Erich Neuss

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Erich Neuss (born February 11, 1899 in Frankfurt am Main , † December 28, 1982 in Halle (Saale) ) was a German archivist and historian .


Neuss, born in Frankfurt am Main, lived in Halle from 1901. During his youth he was a member of the Wandervogel movement . After graduating from high school, Neuss was called up for military service on June 2, 1917 . He fought in Galicia and then in France as part of the German spring offensive in 1918 . There he was then an Allied prisoner of war, where he was used as an interpreter in the prison camp. In February 1920 Neuss was released.

In September of the same year Erich Neuss enrolled at the Friedrichs-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in economics , law and history . In 1924 he completed his studies and he was with the work of the development of the Halle economic life from the end of the 18th century until World War doctorate . Subsequently, Neuss worked for the Halle Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where he devoted himself to setting up and managing the foreign trade department. In 1926, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry was also the publisher of a work by Neuss on Ludwig Wucherer .

In 1928 Erich Neuss took over the newly created position of the city's archive and library director. As head of the Halle city archive and the council library, Neuss developed a lively publication activity in the following years. In 1928 he married Ella Buse, with whom he had four children.

Neuss' career ended in 1933 when the National Socialists came to power . In 1931, Neuss had written a memorandum on behalf of the city council on the 25th anniversary of the mayor of Halle , Richard Robert Rive ( Die Hallische Stadtverwaltung 1906–1931 ), in which the house and landowner faction in Halle's city parliament had been criticized in connection with property speculation and rental usury. After the house and landowner faction had enabled a list union with the NSDAP to achieve an absolute majority in the local elections in March 1933, one demanded u. a. a suspension of Neuss', who was then given leave of absence in accordance with Section 6 of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service . An application for dismissal was rejected by the Reich Ministry of the Interior . Erich Neuss, meanwhile a party member of the NSDAP , worked as a research assistant in the Office for Economics, Transport and Statistics from 1936 (1937?), Later as a price commissioner for rents and property prices. During his leave of absence, Neuss published several works, including the first volume ( Im Seegau ) of his walks through the county of Mansfeld in 1935 .

After Erich Neuss had completed a course for reserve officers in 1939, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1940 . Initially stationed in Belgium , he came to Poland as a lieutenant in May 1941 and took part in the war against the Soviet Union as a staff officer in the field replacement battalion of the 24th Infantry Division . On March 2, 1942, Neuss was wounded by shrapnel in the Crimea ; a return as first lieutenant to his unit, which was meanwhile at Leningrad , did not take place until June 1943. From the beginning of 1944 he was employed as a National Socialist Leadership Officer (NSFO) for a few months , a process that Neuss referred to as a " stair joke " . In November 1944 there was a last promotion to captain. At the end of the war the injured officer was in Courland . On May 8, 1945, the day of the German surrender, Neuss left Windau on board the last hospital ship to sail and returned to Germany.

From August 1945 Erich Neuss was again active as director of the city archive in Halle, in addition he was responsible for the management of the Handel House , the Hallmarkt Library and the Moritzburg Museum . Together with Adolf Heilmann , he was one of the initiators of the Red Tower Bauhütte , which had made “preparations for the reconstruction of Halle's cultural sites” , but above all the reconstruction of the Red Tower , its own.

In 1952 Neuss resigned from his service with the city at his own request in order to devote himself to his private research, publications and lecturing at the Technical College for Archives in Potsdam . Werner Piechocki was the next head of the city archive .

At Leo Stern's request , Neuss completed his habilitation with the text The Origin and Development of the Class of Non-Property Wage Workers in Halle until the collapse of the Prussian monarchy in 1800 . From 1959 he was a lecturer in regional history at the University of Halle, and in 1963 he was appointed professor with teaching assignment. In 1964 Neuss retired .

Erich Neuss was active in research and writing until the end of his life; the results of his field investigations on the desert areas in the area around Halle were published in 1969 and 1971 in his desert studies of the Saalkreis, the city of Halle and the Mansfeld districts , which concluded work on a work on settlement studies at. Erich Neuss died on December 28, 1982. He was buried in the cemetery of the Granau church ruins .

The historian Elisabeth Schwarze-Neuss (1930–2019) was his daughter.


