Helmut Beumann

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Helmut Beumann (born October 23, 1912 in Braunschweig , † August 14, 1995 in Marburg ; full name: Helmut Karl Otto Beumann ) was a German historian .

The son of a government architect grew up in Bernburg . He began studying history, German, philosophy and Latin in 1931 in Leipzig . In 1932 he moved to Berlin , where he received his doctorate from Robert Holtzmann with a thesis on the document system of the bishops of Halberstadt . Then he got to know Carl Erdmann . Beumann was a member of the NSDAP . In the Second World War he took part in the war against the Soviet Union in 1941/42 . In 1944, Edmund E. Stengel in Marburg received his habilitation with a historiographical study of Widukind von Corvey . His study triggered a paradigm shift in German-speaking Medieval Studies, in that, in addition to the fact-based evaluation of the sources, he also asked the historian about the world of ideas.

After the war he took up teaching as a lecturer. Since 1946 he taught in Marburg as a private lecturer. In 1956 he was offered the chair at the University of Bonn . In 1964, Beumann returned to Marburg as the successor to Heinrich Büttner as a professor. Since 1968 he was a corresponding member of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica . Beumann was a founding member of the Konstanz working group for medieval history and took over the chairmanship in 1972. In 1981 he retired. Hartmut Hoffmann , Irmgard Fees , Reinhard Wenskus , Monika Minninger , Friedrich Lotter and Kurt-Ulrich Jäschke were among his most important academic students .

Beumann was a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1969), the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz (1974) and the Braunschweig Scientific Society (1984) and a full member of the Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (1971), its department He directed yearbooks of German history from 1979. In 1984 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class by Hans Krollmann in Marburg. In 1987, Beumann was awarded the Baden-Württemberg Medal of Merit for his efforts in the Constance working group. In 1988 the University of Graz awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Beumann's main area of ​​work was the Ottonian period . His work on the Ottonians, first published in 1987, has been repeatedly reissued and was published in the fifth edition in 2000. Beumann was chairman of the German commission for processing the Regesta Imperii . The anthologies on the most important works on topics of historiography as well as on the political, spiritual and ecclesiastical history of the Middle Ages from the Merovingians to the Staufer period were published between 1962 and 1987.



  • The Ottonen (= Kohlhammer-Urban pocket books. 384). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart et al. 1987, ISBN 3-17-016473-2 (5th edition, ibid. 2000).
  • Widukind of Korvei. Studies on historiography and the history of ideas of the 10th century (= publications of the Historical Commission for Westphalia. 10, 3 = treatises on Corveyer historiography. 3). Böhlau, Weimar 1950.


  • with Werner Schröder : Early medieval ethnogenesis in the Alpine region (= Nationes. Vol. 5). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1985, ISBN 3-7995-6105-6 .
  • with Werner Schröder: Aspects of nation building in the Middle Ages. Results of the Marburg Round Table 1972–1975. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1978, ISBN 3-7995-6101-3 .
  • Heidenmission and the idea of ​​a crusade in the German Ostpolitik of the Middle Ages (= ways of research . Vol. 7). Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1963.


  • Inge Auerbach: Catalogus professorum Academiae Marburgensis. = The academic teachers at the Philipps University in Marburg. Volume 3: From 1971 to 1991. Part 1: Department 01–19 (= publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse. Vol. 15, 3, 1). Elwert, Marburg 2000, ISBN 3-7708-1159-3 , p. 151 f.
  • Irmgard FeesHelmut Beumann. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 28, Bautz, Nordhausen 2007, ISBN 978-3-88309-413-7 , Sp. 108-122.
  • Manfred Garzmann: Beumann, Helmut. In: Manfred RW Garzmann, Wolf-Dieter Schuegraf, Norman-Mathias Pingel (eds.): Braunschweiger Stadtlexikon . Supplementary volume. Meyer, Braunschweig 1996, ISBN 3-926701-30-7 , p. 21 f.
  • Hartmut Hoffmann : Obituary Helmut. Beumann. In: German Archive for Research into the Middle Ages . Vol. 52, 1996, pp. 397-398, ( online ).
  • Kurt-Ulrich Jäschke: Helmut Beumann. (1912–1995) In: Mitteldeutsches Jahrbuch für Kultur und Geschichte 5 (1994), pp. 261–263.
  • Anne Christine Nagel : In the shadow of the Third Reich. Medieval research in the Federal Republic of Germany 1945-1970 (= forms of memory. Vol. 24). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-525-35583-1 (at the same time: Gießen, Universität, habilitation paper, 2003).
  • Jürgen Petersohn : Obituary for Helmut Beumann. In: Meeting reports of the Scientific Society at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Vol. 36, No. 6, 1999, ISSN  0512-1523 , pp. 43-46.
  • Jürgen Petersohn: Helmut Beumann. (1912–1995) (= Constance working group for medieval history. Lectures and research. Special vol. 43). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1997, ISBN 3-7995-6751-8 (With two appendices: Jörg Schwarz: Bibliography Helmut Beumann. Martin Früh: Directory of the dissertations prepared by Helmut Beumann. ). ( online )
  • Jürgen Petersohn: Nekrolog. Helmut Beumann 1912-1995. In: Historical magazine . Vol. 262, Issue 2, 1996, pp. 657-659, JSTOR 27630811 .
  • Hermann Schefers (Ed.): Einhard. Studies of life and work. Dedicated to the memory of Helmut Beumann (= work of the Hessian Historical Commission. NF Vol. 12). HKD, Darmstadt 1997, ISBN 3-88443-033-5 .
  • Ernst Schubert: On the death of Helmut Beumann. In: Sachsen and Anhalt 20 (1997) pp. 467-470.

Web links


  1. ^ Anne Christine Nagel: In the shadow of the Third Reich. Medieval research in the Federal Republic of Germany 1945–1970. Göttingen 2005, p. 38, note 48.
  2. On the significance of Jürgen Petersohn's work in terms of research history : Helmut Beumann (1912–1995). With two attachments. Sigmaringen 1997, p. 17 ff. ( Online ); Gerd Althoff : Widukind von Corvey. Key witness and challenge. In: Ders .: Staged rule. Historiography and Political Action in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2003, pp. 78-104, here: pp. 81 ff .; Ludger Körntgen : Kingdom and God's grace. On the context and function of sacred ideas in historiography and pictorial evidence of the Ottonian-Early Salian period. Berlin 2001, p. 31 f.