Karl Schleunes

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Karl Albert Schleunes (born April 21, 1937 in Kiel, Wisconsin)[1] is an American historian of the Holocaust and the German Empire. He is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).[2] Schleunes obtained his Bachelor in 1959 at Lakeland College (Wisconsin), and his Master's at the University of Minnesota in 1961, where he also received his Ph.D. in 1966. From 1965 to 1971 he taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Since then he is at the UNCG, where he was in 1999 guest lecturer at the Kaplan Centre of the University of Cape Town.[3]

Karl Schleunes is the son of Henry Schleunes (1892-1968) and Adelia Eickoff (1896-1984) of Schleswig, Wisconsin.[4][5] In August 1964, he married Brenda Jean Pursel, founder and artistic director of the Touring Theatre of North Carolina.[6]

The 1970 publication of Karl Schleunes's The Twisted Road to Auschwitz was a landmark in Holocaust historiography. His interpretation of the Final Solution as a product of unplanned evolution rather than premeditated 'grand design' triggered a debate that has energized Holocaust scholarship over the past two decades. The reissue in paperback of this true classic is a most welcome event to anyone teaching or studying the Holocaust." – Christopher Browning, author of The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office[7]


  • The Twisted Road to Auschwitz, Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-1939; UIP 1970.[8]
  • Schooling and Society; The Politics of Education in Prussia and Bavaria, 1750-1900; 1989.
  • Legislating the Holocaust; The Bernhard Loesener Memoirs.


  1. ^ Allen Pursel. "Karl Albert Schleunes (b. April 21, 1937)". Genealogy.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ "Dr. Karl A. Schleunes – Department of History". Archived from the original on December 9, 2009. Retrieved 2016-02-08.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ University of Cape Town, Kaplan Newsletter, June 2012, No. 18; PDF direct download.
  4. ^ The Purcell Family of America Genealogical Association; 1980; p. 25.
  5. ^ Rose Mohnsam (March 3, 1968), Henry Schleunes (Apr. 21, 1892 – Mar., 1968). Funeral services, Herald Times.
  6. ^ Touring Theatre of North Carolina, Brenda P. Schleunes, Founder and Producing Artistic Director. 2016.
  7. ^ Christopher Browning, Karl A. Schleunes (2016). The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy toward German Jews, 1933-39. Book review. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. ^ Karl A. Schleunes (1990) [1970]. The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-1939. p. 288. ISBN 0252061470 – via Google Books, preview.