Ludwig Decke

Pronouns: he/him/his


Advisor: Giuliana Chamedes
Curriculum Vitae (pdf) | Website

Ludwig Decke


Trained in German, Jewish, and modern European history, I study how states and societies in twentieth-century Central and Western Europe have grappled with issues surrounding ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity. My general research and teaching interests focus on questions related to “race,” nationalism, and human rights, and engage with the history and the legacies of fascism and colonialism from a global perspective. I believe that the modern Jewish experience is an essential thread running through the stories I care about and can offer a productive vantage point for investigating these broader themes.

In my current research, I explore how Jews, during and after the Holocaust, participated in global efforts to end racial and religious discrimination and attempted to carve out a place for minorities in the modern nation-state. My dissertation project intertwines two stories that are usually considered in separate terms: Jewish responses to antisemitism in postwar Europe and the antiracist claims of other racialized populations, namely Black Europeans, migrant workers, Roma, Muslims, and refugees. I will shed new light on the causes that led to rifts but also unexpected rapprochements in these relationships. By doing so, I hope to unveil forgotten moments of solidarity and “roads not taken” which might serve as inspiration for future political change.


M.A. Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
B.A. University of Leipzig


  • European History
  • Jewish History

MA Title

  • Fighting for the American Jewish Dream: Morris R. Cohen and Liberal Jewish Postwar Planning during World War II

Working Dissertation Title

  • Antiracism after Auschwitz: Jews, the State, and the Fight against Discrimination in Western Europe, 1946-1992

Selected Publications

  • Review of Tiffany N. Florvil, “Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement,” in “Cold War History,” 2023,
  • Review of Abigail Green and Simon Levis Sullam, eds., “Jews, Liberalism, Antisemitism: A Global History,” in “Comparativ: Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung,” vol. 32, no. 6 (2023), pp. 775-777,
  • “A Letter of Refusal: Morris R. Cohen and Oscar I. Janowsky on the Problems of Jewish Peace Studies during World War II” in Mimeo: Blog of the Dubnow Institute, 2022,
  • “Ungleiche Weggefährten: Hannah Arendt, Melvin Lasky und der Antitotalitarismus im kulturellen Kalten Krieg,” Dubnow Institute Yearbook 17 (2018) [2020], pp. 117-144,
  • “Illiberale Demokratie avant la lettre: Zu Carl Schmitts demokratietheoretischen Überlegungen in der Weimar Republik,” in Konflikt und Konsens: Demokratische Transformation in der Weimarer und Bonner Republik, ed. Sebastian Elsbach and Ronny Noak (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2019), pp. 279-294.
  • “Carl Schmitt,” in Handbuch der völkischen Wissenschaften: Akteure, Netzwerke, Forschungsprogramme, ed. Michael Fahlbusch, Ingo Haar and Alexander Pinwinkler (Berlin/Boston, Mass.: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2017), pp. 732-736 (together with Raphael Gross).

Selected Awards

  • Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow, Visiting Research Fellowship
  • FU Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Dissertation Fellowship
  • UW-Madison, Early Excellence in Teaching Award (Campus-Wide)
  • American Academy for Jewish Research, Travel Grant
  • Center for Jewish History-Fordham University, Research Fellowship
  • Central European History Society, Research Grant
  • Leo Baeck Institute, Fritz Halbers Fellowship Award
  • HEFNU, Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization Fellowship
  • Fulbright, Study Fellowship

Professional Affiliations

  • German Studies Association
  • Association for Jewish Studies
  • Central European History Society

Courses Taught as TA

  • History 120: Europe and the Modern World, 1815 to the Present
  • History 350: The First World War and the Shaping of Twentieth Century Europe
  • History 357: The Second World War

Courses Taught as Instructor

  • History 310: The Holocaust