Lothar Gall

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Lothar Gall at the colloquium of the Archives of Liberalism of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Aumühle , 2014

Lothar Gall (born December 3, 1936 in Lötzen , East Prussia ) is a German historian .


Gall was only able to attend school very irregularly in his place of birth. In 1944 he and his family fled to Munich via Bochum and Stuttgart . The father Lieutenant General Franz Gall had died in the war. He finished fourth grade in Lower Bavaria in the Bavarian Forest and then switched to boarding school in Salem for nine years .

In 1956 Gall began to study history, Romance languages ​​and German at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . Originally, as was the tradition in his family, he wanted to study law, but in the first semester he attended a lecture by Franz Schnabel , which awakened his love for historical science. From the third semester he regularly took part in his seminar until he was able to do his doctorate in 1960 with a thesis on the French liberal Benjamin Constant . Schnabel then arranged for Gall a scholarship at the Mainz Institute for European History . There he completed his dissertation. After a scholarship from the German Research Foundation between 1962 and 1965, he went to Cologne University in May , where he completed his habilitation in Medieval and Modern History under Theodor Schieder in 1967 . The work was entitled " Liberalism as the ruling party" and dealt with the Grand Duchy of Baden in the 1860s.

Gall became a professor at the Justus Liebig University in Gießen in 1968 and took over a chair at the Free University of Berlin four years later . In 1972/73 he was on leave for a visiting professorship in Oxford . In 1975 he was appointed to the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main . His retirement took place in 2005.

Gall was editor of the historical journal from 1975 to 2015 and is a member of numerous historical associations. Since 1989 he has been a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and from 1997 to 2012 he chaired the historical commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . The Academy of Sciences in Göttingen he belongs to also as a corresponding member. He is chairman of the Frankfurt Historical Commission . From 1992 to 1996 he was chairman of the Association of Historians in Germany .

Gall's students include Gisela Mettele and Ralf Zerback .


Gall's research focuses on the history of European liberalism, nation and nation- state in Europe, the social history of the bourgeoisie , the European intellectual history of the 19th and 20th centuries, the history of the entrepreneur Friedrich Krupp as well as the culture of knowledge and social change.

Above all, Gall has earned a public reputation as a brilliant expert in the fields of Bismarck research and German social and economic history. His work “Bismarck. The White Revolutionary ”( ISBN 3-548-27517-6 ) is considered the first modern-cut Bismarck biography and sold 180,000 times. The research program "City and Bourgeoisie in the 19th Century", which was started in 1987 and examines bourgeois living conditions, resulted in a. a. in the work "Bürgerertum in Deutschland" (1989). In 1998, Gall curated the anniversary exhibition for the revolution of 1848/49: “Departure to Freedom”. Another important publication was “Krupp. The Rise of an Industrial Empire ”(2000); Gall is also one of the editors of the series of manuals “ Oldenbourg Floor Plan of History ” and “ Encyclopedia of German History ”. Gall is currently working on a biography about the publisher Axel Springer .


Fonts (selection)

