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Marcus Colla

Marcus Colla

Doctoral Candidate


I am undertaking my PhD studies as a Gates Scholar and Cambridge Australia Honorary Scholar under the supervision of Professor Sir Christopher Clark. My research is concerned with the politics of history in the German Democratic Republic, and specifically the way that the communist state dealt with its Prussian inheritance.

Prior to coming to Cambridge, I completed a Bachelor of Arts (History and Philosophy) with Honours at the University of Tasmania, where I graduated with First Class Honours. I also have a Diploma of Languages in German.

In 2014-2015 I completed an MPhil in Modern European History at the University of Cambridge as a Cambridge Trusts Scholar, from which I graduated with distinction, winning the Faculty of History Members' Fund Prize for my dissertation.

I also write for the Lowy Institute Interpreter blog on German and European politics:


Paper 17, European History 1715-1890

Paper 18, European History Since 1890

Historical Argument and Practice

Key Publications

'Memory, Heritage and the Demolition of the Potsdam Garnisonkirche, 1968', German History (forthcoming)

'The Politics of Time and State Identity in the German Democratic Republic', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (forthcoming)

'Constructing the Prussia-Myth in East Germany, 1945–61', Journal of Contemporary History 54, 3 (2019), pp. 527-550.

'Prussian Palimpsests: Historic Architecture and Urban Spaces in East Germany, 1945-1961', Central European History 50 (2017), pp. 184-217.

Other Publications

Book reviews:

Review of Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, The Fourth Reich: The specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present (Cambridge, 2019), Times Literary Supplement

Review of Cornelia Wilhelm (ed.), Migration, Memory, and Diversity. Germany from 1945 to the Present (New York and Oxford, 2017), Journal of Contemporary History 54, 1 (2019), pp. 225-227

Review of Paul Stangl, Risen from Ruins: The Cultural Politics of Rebuilding East Berlin (Stanford, 2018), in Reviews in History (review no. 2282), <>

Review of Andrew Demshuk, Demolition on Karl Marx Square. Cultural Barbarism and the People's State in 1968 (Oxford, 2017) in: H-Soz-Kult, 28.05.2018, <>.

Review of Matthias Grünzig, Für Deutschtum und Vaterland. Die Potsdamer Garnisonkirche im 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin 2017), in: H-Soz-Kult, 13.10.2017, <>.

Review of Simon Ward, Urban Memory and Visual Culture in Berlin: Framing the Asynchronous City, 1957-2012 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016), German Politics and Society 35 (2017), pp. 96-99.


Guest on Walrus and the Bear, 'It's Not All Black and White', Berlin podcast on Prussia,

'Democracy Today - Lessons from the German Past and Present: East Germany Post-1990' (with Philipp Ebert),


'Condemned to Become: the Future of the Past in Berlin',

'The Tragedy of Martin Schulz', reflections on the 2017 German election,