Directors

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bachmann (Acting Director)
September 1977 - April 1978

Siegfried Bachmann was awarded his PhD in 1954 for his thesis on the estates held by the bishopric of Bamberg. He then took on positions at the universities of Wurzburg and Bamberg before moving on to work in adult education in Goslar. From 1968 to 1978 he taught as Professor of Sociology at the Teacher Training College of Lower Saxony, and subsequently at the Technical University of Braunschweig until his retirement in 1995. He was Vice President of the university from 1981 to 1983, and founded a course of study entitled ‘Personnel Development in Business’. From 1977 until 1978 he was also acting director of the Georg Eckert Institute. His research interests included the history of sociology, textbook research, images of Germany, and the German Question. Siegfried Bachmann died on 5th February 1997.


Prof. Dr. Karl-Ernst Jeismann
October 1978 - September 1984

Karl-Ernst Jeismann was born in 1925 in Dortmund. From 1946 to 1951 he studied history, German, geography and philosophy at the universities of Kiel and Münster. After passing the state examination for teachers at secondary schools, he held various senior teaching posts in Münster. In 1956 he was awarded a doctoral degree from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Münster on the basis of a thesis about the problem of preemptive war in the European state system. He was Professor of History Didactics at the University of Education in Westfalen-Lippe from 1976 until 1980, when it was integrated into the University of Münster. In 1971 he received a habilitation qualifying him to teach at the University of Bochum on the basis of research investigating the origins and development of Prussian grammar schools as a form of state school for the well-educated in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In 1978 he was appointed as the director of the newly founded Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig. In 1982 he returned to occupy the Chair of Modern History and History Didactics at the University of Münster and retired in 1990.
His research focused on the history of education and the social history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, on history didactics and international textbook research.
Karl-Ernst Jeismann was made an honorary member of the Association of History Teachers in Germany, and was awarded the Order of Merit of the German Federal Republic, 1st Class. He died on 25th February, 2012.


Prof. Dr. Ernst Hinrichs
October 1984 - September 1992

Prof. Dr. Jeismann, Prof. Dr. Becher, Prof. Dr. Hinrichs (v.l.n.r.)

Ernst Hinrichs studied philosophy, German studies and history at the Universities of Freiburg, Göttingen and Hamburg from 1957 to 1963. In 1966 he completed his doctoral thesis in Göttingen on princes’ educational literature and political activities in the France of Henri IV. He subsequently worked at the Max Planck Institute for History (MPIG) until 1974, when he was appointed Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Oldenburg. He was director of the Georg Eckert Institute from 1984 until 1992. In 1991 he was Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1992 until 1995 he taught Early Modern History at the Technical University of Braunschweig, and from 1995 to his retirement in 2003 he taught at the University of Oldenburg. In 1996 he became the Founding Director of the Research Institute for the History of Prussia in Berlin, which he continued to direct until 2000. Ernst Hinrichs’ research interests included the French history of the Ancien Régime, North German state and regional history in the Early Modern Period, Enlightenment research, Prussian history and international textbook research. Ernst Hinrichs died on 4th April 2009.


Prof. Dr. Ursula A. J. Becher
October 1992 - September 2000

After studying to be a primary school teacher at the Academy of Education in Aachen, Ursula Becher taught for many years at a school in Düsseldorf. In 1966, she started work as an education advisor/consultant at the department of history didactics at the Justus Liebig Universty, Gießen. There, she met Prof. Dr. Friedrich J. Lucas, who introduced her to a theoretically sophisticated conception of history didactics and encouraged her to work on developing it further. Between 1966 and 1973 she studied history, philosophy and romance literature at the Justus Liebig University, Gießen. In 1974, she graduated under Lothar Gall with a study on the concept of society formed by German Reich publications in the 18th century. She then worked as an assistant professor at the department of contemporary history III (Prof. Dr. Jörn Rüsen) at the University of Bochum. She qualified as a lecturer in 1983 with a thesis on French history analysis in the 19th century. After holding temporary professorships at Bochum and Gießen, she was appointed Professor of History Theory and Didactics at the University of Eichstätt in 1986. She was made director of the Georg Eckert Institute in 1992 and held this post until 2000. Her research interests include the history of historical scholarship, the history of 18th-century mentality and culture, the history of women’s education and the theoretical foundations of history didactics. 


