Ritter, Gerhard

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ritter, Gerhard


Born Apr. 6, 1888, in Bad Sooden-Allendorf; died July 1, 1967, in Freiburg. German historian (Federal Republic of Germany). Professor at the universities of Hamburg (1924–25) and Freiburg (1925–56).

Ritter wrote many works on the different periods of German history and on the methodology of history. Because of his idealist conception of the historical process, he regarded “strong personalities” as the motive force of history. Among Germans, he viewed Frederick the Great, O. von Bismarck, M. Luther, and K. Stein as strong personalities and devoted a number of his studies to them. In his works, Ritter denied that militarism played a pernicious role in German history and argued that the German generals and civil service were not implicated in fascism.


Machtstaat und Utopie. Munich-Berlin, 1940. (Fifth edition under the title Dämonie der Macht. Stuttgart, 1947.)
Europa und die deutsche Frage. Munich, 1948.
Carl Goerdeler und die deutsche Widerstandsbewegung. Stuttgart, 1955.
Staatskunst und Kriegshandwerk, vols. 1–4. Munich, 1954-68.


Berthold, W. “… Golodat’ i povinovat’sia”: Istoriografiia na sluzhbe germanskogo imperializma. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from German.)
Lunev, I. I. “Istoricheskie kontseptsii G. Rittera na sluzhbe germanskogo revanshizma.” Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal, 1960, no. 12.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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