Paul Fridolin Kehr

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Paul Fridolin Kehr (born December 28, 1860 in Waltershausen ; † November 9, 1944 in Wässerndorf , Kitzingen district ) was a German historian , diplomat and archivist .

Live and act

Paul Fridolin was the fourth child of Karl Kehr , who was the rector of the Waltershausen community and trade school at the time . The interest in diplomacy was probably already aroused by the Halberstadt high school director Gustav Schmidt, at whose cathedral high school Kehr passed the Abitur in 1879. Together with him he published papal documents and regesta for the province of Saxony (1353-1378) in 1889. The year at the Institute for Austrian Historical Research in Vienna in 1884 with Theodor von Sickel was formative , as his companion he first got to know Rome and the Roman archives and libraries in 1885. Sickel has him as an employee for the publication of the diplomas of Otto III. employed but ended abruptly in 1888. Since 1889 private lecturer , Kehr became professor in Marburg in 1893 and in Göttingen in 1895 . In 1903 Kehr became director of the Prussian Historical Institute in Rome, the predecessor of today's German Historical Institute in Rome. Here he had regular contact and scientific exchange with the priest historian Paul Maria Baumgarten . This close relationship between a Roman monsignor and a Prussian professor was not judged positively everywhere. In 1919 he was accepted as a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences .

Kehr married Doris vom Baur in 1908. From this marriage u. a. the daughter Gudila - later married to Götz Freiherr von Pölnitz  - emerges. Until 1941 he was director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for German History , the successor of which was the Max Planck Institute for History (MPIG) in Göttingen, and from 1919 to 1934 President of the Central Directorate of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH). After Kehr had to leave Rome in May 1915, he was appointed General Director of the Prussian Archives in Berlin . In 1938 he was elected a corresponding member of the British Academy .

The Göttingen papal document work (also Regesta Pontificum Romanorum or papal document work of the Pius Foundation ) goes back to Kehr . For his department Italia Pontificia he wrote eight volumes. For the MGH, Kehr edited the documents of Ludwig the German , Karlmann , Ludwig the Younger , Charles III. , Arnolfs and Heinrichs III. (the latter after preliminary work by Harry Bresslau ). He designed the Germania sacra for the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute .

In 1940 he was awarded the eagle shield of the German Empire with the distinction "The outstanding researcher of medieval history". Kehr died in Wässerndorf and was buried in the private cemetery of the von Pölnitz family near Hundshaupten Castle .


Listed in full at: Stefan Weiß: Paul-Kehr-Bibliography. In: Sources and research from Italian archives and libraries . Volume 72, 1992, pp. 374-437 .

Reprint of important works: Paul Fridolin Kehr: Selected writings. Published by Rudolf Hiestand. 2 volumes. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-525-82522-6 .


  • Roland Böhm:  Paul Fridolin Kehr. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 3, Bautz, Herzberg 1992, ISBN 3-88309-035-2 , Sp. 1285-1290.
  • Albert Brackmann (Ed.): Papacy and Empire. Research on the political history and intellectual culture of the Middle Ages. Paul Kehr for his 65th birthday. Verlag der Münchner Drucke, Munich 1926 (reprint: Scientia Verlag, Aalen 1973, ISBN 3-511-10014-3 ).
  • Arnold Esch : The German history and medieval Rome. From Ferdinand Gregorovius to Paul Kehr. In: Hartmut Boockmann , Kurt Jürgensen (Hrsg.): Thinking about history. Contributions from the ecumenical movement of historians. In memory of Karl Dietrich Erdmann. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1991, ISBN 3-529-02715-4 , pp. 55-76.
  • Arnold Esch: The situation of the German scientific institutes in Italy after the First World War and the controversy about their organization. Paul Kehr's “Roman Mission” 1919/1920. In: Sources and research from Italian archives and libraries. Vol. 72, 1992, pp. 314-373.
  • Michael F. Feldkamp : Pius XI. and Paul Fridolin Kehr. Encounters between two scholars . In: Archivum Historiae Pontificiae. Vol. 32, 1994, ISSN  0066-6785 , pp. 293-328.
  • Josef Fleckenstein : Paul Kehr. Teacher, researcher and science organizer in Göttingen, Rome and Berlin. In: Hartmut Boockmann, Hermann Wellenreuther (Hrsg.): History in Göttingen. A series of lectures (= Göttinger Universitätsschriften. Series A: Schriften. Vol. 2). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1987, ISBN 3-525-35831-8 , pp. 239-260.
  • Horst Fuhrmann : Paul Fridolin Kehr. "Urkundione" and Weltmann. In: Horst Fuhrmann: People and Merits. A personal portrait gallery. Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-47221-4 , pp. 174-212.
  • Leo Just : Letters to Hermann Cardauns, Paul Fridolin Kehr, Aloys Schulte, Heinrich Finke, Albert Brackmann and Martin Spahn 1923–1944 (= contributions to church and cultural history. Vol. 12). Edited, introduced and commented on by Michael F. Feldkamp. Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 2002, ISBN 3-631-38931-0 .
  • Wolfgang Leesch : The German archivists 1500–1945. Volume 2: Biographical Lexicon . Saur, Munich a. a. 1992, ISBN 3-598-10605-X , pp. 299-300.
  • Alberto Monticone: La cultura italiana e la Germania nel 1914. Una lettera di PF Kehr al principe di Bülow. In: Sources and research from Italian archives and libraries . Vol. 48, 1968, pp. 323-345.
  • Theodor SchiefferKehr, Paul Fridolin. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 11, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1977, ISBN 3-428-00192-3 , pp. 396-398 ( digitized version ).
  • Stefan Weiß : Paul Kehr. Delegated large-scale research. The "Papal Documents in France" and the history of the German Historical Institute in Paris. In: Ulrich Pfeil (Ed.): The German Historical Institute Paris and its founding fathers. A personal history approach. Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-58519-3 , pp. 36-57 ( digitized version ).
  • Eva Wipplinger: Medalists in Germany. Creativity in the past and present. Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg, Halle 1992, ISBN 3-86105-066-8 , p. 38, bronze plaque by G. Budde 1930 on the 70th birthday of Kehr.

Web links


  1. See Paul Fridolin Kehr: Older papal documents in the papal registers. In: Nachrichten der Göttinger Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften , 1902, issue 4, p. 401, note 1 (reprint of Papal documents in Italy III, 1977, p. 375).
  2. ^ Paul Fridolin Kehr. (PDF) Obituary at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.
  3. ^ Deceased Fellows. British Academy, accessed June 17, 2020 .
  4. Wolfgang Steguweit : The "Eagle Shield of the German Empire" . In: Berlin monthly magazine ( Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein ) . Issue 6, 2000, ISSN  0944-5560 , p. 187 ( ).