Ernst Rudolf Huber

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Ernst Rudolf Huber (born June 8, 1903 in Oberstein ; † October 28, 1990 in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was a German constitutional lawyer and "crown lawyer " of the "Third Reich" . In the time of National Socialism he was one of the leading constitutional lawyers and justified the dictatorship of the time . With regard to his activities after 1945, he is best known for his eight-volume German constitutional history since 1789 , which covers the period 1789–1933 - focused on Prussia - and was published from 1957 to 1991.


Ernst Rudolf Huber was born on June 8, 1903 in Oberstein an der Nahe (today the city of Idar-Oberstein), which was in the Principality of Birkenfeld , an exclave of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg . His parents were the middle-class businessman August Rudolf Huber (1868–1943) and his wife Helene, née Wild (1874–1955). Huber was a Protestant denomination. As a teenager, Huber was involved in the youth movement and was involved in founding the Nerother Wandervogel .


Before 1933

Huber was a student of the anti-democratic constitutional lawyer Carl Schmitt , with whom he received his doctorate in 1926 on a state church law topic on Article 138 of the Weimar Constitution . After completing his habilitation in 1931 with Heinrich Göppert with a work in business law, he initially taught as a private lecturer at the University of Bonn . In 1932 he worked under the direction of Carl Schmitt as legal advisor to the presidential cabinets von Papen and von Schleicher and assisted Schmitt in the preparations for the Prussia versus Reich trial .

Long before a possible takeover of power by Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP was foreseeable, Huber was an avowed and energetic opponent of the Weimar Republic and propagated an authoritarian leader state similar - from his point of view - to the Empire from 1871 to 1918. This is extensively documented in the more than sixty Commentaries on current affairs, which he published under various pseudonyms before 1933.

1933 to 1945

On April 28, 1933, Huber was appointed to the University of Kiel and joined the NSDAP on May 1, 1933 . In Kiel, he benefited from Walther Schücking's dismissal as the successor to the renowned constitutional law teacher and judge at the Permanent International Court of Justice in The Hague . Schücking was initially on leave of absence for political reasons on the basis of the law to restore the civil service on April 25, 1933, and was forcibly dismissed from civil service in the same year. Ernst Rudolf Huber and his colleagues Georg Dahm , Karl Larenz , Karl Michaelis , Franz Wieacker , Karl August Eckhardt , Paul Ritterbusch , Friedrich Schaffstein and Wolfgang Siebert formed the so-called Kiel School - also officially known as the "Shock Troop Faculty" - which was responsible for a "legal renewal “Entered the service of the Nazi regime.

In 1937 Huber accepted an appointment at the renowned Leipzig University and in 1941 at the newly founded University of Strasbourg . There he organized the establishment of the law and political science faculty. In November 1944, in view of the advance of the Western Allies into Germany on the right bank of the Rhine, he withdrew. There, in the winter semester of 1944/45, he received a teaching position at the University of Heidelberg through the mediation of his friend and former fellow doctoral student Ernst Forsthoff from Bonn . In the spring of 1945 he retired as a private citizen with his family to Falkau in the Black Forest, where the Hubers family temporarily lived under one roof with the family of the historian Hermann Heimpel .

During the National Socialist era, Huber was one of the leading constitutional lawyers and is therefore considered one of the "crown lawyers" of the Third Reich in historical research. In 1937 he presented an overall account of National Socialist law in the Führer state under the title Constitution , which appeared in its second edition in 1939 as the constitutional law of the Greater German Reich . In it he spoke of the “complete elimination of Judaism” and thus belonged to the group of lawyers who supported the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and disseminated it through university teaching. He also wrote a study on the history of the military constitution ( Army and State in German History, 1938) and several essays on the history of ideas. From 1934 to 1944, Huber was together with his Kiel colleagues from the economics , Hermann Bente and Andreas Predöhl , editor of the journal for the entire political science , until its publication was discontinued.

Huber's view of personal rights of freedom and the independence of the judiciary are supported by the following statements, among others:

“In particular, the individual's rights of freedom (...) are not compatible with the principle of national law. There is no personal, pre-state or extra-state freedom of the individual that the state would have to respect. "

- ER Huber (1937)

"The living national law is primarily realized in the people through the Führer, and the judicial judge of the new empire is necessarily subordinate to the will of the Führer, which is an expression of the highest law."

- ER Huber (1939)

After 1945

After the end of the National Socialist dictatorship, Huber initially continued to live with his family in Falkau (Black Forest) and from 1949 in Freiburg. Along with Carl Schmitt and Otto Koellreutter , he was one of the few legal scholars who were refused to return to the university for a long time because of their Nazi burden. But in 1952 he received an honorary professorship at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau . In 1957 he was finally appointed to the Wilhelmshaven-Rustersiel University of Social Sciences . Since this small university was incorporated into the University of Göttingen , he worked in Göttingen from 1962 to 1968.

