Edgar Wolfrum

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Edgar Wolfrum (born October 16, 1960 in St. Georgen in the Black Forest ) is a German historian . He holds the chair for contemporary history at the historical seminar of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg .


From 1981 to 1987 Wolfrum studied history , German , scientific politics and Spanish in Freiburg i. Br. And Salamanca . In 1987 he passed the first state examination for teaching at grammar schools at the University of Freiburg. After completing his doctorate with Heinrich August Winkler , Wolfrum took on a DAAD guest professorship at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena in 1990/91 as part of the “GDR University Funding ” program . From 1991 to 1994 he was head of the history department at the Volkswagen Foundation and at the same time held a teaching position at the University of Hanover . In 1992 Wolfrum received a grant from the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique ( CNRS ) in Paris . From 1994 to 2000 he was a university assistant at the Free University of Berlin . In 1999 Wolfrum received his habilitation at the Technical University of Darmstadt with the text History Policy in the Federal Republic of Germany - The Path to Federal Republican Remembrance 1948–1990 . From 2000 to 2002 he was a scholarship holder of the German Research Foundation at the Institute for History at the TU Darmstadt. In 2002/2003 Wolfrum was professor of contemporary history at the University of Mannheim , and in 2003 he was visiting professor at the University of Innsbruck . Wolfrum has been Professor of Contemporary History at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg since December 2003, and has been a full professor since 2006. Wolfrum has headed the newly created Antiziganism Research Center at Heidelberg University since 2017 .

He is married to Claudia Lepp .

Scientific work

Wolfrum's research and teaching focuses on the history of the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR, history politics and cultures of remembrance, democracy and dictatorship in the 20th century, peace and conflict research, Franco-German relations, resistance against National Socialism in Europe, nationalism research and media history. Wolfrum's focus is particularly on the period after the Second World War.

Current focus is on German, West and East Central European history since 1945, on cultures of remembrance and history politics, as well as overcoming dictatorships and the breakthroughs to democracy in Europe in the 20th century. The history of the state ministries in Baden and Württemberg in the time of National Socialism is being investigated in a supraregional project network. A subsequent large-scale project deals with the breaks and continuities after 1945. Since 2005, together with the University of Vienna, he has headed a graduate school Overcoming dictatorships and building civil societies . In addition, he and his team worked on the permanent exhibition: Determination of Herrenmensch. NS-Ordensburgen between fascination and crime ( NS-Ordensburg Vogelsang ). Current individual and sub-projects are also devoted to contemporary history, i.e. historical developments since the end of the Cold War on a national, European and global level.

Cross-thematic Wolfrum deals with the presentation of history in the audio-visual mass media. Various research projects funded by foundations offer opportunities for young scientists. Studies of communication and media history examine the audio-visual communication strategies between specialist science, politics, culture and the public, which are becoming increasingly important for contemporary history.

Wolfrum has built up the Public History department since 2010, thus laying the foundation for the Heidelberg Professorship for Applied History / Public History. The Minority History and Civil Rights in Europe department is another academic institution at the Chair of Contemporary History. He explores the relationship between minorities and majority society from a historical perspective.


Wolfrum's book History as a Weapon was named "The Historical Book of the Year 2002" by DAMALS and "The Historical Book 2002" by H-Soz-Kult . His book Welt im Zwiespalt received this award for 2017. The chair team was awarded the Berthold Moos Science Prize for researching the relationship between minorities and the majority society from a historical perspective.


Wolfrum is a member of the Association of Historians in Germany (VHD), the Eustory working group. History Network for Young Europeans of the Körber Foundation , the Franco-German Committee for Research into German and French History of the 19th and 20th Centuries, the Historical Commission of the SPD party executive and the Working Group on Historical Peace Research . He is also a scientific adviser to the German Studies Abroad of the DAAD , Docupedia Contemporary History , the Research and Documentation Center for War Crimes Trials at the Philipps University of Marburg, the commission for the "Commented Karl Jaspers Complete Edition" and the Reich President Friedrich Ebert Memorial . Wolfrum is the Friedrich Ebert Foundation's liaison professor . He was a member of the Quadriga Board of Trustees . In July 2011, he resigned because of the controversial nomination of Vladimir Putin . He is also a member of the jury for the Golo Mann Prize , the Science Prize of the German Bundestag and the Hans Rosenberg Memorial Prize .

