Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein

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Johannes Ludwig Hermann Wilhelm Joachim Karl Rogalla von Bieberstein (born July 27, 1940 in Leipzig ) is a German historian and librarian . His books on conspiracy theories and the catchphrase of Jewish Bolshevism , which he believes has a rational core, have received much attention.


He comes from the East Prussian aristocratic family Rogalla von Bieberstein and is the son of Lieutenant Colonel Hermann Rogalla von Bieberstein (1907–1975), who was arrested after July 20, 1944 and dismissed from the Wehrmacht as dishonorable , and Countess Marie von Zech-Burkersroda ( 1917-1995).


In autumn 1945 Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein's mother fled to the west with him and his sister from Goseck in the province of Saxony. He studied Modern and Eastern European History, Slavic Studies and Political Science in Göttingen, Munich, Paris and London. In 1968 he passed the master’s examination. 1972 doctorate he at the Ruhr University at Rudolf four-house with a thesis on conspiracy to Dr. phil. In the same year he entered the higher library service and in 1974 passed his assessor examination at the Cologne Librarian Training Institute . In 1976, Peter Lang Verlag published his revised dissertation, which was also translated into Japanese.

In 1974, Rogalla von Bieberstein took over the management of the sociology library at the Bielefeld University Library, which was then being established . In 1978 he carried out a survey of literary estates in North Rhine-Westphalia on behalf of the minister of culture and prepared an expert report that was published in 1979. In 1980 he was promoted to library director. He was appointed to the “Scientific Commission for Research into Freemasonry ” at the University of Innsbruck and continued his research on the “conspiratorial thesis”. He is a knight of honor of the Order of St. John .


Analysis of conspiracy theories

Rogalla von Bieberstein's dissertation had The Thesis of the Conspiracy 1776–1945. Philosophers, Freemasons, Jews, liberals and socialists as conspirators against the social order on the subject. In it he exposed these world conspiracy theses as an obsession and made fear their motive. In the thesis of a Masonic conspiracy behind the French Revolution , he sees a “delusional belief in conspiracy” and sees its origin in anti-modernist clerical circles.

The book received positive reviews. In the historical journal, Elisabeth Fehrenbach emphasizes the thoroughness with which Rogalla von Bieberstein analyzes the origin, function and effect of the conservative conspiracy theses around 1800. Their use after 1848 will only be treated cursory. She believes that he owes more than he would like to admit to Klaus Epstein's study of the origins of German conservatism in 1966, but overall Rogalla von Bieberstein provided an "illuminating analysis of the political effectiveness of the conspiracy theses as an attitude of consciousness and as an instrument of agitation".

The French anti-Semitism researcher Léon Poliakov defends Rogalla von Bieberstein against Fehrenbach's accusation of plagiarism : In his enormously material - rich work he shows that "the anti-Semitic and anti- Masonic obsessions of the Third Reich did not stem from the imagination of the Führer and his deputies", but an extension who are mainly Catholic propaganda .

The Israeli historian Walter Grab also sees Rogalla von Bieberstein's book as a contribution to the prehistory of National Socialism . The numerous versions of the conspiracy theory that he cites show the clear difference between traditional and racist anti-Semitism. Rogalla von Bieberstein's warning against conspiracy theories as an extremely dangerous means of mass manipulation with fatal consequences is to be wished for many readers.

The French historian Laurent Theis describes the book in the Annales as the first historical synthesis devoted to the conspiracy topic, and praises Rogalla von Bieberstein's great accuracy in the discovery and evaluation of sources. His review concludes with the wish that “this promising attempt may not remain without a successor”.

In 1987, Manfred Agethen praised the fact that Rogalla von Bieberstein describes the conspiracy theory as an irrationally controlled attempt to "explain the elementary mental and socio-political change processes that were observed around" Also the recognition that such scapegoat theories were political at all times and by all Camp "against social fringe groups, cultural minorities, etc. can be instrumentalized ”, he agrees.

"Jewish Bolshevism"

In 2002 Rogalla von Bieberstein published his book "Jewish Bolshevism" in the Antaios edition . Myth and Reality . In it, he advocated the thesis that the disproportionate number of Jews who formed among the Bolsheviks and the supporters of the Hungarian Soviet Republic from 1918 on "the material prerequisite for sweeping defamation and conspiracy theories". Ernst Nolte wrote a foreword in which he attested to Rogalla von Bieberstein that his study “accorded a certain degree of right to such a particularly momentous and disastrous part of National Socialist propaganda”.

In the Hohmann affair in 2003, Martin Hohmann referred to Rogalla von Bieberstein in his lecture, which was criticized as anti-Semitic, and who was then criticized as his alleged key word.

The Internet portal haGalil and the Bielefeld sociologist Lutz Hoffmann criticized Bieberstein sharply. The latter wrote: “One reason for the growing discomfort from side to side is that the author undertakes a very specific kind of reduction”. So Bieberstein reduced socialism to the "fight against the Christian-bourgeois world" and exclude the "positives of socialism". He would reduce people of Jewish origin to their origins and operate a “real Jewish smuggling”. The historian Klaus-Peter Friedrich is surprised that he does not analyze the propaganda strategy of the right, although he did come out with his dissertation in the analysis of conspiracy theories. Rogalla only put together short quotations that were taken out of context to prove the involvement of Jews in the communist movement, whereby he determined who was to be considered a Jew according to a "racial" definition. He takes no notice of the more recent anti-Semitism research, the conclusion is “poor”. The Eastern European historian Leonid Luks criticizes that Rogalla von Bieberstein "excessively" exaggerates the influence of Jews on the emergence of the labor movement . His attempt to explain the Russian Revolution in terms of the work of Jews rather than the tensions within Russian society miss the point. Overall, "this book is not a thorough scientific investigation, but essentially a tendentious pamphlet " In a review of the new edition of the book in 2010, Gerd Koenen criticizes the thesis that Bolshevism was largely Jewish: "The supporting and The formative role of Jewish entrepreneurs, financiers, book and newspaper publishers, film producers, writers, scientists ”would not have“ made industrial capitalism, the arts, literatures or sciences of the age as a whole “Jewish” ”.

