Gerhard (Gerd) Kaiser, born 1933. Historian. Author. Married, one son. Industrial blacksmith, qualified for university through continuing education, studied history at Lomonosov Moscow State University from 1951-1956. Postgraduate study (unscheduled candidacy) parallel to the profession: PhD (1964) at the Karl Marx University in Leipzig with a thesis on the genesis and effects of a system of political and ideological influence in the German Army in the early decades of the 20th Century. 1956-1968 National People's Army of the GDR (Lieutenant Colonel, Reserves). Autumn 1968 to end of 1991 sociological research and programming GDR Television / Deutscher Fernsehfunk. Since then, research on the history of the German labor movement and German military history in the 20th Century. Participation in integration projects for immigrants in Berlin and projects for the preservation of sites and traditions of resistance and persecution in Berlin and Thuringia. Writing for newspapers and magazines including "Neues Deutschland" (since 1992), "junge Welt," "Das Blättchen," and "JahrBuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung” [Yearbook for Research on the History of the Labor Movement].


















Participation in scholarly conferences in Germany, Russia, Poland, People’s Republic of China. Translations of scholarly publications and others of poetry and prose by, among others, Fyodor Tyutchev (1803-1873), Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938), Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (1909-1966) and Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) Languages​​: Russian, Polish, English.




The Crime against the State - The State Secret


Katyn. Der Massenmord an polnischen Offizieren. [Katyn: The Mass Murder of Polish Officers.] (Co-author: A.L. Szczesniak). Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag, 1992. 336 pp.


Katyn. Das Staatsverbrechen – Das Staatsgeheimnis. [Katyn: The Crime against the State - The State Secret.] Berlin: Aufbau Taschenbuch Verlag, 2002. 476 pp. Illustrations. Facsimiles. Second Ed. 2003.


A Czech edition was published under the title Katyn: Statni zlocin - Statni tajemstvi. Prague: Nakladatestvo BB/art, 2003.


"With the painful process necessary, he reveals the anatomy of the crime, goes into the smallest detail, describes with the help of documents (...) the lives of the prisoners in the camps, the political and administrative background of their murder, efforts to mislead and cover-up, and the many mosaic pieces that allow an accurate historical demonstration of evidence about the truth of the crime, a crime that was not directed solely against the victims, but against the Polish nation as a whole. (...) In the context of the new fronts established by an emerging new global security policy and the ‘war on terrorism,’ Katyn becomes an object lesson."

("Polen und wir," Bochum)


"The meticulous picture of a massacre planned by the highest authority."

("Der Spiegel," Hamburg)


"Kaiser offers a well-researched outline of the mechanisms of this state-planned mass shooting through his successful presentation of text and selected sources, providing insight into the general structures and moments of totalitarian rule."

("Norddeutscher Rundfunk" NDR, Hamburg)



Restricted Area

The secret command centers in Wünsdorf since 1871


Sperrgebiet. Die geheimen Kommandozentralen in Wünsdorf seit 1871. [Restricted Area. The Secret Command Centers in Wünsdorf since 1871.] Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag, 1993. 199 pp. More than 200 illustrations. Facsimiles and maps. Second Ed. 1994. Third updated edition 1998.


The 4th updated and expanded edition published in 2007 - supplemented by Bernd Hermann on the fate of Wünsdorf and its surroundings in the decade (1998-2008) after the withdrawal of the Western Group of the Russian Armed Forces, under the title: "From Restricted Area to F​orest Town."


In four editions, so far 10,000 copies have found readers.


