Naimark, Norman M.

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Naimark, Norman M.


Education: Stanford University, B.A., 1966, M.S., 1968, and Ph.D., 1972.


Office—Stanford University, Encina Hall E107, Stanford, CA 94305-6055. E-mail— [email protected].


Boston University, Boston, MA, former professor of history; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Russian Research Center Fellow, 1994-97; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of Eastern European Studies and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Institute for International Studies. Visiting professor at Wellesley College. Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Eastern Europe of the American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council, 1992-97.


American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (executive vice president, 1996),


Dean's Teaching Award, Stanford University, 1991 and 2002; Richard W. Lyman Award, Stanford University, 1995, for outstanding faculty volunteer service; Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit, Federal Republic of Germany, 1996.


The History of the "Proletariat": The Emergence of Marxism in the Kingdom of Poland, 1870-1887, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1979.

Terrorists and Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement under Alexander III, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1983.

Soviet-GDR Relations: An Historical Overview, [Cologne, Germany] 1989.

(Editor, with Ian A. Bremmer) Soviet Nationalities Problems, Stanford University (Stanford, CA), 1990.

The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949, Belknap Press of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

(Editor, with David Holloway) Reexamining the Soviet Experience: Essays in Honor of Alexander Dallin, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1996.

(Editor, with Leonid Gibianskii) The Establishment of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe, 1944-1949, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1997.

The Problem of Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Europe, East Carolina University (Greenville, NC), 1997.

Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.

(Editor, with Holly Case) Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 2003.

Contributor to The End of the Cold War Is Also Over, by John J. Maresca, Stanford University (Stanford, CA), 1995. Member of editorial board for East European Politics and Societies, Problems of Post-Communism, Slavic Review, and Historical Abstracts.


Norman M. Naimark is a professor of history at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the university's renowned think tank. Specializing in modern East European and Russian history, Naimark has published several works on the topic, including The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949 and Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe.

In The Russians in Germany, Naimark concentrates on the post-World War II era in which the Soviet Red Army moved into East Germany and established a totalitarian state. He gives special attention to the previously underreported epidemic of rape by the army against German civilians, including large numbers of children and elderly women. Much of his research involved documents that became available to Western researchers only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He reports for the first time on the wide-scale brutality of the Soviet occupation and the extent to which the Soviets stripped East Germany of its industrial infrastructure and exported it to Russia. He also outlines Soviet involvement in the creation and rise of the Socialist Unity Party which ran East Germany. Though Charles S. Maier, writing in the Journal of Modern History, expressed the wish that Naimark had continued the book's history past 1949, he concluded that the "book represents one of the first important results of multiarchival work that draws on records so unattainable until recently but so critical to historical reconstruction."

Fires of Hatred examines five cases of ethnic cleansing, a term that was coined only in the 1990s but which Naimark has retroactively given to earlier episodes of genocide: the Greeks and Armenians in Turkey following World War I; the Jews under control of the Germans in World War II; the Tatars and the Chechen-Ingush in the Soviet Union following World War II; the Germans in Czechoslovakia and Poland after World War II; the Muslims in Bosnia and the Albanians in Kosovo in the 1990s. In presenting these case studies, Naimark does not necessarily attempt to explain why genocide occurred, but rather he concentrates on what each situation has in common with the others. These common traits, he concludes, involve extreme violence (especially against women and children), misogyny, a period of incubation during wartime, and attempts to obliterate not only people but also the memory of those people by also destroying their towns, buildings, books, and documents. Historians appreciated the book for Naimark's scholarship, but some wished he had gone further in discussing the root causes of the phenomenon. "No one has better shown us what ethnic cleansing is than Naimark," wrote Terry Martin in the International Migration Review, "but we would naturally also like to known from where it came, why it was and is so persistent a phenomenon, and why it has occurred where it occurred and not some other place."

Robert Melson, writing in the journal Shofar, took issue with Naimark's classification of the case studies, pointing out ideological differences that make them more different than similar, but concludes that "each case study is a model of insight, clarity, and brevity." Part of the problem, Melson claimed, is the fact that the United Nations' definition of genocide is not specific enough to distinguish between mass murder and deliberate destruction of a group of people. Furthermore, genocide is not the same as ethnic cleansing, which may just as likely involve expulsion as mass murder. Paul Betts, writing in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, praised Naimark for presenting "a distinctly European story of twentieth-century war, modern state-building and the will to purify the body politic of unwanted national minorities."

In addition to his work as an author, Naimark has edited several well-received volumes of essays on history, including Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Edited with Holly Case, the book features several historians whose work illuminates specific issues that led to the Balkan violence of the late twentieth century. In leading the discussion about the region away from the journalists and delivering it to scholars, Naimark and Case have created a work that is "not for the beginner in modern Balkan history, but rather for the reader who has a deeper and more abiding interest in this fascinating and critical region," wrote Dennis Reinhartz in History: Review of New Books.



History: Review of New Books, fall, 2003, Dennis Reinhartz, review of Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, p. 17.

International Migration Review, spring, 2003, Terry Martin, review of Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, p. 233.

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, September, 2003, Paul Betts, review of Fires of Hatred, p. 910.

Journal of Modern History, September, 1998, Gale Stokes, review of The Establishment of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: 1944-1949, p. 751; March, 1999, Charles S. Maier, review of The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949, p. 266; December, 2003, Michael Geyer, review of Fires of Hatred, p. 935; June, 2005, Sabrina P. Ramet, review of Yugoslavia and Its Historians, p. 505.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 2002, Dipak K. Gupta, review of Fires of Hatred, p. 160.

Shofar, fall, 2002, Robert Melson, review of Fires of Hatred, p. 183.