Rogalla von Bieberstein rejected criticism of him and his book at a joint event organized by the Weikersheim Study Center and the State and Economic Society . Both institutions mentioned are assigned to the New Right .


  • Archive, library and museum as documentation areas . Verl. Documentation , Pullach near Munich 1975 (Library Practice Vol. 16).
  • The thesis of the conspiracy 1776–1945. Philosophers, Freemasons, Jews, Liberals and Socialists as conspirators against the social order . Lang, Frankfurt / M. 1976 (in part also: Bochum, Univ., Diss., 1972) ISBN 3-261-01906-9 ; 2. verb. and verm. ed., Lang, Frankfurt 1978, ISBN 3-261-01906-9 ; New edition, Flensburger Hefte Verlag , Flensburg 1992, ISBN 3-926841-36-2 .
  • Literary estates in North Rhine-Westphalia . Greven , Cologne 1979, ISBN 3-7743-0901-9 .
  • Prussia as Germany's fate. A documentary essay on Prussia, Prussia, militarism, Junkerism and hostility to Prussia . Minerva, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-597-10336-7 .
  • "From anti-masonism to (extermination) anti-Semitism", in: Helmut Reinalter (Ed.): Freemason historiography in the 19th and 20th centuries . Freemasonic Research Society, Bayreuth 1996, p. 99ff.
  • Aristocratic rule and aristocratic culture in Germany . Lang, Limburg 1998 (From the German Aristocratic Archives , Vol. 14), ISBN 3-7980-0686-5 .
  • "Jewish Bolshevism". Myth and Reality . With a foreword by Ernst Nolte . Verlag Edition Antaios , Dresden 2002, ISBN 3-935063-14-8 ; 2. revised Edition, Ares Verlag , Graz 2010, ISBN 978-3-902475-75-6 .
  • The myth of the conspiracy. Philosophers, Freemasons, Jews, Liberals and Socialists as conspirators against the social order . Marix, Wiesbaden 2008, ISBN 978-3-86539-162-9 .
  • The gentlemen von Burkersroda and von Hessler and Count von Zech, otherwise von Burkersroda. One family at Saale and Unstrut 1144–1945 . Self-published, Leopoldshöhe 2008.
  • Gay cult and feminist gender struggle. How the “sex-positive” gender war is changing the church and society . Ares, Graz 2015, ISBN 978-3-902732-39-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Andreas Rosenfelder: Maybe you have to read the book first. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . November 20, 2003, accessed February 13, 2020 .
  2. ^ Elisabeth Fehrenbach: Review of Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, The thesis of the conspiracy 1776-1945. Philosophers, Freemasons, Jews, Liberals and Socialists as conspirators against the social order. (European University Theses, Series III, Vol. 63.). Bern / Frankfurt / M., Lang 1976. 292 S. In: Historische Zeitschrift 225, Issue 1 (1977), p. 175 ff. (Accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  3. ^ Léon Poliakov: La genèse des idéologies totalitaires (à propos de trois ouvrages récents). In: Revue historique de droit français et étranger 55, No. 4 (1977), pp. 635-641 (here the quote).
  4. ^ Walter Grab: [Review of] Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein. - The conspiracy thesis. 1776-1945. Philosophers, Freemasons, Jews, Liberals and Socialists as conspirators against the social order. Bern, Herbert Lang Verlag (European University Papers, Series III, Vol. 63), 1976, 292 p. In: Annales historiques de la Révolution française 50, No. 232: 335-338 (1978).
  5. Laurent Theis: Compte rendu: The thesis of the conspiracy. 1776-1945. Philosophers, Freemasons, Jews, Liberals and Socialists as conspirators against the social order by Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein . In: Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 33, no. 4 (1978), p. 754 ff.
  6. Manfred Agethen: Enlightenment Societies, Freemasonry, Secret Societies: A Research Report (1976-1986) . In: Journal for Historical Research 14, No. 4 (1987), pp. 439-463, here p. 444.
  7. Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, “Jüdischer Bolschewismus. Myth and Reality. With a foreword by Ernst Nolte ” , Edition Antaios, Dresden 2002, p. 127.
  8. ^ Foreword by Ernst Nolte. In: Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein: "Jewish Bolshevism". Myth and Reality . Ares, Graz 2010, p. 23 (here the quote) - 29.
  9. ^ Complete speech by Hohmann ( Memento from May 4, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) at
  10. Mario A. Sarcletti: anti-Semitism debate in the university. In: Webwecker Bielefeld. December 10, 2003, accessed February 13, 2020 .
  11. Klaus-Peter Friedrich: Review by Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein: "Jüdischer Bolschewismus" . In: sehepunkte 3 (2003), No. 6, accessed on February 13, 2020
  12. ^ Leonid Luks: Book review: Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein: "Jüdischer Bolschewismus". Myth and Reality . In: Forum for Eastern European History of Ideas and Contemporary History 8, Issue 1 (2004) ( online , accessed February 11, 2020).
  13. Gerd Koenen: Review of Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, "Jüdischer Bolschewismus". Myth and Reality. With a. Vorw. V. Ernst Nolte. Graz, Ares 2010. 312 pp., € 24 . In: Historische Zeitschrift 293, Issue 1 (2011) p. 261 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  14. Jens Mecklenburg (ed.): Handbuch Deutscher right-wing extremism , Elefanten Press Verlag, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-88520-585-8 .