Ernst Bernheim (19 February 1850 – 9 July 1942) was a German historian who is best known for an influential ''Lehrbuch der historischen Methode'' (1889) on historical method.

Early life

He was born in Hamburg as a son of merchant Louis Bernheim (later changed to Ludwig Bernheim, born 7 December 1815 in Fürstenberg, Lower Saxony, Fürstenberg) and Emma Simon (born 15 April 1834 in Kolberg) and from 1834 lived in Hamburg. On 16 April 1884, he married Amalie ("Emma") Henriette Jessen (born 18 September 1861 in Hamburg, died 9 July 1945 in Greifswald). They had a daughter and three sons.Staatsarchiv Hamburg, 741-2, Genealogische Sammlung, Bernheim


Ernst attended the Johanneum from Easter 1862 and graduated with the Abitur on 22 September 1868. From 1868 to 1872, he studied history in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Straßburg He graduated with the grades Doctor of Philosophy, Dr. phil and Doctor of Laws#Germany, Dr jur. in Straßburg (1873, supervised by Georg Waitz) and Habilitation, Dr habil in Göttingen (1874–75, supervised by Julius Weizsäcker). Thereafter, he taught history at the University of Göttingen and at the University of Bonn. In 1883, he was called to the University of Greifswald, Institute for History, where he held the positions of an "außerordentlicher Professor" ("Privatdozent") since 1883, and "ordentlicher Professor" since 1889. In 1899, he was elected rector (academia), rector of the university. His eremitation was in 1921.

Nazi era

His Jewish descent made Bernheim subject to repressions during the Nazi era. In 1933, he was forbidden to lecture, and an appeal to Adolf Hitler to regain that permission was not successful. On 4 December 1935, with the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws, Berheim lost German citizenship. An appeal to Hitler to regain citizenship, which was backed by a number of scientists from the University of Greifswald was successful, and Bernheim was assigned "temporary citizenship" on 12 January 1938 and let him avoid History of Pomerania (1933-1945)#Deportation of the Pomeranian Jews, deportation in 1940. Yet, just weeks before his death, the deaf-mute foster child of the family, Hetti Meyer, was deported to Theresienstadt and killed. Hetti was raised from her birth by Bernheim and his wife Emma, a special education teacher. From 1939 onwards, Nazi scientists systematically besmirched Bernheim's scientific work, which was not appreciated again until postwar Germany. Bernheim died on 3 March 1942 in Greifswald. His former colleagues managed to circumvent Nazi orders and to get his urn buried in the town's graveyard on 23 July 1943, but an obituary was not permitted.


A memorial plaque was attached to his Greifswald house, at 26 Arndtstraße. Furthermore, a street in Greifswald was named after him.


* Irene Blechle, ''Entdecker der Hochschulpädagogik. Die Universitätsreformer Ernst Bernheim und Hans Schmidkunz''. Shaker Verlag, Aachen 2002, , pp. 29ff (youth); pp. 332ff (Nazi era)

External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Bernheim, Ernst 1850 births 1942 deaths People educated at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums 19th-century German Jews German historians University of Greifswald faculty People from the Province of Pomerania German male non-fiction writers