History Seminar (University of Hamburg)

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The historical seminar is the oldest humanities institute at the University of Hamburg . It was founded in 1907.

The history department , which has been represented by the historical seminar within the Faculty of Humanities , which has been located in the Philosophenturm since 1962 , comprised six work areas in 2018: the epoch-related work areas Ancient History and the Middle Ages , the work areas German history , European history and global history, and the work area Public History .

In 2018 there were 19 active professors in the seminar .


Pre-founding period

The institutionalized academic examination of history in Hamburg took place before 1907, the year in which the historical seminar was established: The State Archives of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg , the Commerzbibliothek and the Academic Gymnasium , which had its own professorship for history, formed for this purpose the frame. Johann Martin Lappenberg , Ernst Baasch , Christian Friedrich Wurm and Ludwig Aegidi, for example, worked at these institutions . Lectures on historical topics were offered within the general lecture system , which is particularly supported by the Academic Gymnasium . After the high school was closed in 1883, general lectures continued. At the end of the 19th century, Adolf Wohlwill gave lectures on history . He was appointed civil servant in 1887 and professor in 1890 . Wohlwill's successor was the historian Erich Marcks .

1907 to 1919

In 1907, the year Erich Marcks was appointed, the foundation stone for the historical seminar was laid: at the end of the year, the Hamburg citizenship approved financial resources for the renovation of former professors' houses near the Johanneum scholarly school and the creation of a seminar library. Marcks took up his professorship at the instigation of Werner von Melle , the then president of the high school authorities. This was financed by the Hamburg Scientific Foundation established in the same year . A year later, Adalbert Wahl took up a further professorship in history in the Hanseatic city . In 1908, two professors worked at the newly founded historical seminar: Erich Marcks and Adalbert Wahl. Both, one financed by the state, the other through the foundation, dedicated themselves to modern history , whereby Wahl had offered to represent the history of the Middle Ages. In 1911 the seminar moved into a building donated by the Hamburg businessman Edmund Siemers for general lectures in the Hamburg district of Rotherbaum . Before that, Adalbert Wahl had accepted a call to Tübingen in 1910 . He was succeeded by Friedrich Keutgen , a medievalist . Erich Marcks accepted an offer in Munich in 1913. In 1914 Max Lenz followed , a representative of modern history. In 1922 Lenz retired . Gerhard Ritter took his place in 1924 . Knight moved to Freiburg shortly afterwards. Justus Hashagen began teaching in Hamburg in 1926 .

Before the First World War, professors worked at the history seminar whose thematic focus was on medieval and modern history. Her work was supplemented in 1914 by the appointment of Richard Salomon as full professor of Russian history and culture at the Hamburg Colonial Institute, which opened in 1908 . Salomon took on the task assigned to him from 1916; he had previously been drafted for military service.

Before the university was founded, there were three professorships for history in two seminars in Hamburg .

1919 to 1933

The founding of the university after the First World War expanded the variety of historical studies: In 1919 a professorial office for ancient history was established. Erich Ziebarth took this . Ziebarth had previously participated in general lectures. Until his retirement in the winter semester 1936/37, Erich Ziebarth taught at the University of Hamburg.

In 1919 the university had one chair for old, two for medium and modern and another for Eastern European history. In 1927 there was also an associate's post for colonial and overseas history. Adolf Rein received this . Honorary professors and private lecturers supplemented the courses offered by the full professors.

1933 to 1945

During the Nazi era , the composition of the teaching staff at the historical seminary changed: Richard Salomon was a victim of the law to restore the civil service ; In 1934 he was released. The position he occupied was saved.

The position was upgraded by Adolf Rein. From the winter semester 1933/34 this was full professor . Rein had previously recommended himself with a concept for the design of the university in the National Socialist sense. “The Idea of ​​the Political University” was the title of a brochure he published in early 1933 . In May d. J. he was promoted to commissioner for university reform. In 1934 he became rector of the university. Rein's rectorate ended in 1938. He was responsible for the liquidation of the Eastern European Seminar.

Adolf Rein's former associate professor was rededicated to one for war history and military science. He occupied this with Alfred Schüz . An already approved postponement of the retirement of Friedrich Keutgen was revoked. Otto Westphal received Keutgen's position . In 1934 three of the five professorships at the historical seminar were occupied by National Socialists on the initiative of Adolf Rein. Another followed: Justus Hashagen , who rejected the transfer of power to the National Socialists , was denounced in 1935 and later retired. The National Socialist Otto Vehse received his post . Vehse and his family died in July 1943 in the second major raid by the Royal Air Force as part of Operation Gomorrah . Otto Westphal and Alfred Schüz lost their jobs one after the other in the 1930s. The basis for this was the homosexuality of both university teachers.

