Max Spindler

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Max Spindler (born November 28, 1894 in Birnbaum ; † April 9, 1986 in Neunkirchen am Brand ) was a German historian with a particular research focus on Bavarian national history . He was the founder of the Institute for Bavarian History and editor of the standard work Handbuch der Bayerischen Geschichte .

Live and act

Max Spindler was the son of the Franconian school teacher Konrad Spindler. He put a pupil of Archbishop boys' seminar Ottonianum a high school at the New School in Bamberg , and then studied history, German and French in Bonn and Munich . In 1914 he became a member of the Catholic student association KDStV Aenania Munich . He received his doctorate in 1926 with Michael Doeberl in Munich with a study on the youth of the future Bavarian King Ludwig I. As early as 1930 he completed his habilitation in Munich for Middle and Modern History.

The Nazis stood Spindler, of the impairment at Munich University professor, was dismissive. As a result, the takeover of government by the Nazis in 1933 meant a stagnation in his career, although in 1937 he was accepted into the Commission for Bavarian State History at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . His source-based study of the beginnings of the Bavarian principality falls during this time.

After the collapse of the Nazi dictatorship, he gained influence as a politically unaffected scientist at the University of Munich. In 1946 he became a full professor there and in the same year he was co-opted into the historical commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

A year later Spindler founded the still existing Institute for Bavarian History at the University of Munich, which he took over as head. This foundation (as well as the upswing in regional historical research after 1945) must be seen against the background that the German nation-state was permanently discredited and that the future state structure of Germany was uncertain under the occupation. As a result, the countries that had already formed in the American zone of occupation in 1945/46 initially seemed to offer the only state framework and the only viable means of identification for the Germans. Incidentally, the emphasis on the country's history must also be seen as a conscious departure from the German national cult to which many historians had adhered.

After his retirement at the end of 1959, Spindler devoted himself primarily to the publication of the monumental handbook of Bavarian history , which achieved official status as a standard work in Bavaria and became a model for similar works in other federal states. The broad consideration of the individual parts of the country (Franconia, Swabia, Old Bavaria) as well as the inclusion of formerly Bavarian areas such as the Rhine Palatinate was remarkable . At the same time, through the conception of the manual, he succeeded in releasing the country's history from its strong orientation towards the Middle Ages and opening it up to modern times and contemporary history.

The influence on science and politics that Spindler developed in those years cannot be overlooked. Many of his students or employees of the manual became professors at Bavarian universities. This was particularly pronounced at the newly founded University of Regensburg , where in the 1970s and 1980s almost the entire Historical Institute - including Dieter Albrecht , Heinz Angermeier , Kurt Reindel , Wilhelm Volkert , Walter Torbrügge , Heiner Haan and Andreas Kraus - from the handbook Recruited employees. Due to the widespread reception of the manual and the personal networks mentioned, Spindler's influence on historical research in Bavaria was significant in those years. Through the training of entire generations of history teachers by Spindler and his students, his work has had a broad impact.

Awards and honors


  • Joseph Anton Sambuga and the youth development of King Ludwig I. Schütte, Aichach 1927, (Munich, university, dissertation, from February 8, 1926).
  • The beginnings of the Bavarian principality (= series of publications on Bavarian regional history. 26, ZDB -ID 504145-4 ). Beck, Munich 1937.
  • Church renewal efforts in Bavaria in the 19th century. In: Historical yearbook . Vol. 71, 1952, pp. 197-211.
  • About Bavarian history, its research, representation and maintenance since the beginning of the nineteenth century. In: Karl Rüdinger (ed.): Our history picture. The meaning in history (= the educational goods of the higher school. Geschichtliche Reihe. 2, ZDB -ID 255781-2 ). Bayerischer Schulbuch-Verlag, Munich 1955, pp. 81–98.
  • as editor: Handbook of Bavarian History. 4 volumes. Beck, Munich 1967–1975, (also author of essential articles).
  • Signature of King Ludwig I. 7 volumes. Selected and initiated. Edited by Andreas Kraus. Commission for Bavarian State History, Munich 1987–1997;
    • Volume 1: 1825–1831 (= materials on Bavarian national history. 1). 1987, ISBN 3-7696-0401-6 ;
    • Volume 2: 1832–1835 (= materials on Bavarian national history. 2). 1989, ISBN 3-7696-0402-4 ;
    • Volume 3: 1836–1838 (= materials on Bavarian national history. 3). 1991, ISBN 3-7696-0403-2 ;
    • Volume 4: 1839–1841 (= materials on Bavarian national history. 4). 1992, ISBN 3-7696-0404-0 ;
    • Volume 5: 1842–1844 (= materials on Bavarian national history. 5). 1993, ISBN 3-7696-0405-9 ;
    • Volume 6: 1845–1848 (= materials on Bavarian national history. 6). 1994, ISBN 3-7696-0406-7 ;
    • Register (= materials on Bavarian national history. 12). 1997, ISBN 3-7696-0412-1 .


  • Dieter Albrecht : Max Spindler. In: Historical yearbook. Vol. 107, 1987, pp. 214-218.
  • Erika Bosl: Spindler, Max. In: Karl Bosl (Hrsg.): Bosls Bavarian biography. Supplementary volume. 1000 personalities from 15 centuries. Pustet, Regensburg 1988, ISBN 3-7917-1153-9 , p. 156 ( digitized version ).
  • Andreas Kraus : Max Spindler. Personality and work. In: Journal for Bavarian State History. Vol. 49, 1986, pp. 579-596, ( digitized version ).
  • Andreas Kraus: Max Spindler November 28, 1894 - April 9, 1986. In: Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Yearbook. 1986, ISSN  0084-6090 , pp. 1-4.
  • Ferdinand Kramer : Max Spindler (1894–1986) and Karl Bosl (1908–1993). In: Katharina Weigand (ed.): Munich historian between politics and science. 150 Years of the History Seminar of the Ludwig Maximilians University (= contributions to the history of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. 5). Herbert Utz, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-8316-0969-7 , pp. 259-280.
  • Ferdinand Kramer:  Spindler, Max. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , pp. 702 f. ( Digitized version ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Festgabe for Max Spindler (= Journal for Bavarian State History. Vol. 18). Beck, Munich 1955.
  2. Andreas Kraus (Ed.): Land and Empire, Tribe and Nation. Problems and Perspectives in Bavarian History. Festival ceremony for Max Spindler on his 90th birthday. 3 volumes. Beck, Munich 1984;
    * Volume 1: Research reports on antiquity and the Middle Ages (= series of publications on Bavarian national history. 78). 1984, ISBN 3-406-10478-9 ;
    * Volume 2: Early Modern Times (= series of publications on Bavarian national history. 79). 1984, ISBN 3-406-10479-7 ;
    * Volume 3: From Vormärz to the Present (= series of publications on Bavarian regional history. 80). 1984, ISBN 3-406-10480-0 .