"Gerhard Kaiser has gone into unknown, uncharted territory and thereby brought to light the amazing history of the unique underground command center of the German Wehrmacht. This book opens up an important aspect of German military history."(“Die Zeit,” Hamburg)


“In this volume, Gerhard Kaiser and Bernd Herrmann tell the military history of the Wünsdorf region in a lively and knowledgeable style.” (“Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift” ["Military History Journal"] 67 (2008). No. 1)



Missile Trails

Peenemünde 1936-2000


Raketenspuren. Peenemünde 1936-1994 [Missile Tracks: Peenemünde, 1936-1994] (with Volkhard Bode). Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag, 1995. 205 pp. Illustrations. Facsimiles. A second Edition appeared in 1996, a 3rd Edition in 2001, a 4th Edition in 2002, a 5th Edition in 2004 and a 6th updated edition 2006. 7th Ed. 2011.


In 2008 an English-language edition appeared:

Building Hitler's Missiles. Traces of History in Peenemünde. Translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire. Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag.


Between September 1997 and January 2000, Bechtermünz Verlag printed licensed copies for Weltbild Verlag Augsburg, totaling seven additional editions.


The circulation of Raketenspuren in the German language has reached nearly 100,000 copies.



The shot into space. Footprints in the sand. (9-22)

Ready for the island. (23-50)

The Serpent's Egg. (51-72)

Weapons testing. (73-84)

Retreat into the cave. (85-104)

Ready for the front. (105-118) Hopeless flight. (119-134)

The victor’s haul. (135-154)

Everything on wheels. (155-162)

New lords, new obstacles. (163-176)

Lights out for the NVA. (177-184)

Future from the ruins? (185-192)

A power plant for the region. (193-200)

Chronology. List of Abbreviations. Sources and bibliography. Name index.




Our Grandchildren Will Fight Better

Dietzhausen - a historical reportage


Die Enkel fechten’s besser aus. Dietzhausen – eine historische Reportage [Our Grandchildren Will Fight Better: Dietzhausen - a Historical Reportage]. Dietzhäuser Heimatverlag, 1997. 238 pp. Illustrations.


1200 years of the social and municipal history of a village in the Thuringian Forest on the basis of archaeological finds and historical documents, records in parish registers and election results, correspondence and service books, photographs and facsimiles.




The Russia Hands

From the Forest into the World


Rußlandfahrer. Aus dem Wald in die Welt. Facharbeiter aus dem Thüringer Wald in der UdSSR. 1930-1965 [The Russia Hands: From the Forest into the World – Skilled Workers from the Thuringian Forest in the USSR, 1930-1965]. Tessin, 2000. 260 pp. Illustrations.


This book examines the political and ethical motivations, the social milieux, and the life and work experiences of skilled workers from the Thuringian Forest who decided at the end of 1920s and beginning of the 1930s to to work in the Soviet Union and in some cases moved there with their families.


They came to the Soviet Union neither on behalf of the Comintern nor the Communist Party, were not political exiles and even after 1933 did not receive the status of emigrant. Often in existential distress, the families of these workers who traveled to Russia received no support from the MOPR, the International Red Aid, despite most of them having participated in the creation and consolidation of them in their home communities. They were certainly not "economic refugees," but took up their work equipped with previously signed employment contracts at the request of and invited by the Soviet side, which urgently needed the help of highly skilled workers.


The highly qualified and experienced workers came of their own volition and free will. Their work and living conditions nonetheless were determined entirely by the Soviet side. The German skilled workers earned their living and that of their families by their own hands.


The German workers, foremen and instructors were thus not political "dreamers" but consistently came with high hopes and great enthusiasm to participate in the realization of a grand alternative to their current models of living.





Work has bitter roots ...

…but sweet fruit



Arbeit hat bitt`re Wurzel ... aber süße Frucht. Reflexionen über die Anfänge des Auslandsstudiums deutscher Studenten in der UdSSR. [Work Has Bitter Roots ... but Sweet Fruit: Reflections on the Beginnings of German Students Studying Abroad in the USSR.] edition bodoni, 2004. 153 pp. Illustrations. Second (expanded) ed. 2007.


The until low largely unexplored history of study abroad programs from the early 50s to mid-60s at universities and colleges of the USSR on the basis of memoirs, collections of letters and photographs, interviews and workshop discussions.




