David M. Crowe

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David M. Crowe, Jr.' is a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University and Professor Emeritus of History and Law at Elon University. He is a specialist in international criminal law, the Holocaust, the history of the Romani people in Eastern Europe and Russia, and 20th century China. He has served as an expert witness in many court cases in the United States and Canada, and testified before the U.S. Congress’ Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration. His numerous books have been translated into six languages.[1]

Academic career[edit]

Crowe began his career as a Russian specialist at the National Archives of the United States in 1974 where he worked with Soviet officials who were seeking the return of Russian embassy and consular records seized by the U.S. after the Bolsheviks took power in late 1917. The following year he joined a special team of archivists in the Department of Defense that worked with the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee investigation of the U.S. intelligence community. This group also handled new Freedom of Information Act and other requests related to the Vietnam War and other topics. Crowe returned to the National Archives in early 1977 as liaison to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Later that year, Crowe accepted a teaching position at Elon University where he taught the history of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and modern Chinese history. In 2006, he was appointed Professor of Legal History at Elon’s School of Law where he taught courses on international criminal law and international criminal tribunals. Crowe also taught at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and has lectured at the University of Heidelberg, Germany; the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland; and the University of Bucharest, Romania.[2]

Academic Leadership[edit]

Crowe was a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University from 1998 to 2001, and a Fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1997 to 2006. He was President of the Association for the Study of Nationalities from 1998 to 2004, and a member of the Education Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 1990 to 2004. He was also a member of the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust and served as its chair from 1995 to 1999.[1][2]

Consulting and Legal Work[edit]

He has been a consultant to many national and international organizations dealing with programs designed to expand awareness of human rights issues, educational reform, and public awareness of such issues in Central and Eastern Europe. This included work with the United States Agency for International Development of the Rule of Law/Global Rights Initiative, Central European University’s Research Scheme in Prague, the Open Society Institute’s Roma Cultural Initiative, and the DiploFoundation’s Roma Diplomacy Project.[3]

Over the past 20 years, Crowe has served as an expert witness in numerous cases in the United States, Canada, and Israel dealing principally with asylum and extradition issues. He also organized the Conference on International Law: War Crimes, Human Rights, and Immigration at Elon University’s School of Law in 2012, and served as a judge for Elon's Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition in 2012 and 2013. He took part in the Silberman Seminar for Law School Professors, The Impact and Legacy of the Holocaust on the Law, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. from June 4–15, 2007.[4]

Grants and Awards[edit]

Over the years, Crowe has been the recipient or co-recipient of grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the U.S. Department of Education, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Elon University. In 2009, he was awarded Elon University’s first Senior Faculty full year research sabbatical, and three years later its two-year Senior Faculty Research Fellowship.[5]

In 1994 the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies awarded Crowe it's V. Stanley Vardys President's Prize for Books on Baltic Studies for his The Baltic States and the Great Powers: Foreign Relations, 1938-1940. In 2000, he was the recipient of Elon University’s first Distinguished Scholar’s Award, and in 2013 the Elon College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Scholar’s Award. In 2010 he received the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies’ Richard Stites Senior Scholar Award for Contributions to the Field of Slavic Studies.[1][2][6]



Crowe’s books have dealt with a variety of subjects ranging from the evolution of international criminal law, the history of national and international criminal tribunals, the Holocaust, 19th and 20th century China, international relations in Central and Eastern Europe, and the history of the Roma in Eastern Europe and Russia.

His principal works have been well-received. Romeo Dallaire wrote that Crowe did “an exceptional job of research and writing on the crime of genocide and war crimes” in his War Crimes, Genocide, and Justice: A Global History (2014). It is written, he went on, “with the skill of the academic, the experience of the practitioner, but in the language of the layman.” Samuel Moyn added that it “provides an encyclopedic summation both of humanity’s propensity for atrocious evil and of its halting and inadequate search for accountability after the fact.[7]

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries selected Crowe’s The Holocaust: Roots, History, and Aftermath (2008) as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2008, while former US Holocaust Memorial Museum director Michael Berenbaum wrote that it was a “detailed work that never gets lost in its detail” which “offers precision yet never loses sight of the larger story that must be told and retold.”[8] [9]

Elie Wiesel told The New York Times that Crowe’s biography of Oskar Schindler, the Righteous Gentile made famous in Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” added complexity to the film without “’even altering the story.’” The result, he continued, was that Oskar Schindler: The Untold Story of His Life, Wartime Activities, and the True Story Behind the List (2004; 2007), “’made Schindler more human, and also more extraordinary.’”[10] Oskar Schindler was later chosen as a selection of the History Book Club.

