Düsseldorf History Association

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein (DGV) is a recognized non-profit association whose around 500 members dedicate themselves to researching and communicating the history of the city of Düsseldorf and the region on a voluntary basis . 1880 Launched Historical Society sees itself as a scientific society.

Founding history

In the second half of the 19th century in Germany those interested in history (both scholars and laypeople) joined together in numerous historical associations and civil societies that were dedicated to local history, the preservation of monuments and dialects , as well as their own archives, collections and specialist libraries . In the Prussian provinces of Rhineland and Westphalia , for example, these were the following associations, all of which still exist today: Historical Association for the Lower Rhine (founded in 1854), Bergischer Geschichtsverein with a focus on Bergisches Land (1863), Historical Association for Dortmund and the Grafschaft Mark (1872 ), Historical Association for the City and Monastery of Essen (1880), the Cologne-based Society for Rhenish History (1881) or the Association for Local and Local History in the Grafschaft Mark (1886). Efforts to found such an association were made in Düsseldorf as early as the second half of the 1870s, especially since the 600th anniversary of the city's founding (1888) was a central event for the city's identity. This approaching event, but also the ever-growing change in the city and its population, which was perceived as particularly hectic due to the dynamic of industrialization, contributed to the fact that educated middle-class circles (teachers, archivists, pastors) felt the need to initiate and write local history to bundle in a new association.

Against this background, the DGV was founded on May 13, 1880 in an inn in Düsseldorf's old town on the initiative of the rector and city ​​councilor Wilhelm Herchenbach . When it was founded, the DGV was originally called the Association for History and Archeology of Düsseldorf and the Surrounding Area , but it was renamed the Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein as early as 1882 . In this phase his program had developed significantly from a group of amateur archaeologists and collectors to an association of full-time historians and archivists. The association also saw itself at times as a Catholic “counterweight” to the (Protestant-dominated) Bergisches Geschichtsverein in Elberfeld.

Profile, tasks and goals

According to its statutes, the Düsseldorf History Association has set itself the task of “promoting and conveying new knowledge about the history of the Düsseldorf area and the Lower Rhine; it thus serves non-profit (scientific) purposes. The publication of the Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch and other publications as well as the implementation of lectures and study trips serve these purposes. The association is selflessly active; it does not primarily pursue its own economic purposes. "

The association promotes historical research on the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital Düsseldorf and the surrounding area. In the broadest sense, the region whose history is being dealt with includes the entire Lower Rhine , the historic countries of Jülich and Berg, Kleve and Mark and Kurköln, as well as Düsseldorf's relationship to other historical regions in the Reich or in Europe. Furthermore, the Napoleonic dominated Grand Duchy of Berg , the Prussian Rhine Province and the history of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia are dealt with . The topics of publications, lectures or educational events range from the prehistory and early history of the Lower Rhine to the Middle Ages (regional history, Counts of Berg, city extensions, castle construction, city fortifications, customs duties and shipping on the Rhine) and early modern times (Düsseldorf as the capital and princely residence city with a picture gallery and court opera, international alliance politics and confessionalization) up to the 19th and 20th centuries with questions of recent and recent contemporary history (revolutionary and bourgeois era, industrialization, social history, world wars, Nazi era, reconstruction, recent national history). In addition to the history of art, culture, literature and architecture, religious history and biographical aspects, the local histories of historically significant districts (imperial city Kaiserswerth , monastery and city of Gerresheim or Freiheit Angermund ) are dealt with.

The DGV regularly offers its members day excursions, lecture series, educational events and city tours. The association currently has 493 members (as of June 2016).

The "Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch"

The own periodical Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch has been published annually since 1886 (only interrupted due to the war from 1941 to 1946). Volumes 1 to 25 (until 1912) were still called Contributions to the History of the Lower Rhine. Yearbook of the Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein , this was then changed to the name Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch, which still exists today . Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine (from volume 26/1913). As the subtitle suggests, the annual not only deals with the history of Düsseldorf, but also with regional and state history. The first regular authors included the Ratinger brothers Heinrich and Peter Eschbach, the historian Heinrich Ferber and the rabbi of the Jewish community Abraham Wedell . Just two years after the founding of the yearbook, an extensive special edition (volume 3/1888) appeared on the occasion of the city's anniversary, which saw itself as the first coherent city history of Düsseldorf. The essays dealt primarily with medieval history, with religious foundations or individual aristocratic residences and courts in the area, as well as with the Jülich-Berg regional history. In addition, important documents or inscriptions were edited.

Since the 1980s, cultural and social-historical topics as well as contributions to contemporary history have increased significantly, for example on forced labor and subcamps (1988), on Jewish topics (2000), on the history of migration (1986), on industrialization and workers (1988), on modern social and medical history (1998) or on individual victims of National Socialism (1993).

In addition, there is an extensive discussion section (reviews of historical and local history new publications), the association and board report as well as the monument protection report and the Düsseldorf annual chronicle with notable events of the past year (since 1992). The current yearbook is free for the members of the history association. The tables of contents can be called up in digitized form.

Further publications of the association

In addition to the Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch, the association publishes several active series of publications:

  • "Document books of the spiritual foundations of the Lower Rhine" (since 1904)
  • "Sources and research on the history of the Lower Rhine" (since 1940)
  • "Studies on Düsseldorf Economic History" (since 1964)
  • "Small series of publications by the Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein" (since 2014)


The extensive urban and regional history library of the association, which was created through foundations and, above all, exchange with numerous domestic and foreign scientific institutes, associations and societies over the last 130 years, is now part of the Düsseldorf University Library and is available there for general use.

