Hellmut Brunner

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Hellmut Brunner (born May 11, 1913 in Höchst am Main ; † February 18, 1997 ) was a German Egyptologist .


Hellmut Brunner was born on May 11, 1913 in Frankfurt-Höchst, the son of a chemist. After graduating from high school in 1931, he studied Egyptology, Classical Archeology and Semitic Studies, first in Berlin (1931–32), then in Munich (1932–33, 1934–36) and at University College London (1933–34). In 1936 he received his doctorate under Alexander Scharff in Munich. In 1937/38 he traveled to Egypt with the travel grant of the German Archaeological Institute . In 1939 he became an assistant and lecturer at the University of Munich, where he completed his habilitation in 1942 and was appointed lecturer.

As a student, Brunner was a member of the Socialist Workers' Party . But in 1934 he became a member of the National Socialist Motor Corps and in 1937 a member of the NSDAP . In the same year he became a block warden for the Nazi welfare organization . Brunner took part in World War II as a soldier since 1940 , was in France, Russia and Poland (468 Infantry Regiment) and in 1945 was taken prisoner by the Americans. Due to the testimony of his teacher Alexander Scharff , Brunner's position as a scientific assistant and lecturer was withdrawn in the denazification process. Brunner was a prisoner of war at the time, but his wife objected. His doctoral supervisor Scharff then accused him of the denazification process: especially during the war years, he acted so Nazi that I and all of his fellow students avoided him. I could cite all of my pupils who knew Brunner as witnesses. This was followed by an entry in his Munich personnel file that he was not allowed to be employed again in an official capacity or in an official or government agency.

After the war he worked at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Blaubeuren as an auxiliary teacher for Hebrew and Greek. From 1950 he worked as an assistant in the Old Testament department of the Protestant theological faculty of the University of Tübingen , where Otto Michel had brought him. In the submission of the University of Tübingen to the Württemberg Ministry of Culture, this was formulated in such a way that he wanted to be granted probation and the loss of office after the war was attributed to the fact that he had been wounded in prison during this time.

From 1951 he was a lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Tübingen. In 1956 he was appointed extraordinary, 1960 extraordinary and 1964 full professor of Egyptology. He is considered to be the founder of the subject of Egyptology at this university, created the Egyptological Museum, which is located today in Hohentübingen Castle , and helped initiate the Tübingen Atlas of the Middle East (TAVO) project . He placed great emphasis on building an Egyptological library, which is one of the best in Germany today. In 1978 he retired. His publications are numerous and cover a relatively wide range within the subject of Egyptology; Focus on wisdom, education, religion. Brunner is considered "one of the pioneers in the study of the religion of Egypt".

Hellmut Brunner was married to the Egyptologist Emma Brunner-Traut since 1937 .

Publications (selection)

  • The facilities of the Egyptian rock graves up to the Middle Kingdom , Augustin, Glückstadt 1936 (Ägyptologische Forschungen, Vol. 3) (= dissertation)
  • The texts from the graves of the Herakleopolitan's time in Siut. With translation and explanation , Augustin, Glückstadt 1937 (Egyptological research, vol. 5)
  • The teaching of Cheti, son of Duauf , Augustin, Glückstadt 1944 (Egyptological research, vol. 13) (= habilitation thesis)
  • Ancient Egyptian education , Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1957
  • Outline of Middle Egyptian Grammar , Graz 1961; 2., ext. u. verb. Ed., Graz 1967
  • Fundamentals of a History of Ancient Egyptian Literature , Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1966
  • The birth of the God-King. Studies on the transmission of an ancient Egyptian myth , Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1964; 2nd, supplementary edition, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1986
  • The southern rooms of the Temple of Luxor , Zabern, Mainz 1977
  • Basic features of the ancient Egyptian religion , Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1983
  • Ancient Egyptian wisdom , Artemis, Zurich 1988
  • The hearing heart , Vandenhoeck u. Ruprecht, Freiburg (Switzerland) / Göttingen 1988
  • Hieroglyphic Chrestomathy , 2., verb. Ed., Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1992


  • Fontes atque pontes. A festival for Hellmut Brunner , ed. by Manfred Görg, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1983. ISBN 3-447-02347-3
  • Welt des Orients Vol. 14/15, 1983/84 (contains bibliography)


  • Wilfried Kürschner (Ed.): Linguists Handbook. Volume 1. AL: Biographical and bibliographical data of German-speaking linguists of the present. Narr, Tübingen 1994, ISBN 3-8233-5000-5 , p. 108 with image Google Books .
  • Archive for Orient Research. 44/45, 1997/8, pp. 578-579 (includes bibliography).
  • Journal of Egyptian Language and Antiquity. Volume 124, 1997, pp. I-III.
  • Thomas Beckh: The Institute for Egyptology at the LMU Munich under National Socialism. In: Elisabeth Kraus (Ed.): The University of Munich in the Third Reich. Volume 1 (= contributions to the history of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. ). Utz, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-8316-0640-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Beckh: The Institute for Egyptology of the LMU Munich in National Socialism , in: E. Kraus (Hrsg.): The University of Munich in the Third Reich. Volume 1, Munich 2006, pp. 292-296.
  2. ^ Institute history of the Institute for Egyptology at the University of Munich .
  3. a b c Hans-Joachim Lang : Booty goods were found in the estate of a Tübingen professor. tagblatt.de, April 4, 2011 Online .
  4. Bernhard Lang : The religious man. A short world history of "homo religiosus" in six short chapters. With examples from the Bible and Christianity. In: Jan Assmann, Harald Strohm (Ed.) Homo religiosus. Diversity and history of religious people (= Lindau Symposia for Religious Research. Volume 5). Fink, Paderborn 2014, ISBN 978-3-7705-5694-6 , p. 43.

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