Gary Bruce



  • Gary Bruce
    B.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
  • Nazi Germany

I am currently developing two research projects. The first project seeks to return historical focus to the early years of the Nazi regime through an examination of  violence meted out by the state, and the manner by which the German populace responded to state-sanctioned murder prior to the Holocaust. The second project deals with memory and memorialization of the Nazi era as exhibited in historic sites in and around Berlin, with a focus on the Ravensbrück memorial site.

Courses taught

  • Holocaust
  • Nazi Germany
  • Animals in Western History
  • 20th Century Germany through Memoirs
  • MA Seminar in Modern European History 
  • PhD Field in Modern European History

Recent publications


  • Through the Lion Gate: A History of the Berlin Zoo (NY: Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • The Firm: The inside story of the Stasi (NY: Oxford University Press, 2010). 
  • 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).

Chapters and Articles

  • From Perpetrator to Cold War Pawn: The Atrocities and Trial of Heinz Barth” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 29, 3 (Winter 2015): 374-399.
  • “Participatory Repression? Reflections on Popular Involvement with the Stasi” Bulletin of the German Historical Institute. Supplement 9 (2014): 47-58
  • "A Protestant revolution? The role of the church in East Germany in 1989 at the grassroots" Sfera Politicii 142 (December 2009): 17-23.
  • "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).
  • 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.

Awards and achievements