Wilhelm Seedorf

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Wilhelm Seedorf (born October 11, 1881 in Altenmedingen-Bostelwiebeck near Uelzen, † March 10, 1984 in Göttingen ) was a German agricultural economist.

Life path

Seedorf, son of a long-established farming family, studied after several years of agricultural apprenticeship first in Göttingen, Berlin and later again in Göttingen agriculture, history and German. In Göttingen he also became a member of the SV! Agronomia Gottingensis , of which he was later chairman. In 1905 he received his doctorate at the University of Göttingen with a dissertation on the " house father " Otto von Münchhausen auf Schwöbber (1716–1774) and his importance for the development of agricultural studies.

After receiving his doctorate, Seedorf worked as an agriculture teacher in Bredstedt (Schleswig-Holstein) and since 1909 as head of an agricultural accounting office in Libau ( Kurland ). In 1911 he became general secretary of the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Association for the Principality of Lüneburg . In 1915 he went to Berlin as the general manager of the Brandenburg Chamber of Agriculture . In 1920 he followed a call to the University of Göttingen to the chair for agricultural management, which he held until his retirement in 1948. On November 11, 1933, he signed the German professors' confession of Adolf Hitler . Seedorf refused to join the NSDAP and was fought for it by the Reichsnährstand .

Teaching and Research

Seedorf put his teaching and research activities at the service of practical agriculture without restriction. His main areas of work included agricultural labor theory, agricultural market theory and education. A major concern for him was to convey the often theoretical-abstract business management knowledge to the farmers through practical training and advice. As a “farmer professor” he was held in high regard by the rural population. In numerous essays he called for the Low German language to be maintained.

Throughout his life Seedorf was interested in agricultural history. He published several biographical articles on Johann Heinrich von Thünen and Albrecht Daniel Thaer . From 1931 to 1945 he was managing director of the " Society for the History and Literature of Agriculture ". During this time he published twelve issues of the Society's yearbook. He was also instrumental in the re-establishment of this company in 1953, today's “ Society for Agricultural History ”.


Seedorf, who died at the age of 103 and who participated in the life of the time with astonishing spiritual freshness, received numerous honors. He received u. a. the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1957), the Max Eyth medal in gold and an honorary doctorate from the University of Hohenheim . The Society for Agricultural History appointed him honorary chairman. The city of Uelzen has named the street in which the district office of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture is located after Wilhelm Seedorf.

Fonts (selection)

  • Otto von Münchhausen auf Schwöbber, his importance as an agricultural writer and his contribution to the establishment of agricultural theory . Diss. Phil. Göttingen 1905. Zugl. published as a crowned award publication (Göttingen 1906) - reprint in: Annual Issue of the Albrecht-Thaer-Gesellschaft Vol. 11, 1966, pp. 43–83.
  • Agricultural labor . Friedrichswerth 1925.
  • Work training in agriculture . Berlin 1930.
  • Outline of the agricultural market theory for farmers, economists, merchants, administrators, agricultural schools and students . Berlin 1932.
  • Rural education . Hiltrup (Westf.) 1955, 2nd edition, ibid. 1956.


  • AU Moeller: For rural people and agriculture! Life and activity of Prof. Seedorf . In: Yearbook of the Society for the History and Literature of Agriculture H. 40, 1941, pp. 58–70 (with bibliography of his writings)
  • Heinz Haushofer: Wilhelm Seedorf. For the 80th birthday of the honorary member of the Society for the History of Rural People and Agriculture on October 11, 1961 . In: Journal of Agricultural History and Agricultural Sociology Vol. 9, 1961, pp. 218 ff.
  • Professor Dr. Dr. hc Wilhelm Seedorf - a centenarian . In: Annual booklet of the Albrecht-Thaer-Gesellschaft Vol. 20, 1981, p. 178 f. (with picture)
  • Bernd Rachuth : On the death of the farmer professor Wilhelm Seedorf. A legend in his lifetime . In: Allgemeine Zeitung der Lüneburger Heide (Uelzen) from 17./18. March 1984 (with picture)
  • Dietrich Wiedemann: "Wilhelm Seedorf - A pioneer for bilingualism in Northern Germany", in: Der Heidewanderer , local supplement of the Allgemeine Zeitung, Uelzen, from March 6, 2010

Individual evidence

  1. Klee, Ernst : The personal dictionary for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 576.
  2. Source: Rachuth and Wiedemann, cf. Bibliography.