Association of History Teachers in Germany

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Association of History Teachers in Germany (VGD) Logo.jpg
Association data
Surname: Association of History Teachers in Germany V. (VGD)
Members: 3200
Regional associations: 15 in the federal states
Establishment date: 28/29 September 1913
Federal Executive
Chair: 1. Peter Droste , Aachen

2. Niko Lamprecht, Geisenheim

Association magazines
current: story for today
until 2008: History in Science and Education
Website: VGD

The Association of History Teachers Germany e. V. was founded in Marburg (Lahn) in 1913 . In 15 regional associations with around 3200 members, it represents the subject-related interests of history teachers in the Federal Republic of Germany (around 80,000).


The activities of the association include

For history lessons, the association is one of the discussion partners for the ministries of culture and education. He works in numerous collaborations with federal institutions, publishers, universities and academies. The association has a seat in the committee of the Association of Historians of Germany and belongs to the European history teachers association Euroclio .


In 1911 the Leipzig senior teachers Fritz Friedrich and Paul Rühlmann founded the magazine Past and Present . Journal for history lessons and civic education in all school types , in which an appeal was published in early 1913 that led to the establishment of the "Association of German History Teachers" in Marburg an der Lahn on September 28 and 29 of the same year. This association grew from 40 to 240 members by 1914 and, after the establishment of several regional and local groups, reached its largest number in 1927 with 1,226 members. When the association was founded in 1913, the purpose of the association was to make historical research usable for school lessons, to review the curricula critically, to support the training and further education of history teachers and to develop teaching materials (sources). Already at this time he saw himself as a corrective of the school administrations and also against the Wilhelmine zeitgeist, the "triumphant age of technical progress" condemned from a conservative-idealistic position.

2013 anniversary poster

In the Weimar Republic , the majority of the association took an anti-democratic stance and was close to the German Nationals . In terms of content, the association was very involved in the war guilt debate . But even during this time progressive tendencies were particularly evident in the Leipzig group, which favored universal history , intellectual and cultural history . Well-known historians such as Karl Brandi and Paul Joachimsen have been on the board since 1921. In 1928, at the International Congress of Historians in Oslo, chairman Arnold Reimann advocated an attitude towards preserving German honor and thus came into conflict with German university historians who urged objective statements.

During the Nazi era , the association was brought into line in the NS teachers' association in 1933/34 .

On September 15, 1949, the association was re-established at the Munich Historians' Day. The purpose was carefully formulated to “rethink our entire view of history”. The goals of history teaching in the federal states were often set with the help of association members. The driving force behind the re-establishment was a group of North Rhine-Westphalian history teachers led by Gerhard Bonwetsch , Ernst Wilmanns and Karl Krüger , supported by the Freiburg historian Gerhard Ritter and Karl Bosl in Munich. The social democratic trade unionist Georg Eckert was integrated as a board member without gaining influence.

General meeting at the Göttinger Historikertag 2014

This still conservative generation persisted in traditional positions of an occidental and national conservative oriented history lesson and, through the Calw recommendations of 1951, strongly influenced the curricula and history books. The main problem became the relationship to political education as a lesson goal and to the introduction of a separate subject of community studies . Federal chairman Felix Messerschmid overcame the conservative opposition to the new subject.

Since the 1970s, the association has campaigned successfully for the preservation of independent history lessons and against integration into a general social science subject association . The association journal History in Science and Education opposed the history didactics published by representatives of the critical history didactics . The new federal magazine Geschichte für heute has been published by Wochenschau-Verlag since 2008 .

A current initiative is the definition of educational standards for the subject of history. Various current problems in history teaching are dealt with in various working groups, such as the contemporary treatment of German-German history, world history, German-Jewish history and social media.

On September 28, 2013, the association held a ceremony in Marburg (Lahn) to mark the centenary year of its foundation (see poster).

Association chairwoman

Surname place Term of office
Friedrich Neubauer Frankfurt / Main 1913-1923
Arnold Reimann Berlin 1923-1933
Arnold Reimann Berlin 1933–1934 (contrary to the statutes)
Gerhard Bonwetsch Detmold 1949-1955
Felix Messerschmid Ulm 1955-1967
Hans-Georg Fernis Mainz 1967-1972
Siegfried Graßmann Hamburg 1972-1980
Gustav Adolf Suess Mainz 1980-1986
Paul Leidinger Muenster 1986-1988
Traude Petersen Elmshorn 1988-1992
Rolf Ballof Seesen 1992-2002
Peter Lautzas Mainz 2002–2012
Ulrich Bongertmann Rostock 2012-2018
Peter Johannes Droste Aachen since 2018

