Heinrich Lützeler

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Heinrich Lützeler (born January 27, 1902 in Bonn ; † June 13, 1988 there ) was a philosopher , art historian , literary scholar , head of several institutes and dean of the University of Bonn . It was extremely popular thanks to regular lectures, also for non-academic listeners, and popular works on the Rhenish languages and Rhenish humor.

Heinrich Lützeler. Signature 1977

Live and act

Heinrich Lützeler - son of a Bonn porcelain painter - was brought up as a working class child in the upper class Bonn. From 1921 he studied philosophy , art history and literature at the University of Bonn . In 1924 he finished his studies with a dissertation on the subject of forms of art knowledge in philosophy, although he had actually aimed for a degree in art history. In the following years he worked on his habilitation and earned his living with lectures and theater reviews, among other things. In 1930 he completed his habilitation with the work Grundstile der Kunst and took over a private lectureship for philosophy in Bonn. In addition, Lützeler continued to work as a journalist. On the occasion of an appearance by the Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg in Bonn, Lützeler dealt with his theses in press articles and condemned them with great determination. Lützeler's sharp criticism of Rosenberg was the reason for defarming campaigns directed against him by the National Socialists and press organs close to them after 1933. In 1940 he was banned from teaching by the National Socialist authorities. His farewell lecture at the University of Bonn, entitled Vom Beruf des Hochschullehrers , was printed under the hand of students and friends and was known far beyond Bonn and the universities. Willi Graf , a member of the White Rose resistance group , was one of Lützeler's most loyal listeners during his time in Bonn. In Munich he reported repeatedly on the events surrounding Lützeler in Bonn, including the occasion and content of his farewell speech. In 1942 Lützeler was banned from writing and speaking for the entire Greater German Reich and was partially under observation. Lützeler's writings have been published by Herder in Freiburg since 1942 in translations into Spanish, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian and Swedish and were only intended for distribution abroad.

A few weeks after the end of the war in 1945, the short Lützeler, who suffered from a curvature of the spine , began to help rebuild the University of Bonn. He moved into the building and property commission, of which he was a member until his retirement, and was quickly appointed full professor of art history. In 1946 he took over the management of the Art History Institute. In 1954 he became chairman of the building and property commission. 1954–1955 he was also dean of the philosophy faculty. In 1967 he founded the Research Center for Oriental Art History with his own money and donations and headed it until 1985. 1967–1968 he was again dean of the philosophy faculty. Despite his retirement in 1970, Lützeler remained present in research and teaching. In 1974 his research center was converted into an independent seminar institute, which he held until 1985.

Lützeler became known to a wider audience through his lectures on the philosophy of Cologne humor , which were published as a book and also on record. In 2006 the volume appeared in a new edition.

Heinrich Lützeler's grave is in Bonn's southern cemetery . In 1990 a street in Poppelsdorf was named after him.

Local political engagement

Main portal of the main train station
View from the steps of the main portal in the direction of Poststrasse - on the right the "Südüberbauung"

Lützeler was an attentive observer of the local political scene in Bonn and repeatedly intervened in disputes that concerned urban development. He was one of the most vehement critics of the design of the station area . On January 11, 1977, the General-Anzeiger published one of his contributions to the discussion. In it he deals with the ideas of the architect Friedrich Spengelin , who is responsible for the planning .


Heinrich Lützeler had been concerned with the phenomenon of Christian art since the mid- twenties of the 20th century and published about it in the Catholic monthly magazine Hochland . Contemporary studies refer to Lützeler as an important representative of the Renouveau catholique movement in Germany.



  • Introduction to the philosophy of art. In: The philosophy - your history and its systematics, ed. Theodor Steinbüchel, Abt. 14, Bonn 1934.
  • Guide to art. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1938.
  • The sense of the designs. The way of occidental architecture. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1938 (3rd edition 1953).
  • Our home. (together with Marga Lützeler), Verlag der Buchgemeinde, Bonn 1939
  • From the profession of university professor. At the end of the lecture on "The great thinkers of the Greeks" . Printed as a manuscript. Anton Brand [printer], Bonn [1940].
  • Philosophy of Cologne Humor. Peters, Hanau / Main 1954.
  • World history of art. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1959.
  • Cologne humor on the street. In: Sonderheft Köln (= Atlantis . Vol. 27, H. 5, May 1955, pp. I – XVI and pp. 189–242). Pp. 238-242.
  • 150 years of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn 1818–1968. The University of Bonn. Buildings and sculptures. H. Bouvier et al. Co. Verlag / Ludwig Röhrscheid Verlag, Bonn, 1968
  • Art experience and art history. Systematic and developmental presentation and documentation of how the visual arts are dealt with . 3 volumes (= Orbis academicus . I / 15, 1–3). Alber, Freiburg / Munich 1975, ISBN 3-495-47309-2 .
  • Introduction to: Kölsches Milieu. Watercolors and drawings: Mita Savelsberg. Text to the pictures: Ernst Savelsberg. Rheinau, Cologne, undated (approx. 1984).


  • Oliver Kessler: The art historian Heinrich Lützeler (1902–1988): "Because the letter kills, but the spirit gives life." The establishment of the research center for Oriental art history and "Humanities today". In: Harald Meyer, Christine Schirrmacher and Ulrich Vollmer (eds.): The Bonn Orient and Asian Studies: A story in 22 portraits . Gossenberg: Ostasien Verlag 2018, ISBN 978-3-946114-46-8 .
  • Frank-Lothar Kroll : Intellectual resistance against National Socialism. Heinrich Lützeler in the Third Reich. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-428-12822-8 .
  • Josef Niesen : Bonn Personal Lexicon. 3rd, improved and enlarged edition. Bouvier, Bonn 2011, ISBN 978-3-416-03352-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Helmut Uessem: Heinrich Lützeler Street . In: VIP. News for the parish association Bonn-Melbtal . No. 4/2010 , ZDB -ID 2674746-7 , p. 17 ( available online in the web archive [PDF; 3.4 MB ]).
  2. ^ Heinrich Lützeler. Bouvier-Verlag, accessed on September 18, 2014 .
  3. ^ Heinrich-Lützeler-Straße in the Bonn street cadastre
  4. Joachim Scholtyseck u. Christoph Studt (Hrsg.): Universities and students in the Third Reich . Lit, Berlin a. a. 2008, p. 92.
  5. Merit holders since 1986. (PDF) State Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, accessed on March 11, 2017 .
  6. Persecuted lecturers. The following lecturers have been dismissed, expelled, persecuted or killed because of their convictions or their beliefs. University of Bonn, accessed on May 11, 2019 .