Helmut Arntz

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Helmut Emil Richard Arntz (born July 6, 1912 in Bonn ; † May 31, 2007 there ) was a German Indo-Europeanist and runologist . After the Second World War , he worked from 1951 to 1957 as an advisor in the Federal Press Office . For many years he was president of the German Society for Documentation . In 1998 he was awarded the Great Federal Cross of Merit.


After graduating from high school in 1930, Helmut Arntz studied comparative and Germanic linguistics and oriental studies in Cologne and Gießen at the Realgymnasium in Honnef (today's Siebengebirgsgymnasium ) . He received his doctorate in 1933 under Hermann Hirt on the linguistic relationships between Aryan and Baltoslawisch . In it he was guided by a thesis by Hirt, according to which the Baltic-Slavic languages ​​are to be assigned to the group of the eastern Indo-Aryan languages .

During the National Socialism

With the aim of a career in the diplomatic service , Arntz then started studying law in Bonn . At the same time he continued his linguistic studies. In 1935 he broke off his law studies and completed his habilitation with a comparative study on Germanic runes and Celtic Ogham . In contrast to linguists like Wolfgang Krause , he advocated the thesis that the Celtic script was of Germanic origin. At the same time he published a handbook of runic science (1935). With his assertion that the runes can also be traced back to Etruscan alphabets, he opposed the “mythical” rune science, such as was practiced by Herman Wirth , the 1st President of the Research Association of German Ahnenerbe , and in the vicinity of the Rosenberg office . After the intervention of Hans Reinerth , a confidante of Alfred Rosenberg , he had to give up a position as a consultant for German folk research at the German Research Foundation (DFG), which he had received in 1935 .

As a result, Arntz got into considerable political difficulties. In December 1935 he was charged with " treachery " before the Hanover Special Court , but acquitted in January 1936 for lack of evidence. In addition, allegations were made that Arntz was not “purely Aryan ”, so that the Heidelberg publishing house Winter rejected the publication of further books by him. He lost a scholarship from the DFG, but in 1936 obtained funding from the Archaeological Institute of the German Empire . At the University of Giessen , he used funds from the private sector to set up the Institute for Runic Research , which was officially established in October 1938. A laboratory for scientific photography was attached , with which Arntz wanted to implement his plan to fully document the older rune monuments.

Arntz joined the NSDAP in 1937 . He had already joined the Wehrstahlhelm in 1932 and was transferred with it to the SA in 1933. In his publications, especially in the Festschrift he edited for Hermann Hirt ( Germanic and Indo-European. Volkstum, Sprache, Heimat, Kultur , 1936), to which Hans FK Günther also contributed, he adapted the National Socialist racial doctrine . According to a bibliography of runic studies (1937), he began in 1939 together with Hans Zeiss his complete documentation of Germanic language monuments with The indigenous rune monuments of the mainland . He also started the publication of the journal Runenberichte . In 1939 he was appointed lecturer at the University of Giessen.

Scientifically, Arntz came into competition with Wolfgang Krause, who borrowed from the ancestral heritage of the SS . Probably in view of the continued allegations, Arntz volunteered for the Wehrmacht at the start of the war in 1939 and served as an intelligence officer. As a result, a party court case against him was also suspended. Arntz was appointed a new type of lecturer in October 1939 and in 1940 received state funding for his institute. In 1940 he worked as a part-time lecturer at the German Institute in Paris . After a positive report by Hans Steinger from the staff of the Fuehrer's deputy , Arntz was now politically and technically worthy of support. In 1942, Rosenberg's office agreed to his appointment as associate professor in Gießen, where he was also head of the seminar for Indo-European linguistics .

After the end of the war

After his release from captivity in 1947, Arntz initially received a visiting professorship for the history of writing in Cologne, which he held until 1951. In 1948 he took part in the conference of the German Society for Documentation (DGD). He became vice-chairman and finally president of the DGD in 1961, and in 1972 also president of the Fédération Internationale de Documentation . From 1951 to 1957 he worked as a consultant for foreign language publications in the press and information office of the federal government in Bonn . In the same year he received for alleged persecution during the Nazi as reparations retroactive to April 5th, 1940 appointment as full professor in Giessen. He hardly published any more on linguistics. Most recently he dealt with the field names in Bad Honnef. As the nephew of the architect Wilhelm Kreis , Arntz also managed his estate in the Wilhelm Kreis archive in his parents' villa at Burg Arntz , which he handed over to the historical archive of the City of Cologne in 2005 .


