Wolfgang G. Schwanitz

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Wolfgang G. Schwanitz
Wolfgang G Schwanitz.jpg
Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, 2008.
Wolfgang Georg Schwanitz

(1955-12-08) December 8, 1955 (age 63)
Magdeburg, Germany
ResidenceNew Jersey, United States
Alma materLeipzig University (Ph.D.), Free University of Berlin
OccupationArabist, Economist, Historian of the Middle East
Known forPublications about America, the Middle East and Germany
Notable work
Islam in Europe, Revolts in the Middle East

Wolfgang G. Schwanitz is a German-American Middle East historian. He is a specialist in comparative studies of modern international relations between the United States, the Middle East, and Europe. Schwanitz is known for his research on relations between Arabs, Jews, and Germans, and on the history of German relations with the Middle East.


Born in 1955 in Magdeburg, Schwanitz lived for seven years in Cairo, Egypt, as his parents were diplomats. Back in East Germany, he attended the Max Planck high school of Berlin. In 1982 he finished five years of Middle Eastern studies as Arabist/Economist at Leipzig University. In 1985 he completed his Ph.D. at Leipzig, on Egypt's open-door policy.


Cover Nazis Islamist.jpg

In Berlin he headed the research group on Middle Eastern history at the Academy of Sciences. He has taught at Humboldt University, University of Potsdam, and Free University of Berlin. After German reunification, he worked (1990–95) at the Modern Orient Center — founded by the Max Planck Society of Munich — and published books on relations between Germany and the Middle East. In the 1990s he was visiting fellow at CEDEJ, Cairo (1992–93), at Princeton University (1995–97), and at the German-American Center for Visiting Scholars of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. (1998). In Princeton, he finished two volumes on the history of Germans in the Middle East after World War II.

In his history of the German Orient Bank he showed by records from American and German archives how Jewish gold looted by Nazis in occupied Europe was sold in Turkey via the German Orient Bank. This bank was founded in 1906 by Dresdner Bank in Berlin, the second-largest German bank, and served 40 years in the Middle East.

In 2000, he settled near Princeton, United States. He researches and teaches Arabic, world history, and Middle Eastern history at local colleges, among them Burlington County College in Pemberton, New Jersey, and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, (2004–08). He edits a book series of comparative studies on America-Mideast-Europe. He was visiting professor at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel (2007-2017), and is (Hochberg Family, 2014-2017) Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

His works on German and American Islam policy where translated into eight languages. Schwanitz authored ten and edited ten books. He authored 90 book chapters on history and politics of the Middle East in international relations since 1798, as modernity came to the Middle East.

Selected bibliography[edit]


Islam in Europe, Revolts in the Middle East.

Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East], Yale University Press: New Haven & London 2014, with Barry Rubin


1. ^ http://www.ghi-dc.org/fellowships-programs/programs-for-junior-scholars/german-american-center-for-visiting-scholars-gacvs.html?L=0

2. ^ http://www.trafoberlin.de/pdf-dateien/Wege%20des%20Raubgoldes%20Berlin%20%202002.pdf

External links[edit]