Rudolf Hemmerle

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Rudolf Hemmerle (born October 3, 1919 in Sebastiansberg , Czechoslovakia ; † May 8, 2013 in Vaterstetten ) was a German writer , editor and librarian .


Hemmerle was born on October 3, 1919 in Sebastiansberg in the Ore Mountains as the second son of the manager of the peat factory , Josef Hemmerle, which his father had built up. Rudolf Hemmerle is the brother of the historian Josef Hemmerle . As a boarding school student, he attended the Jesuit-run humanistic grammar school in Mariaschein , where he graduated from high school in 1938 . Then he was drafted into the German armed forces. Like many others in his class, he was initially denied a university course. In the autumn of 1946, Rudolf Hemmerle was released from French prisoner-of-war warfare, but not to his homeland, but to Bavaria as a displaced person . He began studying German and philosophy in Dillingen and Munich , but had to look for work at the Munich publishing house Christ on the way in order to earn a living . There he met his future wife Marie, née Zermann, who was born in Iglau and grew up in Olomouc . The two married in 1950. The marriage resulted in two daughters.

In 1950 he joined the library service of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich , where he headed the dissertation department for 15 years. It was then that his contacts with the Sudeten German Archives in Munich began. This is evidenced by the machine-written copies of the dissertations on the problems of the Bohemian-Moravian region in 1955, 1956 and 1957, which became a valuable guide for science in those years, as it was a first approach to review the doctoral theses of the post-war generation systematically record and list the home area.

Rudolf Hemmerle had already written a bibliography on Peter Dörfler in 1955 , which was followed by one on Franz Kafka in 1958 . His eagerness to collect and his knowledge found expression in numerous biographical and bibliographical works and articles, be it in the New German Biography , the Austrian Biographical Lexicon , the Lexicon of Marian Studies and Kindler's Literary Lexicon . His contributions in magazines and newspapers, in yearbooks, homeland letters or edited volumes, such as B. About Johannes Urzidil or Sigmund Freud . Furthermore, his historical contributions in collective works on Gregor Mendel (1957), the German Technical University in Prague (1959) or the Benedictines in the Sudetenland (1971) should be mentioned. The Sudetendeutsche Zeitung was also enriched over decades by many valuable articles by Rudolf Hemmerle.

When the Sudeten German Archive was founded in 1955, Rudolf Hemmerle worked alongside it as a freelancer from the start. From the first to the last episode (for 30 years) he was an employee or editor in charge of the communications of the Sudeten German Archive (from 1981). These communications were documentation for the local press with important events, new documents and cultural news. He designed and shaped this press organ, which published around 70 biographies in each episode and was collected in libraries and documentation centers. Together with his wife, he had had the magazine Prager Nachrichten since 1963 with the permanent supplement Alma Mater Pragensis , which depicts and preserves Prague's utraquist cultural life in the present, and since 1990 has published the magazine Olmützer Blätter .

A new chapter in Rudolf Hemmerle's life began when the Bavarian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs made him head of the library of the House of the German East in Munich in 1970 .

A number of monographs are part of his life's work. With his Sudetenland Lexicon in the first edition in 1984 and further editions, as well as with his Sudetenland Signpost (1993 and further editions), he has set a lasting monument to Sudeten Germanism and his homeland. The continuation of his bibliography Heimat im Buch (1st edition 1970) appeared in 1996 in a 2nd supplemented edition.

Hemmerle's Biographical Sketches from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia were published in 1989 as a festival edition on his 70th birthday. With the illustrated book Heimat Nordböhmen (1980) and the Komotauer Heimatbuch Deiner Heimat Antlitz (1959 with Sepp Seifert), he brought an appealing work of remembrance to his closer home. With his numerous contributions in the volume Cities in the Sudetenland , which comprises around 250 city histories , he has made an important contribution to the historical description of the cities of the Sudeten German homeland.

Hemmerle was a member of several Sudeten German professional associations, such as the Esslingen Artists' Guild and the Adalbert Stifter Association , with which he had long-term, fruitful collaboration on numerous works, and a corresponding member of the Historical Commission of the Sudetenland , for which he was the coordinator for the Research project on the German book in Bohemia had been.

He made his library experience available to other Sudeten German institutions, such as the Institutum Bohemicum of the Ackermann community . At the Collegium Carolinum , as with the Ackermann congregation, he helped set up the library in the early years. Anyone who needed professional advice could turn to Rudolf Hemmerle and get help in every possible way. Despite his immense workload, which he completed every day, he was always available to anyone seeking advice, so that his profound knowledge was gladly used by other scientists and publicists.

Immediately after the World War he began to create a source archive for the documentation of Germans in Bohemia and Moravia and continued this arduous undertaking until shortly before the end of his life. Rudolf Hemmerle had devoted himself entirely to the cultural history and the cultural life of his Sudeten German homeland; his permanent striving for objectivity and the discovery of truth in this field was fruitfully connected to his love of literature, fiction and non-fiction, classical music, theology and philosophy and many other areas of knowledge. With his energy and vision, he achieved remarkable things for the Sudeten Germans in his always quiet and humble manner. The enormous workload could only be managed with the active support of his wife and family and by foregoing amenities.


  • 1985 Dr. Egon Schwarz Memorial Prize for Journalism
  • 1985 Adalbert Stifter Medal of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft
  • 1994 Dr. Richard Zimprich Medal from the Olomouc and Central Moravia Home Association
  • 1998 August-Sauer-Plakette of the working group for cultural home collections at the Sudetendeutschen Archiv e. V.

Publications (selection)

  • Rudolf Hemmerle (until 1995), Edgar Pscheidt: Mitteilungen des Sudetendeutsches Archiv Ed .: Sudetendeutsches Archiv, Munich (until 1996)

Works (selection)

  • Rudolf Hemmerle: Franz Kafka. A bibliography. Munich: Lerche 1958, 138 pp.
  • Rudolf Hemmerle: Sudetenland Lexikon Volume 4, page 285. Adam Kraft Verlag, 1985. ISBN 3-8083-1163-0
  • Rudolf Hemmerle: Biographical sketches from Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia. Festschrift for the 70th birthday d. Author , ed .: Sudetendt. Archive, Benediktbeuern: Riess 1989
  • Rudolf Hemmerle: Sudetenland: Guide through an unforgettable country , Bechtermünz Verl., Augsburg 1996, p. 199 ISBN 3-86047-183-X
  • Rudolf Hemmerle: Heimat im Buch - Sudeten German homeland books, local monographs, maps, home newspapers, home magazines, yearbooks and calendars after 1945, 2nd edition, Munich 1996

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary for Rudolf Hemmerle in Prager Nachrichten No. 3 / LXIV, May / June 2013