Karl Dietrich Bracher
|Karl Dietrich Bracher|
13 March 1922 |
|Institutions||Free University of Berlin
University of Bonn
|Alma mater||University of Tübingen
|Doctoral students||Alemann, Bredow, Eisel, Forndran, Hoffmann, Inacker, Knütter, Konrad, Mathiopoulos, Mennekes, Mirow, Miller, Neustadt, Pflüger, Schönbohm, Stausberg, Vieregge, Vorländer, Wittke|
|Other notable students||Bergsdorf, Hüttenberger, Jacobsen, Hüseyin Bagci, Kaiser, Kühnhardt|
|Known for||Arguing that the collapse of the Weimar Republic was not inevitable and that Nazi Germany was a totalitarian dictatorship.|
Karl Dietrich Bracher (born 13 March 1922) is a German political scientist and historian of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. Born in Stuttgart, Bracher was awarded a Ph.D. in the Classics by the University of Tübingen in 1948 and subsequently studied at Harvard University from 1949 to 1950. During World War II, he served in the Wehrmacht and was captured by the Americans while serving in Tunisia in 1943. He was then held as a POW in Camp Concordia, Kansas. Bracher has often expressed appreciation for the "reeducation" he received during his time as a POW. He taught at the Free University of Berlin from 1950 to 1958 and at the University of Bonn since 1959. In 1951 Bracher married Dorothea Schleicher, the niece of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. They have two children.
Historical views 
Bracher is mainly concerned with the problems of preserving and developing democracy. Bracher has been consistent in all his works in arguing for the value of human rights, pluralism and constitutional values, together with urging that Germans align themselves with the democratic values of the West. He sees democracy as a frail institution and has argued that only a concerned citizenry can guarantee it. This theme began with Bracher's first book in 1948, Verfall und Fortschritt im Denken der frühen römischen Kaiserzeit which concerned the downfall of the Roman Republic and the rise of Augustus. His 1955 book Die Auflösung der Weimarer Republik (The Disintegration of the Weimar Republic) is his best known book, in which he ascribed the collapse of German democracy not to the Sonderweg ("special path" of German historical development) or other impersonal forces but to human action that followed conscious choice. In that book, Bracher rejected not only the Sonderweg thesis, but also the Marxist theory of National Socialism as the result of a capitalist "conspiracy", the theory that the Treaty of Versailles caused the collapse of the Weimar Republic, and the view that the Nazi dicatorship was simply the work of "fate". Bracher's methodology in Die Auflösung der Weimarer Republik involving a mixture of political science and history was considered to be highly innovative and controversial in the 1950s.
In Bracher's opinion, through it was human choices that led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the National Socialist period, the roots of National Socialism can be traced back towards the völkisch ideology of 19th century Germany and Austria-Hungary, which found their fullest expression in the personality of Adolf Hitler. Likewise, Bracher has complained that too many Germans were willing during the Weimar-Nazi time periods to subscribe to a "readiness for acclamatory agreement and pseudo-military obedience to a strong authoritarian state". Through Bracher is opposed to the Sonderweg interpretation of German history, he does believe in a special German mentality (Sonderbewusstsein). Bracher wrote that:
"The German "Sonderweg" should be limited to the era of the Third Reich, but the strength of the particular German mentality [Sonderbewusstsein] that had arisen already with its opposition to the French Revolution and grew stronger after 1870 and 1918 must be emphasized. Out of its exaggerated perspectives (and, I would add, rhetoric) it become a power in politics, out a myth reality. The road from democracy to dictatorship was not a particular German case, but the radical nature of the National Socialist dictatorship corresponded to the power of the German ideology that in 1933–1945 became a political and totalitarian reality"
Another well-known book associated with Bracher was the 1960 monograph co-written with Wolfgang Sauer and Gerhard Schulz Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung (The National Socialist Seizure of Power), which described in considerable detail the Gleichschaltung of German life in 1933–1934. In a review of Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung, the American historian Walter Laqueur praised Bracher, Sauer and Schulz for their refusal to engage in apologetics, and willingness to ask tough questions about the conduct of Germans under the Nazi regime. In the same review, Laqueur expressed regret that books like William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich were best-sellers, while a book like Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung, which Laqueur regarded as infinitely better work of scholarship then Shirer's book was unlikely ever to be translated into English, let alone become a bestseller.