"A Matter of Life or Death"

Quiet heroes of the anti-fascist

resistance 1923 to 1945


„„Auf Leben und Tod“. Stille Helden im antifaschistischen Widerstand 1923 bis 1945 ["A Matter of Life or Death": Quiet Heroes in the Anti-Fascist Resistance 1923 to 1945]. Berlin: edition bodoni, 2007. 542 pp. Illustrations. Facsimiles.


Anti-fascist resistance by workers, intellectuals, military men, trade unionists, Communists, Social Democrats, Jehovah's Witnesses, religious socialists, Catholics, members of the anti-Nazi Confessional Church, foreign forced laborers, and emigrants, for whom political far-sightedness and local ties were coupled with a sense of responsibility for a Europe of the future.






Campo di Fiori

honoring the 65th anniversary

of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising


Campo di Fiori. Zum 65. Jahrestag des Aufstandes im Warschauer Ghetto. Alltag – Aufstand – Alltag [Campo di Fiori: Honoring the 65th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Everyday Life - Rebellion – Everyday Life.] Idea, afterword, and translation from the Polish by Gerd Kaiser, drawings and design by Vadim Brodsky, layout and realization by Marc Johne. Berlin: edition bodoni, 2008.





From the Family Business

Simson & Co to the Berlin-Suhler Weapons and Vehicle Factories (BSW)

Chronicle and Documentation by Gerd Kaiser


Vom Familienunternehmen Simson & Co zu den Berlin-Suhler-Waffen und Fahrzeugwerken (BSW) [From the Family Business Simson & Co to the Berlin-Suhler Weapons and Vehicle Factories (BSW)]. Chronicle and Documentation by Gerd Kaiser. Edition bodoni, 2008. 56 pp. Illustrations.







Upright and strong

in spite of everything


Gerd Kaiser, Ed., Aufrecht und stark – trotz alledem. Frauen und Männer von Suhl und Umgebung im Widerstand gegen Faschismus und Krieg [Upright and Strong - In Spite of Everything: Women and Men of Suhl and Surroundings in the Resistance against Fascism and War].


On behalf of the Association of People Persecuted by the Nazi Regime / Federation of Anti-Fascists in Suhl, and in cooperation with families of persecuted in the resistance,  issued by an author’s collective. edition bodoni, 2011.








Home in idyllic location

From Orphanage of the Elgersburg Red Aid

to the Hotel “Am Wald”


Heim in idyllischer Lage. Vom Kinderheim der Roten Hilfe zu Elgersburg zum Hotel „Am Wald“ [Home in Idyllic Location: From Orphanage of the Elgersburg Red Aid to the Hotel "Am Wald"]. Berlin: Karl Dietz Verlag, 2010. 176 pp. ISBN: 978-3-320-02230-3.














Elgersburg - "Between hammer and anvil."

"Misery threatens from above…"

"Home in idyllic location." 1925 to 1933.

"The power of solidarity"

"Played, did gymnastics, ate, learned"

"Not poor people's children"

"For the most important thing - the fraternal spirit"

"Vexing conditions"

"Down to the last cent"

Educational center and refuge

The house since 1933

"Heavens, what a time!" "Führer" school and naval “children.” 1933 to 1945

"A lot of good memories" - From Orphanage of the People's Solidarity

to orphanage and vacation resort. 1945/46-1955

The home closes down. 1949/55-1989

"With tradition into the future" - The holiday hotel

"Tenderness of the peoples" - International Orphanages

"Towards the Sun" - The orphanage in Öhrenfeld / Harz

"Becoming good fighters" - In the Barkenhoff commune

"Nest of the Gentry" as an orphanage - Waskino

"One of a kind" the orphanage in Ivanovo-Voznesensk

The Orphanage No. 6 in Moscow

"Lesnoy spa" - Forest spa town near the Volga

"Help the Children in Need!" - Contemporary documents of solidarity










A “brave, dignified person”

"Unwaveringly red"


Ein „tüchtiger, feiner Mensch“ – "Unbeirrbar rot“ [A "Brave, Dignified Person": “Unwaveringly Red”]. With Heinz Deutschland. Edda Hirschfeld-Tennenbaum and her family. Berlin: edition bodoni, 2011. 61 pp. Illustrations. ISBN: 978-3-940781-23-9








„Hier ist der deutsche Soldatensender 935“.

