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Jung-Lübeck is the collective name for a group of friends of personalities from Lübeck's history who, in the first half of the 19th century, set themselves the goal of breaking up the social and political restoration that had prevailed in the city-state since the wars of liberation and thus liberalizing the community.

In contrast to other renewal movements of this time, such as Junge Deutschland , the Lübeck group never called itself Jung-Lübeck , but was later named that way by historians.


The leaders of this circle of friends, established in the late 1830s, included the later mayors of Lübeck, Heinrich Theodor Behn and Theodor Curtius , as well as the poet Emanuel Geibel as the “Herald of the German longing for unity”. According to Theodor Curtius, the circle was about "making a hole in the old mess." From among the teaching staff of the Katharineum , Ernst Deecke and Carl Heinrich Dettmer, along with Theodor Curtius and the head of the Ernestine School, Carl Friedrich Wehrmann, were on the editorial team New Lübeckische Blätter associated with the Society for the Promotion of Charitable Activities , which became the mouthpiece of Jung-Lübeck, to which the professor at the Katharineum Gustav Evers and Heinrich Theodor Behn also made significant contributions. Together with a large academic group of friends, they succeeded in rewriting the formerly important trading city from its relative insignificance into the consciousness of the German public.


The main concern was, on the one hand, the amendment of Lübeck's constitution, which with the Lübeck law had not yet been fundamentally adapted to modern ideas of state organization since the Middle Ages. On the other hand, a long-lasting recession had to be overcome. This group responded to the economic recession in the city with a large number of publications, with which all over Germany attention was drawn to the city, which was financially drained after the French era and whose economic situation was further worsened by the new geography after the Congress of Vienna .

The city, with its transport links to and from Hamburg and the areas south of the Elbe, was cut off by the Duchy of Lauenburg , which had become Danish, and Holstein , which was also Danish . The construction of the railway was initially prevented by the government of the entire state in Copenhagen and land transport as well as traffic on the Stecknitz Canal were subject to high transit tariffs. The liberal ideas represented by the group made Lübeck as a city a symbol of the Vormärz , the importance of which was emphasized by the great song festival and the Germanistenag (1847) under the direction of the Brothers Grimm .

Three days before the first of these two demonstratively intended events, Denmark then granted permission to build the Lübeck-Büchener railway under the increasing pressure . Heinrich von Treitschke described the Germanists' assembly in Lübeck as an "intellectual state parliament of the German people". The pressure to modernize from the Jung-Lübeck group meant that as early as 1843 a modern constitution was being worked on in Lübeck, which could be put into effect by the Senate in 1848 , so that the revolutionary pressure of this year in relation to most other German states remained low ( Lübeck citizenship 1848/1849 ). A political consequence of this work was the abolition of the Danish sound tariff in 1857.

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Other members of this group included Ernst and Georg Curtius , Carl Alexander von Duhn , Friedrich Krüger , Wilhelm Mantels , Marcus Niebuhr , Christian Gerhard Overbeck , Carl Wilhelm Pauli , Ferdinand Röse , Kurd von Schlözer , the lawyer Johann Heinrich Thöl and the historian Wilhelm Wattenbach .


  • Niels Borgmann: 1848 in Lübeck: Protest for fear of protest? Jung-Lübeck, Theodor Curtius and the constitutional revision of 1848. Lübeck 1999
  • Ahasver von Brandt : Lübeck and the German survey 1847–1848. Commemorative publication for the centenary of the revolution. Lübeck 1948.
  • Antjekathrin Graßmann (Ed.): Lübeckische Geschichte , 1989, p. 602ff. ISBN 3-7950-3203-2