Dedication in Walks through the County of Mansfeld - Im Seegau (1935). Text: “Love your homeland more than yourself. Erich Neuss. 4th / 9th 35. "

Neuss' preoccupation with the city history of Halle was often in close proximity to dealing with its economic and social history, in particular the development of the bourgeoisie. Neuss became known to a wider readership through the series of walks through the county of Mansfeld , which has since been reissued , a description of regional history and landscape. While the first two volumes could be published in book form in the 1930s, the publication of the third volume was initially limited to a print in the Eisleben Liberal-Democratic newspaper . It was only published as a book in 2001. Two other volumes were never published.

In addition to numerous monographs, including textbooks for company archivists, Neuss wrote hundreds of essays, newspaper articles and other writings.

Works (selection)

  • The development of Halle's economic life from the end of the 18th century to the World War . Meyer, Halberstadt 1924. (Dissertation).
  • The Hallische Stadtarchiv. its history and its holdings . Gebauer-Schwetschke, Halle 1930.
  • Hikes through the county of Mansfeld - Im Seegau . Gebauer-Schwetschke, Halle 1935. (Vol. 1, new edition 1999: ISBN 3-930195-27-5 ).
  • Hikes through the county of Mansfeld - Saalisches Mansfeld . Gebauer-Schwetschke, Halle 1938. (Vol. 2, new edition 1999: ISBN 3-930195-28-3 ).
  • Hikes through the county of Mansfeld - in the heart of the county . Flugkopf Verlag, Halle 2001: ISBN 3-930195-34-8 (Vol. 3, first published as a book, previously published in the Liberal-Democratic newspaper (Eisleben) from 1952 to 1955).
  • Record keeping of the economy . Part 1: Capitalist Economy . Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1954 (series of publications by the State Archives Administration 4)
  • Erich Neuss, Werner Piechocki : Halle on the Saale . Sachsenverlag, Dresden 1955.
  • Record keeping of the economy . Part 2: Nationally owned economy . Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1956 (series of publications by the State Archives Administration 5)
  • Origin and development of the class of the dispossessed wage workers in Halle up to the collapse of the Prussian monarchy in 1800 . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1958. (Habilitation thesis).
  • Desert science of the Saalkreis, the city of Halle and the Mansfeld districts . Böhlau, Weimar 1969, 1971.
  • Erich Neuß (arrangement) and Dietrich Zühlke: Mansfelder Land . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1982.
  • Settlement history of the Saalkreis and the Mansfelder Land: From the migration period to the end of the 18th century. (Sources and research on Saxon history, Vol. 10) . Verlag H. Böhlaus successor, 1995, ISBN 3-7400-0921-7 .
  • The poets' paradise in Giebichenstein, Flyhead Verlag Halle 2007, ISBN 978-3-930195-91-6 .


  • Neuss, Erich . In: Collegium Politicum at the University of Hamburg. Historiography Working Group (Ed.): Historians in Central Germany . Ferd. Dümmerls Verlag, Bonn, Hanover, Hamburg, Munich 1965, p. 71.
  • Werner Freitag : Erich Neuss (1899–1982). City history as economic and social history. In: Ders., Heiner Lück (Ed.): Historical research in Saxony-Anhalt. A colloquium on the occasion of Walter Zöllner's 65th birthday. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart / Leipzig 1999, ISBN 3-77-760994-3 .
  • Landesheimatbund Sachsen-Anhalt e. V., University and State Library Saxony-Anhalt (Ed.): Commemorative publication for the 100th birthday of Erich Neuss. Self-published, Halle 1999, ISBN 3-86-010559-0 . (includes a selection biography)
  • Landesheimatbund Sachsen-Anhalt e. V. (Ed.): Central Germany, the Mansfeld region and the city of Halle. Minutes of the colloquium on the 100th birthday of Erich Neuss on May 28/29, 1999 in Halle. Self-published, Halle 2000, ISBN 3-92-846630-5 .
  • Werner Neuss (arr.): "But I'm looking forward to peace!" War letters from Ella Neuss to her husband Erich. Halle / Saale 1940 to 1945. Folklore Commission for Saxony-Anhalt, Halle 2004, ISBN 3-98-101840-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dr. Werner Neuss: Letters from Captain Erich Neuss - 24th Inf.-Div. ( Memento from May 23, 2007 in the Internet Archive )