Bracher advocates the view that Nazi Germany was a totalitarian regime, through Bracher maintained that the "totalitarian typology" as developed by Carl Joachim Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski was too rigid, and that totalitarian models needed to be based upon careful empirical research. In Bracher's view, Friedrich's and Brzezinski's work failed to take into account the "revolutionary dynamic", which Bracher argued was the "core principle" of totalitarism. For Bracher, the essence of totalitarism was the total claim to control and remake all aspects of society together with an all-embracing ideology, the value on authoritarian leadership, and the pretence of the common identity of state and society, which distinguished the totatitarian "closed" understanding of politics from the "open" democratic understanding. In Bracher's view, "politics is the struggle for the power of the state", and in his opinion, the traditional methods of the historian have to be supplemented by the methods of political science to properly understand political history. Speaking of historical work in his own area of speciality, namely the Weimar-Nazi periods, Bracher stated:
"It was not with Himmler, Bormann, and Heydrich, also not with the National Socialist Party, but with Hitler that the German people identified itself enthusiastically. In this there exists an essential problem, especially for German historians...To identify the sources of this fateful mistake of the past and to research it without minimizing it remains a task of German historical scholarship. Ignoring it means the loss of its commitment to truth."
Bracher has been highly critical of the Marxist view of the Third Reich, which sees the Nazi leadership as puppets of Big Business. In Bracher's opinion, the exact opposite was the case with a "primacy of politics" being exercised with business subordinate to the Nazi regime rather than a "primacy of economics" as maintained by Marxist historians. Bracher has argued that Nazi actions were dictated by Nazi ideological theory, that business interests were just as much subordinate to the dictatorship as any other section of society, and that since Nazi actions were often irrational from a purely economic point of view, a "primacy of politics" prevailed.
Against the functionlist view of the Third Reich mostly associated with left-wing historians, Bracher was to write that it was an attempt to:
"turn against the "old-liberal" totalitarianism theory and talk about a relativizing interpretation, which emphasizes the "improvisational" politics of power and domination of National Socialism. Leftish interpretations would like to leave behind the questions of guilt and responsibiilty in favor of a more modern, realistic analysis. But in doing this they slide into the danger of a newer underestimation and trivialization of National Socialism itself. Their analysis also brings with it, in another way, the vague leftist talk about fascism and reaction"
In the 1960s, Bracher was a leading critic of the theory of generic fascism presented by Ernst Nolte. Bracher criticized the entire notion of generic fascism as intellectually invalid and argued that it was individual choice on the part of Germans as opposed to Nolte's philosophical view of the "metapolitical" that produced National Socialism. Bracher's magnum opus, his 1969 book Die deutsche Diktatur (The German Dictatorship) was partly written to rebut Nolte's theory of generic fascism, and instead presented a picture of the National Socialist dictatorship as a totalitarian regime created and sustained by human actions. In Die deutsche Diktatur, Bracher rejected theories of generic fascism, and instead used totalitarianism theory and the methods of the social sciences to explain Nazi Germany. As an advocate of history as a social science, Bracher took a strong dislike to Nolte's philosophical theories of generic fascism. In a 1971 review, the American historian Lucy Dawidowicz called The German Dictatorship "...a work of unparalleled distinction, combing the most scrupulous objectivity with a passionate commitment to the democratic ethos". In 1989, the British historian Richard J. Evans called The German Dictatorship a "valuable" book
Bracher has often criticized the functionist-structuralist interpretation of the Third Reich championed by such scholars such as Martin Broszat and Hans Mommsen, and decried their view of Hitler as a “weak dictator”. In Bracher’s view, Hitler was the “Master of the Third Reich”. However, though Bracher argues that the Führer was the driving force behind the Third Reich, he was one of the first historians to argue that Nazi Germany was less well organized than the Nazis liked to pretend. In a 1956 essay, Bracher noted "the antagonism between rival agencies was resolved solely in the omnipotent key position of the Führer", which was the result of "...the complex coexistence and opposition of the power groups and from conflicting personal ties". Unlike the functionists, Bracher saw this disorganization as part of a conscious “divide and rule” strategy on the part of Hitler, and argued at no point was Hitler ever driven by pressure from below or had his power limited in any way. One area where Bracher is in agreement with the functionists concerns the highly ad hoc nature of decision-making in the Third Reich. Bracher commented that the Nazi regime "remained in a state of permanent improvisation".
