Julius Friedrich Lehmann

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Julius Friedrich Lehmann (born November 28, 1864 in Zurich , † March 24, 1935 in Munich ) was a German publisher and founder of JF Lehmanns Verlag , which published medical , ethnic and racist literature. At the turn of the century, Lehmann made a significant contribution to Munich becoming an early center of anti-Semitism in Germany. In the Weimar Republic , Lehmann was an early sponsor of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), of which he later became a member.

The German Imperium

Origin and education

As the fourth child and son of the doctor Friedrich Lehmann from Frankenthal (Pfalz) and his wife Friederike, née Spatz from Speyer , Lehmann attended the Beust'sche private school and the grammar school in Zurich.

After finishing school, he began an apprenticeship as a bookseller at Orell Füssli in Zurich. He then went to Brussels to work as an assistant to Kiessling & Co. to work. In Frauenfeld he was with Dr. J. Huber employed, from 1889 at EA Seemann publishing house in Leipzig .

His brothers were the doctor and hygienist Karl Bernhard Lehmann (1858–1940) and the painter Wilhelm Ludwig Lehmann . His grandfather was the mayor of Frankenthal.


He married Melanie Petersen (1865–1953) in Leipzig in 1892 , a daughter of the Imperial Court Councilor Julius Petersen (1830–1909). The couple had a son, who died in World War I, and five daughters, including:

  • Mathilde ∞ Friedrich Weber (1892–1955), Dr. med. vet., Free Corps Leader
  • Irmgard ∞ Hans Zeiß (1895–1944), professor of prehistory
  • Frieda ∞ Otto Spatz (1900–1989), German bookseller, publisher and writer

Establishment of the publishing house

Cover illustration of the book The medical advisor in words and pictures , edited with the help of outstanding experts by Dr. Ms. Siebert, JF Lehmanns Verlag, Munich

In 1900 Lehmann left Switzerland and took the opportunity to buy the publishing house of the magazine Münchener Medizinische Wochenschrift (MMW) at Schillerstrasse 51 , which his cousin Bernhard Spatz had encouraged him to do. Spatz had already worked there as editor. The medical bookstore belonging to the publishing house was handed over to his cousin Max Staedtke in 1896 . Appropriate changes to the publisher's business project soon led to the publication of specialist medical books and atlases, which met with a great response.

After buying up the publisher, the paper quickly developed into the medical weekly newspaper with the highest circulation in Germany. A significant part of the publications that were published by this publisher in the following years contributed to the development of Nazi ideologies, such as the idea of forced sterilization of people who were classified as "inferior".

Volkish movement

Lehmann belonged to the right-wing national spectrum of the bourgeois group in Munich and organized himself in the national movement . He had been on the executive committee of the Pan-German Association (ADV) since 1893, and his publishing house included the series Der Kampf um das Deutschtum, published by the ADV . He belonged to the Thule Society , was a member of Wilhelm Rohmeder's German School Association and supported the German Fleet Association . In March 1905 acquired a collection started by Lehmann Munich Aktiengesellschaft that in Trentino situated Castel Pergine to have it restored to the system and the concerns of the Pan-German movement and the German national Tyrolean folk Bunds to use.

Racial ideological writings

From around 1905 Lehmann turned to the subject of race theory and its representatives. In the next few years, his publisher published corresponding writings. When Max von Gruber organized an exhibition on racial hygiene in Dresden in 1911 , Lehmann published the catalog Reproduction, Heredity, and Racial Hygiene . Already in 1910 Lehmann belonged to the German Society for Racial Hygiene .

During the First World War he belonged to the right-wing national opposition to the policies of Reich Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg . His publishing house published writings that were directed against this policy. In 1917 he became a member of the German Fatherland Party . The mouthpiece of this political direction was the monthly magazine Deutschlands Erneuerung , which he published from April 1, 1917. Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Max von Gruber were co-editors of this magazine . For example, the historians Georg Wilhelm Schiele , Dietrich Schäfer and Georg von Below as well as Heinrich Claß as chairman of the Pan-German Association had published in this journal .

Weimar Republic

Right-wing intellectual circle

After the war he continued his activities in the field of race theory. In September 1921 he promoted the establishment of the Munich Society for Racial Studies . His publishing house has now published books by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Paul de Lagarde , Ludwig Schemann , Johanna Haarer , Ernst Rüdin , Alfred Ploetz , Fritz Lenz , Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss , Eugen Fischer , Dieter Gerhard , Joseph Arthur de Gobineau , Arthur Julius Gütt , Falk Rüttle , Philalethes Kuhn and Bruno Kurt Schultz . One of the most important authors for the publishing house was the racial ideologist Hans FK Günther , of whom 15 books alone were published by Lehmann.

