Heidelberg Manifesto

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With the Heidelberg Manifesto of June 17, 1981, German university professors wanted to warn of the “infiltration of the German people” and the “ foreign infiltration ” of the German language, culture and “ folkism ”. For the first time after 1945, racism and xenophobia received public legitimation - albeit controversial - from scientists.


Creation of the original version

The main initiators of the Heidelberg Manifesto were Theodor Schmidt-Kaler from the University of Bochum and Helmut Schrätze from the University of Munich . Both professors expressed themselves in advance with their core theses, which were later adopted in the manifesto. Schröck and Schmidt-Kaler wrote in 1980:

“The term 'people' can be defined scientifically today: Peoples are (cybernetic and biological) living systems of a higher order with mutually different system properties that are passed on genetically. This also includes the non-physical characteristics that are inherited in the same way as the physical ones (the milieu theory is scientifically wrong). "

“Our problem is not the guest workers per se, but their Asian part. […] If one excludes the special problem of southern Italy, one can see that the guest worker families who come to us from Europe offer the prospect of acculturation according to their fertility, their cultural, sociological and religious context […]. None of this applies to Asians. "

The original version of the Heidelberg Manifesto was written on June 17, 1981 by Schrätze and signed by a total of 15 university professors.

In addition to Professors Schmidt-Kaler and Schrätze, the undersigned professors were:

In the original version of the manifesto, which was initially not intended to be presented to the general public, the following text passage was, for example:

“We observe with great concern the infiltration of the German people through the influx of millions of foreigners and their families, the infiltration of our language, our culture and our nationality. [...] Peoples are (biologically and cybernetic) living systems of a higher order with mutually different system properties that are passed on genetically and through traditions. The integration of large masses of non-German foreigners is therefore not possible while preserving our people and leads to the well-known ethnic catastrophes of multicultural societies. Every people, including the German people, has a natural right to preserve its identity and individual character in its residential area. Respect for other peoples requires their preservation, but not their melting down ('Germanization'). "

At the end of 1981 the original version of the Heidelberg Manifesto was published in three right-wing extremist magazines, in the German weekly newspaper , Nation & Europa and Germany in the past and present . Furthermore, the original version was distributed as a leaflet in various university towns at the end of 1981. This made students in Bonn and Munich aware of them, who informed the public media.

In January 1982 there were first public reactions due to the wide coverage. For the Bavarian FDP, for example, the manifesto was “a bad pamphlet and nothing more than an infusion of the racist Nazi ideology”.

Also in January 1982, on behalf of Schmidt-Kaler, a " Schutzbund für das deutsche Volk " (SDV) invited to a founding and discussion seminar entitled Scientific and ethical foundations of the Heidelberg Manifesto of June 17, 1981 , which took place on January 23 1982 took place in Heidelberg. In the text of the original version of the Manifesto, “all associations, associations and citizens' initiatives that are dedicated to the preservation of our people, their language, culture and way of life” were asked to “found an umbrella organization”. Schmidt-Kaler announced during the meeting that he was responsible for the press work of the SDV.

Creation of the second version

After numerous critical reactions in public, on January 31, 1982 in Mainz a press release was made and Schmidt-Kaler presented a new version of the Heidelberg Manifesto. A "defamation campaign directed by the radical left" and the "attempted infiltration of right-wing radical forces" would have made it necessary to go public.

"Due to indiscretions for which the signatories cannot be held responsible, the Heidelberg Manifesto was made public in a provisional form that was only intended to attract additional signatories"

- Schmidt-Kaler

Schmidt-Kaler distanced himself from his colleague Schrätze, who became a member of the SDV:

“The association 'Schutzbund für das Deutschen Volk', which is currently being founded, is neither politically nor in terms of its competence in a position to perform the tasks of the association mentioned in the preliminary version of the 'Heidelberg Manifesto'. We are not members of this association. The association is not entitled to make any announcements or to disseminate statements for us or on our behalf. "

In the revised and weakened version of the Heidelberg Manifesto of January 31, 1982, Professors Götz, Oberländer, Riedl, Schade and Schrätze were missing as signatories. Newly arrived Werner Rutz ( Bochum ). For example, there is the following text passage:

"Respect for other peoples requires their preservation, but not their melting down [...] Anyone who concludes from this term (people) that there are also peoples not worth preserving is interpreting against the rules of scientific hermeneutics and grossly misinterpreting our concerns."

Criticism of the second version

Critics accused the authors of arguing just as nationally and using the new right concept of ethnopluralism , despite the restrictive remarks and the distancing from racism and right-wing extremism in this appeal . This concept pretends not to postulate any hierarchy of values ​​among the various “peoples”, believing them to be unchangeable units that are threatened by “mixing”. This document also caused a scandal because it contained racist and nationalist passages.

