Historical Social Research

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Jürgen W. Falter: Autobiographische Anmerkungen

»Autobiographical Notes«. As a comparatively young boy I became strongly interested in both historical and political issues. This had to do, of course, with German history and the Cold War of the 1950s. As a student, I concentrated on historical and social studies, majored in political science and turned, due to my interest in the voters of the extremist NPD, into an empiricist and voting behavior specialist. Using theories and methods of voting behavior research for the analysis of the NSDAP electorate, I very soon discovered that much of what we believed about Nazi voting was empirically unfounded or flawed. So, in order to create substantial knowledge on the subject, I worked for more than twelve years on the question of “Who voted for Hitler?” After that, and until now, I have been working on the NSDAP party membership, a work still in progress. These topics, however, comprise only a smaller part of my scientific work. A much bigger part deals with modern voting behavior, political attitudes, extremist voters, the methodology of the social sciences, etc. These latter aspects of my career as a scientist are not dealt with in depth in the following.