Walter Ze'ev Laqueur was born in Breslau, Germany (now Poland), to a Jewish family. He attended gymnasium but in 1938, under pressure of Nazi persecution, he left Germany for the British Mandate of Palestine. His parents were killed in the Holocaust. Laqueur attended Hebrew University, worked on kibbutz and as a journalist. After leaving Israel in 1953, he's lived mostly in the UK and the USA. In London, he served as director of the Institute of Contemporary History and then director of the Wiener Library, the leading institute for the study of anti-Semitism. He was the co-founder and editor, with George L. Mosse, of The Journal of Contemporary History. He was chairman of the International Research Council of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., from 1969 to 2001. He also has been Professor of the History of Ideas at Brandeis University (1968–1972), University Professor at Georgetown University (1976–1988), and visiting professor of history and government at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Tel Aviv University, and Johns Hopkins University. He has written more than 20 books on 19th and 20th century European history, which have been translated into many languages. Prof. Laqueur's commentary on international affairs has appeared in many American and European periodicals.