In the course of broad public reporting, both versions of the Heidelberg Manifesto were printed in full by various newspapers as contemporary documents. As a reaction and as a manifesto for international understanding, 24 professors from the Ruhr University Bochum signed a reply to the Heidelberg Manifesto on February 16, 1982.

Further development

The Mainz circle around Schmidt-Kaler was no longer active in the following years. Schröck continued to be involved in the SDV. The Schutzbund is still classified as right-wing extremist by various state agencies for the protection of the constitution. In February 1984 the SDV sent out a leaflet on behalf of Schrätze entitled Basic Law - German People , in which the SDV “appears as the administrator of the 'Heidelberg Manifesto of June 17, 1981'” and presents its “theses on foreigner policy”. Together with Heinrich Schade and Robert Hepp ( Vechta ), Schröck published a brochure in the right-wing extremist Grabert Verlag at the end of 1984 , in which the SDV once again made its “demands on foreigners policy”. In 2018 the SDV awarded the "Hohe Meissner Prize" to the video blogger and right-wing extremist Nikolai Nerling , who campaigns for the freedom of the convicted Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck , and in 2019 to Edda Schmidt for her commitment to the NPD and the Wiking youth .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karen Schönwälder : Migration, Refugees and Ethnic plurality as issues of public and political debates in (West) Germany. In: David Cesarani, Mary Fulbrook (Eds.): Citizenship, Nationality and Migration in Europe. Routledge (UK), 1996, p. 166; Quote: "The Heidelberger Manifest of 1981 demonstrated academic support for racist concepts."
  2. ^ Helmut Schrätze: Letter to the editor in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of January 22, 1980
  3. Theodor Schmidt-Kaler: How many foreigners the Federal Republic can live with. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , September 30, 1980, p. 11.
  4. Wolf-D. Bukow: “A modernized racism as a pioneer of urban antiziganism.” In: Melanie Behrens, Wolf-Dietrich Bukow, Karin Cudak, Christoph Strünck (eds.): Inclusive City: Reflections on the current relationship between mobility and diversity in urban society. Springer, Wiesbaden 2016, p. 334
  5. Walter von Goldenbach, Hans-Rüdiger Minow: “Deutschtum awake!” From the inner workings of the state Pan-Germanism. Dietz, Berlin 1994, p. 362.
  6. Heidelberg Manifesto in “Deutsche Wochenzeitung” , November 6, 1981; in “Nation & Europa” , issue 12, December 1981; as well as in “Germany in Past and Present” (DGG), Issue 4, December 1981, p. 34.
  7. Roman Arens: Greasy Finches in the Service of Truth? In: Frankfurter Rundschau , January 22, 1982, p. 4.
  8. Flyer of the Protection Association for the German People (SDV), invitation to the first SDV meeting in Heidelberg, Parkhotel Haarlass, January 23, 1982.
  9. Protection Association for the German People - German racists gather , a detailed article about the event in Heidelberg, in Die tageszeitung , January 25, 1982, p. 3.
  10. Press release on the Heidelberg Manifesto , in: Documentation on the Heidelberg Manifesto from ASTA of the University of Bonn, February 1982, p. 27f.
  11. For example in the Frankfurter Rundschau of March 4, 1982.
  12. ^ For example, in the Lower Saxony Constitutional Protection Report 2005 , 2006, p. 17 or in the Bavarian Constitutional Protection Report 2005 , April 2006, p. 123
  13. Leaflet of the Protection Association for the German People (SDV), "Basic Law - German People - Foreigner Policy", with date stamp of February 23, 1984
  14. Helmut Schrätze: People - Völker - German people , Heinrich Schade: Genosuizid - Volksselbstmord , Robert Hepp: The German people in the death spiral and SDV (protection association for the German people): demands for foreigners policy . In: Germany - without Germans. Grabert-Verlag, Tübingen 1984.
  15. ^ Constitutional Protection Report Bavaria 2019 , p. 183


  • Herbert Leuninger: Church and Heidelberg Manifesto. In: Journal for Immigration Law and Foreign Policy , Issue 3, 1983, pp. 117–124.
  • Claus Burgkart: The 'Heidelberg Manifesto', the basis of state policy on foreigners? In: Rolf Meinhardt (Ed.): Turks out? Or defend social peace. Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburg 1984, pp. 141-161.
  • Ingrid Tomkowiak: The “Heidelberg Manifesto” and folklore. In: Zeitschrift für Volkskunde , 92 (1996), pp. 185–207.

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