John H. Herz

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John H. Herz (born Hans Hermann Herz; September 23, 1908 – December 25, 2005) was an American scholar of international relations and law.

He was born in Düsseldorf, Germany. He received a diploma from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in 1938, fled Europe for the USA and found a temporary position at Princeton University. In 1941 he taught Political Science at Howard University. After World War II he worked as a political analyst for the US State Department - he took part in the US delegation to the Nuremberg trials and also helped draw up a plan for democratizing the occupation zone in Germany.

While at Harvard, Herz wrote Political Realism and Political Idealism, a book which the American Political Science Association awarded the Woodrow Wilson Prize in 1951. The following year he joined City College of New York, where he taught International Relations until his retirement in 1979. Herz was one of a number of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany who found positions in American universities and taught International Relations from a critical, Realist perspective. He wrote books and several influential articles.

He died in New York on December 25, 2005, at the age of 97.

See also[edit]


  • Joe Holley, John H. Herz, 97; Howard U. Scholar, Washington Post Staff Writer, January 25, 2006
  • John Herz - the following are excerpts from an address given at the Commemorative-Celebration Honoring John H. Herz The Graduate Center of the City University of New York March 15, 2006