Erich Maschke

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Erich Maschke (born March 2, 1900 in Berlin , † February 11, 1982 in Heidelberg ) was a German historian and professor of history. Most recently he taught at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg .


Youth and Studies

The son of an ophthalmologist began studying medicine in Berlin , Innsbruck and Freiburg after graduating from the Askanische Oberschule in 1919 . He was involved in the Bundischen youth movement and worked as an editor for the magazine The White Knight, which appeared until 1927. This experience prompted him to change subjects in 1923 and study history and geography in Berlin from 1923 and later in Königsberg from 1925 , including with Erich Caspar . In Königsberg, Maschke became a member of the German University Guild Skuld . In 1927 he received his doctorate on the Teutonic Order , and in 1929 he received his habilitation on the Peterspfennig in Poland and the German East . During this time, the history of the Teutonic Order, the history and historiography of Prussia and the European late Middle Ages developed his research focus. In 1931 he married Elsbeth Horn, a student from Ziegelhausen near Heidelberg, and had two sons.

1933 to 1945

In Königsberg, after his habilitation (1929), Maschke was initially a private lecturer and in 1935 was appointed extraordinary professor of East German and West Slavic history. In 1933 Maschke became a member of the SA , in 1937 he joined the NSDAP . In 1937 he was appointed to the Chair of Medieval and Modern History at the University of Jena . For an accompanying publication of the exhibition entitled “Europe's Fate in the East” for the NSDAP party congress in 1938, Maschke stated on the question of “ Eastern colonization ” that, historically speaking, this should be understood and carried out as the “national history of German immigration to the formerly Germanic East” the "trinity of race, people and space" established. During the Second World War he was tasked with training members of the Wehrmacht at the General Staff in Poznan . In his journalistic contributions in 1940 and 1941, he welcomed the warlike changes as a prerequisite for the establishment of German rule in Europe. In 1942 he was appointed to the University of Leipzig , where he mainly dealt with the Middle Ages, especially with the Hohenstaufen . From 1943 to 1945 Maschke was Lecturer Association Leader at the University of Leipzig. In addition, he worked as a scientific advisor in the Rosenberg office, participated in the creation of curricula for NS-Ordensburgen and worked as a lecturer for Alfred Rosenberg's "Office of Literature" and for the party official examination commission for the protection of National Socialist literature (PPK). In 1943 he was able to publish the results of his research on the history of the Reich in a monograph on The Staufer Sex . From January to early July 1945 he was a full member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences .

After 1945

After eight years as a Soviet prisoner of war , Maschke returned to his family in 1953, who now lived in Speyer . In accordance with an agreement with the city, from 1954 onwards he published various works on the history of the city of Speyer over a period of several years, the later summary of which was intended to form a complete work of city history. In the same year he received a teaching position from Fritz Ernst at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg on economic and commercial history in the Middle Ages, and from the summer semester of 1956 he took the chair for economic and social history. From 1959 until his retirement in 1968 he headed the newly founded Institute for Social and Economic History together with Werner Conze . This resulted in new contacts to industrial companies and company archives. He also took part in the Chamber History discussion group at the Industry and Trade Day. In the 1960s he published some papers on cartels in Germany in the 15th century, the history of cartels and the Gutehoffnungshütte . From contacts in France, u. a. to Fernand Braudel in Toulouse , a member of the Annales school , in 1963 one of the first invitations revealed to a German after the Second World War to a visiting professor at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) the Sorbonne .

In 1957 he became chairman of the of the then Federal Ministry of Displaced founded Scientific Commission for documenting the fate of German prisoners of war during World War II (known. Maschke Commission) that a total of 22 volumes from 1962 to 1974 History of the German prisoners of World War II published .

In 1958 he was appointed to the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences . Since 1968 he has been a member of the historical commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and was also instrumental in the preparations for the Staufer exhibition in Stuttgart in 1975.

Erich Maschke committed suicide on February 11, 1982, only a few days after the death of his wife, who in his later years had often accompanied him to meetings, conferences and lecture tours due to his visual impairment. His estate is in the main state archive in Stuttgart , parts of his documents have also been handed over to the federal military archive in Freiburg im Breisgau .

Fonts (selection)

  • The German Order and the Prussians. Conversion and submission in the Prussian-Baltic mission of the 13th century (= historical studies. Issue 176). Emil Ebering, Berlin 1928, DNB 580665348 , urn : nbn: de: 101: 1-201708272512 (dissertation).
  • The Peterspfennig in Poland and in the German East (= Königsberg historical research. Volume 5). Hinrichs, Leipzig 1933; Hermann Böhlaus successor, Weimar 1934, OCLC 750833066 ; 2nd, expanded edition (= writings of the Kopernikuskreis, Freiburg im Breisgau. Volume 11). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1979, ISBN 3-7995-7111-6 .
  • The German Order State - Figures of its great masters. Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1935.
  • (with Karl Kasiske): The German order of knights. His political and cultural achievement in the German East. Introduction by Hans Krieg . With pictures from Caesar Rave. German publishing house for politics and economics, Berlin 1942, OCLC 258542087 .
  • A group is created. Paul Reusch and the GHH. Wunderlich, Tübingen 1969, ISBN 3-8052-0131-1 .


