Ralph Jessen

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Ralph Jessen on a panel discussion in 2014
Ralph Jessen, 2014

Ralph Jessen (born February 20, 1956 in Schwerin ) is a German historian and university professor .


Ralph Jessen studied social sciences and history in Münster and Bielefeld , where he passed the first state examination for teaching in 1984 and received his doctorate in 1989. At the Free University of Berlin he worked in the Department of History and received his habilitation in 1998. From 1999 to 2001 he was visiting professor at the TU Berlin , in 2002 he accepted a professorship for modern history at the University of Cologne . In 2007/08 he was a visiting fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford .

Since 2009 he has been a member of the board of the Federal Foundation for Coming to terms with the SED dictatorship .

Jessen mainly works on the German social and cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Fonts (selection)


  • Police in the industrial area. Modernization and ruling practice in the Westphalian Ruhr area 1848–1914. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1991.
  • Academic elite and communist dictatorship. The East German university teaching staff in the Ulbricht era. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999.


  • with Richard Bessel : The limits of the dictatorship. State and society in the GDR. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1996.
  • with Jakob Vogel: Science and Nation in European History. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2002
  • with Martin Sabrow and Klaus Große Kracht : Contemporary history as a history of conflict. Great controversies since 1945. Beck, Munich 2003.
  • with Jürgen John : Science and universities in divided Germany in the 1960s (= yearbook for university history. Volume 8). Steiner, Stuttgart 2005.
  • with Hedwig Richter : Voting for Hitler and Stalin. Elections Under 20th Century Dictatorships. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2011.
  • Competition in history. Practices - Values ​​- Institutionalizations. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2014.


Web links

Commons : Ralph Jessen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ralph Jessen , short biography with: Anne Klein (Ed.): The Lischka process . E ine Jewish-French-German memory history. A picture reading book . Metropol, Berlin 2013, p. 272 ​​f.