Stern, Alfred

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STERN, ALFRED (1846–1936), historian. Born in Goettingen, Stern immigrated to Switzerland where he was professor of history first at the University of Bern (1874–87) and thereafter (until 1928) at the Polytechnikum, renamed in 1911 Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule of Zurich. His books involved the origins and development of European liberalism. Among them were a study of the Peasants' Revolt of 1525 (1869); a work on Milton (Milton und seine Zeit, 2 vols., 1877–79), which was followed by a history of England's mid-17th century revolution (Geschichte der Revolution in England, 1881). His major work was a ten-volume history of 19th-century Europe, Geschichte Europas seit den Vertraegen von 1815 bis zum Frankfurter Frieden von 1871 (1894–1924), a politically oriented, fully documented, and dispassionate account in the tradition of Leopold von Ranke. Other works included a biography of Mirabeau (Das Leben Mirabeaus, 2 vols., 1889; Viede Mirabeau, 2 vols., 1895) and books on Swiss and Prussian history. Stern aided the Jewish community of Bern in a lawsuit involving the Protocols of the *Elders of Zion, and financially assisted numerous young Jewish scholars. He also treated Jewish historical topics such as the state of the Jews in Prussia. He contributed to the German Encyclopaedia Judaica.


A. Stern, Wissenschaftliche Selbstbiographie (1936), obituary in: Juedische Preßzentrale, No. 887 (April 3, 1936), 3.

[Walter L. Arnstein]

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Stern, Alfred

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