Arno J. Mayer is a Luxembourg-American historian who specializes in modern Europe, diplomatic history, and the Holocaust. He is currently the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History, Emeritus, at Princeton University.
Professor Mayer was born in Luxembourg on 19 June 1926. His family fled to France amid the German invasion on 10 May 1940 and reached the border between France and Spain by fall 1940. They were turned back by Spanish border guards and remained in the Vichy-controlled "Free Zone" after the Fall of France. The family succeeded in boarding a ship to Oran in French Algeria on 18 October 1940 but were prevented from entering Morocco because they didn’t have a visa. They secured visas for the United States in November 1940 and arrived in New York in January 1941. His maternal grandparents who had refused to leave Luxembourg were deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto where his grandfather died in December 1943.
Arno J. Mayer became a US citizen in 1944 and enlisted in the United States Army. He served as an intelligence officer and eventually became a morale officer for high-ranking German prisoners of war. He was discharged from military service in 1946.
Professor Mayer received his B.A. from the City College of New York; his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. Following his graduation from Yale, he taught briefly at Wesleyan and Harvard before joining Princeton faculty in 1962.
Professor Mayer's field of expertise is Modern Europe, with research interests centered on the Holocaust and European Political History during the 19th and 20th century. Some of his well-known publications include, “The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions”, “The Persistence of the Old Regime: Europe to the Great War” and “Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: The Final Solution in History”.
Arno J. Mayer is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation since 1967 and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1979.