Professor Bruce Pauley, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Central Florida, was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Letters and the Arts 1st Class. The award was presented by Austrian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Christian Prosl during a ceremony on April 6, 2010, at the residence of the Austrian Honorary Consul in Orlando, Florida, Toby Unwin.
Dr. Pauley is recognized as one of the most foremost scholars on Austria in the United States. During his career as a professor and researcher, he has published widely. His scholarship has placed him in the forefront of North American scholars specializing in the history of Austria.
The primary focus of his publications is the history of Austria during the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (“The Habsburg Legacy, 1867 – 1939”), the period between the two world wars, and the era of National Socialism.
His book, “From Prejudice to Persecution: A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism,” won the Charles Smith award from the Southern Historical Association and the Best Book Prize from the Austrian Cultural Institute. Its German translation was a best seller in Austria.
His most recent book is “Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century,” which is now in its third edition.
Dr. Pauley has lectured widely at many universities in the United States, Austria, and Great Britain. He is currently working on a study of “Austria-Hungary and the American Intervention in the First World War, 1917 – 1918.” In the 1950s, Dr. Pauley’s academic interest in Austrian history was generated by his indelible experiences during his junior year abroad as a student at the University of Vienna.
It was a turning point in his life which he describes extensively in his autobiography, “Pioneering History: From the Steppes of Russia to the Great American Plains.” He was also inspired by his Austrian friend and roommate Walter Siege, who later pursued a successful diplomatic career in the Austrian Foreign Service serving as Ambassador to Russia, Kenya, and Yugoslavia.
Throughout his career Pauley, who holds degrees from Grinnell College (IA), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (NE) and the University of Rochester (NY), traveled frequently to Austria and in 1963-64 continued his studies as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Graz.
During his long academic career, particularly as professor of history at the University of Central Florida, Dr. Pauley’s research on Austria was an important part of many professional scholarly programs and events and represented an important contribution to the strengthening of Austrian-American relations. Also, as the author of many professional articles in books, journals and newspapers, he contributed significantly to research on Austrian history.
Dr. Pauley is held in the highest regard by members of the European and American academic communities. In addition to the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship he has been awarded several stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as from the University of Central Florida. In 1996 and 2005 he received distinguished alumni awards from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Apart from his research, Prof. Pauley participated in a countless number of panel discussions and seminars.