Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht

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Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht (born January 5, 1919 in Dresden ; † August 30, 1999 in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was a German musicologist . He was a professor of historical musicology at the University of Freiburg .


Hans Heinrich Egbrid's father Siegfried Eggebrecht was a Protestant clergyman and superintendent in Schleusingen in Prussia since 1929 and sympathized early on with right-wing movements. In 1933 he joined the German Christians .

Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht had become a member of the National Socialist German Student Union (NSDStB) at the beginning of his studies in 1937/38 at the College for Teacher Education in Hirschberg and was temporarily active as a music advisor for the Hitler Youth . With the outbreak of war he interrupted his music studies. After completing basic military training, he was transferred to the Feldgendarmerie in February 1940 . According to Claudia Zenck, who analyzed the estate in the Freiburg University Archives, he was only partially fit for duty, also used every opportunity to make music during training and afterwards, and was trained as a driver. From his letters it appears that he was reluctant to be a soldier. He took part in the western campaign and was stationed there in Besançon , busy with prisoner transports, patrols and reporting trips. From the end of September he was deployed in Krakow . In November 1940 he was given leave to study for a semester at the University of Berlin for teaching. After the exam, he had to report to the troops in April 1941 and was stationed in Zagreb and on the Romanian border.

Feldgendarmerie -teilung 683, 2nd Company, 3rd Platoon, to which Eggebrecht belonged, was deployed in 1941 shortly after the start of the German attack on the Soviet Union as part of the 11th Army in the conquest of Crimea . He mainly served as a registration driver on the motorcycle. On November 14, 1941, the unit reached Simferopol . In cooperation with the SS Einsatzgruppe D under Otto Ohlendorf , which was too weakly manned to act alone, parts of the field gendarmerie were massacred by the SD from 9 to 13 December 1941 of “at least 5,000 people from Simferopol ". also involved. Whether and to what extent Eggebrecht was involved in the events is controversial. According to research by Claudia Maurer Zenck , he was released from duty until Christmas in those days in order to prepare for the NCO examination and was promoted to NCO one day before Christmas; His involvement has not yet been proven by any source, not even indirectly. According to the music historian Boris von Haken, Eggebrecht stood on at least one day in the so-called trellis through which the victims were driven immediately before their murder; this claim has meanwhile been rejected as unprovable and even unlikely. Die Zeit published an article on the status of Hakens research in the middle of 2013 . Hook refers to seven field post letters from Eggebrecht to members of the Comradeship Johann Sebastian Bach of the NSD student union in Berlin, especially from 1942/43, which he discovered and which, according to Haken, show a National Socialist sentiment.

Two days after the fall of Sevastopol, Eggebrecht appeared on the radio as a pianist, playing Mozart and Beethoven (July 6). In the period before that, he was also used to guard prisoners of war, who fell in large numbers during the conquest of the Kerch peninsula. In 1942 Eggebrecht was transferred to the fighting force at Panzerjägerabteilung 28, with which he was on the Leningrad front. In July 1944 he was seriously wounded. He received the Eastern Medal ( Winter Battle Medal in the East 1941/42, August 1942), the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class and was seriously wounded at the end of the war in 1945. Eggebrecht consistently kept quiet about his work in the Feldgendarmerie from 1945 and claimed that he had been with the tank destroyers and then with the infantry throughout the war.

From autumn 1945 Eggebrecht studied with Richard Münnich , Hans Joachim Moser and Max Schneider in Weimar , Berlin , Munich and Jena , where he received his PhD in 1949. phil. received his doctorate . In 1949, without having to face a denazification procedure , he received an assistant position to Walther Vetter at the Institute for Musicology at Berlin's Humboldt University . In 1951, Wilibald Gurlitt , who had been dismissed as a “ Jewish killer ” in 1937, brought him to the University of Freiburg . In 1955 Eggebrecht completed his habilitation with Gurlitt. He then took up a position as a private lecturer at the University of Erlangen , which he briefly interrupted in 1956/57 to replace a professor at Heidelberg University . From 1961 until his retirement in 1987 Eggebrecht was Gurlitt's successor professor and director of the musicological seminar at the University of Freiburg.


As early as 1955, Eggebrecht submitted a report to the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz with the title Studies on Musical Terminology . However, it was not until 1972 that this project could be implemented in Freiburg im Breisgau and the first deliveries of the concise dictionary of musical terminology appeared. Eggebrecht remained the main editor of this exemplary terminological dictionary until 1999.

Eggebrecht's main research areas were the music of Heinrich Schütz , Johann Sebastian Bach and Protestant church music in general, the music of the Viennese classic , Gustav Mahler and the music of the 20th century. He viewed his editions of medieval music tracts merely as proof of qualification for the “guild”, but together with the editions of his students they set standards for research into music theory of the Middle Ages. He wrote some of his writings together with the musicologist Carl Dahlhaus . His students include Peter Andraschke , Christoph von Blumröder , Werner Breig , Reinhold Brinkmann , Elmar Budde , Fritz Reckow , Albrecht Riethmüller , Wolfram Steinbeck and Michael Wittmann .

His musical aesthetic approach was indebted to Roman Ingarden's thinking . The reception of works of art therefore runs through several layers of perception, one perception with different qualities.

Eggebrecht's book On the History of Beethoven's Reception in 1972 was criticized for continuing the cliché of titans and warriors. 1933 to 1945 was left out. In 1991 his work Musik im Abendland was published. Processes and stations from the Middle Ages to the present, an overall presentation of his reading of European music history, which he enriched with methodical reflections on the writing of music history.

