Peter Paulsen (archaeologist)

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Peter Christian Paulsen (born October 8, 1902 in Klixbüll , Schleswig-Holstein , † February 15, 1985 in Ruit auf den Fildern ) was a German prehistoric scientist .


After studying prehistory , history and art history at various universities (Kiel, Copenhagen and Stockholm), Paulsen completed his studies in archeology. He received his doctorate in 1932 with the dissertation “Studies on Viking Culture” in Kiel, where he also completed his habilitation in May 1934 . In Kiel he worked as an archaeologist and carried out research trips through almost all countries in Europe and the Middle East. His research goal was the documentation of Germanic expansion.

Paulsen, a member of the NSDAP since 1928 , also joined the SS early on. In 1937 Paulsen left the University of Kiel and in October was employed by the SS as SS-Untersturmführer in the Race and Settlement Main Office. From there he was accepted into the personal staff of the Reichsführer SS in 1939 and was active as a member of the SS-Ahnenerbe organization from January 1, 1939 . The support of the Race and Settlement Main Office of the SS enabled him to work at the university in Berlin at the same time. On January 1, 1938, he became a lecturer in prehistory at the Philosophical Faculty and on January 10, 1939, he was given an extraordinary professorship.

During the Second World War he also had teaching positions on prehistory and early history in Rostock (1939–1941) and Königsberg (1941–1943). Paulsen mainly worked for the Ahnenerbe. After the attack on Poland began, Paulsen suggested the use of special commandos to protect prehistoric monuments in Poland. The SS leadership accepted the suggestion, so that from the beginning of October 1939 Paulsen headed the so-called Special Command Paulsen of the Reich Security Main Office , which had to secure “Germanic” cultural assets in German-occupied Poland and bring them to the German Reich . In addition to collections from the libraries and a. In Warsaw and Cracow , the Paulsen Special Command also stole the Veit Stoss Altar from Cracow's Marienkirche . He worked closely with the Reich General Manager of the SS Ahnenerbes, Wolfram Sievers. He worked part-time for the main trust agency in the east and was involved in cultural property theft there.

After Paulsen was promoted to SS-Hauptsturmführer in 1941 , he lectured at the SS Junker School in Bad Tölz from spring 1943 and headed the Germanic Driving School in Hildesheim from 1944 .

After the end of the war he first worked as a teacher, from 1958 at the Scientific Research Society of Syria , before becoming conservator for the Early Middle Ages at the Württemberg State Museum in Stuttgart in 1961 . Here he was committed to the scientific processing of Merovingian burial fields such as Niederstotzingen, Giengen an der Brenz and Oberflacht . In 1967 he retired, but continued his scientific work.


  • Sword ribbons from the Viking Age. A contribution to the early history of Eastern Europe , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1953.
  • Alemannic aristocratic graves from Niederstotzingen (Heidenheim district) , publications by the State Office for Monument Preservation Stuttgart Volume 12, Müller u. Gräff in Komm., Stuttgart 1967.
  • with Helga Schach-Dörges: Woodwork of the Alamanni , Württemberg. State Museum, Stuttgart 1972.
  • The Alemannic burial ground of Giengen an der Brenz (Heidenheim district) , research and reports on prehistory and early history in Baden-Württemberg 10, Müller u. Gräff in Komm., Stuttgart 1978, ISBN 3-87532-072-7 .
  • The wood finds from the burial ground near Oberflacht and their cultural-historical significance , research and reports on prehistory and early history in Baden-Württemberg, Volume 41.2, Theiss, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-8062-0859-X .


  • Find reports from Baden-Württemberg 10, 1985, pp. 727-728 (obituary).
  • Andrzej Me̜żýnski: Paulsen command. Organized art theft in Poland 1942–45 , Dittrich, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-920862-65-1 .
  • Jörn Jacobs: Peter Paulsen. A wanderer between the worlds , in Achim Leube (Hrsg.): Prehistory and National Socialism. Central and East German Prehistory and Early History Research in the years 1933–1945 , Heidelberg 2002, pp. 451–459.
  • Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich . Who was what before and after 1945 . 2nd Edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Andrzej Me̜żýnski: Command Paulsen. Organized art theft in Poland 1942–45 , Dittrich, Cologne 2000, p. 16.
  2. ^ Working group of libraries and documentation centers for East, East Central and Southeast European research: Mitteilungen, Volumes 19-22, Die Arbeitsgemeinschaft, 1999, p. 31.
  3. ^ Achim Leube: The prehistory and early history at the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin . In: Rüdiger vom Bruch , Christoph Jahr, Rebecca Schaarschmidt (eds.): The Berlin University in the Nazi era. Volume 2: Rüdiger vom Bruch (Ed.): Departments and faculties. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-515-08658-7 , p. 161.
  4. Andrzej Me̜żýnski: Command Paulsen. Organized art theft in Poland 1942–45 , Dittrich, Cologne 2000, p. 17.
  5. Julien Reitzenstein: Himmler's researcher. Defense science and medical crimes in the "Ahnenerbe" of the SS . Schöningh, Paderborn 2014, ISBN 978-3-506-76657-1 , pp. 59, 307 .
  6. ^ Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich , Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 452.