das Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz und die NS-Vergangenheit

The series of murders of the NSU group led to accusations that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV) is and has always been "blind on the right eye". And that resulted from the founding days of the agency when it filled its positions with die-hard Nazis. How appropriate is this judgment? Historians Constantin Goschler and Michael Wala researched the first 25 years of the BfV and received access to many classified files. Now it is easier to assess how many former active Nazis there were and how much influence they had within the agency. Furthermore, this book looks at the agency's room for maneuver under allied control, its role in the Cold War and internal security as well as its numerous scandals. It is clear, though, that while what politics and the BfV saw as a threat changed, the agency itself changed into something society viewed as a threat. Thus, the authors also write a history of political culture from the time of Adenauer until the social-liberal era.



Calendar Winter Semester 2017/18

  • 040221 Oberseminar: "Native Americans" and "First Nations": The American Indigenous Population in Canada and the US, Tue 4 - 6 p.m., Zeitungslesesaal (GA 5/39)
  • 040169 Hauptseminar: History of the Secret Services in the Cold War, Tue 12 - 2 p.m., GABF 04/711
  • 040013 Lecture: The US in the Transatlantic Region, Thu 12 - 2 p.m., HGA 30
  • 040242 Colloquium: Colloquium for North American History, Wed 6 - 8 p.m.,

Current Publications

Keine Neue Gestapo Reise zum Nordpazifik und um die Welt Lucie-Patrizia Arndt, Ehre den Deutschen vom District Columbia Michael Wala, Weltmacht USA Michael Wala, Kleine Geschichte der USA Jochen Krebber, Württemberger in Nordamerika Heike Bungert, Jan G. Heitmann, Michael Wala, Secret Intelligence in the Twentieth Century Jan Erik Schulte, Michael Wala, Widerstand und Auswärtiges Amt