• Gary BruceB.A. Queen's University

  • M.A. University of New Brunswick
  • PhD McGill University
  • Studied abroad at the University of Glasgow and the University of Leipzig

Research and teaching interests

  • Modern German history
  • Surveillance and opposition in 20th century Germany
  • Animal-human relations in 19th and 20th century Germany
  • East Germany
  • Holocaust

My current major project on the Berlin Zoo from its founding in 1844 to the union of the two Berlins in 1990 examines changing perceptions of the role of animals in human existence, popular notions of the ‘other’ and the ‘exotic,’ and the attraction in the general population and in the German scholarly community to the world beyond Germany’s borders.

I also research World War II perpetrators of crimes in Western Europe and their post-war trials. I continue to build on my previous work exploring the relationship between surveillance and daily life in East Germany.

Courses taught

  • HIST 223 The Holocaust in History
  • HIST 358 - Nazi Germany

Recent publications

  • From Perpetrator to Cold War Pawn: The Atrocities and Trial of Heinz Barth” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 29, 3 (Winter 2015): 374-399.
  • The Firm: The inside story of the Stasi (NY: Oxford University Press, 2010). 
  • Commentary on "The role and activities of the SED, the East German State and its military during the 'Prague Spring' of 1968," in Mark Stolarik, ed., The Prague Spring and the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia(Mundelein: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2010), 165-171.
  • "East Germany," The Historical Journal 52, 3 (2009): 857-870.
  • “East Germany ” in Lavinia Stan, edTransitional Justice in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (London: Routledge, 2009), 15-36 (Reprint of my German Politics and Society article above).
  • "A Protestant revolution? The role of the church in East Germany in 1989 at the grassroots" Sfera Politicii 142 (December 2009): 17-23.
  • "Access to secret police files, justice and vetting in East Germany since 1989" German Politics and Society 25, 4 (2008): 82-111. 
  • “‘Wir haben den Kontakt zu den Massen nie verloren’: Das Verhältnis zwischen Stasi und Gesellschaft am Beispiel der Kreise Gransee und Perleberg“ inJens Gieseke ed., Staatssicherheit und Gesellschaft: Studien zum Herrschaftsalltag in der DDR (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, 2007), 365-379.
  • "Aufklärung und Abwehr: The Lasting Legacy of the Stasi under Ernst Wollweber" Intelligence and National Security 21, 3 (2006): 364-393.
  • “Die Sowjetunion und die ostdeutschen Krisen 1953 bis 1961” (The Soviet Union and the East German Crises of 1953 and 1961) in Torsten Diedrich ed, Staatsgründung auf Raten? Zu den Auswirkungen des Volksaufstandes 1953 und des Mauerbaus 1961 auf Staat, Militär und Gesellschaft in der DDR (Berlin: Ch. Links, 2005) 39-64.
  • "'In our District, the State is Secure:' The East German secret police response to the events of 1989 in Perleberg district," Contemporary European History 14, 2 (2005): 219-244.
  • "The prelude to nationwide surveillance in East Germany: Stasi operations and threat perceptions, 1945-1953." Journal of Cold War Studies  5, 2 (2003): 3-31.
  • Resistance with the people: Repression and resistance in Eastern Germany 1945-1955 in the Harvard Cold War Project Book Series (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003).
  • “The revolutionary potential of GDR society in the 1950s” in After the GDR: New Perspectives on the Old GDR and the New Länder (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001), 77-96.
  •  “‘Our elections have nothing to do with democracy:’ East German popular perceptions of West German democracy in the 1950s" in Peter M. Daly, Hans Walter Frischkopf, Trudis E. Goldsmith-Reber, Horst Richter, Images of Germany: Perceptions and Conceptions (New York: Peter Lang, 2000), 101-119.

Awards and achievements

University of Waterloo
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