Dr Andrew Beattie

Senior Lecturer (European Studies/German)
BA Hons, PhD Sydney
School of Humanities & Languages


9385 2328
Room 251, Morven Brown
Fields: European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
Tags: Understanding Europe's Past


Spanning the fields of contemporary history, transitional justice and memory studies, my research explores Germany’s handling of the complex legacies of its Nazi and communist pasts. 

My current research project investigates how Germans responded to, and how they subsequently remembered, the mass internment of Nazi functionaries and other German civilians by the Allied occupiers in the wake of World War II. The project, ‘In the shadow of the concentration camp: Responses to Allied internment in Germany since 1945’, is funded as an ARC Discovery Project in 2011-14. I have conducted research in at 30 church and state archives in Germany, and have presented initial findings of my project at conferences and workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Potsdam, Konstanz, Giessen, Wassenaar and Dresden. An essay on the history of German attitudes to and interpretations of the Soviet camps was published in the 2011 Jahrbuch für historische Kommunismusforschung. In 2010 I published an article (in Museum and Society) and a book chapter (in Memorialization in Germany since 1945) on post-1990 remembrance of the Soviet camp at Torgau, which had previously been used as a Nazi military prison.

The second area of my research explores the politics of remembering communist East Germany in re-unified Germany since 1990. In addition to my book, Playing Politics with History: The Bundestag Inquiries into East Germany, I have written articles and book chapters on various aspects of German public memory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

These include:

• a chapter on the political uses of the past in East, West and re-unified Germany for a collection on Partisan Histories: The Past in Contemporary Global Politics (published by Palgrave in 2005);

• chapters examining continuities in (West) German conservative memory politics since the 1980s in edited volumes on Germans as Victims (published by Palgrave in 2006) and on Cold War Cultures: Perspectives on Eastern and Western European Societies (Berghahn 2012);

• a chapter exploring the relationship between official memory politics and public memory of East German in the two decades since German unification in Remembering the German Democratic Republic: Divided Memory in United Germany (Palgrave 2011)

· a chapter examining post-1990 debates about the comparability of East German communism and Nazism in the light of the famous West German Historians’ Dispute in Ein Kampf um Deutungshoheit (Metropol 2013)

I have also explored the broader European implications of Germany’s post-communist memory politics. In an article in Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies (2007), which was translated into German (2008), I took issue with suggestions that Europe in general should imitate Germany’s approach to dealing with two totalitarian pasts and the legacies of divided memory between East and West.

My research also contributes to the growing interdisciplinary field of ‘transitional justice’. In an article in the International Journal of Transitional Justice (2009), I undertook the first systematic exploration of the Bundestag commission as a ‘truth commission’ and considered what it could contribute to the field.



    • Beattie AH, 2008, Playing politics with history: The bundestag inquiries into East Germany

