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Bogdan Musiał

Bogdan Musiał Historian

The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Historian
Is Historian Educator
From Germany Poland
Type Academia Social science
Gender male
Birth Wielopole, Dąbrowa County
The details

Professor Bogdan Musiał (born 1960) is a Polish-German historian with Polish background and dual citizenship. He specializes in the history of World War II. Musiał lives and works in Poland at present, previously in Germany.


Bogdan Musiał was born in 1960 in Wielopole, Dąbrowa County, Poland. He worked in Silesian mines and collaborated with the Polish Solidarność movement. On account of the latter involvement, he was persecuted by state security and in 1985 sought and received political asylum in the Federal Republic of Germany; in 1992 he was naturalized. He worked as a mechanic, and from 1990 to 1998 studied history, political science and sociology at the Leibniz University of Hannover and the University of Manchester. In 1998 he graduated with a thesis on the treatment of Jews in occupied Poland.

From 1991 to 1998, Musiał received a scholarship from Friedrich Ebert Foundation. During that time he was one of the main critics of the Wehrmachtsausstellung exhibition compiled by the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, which eventually had to be seriously revised before reopening to conform with his findings.

Since 1998 he served as scientific researcher at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw where he has studied previously inaccessible sources about crimes of the Soviet NKVD during the Soviet retreat in 1941 which escalated violence.

In 2008 he published the book Kampfplatz Deutschland. Since 2010 he lives in Poland and works at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw.

Sowjetische Partisanen 1941-1944

Musiał's ground-breaking research into the criminal activities of so-called Soviet partisans was summarized by Karel Berkhoff in a following way:

The book’s key finding is that the partisans arose and acted more or less independently from Moscow in numerous ways, especially but not only in the first year of the war with Germany. The first partisan units appeared before any central directives to this effect, and Moscow did not even know they existed. The NKVD never quite gained control over espionage among the partisans. Against Moscow’s wishes, large partisan zones sprang up and partisans robbed peasants of all their food, attacked Jews (until the spring of 1943), abused alcohol and women, beat and killed arbitrarily, and even destroyed entire villages. — Karel Berkhoff

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