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Born Apr. 12, 1891, in Kassel. West German historian.
From 1926 to 1934, Rothfels was a professor at the University of Königsberg. He taught in the USA during the fascist dictatorship in Germany. In 1951 he became a professor at the University of Tübingen. Rothfels has written studies on Bismarck’s foreign policy, which he contrasts to that of Bismarck’s successors who, Rothfels believes, were guilty of isolating Germany. In his work on the antifascist movement in Germany he greatly exaggerated the role played by the bourgeoisie, the officer class, and the church hierarchy.
Since 1953, Rothfels has been editor of the journal Viertel-jahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Quarterly of Contemporary History), many of whose articles seek to conceal the social roots of German fascism. At the same time, Rothfels supports a more flexible approach to the past than that maintained by extreme right-wing West German historians. Since the late 1950’s, Rothfels and his school have constituted the leading current in West German bourgeois historiography.
WORKSK. von Clausewitz. Berlin, 1920.
Bismarcks englische Biindnispolitik. Stuttgart, 1924.
Bismarck und der Staat, 2nd ed. 1954.
Bismarck und der Osten. Leipzig, 1934.
Theodor von Schon, Friedrich Wilhelm IV und die Revolution von 1848. Halle, 1937.
The German Opposition to Hitler. Hinsdale, 111., 1948.
REFERENCESSalov, V. I. Sovremennaia zapadnogermanskaia burzhuaznaia istoriografiia. Moscow, 1968.
Lozek, G. H. Syrbe. Geschichtsschreibung contra Geschichte. Berlin, 1964.
L. I. GINTSBERG