Register your interest


Button - crossed pens


Button - motor board


Button - stacked books


YouTube Twitter Pinterest

Professor Bernhard Rieger

Office: 401, 23 Gordon Square
Office hour: 4-5.30pm, Mondays
External phone: 020 7679 7396
Internal phone: 37396
E-mail: b.rieger@ucl.ac.uk
Dr Bernhard Rieger

My broad area of interest include nineteenth and twentieth century Europe, especially the societies, economies and cultures of Britain and Germany. In recent years, I have also developed an interest in the United States and Mexico since 1945. I teach a survey course on Europe from 1870 to 1945, a seminar on the European history of violence in the 19th and 20th centuries and an MA course on globalization.

My publications include a comparative book on British and German attitudes to technology between 1870 and 1945 as well as a co-edited volume on British modernity during that period. In 2011, I brought out another co-edited book exploring how West Germany adjusted to the rapid political, social and cultural transformation of the Fifties and Sixties. My most recent book is entitled The People's Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle. It came out with Harvard University Press in 2013. The People's Car traces the VW Beetle's journey from failed National Socialist prestige project to lasting iconic prominence in Western Europe, the United States and Mexico. In addition to continuing my interest in the global history of the automobile, I have recently begun a project on the comparative history of unemployment since the 1970s.

Areas of Research Supervision: Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries; Great Britain in the 20th century; cultural history of the United States since 1945; social and cultural history; history of technology

Theses Currently Supervised

- Heterosexual Sex in Seventies Britain

- Germany and Italy in the Seventies: Mutual Perception in a Decade of Crisis

- At the Touch of a Button: The Culture of Effortless Control in Postwar America

- Justice by Judicial Notice: The War Crimes at Nordhausen-Dora Concentration Camp Under American Review, 1947 (with Mary Fulbrook, German Department)

Theses Recently Completed

- Working-Class Cinema in the Ruhr area and South Wales, c. 1945-1975

Select Publications 


The People's Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013) (commendation, Fraenkel Prize 2012 in Contemporary History, Wiener Library, London)

For more information on The People's Car click here

Technology and the Culture of Modernity in Britain and Germany, 1890-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Edited Books:

Mit dem Wandel leben: Neuorientierungund Tradition in der Bundesrepublik der 1950er und 60er Jahre (Cologne: Böhlau, 2011) with Friedrich Kießling

Meanings of Modernity: Britain from the Late-Victorian Era to World War II, (Oxford: Berg, 2001), with Martin Daunton


'From People's Car to New Beetle: The Transatlantic Journeys of the Volkswagen Beetle', The Journal of American History, 97:1 (2010) 91-115 (winner of the Binkley-Stephenson Award from the Organization of American Historians for best article published in JAH in 2010)

'"The Good German" Goes Global: The Volkswagen Beetle as an icon in the Federal Republic', History Workshop Journal, 68 (2009) 3-26

'Memory and Normality', History and Theory, 47:4 (2008) 560-572

'Hanna Reitsch: The Global Career of a Nazi Celebrity', German History, 26:3 (2008), 383-405

'Was Roland a Nazi? Victims, perpetrators, and Silences during the Restoration of Civic Identity in Post War Bremen', History and Memory, 17:2 (2007) 75-112

Publications List by Year

Publications List by Type

Page last modified on 29 sep 14 16:39 by SRP