Gerald J. Steinacher

James A. Rawley Professor of History Profile Image
James A. Rawley Professor of History History 402-472-2414 628 Oldfather Hall


Gerald J. Steinacher is the James A. Rawley Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). His research focuses on 20th Century European History with an emphasis on the Holocaust, National Socialism, Italian Fascism, and intelligence studies. He has published four books, edited ten more, and written over one hundred book chapters and journal articles on these topics. Steinacher’s research has been featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Jerusalem Post, and the German weekly Der Spiegel among others.

Steinacher’s 2011 book, Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's Henchmen Fled Justice, examines the post-war fate of Nazis and Holocaust perpetrators, and the institutions facilitating their escape from Europe. The book was published by Oxford University Press in 2011 and has been translated in several languages. It was awarded the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category. Steinacher’s most recent book, Humanitarians at War: The Red Cross in the Shadow of the Holocaust, was published with Oxford University Press in 2017. The book explores the lessons learned by the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross from its handling of the Holocaust, and the ensuing policy changes regarding genocide and victims of war.

Steinacher’s current research project, under the working title Forgive and Forget: Vatican Responses to Nazi War Crime Trials, examines the attitude of the Catholic Church leadership towards war crime trials and the denazification of Germany in the first post-war decade. The project analyzes church alternatives to retributive justice as a way of dealing with guilt and responsibility after World War II and the Holocaust. Steinacher is also the co-editor of the series Contemporary Holocaust Studies published with the University of Nebraska Press. He is currently working on the third volume in the series, Fascisms: Now and Then.

Steinacher has held many distinguished research fellowships and visiting professorships. These include fellowships at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), at the Institute for Contemporary History (Munich), and at the Archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (New York). In 2006 he was a Visiting Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC) and since then has continued to work closely with the Museum’s education and research programs. Most recently, Steinacher was a Senior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. He has also held visiting professorships at the Universities of Munich, Passau, and Lucerne.

Steinacher teaches classes on the Holocaust, Modern Jewish History, Modern German History, History of Immigration, and Intelligence and Espionage History.

  • Humanitarians at War: The Red Cross in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's Henchmen Fled Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • Südtirol und die Geheimdienste 1943-1945 (Vienna: Studienverlag, 2000).

Ph.D. in History, University of Innsbruck, 1999
M.A. in History and Political Sciences, University of Innsbruck, 1995


Nazi Germany;
Italian Fascism;
Jewish History;
Intelligence and Espionage History


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