Friedrich oldhope

Friedrich oldhope, photography by Fritz Milkau

Friedrich Theodor oldhope (* 19. February 1839 in DIN sheets, † 20. October 1908 in Berlin) was a Prussian culture politician and affected substantially the Prussian universities at the end 19. and at the beginning 20. Century.

Table of contents

lives and working up to the Strassburger time

the nut/mother of oldhope, to Julie of Buggenhagen (* 1802) came of the pommerschen Uradel, the father, the Prussian domain advice Friedrich Theodor oldhope (* 1785) originated from westfälischen officials - and minister family of rural origin. After the Abitur in Wesel oldhopes from 1856 to 1861 jurisprudence in Berlin and Bonn studied, where it followed the Corps Saxonia. 1867 it passed the legal Assessorexamen with the then rare note “very well”. 1964 he married the 4 years younger Marie Ingenohl (* 1843, † 1925). The marriage ran harmoniously, remained however childless. After the affiliation of Elsass Lorraine after the French-German war to the again created German Reich 1871 it became Justitiar and adviser for church and school things in Strasbourg. It won rapidly the confidence of his two superiors, the liberal upper president Eduard von Möller (* 1814, † 1880) and the commissioner for the university reestablishment of the University of Strasbourg, the baron of Baden Franz von Roggenbach (* 1925, † 1907). In particular of the latter, which as a outstanding administrative specialist was considered, oldhopes substantial learned. Oldhope was substantial at the reestablishment of the “realm university Strasbourg”, which university” takes part at that time “emperor William so mentioned 1871. 1872 were offered to it a tidy Professur at the again-created university, and that, although oldhope neither attains a doctorate nor habilitiert or was proven by special scientific achievements, which was already at that time very unusual. It rejected the offer however first in modesty. The only own scientific achievement of oldhope remained together with other lawyers took place commentated, detailed compilation in Elsass Lorraine further up to the entry into force of the civil law book valid French laws.

beginnings system oldhope

already to Strasbourg pointed themselves some characteristics late system so mentioned oldhope. Characteristic its unbureaucratic and the department borders were often exceeding procedure. It developed a widely distributed network of confidence people in different places and affected by this form of the “secret diplomacy “the decisions. Sent it knew to launch also stranger or own anonymous articles in important newspapers around the public opinion purposefully to affect. Still years after its way course to Berlin it kept relevant influence on the appointment politics of the University of Strasbourg, although this was not subordinate long no more to its competence, so that the realm governor annoyed by Elsass Lorraine prince Hohenlohe wrote 1887 the secret advice Friedrich of Holstein:

This oldhope, which mixes into everything, which does not concern it anything, this plotter under the mask of a conventional westfälischen farmer, who knows to pull fine threads, and who is the whole high and highest official world into Berlin into the bag, this humans want to govern naturally also here…

as Ministerialdirektor and a “secret Secretary of cultural affairs” in Prussia

Friedrich Althoff etwa 1890
Friedrich oldhope about 1890
1882 oldhope as a university adviser into the “Prussian Ministry of the religious, instruction and Medizinalangelegenheiten” appointed. The appointment was z. T. on operation of the elsass lothringischen realm governor happen, who oldhope had become too influential. Oldhopes thereby a leading Angstellter of the Secretary of cultural affairs was formal. It concentrated it particularly with energy on the reform and the development of the Prussian university nature. 1891 it became extraordinary professor in Bonn and 1896 fee professor at the University of Berlin. 1897 became the Ministerialdirektor I. Instruction department appointed and was thereby actually director/conductor of entire instruction and university nature in Prussia. it received the title “Excellencyand 1907 the title of a “real secret advice “to 1904. In this time it received also several , and. A. 1906 of the University of Harvard.