Eine Stimme im kalten Krieg


„Hier ist der deutsche Soldatensender 935“.

Eine Stimme im kalten Krieg. edition bodoni. Berlin. 2014.  187 S. ISBN: 978-3-940781-50-5

Dazu: Titelseite und Rücktitel einschl. der ausgelisteten Fragen









„Ein  Schlüssel zum Tor der Erinnerungen.


 Sonderdruck. 2018. 600 S.








Interviews with Eyewitnesses


„Das Wichtigste im Leben ist das Leben“. Marek Edelman über jüdischen Widerstand in Polen gegen die Nazi-Okkupanten. ["The most important thing in life is life." Marek Edelman on Jewish resistance against the Nazi occupiers in Poland.] In: „Neues Deutschland“. Berlin. 3. April 2001


„Wir dürfen keine Furcht haben, etwas Neues zu denken.“ Adam Schaff über Sozialismus, Faschismus und Raubtierkapitalismus. ["We must not fear to think anew." Adam Schaff on socialism, fascism, and predatory capitalism.] In: „Neues Deutschland“. Berlin. 17./18. August 2002.


Tausenddreihundert Tage Krieg. Jakow Drabkin über seinen langen Marsch von Moskau via Stalingrad nach Berlin. [One thousand three hundred days of war. Yakov Drabkin on his long march from Moscow to Berlin via Stalingrad.] In: „Neues Deutschland“. Berlin. 23./24. April 2005.




Nikolai Popjel: In schwerer Zeit [Nikolai Popjel: In Difficult Times]. (From the Russian). Berlin, 1962. 389 pp. (Many reprints).


Yakov Drabkin: Die Aufrechten. Karl Liebknecht. Rosa Luxemburg. Clara Zetkin. Franz Mehring [Yakov Drabkin: The Upright. Karl Liebknecht. Rosa Luxemburg. Clara Zetkin. Franz Mehring]. Berlin, 1988. 511 pp. (Translated from the Russian, together with Ines Mietkowska-Kaiser.)


Rosa Luxemburg. Gesammelte Briefe [Rosa Luxembourg. Collected Letters]. 6th vol. Berlin, 1993. (Together with Ines Mietkowska-Kaiser.)


Ryszard Marut: „Wir roden Kartoffeln, und der Krieg nimmt kein Ende“. Eine polnische Familiengeschichte in Briefen 1939-1945 [Ryszard Marut: "We Are Grubbing Potatoes, and the War Never Ends." A Polish Family History in Letters 1939-1945]. In: JahrBuch... 2/2006. Pp. 142-154. (From the Polish.)



Publications in Edited Collections


Das Programm der „Forschungsgruppe Schulz-Kampfhenkel“. (Kriegszielplanung 1932-1942 im Zuge „deutscher Weltpolitik“). [The program of the „Research Group Schulz-Kampfhenkel.“ (War aims planning as part of „German global policy” 1932-1942] In: „Zeitschrift für Militärgeschichte“. Berlin. 5/1965. S. 563-573.


Gerd Kaiser: Beweggründe „stiller Helden“ für den antifaschistischen Widerstand im Spiegel von Biographien. [Motives of the "silent heroes" in the anti-fascist resistance reflected in biographies.] In: Pankower Vorträge. Heft 115. Widerstand in der Illegalität und im Exil. S.5-16.


Gerd Kaiser: Über den Sozialismus dummer Kerls. (Antisemitismus in Polen 1944 bis 1994). [On the socialism of idiots. (Anti-Semitism in Poland, 1944-1994.)] In: „utopie

kreativ“. Berlin. H. 69/70. Juli-August 1996.