Stab-in-the-Back Myth

With the beginning of the Weimar Republic , Lehmann particularly supported publications on the stab in the back . The series of books series Undefeated gained republic-wide notoriety. In this series, numerous generals wrote down their memories. So published Gustaf of Dickhuth-Harrach 1921, the volumes in the field undefeated with Hugo Kerchnawe (1923).

Anti-Semitism and hostility towards the republic

On April 1, 1919, Lehmann founded the Deutsche Volksverlag with the aim of publishing emphatically anti-Semitic writings - and handed the publishing house over to Ernst Boepple . In addition to Anton Drexler , the co-founder of the German Workers' Party (DAP), the later Nazi chief ideologist Alfred Rosenberg also published his first writings in this publishing house .

He also published journals on this subject, such as the Archive for Racial and Social Biology , which had been published since 1922 . Four years later the illustrated monthly Volk und Rasse, reporting on all questions of racial science, racial hygiene, hereditary theory, family research, population science and politics, was published . The editors were Heinrich Himmler and Richard Walther Darré , editors Bruno Kurt Schultz . The success of this direction encouraged Lehmann to publish his own journal in 1928 with the title Zeitschrift für Rassenphysiologie . The large editions of these representatives of race theory made Lehmann the most successful publisher in this field during these years.

Lehmann also published the magazine Deutschlands Erneuerung , which was published by the Pan-German Association . Contributions of this magazine received a lot of attention in the radical groups Organization Consul and Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund (DVSTB). Lehmann himself was one of the members of the advisory board of this organization from 1920. Lehmann Verlag was an intermediary between the Pan-German Association, the Hugenberg Group, the German National People's Party and the Consul organization, the successor organization to the Ehrhardt Brigade .

A large part of the publications published by Lehmanns Verlag was bought by the Munich Reichswehr leadership for the "Troop Reconnaissance Service".

His villa in Munich became a center of the right-wing, revolutionary struggle against the new republic. When he wanted to gain greater influence as a partner in the Munich-Augsburger Abendzeitung (MAA), he failed with this project.

Promotion of the NSDAP

Lehmann was a member of the National Liberal Party from 1890 to 1918 and of the German National People's Party (DNVP) from 1919 to 1920 and joined the NSDAP on March 11, 1920 (membership number 878). He regularly supported the National Socialists with financial transfers, including to Adolf Hitler . For example, the NSDAP received 10,000 Reichsmarks from Lehmann from January to April 1922 alone .

In 1922 he took over the archive for racial and social biology .

In 1923 he took part in the Hitler putsch . He himself stayed in the background while his son-in-law, the then well-known veterinarian Friedrich Weber , actively participated in the revolt. The members of the government and administration who were taken hostage by the putschists were brought to Lehmann's private home in the Menterschwaige villa colony by an SA troop led by Rudolf Hess and held there overnight.

In May 1928 Lehmann supported the Nazi chief ideologist Alfred Rosenberg when he founded the Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur (KfdK). Lehmann was on the board of the KfdK.

The Burg Hoheneck in Ipsheim was by him for national training week provided. He had already acquired this in 1921 and made it available as a base for the SA .

In December 1931 Lehmann joined the NSDAP.

On his 70th birthday in 1934, the party member of the NSDAP (No. 1,011,952) received high honors. He was awarded the highest science prize of the Nazi regime, the eagle shield of the German Reich . On November 28, 1934, he was also awarded the NSDAP's golden party badge . The medical faculty of the University of Munich made him an honorary doctor.

He was married to Melanie Petersen, the daughter of the Reich Court Councilor Julius Petersen , and had his publishing house in Munich at Paul-Heyse-Straße 26. Lehmann died in March 1935 of an otitis media .

During the Second World War , the publishing house was continued by his son-in-law Otto Spatz , whose brother Hans Spatz was MMW's editor from 1932 to 1946, and classified as "war important", which meant that special allotments were made to the publishing house despite the lack of paper. In 1952, Lehmanns Verlag Hermann Werner Siemens was able to publish the 13th edition of the work “Basics of Heredity, Racial Hygiene and Population Policy”.

After the end of the war

The JF Lehmanns Verlag was placed under trust management after the end of the war. The medical program was bought out by the Urban & Schwarzenberg publishing house in 1946 . The publisher's name lived on in the company "Lehmanns Fachbuchhandlung", today under the company name Lehmanns Media GmbH .