Fonts (selection)

Wolfrum's most important writings include his books on French occupation policy, European cultures of remembrance, the Berlin Wall and the red-green federal government, the volume on the history of the Federal Republic in the Gebhardt series as well as his contribution to the European history book and its overall account of the 20th century from a global historical perspective. Selected works have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Czech and Chinese.


  • French occupation policy and German social democracy. New political approaches in the "forgotten zone" up to the formation of the Southwest State 1945–1952. Droste, Düsseldorf 1991 (also: Diss. Freiburg i. Br.).
  • History politics in the Federal Republic of Germany. The Road to Federal Republican Remembrance 1948–1990. Darmstadt 1999 (also: Habil.-Schrift, TH Darmstadt).
  • History as a weapon. From the empire to reunification. 3. Edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007 (Korean translation 2007).
  • War and Peace in Modern Times. From the Peace of Westphalia to the Second World War. wbg Academic in Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft (WBG), Darmstadt 2003.
  • The Federal Republic of Germany 1949–1990. (= Gebhardt. Handbook of German History , Volume 23). 10th, completely revised edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2005.
    • Review: Eckart Conze . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , May 22, 2006, p. 8.
  • The successful democracy. History of the Federal Republic of Germany from its beginnings to the present. updated edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-570-55043-4 .
  • The 50s. Cold war and economic miracle. Primus, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 978-3-89678-558-9 .
  • The sixties. A dynamic society. Primus, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 978-3-89678-567-1 .
  • The seventies. Republic on the move. Primus, Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-89678-568-8 .
  • The 80s. Globalization and Postmodernism. Primus, Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-89678-569-5 .
  • together with Cord Arendes : Global History of the 20th Century. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2007 (= basic history course. Study book for the BA / MA courses ).
  • The 90s. Reunification and world crises. Primus, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-89678-570-1 .
  • The DDR. A story in pictures. Primus, Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 978-3-89678-640-1 .
  • The wall. History of a division. CH Beck, Munich 2009 (Japanese and Korean translation 2011), ISBN 978-3-406-58517-3 .
  • The 101 most important questions: Federal Republic of Germany 1949–2009. CH Beck, Munich 2009.
  • Red-green in power. Germany 1998-2005 . CH Beck, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-406-65437-4 .
  • together with Stefan Westermann: The 101 most important people in German history . CH Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 3-406-67511-5 .
  • World in conflict. Another 20th century story . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-608-94306-1 .
  • The climber. A history of Germany from 1990 to today . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2020, ISBN 978-3-608-98317-3 .


  • Rows:
    • Controversies about history (Scientific Book Society)
    • Dictatorships and their overcoming in the 20th and 21st centuries , together with Carola Sachse (Wallstein-Verlag); including as single editions:
      • Coming to terms with the dictatorship - the dictation of coming to terms? Standardization processes when dealing with the dictatorial past , together with Kathrin Hammerstein, Ulrich Mählert and Julie Trappe (= dictatorships and their overcoming in the 20th and 21st centuries , vol. 2), Wallstein, Göttingen 2009.
      • Nations and their self-images. Post-dictatorial societies in Europe (= dictatorships and their overcoming in the 20th and 21st centuries , vol. 1), together with Regina Fritz and Carola Sachse, Wallstein, Göttingen 2008.
    • Schöningh Collection on the past and present , together with Cord Arendes and Siegfried Weichlein, Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh.
  • with Petra Bock : Contested past. Images of history, memory and politics of the past in an international comparison. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-525-01380-9 .
  • with Ulrike Weckel : "Beasts" and "Receivers of Orders". Women and men in Nazi trials after 1945. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2003.
  • with Daniela Münkel , Winfried Speitkamp , Siegfried Weichlein , Stefan Wolle , Julia Angster (eds.): The Germans in the 20th Century. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-16264-1 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Wolfrum CV .
  2. First Antiziganism Research Center founded , deutschlandfunkkultur.de, July 28, 2017, accessed on September 2, 2017.
  3. Edgar Wolfrum: World in conflict. Another 20th century story. Stuttgart 2017, p. 433.
  4. ^ Edition Open Access .
  5. NS-Ordensburgen between fascination and crime H-Soz-Kult. Communication and specialist information for the historical sciences.
  6. ^ E. Wolfrum: Chair profile University of Heidelberg .
  7. Book awards .
  8. World in conflict - award .
  9. ^ Award for historians from Heidelberg University .
  10. Putin dispute: Quadriga board of trustees loses another member. In: Spiegel Online . July 14, 2011, accessed December 20, 2014 .