Department of History
- Richard Breitman received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is author or co-author of ten books and many articles in German history, U.S. history, and the Holocaust. Apart from his latest book, FDR and the Jews, co-authored with Allan J. Lichtman, he is best known for The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (Knopf 1991) and Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew (Hill and Wang, 1998). He served as director of historical research for the Nazi War Criminal Records and Imperial Japanese Records Interagency Working Group, which helped to bring about declassification of more than eight million pages of U.S. government records under a 1998 law. He is editor of the scholarly journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He is Distinguished Professor in History at American University.
DegreesPhD, Harvard University
MA, Yale University
BA, Yale College
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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- Phi Beta Kappa (Yale)
- Graduation Honors, Highest Distinction in History and Political Science and Summa cum Laude (Yale)
- Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Fellowship 1987
- Merit of Distinction Award, Center for Holocaust Studies, Anti-Defamation League for Breaking the Silence
- Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History for The Architect of Genocide
- Finalist, National Jewish Book Award, 1999 for Holocaust Studies, for Official Secrets
- Honorary Degree, (Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa), Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, 1999
- Who’s Who in America
- Ina Levine Invitational Scholar, U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2005-06.
- German History in Documents and Images: Nazi Germany (1933-45) (e-book available at http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_docs.cfm?section_id=13
- Richard Breitman, Barbara McDonald Stewart, and Severin Hochberg, eds., Advocate for the Doomed: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald, 1932-35, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.
- Richard Breitman, Norman J. W. Goda, and Timothy Naftali, U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, Washington, D. C.: The National Archives Trust Fund for the Nazi War Criminals Records Interagency Working Group, 2004.
- Ausbildungsziel Judenmord?: Weltanschauliche Erziehung von SS, Polizei, und Waffen-SS im Rahmen der ‘Endlösung’, ed. Ju?rgen Matthäus Ju?rgen Förster, Konrad Kwiet and Richard Breitman (Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2003).
- Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew (New York: Hill and Wang/Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1998).
- The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.
- Richard Breitman and Alan Kraut, American Refugee Policy and European Jewry, 1933-1945, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.
- Walter Laqueur and Richard Breitman, Breaking the Silence, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986.
- German Socialism and Weimar Democracy, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981.
AU News and Achievements
College of Arts and Sciences Honors Retiring Faculty
Seven distinguished faculty members retire after long careers at AU....
Two History Faculty Named Distinguished Professors
Professors Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman are chosen as AU Distinguished Professors....
'Hitler’s Shadow' Shows How War Criminals Escaped Justice
Coauthored by Richard Breitman, “Hitler’s Shadow” is based on newly declassified government documents....