Götz Aly

Götz Aly Haydar ( Heidelberg , May 3, 1947) is a specialist in political science , historian and journalist German . His research interests include euthanasia , the Holocaust , the economic policy of the dictatorship Nazi and anti – Semitism of centuries XIX and XX .


He is a descendant of kammertürke Note 1 Prussian Friedrich Aly and grandson of a philologist Wolfgang Aly . He went to school and gymnasium in Heidelberg (1954-1956), Leonberg (1956-1962) and Munich (1962-1967); In the gym Kurt Huber of this city obtained its Abitur . Between 1967 and 1968 he attended the German School of Journalism in Munich. Then until 1971 he studied history and political science at the Free University of Berlin . 1

Simultaneously to its university studies it was an active member of the student movement . He was elected in the summer of 1970 student representative of the faculty council of the Otto Suhr Institute for the so-called Sozialistischen Arbeitskollektive . In 1971 he was part of the founders and editors of the newspaper Hochschulkampf. Kampfblatt des Initiativkomitees der Roten Zellen in West-Berlin . He participated on June 24, 1971 with the Red Cells in the violent eruption in the seminar of Professor Alexander Schwan . From the beginning of the year 1972 until the middle of the year 1973 was part of the association Red Help .

After graduating in political science he began to work from the year 1973 like director in a youth club in Spandau . He received his doctorate in 1978 with Reinhart Wolff and Wolf-Dieteren Narr science social and economic with work on their experience in Spandau. Between 1981 and 1983, and between 1991 and 1993, he worked as interior policy editor on the newly created daily die tageszeitung . From 1997 until 2001 he was editor-in-chief of the Berliner Zeitung . Between these intervals he wrote sporadically for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , the Süddeutsche Zeitung , Die Zeit and Der Spiegel .

Götz Aly in the year 2014.

In October 1982 he applied for an habilitation scholarship with the theme Die Entwicklung wissenschaftlicher Maßstäbe zur Begutachtung und Tötung behinderter deutscher Kinder in den Jahren 1939-1945. Vorschlag zur Aufhelung eines Tabus ( The development of scientific norms for the evaluation and killing of disabled German children between 1939 and 1945. Proposal for the clarification of a taboo ) at the German Research Foundation (DFG). 2 His interest in these murders was aroused when his daughter suffered encephalitis at birth with cerebral sequelae. The DFG rejected the request, since contemporary historians Eberhard Jäckel and Karl Dietrich Bracher , while approving the subject of the study, doubted Aly’s technical qualification. 2 The third examiner, political scientist Klaus Jürgen Gantzel , certified on the contrary that Aly possessed an innovative potential researcher who should be supported. In the following years Götz Aly promoted, along with Klaus Dörner , Ernst Klee and Karl Heinz Roth , the investigation of the murders of patients during National Socialism . Between 1984 and 1992 he edited the first ten volumes of Beiträge zur nationalsozialistischen Gesundheits- und Sozialpolitik ; between 1985 and 1988 he led the project Täterbiografien at the Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung .

In 1994 he obtained a degree in political science from the Otto Suhr Institute of the Free University of Berlin. After being invited professor Vienna and Salzburg , between 2004 and 2006 he was invited for an interdisciplinary research of the Holocaust in Professor Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt . In 2006 he was appointed member of the council of the foundation of the Jewish Museum of Berlin by the president of the republic Horst Köhler . 3 In the winter semester of 2012 and 2013 he held the position of guest lecturer “Sir Peter Ustinov ” at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte of the University of Vienna .


Investigation of the nacionalsocialismo

At first his main research topic was the history of the Holocaust. The trigger for this interest was extensive research on euthanasia during the Third Reich that was held in Hamburg in 1981. In 1991 he published together with Susanne Heim book Vordenker der Vernichtung , where the authors believe that the origin of the holocaust was due for reasons demographic and economic . Around this book a debate was triggered, which was reflected especially in the anthology, also published in 1991, edited by Wolfgang Schneider Vernichtungspolitik . Some authors, especially Ulrich Herbert or Norbert Frei , criticized the theses and methodology of Aly and Heim.

In contrast, his 1995 book Endlösung , which includes the Holocaust within the policies of resettlement of the Nazis and where it uses new sources, was well accepted by authors such as Hans Mommsen or Raul Hilberg . However, his work appeared in 2005, Hitlers Volksstaat , again generated controversy in specialized circles.

Between 2002 and 2010 he was one of the editors of the 16 volume work Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933-1945 . The project was financed by the DFG with about 250,000 euros per volume, 4 at the moment the most expensive humanistic project in which the foundation participated.

He made controversial statements during a press conference on the occasion of an exhibition on colonialism , Die Dritte Welt im Zweiten Weltkrieg , which recognized the people of the colonies who had helped liberate Germany during World War II . Aly criticized those in charge of the exhibition of minimizing the issue of collaboration with the Nazi regime: he defined Mahatma Gandhi as “one of the best friends of the Nazis” and soldiers of color as “liberating servants” who actually owed Have an interest in the defeat of their colonial masters. He also said he could report ” rapes in every village in southern West Germany carried out by black soldiers,” which would have devastated “not unlike the Russians .” 5 Dennis Goodwin, a representative of the British veterans , said in The Daily Telegraph newspaper that Aly’s claims made no sense. 6

In his 2011 book Warum die Deutschen? Warum die Juden? It argues that the Holocaust was central motif of social envy that had the Germans to the Jews, which began with the industrialization in the nineteenth century .

In 2013 published Die Belasteten , describing the murder ( “euthanasia”) of about 200 000 people as a “secret publicly known.” He pointed to behaviors as well as those of physicians, for whom those deaths were a therapeutic routine, as were the reformist goals, so that those deaths had taken place.

