Kurt Klotzbach

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Kurt Klotzbach (born May 28, 1940 in Duisburg , † August 25, 1989 in Siegen ) was a German historian.


Although he has a strong musical disposition, he studied political science , medieval and modern history , constitutional, social and economic history and philosophy in Bonn . During his studies he joined the SPD and in 1965 was chairman of the regional association of the Social Democratic University Association in North Rhine-Westphalia . At the age of twenty-five he completed his studies with a doctorate from Karl-Dietrich Bracher with the thesis “The problem of the elite in political liberalism. A contribution to the state and social image of the 19th century. " From. From 1966 he worked in the research institute of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation . From 1968 he was head of the department for social and contemporary history. During the development phase, he was also head of the Foundation's archive of social democracy for a short time .

He had a considerable influence on the foundation's research into the social emancipation movements in Germany and Central Europe. In addition to his work for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, he became head of the Institute for Social History in 1974. After the death of the previous director, this moved from Braunschweig to Bonn. In recent years he has also played an important role on the board of the Reichspräsident-Friedrich-Ebert-Gedenkstätte Foundation in Heidelberg .


Klotzbach published articles on the history of workers and resistance , as well as on elite research . He combined political theories with history. His work “Against National Socialism. Resistance and Persecution in Dortmund 1930–1945 ” is considered to be a pioneering work in local labor and resistance research. Together with others, he published the "Programmatic Documents of German Social Democracy" in 1973. For the anniversary of the SPD in 1989 he published a collection of lectures. The "Bibliography on the History of the German Workers' Movement", first published in 1974 and expanded several times, is of considerable importance for teaching and research . His main work is “The Path to the State Party. Program, practical politics and organization of the German SPD 1945 to 1965. “ In it he traces the path from the traditional workers' party to the people 's party . Finally, he dealt in particular with the change in political culture . In addition to monographs, he published numerous articles.

As editor he published two series in particular. These were the “Publications of the Institute for Social History Braunschweig-Bonn” and in particular the “Series: Political and Social History” of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. He also exerted a considerable influence on the substantive focus and thematic expansion of the journal Archive for Social History .

Fonts (selection)

  • The elite problem in political liberalism. A contribution to the image of the state and society in the 19th century . Westdeutscher Verlag, Cologne 1966 (State and Politics 9) (Bonn, Univ., Diss., 1965)
  • Against National Socialism. Resistance and persecution in Dortmund 1930 - 1945. A historical-political study . Verlag für Literatur und Zeitgeschehen, Hanover 1969 (series of publications by the research institute of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung B. Historical-political writings)
  • Programmatic documents of the German social democracy. Ed. U. a. JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin 1973 (International Library 68)
  • Three writings from exile. Ed. U. a. JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Bonn - Bad Godesberg 1974 (International Library 76) ISBN 3-8012-1076-6
  • Bibliography on the history of the German workers' movement 1914 - 1945. Social democracy, free trade unions, Christian-social movements, communist movement and left-wing splinter groups with an introduction to research history . Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1974 (Archive for Social History. Supplement 2) (2nd ed. 1976)
  • Dieter Dowe , Kurt Klotzbach, Hans Pelger: Georg Eckert (August 14, 1912 - January 7, 1974) in memory . In: Archive for Social History ed. from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. JHW Dietz Nachf., Bonn 1974
  • The Comanches' eagle: Quanah Parker . 1st edition - Göttingen: Fischer, 1976 ISBN 3-439-00928-9
  • The Path to the State Party Program, practical policy and organization of the German Social Democracy 1945 to 1965. Berlin, 1982
  • Ernst Kapp , the founder of the "Latin Colony" Sisterdale . In: Messages from the Minden History Society . 54 (1982). Pp. 21-51
  • From Minden to Texas. Diary entries about the fate of an emigrant in 1845/46 . In: On Weser and Wiehen. Contributions to the history and culture of a landscape . Festschrift for Wilhelm Brepohl. Ed. On behalf of d. Minden history association by Hans Nordsiek. Minden, 1983, pp. 293-301
  • “A new building will have to be built here”. How our church today came to be built . In: 150 years of the Bartholomew Church . Lütgendortmund 1984, pp. 7-17
  • Programmatic documents of the German social democracy. Edited and introduced by Dieter Dowe and Kurt Klotzbach. With a foreword by Johannes Rau . 2. revised u. ak. ed., JHW ​​Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Bonn - Bad Godesberg 1984
  • Focal points. Lütgendortmund yesterday and today . Lütgenarchiv, Dortmund 1985
  • Fights - crises - compromises. Critical contributions to the 125th anniversary of the SPD. Edited by Dieter Dowe a. Kurt Klotzbach. JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Bonn - Bad Godesberg 1989 ISBN 3-8012-5007-5
  • The Solms Papers. Documents on the German colonization of Texas . Publishing house for American studies, Wyk auf Föhr 1990 (publications on German emigration to America)
  • Carlo Schmid 1896–1979 . In: The great Germans of our era . Propylaen-Verlag, Berlin 1995 ISBN 3-549-05447-5 , pp. 401-413


  • Dieter Dowe , Hans Pelger: In memoriam Kurt Klotzbach . In: Archives for Social History . 29., 1989, pp. XXXIII-XXXV online edition (PDF; 832 kB)
  • Dieter Dowe: Kurt Klotzbach (1940-1989), Kuno Bludau (1930-1989) . In: Günter Benser , Michael Schneider (ed.): Preserve, spread, enlighten . Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bonn-Bad Godesberg 2009 ISBN 978-3-86872-105-8 , pp. 156–161 online edition (PDF; 278 kB)