Dr Marcus Colla

Mark Kaplanoff Research Fellow in History, Pembroke College
Marcus Colla

I am a historian of twentieth-century Germany and its relationship to the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. My first book, "Prussia in the Historical Culture of the German Democratic Republic: Communists and Kings", was released with Oxford University Press in 2022. In addition, I have published articles on themes concerning architecture, heritage, time and memory in communist Eastern Europe. Other research interests of mine include the history of 'National Bolshevism' before 1945, the Revolutions of 1989, language politics, and "chronopolitics" in Central Europe. I also comment on contemporary German and European politics at https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/contributors/articles/marcus-colla


Tags & Themes


Pembroke College, Cambridge, CB2 1RF



Prussia in the Historical Culture of the German Democratic Republic: Communists and Kings (Oxford University Press, 2022)

(With Paul Betts) Rethinking Socialist Space in the Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming 2024)



(With Adéla Gjuričová), '1989: The Chronopolitics of Revolution', History and Theory 62, 4 (2023), pp. 45-65

‘Whither Prussia? Berlin’s Humboldt Forum and the Afterlife of a Vanished State’, Central European History 56, 1 (2023), pp. 2-17

‘Rebuilding the Past: East German Preservationists as “Time Activists”’, European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire 28, 4 (2021), pp. 584-606

‘The Spectre of the Present: Time, Presentism and the Writing of Contemporary History’, Contemporary European History 30, 1 (2021), pp. 124-135

‘Memory, Heritage and the Demolition of the Potsdam Garnisonkirche, 1968’, German History 38, 2 (2020), pp. 290-310

‘The Politics of Time and State Identity in the German Democratic Republic’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 29 (2019), pp. 223-251

‘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, 2 (2017), pp. 184-217


Book Chapters

‘“A Monument to Friendship”: Socialist Modernity and the Reconstruction of Tashkent, 1966-1975’ (forthcoming)

(With Paul Betts), 'What, Where, and When was Socialist Space in the Twentieth Century?' (forthcoming)


Book reviews have appeared in German History, German Politics and Society, Urban History, Journal of Contemporary History, Cultural and Social History, German Studies Review, Reviews in History, H-Soz-Kult, the Journal of Architecture, Central European History and the Times Literary Supplement.