Hans-Joachim Schoeps

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Hans-Joachim Schoeps (born January 30, 1909 in Berlin ; † July 8, 1980 in Erlangen ) was a German professor for religious and intellectual history at the University of Erlangen and Jude. At first he was positive about National Socialism and in 1933 he founded the association Der deutsche Vorrupp. Following of German Jews ; nevertheless he had to flee to Sweden during the Third Reich. Throughout his life he was a German nationalist monarchist .


Childhood and Education, 1909–1932

Schoeps' father was Julius Schoeps , a general practitioner in Berlin. The mother Käthe geb. Frank (1886–1944) came from Brandenburg . The self-confessed bisexual Hans-Joachim Schoeps married Dorothee Busch (1915–1996), a granddaughter of the banker Ernst von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy , in exile in Sweden . Historian Julius H. Schoeps and real estate entrepreneur Manfred Schoeps came from the marriage . Like his younger brother, Hans-Joachim Schoeps was raised in the Prussian spirit , a basic attitude that he deepened and defended in the course of his life.

Schoeps began to study philosophy of religion , history and literature at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin in the 1920s . In 1928 he was in the Corps Rhenania Strasbourg at the University of Marburg recipiert . At that time it was based in Warmbrunn in Lower Silesia . In 1930 - when the Kösener corps lists went to press - he put down the Rhenanenband for unknown reasons. He moved to the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and the Universität Leipzig . During his studies he joined the German Bundischen youth movement , where he met Hans Blüher and Friedrich Kreppel, among others . In 1932 he received his doctorate with a thesis on Joachim Wach from the University of Leipzig Dr. phil.

In the Weimar Republic Schoeps felt a connection with the Conservative Revolution and especially with Prussian Socialism . As important teachers and colleagues he named:

Politics and Exile, 1933–1945

In February 1933, as a national conservative, Schoeps founded the association Der deutsche Vorrupp. Followers of German Jews , which the Nazis faced positive and wanted to integrate nationally minded Jews to the Nazis, and led him to 1935. Schoeps wrote in the journal The vanguard: "National Socialism save Germany from destruction; Germany is experiencing its national renewal today. ”He called for an“ acceleration of the absolutely necessary separation of German and non-German Jews as well as the registration of all German-conscious Jews under uniform authoritarian leadership while avoiding the old organizations as much as possible. ”In 1933 he also passed the state examination for teaching in German , History and Philosophy, but was not admitted to the traineeship as a Jew . His persistent attempts to build an existence in National Socialist Germany failed. He worked as a private teacher and publisher (Vorrupp-Verlag, Berlin) and gave lectures a. a. at the Reichsbund of Jewish Front Soldiers . The exile newspaper Pariser Tageblatt of June 29, 1936 described Schoeps as "loyal to Hitler". Due to his contacts with Ernst Niekisch and Otto Strasser , he was increasingly put under pressure by the Gestapo .

On Christmas Eve 1938 he managed to escape to Sweden with the help of Werner Otto von Hentig from the Foreign Office . First in Stockholm , and from 1941 in Uppsala , as a librarian and private scholar , he wrote extensive treatises on the history of Judaism and problems of Judeo-Christian religious relations, especially from the period of early Christianity and the Baroque . In exile in Sweden, Schoeps, who was still German-national, was largely isolated as a scientist.

His parents stayed behind in Germany. His father died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp at the end of 1942 , his mother was murdered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1944 .

In 1941 he met Dorothee Busch in Sweden. The two married and had a son each in 1942 and 1944. The marriage lasted around five years. In the course of the divorce, an agreement was made that the sons should grow up with their father when he returned to Germany. The older son Julius H. Schoeps became a historian and political scientist.

