Friedrich Hänssler junior

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Friedrich Hänssler

Friedrich Hänssler (born March 6, 1927 in Stuttgart ; † May 7, 2019 in Holzgerlingen ; actually Friedrich Hänssler ) was a German theologian , musicologist and, as the long-time director of the Hänssler Verlag, an important evangelical publisher of the 20th century in Germany.


Friedrich Hänssler was a son of the eponymous founder (1892–1972) of the then music publisher Hänssler. Two of his siblings died shortly after their birth, a sister of diphtheria at the age of 17. He too fell seriously ill as a child and, contrary to expectations, got well. In 1944, as a 17-year-old German soldier, he had to attend a firing squad, whereupon he had an “existential experience of God” and made a personal decision of faith.

In 1945 he began to study theology and musicology in Tübingen . He became seriously ill with tuberculosis , but survived and was able to continue studying and graduate.

In 1950 he joined his father's publishing house, took it over in 1959 and developed it into one of the leading Protestant publishers in Germany. For Hänssler, his publisher's faithfulness to the Bible was a personal concern: for decades, he and his wife Ursula personally checked every manuscript down to the last detail. Many manuscripts were therefore rejected. From 1970 he published over 1000 books on the Bible and Bible commentaries. He also published 1-mark paperbacks to bring evangelistic literature for low-income earners to the market and to the people. During the Cold War , he and others involved smuggled Bibles, song books and Christian literature into the GDR , the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia at their own expense .

Thanks to the publisher's music program, especially his Bach recordings, Hänssler achieved an international reputation. After 1970, the conductor Helmuth Rilling convinced him to record all the church cantatas and later the surviving compositions by Bach. Another focal point was Israel , on which he had over a hundred works published.

In 2002, Hänssler's publishing company ran into financial difficulties because, among other things, the switch to automation in logistics had not worked quickly enough. His publishing house was taken over by the Christian Media Foundation ; he was able to continue working there as a consultant.

In addition to his publishing activities, Hänssler took on numerous management tasks in church and Christian bodies. He belonged to the Chamber for Journalism of the EKD and was one of the founders of the Christian Media Association KEP . In 1979 he and Rudolf Decker founded the Prayer Breakfast Meeting for Parliamentarians initiative based on the American model . He was also a member of the board of trustees of the ProChrist evangelical association , an organizer of major evangelization events close to the YMCA , and was a member of the main board of the German Evangelical Alliance . 1970 to 1992 he headed the Württemberg Brethren Association . In the early 1950s he initiated the youth meeting “Dynamis”.

In 2019, Hänssler's biography of Simone Martin was published, which was created in close collaboration with him. Friedrich Hänssler was married to his wife Ursula from 1955 and was the father of six children. In Memoriam, a thematic and content-related overview of life was created.



  • Variations in major & minor - audio book. SCM / ERF, Holzgerlingen 2004, ISBN 978-3-89562-854-2
  • Lasting treasures - songs of my life. SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2007



  • Simone Martin: Friedrich Hänssler - A life for the gospel. SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-7751-5889-3 .

Web links

References and comments

  1. Great Evangelical publisher: Friedrich Hänssler died at the age of 92. In: . May 7, 2019, accessed May 7, 2019 .
  2. Jesus' Name Never Verkinget , Vol. 4, p. 105
  3. a b Helmut Matthies: Great successes - deep sorrow. In: ideaSpektrum, February 28, 2007.
  4. A short story. SCM Hänssler, accessed on May 7, 2019 . Helmut Matthies: Publishing record: There must be faithfulness to the Bible. In: ideaSpektrum 26/2016. Daniela Städter: The generation over 90. Trust God even in suffering. In: ideaSpektrum 13/2017, pp. 26–28.

  5. Prayer Breakfast: Obama declares war on religious persecution. In: . February 7, 2014, accessed May 7, 2019 .
  6. ^ The Board of Trustees of ProChrist eV In: Archived from the original on March 27, 2019 ; accessed on May 7, 2019 .
  7. Friedrich Hänssler is 85 years old. In: . March 6, 2012, archived from the original on December 1, 2017 ; accessed on May 7, 2019 .
  8. Dynamis: "Then God is good to you again" ,, article from July 10, 2019.
  9. a b Simone Martin: Friedrich Hänssler - A life for the gospel: The biography . SCM Hänssler, 2019, ISBN 978-3-7751-7431-2 ( [accessed on March 2, 2020]).
  10. ^ Friedrich Hänssler. In memoriam. His life - his mission.
  11. ^ State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg: Merit Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg. List of medal recipients 1975–2009 . Page 35.
  12. NN. (No longer available online.) In: Börsenblatt. February 12, 2007, archived from the original on December 18, 2015 ; accessed on May 7, 2019 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. ^ Federal Cross of Merit 1st class for publisher Friedrich Hänssler. (pdf, 309 kB) In: SELK Info 11-2001. October 30, 2001, p. 12 , accessed July 22, 2010 .
  14. ^ Working group of Christian journalists, ACP issue 1/2002.