The Fischer Controversy 50 years on


Download the programme in PDF format [Updated 9 October, 43 KB]

Fritz Fischer - photo book cover



Thursday 13 October 2011

Registration from 1.00 pm

Welcome (Andreas Gestrich) and
Opening Introduction (John Röhl and Annika Mombauer)


1.45 – 3.15
Panel 1: Reflections on a Controversy

Chair: Richard Evans

Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann: The political and historical significance of the Fischer Controversy

Geoff Eley: The historiographical ramifications of the Fischer Controversy

3.15 – 3.45   Tea Break

3.45 – 5.45
Panel 2: International Reactions to the Fischer Controversy

Chair: James Retallack

John Keiger: French reactions to the Fischer controversy, and French views on the origins of the war 50 years on

Joshua Sanborn:  Russian historiography on the origins of the war since the Fischer controversy

Matthew Stibbe: The Fischer Controversy in the GDR

5.45 – 6.15:   Tea Break

6.15 – 8.00  
Round Table Discussion:
The Insiders’ views of the Fischer Controversy

Chair: Andreas Gestrich

Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann, Helmut Bley, Bernd Sösemann, Gerd Krumeich

8.00  Conference reception at the GHI


Friday 14 October 2011

9.00 -10.30
Panel 3: New Evidence on the Decisions for War

Chair: Dominic Lieven

Günther Kronenbitter: New Light on Austria-Hungary’s decision for war in 1914

Bruce Menning: Russian Intelligence during the July Crisis

10.30 -11.00   Tea Break 

11.00 – 1.00
Panel 4: New Evidence on the Decisions for War

Chair:  Alan Kramer

John C. G. Röhl:  War Premeditated? The “War Council” of 8 December 1912 revisited

Annika Mombauer: New Evidence on the Immediate Origins of the War: International documents

Stig Förster: Staatskunst und Kriegshandwerk: Bethmann Hollweg and the coming of the First World War

1.00 – 2.00    Lunch 

2.00 – 4.00 
Panel 5: The war aims of the Central and Entente Powers

Chair: Thomas Otte

Holger Afflerbach: The war aims of the Central Powers

Keith Neilson: British aims in the First World War

David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye: Tsarist Russia’s war aims

 4.00 -4.30  Tea Break

4.30 – 6.30
Panel 6: German Auskreisung or Einkreisung?

Chair:  David Stevenson

Frank NäglerAuskreisung? The Anglo-German Antagonism and the Tirpitz Plan

Matthew Seligmann: The Royal Navy and the German Threat: The Trade Defence Dimension

Andreas Rose: “The Committee of Four“ – The „Blue Funk School“, the C.I.D., and the Myth of the German Peril (1906–1909)

8.00   Dinner (at a nearby restaurant, at delegates’ own expense)

Saturday 15 October 2011

9.00 – 11.00:
Panel 7: New Evidence on the Decision for War

Chair: Frank Müller

Christopher Clark: Serbia and the coming of war in 1914

Stefan Schmidt: French decision-making in July 1914 and French war aims

Christopher Duggan: Italy’s decision against and for war, and Italy’s war aims
11.00 – 11.30   Tea Break

11.30 – 1.00
Panel 8: Revolutionisation in Russia and the Middle East

Chair: Kathy Lerman

Jennifer Jenkins:   Jihad or Nationalist Uprising? Germany’s ‘Programme for Revolution’ in the Middle East

John W. Steinberg: The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk from the Soviet perspective

1.00 – 2.00   Lunch

2.00 – 3.30 
Panel 9: The First World War in the 20th century

Chair:  Jost Dülffer

Gerhard Hirschfeld: Continuities? From the First to the Second World War

Jonathan Steinberg: Final reflections on the Fischer controversy

Hew Strachan: Summary Remarks

3.30  End of conference



The Open University

German Historical Institute London 

The Journal of Contemporary History

Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.