Thomas Kunze (born February 23, 1963 in Leipzig) is a German contemporary historian and publicist.
Thomas Kunze studied History, German studies and Pedagogy in Jena and Leipzig. He received his Ph.D. in 1991 and was awarded an Honorary Professorship from the Presidential Academy in Tashkent and State Al-Khorezmi University in Urgench, Uzbekistan. He is Honorary Ambassador for Eastern Europe, Russia and Middle Asia at the Swiss-German Institute for Theoretical and Artistic Reenactment (IIPM), Zürich/ Berlin.
After the German Reunification, Kunze served as director of the Foreigner’s Registration Office, district Leipzig, until 1995. From 1995 to 2000 he worked as a visiting lecturer at Ovidius University in Constanţa, Romania. He wrote the first thorough biography on Romanian head of state Nicolae Ceaușescu, which was translated into Romanian. His work is considered a must-read on the history of communism in Romania. In 2009, the process against Ceaușescu, which lead to his execution in 1989, was staged as a play by director Milo Rau. Thomas Kunze was a counsellor during the production. It was performed in Romania, Germany and Switzerland. In 2010 a film followed.
In 2001 the biography "Head of State retired: The last years of Erich Honecker" was published.
Since 2002, Kunze has been working for the Christian Democratic Union (Germany), in which he is a member, affiliated political research foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. His area of expertise includes Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. From 2005 to 2007, he was director of the Moscow Office and from 2007 to 2010 director of the Europe/North America-Section of the foundation. Since 2010, he was for the second time appointed director of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Central Asia, with offices in Tashkent. Thomas Kunze is an advocate of a stronger German-Russian cooperation and supports the abolition of visa barriers between the EU and Russia.
Apart from travel reports and travel guides about Romania, Hungary and Turkey, he published numerous political analyses and articles, focusing on the development of Middle Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia. In 2008, his book Russia’s Underworld. Time travel through secret bunkers and forgotten tunnels. was published. In 2010, the volume Ostalgia international, edited with Thomas Vogel and in 2011, also with Thomas Vogel, the book From the Soviet Union to Independence was released. Together with Wolfgang Maier, he edited the volume Twenty-one. Dangers of our century – Possibilities of our century, in which different authors from all over the world deal with the challenges of our time – security, energy, demographics and geopolitics.
- 2011: Sächsische Verfassungsmedaille
- Romania. Travel Guide./ Rumänien. Reiseführer. Co-author: Ute Walbe-Kunze, Goldstadtverlag, Pforzheim, 1. edition 1999, 2. edition 2002, ISBN 978-3-89550-034-3.
- Istanbul and travels into the region./ Istanbul und Ausflüge in die Umgebung. Co-author: Ute Walbe-Kunze, Goldstadtverlag, Pforzheim, 1. edition 1999, 2. edition 2002, ISBN 3-89550-217-0.
- Nicolae Ceausescu. A Biography./ Nicolae Ceausescu. Eine Biographie. Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin, 1. und 2. edition 2000, 3. Edited edition 2009, ISBN 978-3-86153-562-1.
- Head of State retired. The Last years of Erich Honecker./ Staatschef a. D. Die letzten Jahre des Erich Honecker. Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 978-3-86153-247-7.
- Honecker's flight/ Honeckers Flucht. Film (ARD/MDR) by Thomas Grimm, Thomas Kunze (co-author script), 2002.
- Hungary: city guide Budapest, Balaton, traveling though Hungary – geology and geography, climate and traveling time, historical overview (with Ute Walbe-Kunze)/ Ungarn: Stadtführer Budapest, der Balaton, Reisen durch Ungarn – Geologie und Geographie, Klima und Reisezeit, geschichtlicher Überblick. Goldstadtverlag, Pforzheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-89550-035-0 .
- Russia's Underworld. Time travel through secret bunkers and forgotten tunnels./ Rußlands Unterwelten. Eine Zeitreise durch geheime Bunker und vergessene Tunnel. Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-86153-490-7.
- Ostalgia international. Memories of the GDR from Nicaragua to Vietnam./ Ostalgie international. Erinnerungen an die DDR von Nicaragua bis Vietnam. (Ed. Thomas Kunze, Thomas Vogel), Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin, 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-600-0.
- Twenty-one. Einundzwanzig. Dangers of our century – possibilities of our century./ Jahrhundertgefahren - Jahrhundertchancen. Ed. Thomas Kunze, Wolfgang Maier. Salmuth & Finckenstein, Berlin, 2010, ISBN 978-3-934882-21-8.
- From the Soviet Union to Independence. Traveling through the 15 former Soviet Republics./ Von der Sowjetunion in die Unabhängigkeit. Eine Reise durch die 15 früheren Sowjetrepubliken. Co-author: Thomas Vogel. Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin, 2011, ISBN 978-3-86153-644-4.
- Ceaușescu Nicolae, in: Groenewold/ Ignor / Koch (Hrsg.), Lexikon der Politischen Strafprozesse (last accessed on 07.03.2018.)
- Central Asia. Portrait of a Region./Zentralasien. Portrait einer Region. Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin, 2018, ISBN 978-3-86153-995-7.