College of Arts and Sciences

Bernd Fischer

The College of Arts and Sciences recognizes Bernd Fischer, professor of History, and his publication, Albania at War: 1939-1945. The Albanian Ministry of Education and Science recently designated the book as "A Fundamental Work of Albanology," and Fischer has been invited to present a talk and attend a symposium in Tirana at which 3 of the 28 books (7 of them are works of history) so designated will receive awards called the Prize in Albanology. Additionally, Dr. Fischer's book received an "Editor's Choice" award from an on-line book club in the past.

Photo of Fischer and President Rugova

Bernd Fischer
Albania at War: 1939-1945

Of all the nations that actively participated in World War II, Albania has most glaringly suffered from the lack of a comprehensive and objective English-language account of its war years. Bernd Fischer of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne has produced a remarkable, erudite, highly readable volume which more than adequately fills that gap while transcending the "nation at war" genre. In addition to a thorough and accessible history of "Old" Albania during the war, Fischer turns his attention to the enlarged "Greater" Albania and offers insights into the complex relationships among Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, and Yugoslavia, insights based on historical events which prove to have considerable, and perhaps unexpected, immediacy in the waning months of the twentieth century.

This is a fascinating book about an obscure nation, a "Land of the Eagles" with such an exotic cast of characters and such a complex story it seems almost like a crazed sort of medieval fantasy time-warped into the middle of the twentieth century. Evocative photos. A pithy conclusion (which could stand alone for anyone desiring the super-condensed version of Albania's war years). Fully footnoted. A thorough index. An educational bibliographic essay and an extensive bibliography. Albania at War is a marvelous model of how scholarly research and thoughtful, academic writing can inform, entertain, and even bring the fading years of a distant land brilliantly alive. Highly recommended as one of the most important WWII-related titles published this year. (Excerpts taken from Bill Stone's review of "Albania: 1939-1975," July 1, 1999. Available from online booksellers, local bookshops, or directly from Purdue University Press.)

About the Author

Bernd Fischer is Chair and Professor of History at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1982. His publications include King Zog and the Struggle for Stability in Albania (1984), Albania at War, 1939-1945 (1999), and an edited volume called Balkan Strongmen: Dictators and Authoritarian Rulers of Southeast Europe (2007).