  • Werner Conze : Obituary Erich Maschke (1900–1982). In: Quarterly for social and economic history . Volume 69 (1982), p. 301.
  • Friedrich Facius , Jürgen Sydow (Hrsg.): From the city and economic history of southwest Germany. Festschrift for Erich Maschke on his 75th birthday (= publications of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg. Volume 85). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-17-002588-0 .
  • Barbara Schneider: History in National Socialism - The Work of Erich Maschke in Jena. In: Tobias Kaiser , Steffen Kaudelka, Matthias Steinbach : Historical thinking and social change. Studies in historical studies between the German Empire and the German two-state system. Metropol, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-936411-23-9 , pp. 91-114.
  • Barbara Schneider: Erich Maschke. In: Ingo Haar , Michael Fahlbusch (Hrsg.): Handbuch der Völkischen Wissenschaften. People - institutions - research programs - foundations. Saur, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-598-11778-7 , pp. 402-406.
  • Barbara Schneider: Erich Maschke. In the network of relationships between politics and history (= series of publications by the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Volume 90). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-525-36080-4 .
  • Eckart Schremmer: Erich Maschke (March 2, 1900– February 11, 1982). In: Historical magazine . 235, pp. 251-255 (1982).
  • Michael Schröders: A revolution in our entire view of history? Erich Maschke, the Nazi ideology of history and the political training in monastic castles of the NSDAP. In: National Socialism in the Euskirchen district. Volume 3: Culture, economy, tourism (= history in the Euskirchen district. Volume 25). Edited by the history association of the Euskirchen district. Euskirchen 2011, ISBN 978-3-941037-83-0 , pp. 341-415 ( presentation / short version. In: , 2011).
  • Hans-Erich Volkmann : German historian dealing with the Third Reich and the Second World War 1939–1949. In the S. (Ed.): End of the Third Reich - End of the Second World War. A perspective review (= Piper series. Volume 2056). Piper, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-492-12056-3 , pp. 861-911.

Web links


  1. Thomas Dietzel, Hans-Otto Hügel: German literary magazines 1880-1945. A repertory. Munich 1988, p. 91.
  2. Herbert Gottwald: The Jenaer historical science in the time of National Socialism. In: Uwe Hoßfeld , Jürgen John , Oliver Lemuth, Rüdiger Stutz (eds.): "Combative Science". Studies at the University of Jena under National Socialism. Cologne u. a. 2003, pp. 913-942, here: p. 917.
  3. Michael Grüttner : Biographical Lexicon on National Socialist Science Policy. Heidelberg 2004, p. 114.
  4. Michael Schröders: A revolution in our entire view of history? In: National Socialism in the Euskirchen district. Volume 3, 2011, p. 347 (see literature ).
  5. Barbara Schneider: Erich Maschke. In: Ingo Haar, Michael Fahlbusch (Hrsg.): Handbuch der Völkischen Wissenschaften. People - institutions - research programs - foundations. Munich 2008, p. 402–405, here: p. 404. The historian Barbara Schneider refers to the following contributions by Maschke: Our right to the east. In: Wartheland. Magazine for construction and culture in the German east. 1 (1941), ZDB -ID 312417-4 , pp. 11-14, and 1000 years of German Wartheland. In: The Ostwarte. Monthly magazine of the Federal Heimattreuer Posener. 11 (1940), ZDB -ID 2078003-5 , p. 2 ff.
  6. ^ Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. 2nd, updated edition. Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 393; on this now in detail Michael Schröder: A revolution in our entire view of history? In: National Socialism in the Euskirchen district. Volume 3, 2011, pp. 341-415.
  7. ^ Members of the Saxon Academy of Sciences: Erich Maschke. Saxon Academy of Sciences, accessed on November 14, 2016.
  8. Birgit Schwelling: Contemporary history between memory and politics. The Scientific Commission for German Prisoner of War History, the Association of Returnees and the Federal Government 1957 to 1975. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . Volume 56, Issue 2/2008, pp. 227-263, doi: 10.1524 / vfzg.2008.0009 ( [PDF; 469 kB]).
  9. K.-D. Müller: German prisoners of war. Comments on the state of research and future perspectives. (PDF; 10.9 MB) In: Soviet and German prisoners of war in the years of World War II. P. 293–360, website of the Saxon Memorials Foundation , Documentation Center Dresden, accessed on October 7, 2016. -
    Ernst Klee : Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. 2nd, updated edition. Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 393.
  10. Barbara Schneider: Erich Maschke. In: Ingo Haar, Michael Fahlbusch (Hrsg.): Handbuch der Völkischen Wissenschaften. People - institutions - research programs - foundations. Munich 2008, pp. 402–405, here: p. 405.
  11. ^ Rosemarie Colberg, Peter Schiffer: Holdings J 40/10 [to Erich Maschke's estate]. In: Main State Archives Stuttgart . Stuttgart 1989 (see web links ).
  12. Review by Christoph Kleßmann : Against the East, always on post. How the historian Erich Maschke served politics before and after 1945. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . March 28, 2017, No. 74, p. 6.