Professor Anthony Nicholls: 2 February 1934 – 26 January 2020

Tony Nicholls passed away at the age of 85 after a long illness. Very few people can claim a longer or deeper continuous relationship with St Antony’s since it was founded in 1950.

He obtained a B.Phil. at St Antony’s in 1959-1960 before being elected to a research fellowship at the College in 1961, which he held until 1968 when he became an Official Fellow of the College and a Special ‘non-CUF’ Lecturer at the University. In 1976, he established, and became the first Director of, the St Antony’s European Studies Centre. In 2000, he was awarded the title of Professor of Modern German History. He became an Emeritus Fellow of the College on his retirement in 2001.

Tony was one of the earliest British scholars to study German history after World War II. He was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 1994 by the German Government for his contribution to Anglo-German relations and, in 2003, given an honorary doctorate by Munich University. His many publications include: The Semblance of Peace (with John Wheeler-Bennett), 1972; Weimar and the Rise of Hitler, 1991; The Bonn Republic: West German Democracy 1945-1990, 1997; Freedom with Responsibility: The Social Market Economy in Germany 1918-1963, 2000; German Democracy and the Triumph of Hitler: Essays in recent German History (with Erich Matthias), 2001; Fifty Years of Anglo-German Relations, 2001.

Tony held many posts in College, including Library Fellow, Senior Tutor and Sub-Warden. He was also a member of the North Commission of Inquiry under Sir Peter North whose report in the late 1990s led to the current governance structure of the university and was an important factor in Oxford retaining its world-class position in research and teaching.

Warden Roger Goodman paid tribute, saying:

‘Tony was the kindest and most generous of colleagues and I turned to him several times, as a young fellow, for advice, not just on Oxford but on more general questions of an academic career. He always gave the most thoughtful of responses and, as you know, I also believe he was one of the key architects of the North Reforms which have made Oxford the institution that it is today. We are all very much in his debt.’

External Links: 

Obituary in the The Telegraph newspaper

Obituary in the Times newspaper

Obituary in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (German)

Where next?