Famous German Historians

Find out more about the greatest German Historians, including Hannah Arendt, Friedrich Schiller, Oswald Spengler, Helmuth von Moltke the Elder and Leopold von Ranke.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite German Historians

 1 Max Weber

Maximilian Carl Emil Weber
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Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: April 21, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: June 14, 1920

Max Weber was a German historian, political economist, jurist, and sociologist. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important theorists, Weber's ideas had a profound influence on social research and social theory. Although he did not see himself as a sociologist, Weber is often counted among the fathers of sociology alongside Émile Durkheim, Auguste Comte, and Karl Marx.

 2 Oswald Spengler

Oswald Spengler
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 29, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Blankenburg, Germany
Died: May 8, 1936

German historian Oswald Spengler is best remembered for his iconic The Decline of the West, which had a huge influence on social theory. He believed that culture cannot be transferred and that it can only decline and decay like an organism. He lived his final years in isolation in Munich.

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 3 Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller
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Famous As: Poet, Playwright, Historian & Philosopher
Birthdate: November 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marbach am Neckar
Died: May 9, 1805

Friedrich Schiller was a German poet, physician, philosopher, playwright, and historian. Schiller is best remembered for his friendship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the two discussed issues concerning aesthetics. Schiller's discussions with Goethe paved the way for a period, which came to be known as Weimar Classicism. Friedrich Schiller is also widely regarded as Germany's most prominent classical playwright.

 4 Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
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Famous As: General, Historian
Birthdate: October 26, 1800
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Died: April 24, 1891

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder was a Prussian field marshal who served as the chief of staff in the Royal Prussian Army for 30 years. Moltke, who commanded troops during Austro-Prussian War, Second Schleswig War, and the Franco-Prussian War, is credited with creating a new method of directing armies. He is also credited with pioneering the military usage of railways. 

 5 Leopold von Ranke

Leopold von Ranke
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 21, 1795
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wiehe, Roßleben-Wiehe, Germany
Died: May 23, 1886

 6 Johann Joachim Winckelmann

Johann Joachim Winckelmann
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Famous As: Art historian
Birthdate: December 9, 1717
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stendal, Germany
Died: June 8, 1768

 7 Wilhelm Dilthey

Wilhelm Dilthey
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Famous As: Philosopher, Historian, Psychologist, Theologian, Educationist, Sociologist, University teacher, Literary critic
Birthdate: November 19, 1833
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wiesbaden-Biebrich
Died: October 1, 1911
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 8 Theodor Mommsen

Theodor Mommsen
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: November 30, 1817
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Garding
Died: November 1, 1903

 9 Erwin Panofsky

Erwin Panofsky
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Famous As: Art historian
Birthdate: March 30, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hannover,Germany
Died: March 14, 1968

 10 Theodor Fontane

Theodor Fontane
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Famous As: Pharmacist, Writer, Poet, Historian, Translator, Novelist, Journalist
Birthdate: December 30, 1819
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Neuruppin
Died: September 20, 1898

 11 John Weitz

John Weitz
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Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: May 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 3, 2002

 12 Ernst Nolte

Ernst Nolte
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Famous As: Philosopher, Historian of the modern age, Historian, Educationist, University teacher, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: January 11, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Witten
Died: August 18, 2016

 13 Bruno Bauer

Bruno Bauer
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Famous As: Philosopher, Theologian, Historian
Birthdate: September 6, 1809
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eisenberg
Died: April 15, 1882

 14 Aby Warburg

Aby Warburg
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Famous As: Art historian
Birthdate: June 13, 1866
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: October 26, 1929

 15 Fritz Fischer

Fritz Fischer
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Famous As: Historian of the modern age, Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: March 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ludwigsstadt
Died: December 1, 1999

 16 Marie d'Agoult

Marie d'Agoult
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Famous As: French author
Birthdate: December 31, 1805
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Died: March 5, 1876

 17 Peter Gay

Peter Gay
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Famous As: Psychologist, Cultural historian, Historian, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: June 20, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: May 12, 2015

 18 Mildred Harnack

Mildred Harnack
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Famous As: Literary historian
Birthdate: September 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 16, 1943

 19 Hrosvitha

Hrosvitha
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 0935 AD
Birthplace: Saxony, Germany
Died: 1002 AD

 20 Joachim Fest

Joachim Fest
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Famous As: Journalist, Writer, Historian of the modern age, Historian, Screenwriter
Birthdate: December 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Karlshorst
Died: September 11, 2006

 21 Sebastian Haffner

Sebastian Haffner
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: January 2, 1999