  • Benjamin Constant. His world of political ideas and the German Vormärz (= publications of the Institute for European History Mainz. Vol. 30, ISSN  0537-7919 ). Steiner, Wiesbaden 1963, (in part also: Munich, university, dissertation).
  • Liberalism as the ruling party. The Grand Duchy of Baden between the restoration and the founding of an empire (= publications by the Institute for European History Mainz. Vol. 47). Steiner, Wiesbaden 1968 (at the same time: Cologne, university, habilitation paper).
  • Bismarck. The white revolutionary. Propylaen-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main et al. 1980, ISBN 3-549-07397-6 (several editions; also in Italian, French, English and Japanese).
  • Europe on the way to modernity. 1850–1890 (= Oldenbourg floor plan of history . Vol. 14). Oldenbourg, Munich et al. 1984, ISBN 3-486-49771-5 (several editions).
  • with Karl-Heinz Juergens: Bismarck. Life pictures. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1990, ISBN 3-7857-0569-7 .
  • Middle class in Germany. Siedler, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-88680-259-0 (in Italian: Borghesia in Germania. Traduzione di Amelia Valtolina. Rizzoli, Milan 1992, ISBN 88-17-33358-1 ).
  • Bismarck. A picture of life. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1991, ISBN 3-7857-0599-9 .
  • “The local city as a true ornament and its citizenship useful”. Städel and his “Art Institute”. Städelscher Museums-Verein, Frankfurt am Main 1991.
  • From the class to the bourgeois society (= Encyclopedia of German History . Vol. 25). Oldenbourg, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-486-55753-X .
  • Germania as a symbol of national identity in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften Göttingen, I. Philological-Historical Class 1993, pp. 35–88.
  • with Gerald D. Feldman , Harold James , Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich , Hans E. Büschgen : The Deutsche Bank. 1870-1995. Beck, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-38945-7 .
    • Pp. 1–135: Deutsche Bank from its foundation to World War I, 1870–1914.
  • with Ralf Roth: 1848/49. The railroad and the revolution. Deutsche Bahn AG, Berlin 1999.
  • Otto von Bismarck and Wilhelm II. Representatives of a Change of Epoch? (= Friedrichsruher contributions. Vol. 4). Otto von Bismarck Foundation, Friedrichsruh 1999, ISBN 3-933418-03-8 .
  • Croup. The rise of an industrial empire. Siedler, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-88680-583-2 .
  • The banker Hermann Josef Abs. A biography. Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-52195-9 .
  • Otto von Bismarck - picture and image (= Friedrichsruher contributions. Vol. 27). Otto von Bismarck Foundation, Friedrichsruh 2006, ISBN 3-933418-30-5 .
  • Walther Rathenau. Portrait of an Era. Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-57628-7 .
  • Wilhelm von Humboldt. A Prussian of the world. Propylaeen-Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-549-07369-8 .
  • Franz Adickes. Lord Mayor and University Founder. Societäts-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-95542-018-5 .


  • The Bismarck problem in historiography after 1945 (= New Scientific Library. Vol. 42, ISSN  0548-3018 ). Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne et al. 1971.
  • FFM 1200. Traditions and Perspectives of a City. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1994, ISBN 3-7995-1203-9 (exhibition catalog).
  • with Manfred Pohl : The railroad in Germany. From the beginning to the present. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-45334-1 .
  • Krupp in the 20th century. The history of the company from the First World War to the establishment of the foundation. Siedler, Berlin 2002, ISBN 978-3-88680-742-0 .


  • Karin Hausen : History as a patrilineal construction and historiographical identification offer. A commentary on Lothar Gall, Das Bürgerertum in Deutschland, Berlin 1989. In: L'Homme. Journal of Feminist History. 8th vol., 1997, No. 1, ISSN  1016-362X , pp. 109-131.
  • Lothar Gall. "But you will see that after me if I still see the roles of the historian and that of the public prosecutor as the most distant ones". In: Rüdiger Hohls , Konrad H. Jarausch (Ed.): Missed questions. German historians in the shadow of National Socialism. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart et al. 2000, ISBN 3-421-05341-3 , pp. 300-318, (interview, online ).
  • Dieter Hein , Klaus Hildebrand , Andreas Schulz (eds.): History and life. The historian as a scientist and contemporary. Festschrift for Lothar Gall on his 70th birthday. Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-486-58041-8 .
  • Florentine Fritzen: He doesn't go on vacation, neither physically nor mentally. Frankfurt freedom as an object and attitude: the historian Lothar Gall is eighty years old. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , December 2, 2016, No. 282, p. 11.

Web links


  1. ^ List of the award winners on the website of the Archives of Liberalism of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom , accessed on December 13, 2019.
  2. Hessian Order of Merit. Lothar Gall (PDF; 6.2 MB) . In: Goethe University Frankfurt am Main: Uni-Report , vol. 40 (2007), 2, p. 18, April 11, 2007.