In 1956, after lengthy discussions about his Nazi past, Huber was re-accepted into the Association of German Constitutional Law Teachers. In 1966 he was appointed a full member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen .

In addition to the monumental German constitutional history since 1789 , which appeared in eight volumes with over 7700 pages between 1957 and 1991 and represents a "classic" example of a "narrow, Prussian-focused historiography" ( Elisabeth Fehrenbach ), Huber has his from 1932 One-volume textbook on economic administrative law 1953/54 in the second edition in two volumes - and thus significantly expanded - presented. In addition to numerous monographs, two collections of essays were published in 1965 and 1975.


From 1933 Huber was married to Tula Simons, a daughter of the President of the Reich Court of Justice Walter Simons . During the Weimar period, she worked as an assistant to Carl Schmitt and after 1945 as a lawyer in Freiburg. There are five sons from this marriage, u. a. the Bonn civil law professor Ulrich Huber and the former council chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany and Berlin-Brandenburg regional bishop Wolfgang Huber , who together with his father published a five-volume collection of sources on German state church law of the 19th and early 20th centuries. During his time in Göttingen (1962–1968), Huber lived at times in a shared apartment with his son Wolfgang, who was then studying Protestant theology. After his retirement in 1968, Huber lived in Freiburg i. Br.

Huber's estate is in the Koblenz Federal Archives .

Fonts (excerpt)

Tula Huber-Simons , Albrecht Huber: Bibliography of the publications by Ernst Rudolf Huber. In: Ernst Forsthoff , Werner Weber , Franz Wieacker (eds.): Festschrift for Ernst Rudolf Huber on his 70th birthday on June 8, 1973. Otto Schwartz, Göttingen 1973 (=  Göttingen legal studies , 88), ISBN 978-3-509 -00638-4 , pp. 385-416 (books, editions, articles, reviews).

