Herder publishing house

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Herder GmbH publishing house

legal form Company with limited liability
founding 1798
Seat Freiburg im Breisgau , Germany
Number of employees around 200 (2019)
Branch publishing company
Website www.herder.de

The Herder publishing house (colloquially also Herder-Verlag ) in Freiburg im Breisgau , with parts also in Munich and Berlin, is a German book and magazine publisher in the legal form of a GmbH. It focuses on the topics of Christian theology , church and religion , spirituality in other religions, education and pre-school education , politics and society, as well as lifestyle and psychology .

With a tradition spanning more than two hundred years, the publishing house is one of the oldest in Germany. It belongs to the Herder publishing group , which has been in family and foundation ownership for six generations .

Herder Verlag is a member of the German Book Trade Association .


The Herder publishing house was founded in 1801 in Meersburg by Bartholomä Herder (who had already published his first books in Rottweil in 1798, where he was temporarily a partner in a bookstore), soon to Konstanz , and in 1810 to Freiburg. His successor was his son Benjamin Herder (1818–1888), who founded the Catholic orientation of the publishing program and preserved it through the adversities of the Kulturkampf. His son Hermann Herder sen. (1864–1937) expanded the company and relocated the publishing group to its current location. Then initiated Theophil Herder-Dorneich (1898-1987) and Hermann Herder the publishing house. After severe economic difficulties in the 1990s, Manuel Herder (* 1966) has headed the company in the sixth generation since 1999. The digital and audio products of the publishing house as well as an online shop were created under his leadership . In July 2016 it was announced that a consortium led by Herder-Verlag will take over the majority of the Thalia Group . From April 2017, Herder will participate in the Berlin radio station Radio Paradiso .

Publishing house

South wing of the publishing house

The publishing house, also known as the "Red House" in Freiburg, dominates the Freiburg district of Neuburg . It was built between 1910-1912 by the architect Max Meckel built in the Neo-Baroque style and occupies a whole street square one. On November 27, 1944, the building was destroyed by the bombing of the British Operation Tigerfish . 11 Herder employees were among the victims. After the printing works, in which a part of the Badische Zeitung was printed in the 1950s , and the delivery at the beginning of the 1990s, the publishing house sold the part of the publishing house that was thus free to the state of Baden-Württemberg, which contained this part of the building referred to as the Herder building . The premises are available to the University of Freiburg and have been gradually renovated since 2000. Mainly institutes of the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources are located there. The exhibition hall of the university's archaeological collections was set up in the former paper warehouse. The publishing house itself continues to use the south wing of the building complex.

Authors and publishing program

The publishing house mainly publishes non-fiction, specialist, church, gift and children's books as well as biographies - more recently also as audio books and since 2008 as e-books . From the 1960s onwards, the Herder Library published a series of paperbacks with initially entertaining, later mostly theological and educational topics. In addition to the paperback series INITIATIVE (from 1974), Spektrum and the paperback series Premiere , which mainly deal with non-fiction topics relating to society and religion, Herder also owns the children's book imprint KeRLE . The so-called Herder Bible is known among church books and contains a key to the gospel for better orientation .

Particularly successful in the field of religion are u. a. Books by and about Pope Benedict XVI. , Father Anselm Grün and the Dalai Lama . The most famous authors of 2008 included the mathematician Albrecht Beutelspacher , the SPD politicians Henning Scherf and Franz Müntefering , as well as the journalists Mark Spörrle and Lutz Schumacher with lower ju vor träwelling .

The shepherd game was one of the publisher's cooperative children's games

From 1963 to 1996, Herder games were published; some of them were included in the selection list for the game of the year .


Herder Korrespondenz , The Christian in the Present and the Voices of the Times are published by Verlag Herder . They are dedicated to the dialogue between church, culture and modern society. Other Christian or church-oriented formats are the indicator for pastoral care , simply live - a letter from Anselm Grün , Ideenwerkstatt Gottesdienst , worship and praxis gottesdienst , diakonia and Forum Weltkirche . The quarterly journals Römische Viertelschrift and Theologie und Philosophie have the theological research audience as their target group. In the area of education, the magazines are kindergarten today , kizz , discovery box and toddlers published.

reference books

In 1854 Herder's Conversations-Lexikon was published , one of the most important German lexicons of the 19th century, which was continued in the 20th century as "Der Große Herder" . In the field of theology, the now 36-volume Theological Commentary on the Old Testament (ThKAT, edited by Erich Zenger †, Ulrich Berges, Christoph Dohmen and Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger) and the Lexicon for Theology and Church (LThK) appeared. Until the 1990s, the multi-volume Herders State Lexicon was an important reference work in Catholic circles for topics of politics, economy and society. The publishing house published the series Ars Antiqua - Great Epochs of World Art from art picture books and The Great Ploetz .


The originally Catholic orientation and close ties with the Roman Catholic. Church showed u. a. 1972 at the publication of Fritz Leist's paperback book Der Sexuelle Notstand und die Kirchen . Despite positive statements from the publisher before and when it was published, Herder withdrew the book after a short time. In the background, the official church is said to have influenced Herder accordingly. The book was then published by another publisher.

See also


  • Albert M. Weiß, Engelbert Krebs : In the service of the book: Bartholomä Herder, Benjamin Herder, Hermann Herder . Herder, Freiburg 1951.
  • Hermann Herder (Ed.): 185 years of Herder . Herder, Freiburg 1986
  • The Herder publishing house 1801-2001. Chronological outline of its history with synchronopses on intellectual and world events . Edited by Verlag Herder on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the publisher on November 27, 2001. Herder, Freiburg 2001, ISBN 3-451-20550-5 .
  • The Herder publishing house since 1798. Chronological outline of its history with synchronopses on intellectual and world events. Published by Verlag Herder 2012

Web links

Commons : Verlag Herder  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Manuel Herder - Guttenberg's publisher FAZ Online from December 18, 2011
  2. Thalia gets new owners: From problem child to trendy business. In: www.handelsblatt.com. Retrieved July 11, 2016 .
  3. ^ Verlag Herder participates in the Berlin Radio Paradiso , buchmarkt.de, March 22, 2017, accessed on March 22, 2017
  4. Johannes Werner: "Half monastery, half palace". The Herderhaus in Freiburg . In: Freiburg Diocesan Archive . tape 136 . Herder, Freiburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-451-27148-9 , pp. 241-248 .
  5. ZEIT report. Retrieved May 21, 2018 .
  6. European game collectors guild
  7. ^ Forum World Church. Retrieved May 7, 2019 .
  8. ^ Spiegel report "Forbidden Lust". Retrieved May 21, 2018 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 0 ′ 10.1 ″  N , 7 ° 51 ′ 11.9 ″  E