In an essay published in 1976 entitled "The Role of Hitler: Perspectives of Interpretation", Bracher argued that Hitler was too often underrated in his own time, and that those historians who rejected the totalitarian paradigm in favor of the fascist paradigm were in danger of making the same mistake. In Bracher's opinion, Hitler was a "world-historical" figure who served as the embodiment of the most radical type of German nationalism and a revolutionary of the most destructive kind, and that such was the force of Hitler's personality that it is correct to speak of National Socialism as "Hitlerism". In his essay, Bracher maintained that Hitler himself was in many ways something of an "unperson" devoid of any real interest for the biographer, but argued that these pedestrian qualities of Hitler led to him being underestimated first by rivals and allies in the Weimar Republic, and then on the international stage in the 1930s. At the same time, Bracher warned of the apologetic tendencies of the “demonizaton" of Hitler which he accused historians like Gerhard Ritter of engaging in, which Bracher maintained allowed too many Germans to place the blame for Nazi crimes solely on the "demon" Hitler. Through Bracher criticized the Great man theory of history as an inadequate historical explanation, Bracher argued that social historians who claim that social developments were more important than the role of individuals were mistaken.
In Bracher’s view, Hitler’s rise was not inevitable, and the primary responsibility for the Chancellorship being given to Hitler on January 30, 1933 rested with the Kamarilla of President Paul von Hindenburg. However, Bracher argued that once Hitler had obtained power, he used his authority to carry out a comprehensive revolution that politically destroyed both Hitler’s opponents such as the SPD and his allies such as the DNVP who sought to “tame” the Nazi movement. Bracher argued that because Hitler was so central to the Nazi movement that it led to the fate of National Socialism being so intertwined with Hitler's fate that it is right, as noted above, to speak of National Socialism as Hitlerism, and hence justifying Hitler's place in history as a person who by their actions decisively brought about events that otherwise would not have happened. In addition, Bracher maintained that the importance of Hitler derived from his being the most effective exponent of an extremely radical type of racist German nationalism, which allowed for ideas that otherwise would be ignored by historians coming to a terrible fruition.
Through Bracher argued that the work of Ralf Dahrendorf, David Schoenbaum, and Henry Ashby Turner about National Socialism in pursuit of anti-modern goals leading to an unintentional modernization of German society had merit, Bracher felt the question of modernization was too removed from the essence of National Socialism, which Bracher argued were the total revolutionary remodeling of the world along savagely racist and Social Darwinist lines. In Bracher's opinion, the revolution Hitler sought to unleash was besides being one of racism gone mad, was also a moral revolution. Bracher argued that the Nazi revolution sought to destroy traditional values that society had valued such as friendship, kindness, and so forth, and replace them with values such as cruelty, brutality, and destruction. Bracher argued that because Anti-Semitism was so crucial to Hitler's weltanschauung (worldview) and its consequences in the form of genocide for the Jews of Europe were such that this disapproves any notion of generic fascism because Bracher believes that theories of fascism cannot account for the Shoah. Bracher argued that generic fascism theorists were guilty of indiscriminately lumping in too many disparate phenomena for the concept of fascism to be of any intellectual use, and of using the term fascist as a catch-all insult for anyone the left disliked. With respect to the genesis of The Holocaust, he is a confirmed Intentionalist. It is his position that the entire project of the genocide of European Jewry resulted from Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic hatred. Bracher argued that the "one basic principle to which Hitler subscribed deeply, blindly and ruthlessly" was anti-Semitism. Bracher noted that the Shoah was so important to Hitler that during World War II, resources that might from a purely military point of view be better devoted to the war were instead turned towards genocide. In 1981, the British Marxist historian Timothy Mason in his essay 'Intention and explanation: A Current controversy about the interpretation of National Socialism' from the book The "Fuehrer State" : Myth and reality coined the term "Intentionist" as part of an attack against Bracher and Klaus Hildebrand, both of whom Mason accused of focusing too much on Hitler as an explanation for the Holocaust.
In a 1971 essay to mark the 100th anniversary of German unification, Bracher rejected the claim that Otto von Bismarck was the "grandfather" of the present-day Federal Republic, and argued that those historians who claimed that the was a line of continuity between Bismarck's Second Reich and the Federal Republic were entirely mistaken. Bracher maintained that the founding of the Federal Republic in 1949 was a decisive break with everything had happened before in German history. Bracher stated that the Federal Republic with its democracy, respect for the individual, equality of all citizens, rule of the law and its pluralist, tolerant society owned nothing to Bismarck's vision of a rigidly hierarchical society dominated by a militaristic, authoritarian state that existed to uphold the power of the Junkers. Bracher wrote that the success of the modern Federal Republic had nothing to do with the "Bismarckian tradition" and stated that the "destruction of the state of 1871" was "the premiss and starting point for a new German state altogether". Bracher maintained that "the second, finally successful democracy in Germany is unimaginable, impossible without the ultimate failure of the Reich of 1871".
