Bernard Wasserstein

Bernard Wasserstein (born 22 January 1948 in London) is a British historian.


Wasserstein's father, Abraham Wasserstein (1921-1995), born in Frankfurt, was Professor of Classics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His mother, Margaret (née Ecker, 1921-2017), was born in Budapest.[1] He was educated at the High School of Glasgow and Wyggeston Boys' Grammar School, Leicester. He earned a BA in Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford in 1969 and a DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford in 1974. In 2001 he was awarded the 'advanced research degree' of DLitt by Oxford University. His brother, David J. Wasserstein, is Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His sister, Celia Wasserstein-Fassberg, is Professor of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Wasserstein was a Research Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford (1973-5). He taught at the University of Sheffield (1976-9) and Brandeis University in Massachusetts (1980-96), where he was Professor of History and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He was President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (1996-2000) and Fellow by Special Election of St Cross College, Oxford. He was Professor of History at the University of Glasgow (2000-2003). From 2003 to 2014 he was Ulrich and Harriet Meyer Professor of Modern European Jewish History at the University of Chicago. He was a visiting fellow of the Institutes of Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in Uppsala, All Souls College, Oxford, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007-8 and has also held fellowships of the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for Humanities. In 2015-16 he was Allianz Visiting Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Munich. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He was a member of the London executive of the Leo Baeck Institute (1997-2003), President of the Jewish Historical Society of England (2000-2002), and is currently a board member of the Menasseh ben Israel Institute, Amsterdam. In the spring of 2019 he was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv. His books have been translated into French, German, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hungarian, and Dutch. Now an emeritus professor of the University of Chicago, Wasserstein is retired from teaching but continues to engage in historical research and writing.

Wasserstein is a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom. He is married to Shirley Haasnoot, a Dutch journalist and historian. He has one son and one daughter and lives in Amsterdam.

Awards and honoursEdit

  • Golden Dagger Award for Non-Fiction (Crime Writers Association), 1988.
  • Yad Vashem International Book Prize, 2013.

Selected workEdit

  • 1978 The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917-1929
  • 1979 Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945
  • 1985 (edited with Frances Malino) The Jews in Modern France
  • 1988 The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln
  • 1992 Herbert Samuel: A Political Life
  • 1996 Vanishing Diaspora: The Jews in Europe since 1945
  • 1999 Secret War in Shanghai
  • 2001 Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City
  • 2003 Israelis and Palestinians: Why Do They Fight? Can They Stop?
  • 2007 Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time
  • 2012 On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War
  • 2014 The Ambiguity of Virtue: Gertrude van Tijn and the Fate of the Dutch Jews


  1. ^ Contemporary Authors Online. October 18, 2007. Retrieved on December 20, 2010.

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