Otto Hoetzsch

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Otto Hoetzsch

Otto Hoetzsch (born February 14, 1876 in Leipzig , † August 27, 1946 in Berlin ) was a German historian , publicist , interpreter and politician ( German Conservative Party , DNVP and KVP ). At the beginning of the 20th century he was one of the founders of German research on the East and advocated an understanding of the East European countries. That is why, when he opposed annexationist efforts towards Russia in 1917, he was rejected by the majority of his colleagues, e. B. by Johannes Haller , called Russophile. The National Socialists defamed him as pro-Bolshevik


Otto Hoetzsch was born in Leipzig in 1876 as the son of master plumber Gustav Adolph Hoetzsch and his wife Alma, née Stahl. His mother was the daughter of a court director. He attended the humanistic Thomas School in Leipzig . He then volunteered for one year in an infantry regiment of the Saxon Army . He resigned as a lieutenant in the Landwehr in 1914 and was employed in the foreign press department of the deputy general staff during World War I.

From 1895 he studied history , art history and economics at the University of Leipzig and in 1896 at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . Erich Marcks , Gerhard Seeliger and Erich Brandenburg were among his teachers . During his studies he became a member of the Association of German Students in Leipzig . Was Hoetzsch 1900 with the dissertation The economic and social structure of the rural population mainly in meißnisch-Ore circles Electoral Saxony at Karl Lamprecht to Dr. phil. PhD. From 1897 to 1906 he was editor of the academic papers of the Association of German Students' Associations . After receiving his doctorate, he worked as a librarian at the Historical Institute in Leipzig and on the issue of documents and files on the history of Kf. Friedrich Wilhelm of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences . From 1902 he attended additional lectures by Theodor Schiemann on Russian and Polish history at the Institute for Eastern European History and Regional Studies. In 1906 he completed his habilitation with Otto Hintze in history at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin . His main focus was on Eastern European history and the history of Russia .

From 1906 to 1913 he taught at the Royal Academy in Posen and from 1911 New History at the Prussian War Academy in Berlin. In 1913 he became an associate professor of Eastern European history and cultural studies in Berlin. From 1920 he was an employee of the emergency community of German science and lecturer at the German University of Politics in Berlin. From 1922 to 1933 he also worked at the Berlin Administrative Academy. In 1927 he set up the "Foreign Policy and International Relations" course at the University of Berlin and lectured for the Foreign Office . From 1920 to 1928 he was a personal professor and from 1935, as the successor to Karl Stählin, he held the chair for Eastern European History. In the same year he was forced to retire and only reappointed in 1945. His work was based on the scientists Gustav Freytag , Heinrich von Treitschke , Karl Lamprecht, Gustav v. Schmoller and Otto Hintze.

Hoetzsch was a member of the German Conservative Party from 1910 to 1918. After its dissolution, he joined the German National People's Party (DNVP). From 1919 to 1928 he was a member of the party executive committee. His parliamentary work he began in 1919 as MP for the province of Posen in the Prussian Constituent Assembly country . From 1920 he was a member of the Reichstag for Leipzig. He was re-elected in 1924 and 1928. He supported the Dawes Plan in 1924 . In 1929 he joined for a short time the Conservative People's Party to Gottfried Treviranus , which at the policy of rapprochement to the Nazi Party by Alfred Hugenberg criticized. He was also a member of the Union for the Renewal of the Empire . As a member and secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Reichstag, he attended a seminar at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1928 . Because of his political moderation, he was the only conservative politician invited. In Berlin he was a member of the SeSiSo-Club , a cultural-political discussion group.

He was a great admirer of President Paul von Hindenburg , whom he also entertained together with his wife Cornelie Hoetzsch as a guest in his apartment. Together with Hermann Mertz von Quirnheim , he probably wrote the autobiography of Hindenburg From My Life (1920).

From 1903 to 1906 he was editor for the German monthly magazine founded by Julius Lohmeyer for the whole of contemporary life . He was also active in the Pan-German Association (where he had been a member of the Reichsvorstand since 1904), in the Federation of Farmers , in the German Ostmarkenverein and for the German Fleet Association . In 1905 he passed the military interpreting exams in Polish and Russian . He also studied Ukrainian, French, English, Italian and Dutch. During the negotiations between the Reich government on the Rapallo Treaty (1922) with the newly founded Soviet Union , which took a first step towards international recognition by means of this treaty, he was called in as an interpreter. Hoetzsch initially seems to have seen opportunities in the Rapallo Treaty for defeated and internationally ostracized Germany to become a great power again; the negative attitude of Western countries strengthened his conviction. He was active in the German National Trade Aid Association at the German League for the League of Nations . In the 1940s he was in contact with the German resistance .