Political views 
Bracher believes that totalitarianism, whether from the Left or Right, is the leading threat to democracy all over the world, and has argued that the differences between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were of degree, not kind. Bracher is opposed to the notion of generic fascism and has often urged scholars to reject "totalitarian" fascism theory as championed by the "radical-left" in favour of "democratic" totalitarian theory as a means of explaining the Nazi dictatorship. In particular, Bracher has argued that Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany possessed such fundamental differences that any theory of generic fascism is not supported by the historical evidence. He is pro-American and was one of the few German professors to support fully the foreign policy of the United States during the Cold War. Bracher was a consistent advocate of the values of the Federal Republic, and its American ally against the values of East Germany and its Soviet patron. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s he often attacked left-wing and New Left intellectuals in particular for comparing the actions of the United States in the Vietnam War and the West German state to Nazi Germany. For Bracher, these attacks were both an absurd trivialization of Nazi crimes and a sinister attempt to advance the cause of Communism. Bracher argued that the defeatist and uncertain mood of the 1970s-80s in West Germany was not unlike the mood of the 1920s-30s.
In the introduction to his 1982 book Zeit der Ideologien (Age of Ideologies), Bracher wrote "When the realization of high-pitched political expectations was found to come up against certain limits, there was a revival of the confrontation, especially painful in Germany and one that was generally believed to have been overcome". Bracher warned against "Peace" and "Green" movements operating outside of the political system offering a radical version of an alternative utopian system which he warned if the crisis in confidence in democracy continued could lead to a gradual undermining of democracy in Germany. In their turn, elements of the West German Left attacked Bracher as a neo-Nazi and branded him an "American stooge". In his 1977 essay entitled "Zeitgeschichte im Wandel der Interpretationen" published in the Historische Zeitschrift journal, Bracher argued that the student protests of the late 1960s had resulted in a "Marxist renaissance" with the "New Left" exercising increasing control over the university curricula. Through Bracher felt that some of the resulting work was of value, too much of the resulting publications were in his opinion executed with "crude weapons" in which "the ideological struggle was carried out on the back and in the name of scholarship" with a corrosive effect on academic standards. Bracher wrote the student protests of the late 1960s had "politicized and often...objectionably distorted" the work of historians. In particular, Bracher warned of the "tendency, through theorizing and ideologizing alienation from the history of persons and events, to show and put into effect as the dominant leading theme the contemporary criticism of capitalism and democracy". Along the same lines, Bracher criticized the return to what he regarded as the crude Comintern theories of the 1920-1930s which labeled democracy as a form of "late capitalist" and "late bourgeois" rule, and of the New Left practice of referring to the Federal Republic as a "restorative" Nazi state. In his 1976 book Zeitgeschichtliche Kontroversen, Bracher criticized the Marxist-New Left interpretation of the Nazi period under the grounds that in such in an interpretation "the ideological and totalitarian dimension of National Socialism shrinks to such an extent that the barbarism of 1933-45 disappears as a moral phenomenon", which Bracher felt meant that "...a new wave of trivialization or even apologetics was beginning". In his 1978 book Schlüsselwörter in der Geschichte, Bracher warned the "totalitarian temptation" which he associated with the New Left, above all with the Red Army Faction terrorist group was a serious threat to West German democracy, and called upon scholars to do their part to combat such trends before it was too late.