The position of Erich Ziebarth , who retired in 1936/37, was given to Hans Rudolph in 1939 , who, however , was drafted into the Wehrmacht after the start of the Second World War . The position was filled again by Alfred Schüz in 1940 with Paul Johansen . Johansen was later drafted into the Wehrmacht. In 1941, the Extraordinariat for War History and Defense Science was renamed 'Extraordinariat for Hanseatic and Eastern European History'. The position of Otto Westphal was filled again in 1940 with Ernst Anrich , who moved to the University of Strasbourg a year later, in 1941 . In the winter semester of 1942/43, Fritz Fischer was appointed to Anrich's position, but at the same time he was drafted into the Wehrmacht.

In addition to Adolf Rein, Heinrich Reincke held events at the historical seminar until the end of the war .

After 1945

After the end of the war, the history seminar included the full professorships with one exception: Hans Rudolph, who was accepted into the seminar in 1939, began teaching in Hamburg in the winter semester 1945/46. He was the only full-time professor in history who taught that semester. Rudolph retired in 1975. He was followed by Jürgen Deininger in 1976 , Christoph Schäfer in 2003 and Werner Rieß in 2011 .

Adolf Rein was suspended. He never again held events at the history seminary.

Fritz Fischer was in automatic arrest ; Paul Johansen in captivity . Otto Vehse's chair was vacant .

In 1946 Hermann Aubin was appointed to the position of Otto Vehse. Aubin, a representative of German folklore research , contributed to the creation of numerous employment relationships both inside and outside the historical seminar, and in this way made Hamburg a center of this part of historical studies. He sponsored Walter Kuhn , Gotthold Rhode , Bruno Schumacher and Werner Trillmich , among others . The Austrian historian Otto Brunner succeeded Hermann Aubin in 1954. He also sponsored a number of scientists ; for example Walther Lammers , Heinz Stoob and Albrecht Timm . 1959/60 Brunner held the office of rector of the university. Brunner's successor at the historical seminar was Ludwig Buisson in 1967 .

In 1948 Fritz Fischer took up his post approved in 1942. Egmont Zechlin had previously become a member of the teaching staff, one of his later opponents in the so-called Fischer controversy , which dealt with the responsibility for the beginning of the First World War. Fischer taught at the historical seminar until 1973. Since 1961, his modern professorial office carried the addition 'with special consideration of contemporary history ' . Fritz Fischer followed Bernd-Jürgen Wendt ; this Angelika Schaser . Egmont Zechlin retired in 1967. He was succeeded by Günter Moltmann . He was followed by Norbert Finzsch in 1992 and Claudia Schnurmann in 2003 .

Paul Johansen did not return from captivity until 1956. He died in 1965. In 1969, Klaus-Detlev Grothusen became Professor of Eastern European History at Hamburg University. He was followed in 1994 by Frank Golczewski .

In 1967, a professorship at the Department of History was filled with a woman for the first time: Inge Buisson was the first female history professor in Hamburg. The second professorship was given to Barbara Vogel in 1984 . At this point Inge Buisson was already retired. The history seminar only had two professors at the same time in 1991, when Claudia Opitz-Belakhal was appointed.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the number of those studying history at the University of Hamburg increased significantly. As a result, the number of professorships at the seminar increased significantly. In the mid-1990s, the number of jobs fell again.

At the end of the 1980s, a data processing officer was appointed for the seminar for the first time . Kersten Krüger , Professor of Scandinavian History, took on this task.

Since 1997 the historical seminar has been connected to the research center for contemporary history in Hamburg via a professorship .

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Institute for Social and Economic History was integrated into the historical seminar.

Thorsten Logge is professor for the newly added Public History department .

One of the honorary professors at the Department of History is the Scientific Director of the Department for University History , Rainer Nicolaysen .


Biographies highlight those who studied at the seminar. Two vice presidents of the university, Barbara Vogel and Arnold Sywottek , are among them. Likewise, the university professors Peter Borowsky and Klaus Saul , to name others. How history studies at the History Department went since the university was founded has not yet been researched until 2016. Student community life can be seen to some extent using the example of the Historic Club , which existed from 1949 to 1969. With regard to the imparting of specialist knowledge, it should be noted that the introduction to historical studies was not only carried out in Hamburg over a long period of time with the help of a publication written by the teachers of the historical seminar; Peter Borowsky, Barbara Vogel and Heide Wunder .