Grave in the Invalidenfriedhof , Berlin

Between 1923 and 1934 he stayed several times in Russia, where he made contact with scientific and social institutions. He maintained relationships with influential Russian diplomats and politicians such as Peter von Meyendorff . During this time he represented the interests of all Russia and Soviet Union enthusiasts in Berlin in the 1920s. He founded the German Society for the Study of Eastern Europe and in 1925 the journal Eastern Europe , which still exists today. He organized and inspired Russian emigrants, Baltic Germans and Soviet citizens, because Berlin was then the recognized center of Russian and Eastern European studies. That is why the National Socialists called him a “ Salon and Cultural Bolshevik ”, although he was basically a German national , but advocated a compromise with Russia. From 1914 to 1924 he edited the Kreuzzeitung . Since 1917 he was in dispute with the historian Johannes Haller , a representative of the culture carrier theory .

After his compulsory retirement he lived withdrawn in Berlin; from 1944 temporarily in Stettin . In 1945 he was re-employed as a professor by the German Administration for Public Education . Hoetzsch wanted to build on the theorists Johann Gottfried Herder and August Ludwig von Schlözer . He died after a serious illness in Berlin in 1946 and was buried in the Invalidenfriedhof .

Postponed papers by Hoetzsch, including an unpublished manuscript on the life and work of Alexander I, were at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies and were handed over to the Humboldt University archive in 2018.


Fonts (selection)

  • The United States of America (= monographs on world history. 20, ZDB -ID 500713-6 ). Velhagen & Klasing, Bielefeld et al. 1904.
  • The most urgent task of Poland policy (= pamphlets of the Pan-German Association. 27, ZDB -ID 1019621-3 ). Lecture given at the Pan-German Association Days in Wiesbaden on September 8, 1907. JF Lehmann, Munich 1907.
  • Poland in the past and present (= trench books for the German people. 48, ZDB -ID 513341-5 ). Siegismund, Berlin 1917.
  • [Preface] In: The Labor School in Soviet Russia. Guide through the exhibition organized by the German Society for the Study of Eastern Europe in the Central Institute for Education in Berlin, organized by the People's Education Commissariat and the Society for the Cultural Connection of the Soviet Union with Foreign Countries in Moscow. Koenigsberg i. Pr .: Osteuropa-Verlag and Berlin W 35, 1927.
  • The global political distribution of forces after the Paris peace treaties. Zentralverlag, Berlin 1921, (later as: The world-political distribution of forces since the Paris peace treaties. ).
  • Preface. In: The European East (= documents on world politics in the post-war period. 6, ZDB -ID 540346-7 ). Teubner, Leipzig et al. 1933.
  • Preface. In: Southeast Europe and the Near East (= documents on world politics in the post-war period. 7). Teubner, Leipzig et al. 1933.
  • Eastern Europe and the German East. Little writings on their history. Ost-Europa-Verlag, Königsberg et al. 1934.
  • Catherine the Second of Russia. A German princess on the tsar's throne in the 18th century. Koehler and Amelang, Leipzig 1940
Published posthumously
  • Russia in Asia. History of an expansion (= publication series Eastern Europe. 5, ZDB -ID 401186-7 ). With a foreword by Klaus Mehnert . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1966.


  • Fritz T. EpsteinHoetzsch, Otto. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-00190-7 , p. 371 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Uwe Liszkowski: Eastern European research and politics. A contribution to the historical-political thought and work of Otto Hoetzsch (= Eastern European Research, 19). 2 volumes. Berlin Verlag Spitz, Berlin 1987 ISBN 3-87061-262-2 (At the same time: University of Kiel , habilitation writing)
  • Karl Schlögel : On the futility of a professor's life. Otto Hoetzsch and German Russian Studies. In: Eastern Europe . Vol. 55, No. 12, 2005 ISSN  0030-6428 pp. 5–28 ( online (PDF; 81.53 kB) )
  • Martin Schumacher (Hrsg.): MdR The Reichstag members of the Weimar Republic in the time of National Socialism. Political persecution, emigration and expatriation, 1933–1945. A biographical documentation . 3rd, considerably expanded and revised edition. Droste, Düsseldorf 1994, ISBN 3-7700-5183-1 .
  • Marc Zirlewagen: Otto Hoetzsch. In: 125 Years of German Student Associations. Volume 1: A historical review. Academic Association Kyffhäuser, Bad Frankenhausen 2006 ISBN 3-929953-06-4 pp. 223-225
  • Gerd Voigt: Otto Hoetzsch, Karl Stählin and the founding of the Russian Scientific Institute. In: Karl Schlögel (ed.): Russian emigration in Germany 1918 to 1941. Life in the European civil war. Oldenbourg Akademie, Munich 1995, ISBN 3050028017 , pp. 267-278.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. see Fritz T. EpsteinHoetzsch, Otto. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-00190-7 , p. 371 f. ( Digitized version ).
  2. ^ Kyffhäuser Association of German Student Associations. Address book. Vol. 12, 1931, ZDB -ID 504756-0 , p. 93.
  3. Peter Reinicke : Hoetzsch, Cornelie , in: Hugo Maier (Ed.): Who is who of social work . Freiburg: Lambertus, 1998 ISBN 3-7841-1036-3 , pp. 257f.