During the Historikerstreit (Historians' Dispute) of the 1986-88, Bracher argued in a letter to the editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on September 6, 1986 that nothing new was being presented by either side Bracher wrote that he approved of Joachim Fest's essay “Encumbered Remembrance“ about the moral equivalence of Nazi and Communist crimes, through he remained pointly silent about Fest’s support for the theory of Ernst Nolte of a “casual nexus” with German National Socialism as an extreme, but understandable response to Soviet Communism. Bracher argued that "...the "totalitarian" force of these two ideologies [Communism and National Socialism] seized the whole human and seduced and enslaved him" Bracher accused both Jürgen Habermas and Ernst Nolte of both "...tabooing the concept of totalitarianism and inflating the formula of fascism" Bracher complained about the "politically polarized" dispute that was blinding historians to the "comparability" of Communism and National Socialism Bracher ended his letter by writing that neither National Socialism nor Communism lost none of "...their respective "singular" inhumanity by comparisons. Neither a national nor a socialist apologetic can be supported on that basis"
In the Historikerstreit, Bracher mostly stayed on the sidelines, and took a pox-on-both-houses approach Writing on March 14, 1987, Bracher stated he regarded the Historikerstreit as typical of the Doppelbödigkeit (ambiguities) that Germans felt towards their recent history Bracher argued that the Federal Republic was one of two rival German states competing for the loyalty of the German people, the successor state to two regimes that failed, and inhabited by two generations with different memories of the past Bracher wrote that for Germans: "The present dispute concerns not only the orientation and the meaning of a totalitarian "past", which is not easy to historicize, but does not simply pass away despite temporal distance" Bracher argued that given the "burden of the past", West Germany could all too easily slide into dictatorship Bracher saw the major threat to West German democracy as coming from the left Bracher accused the peace and Green movements as hovering in "in the borderline between democracy and dictatorship", and warned that the radical left-peace-Green movements could easily become the instruments of a "pseudo-religious concepts of salvation" that would lead to a return to totalitarianism in West Germany Bracher claimed that the situation today [i.e. in the late 1980s] was the same as in the late 1960s "when we critics of an all-too-general concept of fascism were opposed by a front from Nolte via Habermas to the extraparliamentary opposition"
Later in the 1980s, Bracher defined totalitarianism as any state system that featured absolute ideology that allowed no rivals; a mass movement that was hierarchically organized and under state control; control of the media; and state control of the economy Moreover, Bracher contended that totalitarianism was not just a product of the interwar period, but instead very much a product of modern times with modern technology allowing for greater possibilities for totalitarian control of society than what existed in the 1920s, 30s and 40s Bracher argued that the essential divining line in the world today was not between left and right or between socialism and capitalism, but between dictatorship and democracy Bracher criticized those left-wing intellectuals who damned democracies like the United States as long as there were capitalist while praising those dictatorships that were “progressive” like Cuba as holding false values
In the 1990s, Bracher argued that through the prospects of democracy against totalitarianism had much improved, he warned that this was no time for triumphalism. In 1992, Bracher wrote that democracy is a state "of self-limitation and insight into the imperfection of man, just as dictatorship is the rule of man's ideological arrogance." Bracher contended that through there were better chances for democracy in the post-1989 world then was in the "short 20th century" of 1914-89, there only was the only the hard work of building and maintaining a civil society ahead for the world, and this task could never be completed. In a 2003 interview with the Der Spiegel newsmagazine, Bracher was highly critical of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s opposition to the Iraq war, and warned against using anti-Americanism to win elections as potentially damaging Germany’s relations with the United States, a development that Bracher much deplored”.
- Emeritus of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.
- Member of the American Philosophical Society.
- Member of the Historische Kommission zu Berlin.
- Member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung.
- Member of the Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie.
- Verfall und Fortschritt im Denken der frühen römischen Kaiserzeit: Studien zum Zeitgeühl und Geschichtsbewusstein des Jahrhunderts nach Augustus, 1948.
- Die Aufösung der Weimarer Republik: eine Studie zum Problem des Machtverfalls in der Demokratie 1955.
- "Stufen totalitärer Gleichsaltung: Die Befestigung der nationalsozialistischen Herrschaft 1933/34" pages 30–42 from Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Volume 4, Issue # 1, January 1956, translated into English as "Stages of Totalitarian "Integration" (Gleichschaltung): The Consolidation of National Socialist Rule in 1933 and 1934" pages 109-128 from Republic To Reich The Making of the Nazi Revolution Ten Essays edited by Hajo Holborn, New York: Pantheon Books 1972, ISBN 0-394-47122-9.
- co-edited with Annedore Leber & Willy Brandt Das Gewissen steht auf : 64 Lebensbilder aus dem deutschen Widerstand 1933-1945, 1956, translated into English as The Conscience in Revolt : Portraits of the German Resistance 1933-1945, Mainz : Hase & Koehler, 1994 ISBN 3-7758-1314-4.
- co-written with Wolfgang Sauer and Gerhard Schulz Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung: Studien zur Errichtung des totalitären Herrschaftssystems in Deutschland 1933-34, 1960.
- “Problems of Parliamentary Democracy in Europe” pages 179-198 from Daedalus, Volume 93, Issue # 1 Winter 1964.
- Deutschland zwischen Demokratie und Diktatur: Beiträge zur neueren Politik und Geschichte, 1964.
- Adolf Hitler, 1964.
- Die deutsche Diktatur: Entstehung, Struktur, Folgen des Nationalsozialismus, 1969, translated into English by Jean Steinberg as The German Dictatorship; The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism; New York, Praeger 1970, with an Introduction by Peter Gay.
