Definition of Historikerstreit in English:


Pronunciation /hɪˈstɒrɪkəˌʃtrʌɪt/


  • A controversial scholarly debate in West Germany in 1986–7 as to the interpretation and significance of the Holocaust, and in particular whether the atrocities committed by the Nazis can be compared to those of the Stalinist regime.

    The debate was started by Ernst Nolte's essay ‘Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will’ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 June 1986).


1980s; earliest use found in The New York Times. From German Historikerstreit, literally ‘historians' quarrel’ from Historiker historian + Streit quarrel, controversy.