masthead
Richards Olafs Plavnieks

Richards Olafs Plavnieks


EDUCATION

● BA (History Major, German Minor): Stetson University, 2004

● MA (History): University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008

● Ph.D. (Modern German History, Eastern European History and Gender Studies subfields), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013

PUBLICATIONS

● Nazi Collaborators on Trial During the Cold War: Viktors Arājs and the Latvian Auxiliary Security Police. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. ISBN: 978-3319576718. https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9783319576718

● Review of: Anton Weiss-Wendt. On the Margins: Essays on the History of Jews in Estonia. Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2017. Pp. 312. (Yad Vashem Studies, expected).   

● “Justice Behind Propaganda: Soviet Prosecutions of the Men of the Arajs Kommando.” Latvijas Vēstures Institūta Žurnāls. 2015: Issue 4 (97). December 2015.

● Review of: Patrick Montague. Chelmno and the Holocaust: The History of Hitler’s First Death Camp. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012. Pp. 291. (Fall 2014, H-Net) 

● “The Pursuit, Prosecution, and Punishment of the Latvian War Criminal Viktors Arājs.” Yad Vashem Studies. Volume 40:2, December 2012.

PAPERS PRESENTED

● “'No man unless he has the morals of a fascist...' An East German Prosecution for Crimes Against Humanity: The Case of Stanislavs Steins. Berlin, 1977-1979.”

Paper presented at a Fellows’ Meeting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. 2 February 2011

● “A Total Fluke: The Pursuit, Prosecution, and Punishment of the Latvian War Criminal Viktors Arājs.”

Paper presented at the 3rd Annual Summer Workshop for Holocaust Scholars of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. 4 – 12 July 2010

● “Relinquished Past: The Destruction of the Baltic German Ethnic Community.”

Paper presented at the Second Annual Southeastern German Studies Conference, Columbia, South Carolina. 5 – 6 May 2009

PUBLIC LECTURES

● “Belonging with the West: The Importance of the Honest Study of Latvian History at the Present Geopolitical Moment.”

Public Lecture delivered to the Washington, D.C., Association of Latvian Fraternities and Sororities. 12 August 2017

● “Mastering the 20th Century Latvian Past: Historicizing Problems in the Latvian Confrontation of Complicity in the Holocaust.”

Public Lecture delivered to the Washington, D.C., Association of Latvian Fraternities and Sororities. 16 January 2016

● “Perjury, the Public, and the Passport: The U.S. Government’s 'Nazi Hunters' and the Judicial Aftermath of the Holocaust on American Shores.”

Public lecture delivered as part of the Uhlman Family Seminar “New Directions in Holocaust Research.” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 13 April 2013

HONORS

● Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, October 2010 – May 2011

● Recipient, Holocaust Claims Conference Academic Fellowship for Advanced Shoah Studies, September 2009 – August 2011










Research Interests

Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Baltic Studies, Postwar International Law, Modern Europe.

Courses

Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
50445 EUH2001 Western Civilization Ⅱ Face2Face B M,Tu,W,Th 12:00PM - 1:50PM Unavailable
No Description Available
51037 EUH3281 2nd World War & Rebirth Europe Face2Face A M,Tu,W,Th 12:00PM - 1:50PM Unavailable
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
91069 EUH3235 Romanticism and Realism Face2Face M,W,F 2:30PM - 3:20PM Available

This is a course about Germany’s long 19th Century. As such, it presents a survey of modern German history from the Enlightenment to the establishment of Germany’s first, ill-fated, democracy in 1919. The course is also organized around a number of tensions that continue to define the history and historiography of modern Germany: liberalization and reaction; cosmopolitanism and nationalism; anti-interventionism and imperialism; multiculturalism and xenophobia; and pacifism and militarism. The objective of the course is to explore the question of Germany’s supposed “Special Path” and complicate notions about the origins and inevitability of Adolf Hitler and National Socialism.



