GHDI logo
German History in Documents and Images
return to system

Friedrich Meinecke (c. 1930)
Friedrich Meinecke (1862-1954) was the most prominent liberal German historian of his generation and the preeminent practitioner of Ideengeschichte [the history of ideas]. He was the editor of the influential journal Historische Zeitschrift from 1896-1935, during which period he produced three major works in the history of ideas, as well as countless essays and articles. A firm supporter of the Weimar Republic, he called himself a Vernunftrepublikaner [republican by reason]. The list of his students who became influential in politics and academia included Heinrich Brüning and virtually an entire generation of German émigré scholars including Hajo Halborn, Felix Gilbert, Hans Rosenberg, Helene Wieruszowski, Hedwig Hintze, Hans Baron, Dietrich Gerhard, Hans Rosenfels, Gerhard Masur, and Gustav Mayer. His best known work, Die Deutsche Katastrophe [The German Catastrophe], was published in 1946. He helped to found and became the first rector of the Free University of Berlin in 1948.