Julius von Kirchmann

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Julius von Kirchmann

Julius Hermann von Kirchmann (born November 5, 1802 in Schafstädt , † October 20, 1884 in Berlin ) was a German lawyer and politician .


Kirchmann was the son of the Electoral Saxon major Eberhard August von Kirchmann and his wife Wilhelmine Berger. After Kirchmann graduated from high school, he began to study law at the University of Leipzig . Later he switched to the same subject at the University of Halle .

There he successfully completed his studies and got a job as a judicial assessor in Halle in 1829 . Four years later he became a criminal judge there . In 1834 Kirchmann married Henriette Butte in Halle. With her he had two daughters; including Luise, later wife of the composer Ludwig Hartmann .

In 1835 Kirchmann was promoted to regional court director in Querfurt and four years later transferred to Torgau in the same position . In 1846 he was promoted to First Public Prosecutor in Berlin. He held this office for two years. In 1847 he gave his famous speech The worthlessness of jurisprudence as a science to colleagues and scientists at the Legal Society in Berlin . This had an impact on his career to the extent that Kirchmann was sidelined the following year by being promoted to Vice-President of the Higher Regional Court in the remote Ratibor .

In 1854 Kirchmann traveled to Constantinople via Trieste, Corfu and Athens. During his stay in Turkey, he extensively visited the capital of the Ottoman Empire and went on an excursion to Bursa , which also included a climb to the "Bithynian Olympus" (namely the over 2500 m high Uludağ north of Bursa). He reported on his trip in his travelogue To Constantinople and Brussa , published anonymously in 1855 . Vacation trip of a Prussian lawyer .

Julius von Kirchmann, 1862. Graphic by Hermann Scherenberg.

Kirchmann was also politically active. In the Prussian National Assembly he was initially close to the left and later moved to the "left center" under the leadership of the deputy Johann Karl Rodbertus . After the end of the reaction era, Kirchmann belonged to the Progress Party . This party represented Kirchmann from 1862 to 1870 and from 1873 to 1876 in the Prussian House of Representatives . At the same time he was a member of the Reichstag from 1867 to 1877 .

After considerable preparatory work, Kirchmann played a key role in the creation of a common criminal code for the North German Confederation in 1869/70 . When the disputes escalated in the Reichstag during the Kulturkampf , Kirchmann lost his mandate in 1877. Among other things, he had demanded that private individuals whose income was below a certain limit should be waived all taxes.

Since 1846 Kirchmann was chairman of the Philosophical Society in Berlin . As the same he was friends with many contemporaries. He was in correspondence with the philosophers Adolf Lasson and Eduard von Hartmann , the politician Franz Wilhelm Ziegler and the composer Richard Wagner .

Today Kirchmann's name is mainly associated with the Philosophical Library , a series of books for classical philosophical literature that he founded in 1868 and for which he translated some works from Latin, such as works by Cicero , Spinoza and Leibniz . The book series has been published by Felix Meiner Verlag since 1911 .

Julius von Kirchmann died in Berlin in 1884 at the age of 81 and was buried in the Old St. Matthew Cemetery in Schöneberg . The grave has not been preserved.

Fonts (selection)

  • The worthlessness of jurisprudence as a science. A lecture given at the Legal Society of Berlin , Berlin 1848.
  • To Constantinople and Brussa. Vacation trip of a Prussian lawyer , Berlin 1855 (published anonymously).
  • The philosophy of knowledge. Volume 1: The Doctrine of Imagination as an Introduction to Philosophy , Berlin 1864.
  • Documents for the removal from office of the royal. Preuss. Vice-President of the Court of Appeal von Kirchmann , Berlin 1867.
  • Aesthetics on a realistic basis , 2 volumes, Berlin 1868.
  • About the communism of nature. A lecture given in the Berlin Workers' Association in February 1866 , Berlin 1868.
  • The basic concepts of law and morality as an introduction to the study of legal philosophical works , Berlin 1869 (= Philosophical Library , Volume 11). The second edition appeared in 1873 as Volume 66 of the Philosophical Library .
  • Explanations of Benedict von Spinoza's treatise on the improvement of the understanding and its political treatise , Berlin 1871 (= Philosophical Library , Volume 45).
  • The teaching of knowledge as an introduction to the study of philosophical works . Second improved edition, Berlin 1871 (= Philosophical Library , Volume 1). A third, verb. Edition appeared in 1878.
  • The Kulturkampf in Prussia and its concerns , Leipzig 1875.
  • About the principle of realism. A lecture given in the Philosophical Society of Berlin , Leipzig 1875.
  • Catechism of Philosophy , Leipzig 1877.
  • Time issues and adventure , Leipzig 1881.
  • On the applicability of the mathematical method to philosophy. A lecture along with the discussion that took place, Halle 1883.


Web links

Commons : Julius von Kirchmann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mann, Bernhard (edit.): Biographical manual for the Prussian House of Representatives. 1867-1918. Collaboration with Martin Doerry , Cornelia Rauh and Thomas Kühne . Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1988, p. 214 (handbooks on the history of parliamentarism and political parties: vol. 3); for the election results see Thomas Kühne: Handbook of elections to the Prussian House of Representatives 1867–1918. Election results, election alliances and election candidates (= handbooks on the history of parliamentarism and political parties. Volume 6). Droste, Düsseldorf 1994, ISBN 3-7700-5182-3 , pp. 318-324.
  2. ^ Fritz Specht, Paul Schwabe: The Reichstag elections from 1867 to 1903. Statistics of the Reichstag elections together with the programs of the parties and a list of the elected representatives. 2nd Edition. Carl Heymann Verlag, Berlin 1904, pp. 68-69.
  3. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende: Lexicon of Berlin tombs . Haude & Spener, Berlin 2006. p. 304.