  • Linguistic relations between Aryan and Baltic Slavic. Winter, Heidelberg 1933.
  • Handbook of Runology. Niemeyer, Halle / Saale 1935.
  • The runes. Schramm, Tübingen 1936.
  • Results of cultural history and anthropology. Winter, Heidelberg 1936.
  • Results of Linguistics. Winter, Heidelberg 1936.
  • Runic bibliography. Harrassowitz, Leipzig 1937.
  • Christian German rune monuments. , Leipzig 1938.
  • The runic writing. Their history and their monuments; with 31 plate Niemeyer, Halle 1938.
  • with Hans Zeiss: The native rune monuments of the mainland. Harrassowitz, Leipzig 1939.
  • Runic font. Symbols. Teaching material extension Rausch, Nordhausen 1940.
  • Handbook of Runology. 2nd Edition. Niemeyer, Halle / Saale 1944; Reprint Edition Lempertz, Leipzig 2007, ISBN 978-3-939908-07-4 .
  • The human losses of the two world wars. In: Universitas: Orientation in the world of knowledge. 1953.
  • The human losses in World War II. In: Balance of the Second World War: Findings and obligations for the future. 1953, pp. 439-447.
  • The book from German Sekt. Ed. By the Association of German Sektkellereien e. V. Wiesbaden graphic companies in Komm, Wiesbaden 1956.
  • Facts about Germany. Sketches: Heinz Schubert. Volk und Heimat Verlag, Munich 1956.
  • Facts about Germany. Volk und Heimat Verlag, Munich 1957.
  • with FA Cornelssen: Das kleine Weinlexikon. German Weinwerbg, Mainz 1958.
  • Germany introduces itself. Press and Information Office d. Federal Government, Bonn 1959.
  • The Federal Republic of Germany. Exhibition u. Exhibition Committee d. German economy, Cologne 1960.
  • Germany at a glance. 2nd Edition. Press and Information Office d. Federal Government, Bonn 1961.
  • Chronicle of the oldest Rhenish sparkling wine producer Burgeff and Co, Hochheim am Main for its 125th anniversary. Graph. Companies, Wiesbaden 1962.
  • The name Honnef . In: August Haag (ed.): Bad Honnef am Rhein. Contributions to the history of our home community on the occasion of their city elevation 100 years ago. Verlag der Honnefer Volkszeitung, Bad Honnef 1962, pp. 15-20.
  • Adenauer government. Steiner, Wiesbaden 1963.
  • Documentation about Germany. Selection of official and officially funded publications. 2nd Edition. Steiner, Wiesbaden 1964.
  • German documentation in international competition. Lecture. In: Messages for Documentation: nfd; Journal of Information Science and Practice; Bulletin of the standards committee for library and documentation at DIN, the German Institute for Standardization eV, the VDD - professional association for information, documentation, communication e. V. and the Working Group of Special Libraries (ASpB). 18, No. 6, 1967, pp. 219-224.
  • The international organization of information. Worldwide information services. In: Messages for Documentation: nfd; Journal of Information Science and Practice; Bulletin of the Standards Committee for Library and Documentation at DIN, the German Institute for Standardization eV, the VDD - Professional Association for Information, Documentation, Communication eV and the Working Group of Special Libraries (ASpB). 22, No. 2 1971, pp. 78-83.
  • The little champagne lexicon. Seewald, Stuttgart 1974, ISBN 3-512-00360-5 .
  • Weinbrenner. The story of the spirit of wine. Seewald, Stuttgart 1975.
  • Brandy. Water d. Life. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1978, ISBN 3-404-00889-8 .
  • The fuel. Distiller u. Technical language in early new high German. Time. Society for the History of Wine , Wiesbaden 1985.
  • Early history of the German sparkling wine. Ges. For history d. Weines, Wiesbaden 1987.
  • The taxation of spirits in Brandenburg-Prussia until the elimination of the Régie (1787). Ges. For the history of wine, Wiesbaden 1989.
  • The Brenner before the authorities. Ges. For the history of wine, Wiesbaden 1992.
  • The history of the Kloss & Foerster Sektkellerei 1856–1948, Rotkäppchen 1948–1994. Ges. For the history of wine, Wiesbaden 1994.
  • From sparkling wine brands, champagne families and drinking culture. Ges. Für Geschichte des Weines , Wiesbaden 1995 ( DNB 944847617 ).
  • (with the assistance of Adolf Nekum ): Urkataster und Gewannen: using the example of the community of Honnef 1824/1826 (= Heimat- und Geschichtsverein “Herrschaft Löwenburg” eV : studies on the local history of the city of Bad Honnef am Rhein , issue 13, Bad Honnef 2000; society for History of Wine | Society for History of Wine eV: Writings on Wine History , ISSN  0302-0967 , No. 133, Wiesbaden 2000).
  • Germanic and Indo-European. Ethnicity, language, homeland, culture. Festschrift for Hermann Hirt. Winter, Heidelberg 1936.
  • Reports on rune research (Vol. 1, H. 23 ff rune reports). Harrassowitz, Leipzig 1939.
  • Germany today. Published by the press u. Information Office d. Federal government. With e. Escort by Konrad Adenauer. 4th ed. Wiesbadener Graph. Companies, Wiesbaden 1955.


  • Jörg-Peter Jatho, Gerd Simon: Giessen historian in the Third Reich. Focus-Verl., Giessen 2008, ISBN 978-3-88349-522-4 .
  • Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich: Who was what before and after 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 19.
  • Utz Maas : Persecution and emigration of German-speaking linguists 1933–1945. Stauffenburg, Tübingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-86057-016-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. August Haag , Hans Neunkirchen (ed.): Commemorative pamphlet for the inauguration of the municipal Siebengebirgsgymnasium Honnef am Rhein: March 21, 1959. Siebengebirgsgymnasium, Honnef a. Rh. 1959, pp. 34, 38.