Friedrich Eichhorn

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Johann Albrecht Friedrich Eichhorn

Johann Albrecht Friedrich Eichhorn (born March 2, 1779 in Wertheim , † January 16, 1856 in Berlin ) was a Prussian statesman and from 1840 to 1848 Prussian minister of education .

Origin and family

The father Carl Ludwig Eichhorn was Löwenstein-Wertheimer Hofkammerrat and married to Maria Sophia (née Führer). He himself married Eleonore Philippine Amalie Sack in 1811, a daughter of the royal court preacher Friedrich Samuel Gottfried Sack . From the marriage, among others, Hermann von Eichhorn , later president of the district in Minden , emerged.

Live and act

Eichhorn attended school in Wertheim and studied law in Göttingen from 1796 to 1799 . Afterwards he was court master of the Auer family in Kleve for a short time . Since 1800 then auscultator at the local higher court. At the same time he was regimental quartermaster in the Count Wedel Battalion. With the unit he was moved to Hildesheim in 1802 and also worked there at the higher court. In 1806 Eichhorn passed the major state examination and became a judicial judge in Berlin . In 1809 he came into contact with Wilhelm von Dörnberg, who was fighting against the Napoleonic occupation . This prompted Eichhorn to join the volunteer corps of Ferdinand von Schill to join, after an accident but he left again. From 1810 he was a member of the chamber judge in Berlin and from 1811 at the same time the syndic of the newly founded university . In 1813 he was a member of the Landwehr Organization Committee and took part in the Blücher staff at the start of the Wars of Liberation . In the same year he became a member of the central administration department for the occupied territories under Heinrich Friedrich Karl vom Stein .

After a brief return to the judiciary, he went to Paris as a diplomat at Stein's request in 1815 . In the same year he was appointed Secret Legation Councilor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this capacity he became responsible for "German affairs" from 1817 and was appointed lecturer. Eichhorn played an important role in the preparation of the customs unit, in particular by including various enclaves in the Prussian customs area. With this and with other measures he was instrumental in the creation of the customs union .

In 1831 he was promoted to director of the second department of the Foreign Office and, in 1840, surprisingly appointed Minister of Education ("Minister of Spiritual, Educational and Medical Affairs") by Friedrich Wilhelm IV . Due to his family connection with the court preacher Sack and as a friend of Friedrich Schleiermacher , hopes for liberalization were connected with him. In the area of ​​school policy, however , he disappointed them with a stronger bond between the elementary school and the churches, but also with the dismissal of Adolph Diesterweg . In addition, there was the equally critical appointment of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and the conservative thought leader Friedrich Julius Stahl on the one hand and the dismissal of Bruno Bauer and Karl Nauwerck on the other. With regard to the Catholic Church, Eichhorn set up a Catholic department in the ministry in order to help calm the Catholic subjects after the turmoil in Cologne . In the Protestant area he promoted the Inner Mission and the activities of Johann Hinrich Wichern in Prussia. Above all, however, Eichhorn's attempt to implement a synodal constitution for the Protestant church failed . At the general synod of 1846 he reached resolutions in his favor, but these did not correspond to the wishes of the king and were not accepted by him. With the beginning of the March Revolution , he then had to resign.

The grave of Friedrich Eichhorn in Berlin-Kreuzberg

From 1817 to 1848 he was a member of the Prussian State Council . In 1850 he took part in the Erfurt Union Parliament as a member of the House of States and was its age-president .

A street on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin is named after Eichhorn . The botanist Karl Sigismund Kunth described the plant genus of the water hyacinth under the name Eichhornia in his honor . The University of Göttingen awarded him an honorary doctorate in law in 1837 and an honorary doctorate in 1855 .

Friedrich Eichhorn died in Berlin in 1856 at the age of almost 77. The burial took place in the Trinity cemetery in front of the Potsdamer Tor . Also his wife Eleonore Philippine Amalie geb. Sack (1783–1862) was later buried there. In 1904 they were both reburied in Dreifaltigkeitsfriedhof II on Bergmannstrasse , where Friedrich Eichhorn's cast-iron grave cross has been preserved.


  • The Central Administration of the Allies under Baron von Stein . Berlin, 1814.
  • To the opponents of the union of Saxony with Prussia . Frankfurt, 1815


Web links

Commons : Friedrich Eichhorn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , pp. 152–153, 250.