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Jochen Hellbeck


Ph.D., Columbia University

At Rutgers since 2003

217A Van Dyck
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A historian of Russia by background, I am particularly interested in studying autobiographical accounts and people’s self-understandings in historical perspective. My first book, Revolution on My Mind (2006), explores personal diaries written in the Soviet Union under Stalin. The book addresses the paradox of self-expression in an overtly repressive political system. It also shows how Soviet diarists, while embracing the pronoun "I," molded themselves into particles of a larger "We."

The “Stalingrad Transcripts,” published in German in 2012, tell the stories of Soviet people who lived through this decisive battle of the Second World War. The book, forthcoming in English with PublicAffairs (New York), explores dozens of oral histories, ranging from army generals to nurses and riflemen, that were recorded by a group of Moscow historians who visited Stalingrad in 1943.

My current research continues to be on World War II. I am preparing a book on the Soviet experience of the Nazi German occupation regime, and I am also at work on a history on World War II, presented as an entangled history of total war.

As a member of the Rutgers graduate faculty I work with students interested in the cultural, political, and intellectual history of modern Russia and the Soviet Union, and in transnational explorations of Communism, WW II, and the Cold War. I encourage applicants to the graduate program in any of these areas to email me before the application deadline.



  • 510:375 Revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union
  • 510:373 State and Society in Imperial Russia
  • 510:271 Russia and the West
  • 510:102 Development of Europe II (1700-2000)
  • 510:391 World War II in Europe
  • 506:401/402 History Seminar: Autobiography and History
  • 506:401 History Seminar: Russian History through Film


  • 510:599 Problems and Directed Readings: Modern Europe
  • Seminar in European History


  • Die Stalingrad Protokolle. Sowjetische Augenzeugen erzählen aus der Schlacht (Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 2012), translated into Swedish; Russian, American, Spanish, Finnish, and Romanian editions forthcoming.
  • Victory Day in Ukraine,” EUTOPIA Magazine, 23 May 2014; click here for an interview in German and more images
  • Chelovek i lichnost' v istorii Rossii [History and Subjectivity in Russia], ed. with Nikolai Mikhailov (St. Petersburg: Nestor-Khronika, 2013)
  • Rossiiane i nemtsy v epokhu katastrof / Russen und Deutsche im Zeitalter der Katastrophen [= Russians and Germans in an Era of Catastrophes], ed. with Alexander Vatlin and Lars Peter Schmidt (Moscow: Rosspen, 2012)
  • "Breakthrough at Stalingrad: the Repressed Soviet Origins of a Bestselling German War Tale,” Contemporary European History, vol. 22, no. 1 (Winter 2013): 1-32; Russian translation: “Proryv pod Stalingradom. Vyrvannye sovetskie korni nemetskogo voennogo bestsellera,” Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 116 (August 2012)
  • "Facing Stalingrad," Berlin Journal 21 (Fall 2011)
  • "In Memoriam Leopold Haimson" (with Peter Holquist), Kritika 12, 3 (Summer 2011), pp. 755-765
  • "Everyday Ideology: Life during Stalinism" Eurozine February 22, 2010
  • “The Diaries of Fritzes and the Letters of Gretchens”: Personal Writings from the German-Soviet War and Their Readers,” Kritika 8:3 (Summer 2009)
  • “The New Man in Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany” (with Peter Fritzsche), in: Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared, ed. Sheila Fitzpatrick and Michael Geyer, Cambridge University Press, 2008), 302-344
  • “With Hegel to Salvation: Bukharin’s Other Trial,” Representations 107 (Summer 2009)
  • Revolution on My Mind: Writing a Diary Under Stalin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, May 2006, paperback 2009)
  • Autobiographical Practices in Russia, ed. with Klaus Heller (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004)


  • American Academy in Berlin Fellowship (2009)
  • Rutgers Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence (2007)
  • Michigan Society of Fellows (1997-1999)


  • Board of Editors, American Historical Review (2010-2013)
  • American Historical Association (AHA)
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)
  • Verband der Osteuropahistoriker Deutschlands

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