Prof. Dr. Martin Aust

Principal Investigator 

Institute of History
Department of Eastern European History
Adenauerallee 4–6
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 9304

Aust_Martin 2.jpg
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

At Bonn University, Martin Aust has continued his work on early modern Russia. The department of Eastern European and Russian History of Bonn University is currently working to establish a European forum on Premodern Russian History. Research topics include politics, society and religion in premodern Russia, varieties of dependency in the premodern Russian empire and comparative perspectives. In regard to politics and society, it is remarkable that it was not only peasants who were enslaved in premodern Russia. Russian nobles used to call themselves slaves of the Tsar in their correspondence with the ruler. Thus, premodern society in Russia displays multiple layers of dependency. It is still an open question as to how this multi-layered dependency played out in various regions of the expanding empire from the sixteenth into the eighteenth centuries.

3 books, 7 edited volumes, 36 scientific papers. 17 international lectures and presentations, 4 ongoing doctorate theses, 35 Magister, Master and Bachelor theses as supervisor/first reviewer.

Histories of Forced Labor. Poland and the Soviet Union under German Occupation, Polish and Soviet Forced Laborers in Germany, 1939–1945

Occupying Poland and the Soviet Union from 1939 and 1941 respectively, the Germans forced civilians to perform work on the spot. At first there were also attempts to attract Poles and Soviet citizens to migrate for work into the German Reich. However, the Germans soon abandoned that approch in favor of hunting civilians to deport them into forced labor in Germany. Millions of ordinary people from Poland and the Soviet Union were deported to Germany to perform forced labor in mining, industry and agriculture. The history of forced labor under German occupation or in the Reich is part and parcel of both Germany’s colonial exploitation of Eastern Europe and its war of annihilation in the East. This project reaches out to deliver a book on the history of forced labor under German guidance which will discuss the state oft he art of the field in four chapters. Chapters 1 and 2 will discuss edited and digitalized sources and the relevant literature on forced labor in Poland and the Soviet Union and on forced labor of Polish and Soviet citizens in Germany as well. In terms of methodology these chapters will be informed by discussions within Research Area D of the cluster which focuses on labor and spatiality. Chapters 3 will follow up on the recent public debate in Germany on the histories of colonialism and National Socialism. To which extent can National Socialism and Germany’s warfare be understood as a colonial project? How to establish differences and similarities between the two? And further: was colonialism a precursor which ultimately helped National Socialism come into being? Chapter 3 will address these issues through the lens of the history of forced labor. Finally, chapter 4 will explore the status of these cases of forced labor in contemporary memory cultures in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and most of all in Germany.

Habilitation and Venia legendi in Eastern European and Russian History

Ph.D. in Eastern European and Russian History, Free University Berlin, Germany

M.A. in Modern History, Eastern and Southeastern European History and Political Science, University of Hanover and Free University Berlin, Germany

since 2015
Professor for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe and Russia, University of Bonn, Germany

Visiting Professor at the Department of History, University of Basel, Switzerland

Professor for Eastern and Russian History, University of Munich (LMU) and University of Regensburg, Germany

Research Associate at the Department of History, CAU Kiel, Germany

Research Associate at the Center for Comparative History of Europe, Berlin, Germany

since 2015
Research Associate

Founding Member of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies at the University of Munich (LMU), Germany

  • Co-editor of the series "Imperial Subjects: Autobiographik und Biographik im imperialen Kontext" [Imperial Subjects: Autobiography and Biography in Imperial Context]
  • Reviewer for national and international research foundations and scientific journals
  • external member of an appointment committee for a chair of Eastern European History at a German university (2015)
  • German Research Foundation DFG-SNF research project "Imperial Subjects" (University of Munich (LMU) and University of Basel 2013–2016)
  • DAAD Summer Schools (2012–2015)
  • German Research Foundation (DFG) Heisenberg Fellowship (granted in 2010, declined due to a professorship at the University of Munich (LMU))
  • conferences funded by the ZEIT Foundation (2005) and the Thyssen Foundation (2008)

Total sum of approximately € 0.5 million

  • 2019. Die Schatten des Imperiums. Russland nach 1991. Munich: C.H. Beck Verlag.
  • 2017. Die Russische Revolution. Vom Zarenreich zum Sowjetimperium. Munich: C.H. Beck.
  • 2015. As editor. With Frithjof Benjamin Schenk. Imperial Subjects. Autobiographische Praxis in den Vielvölkerreichen der Romanovs, Habsburger und Osmanen im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert. Imperial Subjects 1. Cologne: Böhlau.
  • 2014. As editor. With Julia Obertreis. Osteuropäische Geschichte und Globalgeschichte.Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des östlichen Europa 83. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
  • 2013. Globalisierung imperial und sozialistisch. Russland und die Sowjetunion global 1851–1991. Globalgeschichte 13. Frankfurt am Main: Campus.
  • 2010. As editor. With Aleksej I. Miller and Ricarda Vulpius. Imperium Inter Pares. Роль Трансферов в Истории Российской Империи (1700–1917). Historia Rossica. Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie.
  • 2009. As editor. With Krzysztof Ruchniewicz and Stefan Troebst. Verflochtene Erinnerungen. Polen und seine Nachbarn im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Visuelle Geschichtskultur 3. Cologne: Böhlau.
  • 2009. Polen und Russland im Streit um die Ukraine. Konkurrierende Erinnerungen an die Kriege des 17. Jahrhunderts in den Jahren 1934 bis 2006. Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte 74. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • 2007. As editor. With Daniel Schönpflug. Vom Gegner lernen. Feindschaften und Kulturtransfers im Europa des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt am Main: Campus.
  • 2007. As editor. With Ludwig Steindorff. Russland 1905. Perspektiven auf die erste Russische Revolution. Kieler Werkstücke F: Beiträge zur osteuropäischen Geschichte 9. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
  • 2003. Adlige Landstreitigkeiten in Russland. Eine Studie zum Wandel der Nachbarschaftsverhältnisse 1676–1796. Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte 60. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Wird geladen