Friedrich Beck (archivist)

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Friedrich Beck (born June 20, 1927 in Untergrochlitz ) is a German archivist and historian . He is the author and editor of numerous publications, particularly on the history of the Brandenburg region.


The son of the innkeeper from Greiz Schwanenschlößchen attended school in Untergrochlitz from 1933 to 1937 and then went to the grammar school in Greiz . In 1944 he was called up for labor service and then for the armed forces. He became an American prisoner of war, from which he was released at the end of 1945. After graduating from high school, he attended the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena from October 1946 , where he studied history, German and pedagogy and passed the first state examination for teaching at secondary schools in December 1950. Already in the following year he received his doctorate with a thesis on the economic development in the city Greiz during the 19th century to Dr. phil. From September 1951 to July 1953 he attended the Institute for Archival Science in Potsdam , where he passed the second state examination as a scientific archivist .

In July 1956 he became head of the Brandenburg State Main Archive in Potsdam. He held this position until he retired in 1993.

In 1956 Friedrich Beck succeeded Willy Flach as a lecturer in palaeography at the Institute for Archival Science in Potsdam, which was affiliated with the Humboldt University in Berlin in 1958 and was most recently headed by Botho Brachmann . In 1982 he was made an honorary professor for historical auxiliary sciences and mainly taught palaeography. In this function he made a significant contribution to the training of scientific archivists in the GDR. In addition, Friedrich Beck presented numerous publications.

In 1996 Friedrich Beck was a founding member of the Brandenburg Historical Commission and was elected chairman. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Historical Commission in Berlin .

His son Lorenz Beck (1969-2013) became an archivist and historian like him.


In recognition and appreciation of special achievements and the loyal fulfillment of duties in building socialism and in consolidating and strengthening the GDR , Friedrich Beck, who was a member of the SED, was awarded the GDR Medal of Merit on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of the GDR .

Works (selection)

  • Editor of the series of publications of the Brandenburg State Main Archive , 35 volumes, 1958–1997, including: overview of the holdings of the Brandenburg State Main Archive , 2 volumes, 1964 and 1967; Historical local dictionary for Brandenburg , 10 volumes, 1967–1997; Bibliography on the history of the Mark Brandenburg , 6 volumes, 1970–1997; Documents from secret archives , 4 volumes, 1983–1995.
  • as publisher: local history and regional history. Festschrift for Rudolf Lehmann's 65th birthday . 1958.
  • with Manfred Unger : "... with letter and seal". Documents from archives of the GDR. Leipzig 1979.
  • with Walter Schmidt : The Police Conferences of German States 1851–1866. 1993.
  • with Botho Brachmann, Wolfgang Hempel (Ed.): Potsdamer Studies. 18 volumes, 1995-2005.
  • with Klaus Neitmann (Ed.): Brandenburg State History and Archive Studies. Festschrift for Lieselott Enders on her 70th birthday. 1997.
  • with Eckart Henning , Wolfgang Hempel (eds.): Archivistica docet. Contributions to archival science and its interdisciplinary environment. 1998.
  • with Eckart Henning (Ed.): From the useful and pious of the historical auxiliary sciences. (= Herold studies , 5), 2000.
  • Document inventory of the Brandenburg State Main Archives. Kurmark. Part 1, 2001; Part 2, 2002.
  • with Eckart Henning (Ed.): Brandenburgisches Biographisches Lexikon. (= Individual publications of the Brandenburg Historical Commission , 5), Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2002, ISBN 3-935035-39-X .
  • Documents from the city of Beeskow in Regesten (1272–1649). 2003.
  • Klaus Neitmann (Ed.): Friedrich Beck. Selected essays from the years 1956–2000. Contributions to the Thuringian and Brandenburg regional history and to the historical auxiliary sciences. Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2003, ISBN 3-935035-38-1 .
  • with Eckart Henning (Ed.): The archival sources. An introduction to their use. 1994, 4th edition 2004, 5th extension. u. actual Edition 2012. With a contribution by Reinhold Zilch : Coins and other sources on monetary history. Pp. 378-384, 445-448.
  • with Eckart Henning and others (ed.): Archives and memory. Festschrift for Botho Brachmann on his 75th birthday. 2005.
  • Regest of the documents Kurmärkische Stände (Rep. 23 A) of the Brandenburg State Main Archives . 2006.
  • Documents from the city of Pritzwalk in Regesten (1256–1703). 2006.
  • with Lorenz Friedrich Beck: The Latin script. Written certificates from the German-speaking area from the Middle Ages to the present day. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-12506-6 .


  • Botho Brachmann: Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo! Friedrich Beck 75 years. In: Klaus Neitmann (Ed.): Friedrich Beck. Selected essays from the years 1956–2000. Potsdam 2003, pp. 309-311.
  • Klaus Neitmann: Friedrich Beck's scientific life's work. An introduction. In: Klaus Neitmann (Ed.): Friedrich Beck. Selected essays from the years 1956–2000. Potsdam 2003, pp. 9-25.
  • Florian Seher: Bibliography Friedrich Beck. In: Klaus Neitmann (Ed.): Friedrich Beck. Selected essays from the years 1956–2000. Potsdam 2003, pp. 313-318.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Award . In: Archive Messages 18, 1968, No. 3, p. 216.