Lothar Höbelt

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Lothar Alexander Höbelt (born June 30, 1956 in Vienna ) is an Austrian historian and associate professor of modern history at the University of Vienna .

Training and activity as a historian

Höbelt was born in 1956 in Vienna as the son of a publishing director and a law firm manager. He graduated from elementary school and grammar school (BRG Vienna XXII) in his hometown and studied history , economic history and English at the University of Vienna from 1974 to 1981 . From the winter semester 1980/81 he took the position of a study assistant. In 1981 Höbelt received his doctorate with the subject of studies on the requirements of the British appeasement policy 1937–1939 under Heinrich Lutz and Adam Wandruszka with the highest possible award in Austria “ Sub auspiciis Praesidentis ”. Höbelt remained assistant to Heinrich Lutz; after his death in 1986 he was assigned to Wolfdieter Bihl and completed his habilitation in 1991 with the script Kornblume und Kaiseradler , a thesis on the German-free parties of Old Austria 1882-1918. This gave him the venia legendi for modern and recent history.

After long stays in Great Britain and the USA, including as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago in 1992, the University of Vienna appointed him in 1997 as extraordinary professor of modern history. Parallel to his teaching position at the University of Vienna, Höbelt has and continues to hold other teaching positions at domestic and foreign institutions: Among other things, he was a lecturer at the Summer School of the University of New Orleans (1988–1993) and at Linfield College (Austro-American Institute of Education, 1991-1994). Since 2001 Höbelt has also been a lecturer at the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt .

His main research interests are the Austrian, German and British political and constitutional history of the 19th and 20th centuries and the Thirty Years' War . Höbelt has published a number of books and articles on these topics and on the history of German nationalism in Austria.

Höbelt became a member of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions in 1984 and a member in 1999 . Since 1985 he has been a member of the Autrichienne d'Histoire Militaire Commission and since 1997 of the Association for Constitutional History in Hofgeismar . He is one of the vice-presidents of the International Commission on the History of the Estates and Parliaments and a member of the advisory board of the scientific journals International History Review (2000–2003) and War in History (since 1996). He also became a member of the scientific advisory board of the Museum of the Thirty Years War in Wittstock / Dosse .

In 2005 he was co-author of a memorial for Wolfgang Venohr .

For his 50th birthday in 2006, several historians and students with doctorates at Höbelt published a commemorative publication for him. This contains 33 scientific articles, whereby the bow of Emperor Ferdinand III. until Jörg Haider is excited.

For the 2007/2008 yearbook of the Karl von Vogelsang Institute for Research into the History of Christian Democracy in Austria , which is closely related to the ÖVP , Höbelt wrote an article about the ÖVP politician and former Vice-Chancellor Hermann Withalm . At an event organized by the Political Academy of the ÖVP in May 2010, he gave a lecture on his understanding of liberalism .

Höbelt wrote numerous biographies for the following works: New German Biography , Austrian Biographical Lexicon , East German Memorial Days and Dictionary of Early Modern Europe.

Margit Reiter notes in a review of the 2015 book Höbelts Aufstieg und Fall des VdU . Letters and minutes from private estates 1948-1955 : “It should also be noted critically that it is often impossible to assign the printed documents to the respective archive holdings due to insufficient citation, as well as an overly casual choice of words, such as the formulation 'flotter Dreier' for one proposed coalition of the three parties in the 1950s and a tendency to play down, for example when the FPÖ General Secretary Gordon Gollob is characterized as 'charismatic' without any indication that the celebrated Nazi fighter was noticed after 1945 for 'neo-Nazi activities' and ( temporarily) was excluded from the VdU. "

Functions and activities in the environment of the FPÖ and AfD

Höbelt was a consultant in the 1990s, but says he was never a member of the FPÖ . From 1992 to 2002 he was a consultant at the party academy of the FPÖ (until 2000: Freedom Education , then: Freedom Academy ) and from 2000 to 2002 its scientific director. He was also a co-author of the FPÖ party program from 1997, which contained Jörg Haider's political ideas . Höbelt is deputy chairman of the non-party Genius Society for Free Thought . This was founded in 1997 by FPÖ supporters who see themselves as national liberals .

