Eberhard Kolb
Professor Eberhard Kolb (born 8 August 1933, Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

) is one of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

's foremost authorities on German history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Eberhard Kolb studied at the universities of Tübingen
Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers.-Geography:...

 and Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, and attained a doctorate 1960 at the University of Goettingen on the topic of the influence of workers' council
Workers' council
A workers' council, or revolutionary councils, is the phenomenon where a single place of work or enterprise, such as a factory, school, or farm, is controlled collectively by the workers of that workplace, through the core principle of temporary and instantly revocable delegates.In a system with...

s on German domestic politics.

He wrote his habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

 in 1969, and one year later became a professor of modern history at the University of Würzburg
University of Würzburg
The University of Würzburg is a university in Würzburg, Germany, founded in 1402. The university is a member of the distinguished Coimbra Group.-Name:...

. He served as a professor at the University of Cologne
University of Cologne
The University of Cologne is one of the oldest universities in Europe and, with over 44,000 students, one of the largest universities in Germany. The university is part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, an association of Germany's leading research universities...

 from 1979 until his retirement in 1998. In 1981 he spent a year as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...


Professor Kolb has published outstanding books on Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

, and the Third Reich. His learned summary of research on the Weimar Republic is mandatory reading for all students of modern German history. It has been frequently revised and reissued since its publication in 1984, and was translated into English in 1988.


The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle...

 plays a key role in Kolb's work. In 1959 he was a participant in the first study trip on behalf of the state government of Lower Saxony for political education to Israel. In 1960 he compiled a scientific presentation of the camp's history. Initiated by the government of Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

, it was the first official Belsen exhibition.

Kolb's monograph, "Bergen-Belsen", was published in 1962 in an abbreviated form. It is now in its sixth edition. A "document house" built in 1966 at Bergen-Belsen was conceived by Kolb, and in the 1980s he was instrumental in the redesign of the memorial, which opened in 1990.

Weimar Republic

Heinrich August Winkler
Heinrich August Winkler
Heinrich August Winkler is a German historian.After attending a Gymnasium in Ulm, he studied history, political science, philosophy and public law at Münster, Heidelberg and Tübingen. In 1970 he became professor at the Free University of Berlin. From 1972 to 1991 he was professor at the University...

 describes Kolb as "one of the best authorities on the history of the Weimar Republic". Kolb wrote the book The Weimar Republic, which highlights problems and trends of the ongoing research, and gives an overview of the most important topics.

Memorial places

Kolb has sat continuously since 1998 as a member of the scientific advisory board of the Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

 Foundation. In addition to being an active member, he is co-editor of the Neuen Friedrichsruher Ausgabe, a publication about Bismarck, his sons, and his employees. He sat as advisory chairman of German Chancellor
Chancellor of Germany
The Chancellor of Germany is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany...

 Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany .When Ebert was elected as the leader of the SPD after the death of August Bebel, the party members of the SPD were deeply divided because of the party's support for World War I. Ebert supported the Burgfrieden and...

 memorial place from 1990 to 2001. Besides his work at the Bergen-Belsen camp, he was involved in the development of the National Memorial at Buchenwald and the redevelopment of the concentration camp memorial at Neuengamme.


In 1992 he was awarded the Order of Merit of Lower Saxony, and in 2004 received the Merit First Class of the Federal Republic of Germany.


  • (in German) Thesis – Die Arbeiterräte in der deutschen Innenpolitik. 1918–1919. Thesis at the University of Goettingen, 1959; Ullstein Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Vienna 1978
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