- Das deutsche Dilemma: Leidenswege der politischen Emanzipation, 1971, translated into English as The German Dilemma: The Throes of Political Emancipation, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975 ISBN 0-297-76790-9.
- Die Krise Europas, 1917-1975, 1976.
- Zeitgeschichtiche Kontroversen: Um Faschismus, Totalitarismus, Demokratie, 1976.
- "The Role of Hitler: Perspectives of Interpretation" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide, edited by Walter Laqueur, Harmondsworth, 1976, ISBN 0-520-03033-8.
- Europa in der Krise: Innengeschichte u. Weltpolitik seit 1917, 1979.
- (editor) Quellen zur Geschichte des Paramentarimus und er politischen Partein, Bd 4/1 Politik und Wirtschaft in der Krise 1930–1932 Quellen Ära Brüning Tel I, Bonn, 1980.
- Geschichte und Gewalt: Zur Politik im 20. Jahrhundert, 1981.
- “The Disputed Concept of Totalitarianism,” pages 11–33 from Totalitarianism Reconsidered edited by Ernest A. Menze, Port Washington, N.Y. / London: Kennikat Press, 1981, ISBN 0-8046-9268-8.
- Zeit der Ideologien: Eine Geschichte politischen Denkens im 20. Jahrhundert, 1982, translated into English as The Age Of Ideologies : A History of Political Thought in the Twentieth Century, New York : St. Martin’s Press, 1984, ISBN 0-312-01229-2.
- co-edited with Hermann Graml Widerstand im Dritten Reich : Probleme, Ereignisse, Gestalten, 1984.
- Die Totalitäre Erfahrung, 1987.
- "Der historishe Ort des Zweiten Weltkrieges" pages 347-374 from 1939-An Der Schwelle Zum Weltkrieg: Die Entfesselung Des Zweiten Weltkrieges Und Das Internationale System edited by Klaus Hildebrand, Jürgen Schmadeke & Klaus Zernack, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co 1990, ISBN 3-11-012596-X.
- Wendezeiten der Geschichte: Historisch-politische Essays, 1987-1992, 1992, translated into English Turning Points In Modern Times : Essays On German and European History, translated by Thomas Dunlap ; with a foreword by Abbott Gleason, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-674-91354-X.
- co-edited with Manfred Funke & Hans-Adolf Jacobsen Deutschland 1933–1945. Neue Studien zur nationalsozialistischen Herrschaft, 1992.
- co-written with Eberhard Jäckel; Johannes Gross;, Theodor Eschenburg & Joachim Fest Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1994.
- Geschichte als Erfahrung. Betrachtungen zum 20. Jahrhundert, 2001.
- co-edited with P. M. Brilman & H. M. Von Der DunkJustiz und NS-Verbrechen, 2008.
- co-edited with Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Volker Kronenberg, & Oliver Spatz Politik, Geschichte und Kultur. Wissenschaft in Verantwortung für die res publica. Festschrift für Manfred Funke zum 70. Geburtstag, 2009.
See also 
- Ruud van Dijk, "Bracher, Karl Dietrich," in Kelly Boyd, ed., The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, Vol. 1, London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999, pp. 111-112.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York page 44.
- Marrus, Michael The Holocaust In History Toronto: Key Porter, 2000 page 85.
- Lukacs, John The Hitler of History, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997 page 201.
- Laqueur, Walter Review of Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung: Studien zur Errichtung des totalitaren Herrschaftssystems in Deutschland 1933/34 pages 235-236 from International Affairs, Volume 37, Issue # 2 April 1961 page 235.
- Laqueur, Walter Review of Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung: Studien zur Errichtung des totalitaren Herrschaftssystems in Deutschland 1933/34 pages 235-236 from International Affairs, Volume 37, Issue # 2 April 1961 page 236.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York page 25.
- Iggers, Georg The German Conception of History, Middletown: Connecticut; Wesleyan University Press, 1968 page 266.
- Lukacs, John The Hitler of History, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997 pages 202-203.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York page 51.
- Hildebrand, Klaus "He Who Wants to Escape the Abysss Will Have to Sound It Very Prcisely: Is the New German History Writing Revisionists?" pages 188-195 from Forever In The Shadow Of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1993 page 190.
- Maier, Charles The Unmasterable Past Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1988 pages 84-85, 87 & 100-101
- Maier, Charles The Unmasterable Past Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1988 pages 84-85 & 87 & 100-101
- Maier, Charles The Unmasterable Past Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1988 page 101
- Maier, Charles The Unmasterable Past Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1988 page 87
- Dawidowicz, Lucy S. Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure and Effects of National Socialism pages 91-93 from Commentary, Volume 52, Issue # 2, August 1971 page 91.
