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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 161, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VIII$
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Ron Johnston

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264577

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264577.001.0001

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Norman Rufus Colin Cohn 1915–2007

Norman Rufus Colin Cohn 1915–2007

Chapter:
(p.84) (p.85) (p.86) (p.87) Norman Rufus Colin Cohn 1915–2007
Source:
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 161, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VIII
Author(s):

William Lamont

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264577.003.0005

Norman Rufus Colin Cohn (1915–2007), a Fellow of the British Academy, wrote three major histories around a single theme. The Pursuit of the Millennium (1957) related the apocalyptic beliefs of twentieth-century totalitarian movements, whether Nazi or Communist, to their origins in medieval heresy. Warrant for Genocide (1967) established that the key document of a Jewish world conspiracy, The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, was a nineteenth-century Tsarist forgery. Europe's Inner Demons (1975) argued that the belief in a Satanic pact was at the heart of witch persecution in early modern Europe. Within a year of retiring as Director of the Columbus Centre, Cohn was invited to Concordia University, Montreal, to help launch an Institute for Genocide Studies. He regarded his three books as tied to the Columbus Centre agenda and as such compatible with Lord Dacre's own search for what it was in Germany's myths and history that Adolf Hitler's mind could have been working upon in his lost years in Vienna.

Keywords:   British Academy, heresy, Genocide Studies, Lord Dacre, Germany, persecution, Concordia University, Europe

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