2007

AN – Biographies


Neue deutsche Biographie [New German Biography]. Ed. Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. 26 cm. ISBN 3-428-00181-8 (set) [07-2-285]

Vol. 23. Schinzel-Schwarz: mit ADB & NDB-Gesamtregister auf CD-ROM [Schinzel-Schwarz: with ADB & NDB Comprehensive Index on CD-ROM]. 3d ed. 2007. xx, 816 p. + 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 978-3-428-11204-3 (cloth): EUR 138; ISBN 978-3-428-11292-0 (half-leather): EUR 158

Volumes 18-22 (1997-2005) have been covered in RREA 9:314, 6:38, and 11:23. The relatively quick publication of volume 23 is not a reaction to the rapid five-year Saur production of the 57,000-article Deutsche biographische Enzyklopädie (see RREA 6:39), for the DBE is not on the same quality level as the Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). While the former consists of short articles that are compilations from omnibus biographical works, with the exception of 1,000 commissioned entries, the NDB contains only original articles written and revised under high editorial standards. To meet the demand of users for a full-text, searchable online lexicon, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft-funded NDB/ADB online project is to be realized within two years under the auspices of the Historische Kommission bei der BAdW [Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences] and the Digitalisierungszentrum der BSB [Digitalization Center of the Bavarian State Library]. The further potential for a common Internet portal that would also include the Österreichisches biographisches Lexikon [Austrian Biographical Lexicon] and the Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz [Historical Lexicon of Switzerland], it is hoped, will be far enough along to be reported on with the review of volume 24. [sh/rlk]

Die deutsche politische Emigration nach Amerika 1815-1848: biographisches Lexikon [German Political Emigration to America, 1815-1848: Biographical Dictionary]. Ulrich Klemke. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2007. 163 p. 21 cm. ISBN 978-3-631-56124-9: EUR 29.80 [07-1-014]

The author has compiled this biographical dictionary based on his University of Köln 1993 dissertation “Eine Anzahl überflüssiger Menschen”; die Exilierung politischer Straftäter nach Übersee; Vormärz und Revolution 1848/49 [A Number of Superfluous Persons: The Exile of Political Criminals Overseas Before and After the Revolution of 1848/49], published by Lang in 1994. The number of expellees during the period 1815-1849 (Vormärz: the period between the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the March 1848 Berlin Revolution) is notably smaller than of those forced to emigrate after 1849, thus this earlier period is also less thoroughly researched.

The 22-page introduction gives a survey of the causes (opposition and persecution) and circumstances of emigration and re-settlement as well as the acculturation and influence of the emigrants. Key events of the Vormärz are covered, including the large student-oriented Wartburg Festival of 1817, the Karlsbad Decrees of 1819, the Hambach Festival demonstrations in 1832, and the Silesian weavers’ rebellion in 1844. Many of the expellees/emigrants were students and members of fraternities (Burschenschaften), as well as skilled workers (Handwerker), whose Bund der Geächteten [Band of Outcasts] became the core of the German working-class movement in the United States.

The dictionary covers some 460 persons in 100 pages. Brief biographical entries give each person’s name, birth and death year and places, education, vocation, reason for emigrating, life in America, and in some cases the reason for returning to Germany. Bibliographical sources are listed in the last 16 pages. Additional biographical information on many of these persons can be found in sources such as Helge Dvorak’s Biographisches Lexikon der Deutschen Burschenschaft (see RREA 9:327), the Dictionary of American Biography, and relevant national biographies in de Gruyter’s World Biographical Information System Online (WBIS Online). [sh/ga]

Zeitgeschichte in Lebensbildern: aus dem deutschen Katholizismus des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts [Contemporary History in Biographies: German Catholics of the 19th and 20th Centuries]. Ed. Jürgen Aretz. Münster: Aschendorff. 23 cm. [07-2-286]

Vol. 12. 2007. 257 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-402-06124-4: EUR 20.40

Volume 12 is the last volume in the series, which Aschendorff has published since volume 9 (see RREA 6:43; for volume 11 see RREA 10:36).

Volume 12 contains 16 biographies of German Catholics who in the 19th and 20th centuries, “by their Christian convictions and responsibility,” have made a measurable imprint on political and social life in Germany. Each entry is about 14 pages long and includes an undated black-and-white portrait. Sources, writings by, and selected works about each person are found in the appendix. There is also a complete listing of all 216 entries found in the 12 volumes, with each person’s life-dates.

The two women among the 16 personages are the social-political activists Amalie Lauer (1882-1950) and Thusnelda Lang-Brumann (1850-1950). Early 20th-century figures include the president of the Görres Society, Hermann Grauert (1850-1924), and the Bonn Romanist Hermann Platz (1880-1945). In this volume only one person from the anti-Nazi resistance is included–the Kreisau Circle jurist Paulus van Husen (1891-1971).

The remaining 11 persons were active in the post-war period. The political economist Wilfrid Schreiber (1904-1975) was a key figure in the market-economy strategy of postwar recovery, and Wilhelm Weber (1925-1983) gave the social mission of the Catholic Church new impetus. High church officials include Hermann Kardinal Volk (1903-1988) and Johannes Dyba (1929-2000), the bishop of the Bundeswehr. Richard Jaeger (1913-1998) was vice- president of the German Bundestag for over 20 years; Franz Meyers (1908-2002) the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia. Alfred Dregger (1920-2002) was long-time chair of the CDU/CSU parliamentary fraction, and Rainer Barzel (1924-2006) likewise longtime faction chair and unsuccessful candidate for chancellor in 1972. Otto B. Roegele (1920-2005) was a columnist and taught editorial journalism at the University of Munich. Joseph Stingl (1919-2004) was longtime president of the Federal Labor Office, and Arthur F. Utz (1908-2001), a biography of whom can be found in the 2006 Thomistenlexikon (see RREA 12:75), was a Dominican priest and leading social ethicist. [sh/ga]

Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich: wer war was vor und nach 1945 [A Cultural Encyclopedia of the Third Reich: Who Was What Before and After 1945]. Ernst Klee. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2007. 715 p. 22 cm. ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5: EUR 29.90 [07-1-015]

This encyclopedia, which follows in the footsteps of the author’s 2003 Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich [Encyclopedia of Persons of the Third Reich–see IFB 04-1-027], may be regarded as the first comprehensive reference work on the cultural life of the Third Reich and as such is of substantial importance. From the ca. 140,000 persons registered with the Reich Chamber of Culture, the editor has selected some 4,000 significant cultural figures of the period, including personalities from stage and screen, authors, artists, architects, musicians, and journalists. These are mostly major figures, the majority of whom were included in Goebbels’s 1944 list of elite artists, the so-called “divinely gifted” [gottbegnadet]. However, there are also some surprising inclusions that seem to reflect the author’s own rather zealous position. A less polemical, and more objective, approach might have been desirable. [frh/cjm]


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