Dr Klaus Richter

Dr Klaus Richter

Department of History
Birmingham Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Eastern European History

Contact details

Office 439a
Department of History
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My main field of research is the modern history of East Central Europe and the Baltics. I am especially interested in the history of nationalism, of statehood and of war and occupation.

Feedback and office hours

I will be on research leave in 2017/18 and will not hold regular office hours.


  • Staatsexamen in History (University of Cologne)
  • Doctoral degree in History, (Technical University of Berlin)


Dr Klaus Richter is a Birmingham Fellow and Lecturer in Eastern European History at the University of Birmingham. After studying history, art history, English and German philology at the University of Cologne, he worked as a research associate at the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism at the Technical University of Berlin (2009 – 2011). In early 2012, he joined the German Historical Institute in Warsaw as a visiting scholar. He took up work at the University of Birmingham in October 2012.


  • Lectures in the War Studies Core Module: “Rise of Modern War”
  • Convenor of War Studies Core Module: “An Introduction to Strategy and Operational Art”
  • Advanced Autumn Option: “Everyday life under Nazi and Soviet Occupation”
  • Spring Option: “The First World War at the Eastern Front”
  • Special Subject: “A History of Conflict, Occupation and Independence in East Central Europe”
  • Group Research: “From Science to Extermination. Anti-Semitism in Europe”

Postgraduate supervision

I can supervise research topics in the following areas: late 19th century to mid 20th century East Central and Eastern European history, especially political history, the history of nationalism, of ethnic conflicts and ethnic relations, of anti-Semitism, of property redistribution, and of economy and commerce.


I am currently working on a history of Poland and the Baltics during the First World War and the interwar period, which focuses on the impact of occupation and revolution on the specifics of statehood in the region. I am particularly interested in the interplay between imperial normative frameworks, that continued to be a powerful force, and territorial politics implemented in the nation states.

My past research includes a doctoral thesis on anti-Semitism in Lithuania before World War I, which focussed on anti-Jewish violence and strategies to “emancipate” the peasants from Jewish merchants. I am also involved in the following projects:

  • ‘Hinterlands and Hypertrophies. Assessments of the “Viability” of Empires and Nation-States in Central and Eastern Europe, 1900 – 1930's’ (as principal investigator). Together with Dr Jonathan Gumz, I analyse the origins, development and impact of the concept of “viability” and its practice in early 20th century Central and Eastern Europe. The project is thus meant to establish a starting point for a historiography of modern state assessment and its practitioners. Viewing a state through the lens of “viability” (from German: Lebensfähigkeit, literal translation “the ability to live”) meant interpreting it as a living organism – be it in the form of the allegedly overstretched and disaggregating Habsburg and Romanov Empires, of hydrocephalic post-war Austria, of incoherent post-partition Poland or of acephalic Lithuania. Our project investigates how the circulation of knowledge and practices associated with “viability” lent the concept a dynamic character that changed over time. The project is funded by an AHRC Early Career Standard Research Grant for a time period of 24 months, starting in September 2017.

Recently concluded research projects:



Selected articles and book chapters:

Contributions to websites:

Encyclopaedia entries:

  • Several entries for the Handbuch des Antisemitismus [Handbook of Anti-Semitism], Vols. 4, 5, 6, Berlin 2011-2013.
  • Several entries for the online encyclopaedia "1914-1918 online."


  • Several reviews for H-Soz-u-Kult [hsozkult.de], Journal for Baltic Studies, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropaforschung (ZfO), Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft (ZfG), Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Pol-Int, Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History, Darbai ir dienos



  • Minorities policy
  • State formation
  • Peacekeeping
  • Conflict resolution
  • Nationalism