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Reiner Pommerin, July 2011.

Reiner Pommerin (born June 17, 1943 in Rees ) is a German historian with a focus on German and international political and military history from the 18th to the 21st century.


Origin and military service

Born in Rees am Niederrhein as the son of a businessman and his wife, Reiner Pommerin first attended the Thomaeum grammar school (without qualification) in Kempen and before his 18th birthday in 1961 began his military service with the Air Force Training Regiment 2 in Stade . According to his own statements, he wanted to become a sergeant : Pommerin first received training as a flight operations specialist, then attended the Luftwaffe 50 weapons school in Fürstenfeldbruck , the trainee flight regiment in Uetersen , where language training took place, and took part in the non-commissioned officer course in Husum. Promoted to NCO in 1964 , the soldier left the Bundeswehr for a period of 4 in 1965 because he had been denied a NCO career in the Air Force . Then he made up both the secondary school leaving certificate and the Abitur (1969) at an evening grammar school in Hamburg.

Professional background

Finally, from the summer semester of 1969, Pommerin studied history didactics , psychology , pedagogy and sociology at the Rhineland University of Education in Bonn and Cologne. He completed his studies in 1973 by taking the first and second state examinations for teaching at the lower secondary level as well as obtaining a diploma as a teacher.

In the same year Pommerin then took up a doctoral degree in Middle and Modern and Anglo-American History and Education at the University of Cologne . There he received his doctorate in modern history in 1976 . After a short interlude as a lecturer in a school book publisher, he returned to the University of Cologne in 1978 as a research assistant in the history department. There he was an academic student of the renowned historian Andreas Hillgruber for several years . 1979 and 1980 Pommerin was a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University . 1984 followed his habilitation and the award of the teaching license ( Venia Legendi ) for the subject of modern history. He then taught as a private lecturer at the University of Cologne (1984–1988), as a lecturer for Medieval and Modern History at the University of Mainz (1988), as a University Professor for Modern and Modern History at the University of Erlangen (1988–1992) and as a visiting professor at the University of Jena and the Technical University of Dresden (1990–1992) until he was appointed founding professor for a chair for modern and contemporary history at the TU Dresden in 1992. At the same time, Pommerin was a German Visiting Fellow at St Antony's College at the University of Oxford in 1994 and 1995 and was the first German university professor to hold the Fulbright Distinguished Chair donated by the Federal Republic of Germany for the anniversary of the international Fulbright Program in the USA from 1996 to 1997 , which was established at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. His academic students include: a. Reiner Marcowitz and Manfred Nebelin .

From 1985 to 1987, Pommerin was also head of the building staff for the House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn. In addition, in 1998, together with a group of other university professors, he succeeded in establishing the consecutive Bachelor's and Master's degree in International Relations at the Technical University of Dresden, which was unique in Germany and was conceived as an elite degree , the content of which was supported by an interdisciplinary conglomerate that comprised the departments International Politics, International Economics, International Law and International History included. In 2002, Pommerin was one of the founders of the Center for International Studies (ZIS) , which has since been a faculty-independent sponsoring body of the course and which he was Scientific Director from 2003 to 2004. He is a member of the Saxon Cultural Senate and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge .

Activity as reserve officer

He has been a military practitioner since 1969 ; he took part in the 47th reserve officer course in the officer candidate battalion in Fürstenfeldbruck and in the officers' school of the Air Force (OSLw) in Neubiberg and later attended a. a. the leadership academy of the Bundeswehr (FüAkBw) in Hamburg. In 2004 the reserve colonel was dismissed as a reserve officer . On June 4, 2008 in Berlin, Pommerin received the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class from the Federal Minister of Defense at the time , Franz Josef Jung , on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Advisory Board for Internal Management of the Bundeswehr.


He is married to an officer's daughter and has one child.

Research priorities

Reiner Pommerin mainly deals with the international system and the political history of Europe from the 18th to the 20th century. For him, the domestic and foreign policy history of Germany is in the foreground. Already with his dissertation, completed in 1976 and published one year later, entitled The Third Reich and Latin America. The German policy towards South and Central America 1939–1942 presented Pommerin with an extensive analysis of the diplomatic situation in Germany towards the Latin American states during the Second World War . Following on from this work, he examined Der Kaiser und Amerika in his habilitation thesis, submitted in 1984 and published in 1986 . The USA in the policy of the Reichsleitung 1890-1917 again the transatlantic relations of Germany, this time however in the Wilhelmine phase of the German Empire and this time against the United States of America, not the southern states of the double continent. His 2007 publication Between Eurocentrism and the Global State System. Bismarck and the USA 1862–1890 rounds off the topic around the time of Otto von Bismarck's governmental work . Further important work on the international power and state system of the modern age was done by Reiner Marcowitz in the anthology Power System and Military Strategy. Selected essays compiled and published in 2003.

