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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Darren M. O'Byrne

Dr Darren O'Byrne
Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
01223 763 059

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom



Darren is a historian of modern Germany. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Politics and a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations, both from University College Dublin. He has held fellowships at the Humboldt University, Technical University of Berlin, and the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. He is also a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.


Teaching interests: 
  • Modern Germany
  • Modern European History


Research interests: 
  • Government and Administration in the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • Nazism and Occupation Policy in World War II
  • Germany since 1945
  • Sports History
  • Politics and Ideology


Recent research projects: 

Darren is working on his first book, an interdisciplinary study of the civil service in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Alongside this, he is working on German occupation policy in World War II, and on sports

Published works: 

Books (as Editor)
With Julien von Reitzenstein and Franziska Zaugg, Ideologies in National Socialism. Volume 1: People (forthcoming, DeGruyter)
With Christopher Young, Willy Meisl – ‘King of the Sports Journalists’. A Jewish Career in Times of Change, 1918–1945 (forthcoming, DeGruyter)

Journal Articles
'Nazi Constitutional Designs. The State Secretaries' Meetings and the Annexation of East Central Europe', European History Quarterly (forthcoming).
‘“Self-Coordination” and its Origins. Civil Servants and Regime Change in 1933 and 1918/19’, Contemporary European History (2022), pp.1-14
With Christopher Young, 'The Will of the Führer? Financing Construction for the 1936 Olympics', Journal of Contemporary History 57, 1 (2022). pp. 24-44.

Book Chapters
'Herbert Backe and the Reich Ministry for Food and Agriculture in the "Third Reich". Actions and Ideologies', in Ideologies in National Socialism. Volume 1: People, eds. Darren O'Byrne, Julien von Reitzenstein and Franziska Zaugg (forthcoming, DeGruyter) 
‘Perpetrators? Political Civil Servants in the Third Reich’, in Perpetrators: Dynamics, Motivations and Concepts for participating in mass Violence, eds. Timothy Williams and Susanne Buckley-Zistel (London: Routledge, 2018).

‘The Nazis Enter History’, History Today vol. 71, no. 8 (August, 2021).

Reviews (select)
(Forthcoming) History Today, Spicer, Charles, 'Coffee with Hitler. The British Amateurs Who Tried to Civilise the Nazis' (OneWorld, 2022).
HSozKult (June 2020), Marx, Henry, ‚Die Verwaltung des Ausnahmezustands. Wissensgenerierung und Arbeitskräftelenkung im Nationalsozialismus‘. (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2019).
German Politics and Society 37, no. 1 (Spring 2019). Noah Strote, Lions and Lambs: Conflict in Weimar and the Creation of Post-Nazi Germany (Yale: Yale University Press, 2017).
Journal of Contemporary History 54, no. 1 (Jan. 2019). Guenter Lewy, Perpetrators: The World of Holocaust Killers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Journal of Contemporary History 53, no. 2 (April 2018). Roshan Magub, Edgar Julius Jung, Right Wing Enemy of the Nazis: A Political Biography (Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2016).