Rebecca Boehling photo

Professor Rebecca Boehling

Rebecca Boehling received her BA in European history and German literature from Duke University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Prior to coming to UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) in 1989 she taught at Franklin and Marshall College and the University of Dayton. At UMBC, where she is Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Affiliate Professor of Judaic Studies, she teaches modern European history, Holocaust Studies, and European gender and women’s history. In 2005-6 she served as Acting Director of UMBC’s Honors College and in 2007 became the Founding Director of UMBC’s Dresher Center for the Humanities. 

Over the years her scholarship has been recognized with a Fulbright fellowship, a German Academic Exchange Service Grant, a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies fellowship and a Volkswagen Foundation fellowship in postwar German history.  She is currently Non-resident Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C.

She has published numerous articles on gender and politics and the return of self-government to the Germans after World War II, including her first book, entitled: A Question of Priorities: Democratic Reform and Economic Recovery in Postwar Germany (Berghahn Books, 1996).  She has begun work on a comparative history of denazification in the Western zones of postwar Germany, at one point advising Iraqi exiles on how the model of denazification might or might not be appropriate for their plans for transitional justice in a post-Baathist Iraq. She interrupted her work on the denazification project to focus on a book based on some 600 German-Jewish family letters written primarily between 1933 and 1955. Co-authored with Prof. Uta Larkey from Goucher College,  Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family’s Untold Story was published in mid-2011 by Cambridge University Press.  She is now returning to the comparative denazification study.

Professor Rebecca Boehling's Archive

Denazification in Retrospect

Denazification and (mis-)perceptions about it have had an impact on the development of German democracy over the last sixty years, writes Dr. Rebecca Boehling, AICGS Senior Non-resident Fellow and Director of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Dresher Center for the Humanities. Dr. Boehling looks back at the implementation of denazification and concludes that this process had a major say in the evolution of German society since the founding of the Federal Republic.