Gerd Krumeich

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Gerd Krumeich at the “Historical Quartet” on September 23, 2014 in the Modern Gallery of the Saarland Museum in Saarbrücken
Gerd Krumeich with Christopher Clark (and the moderator Johannes Paulmann , center) at the Göttinger Historikertag 2014

Gerd Krumeich (born May 4, 1945 in Düsseldorf ) is a German historian . He is an expert on the history of the First World War . His research on this is particularly valued in France, but also in Great Britain and the United States.

Live and act

Gerd Krumeich studied history and Romance studies from 1963 to 1970 at the Universities of Düsseldorf , Göttingen , Innsbruck , Paris and Cologne . After receiving his doctorate in 1975, he worked as a research assistant at the chair of Wolfgang J. Mommsen at the University of Düsseldorf. From 1980 to 1983 he also received a scholarship from the German Historical Institute in Paris . In 1989 he finally received his habilitation on Jeanne d'Arc in History and a year later he was appointed to the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg , where Krumeich taught until 1997. As Mommsen's successor, Krumeich was professor of modern history at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf from 1997 to 2010. He retired on April 1, 2010; He held his farewell lecture on April 27, 2010 on the subject of "On historical storytelling".

From the very beginning, Krumeich was involved in the development of the Historial de la Grande Guerre in the French city of Péronne , in which the First World War is viewed from a military-historical perspective as well as from a cultural, social and mental history perspective. He is now Vice-President of the Comité Directeur du Center de Recherche de l'Historial de la Grande Guerre .

Krumeich regularly organizes excursions to the battlefields on the Somme or in Verdun . Since 2004 he has also been head of the Dusseldorf office for the edition of a scientific Max Weber complete edition . His research work, especially on the First World War and the myth of Joan of Arc , as well as the scientific exchange between German and French historians, which Gerd Krumeich also makes possible in part, are highly regarded. The great encyclopedia on the First World War is now considered a standard work. However, his contribution to the commemorative year of the First World War in 2014 was also sharply criticized in the professional world. In contrast to Christopher Clark , for example, Krumeich argues that the German Reich was primarily to blame for the outbreak of the First World War.

His main research interests include the First World War with a special focus on the history of mentality , as well as the history of France and the military history of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1995 Krumeich was involved in founding the Working Group on Military History (AKM) ; from 1995 to 2005 he was its second chairman; since November 2005 he has been honorary chairman of the AKM.

Fonts (selection)


  • Armament and domestic politics in France before the First World War. The introduction of the three-year service obligation 1913-1914 (= publications of the Institute for European History Mainz. Vol. 96 Department of Universal History ). Steiner, Wiesbaden 1980, ISBN 3-515-02970-2 (at the same time: Düsseldorf, University, dissertation, 1977).
  • Joan of Arc in History. Historiography - Culture - Politics (= Francia . Supplements Vol. 19). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1989, ISBN 3-7995-7319-4 (also: Düsseldorf, Universität, habilitation paper, 1988), online (PDF; 21.8 MB) , (In French as: Jeanne d'Arc à travers l 'histoire. Albin Michel, Paris 1993, ISBN 2-226-06651-9 ).
  • Joan of Arc. The story of the Maid of Orleans (= Beck'sche series 2396 C.-H.-Beck-Wissen ). CH Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-53596-8 .
  • with Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau : Cicatrices. La Grande Guerre aujourd'hui. Photographies: Jean Richardot. Tallandier, Paris 2008, ISBN 978-2-84734-509-4 .
  • with Jean-Jacques Becker : La Grande guerre. Une histoire franco - allemande. Tallandier, Paris 2008, ISBN 978-2-84734-415-8 (German translation: The Great War. Germany and France 1914-1918. Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2010, ISBN 978-3-8375-0171-1 ).
  • with Gerhard Hirschfeld: Germany in the First World War. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-10-029411-1 .
  • July 1914. A balance sheet. With an appendix: 50 key documents about the outbreak of war. Schöningh, Paderborn [a. a.] 2014, ISBN 978-3-506-77592-4 .
  • with Antoine Prost: Verdun 1916. The battle and its myth from a Franco-German perspective . Translated from the French by Ursula Böhme. Klartext, Essen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8375-1570-1 .
  • The unresolved defeat. The trauma of the First World War and the Weimar Republic. Herder, Freiburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-39970-1 .
  • The War Guilt Discussion in the Shadow of Versailles 1919-1933. In: Reinhold Zilch (ed.): Gottlieb von Jagow (1863–1935) and his environment. A top imperial diplomat between the First World War and war (in) guilt research. Workshop on 6./7. June 2019 in Munich, Historical College. Organizer: Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences; Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin; Funded by the DFG. With contributions by Hans-Werner Hahn , Reinhold Zilch, Gerd Fesser , Hartwin Spenkuch, Gerd Krumeich, Jakob Müller, Piotr Szlanta, Christian Lüdtke, Martin Kröger . Meeting reports of the Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin, Volume 142, Volume 2020. trafo Wissenschaftsverlag Dr. Wolfgang Weist, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-86464-179-4 .


