Hermann Weber (historian, 1928)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hermann Weber (born August 23, 1928 in Mannheim ; † December 29, 2014 there ) was a German historian and political scientist .

Hermann Weber was the son of a worker and communist who was imprisoned by the Gestapo for a year and a half. Weber joined the KPD in 1945 and then studied under the code name "Hermann Wunderlich" from 1947 to 1949 at the SED party college "Karl Marx" together with Herbert Mies . Then he was editor-in-chief of the FDJ newspaper in the Federal Republic of Germany . In 1951 he was dismissed by Erich Honecker because a Stalin telegram was not appreciated . In 1953 he was imprisoned in the Federal Republic of Germany and was released in 1954. Also in 1954 he was expelled from the KPD as an "agent". According to Weber, even afterwards, he was on the lookout for “political organizations that stood up for socialism and fought against Stalinism from this point of view”. So he led u. a. also talks with Georg Jungclas of the International Communists of Germany , but rejected their support for Titoism , "which [he] himself only regarded as another variant of Stalinism". From 1955 Weber was a member of the SPD .

Weber studied from 1964 to 1968 at the Universities of Marburg and Mannheim . In 1968 he received his doctorate in Mannheim. His habilitation took place in 1970. From 1975 until his retirement in 1993 he held the chair for political science and contemporary history at the University of Mannheim. In 1980 he was one of the initiators of the establishment of a Trotskyism archive in Mannheim, which was handed over to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in 2004. From 1981 Hermann Weber was head of the research focus (formerly working area) GDR history at the University of Mannheim.

Until 2011, Weber was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Foundation for Coming to terms with the SED dictatorship and was an honorary member of the German-Russian History Commission . In 1993 he founded the Yearbook for Historical Research on Communism , of which he remained editor until 2007.

Weber described the discovery of the original text of the protocol of the founding party congress of the KPD 1918/1919 in 1968 as the most important find of his scientific life. The SED later claimed this find for itself. The SED did not try to obtain a licensed edition: the Institute for Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the SED published an edition in 1972, which was apparently based on Weber's version.

In 2011, Weber and Helmut Dahmer were the first to sign an open letter to the publisher Ulla Berkéwicz of Suhrkamp Verlag against the publication of the Trotsky biography by Robert Service , which he called, among other things, a " diatribe ".

Fonts (selection)


  • with Gerda Weber: living according to the “left principle”. Memories from five decades. Links, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-86153-405-3 .
  • with Andreas Herbst : German Communists. Biographical Handbook 1918–1945. Dietz, Berlin 2004; 2nd, revised and greatly expanded edition 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6 .
    • In addition: German Communists - Supplement: to the biographical manual 1918 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-320-02295-2 .
  • Back when my name was Wunderlich. From party student to critical socialist. The SED party college "Karl Marx" until 1949. Structure, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-351-02535-1 .
  • Establishment and fall of a dictatorship. Critical contributions to the history of the GDR. Bund, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-7663-2266-4 .
  • "White spots" in history. The KPD victims of the Stalinist purges and their rehabilitation . 2nd revised and expanded edition. isp-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3-88332-176-1 .
  • The GDR 1945–1986 [later: 1990] (= floor plan of the story. Vol. 20). Oldenbourg, Munich 1988; 5th, updated edition 2012, ISBN 978-3-486-70440-2 .
  • History of the GDR. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-423-04430-6 .
  • with Gerda Weber: Lenin Chronicle, data on life and work. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1974, ISBN 3-423-03254-5 .
  • The change of German communism. The Stalinization of the KPD in the Weimar Republic. 2 volumes. European Publishing House , Frankfurt am Main 1969, DNB 458584355 .
  • Ulbricht falsifies history. A commentary with documents on the “Outline of the History of the German Labor Movement”. Neuer Deutscher Verlag, Cologne 1964, DNB 455393796 .


  • with Jakov Drabkin, Bernhard H. Bayerlein: Germany, Russia, Comintern. Archives of Communism - Paths of the XX. Century. 2 in 3 volumes. De Gruyter, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-11-034168-3 ( freely accessible as open access on the publisher's website as PDF).
  • with Dietrich Staritz : Communists persecute communists. Stalinist terror and "purges" in the communist parties of Europe since the 1930s. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-05-002259-0 .
  • The founding party congress of the KPD. European Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 1969. Newly published and initiated: The founding of the KPD, protocol and materials of the founding party congress of the KPD 1918/1919. With an introduction to the alleged first publication by the SED. Dietz, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-320-01818-3 .


Web links


  1. Blurb to Hermann Weber: The founding of the KPD. Dietz, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-320-01818-3 ; We mourn Hermann Weber (1928–2014) . In: Neuer ISP Verlag, January 23, 2015, accessed on May 17, 2015.
  2. Wolfgang Weber: "Robert Service did not write a polemic, but a diatribe!" A conversation with Professor Hermann Weber , World Socialist Web Site of the International Committee of the Fourth International , November 26, 2011, accessed on May 17, 2015.
  3. Composition of the commission until 2014 on the website of the German-Russian History Commission, accessed May 9, 2019.
  4. ^ Hermann Weber: The founding of the KPD. Dietz, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-320-01818-3 , p. 2 of the introduction.
  5. ^ Open letter , Party for Social Equality, Section of the Fourth International , accessed on May 17, 2015.