Dr Barbara Manthe

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Researcher, Faculty of Social Science and Cultural Studies, University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf.

Principal Investigator, Current project: “Right-wing Terrorism in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1970-1990” (DFG Research Grant). Research Unit on Right-Wing Extremism (FORENA), University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf.

Specialist research areas:

Right-wing terrorism in Germany since 1945; right-wing violence and militant neo-Nazism; anti-terrorism measures and lawsuits against right-wing perpetrators; the National Socialist Underground (NSU); strategies against far right extremism; justice in, and after, the Second World War; youth resistance in Nazi Germany.

Available for consultation in the following areas:

Media interviews; scientific analyses; lectures and presentations; refereeing texts.


Dr Barbara Manthe is an expert on the history of radical right terrorism and violence in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) since 1945. She is a historian with a focus on modern history, especially on far right extremism, Nazism and neo-Nazism. Dr Manthe has conducted her research and applied her expertise in different areas: academia; the political sphere; and in the area of educational work.

Currently, she is a Principal Investigator at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf; her research project, “Right-wing Terrorism in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1970-1990”, is funded by the German Foundation Association (DFG). For the first time, the project examines the history of right-wing terrorism in West Germany, especially between 1970 and 1990. Her study sheds new light upon the genesis and rise of West German right-wing terrorism in the generation before unification, considers the symbolic meaning of its activities, and analyses how police and the judiciary reacted to this phenomenon. In this scholarship, Dr Manthe employs contemporary history and studies in both terrorism and right-wing extremism.  Furthermore, Dr Manthe has carried out work on contemporary militant neo-Nazism and taught on civil society’s measures against radical right extremism at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf. She also has extensive knowledge regarding the history of National Socialism, having finished her doctoral thesis on judges during the Second World War, in addition to teaching about persecution during the Third Reich.

Between 2015 and 2017, Dr Manthe worked as a research officer for the SPD group in the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, on behalf of the parliamentary investigation committee into the National Socialist Underground’s (NSU) crimes. The committee examined the crimes committed by this radical right terrorist group in the federal state as well as possible failures by the related official investigations. In the context of this work, Dr Manthe has not only intensively traced topical debates on radical right terrorism but also examined a huge volume of documents. Between 2012 and 2014, Dr Manthe worked in the field of political education, whereby she focussed on the question how to deal with contemporary radical right extremism, racism and nationalism; she has edited educational material on the radical right in Europe, notably anti-Roma prejudice, and counter-extremism strategies for the radical right.

Dr Manthe has written or edited several publications on the radical right and on the history of National Socialism. Her most recent publications include On the Pathway to
Terrorism. West German Right-Wing Terrorism in the 1970s (Terrorism and Political
Violence, 2018); Racism and Violence in Germany since 1980 (Global Humanities: Studies in Histories, Cultures, and Societies (4), 2017); Alliierte Kriegsgefangenen- und Internierungslager. „Folterlager“ in Bad Nenndorf und „Massenvernichtung“ in Remagen: Neonazi-Propaganda gegen alliierte Besatzungspolitik, eds. M. Langebach, M. Sturm: (Erinnerungsorte der extremen Rechten, Springer VS: Wiesbaden 2015) as well as the monograph Richter in der nationalsozialistischen Kriegsgesellschaft: Beruflicher und privater Alltag von Richtern des Oberlandesgerichtsbezirks Köln, 1939–1945 (Mohr Siebeck: Tübingen 2013). Furthermore, she has given numerous academic and educational lectures on her research topics, and welcomes scholarly, policy, and journalistic enquiries on these areas.