Unlike many musicologists, Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht sought dialogue with a number of contemporary composers (for example with Wolfgang Rihm , who studied with him in Freiburg, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mathias Spahlinger ).

Eggebrecht received honorary doctorates from the University of Bologna and the University of Brno . Contrary to Volker Hagedorn's claim, “Unlike Dahlhaus, Eggebrecht remained almost untranslated, a German phenomenon”, Eggebrecht's book on Bach's Art of Fugue was translated into English in 1993 and was published under the title JS Bach's “The Art of Fugue”. The Work and Its Interpretation; In 2009 Ashgate published an English translation of Understanding Music . Translated into Italian and Czech: The Music of Gustav Mahler. and music in the west. The rhetorical question of Christoph Keller in 1997, "whether a Mahler criticism like his may be written after Auschwitz and whether someone who, like him, belonged to Hitler's Wehrmacht," can be criticized with good reason.


  • Studies in musical terminology (= treatises of the humanities and social sciences class of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. Born 1955, No. 10).
  • with Willibald Gurlitt: Riemanns Musiklexikon, in 3 volumes. Schott & Sons, 1959, 1961, 1967.
  • The organ movement. Musicological Publishing Company, 1967.
  • On the history of Beethoven's reception. 1972.
  • Concise dictionary of musical terminology. 1972.
  • On the terminology of 20th century music. Second colloquium of the Walcker Foundation March 1972. Musicological publishing companies, 1972.
  • Music in the Occident: Processes and Stations from the Middle Ages to the Present. Piper Verlag, 1991.
  • The music of Gustav Mahler. Piper Verlag, 1991.
  • Bach - who is that? To understand the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Piper / Schott publishing house, 1994.
  • Bach's Art of Fugue. Appearance and Interpretation (= pocket books on musicology. Volume 127). 4th edition. Verlag Florian Noetzel, Wilhelmshaven 1998, ISBN 3-7959-0725-X .
  • History of music as the present. Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht and Mathias Spahlinger in conversation. Edition text & criticism, 2000.


  • Werner Breig, Reinhold Brinkmann, Elmar Budde (eds.): Analyzes. Contributions to a problem history of composing. Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht on his 65th birthday (= archive for musicology . Supplement 23). Steiner, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-515-03662-8 .
  • Michael Beiche, Albrecht Riethmüller (Hrsg.): Music - on concept and concepts. Berlin symposium in memory of Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht. Steiner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-515-08848-2 .
  • Christoph von Blumröder , Wolfram Steinbeck (ed.): Music and understanding (= spectrum of music. Volume 8). Laaber-Verlag, Laaber 2004; 2nd Edition. Ibid, 2007, ISBN 978-3-89007-493-1 .
  • Richard Klein: The Eggebrecht case and German musicology. In: Mercury . German magazine for European thinking. 64 (2010), H. 731, pp. 325-331.
  • A controversial way of life. Does the Freiburg musicologist Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht have to be reassessed? In: Freiburg University Gazette . 51 (2012), issue 195, with texts by Gottfried Schramm, Christian Berger, Albrecht von Massow , Christopher R. Browning, Christoph Wolff, Matteo Nanni, Hans Peter Herrmann and a conversation between Gottfried Schramm, Christian Bergers and Günter Schnitzler with Elmar Budde.
  • Music & aesthetics . 17 (2013), issue 67: "The case" Eggebrecht: Once again. With contributions by Ulrike Jureit , Richard Klein, Friedrich Geiger, Claudia Zenck, Simon Obert, Matthias Schmidt and Rainer Bayreuther.
  • Johannes Adam: The great Freiburg musicologist Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht was born 100 years ago. In: Badische Zeitung . January 4, 2019 ( badische-zeitung.de ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Norbert Kunz: The Crimea under German rule 1941-1944 (= publications of the research center Ludwigsburg of the University of Stuttgart. Volume 5). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2005, ISBN 3-534-18813-6 , p. 197 (Zugl .: Mainz, Univ., Diss., 2003).
  2. Friedrich Geiger : Comments on the "Eggebrecht case" critical of the source. Online publication, Hamburg 2010 (PDF; 2.1 MB).
  3. Haken presented his research for the first time on September 17, 2009 in a lecture at the annual conference of the Society for Music Research in Tübingen, then on December 17, 2009 in a ZEIT article. Whether the documents at hand actually prove Eggebrecht's participation in the massacre was subsequently doubted several times. See e.g. B. Jens Malte Fischer: Assumption without evidence. NS allegations against musicologist HH Eggebrecht. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . 19./20. December 2009; Richard Klein: Looking for a language in the wrong world. In: FAZ . December 23, 2009 ( faz.net ); Friedrich Geiger: In the long shadow of German music. In: FAZ. December 23, 2009 ( zeit.de ).
  4. Gottfried Schramm, in: A controversial way of life. Freiburg 2012, p. 7.
  5. Volker Hagedorn: The greatest horror in the heart. In: The time . July 11, 2013, p. 46 ( zeit.de ).
  6. Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht. An ideological fanatic. Boris von Haken in conversation with Dina Netz. In: Deutschlandfunk . May 5, 2014.
  7. ^ Albrecht Riethmüller : Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht to commemorate. In: The music research . 53 (2000) 1, pp. 1–3, here: p. 1.
  8. Volker Hagedorn: Unheimliches Abendland. The Eggebrecht case. In: The time. No. 52, December 17, 2009, p. 61 ( zeit.de ).