Criticism of the 1968 revolution

In his book of the year 2008 Unser Kampf 1968 – ein irritierter Blick zurück , Aly analyzes the reaction of the opposition to the German student movement of the 1960s . Turn to the archives of the authorities and the current reactions of people like Joseph Ratzinger , Ernst Fraenkel and Richard Löwenthal . He comes to the conclusion that the equivalent of the 1968 revolution of his parents – called by the National Revolution of 1933 – had been very similar. 7

Aly listed the evidence which supported his thesis: the anti-bourgeois momentum, the tendency to violence, anti – Americanism , the anti – Semitism latent and masking criticism despots left. May 68 was not the solution of the problems of totalitarianism , but part of them. Nor was it the trigger for the liberation of morals and customs, since this was a process that had already begun in the 1950s .

The book of Aly provoked an intense discussion on the foundations of May of the 68. The historian Norbert Frei manifested itself on the comparison of Aly between the generations of 68 and of 1933; He felt that was totally exaggerated exposure from a point of view historiographical . According to him, the comparison of both generations serves “only to provocation, not to historical knowledge”. 8 Rudolf Walther reproached Aly for his assimilation of the 68 students with the National Socialist students, based on superficial similarities. Similarly argued Wolfgang Kraushaar in his reply Hitlers Kinder? Eine Antwort auf Götz Aly .


  • 2002 Heinrich Mann Award 1
  • 2003 Award Marion Samuel 1
  • 2007 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2012 Ludwig Börne Award


  • Wofür wirst du eigentlich bezahlt? Möglichkeiten praktischer Erzieherarbeit zwischen Ausflippen und Anpassung (1978)
  • Staatliche Jugendpflege und Lebensbedürfnisse von Jugendlichen. Eine kritische Analyze der Arbeit des Amtes für Jugendpflege (Jug VI) der Abteilung Jugend und Sport des Bezirksamts Spandau von Berlin in den Jahren 1972-1977 (1978)
  • Together with Monika Aly and Morlind Tumler: Kopfkorrektur oder Der Zwang gesund zu sein (1981)
  • Next to Karl Heinz Roth : Die restlose Erfassung. Volkszählen, Identifizieren, Aussondern im Nationalsozialismus (1984)
  • Together with Peter Chroust and Hans-Dieter Heilmann: Biedermann und Schreibtischtäter. Materialien zur deutschen Täter- Biographie (1987)
  • Aktion T4 1939-1945. Die “Euthanasie” -Zentrale in der Tiergartenstraße 4 (1989)
  • Together with Susanne Heim: Vordenker der Vernichtung. Auschwitz und die deutschen Pläne für eine neue europäische Ordnung (1991)
  • Demontage …: Revolutionärer oder restaurativer Bildersturm? (1992)
  • Together with Susanne Heim: Das Zentrale Staatsarchiv in Moskau (“Sonderarchiv”). Rekonstruktion und Bestandsverzeichnis verschollen geglaubten Schriftguts aus der NS-Zeit (1992)
  • “Endlösung”. Völkerverschiebung und der Mord an den europäischen Juden (1999)
  • Macht, Geist, Wahn. Kontinuitäten deutschen Denkens (1997)
  • Rasse und Klasse. Nachforschungen zum deutschen Wesen (2003)
  • Next to Christian Gerlach : Das letzte Kapitel. Der Mord an den ungarischen Juden 1944-1945 (2004)
  • Im tunnel. Das kurze Leben der Marion Samuel 1931-1943 (2004)
  • Hitlers Volksstaat. Raub, Rassenkrieg und nationaler Sozialismus (2005)
  • Volkes Stimme. Skepsis und Führervertrauen im Nationalsozialismus (2006, editor)
  • Along with Michael Sontheimer : Fromms – Wie der jüdische Kondomfabrikant Julius F. unter die deutschen Räuber faithful (2007)
  • Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933-1945, Bd. 1: Deutsches Reich 1933-1937 (2007)
  • Unser Kampf 1968 – ein irritierter Blick zurück (2008)
  • Warum die Deutschen? Warum die Juden? – Gleichheit, Neid und Rassenhass 1800-1933 (2011)
  • Die Belasteten. > Euthanasia <1939-1945. Eine Gesellschaftsgeschichte (2013)
  • Volk ohne Mitte. Die Deutschen zwischen Freiheitsangst und Kollektivismus (2015)


  1. Back to top↑ Kammertürke was a position of the nobility in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c Fritz Bauer Institut. «Gastprofessur» (in German) . Retrieved on March 23, 2015 .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Freimüller, T. (March 7, 2013). ‘Mord mit Komplizen’ . Die Zeit (in German) .
  3. Back to top↑ Berliner Morgenpost (August 18, 2006). ‘Götz Aly im Rat des Jüdischen Museums’ (in German) .
  4. Back to top↑ Schulz, B. (January 25, 2008). «Alltag der Entrechtung» . Der Tagesspiegel (in German) .
  5. Back to top↑ Posener, A. (September 4, 2009). ‘Götz Aly platzt im Faschismus-Streit der Kragen’ . Die Welt (in German) .
  6. Back to top↑ Wroe, D. (September 4, 2009). ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ was one of Nazis ‘greatest friends’ German historian claims ” . The Telegraph (in English) .
  7. Back to top↑ Schuster, J. (March 22, 2011). ‘Warum Götz Aly nicht Professor werden darf’ . Die Welt (in German) .
  8. Back to top↑ Der Freitag (March 20, 2008). ‘Der Sündenstolz auf die eigene Geschichte’ (in German) .