Post-war period, 1945–1959: Importance as a religious historian

In autumn 1946 he returned to Germany. In February 1947, on the basis of previous publications and unpublished manuscripts, he was able to complete his habilitation at the University of Marburg . The Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen appointed him that same year as associate professor for the history of religion and intellectual history. In 1948 Schoeps founded the influential journal for the history of religion and intellectual history (ZRGG). From 1950 he was a full professor and chairman of the Department of Religious and Intellectual History at the University of Erlangen. His students included u. a. Hellmut Diwald , Robert Hepp , Werner Maser , Günther Deschner , Sven Thomas Frank and Hans-Dietrich Sander . In 1954, Schoeps was able to acquire the Gerlach Archive for the University of Erlangen and in the following decades developed a lively research and publication activity on the archive's holdings.

Schoeps was a monarchist by conviction and in 1951 demanded the restoration of Prussia. He described himself as anti-nationalist (and spoke of the betrayal of Prussia by Bismarck against Germany in the course of the unification of the empire) and anti-liberal. He wanted to found the Volksbund for the Monarchy with members of the Bundestag , but this did not happen after the publication of a report by the news magazine Der Spiegel in 1954. Schoeps was an honorary member of the tradition and life association founded in 1956 .

In 1958 he founded the Society for Intellectual History in Erlangen , of which he was chairman. He wrote numerous scientific studies on the history of religion and the religious philosophy of Judaism . This is where his biographer Micha Brumlik sees its real importance. Above all, his research on early “Jewish Christianity” is groundbreaking; the so-called Ebionites were religious groups who for the first two centuries still alternated between church and synagogue, between rabbinical Jewish beliefs and early Christianity. Schoeps could be seen as the pioneer of today's researchers.

The late work, 1960–1980

In the early 1960s Schoeps wrote that “some of what Oswald Spengler said in the exciting closing words of his work Prussianism and Socialism is still valid”. At the congress of the Kösener Seniors Convent Association in Würzburg in 1965, Schoeps gave the keynote lecture by Otto von Bismarck, the founder of the German Empire . He was a member of the advisory board of the Germany Foundation . In 1969 he was a co-founder of the Conservative Collection and author of the magazine Conservative Today .

From the beginning of the 1970s, Schoeps was also active in the "Zollernkreis". Posthumously in 1987 he published Schoeps' Festschrift Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia: Legacy and Order: Festschrift for his 80th birthday . Schoeps was also on the advisory board of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation . He was the doctoral supervisor of Friedrich Wilhelm Prince of Prussia , whose doctorate was withdrawn in 1971 after extensive plagiarism was discovered.

Schoeps' Erlangen chair, which had been set up as reparation , was wound up during his lifetime and converted into a concordat chair . Schoeps was buried in the New Israelite Cemetery in Nuremberg . After the unification of the two German states, the bones of the deceased were transferred to Berlin on September 24, 1996, at the request that he had expressed while he was still alive, where the family grave (field K 7) is located in the Jewish cemetery in Berlin-Weißensee .

In the 1960s he was one of the first German intellectuals to "come out" as homosexual ; at the time he “demanded reparation for the homosexuals persecuted by the National Socialists”.