81937 EUH3281 2nd World War & Rebirth Europe Face2Face M,W 7:30PM - 8:45PM Available

This is a course about Europe’s 20th Century. The first half of that century twice nearly destroyed European civilization, reaching its crescendo amid firebombing and crematoria, with Nazi Germany at its heart. The second half of the century saw the reconstruction of two Europes, irreconcilably divided, now auxiliaries of the wars’ real victors: the United States and the Soviet Union, representing two different models of political, social, and economic organization. Yet during the Cold War and ever since, the European Union and its antecedents have endeavored to do more than rebuild: to construct the world’s leading exemplar of liberal democracy and social welfare. Understanding the origins of today’s Europe and the implications of the past century for Europe’s future is this course’s objective.


91067 HIS4150 History and Historians Face2Face M,W 4:30PM - 5:45PM Available

This is a course about the historiography of the Holocaust – that is, about the arguments that historians have had about various aspects of this event over the seven decades since it took place. Our task will be three-fold: first, to acquaint ourselves with this vital and morbid subject in history through lecture; second, to gain an appreciation of the process by which history is studied, written, and debated through lecture and through our text; and third, for each student to independently explore in detail a discrete compartment of the accumulated historiography through research and to communicate the findings orally to peers and in formal composition.



Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
10635 EUH2001 Western Civilization Ⅱ Face2Face M,W,F 12:30PM - 1:20PM Available

The purpose of this course is to broadly acquaint the student with the modern history of Western Civilization. The basic historical narrative is illustrated in terms of the following features: the rise of and competition between centralized states; political and economic modernization; liberalism, nationalism, and socialism; imperialism; scientific racism, Communism, and totalitarian ideologies; genocide; decolonization; European supranationalism; the Cold War; and neoliberalism, civil society, and issues confronting the West in the uncertain world of today.

11418 EUH4465 Hitler's Third Reich Face2Face M,W,F 9:30AM - 10:20AM Available

While it is tempting to witness the demonic in Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, it is a fact that the Führer and his followers were human and their power and the abuses and atrocities they committed with it required no supernatural intervention. The aim of the course is to place them intelligibly within German, European, Western, Christian, and Modern history, and confront them as indelible features of our shared human condition.

The first half of the course explains the origins, rise to power, and peacetime behavior of Nazi Germany with special emphasis on Germany’s historical development before the First World War; the trauma of that war; the weaknesses of the Versailles peace; the distinctiveness of Nazi ideology; the perceived threat posed by the Communist idea; the collusion of the Old Right with the New; xenophobic ethno-nationalism and the persecution of minorities, with special focus on anti-Semitism and its various iterations; the consolidation and increasing assertiveness of the Nazi German regime domestically and in the international arena; and the inadequacy of the response of the liberal democracies to the menace that it posed – developments that resulted in the Second World War.

The second half of the course concerns itself with the Second World War and the Holocaust, with special emphasis on the relationship between the two. It traces German military fortunes through the first few years of Blitzkrieg and easy victories to the last bitter hours of the Götterdämmerung. Simultaneously, it examines the groping steps, experimentation, and improvisation which culminated in the industrial-scale murder of the European Jews.

The course will conclude with reflections on National Socialism, the Second World War, and the Holocaust and their staggering aftermath.

11568 HIS4150 History and Historians Face2Face M,W 4:30PM - 5:45PM Available

This is a course about the historiography of the Holocaust – that is, about the arguments that historians have had about various aspects of this event over the seven decades since it took place. Our task will be threefold: first, to acquaint ourselves with this vital and morbid subject in history through lecture; second, to gain an appreciation of the process by which history is studied, written, and debated through lecture and through our text; and third, for each student to independently explore in detail a discrete compartment of the accumulated historiography through research and to communicate the findings orally to peers and in formal composition.

No courses found for Summer 2018.

No courses found for Fall 2018.

No courses found for Spring 2019.

Updated: Jan 7, 2018