As part of his studies on international political history, Pommerin is paradigmatically oriented towards the approach of his academic teacher, Andreas Hillgruber, and also pursues a “political history from a modern perspective”. He also rejects a “primacy of foreign policy”, but emphasizes the formative power of the foreign policy ties between states for themselves as well as for their interdependence in international developments. When analyzing foreign relations, however, “soft” factors also come into play, such as his own identity and mutual perception , which he pays special attention to in various works, for example on the image of Germany in the time of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Also from his close connection to the Bundeswehr, which is mainly based on his service as a temporary soldier and as a reserve officer as well as from his participation in the multinational Nuclear History Program , several works emerged, which on the one hand deal with problems and issues of Innereführung in the Employ the Bundeswehr and, on the other hand, cover Pommerin's second major area of ​​research: international military history . He devoted himself particularly intensively to this focus of work with the volume of strategy change. Federal Republic and Nuclear Strategy in the Adenauer-Kennedy Era , which he brought out together with Johannes Steinhoff in 1992.

A third focus of his research is certain urban contexts, which he has already dealt with in several papers. Bonn, for example, was the focus of attention in connection with the capital city ​​issue or urban history developments. In addition, Pommerin dealt with the university location of his regular chair: Dresden. In doing so, he primarily examined the character of the city during the Nazi era and World War II and worked on a 2003 history of the Technical University of Dresden.

He is co-editor of the military history magazine .





  • The Third Reich and Latin America. German policy towards South and Central America 1939–1942 . Düsseldorf 1977, ISBN 3-7700-0449-3 (dissertation).
  • Sterilization of the Rhineland bastards. The fate of a colored German minority 1918–1937 . Düsseldorf 1979, ISBN 3-7700-0551-1 .
  • The emperor and America. The USA in the politics of the Reich leadership 1890–1917 . Cologne / Vienna 1986, ISBN 3-412-03786-9 (habilitation thesis).
  • From Berlin to Bonn. The Allies, the Germans and the question of the capital after 1945 . Cologne / Vienna 1989, ISBN 3-412-12188-6 .
  • Historical Atlas of the Rhineland . Volume 5, Part 3: The spatial organization of state and party in the Nazi era . (= Publications of the Society for Rhenish History ), Bonn 1992, ISBN 978-3-7927-1340-2 .
  • Change of strategy. Federal Republic and nuclear strategy in the Adenauer-Kennedy era . (Together with Johannes Steinhoff ), (= Nuclear History Program , Volume 1; International Politics and Security , Volume 30), Baden-Baden 1992, ISBN 978-3-7890-2787-1 .
  • Power system and military strategy. Selected essays . Edited by Reiner Marcowitz, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2003, ISBN 978-3-412-02603-5 (collection of articles by Reiner Pommerin on his 60th birthday).
  • 175 years of TU Dresden . Volume 1: History of the TU Dresden 1828–2003 . Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2003, ISBN 978-3-412-02303-4 .
  • Between Eurocentrism and the global state system. Bismarck and the USA 1862–1890 . (= Friedrichsruher Articles , Volume 34), Friedrichsruh 2007, ISBN 978-3-933418-37-1 .
  • "Poland taken against us and heavily penetrated by Jews". King Friedrich August III. and the war aims of Saxony in the First World War . Potsdam 2009.


