Helga Grebing

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Helga Grebing (2009)

Helga Grebing (born February 27, 1930 in Berlin-Pankow ; † September 25, 2017 in Berlin) was a German historian and university lecturer with research interests in social history , the history of the labor movement and the era of National Socialism .

Live and act

Origin and early years

Helga Grebing's father was a bricklayer, her mother a factory worker and later a grocer. She spent her youth in Berlin-Pankow and near Berlin. After finishing elementary school, she attended business school in Berlin-Neukölln . In the last two months of the war she worked as an “armaments factory worker in Wildau near Schwartzkopff , a large locomotive construction company”. During this time she was a BDM leader .

In 1946 she graduated from business school as a certified business woman. Immediately afterwards, Helga Grebing, the youngest of her class, began studying at the workers and farmers faculty at Berlin University at the age of 16 , where she graduated from high school in 1947. She then studied history , German , philosophy and constitutional law at the university's regular faculties . In 1948 Grebing joined the SPD . Because of rejection of the development in the GDR, she moved to the Free University of Berlin in 1949 and did her doctorate with Hans Herzfeld at the end of 1952. phil. The theme of the work was The Center and Catholic Workers in the Weimar Republic .

Professional activity and habilitation

From 1953 to 1959 she worked as a lecturer for contemporary history and politics at Isar Verlag Munich (Dr. Günter Olzog KG) and as editor of the journal Politische Studien . Since then she has also been a lecturer at the Academy for Political Education in Tutzing , for other educational institutions of the DGB and the SPD as well as for teacher training. Between 1959 and 1961, Grebing managed the international student dormitory " Geschwister Scholl " in Munich and was also active in the working group of social democratic academics in Munich. Between 1961 and 1965 she was department head for contemporary history and politics at the Munich Adult Education Center . From 1964 to 1966 she worked as a consultant for the Hessian State Center for Political Education in Wiesbaden. In 1967, Helga Grebing began her habilitation thesis in political science with the title Conservative Critique of Democracy in the Federal Republic after 1945 . Reviewers were Iring Fetscher , M. Rainer Lepsius and Hans Herzfeld. In 1969 she received her habilitation .


In 1971 Grebing was appointed professor for political science (C2) in Frankfurt am Main . In the winter semester she already moved to Göttingen as a representative of the professorship for Medieval and Modern History . There she was appointed full professor (C4) for history at the end of 1972, with special emphasis on the social history of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1988 she moved to the Ruhr University Bochum RUB, where she took on a professorship for the comparative history of the international labor movement and the social situation of the workforce. This was connected with the function as head of the "Institute for Research into the European Labor Movement" at the RUB (today: Institute for Social Movements). In February 1995 she retired.

Extra-curricular activities

In addition to university research and teaching, Helga Grebing was a member of the historical commission of the SPD party executive and temporarily a member of the party's fundamental values ​​commission . In addition, she was a member of numerous other scientific and cultural organizations, boards of trustees, advisory boards and board members.

Grebing was the administrator and biographer of the socialist theorist Fritz Sternberg and his wife Lucinde Sternberg-Worringer. She was also a biographer, estate administrator and co-editor of the writings of the art historian Wilhelm Worringer . In 2004 she wrote a double biography about him and his wife Marta .

honors and awards

Publications (selection)

  • Center and Catholic Workers 1918–1933. A contribution to the history of the center in the Weimar Republic. Diss. (Mskr.) Berlin 1953.
  • National Socialism. Origin and essence. Isar Verlag, Munich 1959.
  • History of the German labor movement in Munich 1966 (most recently 1981).
  • Post-war development in West Germany 1945–1949. Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-476-20140-6 .
  • Labor movement and fascism. Essen 1990, ISBN 978-3-88474146-7 .
  • Left parties and trade unions in Europe. Cologne 1992, ISBN 978-3-76632391-0 .
  • The "other Germany" in the resistance against National Socialism. Essen 1994.
  • History of social ideas in Germany. Essen 2000, ISBN 978-3-53114752-9 .
  • The Worringers. Educated citizenship as a sense of life - Wilhelm and Marta Worringer (1881–1965). Parthas, Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3-936324-23-5 .
  • History of the German labor movement. From the revolution of 1848 to the 21st century. Forward book, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-86602-288-1 .
  • Willy Brandt : The other German. Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-770547-10-4 .
  • Freedom i meant. Memories of Berlin. Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-942476-39-3 .
  • Labor movement in Berlin - The historical travel guide, edited with Siegfried Heimann , Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86153-691-8
  • Arguing for a world beyond capitalism. Fritz Sternberg - scientist, thought leader, socialist. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2017, ISBN 978-3-506-78511-4 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. On the death of Helga Grebing , Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation , accessed on September 26, 2017.
  2. New publication, publication date September 2012 - Helga Grebing Freiheit, which I meant Memories of Berlin ( Memento from December 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Interview with Helga Grebing on the subject: "New beginning and development of German historical studies in the 1950 / 60s" H-Soz-Kult
  4. “Freedom I meant. Memories of Berlin. ”Book launch , January 22, 2013.
  5. ^ Event in the context of the publication ( Memento from May 10, 2017 in the Internet Archive ).
  6. Merit holders since 1986. State Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, accessed on March 11, 2017 .