In 2001, Höbelt contradicted the analysis of the political scientist Anton Pelinka in an essay , according to which the FPÖ voters were among the “modernization losers”: the supporters of the “Third Republic” demanded by Haider had a majority.

At the time, he was politically close to Vice Chancellor Susanne Riess-Passer and, after the Knittelfeld FPÖ meeting in 2002, he broke with Haider, whom he blamed for losing votes and divisive tendencies in the FPÖ. Höbelt endorsed the black-blue coalition between the FPÖ and ÖVP and called for “blue loan votes” to be cast for the then Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel . In 2005 Höbelt spoke out against the separation of the BZÖ , but in 2006 joined a committee for Veit Schalle (BZÖ) together with Hans Pretterebner in order to ensure a center-right parliamentary majority through the BZÖ's entry into the National Council. He defined his political position at "the intersection of black, blue and orange".

After Jörg Haider's death in October 2008, Höbelt described him as “next to Bruno Kreisky undoubtedly the greatest political talent of the Second Republic” and advocated the reunification of the FPÖ and BZÖ, which partially occurred in December 2009.

In the 2010 federal presidential election campaign , Höbelt was a member of the personal committee of FPÖ candidate Barbara Rosenkranz . In the course of this support, he described the Nazi Prohibition Act 1947 “from a liberal point of view” as “a nuisance”, as it currently punishes “convictions” and thus “turns stupid hackers into martyrs of freedom of expression”. Protested against Höbelt's commitment to rosary a. a. the former student body at the University of Vienna.

He is a member of the board of trustees of the AfD- affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation .

Controversial publications and statements

In the media public, Höbelt appears again and again as a connoisseur and representative of the so-called Third Camp , to which the German Nationals and National Liberals in Austria feel they belong.

In 1987 he published an essay on the Waldheim affair in which he countered media reports about Kurt Waldheim's possible involvement in war crimes and the deportation of Jews. He published in the FPÖ-related journal Zur Zeit, edited by Andreas Mölzer . In addition, he frequently wrote articles for Die Aula , a magazine classified as right-wing extremist by the DÖW . In 1995 he edited an FPÖ yearbook together with Andreas Mölzer, which also contained an article by the political scientist Werner Pfeifenberger with anti-Semitic passages. In 1997 he was co-editor of a commemorative publication for right-wing extremist politician Otto Scrinzi ; In 1999 he contributed to a commemorative publication for Holocaust denier David Irving . Höbelt described his revisionist and Holocaust-denying theses in 1998 as "historical discussions" which are impermissibly decided by state courts.

When the Gerhard Löwenthal Prize was awarded to the revisionist historian Stefan Scheil in December 2005, Höbelt appeared as a laudator. In his address he said, among other things, that the “popular representations” today about the origins of World War II differ “only insignificantly” from the Nazi propaganda directed by Joseph Goebbels .

In April 2005, Höbelt was, alongside Otto Scrinzi and Herbert Fleissner, a speaker at a discussion event organized by the Innsbruck fraternity of Brixia, the Ring of Freedom Students and the Freedom Academic Association on May 8, 1945 - 60 years of liberation or defeat . There he spoke of the fact that there had only been liberation “for very few who were freed from prisons”, whereas the “collapse” for “us Germans” was a defeat. The term “liberation” for the end of National Socialist rule in Austria was only introduced by a generation that did not experience the end of the war for reasons of history and politics.