Board of Directors and Cooperations

The board of directors of the Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein currently includes: Volker Ackermann (1st chairman), Benedikt Mauer (deputy chairman and editor) and Kerstin Früh (treasurer) as well as assessors Felix Droste, Bastian Fleermann, Peter Henkel, Julia Lederle-Wintgens and the former head of the Düsseldorf City Archives, Clemens Graf von Looz-Corswarem .

Association and Board cooperate with institutions, including the city archives Dusseldorf and the NRW State Archive / Department Rheinland (Duisburg), with the history departments at the Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf , with the Dusseldorf City Museum , the memorial Dusseldorf and Heinrich Heine Institute as well as with historical associations, archives or museums in the region.

Chair since 1880

  • Wilhelm Herchenbach , teacher (May 13, 1880 - 1885)
  • Dr. Paul Tönnies, senior teacher (1885–1887)
  • Carl Bone, high school professor (1888–1897)
  • Prof. Dr. Robert Hassencamp (1897–1898)
  • Dr. Otto Redlich (historian) , State Archives Director (1898–1906)
  • Christian Nörrenberg, library director (1906–1928)
  • Dr. Paul Wentzcke , City Archives Director (1928–1935)
  • Dr. Bernhard Vollmer , State Archives Director (1935–1958)
  • Otto Fuhrmann, Government Director (1958–1989)
  • Dieter Weber, State Archives Director (1989–1999)
  • Ingeborg Schnelling, senior state archivist (1999–2001)
  • Prof. Dr. Horst A. Wessel , Head of the Mannesmann Archive (2001–2011)
  • Dr. Susanne Schwabach-Albrecht, Chair of the North Rhine-Westphalia Literature Office (2011–2016)
  • Prof. Dr. Volker Ackermann, apl.-Prof at Heine University and teacher (since April 2016)

Honors: Lacomblet plaque and medal of merit

The Düsseldorf History Association honors deserving members with the Lacomblet plaque . This award was donated by the DGV in 1947. It is to be awarded for "high merits in promoting historical thinking in the Lower Rhine in special cases". It was designed by the artists Carl Moritz Schreiner from Düsseldorf and Gretel Krauskopf-Gemmert . The award bears the name of the first head of the Prussian Provincial Archives in Düsseldorf, today's North Rhine-Westphalia State Archives, Rhineland Department , Theodor Joseph Lacomblet . The award has been given fourteen times since 1947, namely to:

The association honors members who have made a special contribution to the association with the "Merit Medal" of the DGV. Holder of this award, which was first awarded in 2006:

  • Dieter Scriverius (2006)
  • Eckhard Berke (2012)
  • Hanns-Michael Crass (2012)
  • Rolf Nagel (2016)

Honorary members

The DGV appointed the following people as honorary members:

Literature about the association

  • Helmut Dahm: A history association today. General and special for the centenary of the Düsseldorf History Association . In: Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch (DJb), 57/58, 1980, pp. IX – XLI
  • Horst A. Wessel: 125 years of the Düsseldorf History Association. Continuities in the changing political and social framework . In: DJb 75, 2004/2005, pp. 13-44
  • Stephan Laux: The Düsseldorf History Association in the Resistance? Wilhelm Haberling's "History of Düsseldorf Doctors" (1932/1936) and the background to its publication during the National Socialist era . In: DJb 77, 2007, pp. 227-262

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/duesseldorf/gedaechtnis-der-metropole-135-jahre-duesseldorfer-geschichtsverein-aid-1.5647745
  2. Elizabeth Scheeben: Heinrich Ferber (1832-1895). Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of death, in: DJb 66, 1995, pp. 303–304 .
  3. Andreas KUSSMANN: External concentration camps and prison camps in Düsseldorf during the World War. A research report; . In: DJb 61, 1988, pp. 175-193 . tape 61 .
  4. Frank SPARING: Eastern Jews in Dusseldorf. From the beginning of immigration to the “Poland Action” in 1938; in: DJb 71, 2000, pp. 187-234 .
  5. Klaus STELLING: the origin of the Gerresheimer glass makers according to their places of birth in the 19th century; in: DJb 60, 1986, pp. 97-132 .
  6. Horst A. WESSEL: Mannesmann in Dusseldorf. The Rath plant and its employees until the end of the First World War; in: DJb 61, 1988, pp. 119-155 .
  7. Jörg VÖGELE: "Düsseldorf - A Healthy City?" On the development of mortality in Düsseldorf in the 19th and early 20th centuries; in: DJb 69, 1998, pp. 193-209 .
  8. Gisela Vollmer: Franz Vaaßen (1881-1944), dedicated pastor in Wittlaer and advocate of modern art within the church; in: DJb 64, 1993, pp. 125-144 .
  9. Helmut MOLL: In the clutches of National Socialism. Resistance and self-assertion of the Düsseldorf factory owner Leo Statz; in: DJb 68, 1997, pp. 203-214 .
  10. ^ Sven-André Dreyer: Düsseldorf: A kettle of color from the city's history. In: RP ONLINE. Retrieved July 9, 2016 .
  11. Table of Contents. Retrieved July 11, 2016 .
  12. ^ Antjekathrin Graßmann : Lau, Friedrich . in: Biographical Lexicon for Schleswig-Holstein and Lübeck . Wachholtz, Neumünster 1982–2011. Vol. 12 - 2006. ISBN 3-529-02560-7 , page 280.