Gerd Kaiser: „Für Eure und unsere Freiheit“ (Deutsche in polnischen Streitkräften der Antihitlerkoalition). ["For your freedom and ours" (Germans in the Polish armed forces of the anti-Hitler coalition.)] In: Im Bunde mit dem Feind. Deutsche auf alliierter Seite. Hrsg. Stefan Doernberg. Berlin. 1995. S.17-25.


Windiges aus der deutschen Luftfahrt (II). [Windiness in German air travel.] In: „Das Blättchen.“ Zweiwochenschrift für Politik, Kunst, Wirtschaft. 1997. Probeheft. S. 4-8.


Gerd Kaiser: Gemeinsame politische, soziale und militärische Aktionen der kommunistischen und sozialdemokratischen Arbeiterschaft im Suhler Industrierevier. [Common political, social and military actions of the Communist and Social Democratic workers in the industrial district of Suhl.] In: November 1918. Revolution – Reform –

Parlamentarismus. Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Sachsen e.V. 1999. S. 77-89.


Gerhard Kaiser: Der Kaiser kam, die Generäle gingen. 1998 bis 2008. [The Kaiser came, the Generals went.] In: Das Blättchen. Sonderdruck.Berlin. 2008.112 S.


Gerhard Kaiser: Gemeinsame politische, soziale und militärische Aktionen der kommunistischen und sozialdemokratischen Arbeiterschaft im Suhler Industrierevier. [Common political, social and military actions of the Communist and Social Democratic workers in the industrial district of Suhl.] In: Revolution - Reform - Parlamentarismus. Hrsg. im Auftrag der RLS Sachsen Klaus Kinner. GNN Verlag Sachsen/Berlin. 1999. S.77-89


Gerd Kaiser: Katyn. Die polnischen Opfer 1939-1940. [Katyn: The Polish victims, 1939-1940.] In: Stalinscher Terror. 1934- 41. Eine Forschungsbilanz. Hsg. Wladislaw Hedeler. Berlin. 2002. S. 69-84.


Gerd Kaiser: „Laßt nicht locker“. Antifaschistischer Widerstand im Thüringer Wald. Teil I. [„Don’t let go.“ Anti-fascist resistance in the Thuringian Forest. Part I.] In: JahrBuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung. Berlin. 2/2003. S. 111-128; Teil II: 3/2004. S.105-111.


Gerd Kaiser: Familiengeschichten – Erinnerungen an die Geschichte der polnischen Arbeiterbewegung. [Family histories – Memories of the history of the Polish labor movement.] In: „JahrBuch...“ 1/2004. S. 142-152.


Gerd Kaiser: Njesgibajema „Krassnaja Rosa“. (Die unbeugsame „Rote Rosa“.) [The indomitable "Red Rosa. "] In: Rosa Luxemburg: Aktual`nye aspekty polititscheskoj i nautschnoj dejatel`nosti. (Aktuelle Aspekte des politischen und wissenschaftlichen Wirkens von Rosa Luxemburg.) [Current aspects of the political and scholarly impact of Rosa Luxemburg.] Moskau. 2004. Str. 63-70.


Gerd Kaiser: Aus dem Wald in die Welt: Hermann Dietz im europäischen Widerstand. In: Europa vor dem Abgrund. Das Jahr 1935 – eine nicht genutzte Chance. [From the forest into the world: Hermann Dietz in the European resistance. In: Europe before the abyss. The year 1935 - an untapped opportunity.] Hsg. Kurt Pätzold/Erika Schwarz. Köln. 2005. S. 206-216.


Gerd Kaiser: Polnische Wirtschaft. [Polish economy.] In: Pätzold, Kurt, Manfred Weißbecker: Kleines Lexikon historischer Schlagwörter. Leipzig. 2005. S. 221-222.