  • with Gerhard Hirschfeld and Irina Renz: “Nobody feels like a person here any more”. Experience and impact of the First World War (= writings of the library for contemporary history. NF vol. 1). Klartext-Verlag, Essen 1993, ISBN 3-88474-004-0 .
  • with Gerhard Hirschfeld among others: War experiences. Studies on the social and mental history of the First World War (= writings of the library for contemporary history. NF vol. 5). Klartext-Verlag, Essen 1997, ISBN 3-88474-538-7 .
  • with Vittoria Borsò and Bernd Witte: Mediality and memory. Interdisciplinary contributions to the cultural processing of European crises. Metzler, Stuttgart et al. 2001, ISBN 3-476-45289-1 .
  • with Silke Fehlemann: Versailles 1919. Aims - Effect - Perception , (= writings of the library for contemporary history. NF Vol. 14). Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2001, ISBN 3-88474-945-5 .
  • with Jost Dülffer : The lost peace. Politics and war culture after 1918 (= writings of the library for contemporary history. NF vol. 15). Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2002, ISBN 3-89861-075-6 .
  • with Susanne Brandt: Battle myths. Event - narration - memory (= European histories. Vol. 2). Böhlau, Cologne et al. 2003 ISBN 3-412-08703-3 .
  • with Gerhard Hirschfeld, Irina Renz and Markus Pöhlmann : Encyclopedia First World War . Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2003, ISBN 3-506-73913-1 .
  • with Joachim Schröder: The shadow of the world war. The occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 (= Düsseldorf writings on modern regional history and the history of North Rhine-Westphalia. Vol. 69). Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2004, ISBN 3-89861-251-1 .
  • with Gertrude Cepl-Kaufmann , Ulla Sommers and Jasmin Grande: War and Utopia. Art, literature and politics in the Rhineland after the First World War. Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2006, ISBN 3-89861-619-3 .
  • with Gerhard Hirschfeld and Irina Renz: The Germans on the Somme. 1914-1918. War, occupation, scorched earth. Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2006, ISBN 3-89861-567-7 .
  • with Anke Hoffstadt and Arndt Weinrich: National Socialism and First World War (= writings of the library for contemporary history. NF vol. 24). Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2010, ISBN 978-3-8375-0195-7 .

Web links

Commons : Gerd Krumeich  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Website of the Center de Recherche de l'Historial de la Grande Guerre.
  2. Andreas Rose: A new dispute over interpretive sovereignty? on H-Soz-Kult.
  3. Franziska Augstein: "July 1914" by Gerd Krumeich. In: . March 5, 2014, accessed October 13, 2018 .
  4. portal of the Working Group Military History eV