The Washington Post called Crowe’s principal book on the Roma (Gypsies), A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia (1998), “the most comprehensive and indispensable of its kind in English.”[11] Ian Hancock said it was “remarkably thorough and compassionate,”[12] while a reviewer in Racial and Ethnic Studies wrote that it was a “clearly first rate” study that was “impeccably researched, extremely informational and well written. Most importantly, Crowe’s volume fills an obvious and long-standing void in the literature.”[13] It was also chosen as a selection of the History Book Club.

In 2007, an updated, second edition of The History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia was published, which had a new chapter that dealt with the history of the Roma in each country discussed in the first edition, plus the new states that had emerged from the ashes of the former communist nations in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Andre Liebich, who wrote the Forward to the new edition, called it “a path-breaking work of scholarship” that dealt with “a subject of considerable historical fascination and great contemporary relevance.”[14]

Crowe’s other books include:

Germany and China: Transnational Encounters since the 18th Century (2014; co-edited with Joanne Cho)

Crimes of State, Past and Present: Government-Sponsored Atrocities and International Legal Responses (2011; editor)

The Baltic States and the Great Powers, 1938-1940 (1992)

The Gypsies of Eastern Europe (1991; co-edited with John Kolsti)

Books: Foreign Editions[edit]

Da tu-sha gen-yuan li-shi yu yubo [The Holocaust: Roots, History and Aftermath] (Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Publishing House, 2015)

Oskar Schindler: Prawdziwa historia [Oskar Schindler; The True Story] (Warsaw: Proszynski I S-ka, 2015)

Oskar Schindler: De biografie en het ware verhaal achter de “Schindlerlijst [The Biography and True Story behind Schindler’s List] (Amsterdam: Uitgeverj Verbum, 2006)

Oskar Schindler: Die Biografie [Oskar Schindler: The Biography] (Berlin: Eichborn, 2005)

Istoriya Tsigan Skhidnoi Evropi ta Rosii [A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia] (Kiev: Vidavinstvo “Megataip, 2003)

Gipushi no Rekishi Tohoh Roshia no Roma Minzoku [A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia] (Tokyo: Kyodotsushimsha, 2001)

Book Chapters, Articles, and Reviews[edit]

Crowe has written scores of book chapters, articles, and reviews on a wide range of topics. His most recent chapters and articles include “The Nuremberg and Tokyo IMT Trials: A Comparative Analysis,” in Transnational Encounters between Germany and Japan (2016); “Sino-German Relations, 1871-1918,” and, with Christine Swanson, “Sino-German Relations, 1918-1945,” in Germany and China (2014); “The Tibet Question: Tibetan, Chinese and Western Perspectives,” Nationalities Papers (2013); and “War Crimes and Genocide in History, and the Evolution of Responsive International Law,” in Crimes of State Past and Present (2011).[15] His works have also appeared in numerous publications including The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, East European Quarterly, American Jewish History, Journal of Baltic Studies, Russian Review, Slavic Review, American Historical Review, American Archivist, Osteuropas, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Austrian History Yearbook, Encyclopedia Judaica, and The Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish History, among others.

Scholarly and Public Lectures[edit]

Crowe lectures frequently in academic and public settings. Some of the more recent are:

“Pearl Buck, Raphael Lemkin, and the Struggle for the Genocide Convention, 1947-1948,” Pearl S. Buck Living Gateway Conference, West Virginia University, September 13, 2016.

“MacArthur, Keenan, and the American Quest for Justice at the IMFTE (Tokyo Trial), 1946-1948,” The University of Heidelberg, Germany, December 7, 2015.

“The Evolution of Nazi Policy towards the Roma during the Holocaust,” American Studies Program, The University of Bucharest, Romania, June 24, 2015.

“Plunder and Theft of Jewish Property in the General Government,” Boston University, November 12, 2014.

“The First Genocide Trial in History – Amon Goeth, Krakow, Poland, 1946,” Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Lecture, Cedars-Sinai, Beverly Hills, April 28, 2014.

“The Holocaust and the Pathway to Shanghai,” Association of Asian Studies Conference, Philadelphia, March 30, 2014.

“Oskar Schindler, Raphael Lemkin, and the Question of Genocide: the Trial of Amon Goeth,” Chapman University, October 1, 2013.

Genocide and the Law: Oskar Schindler, Raphael Lemkin, and Their Pathways to Justice,” Stetson University College of Law, St. Petersburg, Florida, March 6, 2013.

Current Scholarly Projects[edit]

Crowe has recently contributed chapters to two edited works that will be published in 2017:

“MacArthur, Keenan, and the American Quest for Justice at the IMFTE,” in Kerstin von Lingen, ed., Transcultural Justice: The Tokyo IMT Trial and the Allied Struggle for Justice, 1946-1948 (Under review)

“The Theft of Jewish Property in the General Government,” in John J. Michalczyk, ed., Nazi Law: From Nuremberg to Nuremberg (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).

