Klaus Mehnert (October 10, 1906, Moscow, Russia – January 2, 1984, Freudenstadt, Germany) was a globetrotting German political scientist and a journalist. As a scholar, he was a prolific author; as a journalist, he practiced in the USSR as a correspondent, in China as a publisher, and in Germany. He was a professor at two American universities before World War II. In the late 1970s he authored several books on recent youth led political movements (youth movements) in various Western countries.
At the outbreak of World War I, Mehnert's family had to abandon Moscow for Stuttgart, Germany. His father died in Flanders in 1917 as a German soldier. Mehnert attended the University of Tübingen, the University of Munich, the University of California, Berkeley, and finally the University of Berlin, where he received his PhD under Professor Otto Hoetzsch in 1928. Hoetzsch and Mehnert later took part in the short-lived society to study the Soviet command economy, ARPLAN.
Over the next ten years, he traveled frequently, to America, the Soviet Union, Japan, and China. He married Enid Keyes († 1955) in California in 1933. From 1934 to 1936 he served as a Soviet correspondent for a German newspaper.
Subsequently, Mehnert taught politics at Berkeley and then at the University of Hawaii at Manoa until 1941, where he started intensively studying Russian and Pacific history. Six months prior to America's entry to World War II, he decided to go to Shanghai, where, with funding from the German foreign ministry, he published a journal named XXth Century. The journal was discontinued in 1945, when he was briefly imprisoned.
Returning to Germany after the war, he held various positions as journalist, editor, and professor, as well as government advisor on Sino-Russian matters, and published several books in the field of political science.
Since 2005, the "Europainstitut Klaus Mehnert" has offered a student exchange program between his former university RWTH Aachen and the University of Kaliningrad.
Selected writings by Klaus Mehnert
- in German (some translated)
- Ein deutscher Austauschstudent in Kalifornien ("A German exchange student in California"). Stuttgart, 1930
- Die Jugend in Sowjet-Russland. Berlin, 1932; Youth in Soviet Russia. Transl. by Michael Davidson, Westport, Conn., 1981
- The Russians in Hawaii, 1804-19. Hawaii, 1939
- Der Sowjetmensch. Stuttgart, 1958; The Anatomy of Soviet man. Transl. by Maurice Rosenbaum, London, 1961
- Peking und Moskau. Stuttgart, 1962; Peking and Moscow. Transl. by Leila Vennewitz, London, 1963
- China nach dem Sturm. Munich, 1971; China today. Transl. by Cornelia Schaeffer, London, 1972
- in English
- 1952. Stalin Versus Marx: the Stalinist historical doctrine. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 130pp.
- _____ and Maurice Rosenbaum. 1962. Soviet man and his world. New York: Praeger, 310pp.
- Peking and Moscow. 1963. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 522pp
- China Today. 1972. London: Thames and Hudson, 322pp, ISBN 0-500-25032-4
- China Returns. 1972. New York: Dutton, 322pp, ISBN 978-0-525-08000-8
- Moscow and the New Left. 1975. Berkeley & Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 275pp, ISBN 978-0-520-02652-0
- Twilight of the Young: the radical movements of the 1960s and their legacy. 1977. New York. 428pp, ISBN 978-0-03-019476-4
- Youth in Soviet Russia. 1981. Hyperion Pr, ISBN 978-0-8305-0083-3
- The Russians & Their Favorite Books. 1983. Hoover Inst Pr, ISBN 978-0-8179-7821-1
- in German
- Peking und Moskau. 1964. DTV, 508pp
- Der deutsche Standort. 1967. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 415pp
- China nach dem Sturm. 1971. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 340pp, ISBN 978-3-421-01593-8
- Amerikanische und russische Jugend um 1930. 1973. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 297pp, ISBN 978-3-421-01629-4
- Moskau und die neue Linke. 1973. 219pp, ISBN 978-3-421-01661-4
- Jugend im Zeitbruch: Woher-Wohin. 1976. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 511pp, ISBN 978-3-421-01753-6
- Kampf um Maos Erbe: Geschichten machen Geschichte. 1977. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 319pp, ISBN 978-3-421-01825-0
- Maos Erben machen's anders. 1979. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 171pp
- Ein Deutscher in der Welt: Erinnerungen 1906-1981. 1983. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 447pp, ISBN 978-3-421-06055-6
- Uber die Russen heute: Was sie lesen, wie sie sind. 1983. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 352pp, ISBN 978-3-421-06163-8
- in French
- La Rebelión De La Juventud. 1978.
- In italian
- "Cina rossa". 1972. Milano: Bietti, 372pp.