Although it was formally to the Secretary of cultural affairs subordinated and never dressed even an office for Minister, he was the actually arranging person of the Prussian university policy in this time. Since Prussia played a dominating role in the German Reich, the Prussian university policy affected also those of the other German states and Austria. Althoffs important position was recognized by its contemporaries and he was already called its energetic acting and his penetration strength because of Bismarck of the German university nature “.

appointment politics and development of the science nature

into its term of office reached oldhope actively into the appointment politics of the universities. It tried to appoint the researcher and scholar best in its eyes to the chairs. In the case of the new occupation of a chair the respective faculty had the right to nominate. The Ministry had to agree however, before a suggested candidate destined to a chair and so that Prussian civil servant became. Do not oldhope shrank from itself to ignore and appoint the suggestions of the faculty and implement it more suitably appearing candidates against the express will of the faculty. It tried to make itself a picture from the candidates to and traveled often incognito to different universities, in order to listen to the respective candidates in their lectures themselves. Also it tried to provide in the discussion an impression of the personality of the candidate. Highest criterion was for it the scientific achievement and originality of an applicant. The Klüngel, which envy and the disfavor in relation to better colleagues, often dominant at the universities , Nepotismus as well as greed and stubborness of many office holders he despised deeply and tried to switch it off with his occupation politics. With its decisions it fell back to a widespread network from relations and friendships to considerable scholars, politicians, journalists and Industriellen , who wrote appraisals for it and advised it. In the methods of the raising of funds for the expanding science enterprise it proceeded often unorthodox and clamped private backers and Industrielle, who brought in large sums over donations.


on its working completely substantially also (only after its death under its successor Friedrich Schmidt Ott took place ) the establishment of the emperor William company , the later Max-Planck company decreases/goes back). Oldhope was relevant at the structure of the University of Münster (1902, before catholic academy) and the academy in floats (1903) as well as the technical universities takes part Danzig (1904) and Breslau ( establishment 1910). 1902 it initiated the establishment of the international combination against the Tuberkulose. Over individual scientists to promote it spent large sums of money and created whole institutes, again thus z. B. institut for infections by Robert cook, Institut for serum research and serum therapy and/or. the George Speyer house in Frankfurt/Main of Paul Ehrlich, Institut for hygiene and experimental therapy in Marburg for Emil von Behring. In its term of office the University of Berlin was removed of 38 to 81 institutes. It was involved in the appointments of a multiplicity of important researchers such as Adolf of Harnack , Emil von Behring , Hermann Gunkel , Max Planck , Walther Nernst , Paul Ehrlich , Ulrich von Wilamowitz Moellendorff and Robert cook. To working Althoffs is to be thanked completely substantially the large bloom time and the world-wide reputation of the science at the German universities in the time from approximately 1890 to (far after Althoffs death) into the 20's inside. The University of Goettingen became substantially by working Althoffs an internationally leading center for mathematics, physics and chemistry.

The later Nobelpreisträger Paul Ehrlich wrote full gratitude on 1907 oldhopes:

I personally thank you my whole career and the possibility of out-arranging my ideas profitable. When assistant herumgeschubst, into closest conditions in-squeezed - ignored by the university completely - I occurred myself rather uselessly. I received and was considered never a call to the smallest place as humans without subject, i.e. perfectly unexploitable. If you had not occurred there with strong hand and ingenious initiative for me, if you had not into shape-made for me with restless eagerness and good-natured friendship possibilities for employment, under which I could develop, I would have been perfectly fallow.

There oldhope in addition was substantially in the reformation of the German library nature involved, designated themselves a citizen of Berlin library consortium Friedrich Althoff consortium. Oldhope deceased in the early evening 20.10.1908 in his house in Berlin Steglitz, probably at a longer heart disease. Its grave is in the Botani garden in Berlin Dahlem.


political was oldhopes liberally adjusted and used themselves in in Elsass Lorraine for a versöhnliche policy opposite the again created realm often sceptically facing the Natives of Alsace and Lothringern . Also it leaned each form of the Antisemitismus or the anti catholicism sharply off (“I had not taken part in agitation in my life, no Jew and no catholic agitation."). It stood however completely on the soil of the existing monarchischen state order and rejected for example the assignment of universitären offices to political these simmering ducks . Thus 1900 found the Lex Arons its approval, a law, which served particularly for it, to the citizen of Berlin private lecturer in physics Leo Arons to extract venia legendi since it was member of the social-democratic party and so that for a teaching profession at a Prussian university did not seem portable.