  • The guarantee of the church's property rights in the Weimar constitution. Two treatises on the problem of the conflict between state and church , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1927.
  • Treaties between state and church in the German Reich , Marcus, Breslau 1930 (=  treatises from constitutional and administrative law as well as from international law , 44).
  • The German Reich as an economic state , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1931 (=  Law and State in Past and Present , 85).
  • Commercial administrative law. Institutions of public labor and company law , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1932.
  • Imperial power and state court , Stalling, Oldenburg i. O. 1932 (=  Writings to the Nation , 42).
  • The shape of German socialism , Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1934 (=  The German State of the Present , 2).
  • New basic concepts of sovereign law , Junker & Dünnhaupt, Berlin 1935 (=  basic questions of the new jurisprudence ).
  • The sense of the constitution. Speech given on January 30, 1935, on the occasion of the celebration of the founding day of the Reich and the day of the German Revolution , Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1935 (=  Kiel University Speeches, NFH 4).
  • Nature and content of the political constitution , Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1935 (=  The German State of the Present , No. 16).
  • Constitution , Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1937.
  • State and economy . Industrieverlag Verlag Spaeth & Linde, Berlin 1938 (=  basics, structure and economic order of the national-socialist state , 19).
  • Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann and the German constitutional movement , Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1937.
  • Army and State in German History , Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1938, 2nd edition 1943.
  • Constitutional law of the Greater German Reich , 2nd edition, Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1939 (second greatly expanded edition of the book Constitution from 1937).
  • The popular thought in the revolution of 1848 , Deutscher Rechtsverlag, Berlin 1940.
  • Constitutional crises of the Second Reich , Barth, Leipzig 1940 (=  Leipziger Universitätsreden , 1).
  • Legal structure of the public office and legal structure of the private employment relationship. Relazione presentata al 1. Convegno in Roma, l '2 giugno 1938 XVII . Edited by Comitato Giuridico-Italo Germanico, Rome 1939.
  • The fight for leadership in World War I , Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1941 (=  Hanseatic library ).
  • The constitutional position of the civil service . In: Festschrift for Heinrich Siber , Weicher Verlag, vol. 1, Berlin 1941 (=  Leipzig legal studies , 124), pp. 275-325.
  • Structure and fabric of the empire . Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1941.
  • Rise and development of the German popular consciousness . Speech given at the reopening of the Reich University of Strasbourg on November 24, 1941, Hünenburg- Verlag, Strasbourg 1942.
  • Idea and order of the empire. 2 parts, Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1943.
  • Goethe and the State , Strasbourg 1944.
  • Commercial administrative law , 2 vol., Mohr Siebeck, 2nd edition, Tübingen 1953/54.
  • German constitutional history since 1789 , 8 vols., Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1957–1991,
    • Volume 1: Reform and Restoration 1789 to 1830 , Stuttgart 1957, 2nd edition, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-17-002501-5 ;
    • Volume 2: The struggle for unity and freedom 1830 to 1850 , Stuttgart 1960, 3rd edition, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-17-009741-5 ;
    • Volume 3: Bismarck and the Reich , Stuttgart 1963, 3rd edition, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-17-010099-8 ;
    • Volume 4: Structure and crises of the Kaiserreich , Stuttgart 1969, 2nd edition, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-17-007471-7 ;
    • Volume 5: World War, Revolution and Reich renewal: 1914-1919 , Stuttgart 1978, ISBN 3-17-001055-7 ;
    • Volume 6: The Weimar Constitution , Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-17-001056-5 ;
    • Volume 7: Expansion, Protection and Fall of the Weimar Republic , Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-17-008378-3 ;
    • Volume 8: Register volume , Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-17-010835-2 .
  • On the problem of the cultural state , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1958 (=  Law and State in Past and Present , 212).
  • Self-government of the economy , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1958.
  • The recommendation ban. An antitrust study , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1959.
  • Nation state and constitutional state. Studies on the history of the modern state idea , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1965.
  • Basic Law and Economic Co-determination , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1970.
  • (Ed. Together with Wolfgang Huber): State and Church in the 19th and 20th centuries. Documents on the history of the German state church law , 5 vol., Duncker u. Humblot, Berlin 1973-1995; Reprint: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2014, ISBN 978-3-534-26462-9 .
    • Volume 1: State and Church from the Exit of the Old Reich to the Eve of the Civil Revolution , Berlin 1973, ISBN 978-3-428-02988-4 ;
    • Volume 2: State and Church in the Age of High Constitutionalism and the Kulturkampf. 1848-1890 , Berlin 1976, ISBN 978-3-428-03630-1 ;
    • Volume 3: State and Church from the settlement of the Kulturkampf to the end of the First World War , 2nd edition, Berlin 1990, ISBN 978-3-428-05268-4 ;
    • Volume 4: State and Church in the Time of the Weimar Republic , Berlin 1988, ISBN 978-3-428-06362-8 ;
    • Volume 5: Register . Edited by Rupprecht Stiefel, Berlin 1995, ISBN 978-3-428-08362-6 .
  • Preservation and Transformation. Studies on German state theory and constitutional history , Duncker a. Humblot, Berlin 1975, ISBN 978-3-428-03278-5 .
  • (Ed.): Documents on German constitutional history , 3 vols., Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1961–1966; 3rd edition, 5 vols., Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne 1978–1997.
    • Volume 1: German constitutional documents 1803-1850 , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne 1961, 3rd edition 1978, ISBN 978-3-17-001844-0 ;
    • Volume 2: German constitutional documents 1851–1900 , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne 1964, 3rd edition 1986, ISBN 978-3-17-001845-7 ;
    • Volume 3: German constitutional documents 1900–1918 , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne, 3rd edition 1990, ISBN 978-3-17-005060-0 ;
    • Volume 4: German constitutional documents 1919–1933 , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne, 3rd edition 1992, ISBN 978-3-17-011718-1 ;
    • Volume 5: Register band . Edited by Gerhard Granier, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne 1997, ISBN 978-3-17-014369-2 .