Original and single editions

  • History of the Jewish Philosophy of Religion in Modern Times. Volume 1. Vortrupp Verlag, Berlin 1935.
  • Jewish-Christian religious conversation in 19 centuries. History of a theological debate. Vortrupp Verlag, Berlin 1937.
  • Spengler's precursor. Studies on historical pessimism in the 19th century (= supplements of the magazine for religious and intellectual history . 1, ISSN  0514-650X ). Brill, Leiden et al. 1953.
  • Deity and humanity. The great founders of religion and their teachings. Steingrüben-Verlag, Stuttgart 1950.
  • The other Prussia. Vorwerk, Stuttgart 1952.
  • as editor: That was Prussia. Testimonies from the centuries. An anthology. Peters, Honnef 1955.
  • The last thirty years. Retrospectives. Klett, Stuttgart 1956 (memoirs).
  • What is and what does intellectual history want? About the theory and practice of zeitgeist research. Musterschmidt, Göttingen / Berlin 1959.
  • Religions. Essence and history. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1961.
  • Jewish Christianity. Investigations into group formation and party struggles in early Christianity (= Dalp pocket books. Bd. 376, ZDB -ID 2757126-9 ). Francke, Bern et al. 1964.
  • Baroque Jews, Christians, Jewish Christians. Francke, Bern et al. 1965.
  • Prussia. History of a state. Propylaea Publishing House, Berlin 1966.
  • Unfledged words. What cannot be in the Büchmann . Haude u. Spener, Berlin 1971, ISBN 3-7759-0131-0 .
  • Germany is threatened with anarchy. von Hase and Koehler, Mainz 1972, ISBN 3-7758-0833-7 .
  • Farewell to Germany. von Hase and Koehler, Mainz 1973, ISBN 3-7758-0849-3 .
  • Yes, no, and still. Memories, experiences and encounters. von Hase and Koehler, Mainz 1974, ISBN 3-7758-0868-X .
  • In search of a Jewish theology. The correspondence between Schalom Ben-Chorin and Hans-Joachim Schoeps. Edited by Julius H. Schoeps. Jewish Athenaeum Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-610-00424-X .
  • The forgotten god. Franz Kafka and the tragic position of the modern Jew. Edited and introduced by Andreas Krause Landt . Landt-Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-938844-02-7 .

Collected Writings

Collected writings , ed. from the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies in conjunction with Manfred P. Fleischer , Hans-Joachim Hillerbrand, Friedrich Wilhelm Kantzenbach , Joachim H. Knoll and Gary Lease; Editing: Julius H. Schoeps, Olms Verlag , Hildesheim u. a. - The collected writings of Hans-Joachim Schoeps contain his most important works from the areas of early Christianity, historical theology, the science of Judaism, Prussian-German history and general intellectual history of the 17th to 20th centuries.

First section: History of Religion

  • Volume 1: Jewish Faith at this Time. Prolegomena for the foundation of a systematic theology of Judaism [dissertation, 1932], Philo-Verlag, Berlin 1932 (90 pages); History of the Jewish Philosophy of Religion in Modern Times . Vorrupp-Verlag Schoeps, Berlin 1935 (132 pages); Jewish-Christian religious conversation in nineteen centuries. The story of a theological debate . Atharva-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1949 (158 pages); With an introduction by Hans-Joachim Schoeps as a historian of religion by Friedrich Wilhelm Kantzenbach, Hildesheim a. a. 1990, ISBN 3-487-09390-1 (XX, 388 pages).
  • Volume 2: Theology and History of Jewish Christianity [1949], Hildesheim a. a. 1998, ISBN 3-487-09391-X (V, 526 pages).
  • Volume 3: From the early Christian era [1950], Philosemitism in the Baroque [1952], Symmachus Studies [1942], Hildesheim a. a. 1998, ISBN 3-487-09392-8 (VIII, 320, 216, 93 pages).
  • Volume 4: Urgemeinde, Judenchristentum, Gnosis [1956], Paulus. The theology of the apostle in the light of the Jewish religious history [1959], Hildesheim a. a. 1999, ISBN 3-487-09393-6 (88 and XII, 324 pages).
  • Volume 5: From the heavenly flesh of Christ [1951], Das Judenchristentum [1964], Gottheit und Menschheit [1982], Hildesheim u. a. 2005, ISBN 3-487-09394-4 (421 pages).

Second section: intellectual history

  • Volume 6: That was Christian-Erlang [2., exp. u. revised 1970 ed.], Spengler's precursor [1953; 2., ext. Ed. 1955], What is and what does intellectual history [2. Ed. 1970], Hildesheim u. a. 2000, ISBN 3-487-10865-8 (XXI, 79, 98 and 141 pages).
  • Volume 7: What is man? Philosophical anthropology as intellectual history of the latest time [1960], Hildesheim a. a. 1999, ISBN 3-487-10866-6 (352 pages).
  • Volume 8: Studies on the unknown religious and intellectual history [1963], Hildesheim a. a. 2005, ISBN 3-487-12977-9 (355 pages).
  • Volume 9: A broad field. Collected essays [1980], Hildesheim a. a. 2005, ISBN 3-487-12978-7 (403 pages).

