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Prof. Dr. Hartmut Soell (11.3.1939-6.4.2023)

Hartmut Soell (born 11 March 1939 in Kehl) is a German historian and long-term Member of Parliament representing the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He studied history, political science and international law at Göttingen and Heidelberg and he obtained his Dr. phil. degree from Heidelberg University in 1963. From 1965 to 1968 Soell was an assistant in the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. Subsequently he was a scientific assistant in the history seminar at Heidelberg University where he obtained his habilitation in 1974. Since 1977 he has been Professor of Modern History at Heidelberg University. From 1980 to 1994 he was a member of the Bundestag and at the same time from 1987 to 1991 Vice President and in 1992–1993 President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European Union where from 1991 to 1994 he chaired the German delegation.

Prof. Dr. Soell’s publications include the political biographies Fritz Erler. Eine politische Biographie (1976) [Fritz Erler: A Political Biography] and Der junge Wehner. Zwischen revolutionärem Mythos und praktischer Vernunft [The Young Wehner: Between Revolu-tionary Mythos and Practical Responsibility] (1991). In 2003 the first volume of his bio graphy of Helmut Schmidt was published under the titl

As my professor, thesis adviser I was grateful for his advice as a historian and for his moral support during the process to obtain my PhD thesis in 1976. Hartmut later became an author and a friend who attended with his wife Ursula Soell my round birthdays and was my guest of honour when I was awarded the Federal Cross on Ribbon and at the first ceremony of the prize for high school students of my Foundation at my 75th ceremony.

I remember well several long discussions when I visited him in his private office in Heidelberg in 1975 and 1976. He was a very fine person, academic mentor and political friend since the period when we were both politically active. I very much enjoyed his 80th birthday party with his wife Ursula and their children and grandchildren on 11 March 2019 with memories to the family life by their son Lucas. I will miss his phone calls giving me encouragement during and after several hospitalizations associated with an operation and later when we discussed our research and writing activities after our retirement from the university.

My thoughts are in the difficult time of sorrow with his wife Ursula Soell and their children and grandchildren. Our professional relationship was influenced by our high mutual professional respect since my time as one of his first students in his colloquium, as a PhD candidate and as citizens who shared the same political home. I will remember Hartmut as a warm personal friend whose voice, encouragement and support I will miss in the future.

Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Prof. Dr. Hartmut Soell in 1982 as members of the German Bundestag. Source Deutscher Bundestag, Bildarchiv, Press Service Steponaitis. Permission is granted by the Archives of the German Parliament (Bundestag) for publications for educational purposes.


Curriculum vitae (CV)

Umfassende Bibliographie

Buchpublikationen von Hartmut Soell
Fritz Erler – Eine politische Biographie, 2 Bde. (Bonn-Bad Godesberg: Dietz, 1976)
Der junge Wehner. Zwischen revolutionärem Mythos und praktischer Vernunft. (Stuttgart: DVA, 1991)  
Helmut Schmidt Vernunft und Leidenschaft (Stuttgart: DVA, 2003).
Helmut Schmidt Macht und Verantwortung
(Stuttgart: DVA, 2008)
Helmut Schmidt: Pioneer of International Economic and Financial Cooperation – Presented by Hartmut Soell. SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice No. 20. Policymakers Subseries No. 1 (Cham – Heidelberg – New York – Dordrecht – London: Springer-Verlag, 2014).  
Oliver v. Mengersen, Matthias Frese, Klaus Kempter, Heide-Marie Lauterer, Volker Schober (Hrsg.): Personen, Soziale Bewegungen, Parteien Beiträge zur Neuesten Geschichte - Festschrift für Hartmut Soell (Heidelberg: Manutius Verlag, 2004).  
Die Zellers - Wanderer in Zeit und Raum (1480 - 2014): Roman. Band 1 (Frankfurt: edition fischer).
Die Zellers - Wanderer in Zeit und Raum (1480 - 2014): Roman. Band 2 (Frankfurt: edition fischer).