David Conley Nelson received his Ph.D. in History from Texas A&M University in 2012. He earned an M.A. in History from Texas A&M in 2000, a B.A. in French from the University of Houston in 1997, and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon in 1975. David received the Juanita Brooks Award for the best graduate student paper presented at the annual conference of the Mormon History Association in Aalborg, Denmark for “The Hübener Syndrome: How Mormons Remember Church History in Nazi Germany.” He has received research grants from the European Union Center of Excellence and from the Texas A&M History Department. David has studied German at the Goethe-Institut in Munich and at Texas A&M, and French in Bourges, France; Jonquiere, Quebec, and the University of Houston. He holds a certificate in business French from the Chambre de Commerce and de l’Industrie de Paris.
David became interested in the Mormon Church and the Nazis during a previous marriage to a Latter-Day Saint’s member whose son’s questions sparked years of research into the subject. As a historian, he specializes in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and concentrates on the relationship between small religious denominations and totalitarian governments. He has a secondary research interest in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—the Mormons.
When not researching and writing history, David travels the world as an airline captain. He served six years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. David lives in College Station, Texas, with his wife and three children and is a passionate fan of the Texas A&M Aggies and the Oregon Ducks.
In this interview Kirk and David discuss the Nazi idea of Adolf
Hitler as a quasi-Mormon figure, the German LDS ideal of a pure race, and the
role J. Reuben Clark played during this era.