Rebecca Wittmann

Associate Professor, Department of History
Affiliated Faculty, Centre for European and Eurasian Studies
Rebecca Wittmann

Areas of interest

  • Holocaust and postwar Germany
  • Trials of Nazi perpetrators and terrorists
  • German legal history
  • Modern Europe



Rebecca Wittmann (PhD University of Toronto) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the Holocaust and postwar Germany, trials of Nazi perpetrators and terrorists, and German legal history; her most recent work looks at generational memory and shame. She has received fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). She has published articles in Central European History, German History, and Lessons and Legacies. Her book, Beyond Justice: The Auschwitz Trial (Harvard University Press, 2005) won the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History. Her edited volume, The Eichmann Trial Reconsidered, has recently been published with the University of Toronto Press. She is currently working on her second monograph entitled Guilt and Shame through the Generations: Confronting the Past in Postwar Germany. 


Select publications



  • "Legitimating the Criminal State: Former Nazi Judges on the Stand at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial," in Lessons and Legacies VI: New Currents in Holocaust Research, ed. Jeffry Diefendorf. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, forthcoming, spring 2004.
  • "Indicting Auschwitz? The Paradox of the Auschwitz Trial," German History 21, no. 4 (2003), 505-32.
  • "Telling the Story: Survivor Testimony and the Narration of the Holocaust," GHI Bulletin no. 32, spring 2003, 93-101.
  • "The Wheels of Justice Turn Slowly: The Pre-Trial Investigations of the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, 1963-1965." Central European History 35, no. 3 (2002), 345-78.

Review Article

  • "Germany Confrontation with the Past: Recent Books on Political, Cultural, and Educational Vergangenheitsbewältigung," upon invitation for German History, forthcoming, 2004.

Book Reviews

  • Die Verfolgung von NS-Tätern im Geteilten Deutschland: Vergangenheitsbewältigung 1949-1969, oder: Eine Deutsch-Deutsche Bezeihungsgeschichte im Kalten Krieg, by Annette Weinke, in German Studies Review, vol. XXVII, no.2 (May 2004), 423-4 .
  • The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust, by Lawrence Douglas, in Ethics and International Affairs 17, no. 1 (2003), 170-2.
  • War Stories: The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany, by Robert Moeller, in Ethics and International Affairs 15, no. 2 (2001), 154-7.
  • The Third Reich Between Vision and Reality: New Perspectives on German History 1918-1945 Hans Mommsen, ed., in German Studies Review, vol. XXV, no. 3 (October 2002), 605-6.