Working groups

AK "Teacher Education"
This working group tries to make suggestions for the high-quality training of history teachers who see the technical foundation as a prerequisite for good teaching.
Head: Roland Wolf , Tübingen
AK "Media in History Lessons"
The AK deals with the representation of history in the media and, in cooperation with the ZDF , Gedächtnis der Nation and the MDR , creates didactic materials on digitally available media for history lessons.
Head: Ralph Erbar , Niko Lamprecht
Working group "Info portal on the history of the Reformation"
in connection with the Evangelical Church in Germany
Head: Niko Lamprecht (Wiesbaden / Geisenheim), online offer
Publication: Uwe Hauser / Niko Lamprecht (eds.): Reformation reloaded. Interdisciplinary teaching units for history and evangelical religion , Karlsruhe 2016 (order via
AK "Federal Archives"
The AK deals with archive materials from the Federal Archives (Germany) Koblenz and the branch offices in order to make them accessible for the school.
Head: Ralph Erbar (Mainz)
Working group "Educational standards and core curriculum history"
The AK revised the version of the curriculum presented at the Historikertag in Konstanz 2006 based on the feedback received and presented a new edition at the Historikertag 2010 in Berlin. Currently dormant.
AK "German-Jewish history - viewed in an integrated manner"
The AK is working in cooperation with the scientific commission of the Leo Baeck Institute , the German office of Yad Vashem and the Federal Agency for Political Education on a didactic concept to convey German-Jewish history in class.
Head: Helge Schröder, Hamburg (previously Rolf Ballof )
Publication: Rolf Ballof u. a .: German-Jewish history. Sources on history and politics. Selected texts and sources [secondary level II], Ernst Klett Verlag, Leipzig 2007, ISBN 978-3-12-430052-2 .
AK "Encounter of Cultures"
The aim of this working group was, in cooperation with the Center for Intercultural Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Herbert Quandt Foundation, to initially approach the broad field of intercultural understanding using the example of the Islamic world and to develop appropriate guidelines and suitable materials for provide the schools. Completed.
Head: Gisbert Gemein, Neuss
Publication: Gisbert Gemein u. a .: Cultural conflicts - cultural encounters. Jews, Christians and Muslims in the past and present . Schwalbach / Ts. 2010 (also edition of the Federal Agency for Civic Education ).
AK "World and global historical perspectives in history lessons"
In a first phase, the AK developed proposals in cooperation with university lecturers from the Conference for History Didactics (KGD) on how global history should be understood didactically and how relevant aspects can be integrated into the curricula of the countries and into specific lessons. He successfully completed his work in 2010.
Publication: Hans Woidt u. a .: Global perspectives in history teaching. Sources on history and politics . Ernst Klett Verlag, Leipzig 2010, ISBN 3-12-430066-1 .


  • Paul Leidinger (Hrsg.): History lessons and history didactics from the Empire to the present. Commemorative publication of the Association of History Teachers in Germany on the occasion of its 75th anniversary . Ernst Klett Verlag, Stuttgart 1988.
  • Association of History Teachers in Germany V .: history, tasks, constitution . Wochenschau-Verlag, Schwalbach / Ts. 2000.
  • Association of History Teachers in Germany, State Association of Rhineland-Palatinate, specialist journal “Praxis Geschichte” and Klaus Fieberg: Guide through the Internet for history lessons (CD-Rom). Westermann, Braunschweig 2001.
  • Rolf Ballof (ed.): History of the Middle Ages for our time. Proceeds from the congress of history teachers in Germany “History of the Middle Ages in history lessons”, Quedlinburg 20. – 23. October 1999 . Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden 2003.
  • Christoph Kleßmann / Peter Lautzas (eds.): Division and integration. The double German post-war history as a scientific and didactic problem . Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 2005 (= series of publications , vol. 482) and at the same time Wochenschau-Verlag, Schwalbach / Ts.
  • Association of history teachers in Germany (ed.): Educational standards history. Framework model high school 5. – 10. Grade. Wochenschau-Verlag, Schwalbach / Ts. 2006, ISBN 978-3-89974-297-8 .
  • Working group in the Association of History Teachers in Germany: Model for the integrated treatment of the history of both German states from 1945 to 1990. A core curriculum. In: Ulrich Arnswald / Ulrich Bongertmann / Ulrich Mählert (eds.): GDR history in class. Textbook analysis - student survey - model curriculum. Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-938690-43-7 , pp. 179-220.
  • Tobias S. Schmuck: 100 years of history teachers' association. An educational policy analysis 1913–2013. (= History for today in science and teaching ) Wochenschau Verlag, Schwalbach / Ts. 2014, ISBN 978-3-89974-896-3 .
  • Ulrich Bongertmann, Association of German History Teachers (Ed.): 100 Years Association of German History Teachers. Contributions to the anniversary in Marburg (Lahn) on September 28, 2013 . Verlag Nicole Schmenk, Oberhausen 2014, ISBN 978-3-943022-26-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Jordan: The Development of a Problematic Discipline. On the history of history didactics . In: Zeithistorische Forschungen / Studies in Contemporary History . Online edition, 2 (2005), no. 2,
  2. Tobias Arand: "(...) aim to create a unified view of history for the German youth and beyond that for the German people" - the role of the 'Reichssacharbeiter history in the NSLB' Moritz Edelmann in the process of bringing history teaching into line in the Nazi state . In: History didactics under the grip of National Socialism . Edited by Wolfgang Hasberg and Manfred Seidenfuß. Münster 2005 (= historical didactics in the past and present , vol. 2), pp. 121–143 online version .
  3. Founding call 1949. In: Tobias Arand: “As before, German history is the focus.” The content and organizational reorganization of the history teachers association from 1949 . In: Wolfgang Hasberg, Manfred Seidenfuß (Hrsg.): Modernization in transition. History didactics and history lessons after 1945 . LIT, Berlin a. a. 2008, p. 217 ff.
  4. Thomas Etzemüller: social history as a political story. Werner Conze and the reorientation of West German history after 1945 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2001, pp. 185 ff.,
  5. See. Homepage "With movies and multimedia history learn" .
  6. See the homepage
  7. See the homepage of your story ( memento of the original from June 7, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Reformation reloaded
  9. Information on the VGD homepage