Individual teachers and students

In addition to those mentioned in the article itself, belong (also) to the group of those who teach and / or study at the history seminar: Gerhard Ahrens , Henning Albrecht , Knud Andresen , Norbert Angermann , Klaus Arnold , Frank Bajohr , Hermann Bengtson , Rainer Bernhardt , Jochen Bleicken , Helmut Böhme , Thomas Bohn , Jürgen Bolland , Bernd Bonwetsch , Dirk Brietzke , Ursula Büttner , Peter Classen , Gabriele Clemens , Christoph Dartmann , Philippe Depreux , Horst Dippel , Hans-Jürgen Döscher , Andreas Eckert , Joachim Ehlers , Norbert Ehrhardt , Christiane Eisenberg , Michael Epkenhans , Fritz T. Epstein , Ferdinand Fehling , Markus Friedrich , Karl Christian Führer , Henner Fürtig , Detlef Garbe , Imanuel Geiss , Hans-Werner Goetz , Hans-Jürgen Goertz , Walter Grab , Hans -Jürgen Grabbe , Heinz Mosche Graupe , Bernd Greiner , Thomas Großbölting , Michael Grüttner , Wolf D. Gruner , Christian Habicht , Rudolf Haensch , Helmut Halfmann , Leonhard Harding , Kaja Harter-Uibopuu , Kirsten Heinsohn , Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller , Rainer Hering , Alfred Herrmann , Peter Herrmann , Arno Herzig , Marie-Elisabeth Hilger , Dietrich Hoffmann , Gabriele Hoffmann , Wilhelm Hoffmann , Marietta Horster , Hans Ulrich Instinsky , Werner Jochmann , Klaus-Peter Johne , Dietmar Kienast , Marion Kobelt-Groch , Franklin Kopitzsch , Stefan Kroll , Birthe Kundrus , Dieter Langewiesche , Richard Laqueur , Hans-Dieter Loose , Ina S. Lorenz , Klaus-Joachim Lorenzen-Schmidt , Jürgen Mirow , Joachim Molthagen , Ulrich Mücke , Klaus- Jürgen Müller , Achatz von Müller , Dieter von der Nahmer , Gerhard Oestreich , Karin Orth , Frank Otto , Johannes Paul , Horst Pietschmann , Ernst Pitz , Rainer Postel , Friedrich-Karl Proehl , Joachim Radkau , Michael Rathmann , Heinrich Reincke , Monika Richarz , Werner Rieß , Hedwig Röckelein , Monica Rüthers , Jürgen Sarnowsky , Axel Schildt , Wilhelm Heinz Schröder , Stefanie Schüler-Springorum , Rolf Sprandel , Helmut Stubbe da Luz , Gerhard Theuerkauf , Helga Timm , Ulrich Troitzsch , Ralph Tuchtenhagen , Volker Ullrich , Silke Urbanski , Bernd Wegner , Dorothee Wierling , Michael Wildt , Rainer Wohlfeil , Jürgen Zimmerer , Jan Zimmermann .

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. active professors , accessed on September 5, 2018.
  2. See Jakob Michelsen: From Breslau to Hamburg. Eastern researcher at the History Department of the University of Hamburg after 1945 . In: Rainer Hering / Rainer Nicolaysen (eds.): Living social history. Commemorative publication for Peter Borowsky , Westdeutscher Verlag , Wiesbaden 2003, pages 659–681, ISBN 978-3-322-89788-6 .
  3. ^ Rainer Hering: The Historical Club 1949-1969 . In: Stefan Micheler and Jakob Michelsen (eds.): The research? The teaching? Of education? - Knowledge is power! Student counterparty publication for the university anniversary, Hamburg 1994, pages 219–236.
  4. Peter Borowsky / Barbara Vogel / Heide Wunder: Introduction to History I: Basic Problems, Work Organization, Aids . Westdeutscher Verlag , Opladen 1975 (5th edition 1989; online ; study books Modern History 1) and Peter Borowsky / Barbara Vogel / Heide Wunder: Introduction to History II: Materials on Theory and Method . Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1975 (2nd edition 1980; study books Modern History 2).