Association of Historians in Germany

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Association of Historians in Germany V.
purpose Organizational promotion of historical studies, representation of German historians before the public, especially international history
Chair: Eva Schlotheuber
Establishment date: 1895 and 1948
Number of members: 3070
Seat : Frankfurt am Main
Website: Homepage of the Association of Historians

The Association of Historians in Germany ( VHD for short ), often also called the German Historians ' Association, is the largest German association of full-time historians with over 3,000 members .


According to its statutes, the VHD deals with the "organizational promotion of historical studies and primarily the representation of German historians before the public, especially international history". Its most important task is to organize the German Historians' Days in cooperation with the Association of History Teachers in Germany , which take place every two years in cooperation with a German university and regularly have several thousand participants. In addition, the VHD represents the interests of its members vis-à-vis politics, in particular vis-à-vis representatives of culture and science policy . The association currently comprises six specialist working groups: Applied History / Public History, World Regional and Global History, Digital History, Early Modern Times, International History and National History.

At the head of the association is a committee of around twenty people, to which, in addition to the board of directors, further elected or delegated representatives belong. The election takes place at the historians' days for a period of a maximum of six years. Delegates are sent by the Association of German History Teachers, the Association of German Archivists and a representative of the general association of German history and antiquity associations . The committee determines the venue and the sections at the Historikertage and determines the winners of the awards given by the association for outstanding dissertations and habilitation theses.

The board of directors of the Association of Historians consists of the chairman, deputy chairman, secretary and treasurer. The VHD has been chaired by the Düsseldorf medieval historian Eva Schlotheuber since the Hamburg Historians' Day in 2016 .

On October 1, 2009, to further professionalize the association, an office was set up on the Westend campus at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main , which acts as an intermediary between the association's board and committee.

The association represents the historians of Germany in the Comité International des Sciences Historiques (CISH).


General meeting at the Göttinger Historikertag 2014

The “First Assembly of German Historians” of scholars and school practitioners took place in Munich at Easter 1893 in order to unanimously oppose the new Prussian history curriculum of 1892, which at the instigation of Kaiser Wilhelm II sought to use the school subject in the national and anti-socialist sense. In 1895 the "Association of German Historians" was founded in Frankfurt am Main . a. by Ludwig Quidde . School issues only played a subordinate role, which is why the teachers founded the Association of German History Teachers in 1913. During the time of National Socialism , Karl Brandi initially headed the Association of Historians from 1932 to 1937, then the supporting SS member Walter Platzhoff .

Under the direction of Gerhard Ritter , a "founding committee" with Hermann Heimpel , Hermann Aubin and Herbert Grundmann initiated the revival of the historians' association with a changed name at the end of 1948. The Association of Historians, founded in 1949 and chaired by Ritter, continued to value a “nationally defined German historical consciousness”. The Association of Historians maintained an all-German claim until the mid-1950s, before the German Historians Association was constituted in the GDR in 1958 . In September 1990 the double existence of institutionalized historical studies in Germany, which had lasted for three decades, ended with the Bochum “Association of Historians' Day”.

With the resolution passed by the Association of Historians in Germany on September 27, 2018 on current threats to democracy , the VHD took an open position on current political developments for the first time.


Hermann Aubin, 1911

Before 1914, various Austrian historians were also chairmen of the Association of Historians. Various specialist disciplines were taken into account in the elections, with the majority of those elected teaching (e) Medieval or Modern History. Since 1988 the term of office of the chairperson has always been four years. In 2016, a woman was elected chairwoman for the first time.


The association has awarded the Hedwig Hintze Prize for outstanding dissertations since 2004 . The award was named after the modern historian Hedwig Hintze , who had to emigrate as a Jew in 1939 and died in exile in the Netherlands under circumstances that were not clearly clarified. Outstanding dissertations from the entire field of history for recent doctorates are awarded. The prize is endowed with 5000  euros .

The VHD has also awarded - also since 2004 - the Carl Erdmann Prize, each endowed with € 6,000, for two outstanding habilitations from the entire field of historical studies. The prize was named after the medievalist Carl Erdmann , a staunch opponent of National Socialism .

See also


  • Matthias Berg , Olaf Blaschke , Martin Sabrow , Jens Thiel, Krijn Thijs: The assembled guild. Association of Historians and Historians' Days in Germany. 2 volumes. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 3-8353-3294-5 .
  • Matthias Berg, Martin Sabrow (ed.): The German Association of Historians in an interdisciplinary comparison (= Comparative. Journal for Global History and Comparative Society Research. 25, 2015, 1). Leipziger Universitäts-Verlag, Leipzig 2015, ISBN 978-3-86583-974-9 .
  • Matthias Berg: Institutional inheritances? On the re-establishment of the German Association of Historians after 1945. In: Jürgen Elvert (Hrsg.): History beyond the university. Networks and organizations in the early Federal Republic (= historical messages. Supplement. Vol. 94). Steiner, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 3-515-11350-9 , pp. 53-72.
  • On the history of the historians' association. In: History in Science and Education 64 (2013), Issue 3/4.
  • Winfried Schulze : German history after 1945 (= historical magazine. Supplement. NF, Vol. 10). Oldenbourg, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-486-64410-6 .

Web links


  1. Information on the VHD website. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  2. ^ CISH: Comités nationaux - National Committees. ( Memento of September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Winfried Schulze: German History after 1945. Munich 1993, p. 61.
  4. ^ Patrick Bahners : Resolution of the Historians' Day. The teachers of Germany. In: FAZ.NET , September 29, 2018; Krijn Thijs: Democracy as a functional condition. (Interim) balance sheet of the controversy over the "political" resolution of the Association of Historians . In: Zeithistorische Forschungen 16 (2019), pp. 154–163.
  5. List according to Matthias Berg, Olaf Blaschke, Martin Sabrow, Jens Thiel, Krijn Thijs: The gathered guild. Association of Historians and Historians' Days in Germany 1893–2000. 2 volumes. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2018, here Volume 2, pp. 761–762.
  6. ^ VHD: Hedwig Hintze Prize. Retrieved on August 5, 2015. Prize winners since 2002 .
  7. ^ VHD: Carl Erdmann Prize. Accessed October 8, 2016. Awardees since 2002 .