He is also writing a biography of Raphael Lemkin and editing a book on the evolution of Soviet law and justice in the 1920s and 1930s, and its impact on the Soviet role at the Nuremberg IMT trial. He is also researching a biography on Pearl S. Buck.


Articles on his books and research have appeared in The New York Times, Macleans, Pravda, the Times Literary Supplement, The International Jerusalem Post, Dziennik Polski, Pravo, Die Berliner Literaturkritik, Der Spiegel, Stuttgartner Zeitung, Der Taggespiegel, and Wprost, among others.[16]

Crowe has done numerous TV and radio interviews in North America, Europe, and Israel, including CCTV (2014), Irish National Radio (2013), CNN (2004, 1998), FOX (2006, 2005), SWR/NDR, Berlin (2005), HR Hessenschau TV (2005), Deutschlandradio Kultur (2005), Jerusalem Live (2005), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Prague (2004),Voice of America (2002, 1996), CKJS, Winnipeg (2001), and UNC Radio (1997), among others.


  1. ^ a b c "Faculty Profile: Dr. David Crowe". Chapman University. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Faculty Profile: David Crowe". Elon School of Law. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Nicolae, Valeriu; Slavik, Hannah, eds. (2007). Roma diplomacy. New York: International Debate Education Association. ISBN 978-1-932716-33-7. 
  4. ^ Hibbard, David (April 2, 2007). "Crowe chosen for law faculty seminar". E-Net! Elon University News & Information. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  5. ^ Townsend, Eric (October 30, 2011). "Professors awarded 2012-14 Senior Faculty Research Fellowships". E-Net! Elon University News & Information. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Awards". Southern Conference on Slavic Studies. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Book jacket comments, David M. Crowe, War Crimes, Genocide, and Justice: A Global History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
  8. ^ Meier, D. A. (December 2008). "Review: The Holocaust: roots, history, and aftermath". Choice Reviews Online. American Library Association. 46 (4): 2306. doi:10.5860/CHOICE.46-2306. Retrieved 24 June 2017. Crowe's book is the best overall text on the market today for college classes on the Holocaust. … Highly recommended. All undergraduate and graduate libraries. 
  9. ^ Berenbaum, Michael (2008). "Back cover blurb". The Holocaust : roots, history, and aftermath. By Crowe, David M. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. ISBN 0813343259. 
  10. ^ Dinitia Smith, “A Scholar’s Book Adds Layers of Complexity to the Schindler Legend,” The New York Times, November 24, 2004, pp. B1, B8.
  11. ^ The Washington Post Book World, February 5, 1995, p. 5.
  12. ^ American Historical Review (October 1996), p. 1243.
  13. ^ Ethnic and Racial Studies (April 1996), pp. 460-461.
  14. ^ Andre Liebich, Forward, in David M. Crowe, A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia, 2nd Edition (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), xiv.
  15. ^ David M. Crowe, “The Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials: A Comparative Analysis,” in Joanne Cho, et al, Transnational Encounters between Germany and Japan: Perceptions of Partnership in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 165-184; “Sino-German Relations, 1871-1918,” and with Christine Swanson, “Sino-German relations, 1918-1945,” in Joanne Cho and David M. Crowe, eds., Germany and China: Transnational Encounters since the Eighteenth Century (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 71-96; 115-138; David M. Crowe, “The Tibet Question: Tibetan, Chinese and Western Perspectives,” Nationalities Papers, 41, 6 (November 2013), pp. 1100-1135; David M. Crowe, “War Crimes, and Genocide in History, and the Evolution of Responsive International Law,” in David M. Crowe, ed., Crimes of State, Past and Present: Government-Sponsored Atrocities and International Legal Responses (London and New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 4-53.
  16. ^ The New York Times, August 9, 2013, p. C3, August 17, 2013, p. A08; Macleans, November 10, 2009, pp. 1-6; Pravda, April 28, 2008, p. 4; Times Literary Supplement, July 29, 2005, p. 9; The International Jerusalem Post, February 4, 2005, pp. 22-23; Dziennik Polski, August 13, 2013, p. 8; Pravo, November 28, 2005, p. 5; Die Berliner Literaturkritik, August 24, 2005, p. 3; Der Spiegel, August 15, 2005, p. 11; Stuttgartner Zeitung, July 27, 2005, p. 8, September 9, 2005, p. 3; Der Tagesspiegel, August 8, 2005, p. 3; Wprost, December 12, 2004, pp. 74-77.