Fonts (selection)

  • The British Appeasement Policy: Détente and Rearmament 1937–1939. Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-21-505237-7 , also: Vienna, Univ., Diss., 1981.
  • The federal presidential elections in the 1st and 2nd republic (social science study series of the Institute for Basic Political Research, Volume 7). Vienna 1986.
  • Edited together with Othmar Huber: For Austria's freedom. Karl Gruber - Governor and Foreign Minister 1945–1953. Haymon Verlag, Innsbruck 1991, ISBN 3-85-218082-1 .
  • Otto Steinwender. Portrait of a national liberal. Vienna 1992.
  • Cornflower and imperial eagle. The German freedom parties of Old Austria 1882–1918. Vienna 1992 (habilitation thesis; review by Stefan Hofmann ).
  • The father of the constitution. From the memorabilia of Anton Ritter von Schmerling. Vienna 1993.
  • Anton von Schmerling. Austria's path to a constitutional monarchy from the point of view of State Minister Anton von Schmerling. Frankfurt am Main 1994.
  • Burghard Breitner . Festschrift for Burghard Breitner. In memory of a great Austrian. Vienna 1994.
  • Julius Sylvester. Festschrift for Julius Sylvester. In memory of a great Austrian. Vienna 1994.
  • Sacrum empire. The Empire and Austria 996–1806. Graz 1996 (jointly edited with Wilhelm Brauneder ).
  • 1848. Austria and the German Revolution. Vienna 1998.
  • From the fourth party to the third force. The history of the VdU. Graz 1999.
  • Republic in transition. The grand coalition and the rise of the Haider-FPÖ. Munich 2001.
  • Defiant populist. Jörg Haider and the Politics of Austria. West Lafayette 2003.
  • Landscape and Politics in the Sudetenland. Vienna 2004.
  • Ferdinand III. 1608-1657. Reluctant Emperor of Peace. Graz 2008.
  • Franz Joseph I. The emperor and his empire. A political story. Vienna 2009 (Reviews: Rainer Blasius, in: FAZ. July 9, 2009 ; Alfred Ableitinger, in: H-Soz-u-Kult. March 10, 2010 ).
  • The Habsburgs. The rise and splendor of a European dynasty. Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-8062-2196-1 .
  • as editor with Thomas G. Otte: A Living Anachronism? European Diplomacy and the Habsburg Monarchy. Commemorative publication for Francis Roy Bridge on his 70th birthday. Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-205-78510-1 .
  • as editor: The rise and fall of the VdU . Letters and minutes from private estates 1948–1955 , Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-205-79634-3 .
  • From Nördlingen to Jankau. Imperial strategy and warfare 1634–1645. (= Writings of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum 22) Vienna 2016, ISBN 978-3-902551-73-3 .
  • The First Republic (1918–1938): The Provisional. Vienna 2018. ISBN 978-3205205395 .


