AJ Solovy

PhD Candidate

Late Modern Europe

I am a historian of modern Europe focusing on twentieth-century Germany and Austria. My research engages with right-wing extremism, the Holocaust and its legacy, and democratization. I am currently writing a dissertation entitled “Nazis After Hitler: A History of SS Members in the Postwar World.” This study documents the lives of ex-Nazis after Germany’s defeat in 1945 through the early twenty-first century. Rather than focusing on how ex-Nazis evaded prosecution and hid their Nazi pasts, the dissertation breaks new ground by tracing the postwar experiences of those considered elite within the Nazi apparatus: SS members. In identifying how former SS men experienced defeat and democracy, and how they retrospectively viewed their activities during the Nazi era, my dissertation makes a twofold contribution: it reveals what was attractive about National-Socialism to its committed followers in the first place and reflects on the tenacity of illiberal ideologies within the context of liberal democracy. The dissertation takes the German Federal Republic and Austria as its main geographic focus. However, I show that the SS—which recruited its members from across Europe—became an even more transnational network in the postwar era, as its members dispersed across the globe following the Third Reich’s collapse.

I maintain an additional research interest in the history of medicine, specifically eugenics, race science, and psychiatry.

Research Interests:

Modern Europe; Central Europe; Fascism; The Extreme Right; European Jewish History; Holocaust Studies; Genocide; Racism and Anti-Semitism; Cultural History; Transnational History.


MA in History, University of Vienna (2018)

BA in History and English, Williams College (2015)