 22 Friedrich Carl von Savigny

Friedrich Carl von Savigny
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Famous As: Jurist
Birthdate: February 21, 1779
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: October 25, 1861

 23 Samuel von Pufendorf

Samuel von Pufendorf
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Famous As: Jurist, Philosopher, Historian, University teacher, Economist
Birthdate: January 8, 1632
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dorfchemnitz
Died: October 13, 1694

 24 Heinrich von Treitschke

Heinrich von Treitschke
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Famous As: Historian of the modern age, Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: September 15, 1834
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden
Died: April 28, 1896

 25 Hildebrand Gurlitt

Hildebrand Gurlitt
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: September 15, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden, German Empire
Died: November 9, 1956

 26 Franz Rosenzweig

Franz Rosenzweig
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Famous As: Philosopher, Translator, Historian, Bible translator
Birthdate: December 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kassel
Died: December 10, 1929

 27 Hans Delbrück

Hans Delbrück
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: November 11, 1848
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rügen, Germany
Died: July 14, 1929

 28 Hans Mommsen

Hans Mommsen
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Famous As: Writer, Historian of the modern age, Historian, Professor, Emeritus
Birthdate: November 5, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marburg
Died: November 5, 2015

 29 Reinhart Koselleck

Reinhart Koselleck
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: April 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Görlitz, Lower Silesia, Germany
Died: February 3, 2006

 30 Golo Mann

Golo Mann
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: March 27, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: April 7, 1994

 31 Alexander Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Alexander Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: March 15, 1905
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany
Died: January 27, 1964

 32 Arthur Moeller van den Bruck

Arthur Moeller van den Bruck
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 23, 1876
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany
Died: May 30, 1925

 33 Martin Broszat

Martin Broszat
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Famous As: Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: August 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leipzig
Died: October 14, 1989

 34 Abraham Geiger

Abraham Geiger
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Famous As: Historian, Rabbi, University teacher
Birthdate: May 24, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: October 23, 1874

Abraham Geiger was a German rabbi and scholar credited to be the founding father of Reform Judaism. He emphasized Judaism’s constant evolution over the years and sought to reformulate the tenets of the religion to make it compliant with contemporary times. He was responsible for much of the reform doctrine of the mid-19th century. 

 35 Heinrich Zimmer

Heinrich Zimmer
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Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: December 6, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greifswald, German Empire
Died: March 20, 1943

 36 Willy Ley

Willy Ley
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 2, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 24, 1969

 37 Ernst Kantorowicz

Ernst Kantorowicz
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: May 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: September 9, 1963

 38 Hans Blumenberg

Hans Blumenberg
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 13, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lübeck, Germany
Died: March 28, 1996

 39 Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler
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Famous As: Art historian
Birthdate: June 25, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
Died: January 11, 1979

 40 Andreas Hillgruber

Andreas Hillgruber
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: January 18, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wegorzewo, Poland
Died: May 8, 1989

 41 Prince Heinrich of Hanover

Prince Heinrich of Hanover
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: April 29, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hanover, Lower Saxony, West Germany

 42 Hans-Ulrich Wehler

Hans-Ulrich Wehler
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: September 11, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Freudenberg, Germany
Died: July 5, 2014

 43 Karl Dietrich Bracher

Karl Dietrich Bracher
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Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: March 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Weimar Republic, Germany
Died: September 19, 2016

 44 Ludwig Uhland

Ludwig Uhland
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 26, 1787
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tübingen, Germany
Died: November 13, 1862

 45 Johann Gustav Droysen

Johann Gustav Droysen
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: July 6, 1808
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Trzebiatów, Poland
Died: June 19, 1884

 46 Sönke Neitzel

Sönke Neitzel
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: June 26, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

 47 Friedrich Meinecke

Friedrich Meinecke
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: October 30, 1862
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salzwedel, Germany
Died: February 6, 1954

 48 Thietmar of Merseburg

Thietmar of Merseburg
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Famous As: Chronicler
Birthdate: July 25, 0975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Germany
Died: December 1, 1018

Eleventh-century German bishop Thietmar of Merseburg is best remembered for penning the history of the Ottonian dynasty, which remains a chief source of information about the age. He is credited with being the first to use the word "Teutonici" to differentiate between Germans and non-Germans in the Holy Roman Empire.

 49 Ignaz von Döllinger

Ignaz von Döllinger
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: February 28, 1799
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bamberg, Germany
Died: January 10, 1890

 50 Joseph von Görres

Joseph von Görres
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 25, 1776
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: January 29, 1848