Fischer, Fritz, 1908–99, German historian. Appointed professor at the Univ. of Hamburg in 1948 (emeritus after 1973), he became famous as the result of his book Griff nach der Weltmacht (1961; tr. Germany's Aims in the First World War, 1967). His controversial thesis held that Germany's bid for world power before and during World War I was the main cause of the conflict in 1914. Fischer's unflattering picture of imperial Germany led to sharp criticism by German conservatives. In 1969 he published Krieg der Illusionen, a reinforcement of his earlier work that covered in greater detail the period before 1914.