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Höpken
October 2000 - September 2005

Wolfgang Höpken studied history, Slavonic studies, political science and education at the University of Hamburg, where he was also awarded his doctorate. He subsequently worked as a research fellow and then as assistant professor at the Department of Modern Eastern European History, Hamburg. He worked as an academic advisor at the Institute for South-East European Studies, Munich, and was deputy director of the Georg Eckert Institute from 1991 to 1993. Wolfgang Höpken has been Professor of Eastern and Southeast European History at the University of Leipzig since 1994; from 2000 until 2005 he was also director of the Georg Eckert Institute. His research interests are centred around the social and cultural history of Southeast Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Dr. Falk Pingel (Acting Director)
October 2005 - September 2006

Falk Pingel studied history, philosophy and Ancient Greek at the universities of Hamburg, Göttingen and Heidelberg. He was awarded his PhD in 1976 from the University of Bielefeld for his thesis on the National Socialist concentration camps. From 1973 to 1983 and from 1997 to 2000, Falk Pingel taught at the University of Bielefeld. From 1983 he worked as a research fellow at the Georg Eckert Institute, where he was appointed deputy director in 1993. He held this post until his retirement in 2009, managing the Institute as acting director from October 2005 until September 2006. At the same time, he was director of the Education Department of the OSCE Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 2003 to 2004. His research covers the subjects of National Socialism, political, economic and social aspects of German post-war history, and the contents and methods of international textbook comparison.


Prof. Dr. Simone Lässig
October 2006 - September 2015

Simone Lässig studied at Dresden Teacher Training College from 1982 to 1987, she worked at the Technical University of Dresden as a research fellow from 1990 to 1993, and as assistant professor until 1999. She received a scholarship from the DFG (German Research Foundation) for her Habilitation from 1999 to 2001, and from 2002 to 2006 she worked as a research fellow at the German Historical Institute, Washington D.C. In 2003, she qualified as a university lecturer with her Habilitation thesis on the integration of Jews into the German middle classes. Simone Lässig has been the director of the Georg Eckert Institute and Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Braunschweig since October 2006.

Prof. Simone Lässig is on sabbatical leave from her position as Director of the GEI from 1 October 2015 until 30 September 2010. Since 1 October 2015 she has been the Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.


Prof. Dr. Eckhardt Fuchs
Since October 2015

Eckhardt Fuchs studied at the University of Leipzig from 1983 to 1988. After completing his PhD in 1992 on the subject ‘Historical Scholarship and Positivism: On Henry Thomas Buckle’s Concept of Society and History’, he worked as a historian at the Historical Commission, Berlin, the John F. Kennedy Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin, the German Historical Institute at Washington, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. From 2001 to 2007, he was assistant professor of the Department of Education I at the University of Mannheim, where he qualified as a university lecturer in 2004. In 2007 he became research director of the Georg Eckert Institute, and has been deputy director since June 2009. His research interests include the global history of modern education, international education policy, curriculum and textbook development, and the history of science and historiography. Since 1 October 2015 Prof. Eckhardt Fuchs has been the Director of the Georg Eckert Institute.


… and their deputies


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jacobmeyer
May 1978 - March 1991

Wolfgang Jacobmeyer studied history and German studies in Hamburg, Göttingen and Oxford. In 1971 he completed his PhD in Bochum with a thesis on ‘Exile and the Homeland: The Beginnings of the Polish Underground Movement during World War II’. He subsequently worked as an advisor at the Institute of Contemporary History, Munich, until 1978. Wolfgang Jacobmeyer was deputy director of the Georg Eckert Institute from 1978 until 1991. In 1985 he qualified as a university lecturer in Hanover with his Habilitation thesis entitled ‘From a Forced Labourer to a Foreigner without a Homeland: Displaced Persons in West Germany, 1945-1951’, and was Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and History Didactics at the University of Munster from 1991 to 2005. His research interests include German-Polish relations, population movements, textbook issues and the history of education.


Dr. Wolfgang Höpken
September 1991 - September 1993

(see above)


Dr. Falk Pingel
October 1993 - May 2009

(see above)


Prof. Dr. Eckhardt Fuchs
June 2009 - September 2015

(see above)