About – Directors


The research project and digital archive is directed by:

Maria Höhn, Marion Musser Lloyd ’32 Professor in History and International Studies, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Maria Höhn, who teaches German history at Vassar College, is an established scholar of the American military presence in Germany, and her book, GIs and Fräuleins, published in 2002 by the University of North Carolina Press, was the first book ever to address the experiences of black soldiers in Germany. A German translation of her book Amis, Cadillacs, und “Negerliebchen”: GIs im Nachkriegsdeutschland was published with Verlag Berlin-Brandenburg in 2008. Together with Seungsook Moon, she has co-authored and co-edited Over There: Living with The U.S. Military Empire from World War Two to the Present, which explores the impact of U.S. military bases on gender and race relations in West Germany, South Korea, and Japan (Duke, 2010).

As a result of her ongoing research project on African-American GIs and civil rights in Germany, she has published numerous essays in both Germany and the U.S. These essays explore how African-American GIs stationed in Germany enunciated their demands for civil rights, and how both German and American society responded to those demands. She has also published essays that deleve into German and American debates on interracial marriages, and on the political collaboration between German student radicals and Black Panther GIs during the late 1960s and the early 1970s. She is a past recipient of an NEH Faculty Humanities Grant, and other prestigious fellowships.

Höhn is the winner of this year’s DAAD/GSA prize for the best article in the German Studies Review for her contribution, “The Black Panther Solidarity Committees and the Voice of the Lumpen” (German Studies Review 31, no. 1 (February 2008): 133-154).

Martin Klimke, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Martin Klimke is an associate professor of history at New York University Abu Dhabi. In addition, he is an affiliated researcher at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) at the University of Heidelberg and in Transatlantic Cultural History (TCH) at the University of Augsburg, Germany. His 2005 dissertation The Other Alliance: Global Protest and Student Unrest in West Germany and the U.S., 1962-1972 was awarded the prestigious Ruprecht-Karls Prize for best doctoral thesis at Heidelberg University in 2006, which was published by Princeton University Press in January 2010. Klimke has been working extensively in the area of transnational history and social movements and has published numerous articles on processes of cultural transfer and global protest networks. He is the co-editor of the publication series Protest, Culture and Society (Berghahn Books, New York/Oxford) and, among others, 1968 in Europe: A History of Protest and Activism, 1956-77 (New York/London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). From 2006-2010, he was the director and coordinator of the international Marie-Curie project European Protest Movements since 1945, which is supported by the European Commission.

Klimke’s research focuses on the intersection of political and cultural history, with a particular emphasis on diplomatic and transnational history. He has published essays on the transnational dimension of the African-American civil rights movement, Black Power in Germany in the 1960/70s, and has co-edited Blacks and Germans, German Blacks: Germany and the Black Diaspora, 1450-1914 (forthcoming), which explores the changing processes of interaction and perception between people of African descent and German-speaking parts of Europe from the eleventh century to the beginning of World War I.

He is currently working on the nuclear crisis and the Cold War of the 1980s, and is writing a transnational biography of Petra Kelly, international peace activist and co-founder of the German Green Party.

Höhn and Klimke also wrote a history of the experience of African-American soldiers, activists and intellectuals in Germany in the twentieth century entitled A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African-American GIs, and Germany (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

For further information, please download our flyer or see www.breathoffreedom.org.