Free German Hochstift

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Seal of the Free German Hochstift from 1859
Goethe's birthplace at Großer Hirschgraben 23 in Frankfurt a. M. was the seat of the association for almost the entire history of the Free German Hochstift.

The Free German High Foundation for Sciences , Arts and General Education is an association based in Frankfurt am Main , whose main tasks are the care of the Frankfurt Goethe House and Museum and the promotion of the edition of literary works. His extensive collection of manuscripts, letters and paintings from German Romanticism is to be made accessible to the public as the German Romanticism Museum in 2018 .


The Free German Hochstift was founded in 1859 , on the 100th birthday of Friedrich Schiller , by 50 people, the majority of whom were Frankfurt citizens . The initiator was Otto Volger , lecturer in geology from Lüneburg , who was involved in the revolution of 1848 . The political ideals of the revolution should find a spiritual and cultural home in the institution. The association was open to everyone from the start, and social democrats such as SdAP co-founder Samuel Spier and the long-time editor-in-chief of the Frankfurter Volksstimme , Max Quarck , also worked on the board . With the founding of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main in 1914, the focus of the association's activities shifted from an academy and a kind of adult education center to museum, collecting and research activities. Today the Hochstift operates a poets archive, a graphic collection and a research library. The focus of the current research work is formed by two historical-critical editions.

The monastery building was restored by the painter and architect Theo Kellner after the Second World War, together with the Goethe House , which was destroyed in the air raids on Frankfurt am Main . The previous interior was moved in good time and was retained.

Since the year 1884/85 an almanac has been published under the title Reports of the Free German Hochstift , which has been called the Yearbook since 1902 . While in the 19th century it was mainly about economic and ideological topics, it has its permanent place today as a forum for international research on German literature and the art associated with it from the 18th century to the present. His tasks also include opening up important new acquisitions or older holdings of the collections that have remained unjustifiably unknown in reports and smaller editions . The comprehensive annual report concluding each yearbook provides information on the work of the institution and its departments, acquisitions, exhibitions, editions, cultural events, visitor numbers and guided tours in the Goethe House and Museum and much more.

On the 150th day of its founding on August 28, 2009, the Freie Deutsche Hochstift changed its name to “Frankfurter Goethe-Haus - Free German Hochstift” in order to be able to use both components of the name independently in the future and to make and maintain itself.


  • Fritz Adler: Free German Hochstift. His story . First part: 1859-1885 . Free German Hochstift, Frankfurt am Main 1959.
  • Joachim Seng: Goethe enthusiasm and citizenship. The Free German Hochstift - Frankfurt Goethe Museum 1881–1960 . Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-8353-0536-6

See also

Web links

Commons : Free Deutsches Hochstift  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Article Deutsches Hochstift - Especially in times of crisis one should dream. in FAZ.NET from August 28, 2009.