Other media


  • Ewald Grothe : A 'silent' affair? The return of the constitutional historian Ernst Rudolf Huber to university science after 1945 . In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 47, 1999, pp. 980–1001.
  • Ewald Grothe: About dealing with the turning point of times. The constitutional historian Ernst Rudolf Huber and his examination of the past and the present in 1933 and 1945 . In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 53, 2005, pp. 216–235.
  • Ewald Grothe: Between History and Law. German constitutional historiography 1900–1970 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2005 (=  Ordnungssysteme , 16), [sections on Ernst Rudolf Huber, in particular pp. 172–189 and pp. 317 f.], ISBN 3-486-57784-0 .
  • Ewald Grothe: “The strictest restraint and unconditional tact”. The constitutional historian Ernst Rudolf Huber and the Nazi past . In: Eva Schumann (Ed.): Continuities and caesuras. Law and justice in the “Third Reich” and in the post-war period . Wallstein, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-8353-0305-8 , pp. 327-348.
  • Ewald Grothe: Ernst Rudolf Huber (1903–1990). Legal scholar . In: Landschaftsverband Rheinland (Hrsg.): Internet portal Rheinische Geschichte. Rhenish heads.äten/H/Seiten/ErnstRudolfHuber.aspx .
  • Ewald Grothe (Ed.): Carl Schmitt - Ernst Rudolf Huber. Correspondence 1926–1981. With complementary materials . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-428-14170-8 ( review in the Annotated Bibliography of Political Science ).
  • Ewald Grothe (Ed.): Ernst Rudolf Huber. State - Constitution - History. Nomos-Verlag, Baden-Baden 2015 (=  understanding of the state , 80), ISBN 978-3-8487-2618-9 .
  • Ewald Grothe: "The unpleasant business of self-reflection". Ernst Rudolf Huber (1903–1990) and the German youth movement. In: Eckart Conze / Susanne Rappe-Weber (ed.): The German youth movement. Historicization and self-historicization after 1945 , V & R unipress, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8471-0908-2 , pp. 199–213.
  • Christoph Gusy : Ernst Rudolf Huber (1903–1990) - from neo-Hegelian state thinking to statistic constitutional history. In: Peter Häberle u. a. (Ed.): Constitutional law teacher of the 20th century. Germany, Austria, Switzerland. de Gruyter, Boston, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-11-030379-7 , pp. 641–653.
  • Martin Jürgens: State and Empire with Ernst Rudolf Huber. His life and work up to 1945 from a legal historical perspective . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2005 (=  legal history series , 306), ISBN 3-631-53322-5 .
  • Matthias Maetschke: Ernst Rudolf Huber. In the shadow of Carl Schmitt - Ernst Rudolf Huber's Bonn years 1924–1933. In: Mathias Schmoeckel (ed.): The lawyers at the University of Bonn in the “Third Reich”. Böhlau, Cologne [a. a.] 2004, ISBN 978-3-412-12903-3 , pp. 368-386.
  • Ulf Morgenstern : The risky 'return to the blessed Rhenish land'. About Ernst Rudolf Huber's Saxon and Alsatian years and their portrayal in his 'Strasbourg Memories' . In: Ronald Lambrecht / Ulf Morgenstern (eds.): 'Strongly advanced detailed research'. Articles for Ulrich von Hehl on his 65th birthday , Edition Kirchhof & Franke, Leipzig, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-933816-56-6 , pp. 243-273.
  • Ralf Walkenhaus: Conservative state thinking . A sociological study of Ernst Rudolf Huber . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-05-003040-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bernd Rüthers : Degenerate Law: Legal Doctrine and Crown Jurists in the Third Reich. CH Beck, Munich 1988, 3rd edition, Ger. Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-423-04630-9 , p. 102 ff. (After 2nd edition 1989).
  2. Michael Stolleis : Right in wrong. Studies on the legal history of National Socialism. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt a. M. 1994, ISBN 3-518-28755-9 , 2nd edition 2006, p. 336.
  3. Ewald Grothe: "The unpleasant business of self-reflection". Ernst Rudolf Huber (1903–1990) and the German youth movement. In: Eckart Conze / Susanne Rappe-Weber (ed.): The German youth movement. Historicization and self-historicization after 1945 , V & R unipress, Göttingen 2018, pp. 199–213.
  4. Bernd Rüthers : Degenerate Law: Legal Doctrine and Crown Jurists in the Third Reich. Beck, Munich 1988, 3rd edition, Munich 1994, p. 102 ff.
  5. Ewald Grothe : Between history and law. German constitutional historiography 1900–1970 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-486-57784-0 , p. 176.
  6. Ewald Grothe : Between history and law. German constitutional historiography 1900–1970 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-486-57784-0 , pp. 168-172.
  7. Herwig Schäfer: Legal teaching and research at the University of Strasbourg 1941-1944 , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1999 (=  contributions to the legal history of the 20th century , 23), ISBN 978-3-16-147097-4 .
  8. Bernd Rüthers : Degenerate Law. Legal teachings and crown lawyers in the Third Reich. Beck, Munich 1988, 3rd edition, Munich 1994, p. 102 ff.
  9. a b TV channel Phoenix : Alfred Schier in dialogue with Prof. Wolfgang Huber ( memento from June 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), series “In dialogue”, June 17, 2012.
  10. ^ Ernst Rudolf Huber: Constitution. Hamburg 1937, p. 213.
  11. ^ Ernst Rudolf Huber: Constitutional Law of the Greater German Empire. 2nd edition, Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1939, p. 278 f.
  12. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 119.
  13. Festschrift for Ulrich Huber on his seventieth birthday with a short biography .