Bresslau, Harry

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BRESSLAU, HARRY (1848–1926), German historian. Born in Dannenberg, Hanover, he studied law in Goettingen and later history and philosophy at Berlin University, especially encouraged by Wilhelm Droysen. In 1869, he received his doctorate from Georg Waitz in Goettingen. Then he taught at the Philanthropin school at Frankfurt and at a Jewish orphanage in Berlin. Bresslau joined the faculty of the University of Berlin in 1872 and was appointed associate professor in 1877. From 1890 to 1918 he was professor at the University of Strasbourg, but when Strasbourg reverted to France in 1918, he was expelled as a militant German national and left for Hamburg. His remaining years he spent in Heidelberg. Bresslau was a member of the editorial board of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica and published a history of the Monumenta (1921). He edited the journal of the society for the study of earlier German history Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft fuer aeltere deutsche Geschichtskunde from 1889 to 1904 and in 1907 founded the historical records periodical Archiv fuer Urkundenforschung. He compiled the volumes dealing with the emperors Henry ii and Conrad ii in the Jahrbuecher des deutschen Reiches (1875, 1879–84). In 1909 his edition of the charters of Conrad ii appeared, followed posthumously by an edition of the charters of Henry iii. Bresslau's manual on the study of records, Handbuch der Urkundenlehre fuer Deutschland und Italien (2 vols., 1889–1915), is a basic source-book in its field. Bresslau was a founder and president of the commission for the history of the Jews in Germany and contributed extensively to Jewish historical journals. In 1880 he wrote Zur Judenfrage, a reply to *Treitschke's attack. An autobiographical sketch was published in Die Geschichtswissenschaft der Gegenwart in Selbstdarstellung (1926). Bresslau's daughter, Helena, was the wife of Albert Schweitzer.

add. bibliography:

B. Raabe, in: Herold-Jahrbuch, N.F., 1 (1996), 49–83; R. Heuer (ed.), Lexikon deutsch-juedischer Autoren, 4 (1996), 19–27, bibl.; V. Muehlstein, Helene Schweitzer-Bresslau (20012).

[Zvi Avneri /

Marcus Pyka (2nd ed.)]