The German-Russian Century – History of a Special Relationship
Das deutsch-russische Jahrhundert. Geschichte einer besonderen Beziehung

March 2022 / 672pp
  • Nominated for the German Non-Fiction Prize 2022

The English language translation rights to the book have sold.

This page will be updated once an English language translation is published.


In this meticulously researched book, historian Stefan Creuzberger presents an in-depth exploration of German-Russian relations in the twentieth century. Compelling and informative, there is no comparable work currently available in English. 

Creuzberger is an expert on late twentieth-century German politics, Russia in the twentieth century, and relations between Eastern and Western Europe.  

The book is divided into five sections:  

  • Foreword. Searching for Clues. 
  • Revolution and Upheaval. 
  • Terror and Violence. 
  • Differentiation and Understanding. 
  • German-Russian Century. Balance and Choices. 

Each of these five sections is further subdivided, making this thorough, wide-ranging text a very manageable read. The book examines the German-Russian relationship from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day, with an epilogue touching briefly on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine. 

The foreword sets out the book’s aims and gives an overview of the political, cultural and economic links between the two countries. Creuzberger challenges the assumption that the twentieth century was shaped primarily by America, and advances the idea of a German-Russian century. The three central chapters are structured thematically and cover an array of fascinating topics, including early imperial relations between Germany and Russia, the role of Germany in the October Revolution of 1917, terror and totalitarianism in Nazi Germany and the USSR, German-Russian relations during the Cold War, and the issue of collective memory. 

Although Creuzberger notes the dire political, economic and cultural implications of current relations between Russia and the West, the book ends on a more encouraging note, hoping that the future will be shaped by the values of cooperation and trust that have traditionally defined the German-Russian relationship. 

Deservedly nominated for the German Non-Fiction Prize 2022, this excellent title will have broad appeal for readers who are keen to understand the enduring connection between these two great nations and its impact on politics today.  

Rights sold: Japan (Hakusuisha)

Read about the book on the publisher’s website

Listen to translator Brian Poole reading a sample translation from Stefan Creuzberger’s The German-Russian Century. This video is available as part of the New Books in German playlist on the Translators Aloud YouTube channel.

press quotes

Sharpens your awareness of the current disastrous state of Russian-Western relations.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 22 July 2022

In the light of the latest terrible developments, the mighty panorama that Creuzberger paints over almost 700 pages is all the more relevant and necessary for our understanding of history and politics.

der tagesspiegel, 1 June 2022

It may appear that the 20th century was principally influenced by the Americans, but Creuzberger demonstrates clearly why we need to speak of a German-Russian century. Since it was primarily characterised by revolution, upheaval, terror and violence, but also demarcation and accommodation, the author decides to split his historical panorama in line with these realities. Which adds value that a purely chronological account would not be able to offer.

Die Weltwoche, 24 March 2022

about the author

© privat

Stefan Creuzberger, born in Calw in 1961, is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Rostock. He heads the Research and Documentation Centre of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, focusing on the history of dictatorships in Germany. He publishes on 20th-century German and Russian history and among other things is Co-Editor of the academic anthologies Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (AAPD) and a member of the Joint German-Russian History Commission.

rights information

Gertje Berger-Maaß

Lizenzmanagerin / Foreign Rights Manager

Rowohlt Verlag GmbH

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translation assistance

The English language translation rights to the book have sold.

This page will be updated once an English language translation is published.

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