Winfried Schulze

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Winfried Schulze (born October 13, 1942 in Bergisch Gladbach ) is a German historian .

From 1976 to 1978 he taught as a professor for early modern history and historical methodology at the Free University of Berlin and from 1978 to 1993 as professor for European history in the early modern period at the Ruhr University in Bochum . Subsequently, until his retirement in 2008, he held a chair for early modern history at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . From 1998 to 2001 Schulze was chairman of the Science Council , the most important science policy advisory body in Germany.

His work gave historical science a variety of impulses. In the seventies and eighties of the 20th century he shaped the history of the peasant revolts and the Reich Chamber. He promoted self-testimony research and was involved in research into the French Revolution and its effects on Germany. The book on the history of one's own discipline in the transition from National Socialism to the early Federal Republic, published in 1989, generated heated debates. At the same time, it promoted numerous “reappraisal” work on leading representatives of historical studies and their involvement in the Nazi regime.

Live and act

academic career

The son of an industrial clerk and a housewife was born in Bergisch Gladbach in 1942. He grew up in the Rhineland in a conservative Catholic environment. During his school days he was a member of the Bund New Germany , a Catholic school association. He passed the Abitur in 1963 at the Nicolaus-Cusanus-Gymnasium Bergisch Gladbach . After two years of service with the 1st Mountain Division in Kempten im Allgäu , at his father's request, he had initially chosen economics and a minor in political science, but after six weeks he decided on history. From 1965 he studied history and political science at the University of Cologne , then from 1966 at the Free University of Berlin . Through the proseminar with Karl-Heinz Kirchhoff he got enthusiastic about the Vormärz . He attended lectures with Adam Wandruszka , Erich Angermann , Heinrich Büttner and Theodor Schieder . He completed his minor in political science primarily with Kurt Sontheimer . During his studies, he was “Mayor” in the Berlin student village Schlachtensee in 1967/68 and worked as a student tutor at the Friedrich Meinecke Institute and as an assistant for Hans Herzfeld .

In Middle History, he made the exam at Herbert Helbig . He joined Gerald Stourzh in 1970 with work on national defense and state formation. Studies on the warfare of the inner Austrian territorial state, doctorate 1564–1619 . After completing his doctorate, he was Eberhard Weis’s assistant at the Friedrich Meinecke Institute at the Free University of Berlin from 1970 to 1974 , and in 1974 he became an assistant professor to Wolfram Fischer for economic and social history at the Free University of Berlin, in the same year and before his in summer 1975 At the age of 32, he was appointed professor at the then comprehensive university in Kassel . He refused a call to Osnabrück . After three semesters in Kassel, Schulze returned to the Free University of Berlin in 1976 and moved to the Ruhr University in Bochum in 1978 . In 1988 he turned down an offer from the University of Vienna to succeed Heinrich Lutz . In Bochum he concentrated on the European dimensions in the area of ​​the early modern period and gave seminars on French and English history and also dealt with topics on historiography in seminars and lectures. He organized the Bochumer Historikertag 1990. In 1993 he followed a call to succeed Eberhard Weis at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich , where he held the chair for the history of the early modern period. Schulze retired at the end of the 2007/2008 winter semester. His academic students included the historians Gudrun Gersmann , Wolfgang Schmale , Werner Trossbach, Wolfgang Burgdorf , Cornel Zwierlein , Alexander Schunka , Claudia Brosseder, Markus Friedrich and Arndt Brendecke .

After his retirement he was founding director of the Center for Advanced Studies at LMU Munich from 2008 to 2009, and in 2010 he was appointed director of the Mercator Research Center Ruhr in Essen, funded by the Mercator Foundation . In this function, he is responsible for funding amounts of up to 24 million euros, which are awarded to the three universities of Duisburg-Essen , Bochum and Dortmund for research projects.

