Helmut Ridder

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Helmut Ridder (born July 18, 1919 in Bocholt ; † April 15, 2007 in Biebertal ) was a German constitutional lawyer and professor of public law and the science of politics at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen . There he was one of the founding professors of the law faculty, which only reopened in 1965; this was closed in 1946 due to war-related destruction. Ridder was considered a prominent left-liberal civil rights activist and contributed to the development of the so-called " Giessen model " of legal training, which consisted of the interlinking of law, economics and political science.

Professional and political life

1947 Helmut Ridder was at the University of Muenster with his dissertation on the nature and peace task of the armistice doctorate . His habilitation thesis , which was also submitted in Münster in 1950 , was entitled The Constitutional Position of the English Administration .

Helmut Ridder was a professor at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main from 1951 and at the University of Bonn from 1959 , where he a. a. He wrote works on "Church - State - Broadcasting", "The constitutional position of the trade unions" and "Expropriation or socialization".

The Giessen lawyer Gerhard Köbler paid tribute to Ridder's appointment to the University of Giessen in 1982 as follows:

"With him, the faculty gained an experienced and distinguished professor who decided on many constitutional issues before and after his appointment to Giessen and took a position with brilliant formulations."

His teaching and research activities lay in the border areas between constitutional law and political science : he dealt, also from a comparative law perspective, with democratic theory and basic rights , with media law , press law , copyright law and constitutional jurisdiction as well as the history of the constitution. In the 1960s, Ridder et al. a. Chairman of the Kuratorium Notstand der Demokratie , which argued against the German emergency laws.

For decades he was also co-editor of the papers for German and international politics . In the 1970s, Ridder et al. a. Chairman of the German-Polish Society of the Federal Republic of Germany . His efforts to achieve understanding between Germans and Poles were recognized with an honorary doctorate from the University of Łódź in 1983 , and in 1988, the year he retired , he received the same award from the University of Jena .

In an obituary for Ridder in the Justus Liebig University uniforum newspaper it said:

“As a 'political professor', he stood in the tradition of the Göttingen Seven and the professors of the Paulskirche Parliament and used his scientific competence to secure and further develop the democratic, liberal republic and its peace-oriented politics. (...) His very early commitment to reconciliation with Poland as practical peace work was groundbreaking. "

In 1980 he was one of the eight first signatories of the Krefeld appeal .

In 1997, there was a dispute among the editors of the papers about the award of the Democracy Prize to Daniel Goldhagen . In the course of these disputes, Helmut Ridder resigned from the editorial team of the magazine.

Brigitte Zypries , Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Dieter Deiseroth were among Ridder's students .


Freedom of the press

According to Ladeurs, Ridder did not see the basic rights as classic defense rights. His basic concept was that of an independent sphere of the public. This is not in harmony with the state and is not subject to the state decision. "In principle, the conflict between an opinion (especially in the press) and the state interest must be endured; apart from the procedure for the withdrawal of fundamental rights in Article 18 of the Basic Law - it cannot be resolved by a state decision."

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  • Tim Wihl: A radical against his will. For the 100th birthday of the constitutional and civil rights activist Helmut Ridder. In: Blätter für German and international politics , vol. 64, 2019, pp. 89–96.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gerhard Köbler: 21 Giessener legal lectures. Work on Law and Linguistics Verlag GmbH, Giessen 1982.
  2. ^ Heinhard Steiger: Prof. Helmut Ridder. In: uniforum. No. 2 of May 16, 2007, p. 12.
  3. ^ Klaus Naumann: Retrofitting and self-recognition . State issues in the political-intellectual milieu of the “Papers for German and International Politics”. In: Dominik Geppert, Jens Hacke (ed.): Dispute about the state. Intellectual debates in the Federal Republic 1960–1980 . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-525-36758-2 , p. 269 ff., 278 fn. 28 .
  4. ^ Karl-Heinz Ladeur: Helmut Ridder's conception of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in democracy. In: Critical Justice. Volume 32 (1999), Issue 2, full text
  5. John Philipp Thurn: Review of: Helmut Ridder (1919–2007). The complete work. Work edition in 6 volumes. In: Forum Recht 4/2009, p. 136 (PDF)