  • German question and European balance. Festschrift for Andreas Hillgruber for his 60th birthday . (Together with Klaus Hildebrand ), Cologne / Vienna 1985, ISBN 3-412-07984-7 .
  • Forty years of the federal capital Bonn. 1949-1989 . Karlsruhe 1989, ISBN 3-7880-9780-9 .
  • Bonn between the end of the war and currency reform. Memory reports from contemporary witnesses . (= Bonner Geschichtsblätter , Volume 41; Publications of the Bonn City Archives , Volume 50), Bonn 1991, ISBN 3-416-80678-6 .
  • The American Impact on Postwar Germany . Providence / Oxford 1995, ISBN 1-57181-004-8 .
  • Culture in the Federal Republic of Germany. 1945-1995 . (= German Historical Perspectives Series , Volume 11), Oxford / Washington DC 1996, ISBN 1-85973-105-8 .
  • Sources on German-American relations. 1776-1917 . (Together with Michael Fröhlich ), (= sources on Germany's relations with its neighbors in the 19th and 20th centuries , Volume 1), Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 978-3-534-12472-5 .
  • Sources on German-American relations. 1917-1963 . (Together with Michael Fröhlich), (= sources on Germany's relations with its neighbors in the 19th and 20th centuries , Volume 2), Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 978-3-534-12471-8 .
  • Sources on German-British relations. 1815-1914 . (Together with Michael Fröhlich), (= sources on Germany's relations with its neighbors in the 19th and 20th centuries , Volume 3), Darmstadt 1997, ISBN 978-3-534-07238-5 .
  • Sources on Franco-German relations. 1815-1919 . (Together with Reiner Marcowitz ), (= sources on Germany's relations with its neighbors in the 19th and 20th centuries , Volume 5), Darmstadt 1997, ISBN 978-3-534-12779-5 .
  • Dresden under the swastika . (= Dresden historical studies , Volume 3), Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-412-11197-X .
  • Sources on German-American relations. 1964-1990 . (Together with Dorothee Fröhlich), (= sources on Germany's relations with its neighbors in the 19th and 20th centuries , Volume 2a), Darmstadt 1998, ISBN 978-3-534-13697-1 .
  • Sources on German-Polish relations. 1815-1991 . (Together with Manuela Uhlmann), (= sources on Germany's relations with its neighbors in the 19th and 20th centuries , Volume 10), Darmstadt 2001, ISBN 978-3-534-13273-7 .
  • 175 years of TU Dresden . 3 volumes, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2003, ISBN 978-3-412-02303-4 .
  • Use for the soldier. The work of the 10th Advisory Board on Inner Guidance . (Together with Gerd Jürgen Bischof), (= Inner Guidance Forum , Volume 20), Baden-Baden 2003, ISBN 978-3-7890-8394-5 .
  • Maritime security in southern African waters . (Together with Thean Potgieter), Stellenbosch 2009, ISBN 978-1-920338-05-3 .
  • Clausewitz goes global. Carl von Clausewitz in the 21st Century. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Clausewitz Society . Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-937885-41-4 .


  • Reiner Marcowitz (Ed.): Foreword. In: Reiner Pommerin: Power system and military strategy. Selected essays. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-412-02603-4 , pp. VII – X.
  • Dorit Petschel : 175 years of TU Dresden. Volume 3: The professors of the TU Dresden 1828–2003. Edited on behalf of the Society of Friends and Supporters of the TU Dresden e. V. von Reiner Pommerin, Böhlau, Cologne a. a. 2003, ISBN 3-412-02503-8 , p. 728.

Web links

Commons : Reiner Pommerin  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Fulbright Program .
  2. Cf. Reiner Pommerin: Ripe for the world! Thoughts on training an elite for international tasks. In: WeltTrends. 28, 2000, pp. 87-92; Ders .: The challenge of globalization - the "International Relations" course at TU Dresden. In: Scientific journal of the Technical University of Dresden. 50 (4) 2001, pp. 15-18; Ders .: globalization and universities. The International Relations / International Relations course. In: From Politics and Contemporary History . Supplement to the weekly newspaper Parliament". B 26, 2002, pp. 27-30. See also: Herbert Sirois: Is the journey the goal? Personal reflections on six years of the interdisciplinary course "International Relations" at the Technical University of Dresden (1998 to 2004). In: Alexander Brand / Stefan Robel (Ed.): International Relations. Current research fields, knowledge organization and professional orientation. Festschrift for the 60th birthday of Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Monika Medick-Krakow. Dresden 2008, pp. 559-570. Website of the Center for International Studies.
  3. ^ Members of the Saxon Cultural Senate, kdfs.de, accessed on August 14, 2015.
  4. Scientific Advisory Board , volksbund.de, accessed on August 14, 2015.
  5. See press release ( Memento from December 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) of the Technical University of Dresden from June 13, 2008.
  6. Cf. Andreas Hillgruber: Political History in a Modern View. In: Historical magazine (HZ) . 216 (3), 1973, pp. 529-552.
  7. ^ Reiner Pommerin: Seekabel und Nachrichtenbüros. Determinants of the image of Germany in the age of imperialism. In: Quarterly journal for social and economic history (VSWG). 73 (4), 1986, pp. 520-531.
  8. For his research approach, see the presentation by Reiner Marcowitz: Foreword. In: Reiner Pommerin: Power system and military strategy. Selected essays. Edited by Reiner Marcowitz, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2003, p. VIII.
  9. See the conversation in Taschenberg news. Newspaper for business partners and employees of the Kempinski Hotel Taschenbergpalais Dresden. Issue 1/1998, Residenz-Verlag, Dresden, ZDB -ID 1281950-5 , p. 6.