From June 2007 to 2017 Schulze was chairman of the University Council of Paderborn University, which was elected in April of the same year . In addition, from 2001 to 2012 he was Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for University Development in Gütersloh . From 2012 to 2017 he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Graduate Campus of the University of Zurich. Since 2014 he has been a member of the board of trustees of the Einstein Foundation Berlin , and since 2015 he has also been chairman of the jury for the “Professor of the Year” award from the UNICUM Foundation in Bochum.

From 1989 to 2013 he was co-editor of the journal History in Science and Education . Schulze is the initiator of the Server Early Modern Age portal (which has since been further developed into ).

Research priorities

Schulze dealt with the history of the early modern period (16th century, French Revolution) as well as with methodology of history and the history of historical science after 1945. His first publication (1970) was still in the area of ​​the Vormärz . The materials relevant for further research were located in Leipzig and were not yet easily accessible at the time. Schulze then turned to the early modern era. His habilitation was devoted to the reaction of the empire to the Turkish threat in the late 16th century. After the introduction, it dealt with the Turkish threat and "public" opinion (Chapter II), the Turkish threat and political decision-making at Reich and district level (Chapter III), the Turkish threat and the effects of Turkish taxes on the Reich and its subjects (Chapter IV ), Turkish threat and imperial finances (Chapter V). With this work Schulze wants to convey “a coherent insight into the reality of the political and social order of the Reich and the functioning of the Reich constitution”. Schulze was able to show that the Turkish threat had a consolidating function for the empire. In all the writings examined, the Turkish threat was understood "as a factor that is suitable to stabilize the functioning of the corporate social order, if not to guarantee it". The threat from the Ottoman Empire brought the empire considerable tax revenue. Between 1556 and 1606 over thirty million guilders were collected. This led to an intensification and continuity of the Reich finance administration . The most visible expression of this was the authority of the Reichspfennigmeister , which had been administered continuously since 1566 . Based on the activity of Zacharias Geizkoflers (1589-1604) Schulze was able to revise the widespread assessment of the non-existent financial system of the empire.

His Introduction to Modern History became the standard textbook and was published in its fifth edition in 2010. Schulze coined the concept of legalization of the social and manorial conflicts in the Old Kingdom. Schulze had observed "that the diverse existing potential for conflict was increasingly channeled through judicial instances in the territories or the empire and thus a tendency towards legalization of social conflicts was achieved".

At the 1998 Frankfurt Historians' Day, he and Otto Gerhard Oexle headed the section “German Historians under National Socialism”. The section caused a sensation in the professional world, because for the first time in a larger context the entanglements of important West German historians such as Theodor Schieder or Werner Conze in the “Third Reich” were discussed. He had already presented a pioneering study in 1989 on the history of historiography and the new beginnings after 1945 ( German history after 1945 ). He tried to characterize the situation of historical studies at the end of the war by looking at many individual historians together. In this work Schulze had pointed out that West German historical studies after 1945 "went through a period of strong moral reflection and a clear turning away from racist and nationalist positions", but by no means brought about a "radical change in its basic methodological and substantive orientation".

In early modern research, Schulze provided diaries and autobiographies with so-called ego documents. He also understands this to include documents from the courts such as lawsuits, petitions and interrogation records. According to his definition, ego documents are “sources in which statements or particles of statements are present, some of which are in rudimentary and covert form about the voluntary or forced self-perception of a person in his family, his community, his country or his social class, in short his living space, provide information or reflect his relationship to these systems and their changes ”.

Honors and memberships

Schulze was awarded numerous honors and memberships for his research. He received a scholarship from the Historical College in Munich in 1984/85 and received the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation in 1996 . In 1996 Schulze became a full (since 2008 corresponding) member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . He is a corresponding member of the Finnish and Austrian Academies of Sciences . In 2000 he was accepted as a full member of the Academia Europaea . Also in 2000 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st Class . This recognized his contributions to scientific and cultural life as well as to the growing together in East and West. From 1994 to 2017 he was a member of the historical commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, 1997–2001 its secretary. From 1995 to 2001 he was a member of the Science Council, from 1998 to 2001 its chairman. He was a member and chairman of various advisory boards of research institutes ( Institute for European History Mainz , German Historical Institute in Paris , Minerva Institute for German History in Tel Aviv, Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture in Leipzig).



