Joachim Hoffmann (1 December 1930 – 8 February 2002) was a German historian who was the scientific director of the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office.


Joachim Hoffmann was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, in 1930. In the latter stages of World War II Hoffmann's family fled to western Germany to avoid the advancing Red Army. There the family settled in Berlin.

From 1951 Hoffmann studied modern history, eastern European history and comparative ethnology at the Free University of Berlin and University of Hamburg. In 1959 he received his PhD in history for his study Die Berliner Mission des Grafen Prokesch-Osten 1849-1852. From 1960 until 1995 Hoffmann was working in the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office, where his field of expertise was the “Armed Forces of the Soviet Union”. In his later years he held the post of scientific director. In these years he was also awarded prizes for his work, such as the “Dr. Walter-Eckhardt” Award (1991) and the “General Andrej Andrejewitsch Wlassow” Cultural Prize (1992).[citation needed] After Hoffmann had retired in 1995, he continued to work as an independent author.

He died at Freiburg in February 2002.[1]


Hoffmann published a number of books and articles mainly on the German-Soviet war (1941-1945). Most of his works were based on little-known topics like Deutsche und Kalmyken 1942 bis 1945 (Germans and the Kalmyk people) (1977), Die Ostlegionen 1941 bis 1943 (1981) and Kaukasien 1942/43 - Das deutsche Heer und die Orientvölker der Sowjetunion (Caucasus 1942/43 - The German army and the eastern peoples of the Soviet Union) (1991). Also in 1984 he published the book Die Geschichte der Wlassow-Armee (History of the Vlasov Army) (1984). Russian version of the book was published by YMCA Press in 1990.[2]

From the middle of the 1980s, Hoffmann was involved in the debate about alleged Soviet preparations for an attack on Germany since the summer of 1940. In 1995, right after he had retired, he published his work Stalins Vernichtungskrieg 1941-1945 ("Stalin's War of Extermination").


Hoffmann has been criticised by historians for his uncritical attitude to the Nazi regime, and its war in the Soviet Union.[3][4][5] Most critics concentrate on his last book Stalins Vernichtungskrieg 1941-1945 (1995) [Stalin's War of Annihilation].[6]

An expert witness on a trial of Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf

In 1995, Joachim Hoffmann served as an expert witness in a court. Wigbert Grabert published the anthology Grundlagen der Zeitgeschichte by Germar Rudolf, a Holocaust denier convicted of Volksverhetzung (incitement of the people), under his pseudonym "Ernst Gauss". Grabert was charged with this. Hoffmann prepared an expert opinion for Grabert's trial. The district court of Tübingen had the anthology confiscated for Holocaust denial and sentenced Grabert to a fine.[7][8]Rudolf published Hoffmann's opinion in 1997 in the Holocaust-denying journal Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (VffG).[9]

Selected works


  1. ^ Joachim Hoffmann: Verstörende Geschichte - Zum Tod des Militärhistorikers Joachim Hoffmann, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (February 27, 2002)
  2. ^ History of Vlasov's Army (Russian translation) by Joachim Hoffmann
  3. ^ G.C. Field in The American Historical Review, Volume 80, Issue 4 (Oct., 1975), S. 964-5 Review of Hoffmann: Deutsche und Kalmyken, 1942 bis 1945.
  4. ^ R.J. Overy in The English Historical Review, Volume 102, Issue 404 (Jul., 1987), S. 759 Review of Hoffmann: Die Geschichte der Wlassow-Armee.
  5. ^ Michael G. Hillinger in The American Historical Review, Volume 81, Issue 5 (Dec., 1976), S. 1155 Review of Hoffmann: Die Ostlegionen, 1941-1943. Turkotataren, Kaukasier und Wolgafinnen im deutschen Heer.
  6. ^ Klaus Naumann Die Zeit Nr. 46, 1995 (online, abgerufen am 5. August 2010), die tageszeitung, 27. Dezember 1995, Historische Zeitschrift 263, 1996, S. 259 ff., Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen 56, 1997, S. 186–189.
  7. ^ [Tübingen District Court Az. 4 Gs 173/95 "Az 4 Gs 173 95"] Check |url= value (help). Tübingen District Court.
  8. ^ "Ministry of the Interior and Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (ed.): Report on the protection of the constitution of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Interim report 1998, Düsseldorf 1998, p. 32". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Joachim Hoffmann: Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte: Gutachterliche Stellungnahme. In: Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung Jg. 1 (1997) Nr. 3, S. 205-207.