- Evans, Richard In Hitler’s Shadow, Pantheon: New York, 1989 page 186.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York page 73.
- Marrus, Michael The Holocaust In History, Toronto: Key Porter, 2000 page 46.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide, Harmondsworth, 1976 page 212.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide, Harmondsworth, 1976 page 213.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide Harmondsworth, 1976 page 214.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide Harmondsworth, 1976 page 217.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide Harmondsworth, 1976 page 215.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide Harmondsworth, 1976 pages 220-221.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide Harmondsworth, 1976 page 222.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide Harmondsworth, 1976 pages 222-223.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide Harmondsworth, 1976 pages 217-218.
- Dawidowicz, Lucy S. Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure and Effects of National Socialism pages 91-93 from Commentary, Volume 52, Issue # 2, August 1971 page 92.
- Gerwarth, Robert The Bismarck Myth: Weimar Germany and the Legacy of the Iron Chancellor, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005 page 164.
- Gerwarth, Robert The Bismarck Myth: Weimar Germany and the Legacy of the Iron Chancellor, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005 page 165.
- Burleigh, Michael & Wippermann, Wolfgang The Racial State : Germany 1933-1945, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1991 page 20.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York page 15; Bracher, Karl Dietrich "The Role of Hitler" pages 211-225 from Fascism: A Reader's Guide, edited by Walter Laqueur, Harmondsworth, 1976 pages 212-213 & 218.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York page 15.
- Maier, Charles The Unmasterable Past, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1988 page 90.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold page 16.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold page 15.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York page 18.
- Bracher, Karl Dietrich "Letter to the Editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 6, 1986" pages 72-73 from Forever In The Shadow Of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1993 page 72
- Maier, Charles The Unmasterable Past, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1988 page 85.
- Laqueur, Walter The Fate of the Revolution, New York: Collier Books, 1987 page 241.
- Laqueur, Walter The Fate of the Revolution, New York: Collier Books, 1987 page 242.
- Deggerich, Markus (February 2008). "Ein schwerer Missgriff". Spiegel. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
Further reading 
- Anthon, Carl Review of Die nationalsozialistische machtergreifung: Studien zur errichtung des totalitären herrschaftssystems in deutschland 1933/34 pages 715-716 from The American Historical Review, Volume 67, Issue # 3, April 1962.
- Balfour, Michael Review of The German Dilemma: The Throes of Political Emancipation page 579 from International Affairs, Volume 51, Issue # 4 October 1975.
- Bonham, Gary Review of The German Dilemma pages 631-651 from World Politics, Volume 35, Issue # 4, July 1983.
- Cooling, B.F Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism page 35 from Military Affairs, Volume 36, Issue # 1, February 1971.
- Dawidowicz, Lucy S. Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure and Effects of National Socialism pages 91–93 from Commentary, Volume 52, Issue # 2, August 1971.
- Dawidowicz, Lucy S. The Holocaust and the Historians, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, 1981, ISBN 0-674-40566-8.
- Dijk, Ruud van "Bracher, Karl Dietrich" pages 111-112 from The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, Volume 1, edited by Kelly Boyd, London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishing, 1999 ISBN 1-884964-33-8.
- Frankel, Joseph Review of The Age of Ideologies: A History of Political Thought in the Twentieth Century pages 148-149 from International Affairs, Volume 61, Issue # 1, Winter 1984-1985.
- Freeden, Michael Review of The Age of Ideologies: A History of Political Thought in the Twentieth Century pages 268-269 from The English Historical Review, Volume 103, Issue # 406 January 1988.
- Funke, Manfred (editor) Demokratie und Diktatur: Geist und Gestalt politischer Herrschaft in Deutschland und Europa, Festschrift für Karl Dietrich Bracher (Democracy and Dictatorship: The Spirit and Form of Political Power in Germany and Europe) Düsseldorf: Droste, 1987.
- Geck, Wilhelm Karl Review of Die moderne Demokratie und ihr Recht. Modern Constitutionalism and Democracy. Festschrift für Gerhard Leibholz zum 65. Geburtstag. Band II: Staats- und Verfassungsrecht pages 279-281 from The American Journal of Comparative Law, Volume 16, Issue # 1/2, Winter - Spring 1968.
- Halperin, William S. Review of Die Auflosung der Weimarer Republik: Eine Studie Zum Problem Des Machtverfalls in der Demokratie pages 620-621 from The American Historical Review, Volume 62, Issue # 3, April 1957.