  • Introduction to Modern History. 5th revised and updated edition. Ulmer, Stuttgart 2010, ISBN 978-3-8252-1422-7 .
  • German history after 1945 (= historical journal. Supplement. New series, 10). Oldenbourg, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-486-64410-6 .
  • From common good to self-interest. About the change in norms in the corporate society of the early modern period (= writings of the historical college. Lectures. Vol. 13). Historisches Kolleg Foundation, Munich 1987 ( digitized version ).
  • Rural resistance and feudal rule in the early modern era (= modern era under construction. Vol. 6). Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-7728-0715-1 .
  • Empire and threat from the Turks in the late 16th century. Studies on the political and social effects of an external threat. Beck, Munich 1978, ISBN 3-406-01680-4 .
  • State defense and state formation. Studies on the war system of the inner Austrian territorial state (1564–1619) (= publications of the Commission for Modern History of Austria. Vol. 60). Böhlau, Vienna et al. 1973, ISBN 3-205-08563-9 .


  • with Otto Gerhard Oexle : German historians under National Socialism. Fischer-Taschenbuchverlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-596-14606-2 .
  • Ego documents. Approaching the People in History. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-05-002615-4 .
  • Corporate society and social mobility (= writings of the historical college. Colloquia. Vol. 12). Oldenbourg, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-486-54351-2 ( digitized version ).
  • Riots, revolts, trials. Contributions to peasant resistance movements in early modern Europe (= history and society. Bochum historical studies. Vol. 27). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-608-91115-4 .


Web links


  1. Winfried Schulze: "Socialist Aspirations in Germany". Comments on a series of articles by Karl Biedermann (1846). In: Vierteljahresschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 57, 1970, pp. 93-104.
  2. See the reviews of Helmut Neuhaus in: Historische Zeitschrift 232 (1981), pp. 159–160; Adolf Laufs in: Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung 8 (1981), pp. 110–112; Wilhelm Janssen in: Der Staat 19 (1980), pp. 633–636.
  3. Winfried Schulze: Empire and threat to the Turks in the late 16th century. Studies on the political and social effects of an external threat. Munich 1978, p. 364.
  4. Winfried Schulze: Empire and threat to the Turks in the late 16th century. Studies on the political and social effects of an external threat. Munich 1978, p. 36.
  5. Winfried Schulze: Empire and threat to the Turks in the late 16th century. Studies on the political and social effects of an external threat. Munich 1978, p. 369.
  6. ^ Winfried Schulze: The changed meaning of social conflicts in the 16th and 17th centuries. In: Hans-Ulrich Wehler (Ed.): The German Peasant War 1524–1526. Göttingen 1975, pp. 277-302.
  7. Winfried Schulze: Peasant resistance and feudal rule in the early modern period. Stuttgart 1980, p. 141.
  8. Winfried Schulze, Otto Gerhard Oexle (ed.): German historians in National Socialism. Frankfurt am Main 1999.
  9. Nicolas Berg: The Holocaust and the West German Historians. Exploration and memory. Göttingen 2003, p. 16; Christoph Nonn : Theodor Schieder. A bourgeois historian in the 20th century. Düsseldorf 2013, p. 4.
  10. ^ Winfried Schulze: German History after 1945. Munich 1989, p. 304.
  11. Winfried Schulze: Ego-Documents: Approaching the People in History? In the S. (Ed.): Ego documents. Approaching the People in History. Berlin 1996, pp. 11–30, here: p. 28.
  12. Federal Cross of Merit for the Chairman of the Science Council. Accessed on September 22, 2018.