Friends of the GHI

Supporting the activities of the German Historical Institute Washington since 1991.

The Friends of the German Historical Institute (FGHI) were founded by a group of American historians in 1991 to support the activities of the German Historical Institute.

The Friends serve as a link between the North American scholarly community and the GHI. The organization helps fund projects and initiatives that fall beyond the GHI's operating budget. The support provided by the Friends helps make possible many of the GHI's programs for young scholars and graduate students, its public events, and its teaching resource projects.

Programs supported by the Friends

The Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize & Annual Symposium

The Friends award the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize each year for the best doctoral dissertation completed at North American universities on a theme in German history, German-American relations, or the history of Germans in North America. The Prize is named for Fritz Stern, Professor Emeritus and former Provost of Columbia University. Fritz Stern is an internationally recognized historian of modern Germany and a longstanding advocate of closer relations between Germany and the United States. Each year's winner is invited to present his or her research at the annual symposium of the Friends of the German Historical Institute.  

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Gerald D. Feldman Lecture

The Friends fund an annual lecture as a memorial to Gerald D. Feldman (1937-2007), who taught history at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a founder of the Friends, serving as Chairman of the Board from 2002 until his death. During his lifetime, he contributed significantly to the transatlantic historical dialogue, and the annual lecture serves to bring to the public important new ideas in this field presented by major historians following in Professor Feldman’s  footsteps. You can learn more about past Feldman Lectures by using the filter on our events page.

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German History in Documents and Images

German History in Documents and Images (GHDI) is a comprehensive collection of original historical materials documenting German history from the beginning of the early modern period to the present. The project comprises ten sections, each of which addresses a discrete period in Germany's history. Each section has been compiled by one or two leading scholars and includes: an introduction to key developments in Germany's social, political, and cultural history during the period; a selection of primary source documents (in German and English) originating from the period; a selection of images originating from or relating to the period; a selection of relevant maps.

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Anti-Nazi Resistance Project

The German Historical Institute and the Friends of the GHI are pleased to announce an important new project on the German resistance to Hitler that has been made possible by a generous gift from Judith and Horst von Oppenfeld. The von Oppenfeld gift will be used to publish a collection of documents on the anti-Nazi resistance in English translation. The collection will be the first to make primary source materials covering the entire anti-Nazi spectrum available to students. It will include the central documents pertaining to the Stauffenberg circle, working-class groups, religious activists, and student groups. The project will be overseen by Prof. Peter Hoffmann of McGill University, one of the leading experts on the German resistance. Donations like the von Oppenfelds' enable the GHI to undertake projects that would not otherwise be possible. The GHI and the Friends are very grateful to Judith and Horst von Oppenfeld for their remarkable generosity.

Michael Olshausen GDR Programs

From 2014 to 2018, the Friends sponsored a series of events bringing together contemporary witnesses and historians from the former GDR. The events were all made possible through a special bequest made by long-time Friends supporter Micheal Olshausen.

Board Members

The Friends are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose officers include representatives of the American Historical Association, The Central European History Society, the German Studies Association, and the Society for German-American Studies.



Kenneth Ledford (Case Western Reserve University)

Senior Vice President

Geoffrey Giles (University of Florida)


Carl-Henry Geschwind



Tiffany Florvil, University of New Mexico; Philipp Gassert (ex officio), University of Mannheim; Eva Giloi, Rutgers University-Newark; Cora Lee Kluge, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kenneth Ledford (Chairman), Case Western Reserve University; Margaret Menninger, Texas State University; Yair Minzker (Secretary/Treasurer), Princeton University; Andrea Orzoff, New Mexico State University; William Petig, Stanford University; Emily Swafford, University of Michigan


Former Members

  • Celia Applegate, University of Rochester
  • Jay W. Baird, Miami University
  • David Barclay, Kalamazoo College
  • David Blackbourn, Vanderbilt University
  • Allan G. Bogue, University of Wisconsin
  • James Brophy, University of Delaware
  • Roger Chickering, Georgetown University
  • Kathleen N. Conzen, University of Chicago
  • Marion Deshmukh, George Mason University †
  • Astrid M. Eckert, Emory University
  • Catherine Epstein, Amherst College
  • Gerald D. Feldman, University of California at Berkeley †
  • Henry Friedlander, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
  • Geoffrey J. Giles, University of Florida
  • Anna von der Goltz, Georgetown University
  • Norman A. Graebner, Charlottesville
  • Daniel Hammer, Historical New Orleans Collections
  • James Harris, University of Maryland at College Park
  • Donna Harsch, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Giles Hoyt, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Isabel Hull, Cornell University
  • Konrad H. Jarausch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Peter Jelavich, Johns Hopkins University
  • Arnita Jones, American Historical Association
  • Walter D. Kamphoefner, Texas A&M University
  • Michael H. Kater, York University
  • Dane Kennedy, George Washington University
  • Gerald R. Kleinfeld, German Studies Association
  • Vernon L. Lidtke, Johns Hopkins University
  • Mary Lindemann, University of Miami
  • Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University
  • Elizabeth Midgley, Washington, DC
  • Jonathan Petropoulos, Claremont McKenna College
  • Sandra Rebok, Independent Scholar
  • James Retallack, University of Toronto
  • LaVern J. Rippley, St. Olaf College
  • Katherine Roper, St. Mary's College
  • Steven Rowan, University of Missouri–St. Louis
  • Dennis E. Showalter, Colorado College
  • Ronald M. Smelser, University of Utah
  • Don Heinrich Tolzmann, University of Cincinnati
  • Lee Palmer Wandel, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Angela Zimmerman, George Washington University
  • Manfred Zimmermann, University of Cincinnati


The Friends depends on the contributions of generous supporters of its work. Please consider supporting the Friends with a donation. You can mail your contribution to:

Friends of the GHI
c/o German Historical Institute
1607 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington DC 20009-2562


We are grateful to the following persons who made donations in 2023:




Eva Giloi, Cora Lee Kluge, Kenneth Ledford, William E. Petig, and Emily Swafford


Michael Brabanski, Carl-Henry Geschwind, and Geoffrey Giles