To the personal characteristics of oldhope counted sincerity, personal unselfishness, political intelligence, untiring diligence and modesty. Notorious however its notorious unpunctuality and its generous handling were with the time also different persons. Often it occurred that persons, which with oldhope a date had had to wait for hours in small anterooms, until they were finally before-let to the “Mr. Ministerialdirektor”. The university graduates concerned saw themselves pushed toward it into the role of asking plates and felt this treatment as humiliating. If it concerned the penetration from projects, could oldhope from inconsiderate energy to be. On the other side and respected he estimated however direct occurrence of his Gegenübers and despised the subject spirit often dominant at German universities. Its urwüchsiger humor and its civil courage led to the fact that it won the favour of emperor Wilhelm II and received with it the direct lecture right, which of the “personal regiment” of the emperor was very unusually of an official of its position, but on the other hand characteristic.

criticism at the system oldhope

already during lifetimes and more strongly still after his death the action way of oldhope not only positively evaluated. Above all the “personal regiment” was criticized with that the universitäre autonomy partially. one switched off. In particular the increasing national influence on the organization of the science nature was sceptically regarded by many contemporaries. Even of its critics however the personal unselfishness Althoffs were recognized and its earnings/services around the large development of the Prussian-German science nature. In Althoffs term of office the student numbers had doubled themselves, which training body of the universities, which was increased around the 1,5fache budget of the universities had itself doubled, the expenditures for science around the three and a halffold and the Kultusetat around the quadruple risen.

Representatively of many here some quotations are shown (shown after of break into, see below).


It is to be spoken very with difficulty about this man. He was really not only good humans in the specific sense of the word, but he was also a man of very far criteria,… the German universities of things owe, which are unsterblich in certain sense to that… . And in personaler regard cannot be stressed seriously…: Nepotismus did not give it under it… . But… the means, with which the Prussian instruction administration worked, were the conceivablly most inconsiderate. ... The influence of the Althoff system [„the people treatment “] worked directly [„on the new generation “] corrupting.
Whether its nearly diktatorisches regiment brought disadvantages over the Prussian gel honouring SAMness more advantages or will be able to judge, only a much later time. Today we see both before us: A Vermehrung of the national achievements for nearly all branches of the knowledge, many and exemplary new buildings of university components, new Professuren, new High Schools and poly-technical institutes, at the same time however a dependence on the central office, how it was missing in former times. Oldhope means the extension of the state omnipotence opposite the older, more republican condition of the universities. Also that can have advantages, if the character of the autonomy in kleinlicher promotion of sons-in-law and favourite pupils versandet, it has however surely large disadvantages, where the old liberty in good sense was used. Now the central office decides much more than in former times on the scientific direction. Oldhope his regiment across the Prussian professors with a certain good-natured brutality led, which will not copy easily someone to it. Even its Rücksichtslosigkeiten did not miss humor.
  • „Althoffs resignation “into „the assistance “, 13. Jg., No. 40, 5. October 1907:
As long as a man as oldhope at the point stands, leaves itself a system oldhope to bear, as also the enlightened absolutism its good sides had. However if large power comes into small hands, then kleinlicher abuse of the force will be the unfortunate result.



  • Bernhard of breaks, university and science politics into in Prussia and in German empire the 1882-1907: the “system oldhope”, Klett Cotta, Stuttgart 1980
  • A. Sachse, Friedrich oldhope; Berlin 1928
  • R. L. Lischke, Friedrich oldhope; Berlin (sigma) 1990
  • Franz Domaschke Friedrich Theodor oldhope and the Prussian universities in outgoing 19. Century, 2001

the secondary literature is difficult-to-understand. Nearly everything around 1910 the university teacher teaching in Germany had with oldhopes to do. A great many autobiographies contain relevant chapters over oldhope. Admits is the frequently reprinted, brilliant analysis of the system oldhopes by the political economist Werner Sombart:

  • Werner Sombart: Oldhope into new free ones press, Vienna, No. 15427 of 4. August 1907, reprinted in excerpts with B. of break into: System oldhope, S. 13 f.

Web on the left of

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| | * Literature of and over Friedrich oldhope in the catalog of the DDB



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