Third department: Prussia - Germany

  • Volume 10: Unresolved History. Stations of German fate since 1763 . With an introduction by Manfred P. Fleischer [1964], Hildesheim u. a. 2001, ISBN 3-487-11425-9 (33, 283 pages).
  • Volume 11: Prussia. History of a State [8. Ed. 1968], Hildesheim u. a. 2001, ISBN 3-487-11421-6 (422 pages).
  • Volume 12: The way into the German Empire [1970], Hildesheim a. a. 2001, ISBN 3-487-11426-7 (322 pages).
  • Volume 13: Bismarck on contemporaries - contemporaries on Bismarck [1972], Hildesheim a. a. 2001, ISBN 3-487-11427-5 (418 pages).
  • Volume 14: The Other Prussia. Conservative figures and problems in the age of Friedrich Wilhelm IV. [5th, new edit. Ed. 1981], Hildesheim u. a. 2001, ISBN 3-487-11428-3 (X, 312 pages).

Fourth department: Varia

  • Volume 15: Reviews. The last thirty years (1925–1955) and thereafter [2. 1963], yes - no - and still. Memories - Encounters - Experiences [1974], Hildesheim a. a. 2005, ISBN 3-487-12979-5 (243, 286 pages).
  • Volume 16: Unwoven Words. What cannot be in the Büchmann . 3rd edition, Hildesheim u. a. 2005, ISBN 3-487-12981-7 (336 pages).

See also


  • Hellmut Diwald (Ed.): Lebendiger Geist. Hans-Joachim Schoeps presented by schoolchildren for his 50th birthday . Suffer; Cologne: Brill, 1959, 252 p. (Journal for the History of Religion and Spirituality: Supplement, 4).
  • Kurt Töpner (Hrsg.): Against the ostracism of history. Festschrift for the 60th birthday of Hans-Joachim Schoeps . Munich; Esslingen: Bechtle, 1969, 322 pp.
  • Ernst Benz : Laudation for Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Schoeps . In: Germany Foundation e. V. (Ed.): Festschrift for the award of the Konrad Adenauer Prize 1969 for science, literature and journalism . Germany Foundation V., Munich 1969 (24 pages).
  • Arie Goral-Sternheim : The Anti-Schoeps - On the case of Hans-Joachim Schoeps . Hamburg 1970 (documentation).
  • Hans-Joachim Schoeps, historian and religious philosopher . International Biographical Archive 40/1980 of September 22, 1980.
  • Carl J. Rheins: German vanguard. Followers of German Jews 1933–1935 . Publications of the Leo Baeck Institute, Year Book XXVI (1981), London 1981, pp. 207-229.
  • Julius H. Schoeps (Ed.): In the dispute about Kafka and Judaism. Correspondence between Max Brod and Hans-Joachim Schoeps . Jüdischer Verlag bei Athenäum, Königstein / Taunus 1985, ISBN 3-7610-0380-3 (248 pages).
  • Prussian Institute V., Zollernkreis: Louis Ferdinand Prince of Prussia - heir and order. Festschrift for the 80th birthday of Hans-Joachim Schoeps . With speeches at Hohenzollern Castle. Langen Müller, Munich / Vienna 1987, ISBN 3-7844-2166-0 (223 pages).
  • Julius H. Schoeps: "Nil inultum remanebit". Erlangen University and its dealings with the German-Jewish emigrant Hans-Joachim Schoeps . Journal of Religious and Spiritual History, vol. 52, issue 3 (2000). Also printed in Julius H. Schoeps: Life in the land of perpetrators. Jews in post-war Germany (1945–1952). Jüdische Verlagsanstalt, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-934658-17-2 , pp. 323–336.
  • Astrid Mehmel: "I am now asking you to make a useful petition on this matter ..." Two letters from 1942 to Sven Hedin from Hans-Joachim Schoeps . Journal of the Society for Spiritual History, 2000, pp. 38–48.
  • Frank-Lothar Kroll : Intellectual history from an interdisciplinary perspective. The historian Hans-Joachim Schoeps . In: The spiritual Prussia. On the history of ideas of a state . Paderborn / Munich / Vienna / Zurich 2001, pp. 209–240.
  • Richard Faber : German-conscious Judaism and Jewish-conscious Germanness . Wuerzburg 2008.
  • Gideon Botsch, Joachim H. Knoll and Anna-Dorothea Ludewig (eds.): Against the Zeitgeist. Studies on the life and work of Hans-Joachim Schoeps (1909–1980) . Olms, Hildesheim u. a. 2009, ISBN 978-3-487-13924-1 .
  • Frank-Lothar Kroll : Against the zeitgeist. For the hundredth birthday of the historian Hans-Joachim Schoeps . In: Central German yearbook for culture and history . 16 (2009), pp. 127-140.
  • Frank-Lothar Kroll: History with political intent. Hans-Joachim Schoeps and Prussia . Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-13434-2 .
  • Micha Brumlik : Prussian, conservative, Jewish. Hans-Joachim Schoeps' life and work. Böhlau, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-412-51501-0 .

