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Dr Franziska Exeler

Dr Franziska Exeler

Junior Research Fellow, Magdalene College

Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for History and Economics

Lecturer in History, Free University Berlin


A historian of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, my work focuses on the ways in which states and societies, local communities and individuals cope with the political, legal, social and personal aftereffects of war, occupation and civil war. I am currently completing a book manuscript titled "Wartime Ghosts. Nazi Occupation and Its Aftermath in the Soviet Union." Related research projects analyze how the Soviet government both understood and experimented with international and domestic law during and after the Second World War, and how the Soviet prosecution of treason and war crimes fit into the global moment of post-World War II justice.

I hold an MA in History, Political Sciences and Economics from Humboldt University Berlin (2007), an MA in History from Princeton University (2009), and a PhD in History from Princeton University (2013). I am also a lecturer in history and member of the global history research group at Free University Berlin.  

Subject groups/Research projects

Modern European History:

Departments and Institutes

Magdalene College:

Research Interests

My research interests include the history of Stalinism and the Soviet Union; World War II and its legacies in Europe and Asia; legal history, international law and transitional justice; empire, space and migration; and comparative, transnational and global history.


I am supervising on Paper 18: European History since 1890

Key Publications

"What Did You Do during the War? Personal Responses to the Aftermath of Nazi Occupation." Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 17, 4 (2016), 805-835.

"The Ambivalent State. Determining Guilt in the Post-World War II Soviet Union." Slavic Review 75, 3 (2016), 606-629.

“L’Expérience de la guerre: violence et violence extrême” (The Experience of War: Violence and Extreme Violence), in Encyclopédie de la seconde guerre mondiale, edited by Jean-François Muracciole and Guillaume Piketty. Paris: Éditions Robert Laffont, 2015.

 “Gewalt im Militär. Die Rote Armee im Zweiten Weltkrieg” [Violence within the Military. The Red Army in World War II]. Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 3 (2012), 228-246.