- Heberle, Rudolf Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure and Effects of National Socialism pages 1545–1550 from The American Journal of Sociology, Volume 78, Issue # 6, May 1973.
- Herz, John Review of Die Auflösung der Weimarer Republik: Eine Studie zum Problem des Machtverfalls in der Demokratie pages 533-534 from The American Political Science Review, Volume 50, Issue # 2, June 1956.
- Jay, Martin Review of The Age of Ideologies: A History of Political Thought in the Twentieth Century pages 912-913 from The American Historical Review, Volume 91, Issue # 4, October 1986.
- Jones, Larry Eugene Review of Die Deutschnationalen und die Zerstörung der Weimarer Republik: Aus dem Tagebuch von Reinhold Quaatz, 1928-1933 pages 163-165 from The Journal of Modern History, Volume 64, Issue # 1, March 1992.
- Keefe, Thomas Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism pages 81–82 from The History Teacher, Volume 5, Issue # 1, November 1971.
- Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold ; New York : Copublished in the USA by Oxford University Press, 2000 ISBN 0-340-76028-1.
- Kirchner, Doris Review of The Conscience in Revolt: Portraits of the German Resistance pages 102-102 from The German Quarterly, Volume 69, Issue # 1, Winter 1996.
- Kleinfeld, Gerald R. Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism pages 810-811 from The Western Political Quarterly, Volume 25, Issue # 4, December 1972.
- Laqueur, Walter Review of Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung: Studien zur Errichtung des totalitaren Herrschaftssystems in Deutschland 1933/34 pages 235-236 from International Affairs, Volume 37, Issue # 2 April 1961.
- Lukacs, John The Hitler of History, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997 ISBN 0-375-70113-3.
- Maier, Charles The Unmasterable Past : History, Holocaust, And German National Identity, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-674-92976-4.
- Marrus, Michael The Holocaust in History, Toronto : Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1987 ISBN 0-452-00953-7.
- Merkl, Peter Review of The German Dictatorship pages 191-193 from The Western Political Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue # 1, March 1971.
- Neil, Robert Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism pages 172-173 from The American Historical Review, Volume 77, Issue # 1, February 1972.
- Peterson, Agnes Review of Deutschland zwischen Krieg und Frieden: Beiträge zur Politik und Kultur im 20. Jahrhundert pages 648-649 from German Studies Review, Volume 15, Issue # 3, October 1992.
- Peterson, Edward Review of The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism pages 694-696 from The Journal of Modern History, Volume 43, Issue # 4, December 1971.
- Piper, Ernst (editor) Forever In The Shadow Of Hitler? : Original Documents Of The Historikerstreit, The Controversy Concerning The Singularity Of The Holocaust, Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1993, ISBN 0-391-03784-6.
- Poggi, Gianfranco Review of Zeit der Ideologien: Eine Geschichte Politischen Denkens im 20. Jahrhundert pages 498-500 from Contemporary Sociology, Volume 13, Issue # 4, July 1984.
- Oppen, B. Ruhm von Review of Das Gewissen entscheidet: Bereiche des deutschen Widerstandes von 1933–1945 in Lebensbildern pages 97 from International Affairs, Volume 35, Issue # 1, January 1959.
- Rosenbaum, E. Review of Die Auflosung der Weimarer Republik: Eine Studie zum Problem des Machtverfalls in der Demokratie pages 101-102 from International Affairs, Volume 32, Issue # 1, January 1956.
- Treharne Jones, William "Review: Germany: Prospects for a Nationalist Revival" Review of Die deutsche Diktatur: Enstehung, Struktur, Folgen des Nationalsozialismus pages 316-322 from International Affairs, Volume 46, Issue # 2, April 1970.
- Wiskemann, Elizabeth Review of The Conscience in Revolt: Sixty-four Stories of Resistance in Germany 1933-45 page 233 from International Affairs, Volume 34, Issue # 2, April 1958.
- Wiskemann, Elizabeth Review of Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung page 204 from The English Historical Review, Volume 77, Issue # 302, January 1962.
- Wiskemann, Elizabeth Review of Deutschland zwischen Demokratie und Diktatur: Beitrage zur neueren Politik und Geschichte pages 301-302 from International Affairs, Volume 42, Issue # 2, April 1966.
- Review of Turning Points in Modern Times: Essays on German and European History
- "Ein schwerer Missgriff" Interview with Bracher in German.
- Karl Dietrich Bracher
- Karl Dietrich Bracher