Web links


  1. ^ Gerhard Krause : Theological Real Encyclopedia. Walter de Gruyter, 2002, p. 359.
  2. a b Kösener Corpslisten 1930, 102 , 342
  3. Appendix to the Kösener Corpslist 1930, p. 1823: 102. Rhenania Strasbourg to Marburg: 342. (Schoeps) retired
  4. Dissertation: History of the Jewish Philosophy of Religion in Modern Times .
  5. Hans-Joachim Schoeps: Ready for Germany: The Patriotism of German Jews and National Socialism . Verlag Haude & Spener 1970, pp. 106, 114.
  6. ^ A b c Gabriela Ann Eakin-Thimme: Geschichte im Exil: German-speaking historians after 1933 . Martin Meidenbauer Verlag 2005, pp. 43, 96.
  7. Wolfram Ender: Conservative and right-wing liberal interpreters of National Socialism, 1930–1945 . Lang Verlag 1984, p. 198.
  8. New German Biography (MDZ)
  9. Micha Brumlik : Prussian, conservative, Jewish. Hans-Joachim Schoeps' life and work . Böhlau, Cologne 2019, pp. 170–171.
  10. Gesammelte Schriften Vol. 15, p. 133 (“never anything other than a monarchist”) et passim.
  11. Carsten Dippel: Religious scholar Hans-Joachim Schoeps - Prussia through and through. In: Deutschlandfunk. January 10, 2020, accessed January 11, 2020 .
  12. spiegel.de March 3, 1954: Die Ehre Preußens Quote: “You want to work out a memorandum with the rousing title Monarchist Manifesto . The Erlangen university professor Dr. Hans Joachim Schoeps, 45. Participation in aid organization professor Kreppel [Friedrich Kreppel from the Evangelical Aid Organization], 50, and as the most prominent monarchist of the new type: the parliamentary group leader of the German party in the Bundestag, Hans-Joachim von Merkatz , 48. "
  13. ^ Richard Faber: German-conscious Judaism and Jewish-conscious Germanness - The Historical and Political Theologian Hans-Joachim Schoeps . Königshausen & Neumann, 2008, p. 103 ff
  14. ^ Hans-Dieter Bamberg: The Germany Foundation e. V. Hain Verlag 1978, p. 516.
  15. ^ Affaires, Still deals with Der Spiegel, July 30, 1973
  16. Legacy and Mission. Vol. 13, Issue 5, September / October 1980, pp. 114-122.
  17. Nuremberg, the new Jewish cemetery (Schnieglinger Strasse). Alemannia Judaica, working group for research into the history of Jews in southern Germany and the neighboring region; accessed on May 15, 2020
  18. Gay, Jewish, right. Interview with Micha Brumlik about his biography about Schoeps, conversation with Thomas Wagner (quotations from Brumlik). In: Friday , November 14, 2019, p. 13.
  19. No more published.