You are here : Version anglaise > Fellows > Fellows 2019-2020

Séjour long


History - Germany

Research topics


Anarchist Terrorism in Western Europe: France, Italy, Spain and Germany (1880-1900)

The project deals with the anarchist attentats in France, Italy, Spain and Germany during the 1880s and 1890s. These were part of a global wave of bomb attacks and assassination attempts that had unprecedented impacts, notably due to the late 19th century’s media revolution, and that has been described by the political scientist David Rapoport as the first wave of modern terrorism. Not only had they heavy consequences on politics and state policies – in terms of security, immigration and the repression of social movements – as well as the perception and further evolution of anarchism. They also led to intense public debates about political violence and the question of appropriate responses by the state.
The project studies these reactions and debates, in which the border lines of legitimate politics were negotiated and redefined. The numerous analogies that can be observed with current debates, concerning in particular the tension between security, on the one hand, and liberties/rule of law on the other, add to the interest of the project.
Methodologically, the project adopts a comparative and transnational perspective, and proceeds by case studies. It regards terrorism as a communication strategy and pursue three objectives: it explores (1) the media and social communication on terrorist violence, and how these affect the political space; (2) the retroactive effects of the violent acts and debates on the anarchist movement, and (3) what role transnational processes play and what their impact is.


Activities / Resume


Fabian Lemmes is Junior Professor of European History at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany). He studied in Saarbrücken and Paris and holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence for his thesis on the ‘Organisation Todt’ in France and Italy (1940-1945). He was assistant lecturer at Saarland University in Saarbrücken and visiting professor at the University of Kassel. Between 2012 and 2016, he was one of the Principal Investigators of the international collaborative research project on 'Evacuations in the German-French Border Region 1939-1945' (ANR/DFG). He has been a research fellow at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) in Bielefeld and the German Historical Institute in Paris. His research interests include comparative and transnational history of Europe and the Mediterranean, migration and border studies, labour history and forced labour, fascisms and occupied societies, anarchism, political violence and terrorism.


  • Arbeiten für das Reich. Die Organisation Todt in Frankreich und Italien, 1940-1945 (Industrielle Welt, vol. 96), Köln/Weimar/Wien, Böhlau Verlag, 2019.
  • (avec Olivier Forcade, Mathieu Dubois, Johannes Großmann et Rainer Hudemann, dir.), Exils intérieurs. Les évacuations à la frontière franco-allemande (1939-1940), Paris, Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2017.
  • « The Economics of the German Construction Programmes in Occupied France and Occupied Italy, 1940-1945 », dans Jonas Scherner et Eugene White (dir.), Paying for Hitler’s War. The Consequences of Nazi Hegemony for Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016, p. 198-231.
  • (avec Johannes Großmann, Nicholas Williams, Olivier Forcade et Rainer Hudemann, dir.), Evakuierungen im Europa der Weltkriege – Les Évacuations dans l‘Europe des guerres mondiales – Evacuations in World War Europe, Berlin, Metropol Verlag, 2014.
  • (avec Manuel Borutta) « Die Wiederkehr des Mittelmeerraumes. Stand und Perspektiven der neuhistorischen Mediterranistik », Neue Politische Literatur, vol. 58, 2013, n° 3, p. 389-419.
  • « Der anarchistische Terrorismus des 19. Jahrhunderts und sein soziales Umfeld », dans Stefan Malthaner, Peter Waldmann (dir.), Radikale Milieus. Das soziale Umfeld terroristischer Gruppen, Frankfurt (Main), Campus, 2012, p. 73-117.
  • « Ausländereinsatz und Zwangsarbeit im Ersten und Zweiten Weltkrieg. Neuere Forschungen und Ansätze », Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, vol. 50, 2010, p. 395-444.
  • « Les relations entre entreprises allemandes et françaises dans le secteur du bâtiment sous l’Occupation, 1940-1944 », dans Jean François Eck, Stefan Martens et Sylvain Schirmann (dir.), L’économie, l’argent et les hommes. Les relations économiques et financières franco-allemandes de 1871 à nos jours, Paris, CHEFF, 2009, p. 169-199.
  • « Collaboration in Wartime France, 1940-1944 », European Review of History – Revue européenne d’histoire, vol. 15, 2008, n° 2, p. 157-177.