Department of History

Gregor Thum

  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Chair

Watch Dr. Thum discuss how international experience transforms us.

Research Fields

  • 19th and 20th century central European history with a particular interest in the German borderlands of east central Europe
  • Forced migration, “ethnic cleansing,” and genocide in 20th-century Europe
  • German-Polish relations
  • German imperial history
  • History of European integration
  • Politics of the past
  • The symbolic meaning of architecture and urban planning


HIST 1001: History Introductory Seminar: Ukraine and Russia
HIST 1047: Communism: From Marxist Thought to ‘Really Existing Socialism'
HIST 1048: The Holocaust in Context: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in Europe
HIST 1049: After Hitler: Retribution, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation in Postwar Europe
HIST 1102: Uniting Europe: The History of European Integration
HIST 1131: The Rise of the German Empire, 1789-1918
HIST 1220: Between Empires: Polish History Through Film

Education & Training

  • PhD, European University Viadrina, 2002

Representative Publications

"Die kulturelle Leere des Ostens. Legitimierung preußisch-deutscher Herrschaft im 19. Jahrhundert." In Umkämpfte Räume: Raumbilder, Ordnungswille, und Gewaltmobilisierung, edited by Ulrike Jureit, 263- 285. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016. 

Uprooted. How Breslau became Wrocław during the Century of Expulsions (Princeton University Press, 2011)

Helpless Imperialists. Imperial Failure, Fear, and Radicalization. Co-edited with M. Reinkowski (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013)

Stille Revolutionen. Die Neuformierung der Welt seit 1989. Co-edited with K. Kucher and S. Urbansky (Campus, 2013)

"Megalomania and Angst. The 19th-century Mythicization of Germany's Eastern Borderlands." In Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands, edited by O. Bartov and E. D. Weitz (Indiana University Press, 2013).

Research Interests

Mastering the East: The German Frontier from 1800 to the Present. A book-length manuscript in progress on the history of the German border in the east. It is the purpose of this book to shed light on the failing project of German empire building and its impact on the relations between German- and non-German-speaking societies of Central and Eastern Europe.