  • Höbelt, Lothar . In: Fritz Fellner , Doris A. Corradini: Austrian History in the 20th Century. A biographical-bibliographical lexicon (= publications of the Commission for Modern History of Austria. Vol. 99). Böhlau, Vienna et al. 2006, ISBN 978-3-205-77476-1 , p. 188.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Gerald Brettner-Messler , Johannes Kalwoda, Hannes Rosenkranz, Michael Wladika (eds.): Von Ferdinand III. to Jörg Haider. Cornerstones of an academic career. Festschrift for Lothar Höbelt on his 50th birthday. Vienna 2006, p. 399.
  2. ^ Institute for History, University of Vienna
  3. Lothar Höbelt: Selection of publications
  4. http://ichrpi.com/general-info-direction.html
  5. Taylor & Francis Group ( Memento December 19, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (web archive)
  6. Editorial Board ( Memento from June 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Web archive)
  7. Dieter Stein (Ed.): A life for Germany. Commemorative publication for Wolfgang Venohr 1925 - 2005. Junge Freiheit, Berlin 2005. ISBN 978-3-929886-24-5 .
  8. Gerald Brettner-Messler, Johannes Kalwoda, Hannes Rosenkranz, Michael Wladika (eds.): Von Ferdinand III. to Jörg Haider. Cornerstones of an academic career. Festschrift for Lothar Höbelt on his 50th birthday. Self-published, Vienna 2006.
  9. ^ Website of the Karl von Vogelsang Institute for Research into the History of Christian Democracy in Austria
  10. Oliver Pink : "Socialism remains the main enemy" In: Die Presse from May 6, 2010
  11. Gerald Brettner-Messler, Johannes Kalwoda, Hannes Rosenkranz, Michael Wladika (eds.): Von Ferdinand III. to Jörg Haider. Cornerstones of an academic career. Festschrift for Lothar Höbelt on his 50th birthday. Vienna 2006, p. 412.
  12. ^ Margit Reiter: Review by: Lothar Höbelt (Ed.): Rise and Fall of the VdU. Letters and minutes from private estates 1948-1955. Böhlau, Vienna 2015 (= series of publications by the Research Institute for Political-Historical Studies of the Dr. Wilfried Haslauer Library. Volume 50). In: see points. Volume 16, No. 7/8, (July 15) 2016 (URL: http://www.sehepunkte.de/2016/07/28563.html ).
  13. Wolfgang Zaunbauer (Wiener Zeitung, April 6, 2010): "This campaign is unique"
  14. Genius Society for Free Thinking: The Society ; Der Standard, October 30, 2008: Crisis poetry online: It wasn't Tucholsky
  15. ^ Anton Pelinka: The FPÖ in comparative party research.
  16. ^ Lothar Höbelt: Haider's voters or the legend of the losers in modernization. In: Lothar Höbelt (Hrsg.): Republik im Wandel. The grand coalition and the rise of the Haider-FPÖ. Universitas, Munich 2001, ISBN 3800414228 , pp. 94–111
  17. Höbelt: “Jörg Haider's era has ended” Der Standard, November 28, 2002; Der Standard, June 5, 2003: "Haider has no majority in the FPÖ" ; Der Standard, October 6, 2003: Höbelt: "... when Haider is finally politically underground"
  18. a b - ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Anneliese Rohrer: Joker of the National. In: date. 4/06.
  19. news.at: Lean Personnel Committee for Sound
  20. Lothar Höbelt (Der Standard.at, October 12, 2008): End of the pincer attack ; Lothar Höbelt (Der Standard, December 18, 2009): Will Strache finally grow up?
  21. Der Standard, April 6, 2010: Barbara Rosenkranz "does not overtake left"
  22. Peter Daser (ORF, March 8, 2010): Is the Nazi Prohibition Act still appropriate?
  23. Der Standard, April 21, 2010: ÖH shocked about Rosenkranz support from university professors.
  24. Home page of the Desiderius Erasmus Foundation
  25. Board of Trustees. In: Desiderius Erasmus Foundation. Retrieved June 23, 2018 (German).
  26. https://www.news4teachers.de/2018/07/lehrer-haben-sozialistische-afd-will-die-schulen-auf-parteilinie-haben-und-erhoeht-dafuer-den-druck-auge-um-auge /
  27. ^ Lothar Höbelt: Zeitgeschichtliche Austriaca. The “Causa Waldheim” and the “Memorial Year 1988.” In: Mut , December 1987, No. 244, pp. 38–45; Michael Gehler (Democracy Center): "... a grotesquely exaggerated demonization of a man ..."? The Waldheim Affair 1986–1992 (pdf, note 30; 479 kB)
  28. - ( Memento from November 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) DOEW: News from the far right - November 2001: At the moment celebrated birthday
  29. ^ "For the FPÖ the BZÖ is irrelevant" ( Memento from September 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (personal information), Der Standard, August 7, 2008 (web archive); DOEW: Current right-wing extremist associations, parties, magazines in Austria ( Memento from January 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  30. ^ Lothar Höbelt, Andreas Mölzer, Brigitte Sob (eds.): Freedom and Responsibility - Yearbook for Political Renewal 1995. Self-published, Freedom Education, Political Academy of the FPÖ, Vienna 1995
  31. Der Spiegel, October 26, 1998: University: Feigheit vor dem Prof ; Liza's World, November 20, 2007: End of a human hunt
  32. ^ News from the far right - January 1999: Festschrift for Irving Documentation Archive of Austrian Resistance .
    Heribert Schiedel : Holocaust denial: Irving is based in Austria. haGalil dated November 24, 2005.
  33. Junge Freiheit 49/2005, December 2, 2005: "Emancipation from Discourse" (copy of the laudation by Lothar Höbelt to Stefan Scheil)
  34. Relevant History Class for the Right Margin , April 24, 2005