Historical background

  • Richard Bauer et al. (Ed.): Munich - Capital of Movement. Bavaria's metropolis and National Socialism. Munich 1993. New edition 2002, ISBN 3-932353-63-3 .
  • Mathias Rösch: The Munich NSDAP 1925–1933. An investigation into the internal structure of the NSDAP in the Weimar Republic. Munich 2002, ISBN 3-486-56670-9 .


  • Herrmann AL Degener : Who is it? Berlin 1928.
  • Melanie Lehmann (Ed.): Publisher JF Lehmann. A life fighting for Germany. CV and letters. JF Lehmanns Verlag , Munich 1935.
  • Georg Wenzel: German business leader . Life courses of German business personalities. A reference book on 13,000 business figures of our time. Hanseatic Publishing House , Hamburg / Berlin / Leipzig 1929, DNB 948663294 .


  • Othmar Plöckinger: History of a Book. Adolf Hitler's “Mein Kampf” 1922–1945. Munich 2006, ISBN 3-486-57956-8 .
  • Sigrid Stöckel (Ed.): The "right nation" and their publisher. Politics and popularization in JF Lehmanns Verlag 1890–1979 . Lehmanns 2002, ISBN 3-931253-98-8 .

reference books

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Ernst Piper : Alfred Rosenberg. Hitler's chief ideologist. Munich 2005, ISBN 3-89667-148-0 , p. 38.
  2. An advertising page in a Lehmann book from 1901 lists 19 titles by then. Authors are Fritz Bley (several times) G. Schultheiss (several times), Christ. Petzel Pastor Jakobsen, Judge J. Petersen ; Karl Türk, German national and anti-Semitic member of the Austrian Reichsrat with the title Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia; Heinrich Nabert on Tyrol; Paul Hofmann von Wellenhof , member of the Austrian Imperial Council ; Hunziker; F. v. Lowenthal; Johannes Unold; Colonial Director a. D. Albrecht Wilhelm Sellin; W. Wintzer; a Prof. Goebel; a new building, presumably Paul N. From another source, authors of the series are known: an Emil Jung on "Germanness" in Australia-Oceania and a Theodor Baßler on Germanism in Russia
  3. ^ Hermann Wilhelm (1989): Dichter, Denker, Fememörder , p. 58. Transit Buchverlag , ISBN 3-88747-053-2
  4. http://www.br-online.de/wissen-bildung/collegeradio/medien/geschichte/bierkeller/quellentexte/ ( Memento from April 10, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ Michael Wedekind: Tourism and Nation. On the politicization of travel in the late Habsburg Monarchy . In: Hannes Obermair u. a. (Ed.): Regional civil society in motion. Festschrift for Hans Heiss (=  Cittadini innanzi tutto ). Folio Verlag, Vienna-Bozen 2012, ISBN 978-3-85256-618-4 , p. 68–93, here: p. 73 .
  6. a b c d Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. 2nd edition. Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-039309-8 , p. 362.
  7. a b c Ernst Piper: Alfred Rosenberg. Hitler's chief ideologist. Munich 2005, p. 39.
  8. ^ Hellmuth Auerbach: Hitler's political apprenticeship and the Munich Society 1919–1923 . In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . Vol. 25, Issue 1, 1977, p. 7. ( PDF , 6.41 MB)
  9. ^ Ernst Piper: Alfred Rosenberg. Hitler's chief ideologist. Munich 2005, p. 44.
  10. Niels HM Albrecht: The power of a defamation campaign: Anti-democratic agitation of the press and justice against the Weimar Republic and its first Reich President Friedrich Ebert from the "Badebild" to the Magdeburg trial. Dissertation, University of Bremen 2000.
  11. a b Kurt Gossweiler : Reichswehr, Capital and NSDAP 1919–1924 . Berlin 1982, p. 223.
  12. ^ Rainer Hering : Constructed Nation. The Pan-German Association 1890 to 1939. Christians, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-7672-1429-6 , p. 460 u. 482.
  13. ^ Klaus D. Patzwall : The Golden Party Badge and its honorary awards 1934-1944. Studies of the history of awards Volume 4. Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt 2004, ISBN 3-931533-50-6 , p. 77.
  14. ^ Catalog of the German National Library . Re-edition in a right-wing radical publishing house in 2003. A Japanese translation was published in Tōkyō by Daisan Shobo, 1961 in 2nd edition. So the commercial rights to this book are still being traded