Dr Timothy J Schmalz

Temporary Lecturer in Modern European History
Esquire Bedell, University of Cambridge

I am a cultural historian of diplomacy, with expertise in interwar Austria, Britain and Germany.  I have strong interests in transnational histories of Europe, and am increasingly interested in the history of the intersection of diplomacy, refugees, and academia.

I wrote my PhD, 'Anglo-Austrian Diplomatic Backchannels from the Juliputsch to the Anschluss, 1934-38' on the history of the personal and professional relationships between British diplomats and their counterparts in Austrian government during a period of increasing Nazi aggression. Culminating with the German annexation of Austria in March 1938, it investigated how these individuals deployed strategies, mobilised networks, and navigated conflicts of conscience in deciding whether to follow the government line (e.g., British appeasement) or to work for Austria's cause—a cultural history of how diplomats behave in a time of crisis.

Previously, my MPhil here at Cambridge explored the anxieties and decision-making processes of SS Ahnenerbe bureaucrats and publishers as they constructed visual propaganda designed for the home in the form of the annual SS Kalender—a type of 'company calendar' that showcased the various arms of the SS at work in the field and intended for wider public consumption.

From 2012-13, I was a Fulbright Student affiliated with the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Salzburg where I worked on a project about memorialisation and the Holocaust, and proceeded to earn an MA in German and European Studies from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service before coming to Cambridge.

Co-convenor, Intelligence Seminar, 2020-Present
Co-convenor, Modern European History Research Seminar, 2018-2020
Co-convenor, Modern European History Workshop, 2016-2019
Graduate Digital Communications Coordinator (Modern European History Subject Group), 2018-2020

History of Interwar Austria and Germany | Cultural History of Diplomacy | Anglo-Austrian Relations | Third Reich | Nazi propaganda, consumer media, and racial policy | Refugee Scholars fleeing the Third Reich

- Lecturer, Paper 18 - European History from 1890, Part I of the Historical Tripos
- Supervisor, Paper 18 - European History from 1890, Part IA of the Historical Tripos
- Supervisor, Historical Argument and Practice, Part II of the Historical Tripos - International and Transnational History; Memory
- Lecturer, Comparative Fascism(s): Theory and Practice - Austria, MPhil in Modern European History
- Lecturer, Writing Modern European History Seminar, MPhil in Modern European History
Research Supervision
MPhil in Modern European History
- 'German Weapons Diplomacy in China, 1927-38' (2021-22)
- 'Rebellious British and German Diplomats during the Austrian Crisis, 1931-35' (2020-21), awarded distinction
History and Modern Languages Joint Honours
- 'Prisoners as Perpetrators? Nazi Concentration Camp Brothels, Masculinity, and Memory' (2021-22)
- '“Heil me, man!”: Hitler Humour’ Films of the 2010s as Critiques and Articulations of Contemporary Memory Cultures in Germany and the United States' (2020-21)


Tags & Themes


Sidney Sussex College

Cambridge CB2 3HU


Key publications

Key Publications

- 'The Cambridge Connection: Austrian Diplomats, British Academics and Refugee Scholars, 1933-45’ in Adaption – Autonomy – Continuity: Academia in Times of Crises, edited by S. Mahrer. Bielefeld, 2022.

- 'Collective Memory, Identity, and Cross-cultural Conversations' in A Cultural History of Historiography in the Modern Age, 1920-Present, edited by Jason McDonald and Torbjörn Wandel. London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2023.

- Co-Editor, special issue of Fascism: Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies, on ‘Fascist and National Socialist Antiquities and Materialities’, with Helen Roche and Flaminia Bartolini, 8, no. 2 (December 2019).

- 'Introduction', special issue of Fascism: Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies, on 'Fascist and National Socialist Antiquities and Materialities', with Helen Roche and Flaminia Bartolini, 8, no. 2 (December 2019): 121-126.

Other Publications

Books Reviews

- Review of of Elisabeth Boeckl-Klamper, Thomas Mang and Wolfgang Neugebauer, The Vienna Gestapo, 1938-1945: Crimes, Perpetrators, Victims. Oxford, 2022 in German History (in press).

- Review of Evan Burr Bukey, Juvenile Crime and Dissent in Nazi Vienna, 1938-1945. London, 2019 in Austrian History Yearbook (in press).

- Review of Seth Jacobs, Rogue Diplomats: The Proud Tradition of Disobedience in American Foreign Policy. Cambridge, 2020 in Diplomacy and Statecraft, 32, no. 4 (2021): 853-854. 

- Review of Stefan Karner and Peter Ruggenthaler, eds., 1938: Der ‘Anschluss’ im internationalen Kontext. Graz, 2020 in German History, 39, no. 2 (2021): 317-319.

- Review of Tim Bouverie, Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War. London, 2019 in Twentieth Century British History, 31, no. 4 (2020): 583-585.

- Review of Erin R. Hochman, Imagining a Greater Germany: Republican Nationalism and the Idea of Anschluss. Ithaca, 2016 for Reviews in History, December 2017.

Encyclopedia Entries

- ‘The Austria in London” Exhibition, 1934’, Encyclopedia of Contemporary Austrian History, Haus der Geschichte Österreich, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 2021.

- 'The Creation of the Academic Assistance Council, 1933', Encyclopedia of Contemporary Austrian History, Haus der Geschichte Österreich, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 2021.

Blog Post

- 'From Anschluss to VE-Day 2020: Britain's Changing Attitudes Towards Austria', International History: The Blog of the LSE's Department of International History, 20 May 2020.

Conference Report

- ‘Nature Protection, Environmental Policy, and Social Movements in Communist and Capitalist Countries during the Cold War’, with Natalie Smith, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute, 56, (Fall 2015).