    Book Chapters

    • Beattie AH, 2016, 'Gedenkstätten als Katalysatoren geschichtspolitischer Konflikte: Umstrittene Erinnerung und Konkurrenz der Opfer', in Heitzer E; Morsch G; Traba R; Woniak K (ed.), Von Mahnstätten über zeithistorische Museen zu Orten des Massentourismus? Gedenkstätten an Orten von NS-Verbrechen in Polen und Deutschland, Metropol Verlag, Berlin, pp. 84 - 94
    • Beattie AH, 2015, 'Post-communist truth commissions: Between transitional justice and the politics of history', in Post-Communist Transitional Justice: Lessons from Twenty-Five Years of Experience, pp. 213 - 232, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107588516.015
    • Beattie A, 2013, 'Ein neuer Historikerstreit? Kommunismus und Nationalsozialismus in der deutschen Erinnerungs- und Geschichtspolitik seit 1990', in Benz W (ed.), Ein Kampf um Deutungshoheit: Politik, Opferinteressen und historische Forschung. Die Auseinandersetzung um die Gedenk- und Begegnungsstätte Leistikowstraße Potsdam, edn. Original, Metropol Verlag, Berlin, pp. 16 - 36
    • Beattie AH, 2012, 'A 1950s revival: Cold War Culture in reunified Germany', in Cold War Cultures: Perspectives on Eastern and Western European Societies, pp. 299 - 320
    • Beattie A, 2012, 'Die Weichen stellen für die Zukunft der DDR-Erinnerung? Rückblick auf die Enquete-Kommission des Bundestages zur Aufarbeitung von Geschichte und Folgen der SED-Diktatur in Deutschland', in Sabrow M; Bosch F (ed.), Zeiträume: Potsdamer Almanach des Zentrums für Zeithistorische Forschung, edn. Original, Wallstein, Göttingen, pp. 20 - 33
    • Beattie AH, 2011, 'The politics of remembering the GDR: Official and state-mandated memory since 1990', in Remembering the German Democratic Republic: Divided Memory in a United Germany, pp. 23 - 34, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230349698
    • Beattie AH, 2009, 'The fight in the Prison Car Park: Memorializing Germany's 'double past' in Torgau since 1990', in Memorialization in Germany since 1945, pp. 328 - 338, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230248502
    • Beattie A, 2007, 'Orte des Terrors oder der "stalinistischen Entnazifizierung"? Zeitgenössische britische Wahrnehmungen sowjetischer Speziallager in der SBZ', in Barker P; Ohse M-D; Tate D (ed.), Views from Abroad: die DDR aus britischer Perspektive, edn. Original, W. Bertelsmann Verlag, Bielefeld, pp. 67 - 78
    • Beattie A, 2006, 'The Victims of Totalitarianism and the Centrality of Nazi Genocide: Continuity and Change in German Commemorative Politics', in Niven B (ed.), Germans as Victims: Contemporary Germany and the Third Reich, edn. Original, Palgrave, Basingstoke, pp. 147 - 163
    • Beattie A, 2005, 'The Past in the Politics of Divided and Unified Germany', in Friedman MP; Kenney P (ed.), Partisan Histories: The Past in Contemporary Global Politics, edn. Original, Palgrave MacMillan, New York, pp. 17 - 38

    Journal articles

    • Beattie AH, 2017, ''Lobby for the Nazi Elite'? the protestant churches and civilian internment in the British zone of occupied Germany, 1945-1948', German History, vol. 35, pp. 43 - 70, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerhis/ghw140
    • Beattie AH, 2014, 'Die alliierte Internierung im besetzen Deutschland und die deutsche Gesellschaft: Vergleich der amerikanischen und der sowjetischen Zone', Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft, vol. 62, pp. 239 - 256, http://www.metropol-verlag.de/
    • Beattie A, 2011, '"Sowjetische KZs auf deutschem Boden": Die sowjetischen Speziallager und der bundesdeutsche Antikommunismus', Jahrbuch für historische Kommunismusforschung, vol. 2011, pp. 119 - 137
    • Beattie A, 2010, 'Between Histories and Memories: Torgau's Memorial Museum for Germany’s Short Twentieth Century', Museum and Society, vol. 8, pp. 37 - 55, http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/m&s/Issue%2022/beattie.pdf
    • Beattie A, 2009, 'An Evolutionary Process: Contributions of the Bundestag’s Inquiries into East Germany to an Understanding of the Role of Truth Commissions', International Journal of Transitional Justice, vol. 3, pp. 229 - 249
    • Beattie A, 2008, 'Beyond "Restoration"? Assessing and Accounting for West German Liberalization and Democratization, 1945-1965', European History Quarterly, vol. 38, pp. 101 - 113
    • Beattie A, 2007, 'Learning from the Germans? History and Memory in German and European Projects of Integration', PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 4


In recent years I have taught in the following courses:
German Studies: Introductory German A and B, Advanced German A
European Studies: Concepts of Europe, Australia's European Context, Confronting the Past in Contemporary Europe, Europe between the Wars, Germany since 1945