Gerd Kaiser: Auf der Suche nach „Beschäftigung und Brod“. Die Geschichte der Arbeiterfamilie Walther. [In search of "work and bread." The history of the working-class family Walther.] In: „JahrBuch...“ III/2005. S. 146-152.


Gerd Kaiser und Aleksander Kochanski: „Mit dieser Masche kommt ihr nicht durch...“. Die gesellschaftliche Krise 1956 – Nach Sitzungsprotokollen des Politbüros der Polnischen Vereinigten Arbeiterpartei. [“You’ll never get through with this trick..." The social crisis of 1956 - According to minutes of meetings of the Politburo of the Polish United Workers' Party.] In: "JahrBuch..."  III/2006. S. 125-146


Gerd Kaiser: -Arbeiterführer zwischen den Parteien. [Labor leaders between the parties.] Guido Heym S. 217-227; -Sucher, Seher und Mahner. [Seeker, seer and prophet.] Nikolaus Pfaff. S. 320-330; -Bücherfreund, Dichter und Politiker. [Bookworm, poet and politician.] Fritz Sattler. S. 369-376. In: Gelebte Ideen. Sozialisten in Thüringen. Biographische Skizzen. Hsg. Mario Hesselbarth u.a. Jena.2006


Gerd Kaiser: „Für Eure und unsere Freiheit.“ Polnischer Widerstand 1939 bis 1945 und deutsche Mitstreiter. ["For your freedom and ours." Polish Resistance 1939 to 1945 and German comrades.] In: DAR` SLOVES`NY. Festschrift für Christoph Koch zum 65. Geburtstag. Hg. Wolfgang Hock und Michael Meier-Brügger. München. 2007. S. 155-175.


Polen. [Poland.] In: Gelebte deutsch-polnische Nachbarschaft. Hsg. Gesellschaft für gute Nachbarschaft zu Polen. Berlin. 2008. S. 96-101.


Gerd Kaiser: Fakten des Verrats im Widerstand gegen das Naziregime in Thüringen und Verrat als Fiktion – ein Instrument der Herrschaftssicherung. [Facts of treason in the resistance against the Nazi regime in Thuringia and betrayal as fiction - an instrument to secure domination.] In: Die Arbeiterbewegung zwischen Trauma und Trauer. Hsg. Simone Barck und Ulla Plener. Berlin. S. 195-203 und 275-284.


Gerd Kaiser: Unbekannte Schicksale deutscher Arbeiterfamilien in der UdSSR und nach ihrer Rückkehr. [The unknown fates of German working-class families in the USSR and after their return.] In: Nach dem Schweigen. Erinnerungsorte, Gedenkbücher, Opferlisten des sowjetischen Exils. Pankower Vorträge. 167. S. 33-43.


Gerd Kaiser: Einführung in das Gespräch über das Gedenken. [Introduction to the conversation on commemoration.] In: Pankower Vorträge. Heft 148. Das  verordnete Schweigen. Deutsche Antifaschisten im sowjetischen Exil. Hrsg. Helle Panke e.V. - RLS Berlin. 2010. S. 50-52


Gerd Kaiser: „Familiengeschichten – Exilgeschichte – Weltgeschichte“ und  „Die 253 Russlandfahrer…“ In: W. Hedeler, A. Herbst, Gerd Kaiser und A. Volpert. „Der Vergessenheit entrissen. Lebensschicksale von 253 Russlandfahrern. Erfurt. 2017. S. 20-35 und 60ff. ISBN: 978-3-946939-07-8


Gerd Kaiser: „Wolnodumstvo“ -  Mitte der 50er Jahre des 20. Jh. Freigeisterei an der Moskauer Lomonossow-Universität. In: „Was tun? Berlin – Russland seit der Oktoberrevolution: Aspekte einer komplizierten Beziehung.“ Hsg. Berliner Geschichtswerkstatt e. V. Berlin. 2018. S. 93-98. ISBN: 978-3-925702-23-5




Gerd Kaiser



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Gerd Kaiser

Historian, author, publisher