Florian Danecke bei der Arbeit

Tracing the past...

I have been working as a freelance historian in Berlin since 2018. Before that, I spent three and a half years as a research assistant at the Philipps University of Marburg, researching the emergence and development of international (criminal) law from a Romanian perspective. (PDF)
I learned the tools of the historical trade during my studies of Modern and Contemporary History, Political Science and Sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Humboldt University Berlin. I wrote my Master’s thesis under Prof. Dr. Michael Wildt and Prof. Dr. Hannes Grandits on the German influence on the persecution of Jews in Romania in the early 1940s.
My many years of work on the edition “The Persecution and Murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany 1933-1945” (VEJ) – a 16-volume source edition on the Shoah, sponsored by the Federal Archives, the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin and the Chair of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Freiburg – were particularly influential in shaping my view of historical sources and my careful and critical approach to them.
English is a natural working language for me, but I also have a good (reading) understanding of Italian and French and – to a certain extent – Romanian.
If you don’t find me at my desk or in the archives, you’ll find me in the mountains with a rucksack…

Research interests and focal points

In my own research, in addition to the development of international (criminal) law in the interwar period, I have dealt in particular with National Socialism and the Shoah as well as with Germany and Romania in the 20th century, researching in numerous archives in Germany, Europe and the USA. I paid particular attention to Jewish history and Antisemitic persecution and extermination measures in both countries. In the case of Romania, the focus was on the state’s minority policy and the role of the German minority in Transylvania and the Banat. (PDF)
As part of longer-term and more extensive commissioned work, I have researched, reviewed, evaluated and analyzed source material on the following topics, among others, and sometimes translated the material into English:

  • Political unrest in the Weimar Republic
  • Resistance to National Socialism (especially the role of women)
  • Nazi perpetrator research, careers and crimes, in particular of members of the Wehrmacht, SS, Waffen-SS and political actors
  • Jewish family and persecution history(ies) in the 20th century
  • Commemoration policy in the GDR
  • History of espionage
  • Illegal proliferation of chemical weapons and materials for their production
  • Genocide research
  • White-collar crime in the FRG