Hans Rothfels

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rothfels, Hans


Born Apr. 12, 1891, in Kassel. West German historian.

From 1926 to 1934, Rothfels was a professor at the University of Königsberg. He taught in the USA during the fascist dictatorship in Germany. In 1951 he became a professor at the University of Tübingen. Rothfels has written studies on Bismarck’s foreign policy, which he contrasts to that of Bismarck’s successors who, Rothfels believes, were guilty of isolating Germany. In his work on the antifascist movement in Germany he greatly exaggerated the role played by the bourgeoisie, the officer class, and the church hierarchy.

Since 1953, Rothfels has been editor of the journal Viertel-jahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Quarterly of Contemporary History), many of whose articles seek to conceal the social roots of German fascism. At the same time, Rothfels supports a more flexible approach to the past than that maintained by extreme right-wing West German historians. Since the late 1950’s, Rothfels and his school have constituted the leading current in West German bourgeois historiography.


K. von Clausewitz. Berlin, 1920.
Bismarcks englische Biindnispolitik. Stuttgart, 1924.
Bismarck und der Staat, 2nd ed. 1954.
Bismarck und der Osten. Leipzig, 1934.
Theodor von Schon, Friedrich Wilhelm IV und die Revolution von 1848. Halle, 1937.
The German Opposition to Hitler. Hinsdale, 111., 1948.


Salov, V. I. Sovremennaia zapadnogermanskaia burzhuaznaia istoriografiia. Moscow, 1968.
Lozek, G. H. Syrbe. Geschichtsschreibung contra Geschichte. Berlin, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hans Rothfels, another participant, showed Polish (and French) colleagues that West European notions of the nation state did not apply to the East, where they could only be a "theory alien to reality and hostile to life" (259).
Karl Heinz Roth analyzed what he termed "levels of radicalization" among academics in his article on the historian Hans Rothfels, mentor to a promising group of volkisch and nationalist-revolutionary historians in Konigsberg.
(76) Jan Eckel, Hans Rothfels: Eine intellektuelle Biographie im 20.
(97) Wolfgang Neugebauer, "Hans Rothfels' Weg zur vergleichenden Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas, besonders im Ubergang von fruher Neuzeit zur Moderne," Berliner Jahrbuch fur Osteuropaische Geschichte, no.
Jan Eckel's essay on the contemporary historian Hans Rothfels is an example of one person's life reflecting wider issues, in this case the relation between scholarly production and the wider political situation.
Moreover, this point was also disseminated through an essay by a German-American scholar, Hans Rothfels, published in the 1943 edition of Edward Mead Earle's classic, Makers of Modern Strategy.
(7.) Hans Rothfels, The German Opposition against Hitler (Hinsdale, Ill.: H.
Similar to them, except that he was forced to emigrate on account of his Jewish ancestry, was Hans Rothfels (by Klemens von Klemperer) who remained loyal to his Rankean principles and to his hero Bismarck through exile and after his return to the Federal Republic in 1951.
Not coincidentally, the pioneering effort came in West Germany with the founding by Hans Rothfels of the Vierteljahrshefie fur Zeitgeschichte in 1953.