Hermann Oncken

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Oncken, Hermann


Born Nov. 16, 1869, in Oldenburg; died Dec. 28, 1945, in Göttingen. Conservative German historian. Professor at the universities of Chicago (1905–06), Heidelberg (1907), Munich (1923), and Berlin (1928–35).

A stalwart advocate of the theory claiming the preeminence of foreign policy over domestic policy, Oncken adhered to L. von Ranke’s historical method. He supported the establishment of a close trade and political alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary and viewed the expansionist policy of German imperialism as a defensive one, conditioned by Germany’s geographical position in the center of Europe. At the same time, Oncken criticized racial theory and advocated an “objective” evaluation of history. As a result, in 1935 the fascists deprived him of his chair in Berlin.


Das alte und das neue Mitteleuropa. Gotha, 1917.
Lassalle: Eine politische Biographie, 4th ed. Stuttgart-Berlin, 1923.
Die Rheinpolitik Kaiser Napoleons III…, vols. 1–3. Stuttgart, 1926.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.